For all of you Stupor Bowl fans, still sober enough to read this right now; after gorging yourself on processed grease and watered-down domestic lager-swill, let me drop a brilliant passage to you from the seminal novel, 1984, from a dead genius named, George Orwell:
“So long as they (the Proles) continued to work and breed, their other activities were without importance. Left to themselves, like cattle turned loose upon the plains of Argentina, they had reverted to a style of life that appeared to be natural to them, a sort of ancestral pattern…Heavy physical work, the care of home and children, petty quarrels with neighbors, films, football, beer and above all, gambling filled up the horizon of their minds. To keep them in control was not difficult.”
Now, belly up to the comic hog trough, you supplicant swine– it’s the a very special Superhero Bowl edition of the Sunday Stash!!! -Jason Bud
The eclectic and prophetic group of superheroes and heroines forming the Uncanny Avengers makes for a gargantuan crew of supernatural devastation right from the get-up-and-go! Rick Remender (Deadly Class, Black Science)’s second — some may argue 3rd (wink, wink Uncanny X-Force) — volume of the Uncanny Avengers sees Wanda’s recent revelation about her past has caused her to go maverick. Yup, her bff Rogue has no choice to thus rally the rest of the UA to track her down. Wayfaring between cosmic worlds diversifies locations; and gives a great nod to true sci-fi, amidst all of the supernatural half-animal-half-human characters (no sexy-ass Centaurs yet, but I’ll be lookin’ out for ‘em).
This title is intriguingly creative, with its out-of-this-world plot and out-of-this-world visuals (thanks to returnee Daniel Acuna); and a grouping of super-powered freaks you normally wouldn’t see together. The shifting color palettes effectively differentiate the many worlds our ragtag roustabouts inhabit throughout Issue #1. Remender’s story initially gorges on a mouthful of flesh; but passes enough meat along the tongue and tonsils to cause the reader to savor the flavor, and ask for more. The future of this series looks Uncanny indeed! 4/5 Avenging Heroes.
Acedia is the fourth volume in a seven part series by Matt Fraction (Hawkeye, Sex Criminals), and thanks to an amnesiac main character – it feels like a perfect way in for anyone who isn’t familiar with the story of Casanova Quinn. It’s one part Bourne Identity, and one part Casino Royale, with a dash of Transmetropolitan-flavored sci-fi (shaken, not stirred); and yet, Casanova, as a character in Acedia, is a much more refreshing take on the brooding spy with a tortured past genre. Instead of the anxiety that plagues Jason Bourne when he’s not sure who Jason Bourne is, Casanova takes his loss of memory as a gift. The action begins before Casanova really starts to discover anything about his past; and it’s almost tragic that he, and his mysterious employer, have to start digging into their memory banks. Hopefully, the previous two years of adventures that have led up to the main events of this first issue will be re-visited in flashbacks for us in future issues. Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba, who inked the first four issues of Casanova with Fraction, are back; and they imbue Acedia with an orange-and-blue-tinged aesthetic that seems to recall the feel of earlier cinematic lighting.
The weirder, more Transmetropolitan part of this book is the “elliptical” issue of The Metanauts, that’s packaged at the end. Written by novelist Michael Chabon (The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Telegraph Avenue), it feels much less cohesive – and this appears to be by design. Metanauts seems to be about an anarchic, transgendered(?) rock star; who somehow expands either another part of the Acedia story, or fleshes out the Hollywood in the Acedia universe. Those few pages definitely maintain the atmosphere and vibe of the book, but it has potential to throw the reader extremely off the previous narrative track. But, like Casanova, it seems that we’ll be finding out ‘why’ very soon. 4.5/5 Classified Dossiers.
Holy D-Day Batman! The Joker is alive and more deathly terrifying than ever! He’s turned all of Gotham into joker zombies, with one goal: KILL THE BATMAN!!! (and anyone else who happens to venture into Gotham).
Scott Snyder (American Vampire) and Greg Capulo (Spawn) continue their flesh-eaters’ story at its heartcore, looming under the arc of the Winged Freak’s shadow. We find Batman racing to find a cure for the populous; with the help of Alfred, his daughter, Jim Gordon, and a visiting Dick Grayson. It’s fast! It’s thrilling! It’s frightening! It needs to be a Christopher Nolan film! With Norman Reedus as Nightwing!
We may be witnessing a deviantly hellacious reboot of the Joker mythos we could have never have imagined before, with this one! I’m flesh-craving the feast that will be Part 5! At the end of each series is a short backstory about five of Arkham’s patients and their doctor; each telling a tale of how the Joker came to them as a dark messiah, turning them onto their diabolical paths. I have to tip my hat to Sam Keith and Ronda Pattison for the incredible artwork! I’m still sweating my bed sheets at night. 5/5 Sinister Smiles.
“Cardinal” Brooks here, with a review of the new Image book by: Jonathan Hickman (the upcoming Secret Wars) and Ryan Bodenheim (Secret, Halycon). Ryan’s art reminds me of Preacher and Punisher MAX‘s Steve Dillon, with slightly more attention to detail. The book is very cinematic, and flows like a film. It’s a story of a man named Canning, a former Colonel, whose wife is dying of cancer. Canning is given the choice to save her, but will it be worth the cost? At what price do you let your love live or die?
The savior’s choice is offered to Colonel Canning, by a group of unknown beings that may be immortal? Are they Angels, Aliens, Gods, or Demons? Perhaps a manifestation of Canning’s troubled mind? It’s appears our Hero may have a previous history with these beings. Perhaps time will tell us what that connection is, and how the Colonel’s relationship with a mysterious female character, named Shurra, will evolve. This Giant-Sized 60-page 1st issue sets up a story that will take our character to his very limits and test the boundaries of life and death. If you’re a fan of Hickman’s previous work, then The Dying and The Dead is a must read! I have an over-sized interest in seeing where these unknown beings take the Colonel too, and whether or not he will fight to save his cancer-stricken wife. And who is this possible interloper, Shurra? Is she bound to make this some kind of supernatural love triangle? I can’t want to see what’s next! 4/5 Necronomicons.