SILK / JACKED / SAGA / VENOM: SPACE KNIGHT [Reviews]: Another Week, Another Premiere!
Happy week-after-Thanksgiving, fellow congregation! Hope everyone is good and full. We here at GodHatesGeeks are here to offer up a delectable helping of some comics dessert to follow up the turkey and pie, that you no doubt are still consuming.
So what’s new this week? A whole slew of Number Ones! So let’s cut the chit-chat, and get right down to it…
Another week, another Marvel #1. We all knew they were coming, but I certainly expected most of them to feel different rather than have me feeling like I’m reading the same stories with different characters and different powers. Silk #1 by Robbie Thompson and Stacey Lee (both Silk vol. 1) falls into the same story structure as well, but rises above the banality of that structure with a near perfect blend of tone and art.
While the story itself is heavily decompressed and full of exposition, the tone has a light-hearted feel while not losing any of the pathos of Cindy Moon’s story and Lee’s art brings that to the surface. Lee’s art feels like it tells a story in every pane. Credit must also go to Ian Herring, the colorist, because the color and shading help to bring the characters to life and add so much to the tone of this book as well. Rather fittingly, Lee’s art and Herring’s colors coupled with the tone of the book give it the feel of some of the best young Peter Parker stories. Like Ms. Marvel, this book definitely feels like it could become a gateway book for young comics readers, although if it doesn’t start providing more of a complete story per issue it may not remain that way for very long. 3/5 Silk Webs.
Hey folks! “The Belser” here, back to drop that sweet comic book knowledge. Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving. I simply got drunk and laughed with friends. Good times, right? Anyways, today’s selection is the latest title from Vertigo, Jacked. Here’s the story: This book follows a regular Joe during his pathetic life. Sexless marriage. Kids don’t respect him. Constantly looked over for his job. Likes porn. You know, typical shit. However, he gets wind of a new experimental drug titled ( you guessed it) ‘Jacked’. After one dose, he started to feel pretty good. Like a superhero, even. Now he’s wonders if he continues taking it, will it become an addiction?
This book was a surprise, and incrediby enjoyable, more so than most of the independent books I’ve read this year. I loved the writing from Eric Kripke. Most of the book features graphic internal monologues from the main character, which were very well-written and had a great sense of character. Who knew writing for the character and not the plot could make a comic that much better? The art from John Higgins was also splendid: very graphic and gritty, focusing on some of the more nitty-gritty details that make the comic’s world at once fully-realized and utterly repulsive at the same time, like something R. Crumb might draw. The psychedelic style the art undertakes to insinuate the drug’s side effects was a great touch as well. Great book. Worth the read. 4/5 Belser Bibles.
Don’t get it twisted: Saga is the #1 comic book I recommend. Not just because I’ve bumped into Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man) on several occasions, and he (likely) got the name of his protagonist after the very street we sometimes cross paths; not just because BKV is my favorite writer this side of Grant Morrison; not just because it’s a deeply personal, intergalactic drama with sex and blood; and not just because Fiona Staples (Archie) is likely the most underrated comic artist in the industry.
I tell EVERYONE to buy/read/promote Saga because it will become a part of your blood. It’s the monthly-episodic version of a damned good Marvel Netflix show, uncontrolled by any editorial or publishing agenda. It will do mean things to you, very mean things to you — and you’ll keep coming back for more and more. Seriously, go binge read Saga and you’ll understand the parallels.
After a late summer/early fall hiatus, Saga #31 pushes our Hazel past the toddler stage in the flesh, finally catching up with the invigorating narrative we have been following for nearly three years. The issue begins with Vaughan’s typical eye-raising chuckles, before Hazel’s newfound self-repression gets caught up into Caitlyn Jenner territory (not her! but you’ll see…). There’s a meaty flashback here that needs not your imagination. Staples turns up the magic a few pages later with the return of a major character; she gives subtle, less jaw-dropping moments the dazzle other artists don’t, and has no problem turning up the juice when BKV opts to set up the bigger picture. While not the issue everyone will be talking about, Saga is still the series everyone should be talking about — even when readers are confined in the same academic box as our lead little lady. 3.75/5 Bibles.
Things are messy over at Marvel Comics right now with the whole Secret Wars universe reboot, but some good new books are coming down the pipeline. Venom: Space Knight is one of those books as of the release of the new series’ first issue.
The book revolves around former Spider-Man frienemy-and-new-Venom Flash Thompson taking up his new role as an Agent of the Cosmos after a brief stint with the Guardians of the Galaxy. This is the most comic-booky book that Marvel had put out in a while, with a former high school football star and war hero turned intergalactic good guy. Those sort of every-man heroes are the type that Marvel has down-pat, and it’s good to see they’ve still got it where it counts. Robbie Thompson (Silk, Spider-Man) and Ariel Olivetti (Alien Vs. Predator: Fire and Stone) are the perfect team for this nearly perfect first issue, and it’s going to be a bizarre ride seeing where this title goes. 4/5 Bibles.