Your friendly neighborhood Traveling Nerd Apostle and Cardinal Brooks are taking this Sunday Stash and leaving our mark all over it…. Wait a minute; that just sounds naughty!
It’s been a great week in all things Geek. Even as we took a couple of days off to celebrate the Birthday of Ol’ Lady Liberty with fireworks, booze or another bad news, we here over at GHG still found the time to hop out of the swimming pool and face-first into some great — and some not-so-great — comics.
Round 2: Fight!
Cardinal Brooks here, making my long-awaited return to GodHatesGeeks with Splinter Cell. A comic book Splinter Cell. Our trusty Monsignor Moody thought I’d be the chosen one for Echoes— considering my obsession with all things Splinter Cell and Sam Fisher.
So blame him if you don’t agree with this Sunday Sermon.
One thing I’ve noticed about GHG — and allow me to preach just this one bit — is that most of the reviewers (this side of Guy Padre) hardly talk about the art work, and only talk about character, story, and the writer; that being said, art is what made me fall in love with reading comic books when I was a kid. Here, I absolutely love Marc (King’s Watch) Laming‘s line work in this book. His style fits well with the stealth/espionage theme of SC, and his ability to to tell a story and convey the essence of Sam is well conceived. Even better, the pages go on to capture a similar design overlay as the video game.
How many games-to-comics can you say do that?
Also, Nathan Edmondson (The Punisher, Black Widow) does a very nice job of keeping within the realm of the game and its sociopathic stealth star. His introduction does a lot more than feature what Sam does best: kicking ass, taking names and cleaning up everyone else’s messes. There’s some sweet dialogue exchanges in the constabulary and plenty of inner-demon domestic drama. Quite obviously, Edmondson has the pedigree to capture the correct noir/covert elements and balls-to-the-wall action. I can’t wait to see what the creative team has in store for the rest of the mini.
And speaking of Splinter Cell stories, I’ve got a tragic one of my own. As I mentioned before, I’m a big fan of the series, and I’ve played all of the games in their entirety with the exception of last year’s Blacklist. Because my PS3 decided to die midway through with the Blacklist disk inside — and I’ve got myself a PS4 since — there’s no reason to finish what was shaping up to be another incredible venture in Fisher’s lore.
Hopefully Dark Horse doesn’t get stuck finishing off what promises to be a pretty terrific espionage comic series, too.
Strangely enough, I, too, adored the Splinter Cell comic for man of the same reasons you did Gary. I would even go so far as to give it 4 Bibles (so much for sticking up for your stash!). My feature this week, Deadpool vs. X-Force #1 — penned by Duane Swierczynski (Birds of Prey) and penciled by Pepe Larraz (The Mighty Thor) — is a much lighter retconned meeting between the Merc With a Mouth & Cable’s….. I can’t call them…. X-Force.
If you were a fan of the now classic early 90’s Rob Liefeld and Fabian Nicieza’s New Mutants #98, which helped launch X-Force #1 — a grittier and more violent foray away from all things 80‘s — then you will find this more comedic fluff of this time traveling first blind date as nothing more then a soon forgotten waste. But, if you have been a fan of the more recent runs on Deadpool or the now digitized early-millennium Cable & Deadpool, then you will be left smiling through the checkout.
This “what-if” tale takes place before the Liefeld/Nicieza penned classic. Our favorite Pool is still wearing the villain hat (yellow word bubbles and all) and the grizzled “I hate all things” Cable is leading the New Mutants (referred as X-Force minus the lesser backboned kids of the NM).
Have I lost you yet?
Good. So was I, initially.
Rather then waste numerous pages explaining backstory and how-the-hell’s, Swierczynski jumps right into the action with little more than a “hi how you doing.” His first issue in the mini series is a must read for the Deadhead fan who grew up on Wade being nothing more than a joking anti-hero. I mean, for pete’s sake, his big ass gun he uses to mow down the British during the Revolutionary War is called Kingslayer.
This loyal Marvel Apostle enjoyed the read for its simplistic approach and Larraz’ fun sketches and Nolan (Planet of the Apes) Woodard‘s vibrant colors that can’t help but scream right off the page. As far as I do want to win this “Face-Off”, however, Cardinal, let’s call this battle between the assassin and the assassin-killer a DRAW.
Space is awesome. Mix that with an alien hybrid of Iron Man and Gundam and you should have all the workings of an off-the-chain galactic thrill ride. Tech Jacket, from the pen of Joe Keatinge (Shutter, Glory) and illustrations by Khary Randolph (Starborn, Fanboys vs. Zombies), is not that unfortunately. Though a well-paced execution, Jacket drops the pen when it comes to actual character development and exposition. TJ #1 opens up with a short flashback that does little more than explain that his father figure has and will continue to be a poor role model. Flash forward– and we find more panels of his father trying to figure out an unemployment application than actually developing story on what TJ is, how he came to be, why his father gets unemployment when he operates Jacket’s battle station, and what Tech Jacket’s motivation or modus operandi. In addition, there’s a short glimpse of a love interest (with not more then a word bubble explaining she’s a queen of a system), a shadowy meeting between what one can only assume is a potential villain modeled after Virgin America Richard Branson (80’s Macgyver haircut and all), and, then, the galactic presence of something bigger then your usual tongueless alien invader. Mix that with art befitting a late night binge showing off of www.AnimeFreak.com, and there’s little here that urges me to continue. 2/5 Aliens Agree.