First Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, now kicks to the face?
Sean McKeever knows what I like.
And what I like is comics, and it’s a good thing too, because it’s time for another round of the Internet’s Most Christmasy Comics Reviews! Here’s what I bought at the shop yesterday…
…but those aren’t the only great comics you can find this week! One of them we’ll be talking about in a moment, but for those of you who missed the fanfare, I dropped the latest Instant Classic of the Action Age of Comics last night: The Christmas Chronicles of Solomon Stone!
It’s an all-new nine page holiday adventure from the World’s Greatest Half-Vampire Skateboard Champion Private Detective, written by me (my second Christmas comic!) and drawn by the phenomenal Matt Digges. If you haven’t, give it a read, and enjoy the comic that took a Christmas Miracle to pull off.
Okay, melodrama over. Now, the reviews!
Captain America Reborn #5: Aaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!
Okay, okay, sorry, it’s just that… Look, I’ve been waiting for Ed Brubaker to drop a full-on MODOK appearance in his Captain America run for like five years now, and although he came close with the MODOC Squadron, which were basically dudes in MODOK cosplay (MODOCosplay?), this one just… I mean… There’s a whole damn two-page spread… and..
Okay, I’m good this time. I’m good.
Anyway, I’ve heard some griping about this book’s pacing from the usual quarters, and while it’s been a slow build, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. A strange sentiment, I know, but the slow burn of plot threads coming together is what makes an issue like this one–which is just a flat-out super-hero adventure with body-swapping and laser cages made by Nazis to trap robots and… well, you know–so great to read, even if Bryan Hitch is still refusing to give Captain America a proper A on his forehead.
Chimichanga #1: Eric Powell’s latest project dropped this week, and the big deal with it–aside from it having the most appetizing title since Richie Rich’s Beach Boys Barbecue Blowout Bash Blast–is that he’s self publishing it through Exploding Albatross Funnybooks, which hasn’t had much to do since The Goon found a home at Dark Horse. As such, as much as Powell’s a guy who has recent work on Superman–the diametric opposite of self-publishing–it’s got that indie-comic feel, not to mention that heavy ink smell.
Of course, a lot of that probably has to do with the subject matter, which–like The Goon–is set in a nebulous world of traveling circuses, monsters and freaks. It’s a setting that, like the references to hobo culture that crop up in Goon from time to time, is fascinating for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that this story could’ve taken place any time in the past fifty years, with a kid’s bluetooth headset being the only thing that pins it down to nowish. The end result is something that, for the start at least, has the same kind of fun you’d expect if you’re a fan of Goon–which I am–but with less scarred-up mobsters and with more bearded little girls.
El Gorgo! #3: Earlier tonight, I said that along with Solomon Stone, there was another awesome comic that you could read online for free, and I’ve got to say: If you can only read one, well… you should probably read El Gorgo!.
I mean, look: I try hard, folks. I really do, and I’m helped out by the fact that I’ve got some phenomenal artists to work with, but man. McGee and Jakab didn’t just drop 32 gorgeous, full-color pages of a time-traveling gorilla luchador surf guitar super-scientist teaming up with a dinosaur man from the future who wore the gorilla’s lucha mask because his culture literally worships him as the god of punching monsters so that they could battle Dagon. No, they did all that… and then introduced it with a news report given by a foxy television journalist… who was also herself a luchdador.
That is pure genius, and I honestly don’t know if I can compete with that.
Fortunately for me, I don’t have to, as El Gorgo!, like the comics we put up at the Action Age, are completely free to read online or download, and you can grab #3 right here. There’s even a print version if you want to throw some scratch their way, and I’d suggest you do, because these guys are the future. And that’s real.
The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures: For those of you who might not be familiar with the Rocketeer, here’s how it works: Dude finds a jtpack. Dude wears jetpack to fight Nazis. Dude’s girlfriend is a frequently naked analogue of Bettie Page. It’s as awesome as it sounds. Now about this new hardcover…
Holy cats, is this thing beautiful.
That’s no surprise, of course; The Rocketeer‘s been a good-looking comic for as long as it’s existed. That’s kind of its deal, and while it was the late, great Dave Stevens’ amazing design sense, expressive faces, sultry women that caught the eye, it was the fun, pulpy adventures he constructed to showcase them that made this book what it is.
But this hardcover, man, dang. Stevens was great to begin with, but for the hardcover, IDW got Laura Martin–hands down one of the top two or three colorists working today–to recolor the whole thing, and it’s incredible. It compliments the original work, it’s not overdone, and it gives the whole thing such an incredibly slick appearance that I’ll be absolutely shocked if this thing doesn’t take home a stack of awards next summer.
Just to give you an idea of what I’m talking about, here’s a page–chosen at random, I assure you–as it originally appeared:
And the same page with Martin’s colors:
The difference is incredible, and like all good coloring, it really brings out Stevens’ artwork, and makes this volume more than worth the $30 cover price. In other words, I highly recommend it.
And that’s the week! As always, any questions, concerns, etc. can be left in the comments section below. But will Yotsuba’s intensity replace the Fried Ice Cream picture as my preferred way of responding? That is up to you.