DEAD RABBIT / WEAPON HEX / LUCIFER / X-MEN BLACK: JUGGERNAUT / MARVEL ZOMBIE / ARACHKNIGHT [ Fistful of Comics]: Monster Mash-Up!
Happy Halloween week, geeks! Once again, we’ve got a whole boatload of new titles, including a mash-up of the lunar/arachnid kind! Halloween is fast approaching, and we’ve got some treats in store for you here at GodHatesGeeks, no tricks this time around! Let’s just jump right into it, and see what’s worth your time and hard-earned dollars this week…
I love a good crime story. Especially a “gone straight but now I’m slowly back into the game” kinda crime story. Gerry Duggan, and John McCrea, give us a Boston tale about a one man crime spree called The Dead Rabbit. Once he bludgeoned fools with brass knuckles all through the 1990’s stealing from criminals and businesses – we catch up to our vigilante (real name Martin) twenty years removed from his last big score. Expecting an island beach house with a new car for every day of the week? Try more like being a greeter at the big box store in town, trying to earn a bit of money since all of his has run out taking care of his wife with her medical condition. Hard times have caught up to Martin. A chance encounter with someone up to no good, puts Martin on a path of pain and blood. Old scores bubble back up now that the Dead Rabbit has resurfaced. Things are about to get violent.
Gerry Duggan knows how to write big and small moments. This may be the story of a masked vigilante, but it’s grounded in the real world: no tights, just blood and gristle. Duggan’s been full speed ahead since ending his long run on Deadpool with his sci-fi romp Analog as well as this year’s big Marvel Event, Infinity Wars. The art by John McCrea is as always fun and entertaining; the man drew Hitman with Garth Ennis he knows what he’s doing when it comes to crime and destruction!
A decent start to a new series by two solid creators. 3.5/5 Bibles to start. From Image Comics on shelves NOW!
The continued warped world of Marvel’s newest crossover event, Infinity Wars, continues. Weapon Hex #1 is the mesh up of All-New Wolverine and Scarlet Witch. This is one of the comb’s I was most interested in checking out, but unfortunately the reward was not worth the wait.
One reason I was so excited for the mash-up from the mind and art of Ben Acker and Ben Blacker was because Scarlet Witch and X-23 couldn’t be less alike. Unfortunately this issue suffers too much trying to be slammed into a signal issue, and not enough attention payed to the supporting characters that could of been used. For instance, when was Cloak and Dagger ever seen as supporting characters for either of the two? Plus I never felt there was anything original about Weapon Hex’s origin. It was just a retelling of X-23, mixed with some magic; doesn’t make much sense to set up an entire series for something we’ve seen a million times over…but here we find ourselves.
3/5 Magician Wolverines agree
The tale of Lucifer, aka the Devil, and his fall from grace is one that has been told time and time again, adapted for each changing generation. From the Bible, to Dante, to Shakespeare, to Milton, to the Charlie Daniels Band, each work of fiction puts a new spin on Old Mr. Scratch. To recap of those just now tuning in: God and the Devil were having an argument, they fought and now the Devil reigns over Hell. Yet, the animosity between the two runs deeper. I think that both God and the Devil are brothers that were homes-chooled. We’ve all heard of the Mother of God so it makes sense. In any case, the Devil was a straight A student, paying real close attention in math and literature as a kid, which helped him with business, law and politics later in life. Meanwhile, God was off making dinosaurs and action figures he called “people” and then some plants that did some really funny stuff to the action figures. Eventually, he got into college, but only because of a baseball scholarship, and barely graduated with a Liberal Arts degree. The Devil, on the other hand, started running for President or King or whatever it was, as well as taking control of the family business, which is where God got pissed, and now we’re at the part everybody knows.
Absolutely none of that somewhat philosophical somewhat blasphemous tangent is anywhere within the pages of Lucifer, yet the story is just as confusing. Nevertheless, writer Dan Watters has found a way to make the events interesting enough to see what happens next. However, this need is driven by the thin narrative thread connecting stories A and B. It is the lack of cohesion peppered with glimpses of crossover that make one say to themselves “Okay, I get where this is going, but what the Hell?”
One aspect of the writing that is executed rather nicely is the direction given for the movement of scenes and action within any given frame. The creepy whimsicality is uniquely suited to the tone of the book courtesy of the artwork by Max and Sebastian Fujimara. Their style takes cues from many famous and infamous works of the past, yet establishes a visual presence that feels right for the material. The only downside was the color palette seemed a bit drab, undercutting the emotional through line in a few frames. But, it still worked, like the issue itself as a whole. It was all good. Good, but not great.
The great thing about these X-Men Black books is that Marvel is giving us a glimpse into what really drives these villains. With the Magneto issue Marvel gave us a person who really believes that he is doing what is right. With Juggernaut, Robbie Thompson gives us insight into what makes Cain Marko tick. The issue revolves around Cyttorak and his cult going full on inception in Marko’s mind to see if he is still worthy of his gem because if someone is that powerful there is no reason that an unworthy Thor should be able to beat him. Once Marko comes to, though he beats the crap out of the demon we get to see what really drives the Juggernaut… rage.
The artwork by Shawn Crystal is kitchy at parts and stunning in others. It has an underground vibe to it. The scenes where Marko is fighting the X-Men misses the mark just a bit, but when the Juggernaut is dealing with Cyttorak, it’s beautiful. By the by, we also got informed that there are actually seven gems of Cyttorak, and that Marko has been holding back all this time and we haven’t really ever seen the true strength of the Juggernaut and just where does all that rage and strength come from? A scared child. Revealing that the scars of childhood never really leave us.
Once again, the Marvel Universe finds itself a wasteland mostly inhabited by zombies with a small group of heroes left to defend it; seems like this happens every Tuesday or something, eh?
This time we see the zombie-infested world through the eyes of Simon Garth, The Zombie (capital “Z”), who is trying to still hold onto his humanity by not consuming flesh. Steffano Raffaele’s art is exactly the right amount of grotesque, showing us the twisted, disgusting forms of characters who have been ravaged by this version of the zombie virus. Writer W. Prince Maxwell treads some common ground (cure or destroy; the needs of the many over the needs of the few; and whether humans are also the monsters more than the un-dead are) but manages to make it feel somewhat fresh and interesting. And, as always, it’s great to see our favorite Marvel characters all gross and rotting, especially around this time of the year.
Marvel’s Infinity War event has cranked up…and I had no idea, truth be told. I knew OF it, but not any of the details pertaining to it. After a quick recap of events thus far, Infinity War: Arachknight sets up a completely new webslinger, a mash-up of everyone’s Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, and everyone’s favorite schizophrenic moon-based multiple-personality-having C-list superhero, out chasing a furry goblin of the green kind, and navigating one of his three major personalities, and using his tech to fight crime on the streets of New York. Writer Dennis Hopeless throws us straight into the action, introducing us to Peter Parker on the night he not only loses his aunt and uncle, but is also chosen to be the Spider Totem for this world.
Balancing the fun nature and scientific smarts of Spider-Man with the unhinged schizophrenia and violence of Moon Knight is a bizarre mix, but Hopeless makes it work in spades. He manages to hint at a larger history with this iteration of Peter Parker, without slowing down any of the action for exposition. The action is sparse, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t crackle when it hits, and the design of the Arachknight himself, as rendered by artist Alé Garza, is badass, and a perfect blend of the two characters. It’s an interesting story, and I’m interested to see where it goes, but seeing as this is yet ANOTHER major crossover event from Marvel, it’s hard to get too excited by mash-ups like this, knowing that the status quo will eventually be reset.