After Wednesday

Hello again, crusaders! Its time for my weekly rundown of what I found of interest this week. For those new to the column: I am a comics enthusiast who reads a lot of titles and each week I sort through my box and talk about those I found the most interesting. All opinions are my own, and I hope you share some of your own (more about that at the bottom). Cool? On to the comics:

Bandette, Volume 1: Presto! (w) Paul Tobin (a) Colleen Coover/ Various, Dark Horse Comics, $14.99
Bandette, Volume 1: Presto! (w) Paul Tobin (a) Colleen Coover/ Various, Dark Horse Comics, $14.99

Collecting the first volume of digital installments from Monkeybrain comics, some shorts by other artists, a short prose piece, and concept art, this is a pretty jammed pack collection for one of the most lauded series of 2013. I like Bandette because it creates a world that is slightly more quirky than our own. Coover’s art is bright, snappy, and her masked heroes project contagious amounts of optimism in the eyes alone (seriously, who thought the whiteout eyes of masked heroes could be that emotive?), providing a place where ambiguous thieves are having adventures, and while it is wonderfully light there are some narrative dark moments happening that give a bit of substance and bite for older readers. This could be considered a gateway collection into modern comics in some circles.

The Lone Ranger #19 (w) Ande Parks (a) Esteve Polls (c) Marc Rueda (l) Simon Bowland, Dynamite Entertainment, $3.99
“The Lone Ranger #19” (w) Ande Parks (a) Esteve Polls (c) Marc Rueda (l) Simon Bowland, Dynamite Entertainment, $3.99

This issue is structured to give us some background and character building for Tonto, The Lone Ranger’s sidekick. Esteve Polls uses the landscapes of the west to remind us that a good western tale is just as much about the geography as it is about the characters. This is a nice contemplative story about a man struggling to find a path in life to choose—to find peace in a life that has had its center ripped out.

Alex + Ada #1 cover
“Alex + Ada #1” (w/a) Jonathan Luna (w) Sarah Vaughn, Image comics, $3.99

This is an introduction to a story that could go anywhere. Where I hope it goes in successive issues is to continue to build a tale about the nature of love for a heartbroken twenty-something in a A.I. future, although the creators do seed some problems already brewing with the A.I. (think civil rights, etc.), and action of some sort is on the horizon, which isn’t a bad thing; I just hope it doesn’t drive the story too much. Luna provides a cinematic widescreen presentation for the bulk of the issue, and there are some wonderfully quiet moments throughout, building on the idea of what a lonely life looks like (and some were pretty dead on personally speaking). I actually think you could come to the end of this first issue and just stop and create your own story from there, as it is not necessarily a cliffhanger in a traditional comic genre sense.

Edison Rex #11 (w) Chris Roberson (a) Dennis Culver (l) John J Hill (c) Stephen Downer, Monkeybrain Comics, $0.99
“Edison Rex #11” (w) Chris Roberson (a) Dennis Culver (l) John J Hill (c) Stephen Downer, Monkeybrain Comics, $0.99

Roberson continues to expand the universe and characters of his Monkeybrain title. Edison Rex as a series builds on some subtle, more contextually plausible emotional undercurrents than in most hero titles currently on the shelf for a reader, most obvious being the struggle of our main character (Rex) trying to make some ethical and moral changes in his life. This chapter provides yet another layer through some nifty history from Rex’s universe, and the consistency and dashes of artistic daring by Dennis Culver have made this series something to think seriously about checking out if you have not already.

Doctor Who: Sky Jacks!  (w) Andy Diggle (a) Andy Kuhn (c) Charlie Kirchoff (l) Shawn Lee, IDW Publishing $17.99
Doctor Who: Sky Jacks! (w) Andy Diggle/ Eddie Robson (a) Andy Kuhn (c) Charlie Kirchoff (l) Shawn Lee, IDW Publishing $17.99

This is the third volume collected of the current ongoing monthly featuring the eleventh incarnation of the Doctor. This story ties back into the first volume, The Hypothetical Gentlemen. That tie-in element should not be a major deterrent for a new reader to the comic adventures of the eleventh Doctor (although if you are new to the character and premise it may be a bit tougher without some guidance), and I give massive props to writers Andy Diggle and Eddie Robson who craft this story into being one that can be considered, if you had not read the previous story arcs, self contained. The pace of this story is rapid, and Diggle & Robson have nailed the voice of this doctor (seriously BBC, give this team a shot at writing an episode!). Andy Kuhn and Charlie Kirchoff complement the needs of the narrative artistically proving again the real boon of the comics universe of Doctor Who is how much the artists do not have to show restraint about world building or design, which can hamper the television show.

So that is it for this week, folks. As always feel free to leave comments below, over on our Facebook page, or hit us up on Twitter @capelesscrusade with the #afterwednesday so everyone can join in. Till next time, crusaders.