JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED #0
At the head of this project, we have writer Jeff Lemire (Animal Man) and artist Mike McKone (JLA, JLI) taking us to the frozen tundra of Canada for what is shaping up to be a galactic Battle Royale. So, naturally, the Justice League will be taking on a nicer, more gentle approach. And people in hell want ice water.
Even though the Canadians are world renown for their kindness, the New 52 JLU is far from it. With cinematic tones and snarky dialogue, the comic takes on a light-hearted facade, though a devious underbelly lies evidently in wait.
Patrick Bateman would be proud.
-Batting first, in this lineup of heroes, is J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter. With super strength, telepathy, shape and density shifting, it is easy to see why this power hitter is batting lead off.
-On deck, we have Oliver Queen, aka the Green Arrow. This billionaire turned vigilante has had a long tenure with the team and is perfectly suited to finance any sort of expenditures the team may need.
-Coming in as an unlikely early-game savior is Adam Strange. In this lineup, he is a multi-tooled player functioning first as an anthropologist. Apparently, creating Zeta tubes doesn’t matter as much as it did…
-Coming in to hit cleanup is Supergirl, followed by Stargirl and the one and only Animal Man.
-The late inning surprise is Equinox. Her name is Miyahbin Marten, a member of the Moose Cree Nation from northern Ontario, Canada. The rest of the lineup is saved for a game time decision… Or the last page. Spoiler.
All in all, it’s a decent set up. The self-deprecating jokes of the lesser characters and the cultural references make for a good chuckle, but the erratic framing make for something better suited to cartoons. Still worth a read and looking like a decent set up for a much bigger event.
CONAN THE AVENGER #0
First off, let’s start this piece by saying that Fred Van Lente (Cowboys and Aliens) has made this Barbarian (or the Drunk Avenger… Whatever) look like a truly badass motherfucker. Brian Ching (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic) has done artistically what Dashel Hamet did for Humphrey Bogart’s career. That’s a Maltese Falcon reference. Boom. So, to tie the room together like a nice rug, the dynamic duo of Van Lente and Ching breathe a new light into a rugged character that would have the kings of Westeros in a tizzy.
As far as the work as a whole, there is dynamic character development paired against a backdrop that sets the Moody more than the written word could. This sick Cimmerian warrior slices and dices like no other. Whence licking the blood from his sword, the fallen officers who cast him off obviously shit their pants. No record can be confirmed, but we all know it happened.
When Conan emerges from the pit victorious, you almost feel like “Hell yeah! That’s what I would do” as you helplessly mimic the Star Wars boy in your living room while watch the Donatello only sequences from Ninja Turtles… What I’m saying is the writing and artwork suck you in an make you ready for the next episode. Also, beware thieves and witches. And no one touches his boots. NO ONE!
All in all, a blessed read and holy, holy art.