X-Men / Godzilla / Star Wars [Reviews]: ‘Chises no longer stuck in the ‘Dark Ages’!
Buckle down, Geeks and Geekettes! If you haven’t already checked out this week’s newest comic releases, now’s the time to repent and get the GodHatesGeeks-approved scoop on X-Men #18, Harley Quinn #9, Star Wars #20 and the maiden voyage of both Godzilla Cataclysm and Dark Ages!
We’ve got some excellent reviews readied for you– get those hands ready to grab a FISTFUL OF COMICS!
When the new Brian Wood X-Men series was introduced last year, I was excited about it and did my best to stay up-to-date. Yet, as much as I tried to keep up with it, the more I lost interest. With a plethora of X-Men titles out, this was one I decided to drop around issue 6 and hadn’t looked back.
Fast forward to the present and the run is currently at issue #18. So what caught my attention, compelling me to pick up this title for another try? Marc Guggenheim (producer of the TV show Arrow) is now the herald of the new creative team writing for the all-female run X-Men team– in space!
Guggenheim has returned some familiar faces to team up with the current run of X-Women (really) and put them in a different atmosphere (quite literally) with a tremendous amount of humor and laughs. The way Gugs is able to seamlessly write the characters as real people shows that he cares for and has invested time in getting to know these ladies. It’s an interesting premise and the reader feels it throughout.
As a fan, I usually have to connect to the art work before I can really get involved with the story. The work done by the abominable Harvey Tolibao (Green Arrow, Heroes for Hire) and Paul Mounts (Fantastic Four) does not disappoint. I’m a huge fan of blue and green hues, which made the coloring in this issue engaging and brilliant.
In short, X-Men #18 — which makes you wonder why this is one of the few book NOT being renumbered — has a lethal combination of daring sci-fi details, bizarro ideas and quips-in-space may ever-so-satisfyingly remind some of Grant Morrison’s famed New X-Men. Your Dutchess will again keep her eyes on this run for a few issues, for the sake of being opened-minded.
The latest issue of Harley had a special variant cover (as did other select DC comics, though Batman didn’t look too happy with his shot) dubbed the “Selfie series,” and they’re hilarious.
Harley seems like the perfect selfie candidate, doesn’t she?
Getting to the actual book, Amanda Conner (Power Girl) and Jimmy Palmiotti (All-Star Western) pen a fantastic issue to the series, replete with the dark humor and zany situations you’d expect Quinn to get caught up in. As a Staten Islander, I absolutely appreciated Harley’s jokes targeted at the “forgotten borough” (WE DON’T HAVE THREE-HEADED RACCOONS.), and the fake cop/Harley devotee Ed’s part-time job at Jim Handy’s Galaxy of Comics, a clear nod to my personal favorite comic book shop, Jim Hanley’s Comic Universe!
I just constantly found myself cracking up the entire time, whether it was Harley taking out ex-boyfriend anger at a burlesque show or sending Ed to a psychiatric hospital (well yeah, she of all people could do that) and it was a blast to continue the story. Fantastic character art and coloring added to the awesomeness, with John Timms (Deadpool) and Paul Mounts (once again!) creating a crazy, dark carnival-esque atmosphere that suits the story damn-near-perfectly.
It’s never been a better time to be a Star Wars fan. Much of the same can’t be said for fans of superstar writer Brian Wood.
He’s left one big book (X-Men) and leaving another.
With Dark Horse’s final goodbye to the George Lucas saga as we know it, Wood’s Star Wars #20 also finishes off one of the finest comic runs on the franchise in recent memory. It also shuts the door in fine fashion, leaving us with an uplifting moment from the fresh rebellion– although this particular issue pales in comparison to the awesome threats of Vader and company. Sure, robot hunter IG-88 is no one to play with; but appears like cannon fodder for the newly gelled family of Luke, Solo, Leia, and Chewie.
Seren Song might also be an issue for many, sorta reflecting Ms. Organa in both the function and flesh. She sorta resembles a dark-haired Leia through Carlos (Bionicle) D’Anda’s imagining, but thankfully the artist doesn’t bother to reach for likeness with the other characters. The Alliance remain as detailed as ever, and his Millennium Falcon space shoot-outs have never looked better. Just watch how this tenacious droid and Mothma’s upgraded ships operate around the Earth’s orbit. Wonderful stuff.
While the Star Wars license is off to “The House that Stan Built”, Wood (now moving forth to Moon Knight), D’Anda and the rest of the team have something to be proud of: Memorable comics that deserve a rightful position alongside the original trilogy. They certainly had their moments. Urrrrrrrrggggghhhh!!! Issue #20 (3.75/5)/Entire Run (4.25/5).
It’s been a great year for Godzilla fans. We finally got the modern version of the King of the Monsters that we all deserved thanks to Gareth Edwards. The problem is, the movie was so good that it left us wanting more, just like the spoiled consumers we are these days.
Well, monster lovers, I have your solution; Enter, Godzilla Cataclysm. Cullen Bunn (Magneto, Sinestro) has done a stunningly great job with this story and set everything up just right for the mini-series. We have our wise old man, our fun young couple and, of course, a shit load of cool monsters. Godzilla himself doesn’t even show up until the last page, but it does what all great first issues should do– leave you wanting more. Bunn’s Hollywood-worthy storyline is the real highlight, but Dave (Breath of Bones) Wachter‘s art is a perfect fit. The problem with many Godzilla comics over the years is that the art often undermines the cool factor of the monster. That is not the case here. This kaiju-packed issue of kick-assery is in, this monster lover’s opinion, a nearly pitch-perfect first issue. 4.5/5 Bibles to the kaiju-killah!
A band of knights wander around, quibbling about God and food in the Year of Our Lord 1333. Then, they fight space monsters. Didn’t expect that, huh?
Now, these English knights seem hungry and bored, wont for adventures. Did they not join King Edward III’s war against Scottish independence? How about, since the soldier of fortune thing is more their style, fight for one side or the other in the Irish civil war raging across the sea (both of those wars were happening in 1333)? Whatever. These silly English kaniggets are bored with it. And thank God they are because… Space monsters.
Dan Abnett, an Oxford educated Britton, whose titles include Legion Lost and Knights Pendragon, is a skilled writer and, hopefully, has an inkling about the history of this year. Since the Hundred Years War (starts in 1337), is foreshadowed, I suppose he does. Abnett’s 2000 A.D. collaborator, I. N. J. Culbard’s art is flat but striking. The very conscience two dimensional panels gives the book a very Bayeux Tapestry (look it up) feel, which is cool if you’re a history geek as well as a comics geek. It’s a bland first issue, but stick with this series, but not so long as it takes to start quibbling about God and food.
2.5 Illuminated Bibles handwritten by Irish monks, or 3.25 Bibles runoff on a printing press, which won’t be invented for another hundred years.