GLOW / STONE STAR / FANTASTIC FOUR / INVISIBLE KINGDOMS [Fistful Of Comics]: Ain’t Foolin’ Around!

It might be April, but we aren’t quite fooling around here at GodHatesGeeks! We’ve got some of the newest titles from the past week to look, at, including and adaptation of one of Netflix’s hit series, as well as the continued adventures of Marvel’s First Family. And even if it’s a bit cold out here on the East Coast, you know how that saying goes? “April showers…” and all that jazz. Let’s dive right in…!

STONE STAR #1 – Comixology Originals
“Father” #HeelSean Farrell

From the creative mind behind Skullkickers & Wayward, Jim Zub has arrived at Comixology Originals. Along with artist Max Dunbar (Judge Dredd Under Siege), we are introduced to the Stone Star — a massive, floating battle arena that tours the cosmos, planting its anchor and giving the masses what they want: blood and lots of it; a gladiatorial pit where you either fight or work for the fighters.

We are quickly introduced to Dail who is currently living on the streets stealing whatever he can to survive. A chance encounter with a one-armed former fighter has set Dail on a path to maybe just be the next great champion of the Stone Star. Dail has a secret, he has a power to override technology, which just might come in handy. A lot of world building, a bit of political intrigue in this mixing of future space tech-meets-medieval battle fantasy. Zub is a delightful writer who pairs nicely with Dunbar’s clean art that really sells this hybrid sci fi fantasy.

This book dropped last week on the same day it was announced, Beyonce style. Kirkman did it a few months ago with his Image Comic DIE DIE DIE. It’s nice to be surprised in this modern area of teaser trailers for teaser trailers for movies and shows and comics that wont arrive until 2020. It’s an especially nice surprise when it’s a strong start such as this is. 4/5 Bibles.

-Sean Farrell

Destiny “Evangelical” Edwards
GLOW #1 – IDW Press

After two successful seasons on Netflix (one significantly better than the other), what’s next for the ladies of GLOW? Why starring in their own comic, of course.

Penned by Tini Howard (Rick and Morty, Assassinistas), the first issue of GLOW sees the cast taking a trip to Reseda (because where else would you go for wrestling on the west coast?) Wrestlefest where they discover that they aren’t the only women wrestlers in California. Howard’s writing is spot-on and nailed the personality of the characters; it felt like I was reading an actual episode of the show. During a scene in which Ruth and Debbie are portraying their in-ring personas, I could “hear” Alison Brie’s goofy AF Russian accent shining through the words on the page.

Hannah Templer’s (Jem and The Holograms) cartoon-y style is made for this series. She captures the cast’s likenesses flawlessly, and the facial expressions are perfect. She even starts the comic with an Easter egg—one of the calendar spots, which says “Stunts with Carlos and Tyrus”. If you remember from season one, Carmen’s brothers are played by Carlito and Tyrus (Brodus Clay if you don’t watch Impact). 5/5 Championship Crowns.

-Destiny Edwards

“The Dean” Gene Selassie
FANTASTIC FOUR #8 – Marvel Comics

Doom’s plan comes to fruition. His luring of Galactus to Latveria was all to capture him and use him as a power source, making himself and his newly heralded champion, Victorious, to be the champions of Earth and of the entire galaxy. The heroes who attempted to stop him, the Fantastic Four, are stuck in four separate and ingenious death traps. Dan Slott writes classic FF doing classic FF things, which works. However, it’s sometimes difficult reading characters like Doctor Doom now, post-Hickman. It feels like reading Magneto shortly after Chris Claremont’s first departure from X-men, where it felt like much of his character development over a decade was reset buttoned away to make him a villain again. Despite this, the tension, the drama and the character voices (exception being Valeria, as her dialogue just doesn’t feel authentic) were all excellent. One interesting development with Franklin Richards are his dreams about all of the universes he’s created with his near-limitless power and the countless lives he’s likely snuffed out in the process. It’s a lot for a kid to take in and has dramatic potential.

While all of the artists in this book are personal favorites, their styles are so different that, were it not for Matt Yackey’s work with his colors bringing it all together, it would have been a visual quagmire. The irony of it all is that, in the letters column at the end of the issue, a fan voiced concern over the number of artists on the book since its relaunch last year. It seems that, at least going into this current issue, those concerns are falling on deaf ears. Hopefully that changes moving forward.

I’ve enjoyed this FF run and hope that, as Slott’s grand vision unfolds, that he can be provided a solid pair of rotating artists, with similar styles, to give FF some visual consistency and a bit of much-needed stylistic continuity. 3.5/5 Bibles.

-Gene Selassie

“Minister” Matthew Garza

Introduced to the accolades present within the creative team’s impressive lineup, I admit I formed expectations for the quality of the writing, structure, artwork, and characters. Unfortunately I was rewarded with a menagerie of cliché characters and interactions as well as a premature plot setup for two entities. Both protagonist groups – a company and a major religious sect – are revealed to be ensnared in some conspiracy.

G. Willow Wilson (writer) and Christian Ward (artist, colorist) construct a solid foundation for the world they created together. Their world is truly breathtaking. Landscapes are colorful, and cities are vibrant. Scale is easily understood when characters stand before massive structures. The creators clearly understand the rules and logic of their world, but it is a bit hard helping the reader navigate those rules…at least for the time being. Taking the jaw-dropping scenes into consideration, visuals are the saving grace of this unbalanced experience. I really hope they adjust their storytelling, because I want to return to and learn more about their beautiful world. 3/5 Bibles.

-Matt Garza

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