CAVE CARSON HAS A CYBERNETIC EYE / BLOODSHOT USA / MOSAIC [Reviews]: Four Square.
There’s a myriad of reasons for any comic book reader to skip this book. Unless you’re hardcore, the only possible way you’ve heard the name Gerard Way (Doom Patrol) before is from his band My Chemical Romance and the transition from crooning to almost any other medium is usually a rough one. Couple that with the fact that lampooning yesteryear pulp-fiction is tough when Scooby Doo and The Flintstones comics are major, contemporary releases. It’s too bad though, because somehow Cave Carson subverts those face-value, preconceived notions with good ol’ fashioned craft and originality. Way, along with co-writer Jon Rivera, found that perfect middle ground of unironically creating within a genre, in this case – pulp sci-fi ala Flash Gordon, while also being aware of, and making fun of, its faults.
The Johnny Quest-eque adventures of Cave are perfectly complemented with the raw, real-deal melancholy of really losing someone you love. Couple that with the way Powers auteur Michael Avon Oeming’s art perfectly complements how Way and Rivera make trippy with Cave Carson’s heyday adventures, adding a bit of visualized Phillip K. Dick and earnest psychedelia. If anything the DC tie-in is the only real distracting part. While seeing Will Magnus and the Metal Men in this art style is neat, the originality of Cave Carson as a whole is tainted when you start hearing that he dealt with Superman before. Luckily, Cave’s cliffhanging encounter makes a promise that this story won’t be your typical superhero conflict. 4/5 Cracker Jack Ray Guns.
***EARLY REVIEW – Releases: Wednesday, October 26***
It’s been some years since I’ve picked up a Valiant Comic. Actually–it’s been 15-years! So what better issue to pick up and review then Bloodshot U.S.A. #1, by Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth) and art by Doug Braithwaite (Captain America). Not much has changed since Bloodshot was first created; he is still the perfect living weapon and nearly indestructible as a killing machine brainwashed for brutal black-ops missions. Like his original release, all the brainwashing wears off, as Bloodshot marks his path towards humanity. Thankfully, this issue is an excellent jumping-on point for a Valiant n00b like myself.
Bloodshot USA numero uno also starts off where the hero’s story last ended with him escaping on a raft from the island, brilliantly catching readers up and setting up a great new story. Not only does the issue include Bloodshot at his best but also fan favorite Ninjak; both attempt to save NYC from the bloodshot virus spreading throughout the island and turning everyone into Bloodshot clones/drones. Lemire tells a compelling and entertaining story that leaves you wanting more. Also Braithwaite’s photo-realistic illustrations help complete this near-perfect story. Pick this issue up, read it, and enjoy it. #thetravelingnerd approved! 4/5 Indie Fanboys Agree.
In a time when it’s a minor miracle to see a Marvel title make it a full two years without editorial dialing the issue number back to #1 for a sales bump, it’s an altogether different kind of event for a new Marvel #1 to actually introduce a new character and contain an origin story. So, it’s a nice little thrill when that happens. This is the sensational character debut of Morris Sackett, an NBA player so dominant, he’s won the past five MVP awards (no word on presence/ability of Marvel analogues of Curry, Durant, or James). Morris has got it all: five rings, a beautiful pop-star girlfriend, a father guiding him through the tangled labyrinth of superstardom, and even an endorsement from Tony Stark on the horizon. But all that changes when Marvel’s latest plot device ex machina, the dreaded Terrigen mist, wafts up and imbues Morris with a power that isn’t fully explained in the first issue but seems to be a riff on the brain-interfacing aspect of Firestorm’s power but without a maximum limit.
In Mosaic‘s first issue alone, Morris bonds with one of his fans, then skips to an older Korean businessman, then winds up in the brain/body of a vocational student who’s about to rob some Russian gangsters with his friends (like you do). Throughout his journey, Morris picks up the full knowledge of everyone he bonds with. It’s an intriguing power-set that certainly lends itself well to telling all kinds of different stories. Writer Geoffrey Thorne makes a successful transition from Marvel’s Animation Department to craft a solid origin story, and artists Khary Randolph & Emilio Lopez (Tech Jacket) deliver a stylized animated style reminiscent of a tighter Humberto Ramos that perfectly suits the material. If you’re tired of all the events and renumbering and just want a self-contained story that entertains while still providing the obligatory Doctor Doom and Wakanda references, Mosaic is for you. 4/5 Stark Endorsements.