CAGE! / JESSICA JONES / CLONE CONSPIRACY / DEATH OF X / MOONSHINE / GREEN VALLEY [Review]: We Are the ‘Champions’…
Luke Cage is back to his groovy origins with Marvel Now’s newest reboot Cage! (yes that exclamation point is part of the actual title). This time around, we have none other than Genndy Tartakovsky, creator of Samurai Jack, here to provide both the writing and the art! His stylized art is absolutely perfect for the ‘70s retro look needed for the story, and his action scenes practically jump off the page and punch your jive turkey ass in the face. It reminds me a lot of the Zapp Comix from the ‘70s, or some of Mad Magazine’s older stuff. Tartakovsky’s writing is hilarious too, and anyone who is a fan of the Blaxploitation genre will find a lot to love here.
I fear that some people might not get what he is going for here and get offended, but Black Dynamite tackled the same concept and seemed like it was well received. It definitely straddles the line of political correctness, but it is pitch-perfect for being an homage to that time period. If that isn’t your jam, you are free to pass this comic on by and read some of the other Luke Cage runs out there. The story is fun and exuberant, and there are even a few cameos by other characters that might take you by surprise. If you feel like gettin’ funky, definitely give Cage! a look! 5/5 Bibles.
Brian Michael Bendis is at it again!
With the latest edition of Jessica Jones, much of the inspiration has been derived from the Netflix show of the same name, though with the inevitable comic twists. Mutants exist. Misty Knight has her bionic arm and a whole new conspiracy is about to unfold. Plus she just got out of jail and has custody issues, so there’s that. In any case, the terrific story telling mirrored with awesome art makes for a series that your Righteous Revered is looking forward to seeing how it unfolds. 4/5 Bibles.
Nothing good ever comes from cloning. Remember that Michael Bay movie The Island? Of course you don’t, because it had clones in it. Also, at another point in Spider-Man’s long, storied history, there was a super ridiculous saga involving clones. I think it was called the Clone Saga? Marvel had decided to re-hash that and the first issue is out. Clone is kind of a dirty word for Spider-Man fans and after Clone Conspiracy #1, it still kind of does. Dan Slott is not necessarily to blame. Perhaps the only man who understands Spidey better is Stan “The Man” Lee, but this book simply couldn’t wash the bad taste from the original clone situation out of our mouths. It isn’t a bad issue, but it kind of rehashes a lot of recent Spidey history, which if you haven’t been keeping up (and I haven’t) you have missed a lot.
The best crossover events are still pretty great even if you just read those without having read everything leading up to it. At the moment, this just feels like another issue of Spidey. It doesn’t yet have the gravitas of an event. Not that anyone expects the bar to be this high always, but think about that first issue of Civil War. That started off with a bang. Got you going. This didn’t. However, we could be playing the long game here. It’s Dan Slott. Maybe stick with it. 3/5 Bibles.
With a talent packed mini series, Death of X #1 blasts onto the local comic shelves and comes in with a dud! Which is surprising since the issue is chalked full of Marvel’s heavy hitters such as Jeff Lemire (Moon Knight), Aaron Kuder (Batman Incorporated) and Charles Soule (Death of Wolverine). Slowly building with in the Inhuman and X-men lines, DoX sets the battle lines down for the upcoming war between Marvel past and future (owned theatrical properties), but is barely able to portray a lasting effort in storytelling. The worst part of this waste of paper is the shocking death of one of Marvel’s most beloved Mutants, with very little fanfare or acknowledgement. Poor Peter David.
Though backed by a creative team that is known for writing and creating stellar read-worthy art, Death of X #1 is M-pox dead on arrival. With a script that is more cluster-fuck than actual true storytelling — coupled with problematic narrative choices — both Lemire and Soule are creating sub-par quality. Besides the waste of one of the best mutants with the first M-pox death, the additional nail in this cringe-worthy read is the art of Aaron Kuder. Aaron is one of the biggest names in the art community to come out of DC in years. With his exceptional pencil work, Kuder brought “Action” back to Action comics and made it a must buy every week he was on the book. Unfortunately, Aaron’s first foray into the Merry Mutants made this book visually worst than my third cousin’s crayon drawings. A battle may be brewing within Marvel but the first causality is our pocketbooks after wasting money on this issue. 1.5/5 Multiple Man clones agree!
Image Comics, nurtures and releases some of the most creative, well written bizarre, titles this writer has had the pleasure of reading, Moonshine – by Brian Azzerello and Eduardo Risso is no exception to this quality. This noir, set in prohibition era Appalachia, showcases the way both mobsters and FBI agents seek out the region’s best bootlegger, Hiriam Holt, and also to find paranormal tinged horror. There are definitely shades of the brilliant American Vampire here with a little less overt swagger and little more below surface menace.
My entry into this week’s “Fistful of Comics” is of the nine issue limited series from Image comics by superstar’s Max Landis and Giuseppe Camuncoli, with inker Cliff Rathburn, colorist Jean-Francois Beaulieu and letterer Pat Brosseau.
Max Landis is, of course, the fan-favorite writer of the movie Chronicle and American Ultra, but he got his start in writing comics after doing Youtube videos discussing comics, the most famous of which is his breakdown and take on Death of Superman. I like Max Landis, OK, and it was refreshing to someone in his position actually discussing and enjoying comics as respectable art-form (he also does this with wrestling videos…he should probably be writing for GHG, truth be told). Now, having watched that video years ago, I can tell you I don’t always agree with his ideas on comics, or…in particular…the things he likes about Superman comics versus my ideas as a lifelong reader of the Metropolis Marvel.
So I grinded my teeth a bit when he announced to write Superman limited series American Alien, and even though I felt he would respect the character something would be awry in the story, but with great trepidation I picked up the book and was blown away that he could write a 5 Bible book (really, Ryan Scott wrote a review for the first issue back in September 2015).
What I found was a writer that could handle dialogue and relationships better than even many industry vets. I know this is a scriptwriter trait; Kevin Smith did the same transition many years ago for Green Arrow and Daredevil. And Max is on full display here, his skills getting more honed with issue he pens.
The story of Green Valley follows the story of four knights, The Knights of Kelodia: Sir Ralphus, Sir Bertwald, Sir Gulliver and Sir Indrid. They are the stuff of legend and myth. And more importantly, they are the best of friends. The first issue deals with their encounter with Barbarian king Brutus and his horde, and follows into a marriage and celebration of one of our heros. I highly recommend this book. It’s going to be a good ride. 5/5 Bibles.
Cardinal Brooks, here, with my review of Champions #1 written by Eisner winner Mark Waid — also known for his work on The Flash, Kingdom Come, Superman, Captain America and Humberto Ramos best known for his work on every Marvel comic, ever! Ha. just kidding! No, seriously though, he’s been a staple on Amazing Spider-man, Superior Spider-man,
Crimson, to name a few.
I love both of these guys and have read just about every book they have been involved with. That being said, Champions isn’t anything special so far…but, I have faith that this can be a very fun book to read and look at it as the series goes on. Spoiler alert: Champions #1 sees the most recent Ms. Marvel having just quit The Avengers because of all that Civil War 2 business and hunting down her friends, Spidey and Nova, to tell them they were right and she’s sorry for not agreeing with them and let’s start a team of our own. I love Ramos‘ line work and I would follow Mark Waid into any conflict and that’s why I’ll give Champions a few more issues before I make my final judgement! Until next time flock, play more games, read more comics, have more sex, and drink more beer! 3.5/5 God Books.