GeekMom: Comic Book Corner — Doctor Who, Metal Gods, X-Files, The Flash, and Batgirl

Cover to Batgirl #35. Copyright DC Comics, art by Babs Tarr.

Happy comic release day! Welcome to another installment of GeekMom Comic Book Corner, where we recap our adventures in comics for the week. This week, Corrina tells us all about the new Batgirl and Metal Gods, while Lisa goes on a journey with a time lord, Sophie visits with The X-Files, and I continue my journey into The Flash!

Dakster Sullivan — The Flash: Season Zero #3 by Brooke Eikmeier, Andrew Kreisberg, and Katherine Walczak with art by Phil Hester and Eric Gapstur

In issue #3, Barry continues in his “new to the hero” ways and takes on a “Jumanji” of a situation in Central City. With tigers, monkeys, and gorilla jokes running rampant through this issue, I kept expecting our main villain to be of the talking-gorilla persona. Instead, we are left with a cliffhanger that is making me believe our main villain is of the “mad” persona and one that I didn’t expect to see out of Gotham (you see where I’m going with this?). If the villain is who I think it is, then this series is about to get a lot more interesting.

If I’m wrong and it’s not who I’m thinking, then the series still has its beautiful art and occasional Spider-Man-like jokes to keep it going.

This issue didn’t clear up anything about who knows about Barry’s new double life, but the subtle knocks at Barry by a few individuals is helping me sort it out for myself.

Age Recommendation: 12 and up

Curious to know what I’m pulling this week? Check out my pull list on Comixology.

Lisa Tate — Doctor Who: Tenth Doctor Adventures #2 by Nick Abadzis with art by Elena Casagranda

Doctor Who: Tenth Doctor Adventures #2  Image: Titan Comics
Doctor Who: Tenth Doctor Adventures #2. Image: Titan Comics.

When Titan Comics first announced the first story arc for its new Tenth Doctor series, I was excited by the prospect of The Doctor among the pageantry of the Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations. However, in true Doctor Who form, the intended celebration becomes a jumping-off point for a completely different type of adventure, as something threatening has entered the planet via a laundromat’s washing machines.

Comic-book veteran Nick Abadzis has done an excellent job with the dialogue, especially the hyper ramblings of The Doctor’s Tenth incarnation. It’s hard not to hear David Tennant’s voice when reading, but that seems to be the intended result. Artist Elena Casagrande captures facial expressions with simplicity and beauty.

Although the first issue of both Titan’s Tenth and Eleventh Doctor series had more alternate covers than I’ve ever seen for a single issue, the cover art on Alice X. Zhang’s issue #1 and #2 is by far the most stunning.

Those used to the fast-paced frenzy of the latter-day episodes of Doctor Who may have felt like grabbing someone’s hand and pulling them along a bit. After all, this issue is primarily dedicated to getting to know the story’s companion, Gabby Gonzalez.

The second issue moves at a much more swifter pace and also keeping with the spirit of Doctor Who, the “monsters” are not what they seem. Keep with the story and there will be excitement, perilous situations, and “an outrageous amount of running involved.”

Age Recommendation: Young readers to adult (If they are old enough to watch the series, they can enjoy the comic.)

Metal Gods Issue 2 Cover
Copyright Von Allan.

Corrina — Metal Gods by Von Allan, Batgirl #35 by Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, and Babs Tarr

Know those creators whose words you read and you think: Why isn’t this person better known? That’s how I feel about Von Allan’s work. From his poignant comic-of-age story The Road To God Knows, his fun all-ages book, Stargazer, and now, Metal Gods, Allan’s a multi-talented artist-writer who’s been the recipient of the Coral Endowment for the Arts Award.

Metal Gods is his latest work. It’s about Nick and his girlfriend Lo, battling a cult that seems to have control of Nick’s wayward and slightly nutty parents. As Allan’s website says,”If you like action, adventure, ‘splosions, and good old fashioned storytelling, we think it will be right up your alley.” You can find the first three issues on Comixology.

