FUTURE QUEST / CIVIL WAR II / RAI / STARGATE ATLANTIS [Reviews]: Ultralight Beam.
NERD – The Belser here, full of jokes and fun. Today’s book is one I’ve been looking forward to since it was announced around WonderCon 2016: Future Quest, the modern melding together of classic 1960s superheroes: Jonny Quest, Space Ghost, Birdman and all the others in one book. Dr. Benton Quest is assigned to investigate an plethora of interdimensional vortexes, but the liaison sent to help is — RESPEK, nerds! — Birdman, a.k.a. Ray Randall. Meanwhile, Benton’s sons Jonny and Hadji are playing jet packs under the watchful eye of their bodyguard Race. A meteor strikes as a result of the vortex and they meet a new special visitor. But Dr. Zin and the forces of F.E.A.R. have other plans in mind. If you’re a fan of the cartoons like yours truly, then there’s no doubt that you’ll love this. The writing of Jeff Parker (Agents of Atlas) is spot-on, putting together classic stories in a modern context. Chief artist Evan ‘Doc’ Shaner (Convergence: Shazam) is great, with my favorite frames of his the initial arc briefly hinting at Space Ghost’s origin. Easily, my recommendation of the week. 4.5/5 Belser Bibles..
GEEK – Picking up what the Belser is putting down, the Dynast here weighing in on what is easily one of my most anticipated books of the year. For those of us who grew up on these legendary Hannah Barbera action heroes, the story is full of a score of easter eggs and nods that harken back to the classic cartoons. I’m looking at you Robot Spy! So far we’re treated to the Quest characters and an early Space Ghost, and Batman 66‘s Parker does a fantastic job at nailing what made these characters great and giving them new life. There’s a reason why this man is the go-to comic writer when it comes to anything retro. Shaner and Steve “The Dude” Rude‘s (Before Watchmen: Dollar Bill) artwork harkens back to the Doug Wildey influences of the original Jonny Quest, with each frame brought to life with vivid color and fluid movement. I can’t wait to see where issue #2 takes us. 4.5/5 Bibles.
Perfect timing for Civil War II to hit the shelves! I mean, it’s not like theres a movie tie-in or anything. Oh wait; very sneaky, Marvel.
Coming on the heels of “Civil War II” Free Comic Book Day, we are given a less jam-packed issue but none the less a humanizing experience. While Civil War II #0 lacks any fighting, it does make up for it with dialogue that helps build characters sure to play a huge part in the upcoming summer crossover. Brian Michael Bendis (All-New X-Men and everything Marvel) starts the issue in a courtroom. Jessica “She-Hulk” Walters represents The Jester, on trial for a crime he has not yet committed but charged due to his past criminal background and the belief he will offend again. If that’s not “Minority Report” foreshadowing as to where this crossover is going to go…
The two main characters here are actually not Iron Man, but War Machine–fresh off his theatrical fall from the sky–and his convenient-for-this-event girlfriend, Captain Marvel. Much bigger things are in store for Rhodey in this issue than even the movie (Obama?), while the smaller subplot carries on a story that deals with two Inhumans awaiting a looming Terrigen mist (it’s been teased what will soon happen). Bottom line, Bendis gets the most of a forced (read: editorially-mandated) sequel to an already previously subpar Marvel crossover (I liked the movie better), chiefly due to his attention to characters not so used to the spotight. Although, this former “Marvel Apostle” will say that the company’s force feeding of Inhumans is starting to get taxing. I don’t care how many new characters you add, Mutants they will never be. As usual, Oliver Coipel (Reign) and Justin Ponsor (Secret Wars 2) are on-point with some stunning, page-popping art. 3.5/5 Marvel Fan Boys Will Love.
Deadpool has already been a favorite of comic book fans for ages, and now with the film having brought him front and center, Marvel is going to keep pumping out books featuring The Merc With A Mouth, and as long as Gerry Duggan (Hulk) and/or Brian Posehn (Wolverie/Deadpool) keep writing them, we are in good hands. Deadpool: The Last Days of Magic #1 has the benefit of being written by Duggan but also taking place in the world of monsters and magic typically inhabited by Doctor Strange. Sadly, this book doesn’t feature quite as much as The Sorcerer Supreme as one might have hoped, but the series is just getting going, and Deadpool + Magic + Monsters = Fun as F****. So yeah, read it. 3.5/5 Bibles.
Rai #13 is part of Valiant Comics’ “4001 AD”, the publisher’s big crossover summer event to span over their entire universe. Set in New Japan 3001, a hovering space-city in the shape of Japan (the Earth has apparently become so bad they felt it necessary to take civilization elsewhere), a rebellion against the government is formed since the poor and starving are fed u with Positrons. Yeah–you guessed it! Positrons are a bunch of synthetic, human-looking AIs that are supposed to make these folk forget how bad life is. Nice try.
Now yet while this comic book is called Rai #13, it’s hard to figure out exactly what’s happening in Matt Kindt‘s (Ninjak) script. Some random kid falls into a lake and gets turned into a Rai and seems to be created to help inspire the citizens of New Japan. But! He just ends up being seen as something evil by the rebels taking down the Positrons. So are the rebels crazy, or is Rai actually something bad for the people? The art by CAFU (Imperium) of this book fits the story very well with it being set in a future Japan; characters appearances are equal parts anime and modern life-like; colors are very dark and muted which go with the dismal futuristic times. Despite a confusing premise, it’s still an admirable piece of a much bigger puzzle. 3.25/5 Bibles.
I spent the mid-to-late aughts of the 21st Century, late-night channel-surfing through locally-broadcast Oakland television programs. This would usually happen after 1:30am, when I’d already spent hours engaged in my nocturnal ritual consisting of disciplined artmaking merged with bong-burning various medical-grade Indica strains, procured from a local cannabis dispensary that happened to be directly located across the street from the Oakland Police Department… Usually, the channel I’d end up on would be showing Stargate Atlantis; although sometimes I’d watch Gambling After Dark, with Phil Laak and Gabe Kaplan (of Welcome Back Kotter fame), instead… Although I found Joe Flanigan and Jason Momoa to be relatively credible as Sheppard and Ronon, the low budget show cheese that gave Sheppard’s team those micropenis-barrelled laser pistols with the rifle stocks always kept me from suspending my disbelief; despite the fact I was Satchmoed into oblivion by some of the Bay Area’s dankest buds. I don’t know why MGM’s imprint, American Mythology Productions, is bothering with wormholing this 7 years-dead show into comicbook form at this point.
Stargate Atlantis: Back To Pegasus #1 is sooo overly convoluted and disjointed that I couldn’t even bother to finish reading it. I guess I should tell you that Mark L. Haynes (24: Nightfall) and JC Vaughn (Vampire, PA) wrote it, Greg LaRocque (The Flash) drew it and inked it, Gene Jimenez (Puppet Master) colored it, and Jonathan Swinney (Man Of God) lettered it. If you do happen to be a Stargaper, you’re better off daubing your slimy Starfish with this rag while you watch reruns of the actual TV show on the Sci Fi Channel that it originally aired on. 1/5 Starfists In Your Asslantis.