Comic Book Corner—Rat Queens, Secret Six #2, Super Dinosaur, and Powers: Bureau

Rat Queens: Sass and Sorcery (Art by Fiona Staples) © Image Comics
Rat Queens: Sass and Sorcery (Art by Fiona Staples) © Image Comics

Happy Comic Release Day! Welcome to another installment of GeekMom Comic Book Corner, where we recap our adventures in comics for the week. It’s an interesting week as I look at a missile carrying dinosaur, Corrina and Kelly check out Rat Queens, and Lisa gets excited about Powers! Corrina also gives us her take on Gail Simone’s latest Secret Six!

Kelly Knox—Rat Queens: Sass and Sorcery (Volume 1) by Kurtis Wiebe and Roc Upchurch

It’s rare for me to venture away from the superhero books, but I’ve recently heard so many glowing reviews of Rat Queens from Image Comics that I just had to see what the fuss was all about.

It’s all about a seriously fun, irreverent fantasy series that I need to read more of. Now.

Rat Queens: Sass and Sorcery is the trade paperback collection of the first five issues of the series, written by Kurtis Wiebe. “Sass” is putting it mildly. The Rat Queens, a band of mercenaries for hire, aren’t afraid of anything to get the job done. These ladies might be a diverse group, but they all agree on one thing: doing whatever it takes and always having each others’ backs. That means there’s no shortage of violence and crude language, all with an undercurrent of humor and memorable characters to tie it all together.

The first trade paperback is a quick, fun read for under $10—what do you have to lose? Pick up the collection and meet Betty, Hannah, Dee, and Violet for yourself.

Note: Regular artist Roc Upchurch, who drew these issues, was arrested on domestic violence charges in late 2014 and was taken off the book in November. The May issue will feature the work of new artist Stjepan Sejic.

Age Recommendation: 18+

image via Image Comics
image via Image Comics

Corrina—Rat Queens Special: Braga #1 by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Tess Fowler; Secret Six #2 by Gail Simone and Ken Lashley.

This special issue of Rat Queens focuses on the tale of Braga, the extra-large female orc warrior who’s proven popular with readers. This is also the first issue I’ve ever read of the series. I loved the issues, which details how Braga, then a male Orc prince named Broog, eventually came to leave her people. “It’s strange. I often wonder if I would’ve stayed had my people been more understanding. If they’d just accepted me for who I was,” Braga says at the beginning of her tale.

But this isn’t the usual tale of a transition from male to female, it’s the story of how Braga always felt out of step with her people, even when leading them in victorious battle as Broog. The Orc nation lives for battle and killing. Broog questions that and wants to end war itself. Her younger brother, of course, is in line with the more traditional warrior orcs.

This tale is bawdy, sweet, bloody, and melancholic all at the same time. It’s easy to see why the series has been so acclaimed. I need to pick up more Rat Queens.

Age Recommendation: 18 +

Secret Six #1 left our anti-heroes stuck in a coffin-like box at the bottom of the ocean. Secret Six #2 provides an ingenious solution to that predicament, fleshes out a couple of the newer team members, and flashes back to just why Catman is now so claustrophobic. The issue raises far more questions than it answers, firms up the new team, and contains some signature moments for the new group. More, please.

Age recommendation: 13 +

Dakster Sullivan—Super Dinosaur #1 by Robert Kirkman and Jason Howard (Image Comics)

Super Dinosaur is a hidden gem that I picked up at my local comic book store. I picked it up because it was on the dollar shelf and I needed another $.50 to get a stamp on my loyalty card. After learning it was an all ages book, I tossed it into my son’s reading pile and he went crazy with it from there.

The story centers around 10-year old Derek and his best friend and small in stature Trex, Super Dinosaur (or SD as Derek calls him). Together they protect Inner-Earth from Evil Max Maximus who wants the valuable DynOre. After reading half of volume 1, I can see why my son likes it so much. In his words:

“It has epic battles, super cool missiles, and other really cool technology. Oh and plus it’s really awesome.”

Super Dinosaur  Copyright Image Comics
Super Dinosaur © Image Comics

If you have a child who might be into a video game playing dinosaur whose best friend is a 10-year-old genius kid, this is the series for them. Heck. If you’re an adult, this series is for you.