Age Recommendation: Adult situations, so at least 14+

Batgirl #35: This has been the eagerly awaited first issue of not only a new creative team, but a look and feel that’s part of DC’s effort to do something new and different with their monthly comics. The first of those books to hit stands was Gotham Academy #1 last week and it’ll include the upcoming Arkham Manor.

It’s hard to describe what this issue of Batgirl is like without showing you all the interior pages, but to me, this felt like a story set in the DC Animated Universe—and I mean that as high praise. It’s fun, fast-paced, features a Barbara Gordon who uses her intelligence to defeat the villain, and the artwork reminded my younger son of some of his favorite animated universe tie-ins. I was worried this Barbara Gordon would feel like a completely different character, but she’s still Babs, focused and smart, but a little bit more relaxed. I was even more pleased to see Black Canary as part of the supporting cast, though less thrilled to see Canary so angry throughout the issue. The reboot DC did three years ago hasn’t been kind to Canary, so I’m hoping this anger dissipates and she’s back to the more mellow, impetuous, and kick-ass Canary I love. But she’s in the hands of an excellent creative team now, so I have hopes.

As for Barbara, as much as I loved Gail Simone’s first 34 issues of the title (and I did love them), I’m glad to see DC giving this new take a chance too, especially as it’s appealing to all.

Age recommendations: Rated 12 + for sexual situations, though it’s all implied, nothing shown.

The X-Files Year Zero Issue 3  Image: IDW Publishing
The X-Files Year Zero Issue 3. Image: IDW Publishing.

Sophie Brown — X-Files Year Zero #3 by Karl Kesel  with art by Vic Malhotra and Greg Scott

Last week, saw the release of issue three of the Year Zero X-Files spin-off and it was another great installment to an already impressive run.

Last month left Ellinson and Ohio in grave peril, as the Manitou attacked out in an isolated cabin. This month picks up right in the action, as Ellinson explains how they escaped in the form of a written report. As is often the case, the local law enforcement is all too willing to accept the explanation that’s easiest to palette, even if it doesn’t quite account for all the facts—and it’s good to see Ohio’s obvious discomfort with the situation. The first 40s section of the comic ends off with a nice scene between the pair that mimics Mulder and Scully beautifully, as they discuss the events they just witnessed and come to the realization that they might be more alike than they first realized.

In the future, Mulder and Scully are working to convince Mr. Spoon that he is indeed in danger, but he is more concerned with the well-being of the animals at his clinic. It’s a strange scene that has me wondering if there is more meaning than I’m currently seeing embedded within, as it doesn’t function to move the plot very far along before we’re back in 1946.

Ellinson and Ohio’s report goes down as well as you’d expect from a pair of agents assigned to the X-Files, but Ellinson’s a smooth talker and she quickly gets them back on the case to chase up Mr. Zero in Long Island. Ohio gets one heck of a scene (she’s rapidly becoming my favorite comic book character) and we discover that she too has perfected the “Scully Glare”—I guess it’s par for the course when you’ve been partnered up with the bureau maverick! Things soon get interesting when they bump into Dorothy, who has just returned from what she claims was a dinner date on a distant planet, and receive a threatening call from Xero himself.

The final part of the comic is set in the present day and is one of my favorites to date, a classic X-Files stakeout, which leaves plenty of opportunity for some Mulder and Scully bantering. Karl Kesel has perfected the Mulder voice and trademark dry humor, as well as Scully’s knack of getting to the bottom of things as she deflects him. Our favorite agents get some action too (if only…) when they raid Spoon’s home, only things don’t go quite the way they’d planned, leaving us with another fantastic cliffhanger.

Don’t mind me; I’ll just be over here pre-ordering the hardback collection of this truly wonderful series.

Age Recommendation: 15 and up

Looking for something else, readers? Check out Diamond Comics’ complete list of new releases!

Disclaimer: Some of the writers may have received review copies of these titles.