THE DEFENDERS / WONDER WOMAN & TASMANIAN DEVIL / DARK DAYS / MARVIN THE MARTIAN & MARTIAN MANHUNTER [Reviews]: Fantastic Four.
It’s summer, fellow geeks and geekettes! And aside from the blockbusters we’ve got coming our way in the coming weeks, we’ve got some great titles coming up as well. In this week’s SUNDAY STASH, we’ve got the return of one of the original bad boys of the indie comics, and Image titles! And let’s not forget a pair of team-ups of loony proportions, as well as a relaunch to whet our appetites for the team-up of the summer that’ll be hitting Netflix soon!
Let’s crank open a few cans of Natty Ice (or Blue Moon, for you more discerning types!), and dive right into these new titles, here care of GodHateGeeks!
With the upcoming Netflix Defenders series just two months away, it’s only natural that Marvel would give us an ongoing title with the on-screen version of the team. It was exciting to hear that although it would be the team from the Netflix series, it would be the versions of those characters that exist in the comics.
Admittedly, I was a little wary of Brian Michael Bendis (Daredevil, Alias) writing it, because I’ve never been a fan of his team books. It helps that the setup for this issue actually begins in the Defenders Free Comic Book Day issue, allowing this issue to be much more fast paced and action packed than Bendis team books have historically been. Even the conversations, which there are plenty of in classic Bendis fashion, have a sense of urgency that adds to the excitement of this issue. Of course, Bendis also does another classic Bendis thing of reintroducing a character from the past, Diamondback, in a way that’s almost completely unrecognizable from the previous version. In this case, he might not receive as much flack as the previous version of Diamondback only really appeared in one issue and is rather outdated.
As good as Bendis’ work is here, however, David Marquez’ (Iron Man, Civil War II) art absolutely steals the show. Each character gets their own title card in which the background images remind you of what you need to know about each character in just a few images. The action sequences are also exciting, but best of all is the expressiveness of all the faces Marquez draws. They add emotion to conversations and fights alike. Credit also has to go to colorist Justin Ponsor, who really makes Marquez’ art come to life. All in all, this was a fantastic first issue for the series and I can only hope that the series maintains this level of quality and that the show can give us a similar level of quality once it comes around. 4.5/5 Bible Defenders.
Wonder Woman/Tasmanian Devil Special opens with Diana, in present time, hunting the Tasmanian Devil, but not all is at it seems. We backtrack to Diana’s adolescence when she wanted a serious challenge and she took on the Labyrinth, of Greek myth, to challenge one of its many guardians. She enters a portal that takes her to; you guessed it, Tasmania where she encounters our furry friend. She lulls him to sleep and takes a lock of his hair as a trophy. Back in present time Diana confronts Taz but not as an opponent but as a friend as the Amazonians are in need of help as the nefarious Circe has turned them all to stone. It’s a nice one-and-done but my absolute favorite was the backup story, Trojan Horseplay, as Diana sings to a sleeping Taz the epic Trojan War. You have Looney Tunes stalwarts playing the roles such as, Daffy Duck as Menelaus, Foghorn Leghorn as Agamemnon, Elmer Fudd as King Priam, and many more. I’d say the backup was much stronger of the two stories. 3/5 Bibles.
A Nayshun of Dumbocracy, divided into superimposed layers of disinformation and miscommunication. Who the hell are we watching and listening to, and why do their inconceivable lies seem so truthful to us??? The Deep State of Gracelessness, continuing to blatantly piss into our collective place of facelessness. How many of us will remain the willing lapdogs licking that tarnished hog trough clean for them??? When will they flay-and-splay us all upon their Thrill Kill Grill??? Is yer skin already singing, and does yer own funkalunk even have ya cringing??? Shall we even attempt to hysterically punish-peel this onion-oid state of division??? Triangulated satellite transmissions from beyond our earthen exosphere, commandeer the digitech that we slavishly drool so dear. Etherwaves of Pain, emanating from beyond the cybergridwork. We’re all jacked into it. We’re all jacked into it. Don’ eva wanna release frum dis electrorapture factor.
Thrummm. Thrummmm. Thrummmmm. Barummbrummmbrummmm. Whirrr. Whepppp. Hummmmm. Dronehome Techno Deathrays fly our friendless skeye waze.