Age Recommendation: All ages

Lisa Tate—Powers: Bureau #12 (Icon) by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Michael Avon Oeming

Powers  Image: Icon
Powers Image: Icon

Detective Christian Walker fans have been promised a Powers series for, well, like Walker’s lifespan, forever. On March 10 Walker (played by Sharlito Copley), Detective Deena Pilgrim, Power Girl, Zora, and other characters from the comic will finally be brought to life in an original series for the Playstation Network.

With this on the horizon, I felt it was time to finally read the last of the 12-issue Powers: Bureau series that wrapped up at the end of 2014. I had spent a year following this story, fearing for the well-being of Walker, the barely-there sanity of Pilgrim, now both Federal Agents, and wanting to find out who—or what—took out the team of young California powers known as The Circle, but they weren’t the answers I was hoping to get.

I closed up this final issue thinking, “Well, that sucked.” Not in regard to the series, which was incredibly suspenseful, sarcastic, and shocking (everything you’d expect Powers to deliver), but the actual situation for pretty much every character in the story. Fortunately, Bendis has promised more to come, hopefully with some sort of resolution. In the meantime, we have the live action series to look forward to.

The collected first volume of Powers: Bureau is now available, for those wanting to catch up on the series in one overwhelmingly intense and emotional fell swoop, but don’t race to the end too fast. It’s a doozy.

Pick it up on sale today on ComiXology!

Age Recommendation: Mature readers

Looking for something else, readers? Check out this week’s listed books:

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Arrow Season 2.5 #5
Astro City #20
Batman Dark Knight Dark City TP
Batman Eternal #45
Batman The Dark Knight Vol. 4 Clay TP
Coffin Hill #15
Coffin Hill Vol. 2 Dark Endeavors TP
Constantine #22
DC The New Frontier Deluxe Edition HC
Earth 2 World’s End #19
Fables Covers The Complete Covers By James Jean HC
Fables The Wolf Among Us #2
FBP Federal Bureau Of Physics #18
Green Lantern Corps #39
Harley Quinn Valentine’s Day Special #1
Hellblazer Vol. 10 In The Line Of Fire TP
Injustice Gods Among Us Year Three #9
Justice League 3000 #14
Justice League United #9
Klarion #5
Mortal Kombat X #2
New 52 Futures End #41
New Suicide Squad #7
Scooby-Doo Where Are You #54 Kid-Friendly
Scribblenauts Unmasked A DC Comics Adventure TP Kid-Friendly
Secret Origins Vol. 1 TP
Secret Six #2
Secret Six Vol. 1 Villains United TP
Smallville Season 11 Continuity #3 (Of 4)
Superman Krypton Returns HC
Worlds’ Finest #31
All-New Captain America Fear Him #2 (Of 4)
All-New Ghost Rider #11
All-New X-Men #36
Amazing Spider-Man #14
Avengers World Vol. 3 Next World TP
Bucky Barnes The Winter Soldier #5
Captain Marvel #12
Cyclops #10
Darth Vader #1
Deathlok Rage Against The Machine TP
Dexter TP
Guardians 3000 #5
Guardians Of The Galaxy #24 GM
Indestructible Hulk Vol. 4 Humanity Bomb TP
Marvel Masterworks The Mighty Thor Vol. 1 HC
Marvel Masterworks The Sub-Mariner Vol. 6 HC
Marvel Universe Avengers Assemble Season Two #4
Nightcrawler #11
Oz The Emerald City Of Oz TP
Rocket Raccoon Vol. 1 A Chasing Tale HC
Spider-Woman #4
Thanos Vs Hulk #3 (Of 4)
Thor #5
Wolverines #6
X-Force #15
X-Men #24
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7th Sword #7
Edward Scissorhands #4 (Of 5)
Library Of American Comics Essentials Vol. 6 Baron Bean 1917 HC
My Little Pony Micro-Comic Fun Pack Series 3 Kid Friendly
Popeye Classics #31 Kid Friendly
Star Trek #41
Transformers Dark Cybertron HC
Transformers Vs G.I. JOE #5
Zombies Vs Robots Warbook Omnibus TP
Abe Sapien #20
Avatar The Last Airbender The Rift Library Edition HC
Blood Blockade Battlefront Vol. 7 TP
Conan Red Sonja #2 (Of 4)
Creepy Archives Vol. 21 HC
Itty Bitty Comics The Mask #4
Prometheus Fire And Stone Omega #1 (One Shot)
Resurrectionists #4
Samurai Executioner Omnibus Vol. 4 TP
Usagi Yojimbo #1 (1 For $1 Edition) Kid Friendly
X #22 

Acronym Key: GM = GeekMom Recommended Reading