C-3PO / MOON KNIGHT / DIVINITY II / BLACK EYED KIDS / JOYRIDE [Reviews]: The Color Red.
Threepio’s red arm. What’s up with that? Originaly planned to release before The Force Awakens dropped in theaters, “The Phantom Limb” tells the story of our favorite protocol droid’s mysterious red arm. But is it a story worth reading? Short version: Yes, very much so. This one-shot, written by James Robinson (Starman, Fantastic Four) opens with a resistance ship crash landing on a mysterious planet, and the surviving droids must make their way, with a new order droid as prisoner, to safety. As one can guess, things quickly go awry and turn into a race for survival.
But the true shining element in this comic is its commentary on the life of a droid. We all know how in the Star Wars universe droids often have their memories wiped. This comic compares that to the phenomena known as Phantom Limbs, in which you can still feel the presence of a limb that’s been severed. This provides for some pretty deep philosophical commentary that I seriously wasn’t expecting. Tony Harris’ (Deadpool) art absolutely knocks this out of the park, as well. Bizarre yet beautiful, it would be hard to imagine this story told in any other way. My only drawback with the issue is that due to how long this delay was after TFA, the comic sort of feels like an afterthought. Otherwise, Star Wars Special: C-3PO #1 is great story any Star Wars fan should check out. 4/5 Red Robot Arms.
I’ve always been a fan of Marvel’s batshit-crazy White Knight version of Batman, who — much like Daredevil — has always had an impressive line-up of creators. While there’s never been a “Frank Miller” type most associated with the character (the team of Doug Moench and Bill Sienkiewicz comes close), there’s a reason why Bendis, Ellis, Wood and, now, Jeff Lemire (Animal Man) have been chosen to take on Marc Spector: this guy needs all the help he can get. And while all of the aforementioned scribes have certainly done their due diligence with the superhero’s mental state, I’d argue that, after only one issue, Lemire’s all-new Moon Knight #1 takes the cake.
Imagine a Marvel Netflix version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Oh yeah, Spector is presently held up (or, just imagining being held up) in a psych ward, with opening panels that shift from recent Moon Knight artist Greg Smallwood‘s scratchy, more dreamy sequences of Spector’s search for his soul controller — the Lunar God, Khonshu — to a more detailed, art-house style that captures just how “nutso” both Marc’s facial expressions and current, unfortunate environment can be. Both styles are a testament to Smallwood’s versatility, although it’s arguable the sketches wouldn’t prove nearly as effective without the strong contrasting colors of (the also returning) Jordie Bellaire. The art duo’s varying layouts also dive deep into the sequential psyche of Spector and his actions; as, with a few winks and blinks, Spector’s orderlies flip into a most dangerous switch. Overall, this is a very strong and promising start to a volume everyone — but Marc — hopes will last. 4/5 Bibles.
***EARLY REVIEW – Released: 4/20/16***
Holy damn! Why isn’t this a movie?! Oh. Because Hollywood kills everything awesome.
With edgy, heavy contrast artwork from the likes of Trevor Hairsine (Book of Death: Fall of Ninjak) and Ryan Winn (X-O Manowar) and the smooth vibrant color schemes of David Baron (The Death-Defying Dr. Mirage), I can almost feel the chill of space and the ice cold breeze of snowy Moscow. Matt Kindt‘s (Ninjak) plot feels incredible. Watching it all unfold feels like sleeper-cell stories of a Russian Fantastic 4, and in my book, that’s a winner. The delivery of the lot gets a little narration heavy, but that s expected from the first issue. There’s a lot to catch up on and explain and not enough pages to show it all happening, so I get it; however, the bits of character dialogue that are there, sound natural and flow nicely. This Review Deacon can tell that once the story is in full motion there will be no lack of quality in the dialog.
Myshka is completely hell bent on following her original mission. She has risked it all and cashed in on the motherload of abilities. Now she knows what she wants and there’s nothing you can say to sway her from the objective. Even though she’s the antagonist of the story so far, it’s great to see a strong female character with God-level powers and respect. The usual suspects of Marvel and DC super ladies are fine and dandy, but it’s refreshing to see a face outside that realm with a fresh experience and environment. My only slight concern about Divinity II is the hope that it doesn’t turn into some kind of subtle propaganda. The story looks too good to be dragged down and wasted like that. 4/5 Bibles.
***EARLY REVIEW – Released: 4/20/16***
It’s been documented on this site in at least one of my reviews that I’m not a fan of horror comics, and, sadly, Black Eyed Kids #1 by Joe Pruett (Magneto: Rogue’s Nation) and Szymon Kudranski (Spawn) does nothing to change that. It’s a comic that feels uninspired, from the bland title down to the bland story that relies entirely on horror cliches.
This issue is also heavily decompressed, but that’s not uncommon in comics in general, so it would be unfair to be overly critical towards it for that. However, the decompressed story — combined with the nature of the horror and the black eyes of the titular characters — makes this comic feel like the cold open of a Supernatural episode, when they’re clearly going for something more along the lines of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Kudranski’s art is solid, with an excellent use of shadows and mist to help set the mood for the book; but the story just falls flat. Granted, I’m clearly not in this comic’s intended audience, but it still feels like this comic didn’t achieve what it set out to do. 2/5 Creepy Kids.
***EARLY REVIEW – Released: 4/20/16***
“…the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!” -Jack Kerouac, from On the Road
BOOM! Studios harkens back to the Jazzian bebop and syncopated scat-a-tat-tat appropriated into the literature of the Beats and the Counterculture Movement of the Post-World War II era, with their latest offering entitled: Joyride. Here we have the beginnings of an interstellar reboot of the Kerouac classic that mash-potatoes up a delectable space-plasma of potentially-cosmic-proportion by conflating those legendary tropes of the road novel interspersed with favorable sci-fi familiarities exuding a certain Star Warsian flair. Bringing on the circadian rhythms in this comic venture is the virtuous quintet consisting of: Jackson Lanzing & Collin Kelly (Hacktivist, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials) on Words, Marcus To (Red Robin, Soulfire) on Pencils, Irma Kniivila (Captain Canuck, Ms. Marvel) on Colors, and Jim Campbell (Krachmacher Star Wars Tales) on Letters.
Trip the pink starfish fantastic to the Dark Side of the Moon Roger Waters warned us about so many decades ago. Juggerjaunt the Earthmosphere beyond the Skysafe hexognomy constructed by an Orwellian Triumvirate State of Oppression that intend to perpetually hem our protagonists, Uma and Dewyyd, and the rest of humanity within:
- Have you ever really wanted to break on through to the diamond-scattered night of celestial brilliance that lies beyond the pollution of industrialized light???
- Do you hunger to witness the delicious trash compactor-suck of the bastardized progeny of Jabba the Hutt clusterfucked with a slime-ridden space centipede, into the vacuous scream of interstellar space at the hands of a cybernetic comrade constructed from the chassis of a Death Star Droid fused with full-on arachnophobian appendagery???
Come along for a rebellious rocket ride with our Millennial Mutineers into the cryptic cosmos, where they’re sure to defy the odds, the man, and the machine!!! I just hope at some point these two terrestrials rendezvous with the interplanetary likes of Adam Yauch, Space Ghost, and Carl “Hail” Sagan. Anything’s better than sucking on Neil Armstrong’s dark matter. This here comic nugget sure don’t… 3.5/5 Get Your Moonrocks Off Glazed In Stardust.