Encrypted, multilinguistic, militaristic, and apocalyptic, are the posts, memes, rants and tweets we weave, cavalcading our collective consciousness with cathartic-seeking crossfire. Nothing is on target here. Nothing is on target. Their on-point bull’s-eye bombastery, the only brainpan pinprick near. Frankie Villa’s a Company Man who ain’t got his sights on Hollywood to relax in. Just another “Deep State” spook, slithering through Washingtonian scum, securing a disparate gallery of rogues to out-rogue the roguery with: H.J. Noone, Chicago (Disillusioned Ex-military(?) Sharpshooter), C.M. Silver, Las Vegas (Genderfluid Sexologist/Assassin), P.E. Berg, Boston (Chemist/Hacker/1%er Class Eliminator), C.J. Nacamulli, NYC (Technically-Virtuous Mob Enforcer). Black Hats. White Hats. All Shades of Gray Hats. Turning to red. Turning to brown. Fading to black. Who needs any fukkn morality in their skillset, these daze??? That shit’ll get you killed. Now…go pop yer digipill bullet dope, and targetbang yerself!!! 4.5/5 Blackhat Assassin Masters.
Hey there GHG Flock! “Cardinal Brooks” here with a few questions! What, exactly, is The Forge? What will happen during these looming Dark Days, and Dark Nights? What is this Mysterious Metal? What’s got Batman’s cape all twisted up? According to writer Scott Snyder (Batman), all will come to light in this summer’s DC EVENT called DARK NIGHTS: METAL!!!
This event has been hinted at since Snyder first started writing Batman, with a mystery that dates back to the dawn of man. Sounds big, sounds epic! You wanna know why this book kicks ass? Jim “Freakin” Lee (Batman: Hush, X-Men) — a legend of the business and one of the best artists to ever draw comics. It doesn’t hurt that fellow legends Andy Kubert and John Romita Jr always chipped in, or that it’s written by Snyder and Detective Comics‘ James Tynion. Nuff said! This is a superb start to one of DC’s most interesting arcs of the past few months, and this is a nifty kickoff to it. 4.25/5 Godbooks.
Jimmy’s Bastards is one of those rare stories where the writers do not care who is reading it. They are going to do whatever they want, regardless who happens to pick up the story to read it, and whether you enjoy it or can follow it is entirely circumstantial. To some degree, I respect Garth Ennis (Preacher, Punisher) for that. His is a style that if you aren’t accustomed to it now, nearly 25 years after his first work, you probably won’t be. And if that’s the case, you’re missing out regardless!
The first part of the issue had me hooked. Fantastic art from Russ Braun (Batman ‘66) that really fit the arrogant playboy spy theme perfectly, and an amazing scene with tons of action. Unfortunately, I found myself losing interest as the issue progressed. The full of himself, playboy archetype felt a bit drawn out and overbearing. If given the opportunity, I would pick up the second issue just to see more characters like the Monkey Clown that rips people’s faces off and hopefully more action scenes. This is a solid enough first issue…nothing really to write home about…but hopefully more is made out of it from this time out. 2/5 Faceless Bystanders Agree.
When I opened up to read this book I couldn’t help but laugh to myself. I was thinking ‘What the hell did Monsignor Moody send me?’ Whoever came up with this idea was either a creative smartass, or just plain drunk. In any event, this plot was very entertaining: J’onn the Martian Manhunter receives a “distress” signal from space, thinking it’s another martian from his homeworld. Well… it turns out to be another martian, alright — but not the friendly kind he was hoping for. Out of the Erdel gate steps everyone’s favorite Looney Tunes alum: extraterrestrial Marvin the Martian, and he is about to bring some havoc!
If you’re not imagining all this and not chuckling immediately then I don’t know what to tell you. While the storytelling is done quite seriously, it’s impossible for me not to imagine hearing Marvin’s voice from the cartoon every time he speaks and it instantly takes me to a comedic place. J’onn is valiant in his efforts to stop Marvin and repeatedly has to put himself in harm’s way either with the humans firing on him (they think he’s with Marvin) or from Marvin’s weapons as well. But for some reason, I just see it as a Tom & Jerry chase with these two in a constant battle of two personalities on very opposite sides. In the end, the resolution was very satisfying and tied itself up in a very innocent way–keeping from enterting that dark place that would’ve been unbecoming of the title. 3.5/5 Bibles.