Hola, Crusaders! It is the first week of September, and while feeling a bit wonky coming off the long vacation weekend (sniff, goodbye summer) there were a great deal of comics to read to ease the pain. A quick reminder, this column is about my feelings, thoughts, opinions and suggestions about the releases (single issues, collected works , webcomics, and OGN’s) not only from this week, but releases that may have been out for a bit and are available in some way (LCS, online, mail order, etc.). Now, on to the comics:
This first part of an adaptation of the original draft of the screenplay is good, not just for Star Wars completion junkies, but also as a story that hints more strongly at Lucas’s cinema narrative influences and attempted deeper political commentary of the later films. Lucas is a good writer and a smart film maker, as THX 1138 or American Graffitti prove, and the text here, even adapted for comics form, has a more cerebral feel in the pace and sub plots that are being attempted.
From time to time, I feel like a good spy/black ops story that is more cerebral than predicated on the big chase or action sequence (Age of Ultron), something with some real content. Heavy on character dialogue and full of twists and turns while being light on action sequences, this gem, collecting the first story arc from Mike Costa and company is a good read, building mystery and tension in the revisionist world of serious military Geo-political games using the G.I. Joe characters.
“SF #2”; w/a Ryan Cecil Smith; self-published, $7.00; 36 pages; available at http://www.ryancecilsmith.com/
This book was immensely entertaining and I re-read it right away. I start with issue #2 as the recap on the opening page does a good job of bringing you up to speed about the plot. The other reason for choosing the second issue is it is a step up in all categories (art, narrative pace, character development) from that introductory issue, something that you do not always get in a serialized story. Never taking itself too seriously, this book is about fun with the fantasy and sci-fi genre while laying a foundation for what appears to be a solid story about a boy who will become his own person (or the heroes journey if you like). The third installment will drop this October, and I look forward to it.
If you did not get a chance to get on board with the first few issues, writer Mike Carey provides a good introduction to his world this week with a story about a woman who needs a new life, and the one she gets is a doozy. This study of the seductive aspects of superpowers is entertaining and a bit heartbreaking, and Joelle Jones’s art complements everything well.
Mignola has the right formula for stories with the character Baltimore, that is, we get just enough in a nice balance of spread out one-shots in-between longer arcs of this world where we are not over-saturated every month, a model I think would serve the heavy hitters of the big two (Marvel/DC Comics) well in the near future. Coming off the recent one-shots, Baltimore gets sidetracked on his quest, and this first issue of three seems to set the stage for some major choices to be made. Am I being a bit vague? Of course I am, this is a spoiler free zone friends! If you like stories about obsessive quests, vampires, zombies, or all three rolled into one, check out Baltimore.
I am just now getting around to reading the titles available at Thrillbent (thrillbent.com), and I am very surprised and pleased by the variety and excellent quality of what is being offered. Case in point, this nicely done post-apocalyptic/futuristic/sci-fi/horror action-fest from Karl Kesel and Ron Randall. When I say action fest I mean it, there is very little dialogue as the story unfolds one click at time, something that Thrillbent is providing as an alternate choice to reading “guided view” digital comics. Bravo to Thrillbent, and I will be back for more (did I mention it is free?!?).
So that is it for another week folks. Please feel free to weigh in and tell me what you read and enjoyed this week in our comments section below, over on our Facebook page, or shout out on Twitter using @capelesscrusade and #afterwednesday. See you next time, till then happy reading!