With the succulent cornucopia known as the E3 Convention, being the riotous rage it wreaks upon our city of Lost Angeles all this week, our unholy union here at God Hates Geeks, still found enough time and hatred in our blackened, Hellish hearts, to deliver unto you all: A Fistful of Comics!!! Contained herein, we have three fingers of Battleworld stink to stab into your comic-starved brainpan; along with a ribbed thumb of discipline, and a pinkyful of dogmeat to curb your carnal cravings. Now…relax, and take it up to the elbow, like the good worshipper you are..
Conjured forth from the ghosts of Marvel’s Secret Wars, circa 1985, comes a resurrected gaze from Victor Von Doom’s Battleworld bonanza; served up scalding, bloody hot! Bubbling in visceral muck from those days of decades past, writhes forth the magical dimension of Weirdworld #1! Welcome to 2015, weirdos and wackjobs! Set adrift, upon a floating and isolated mass, infested with rapscallions and scallywags of myriad manifestations, we find ourselves in the presence of Arkon the Imperion; regaling us all with his superhuman might, as he dispatches legions of mythical foes culled from tales of swords, and sorcery, and science, combined. This barbarian-king of Conanian-persuasion, from the extradimensional planet of Polemachus, makes a mutilated meat paste of all monsters and minions who dare mock him; a chunky stew, worthy of overclogging your broth bowl with.
This spellbinding yarn is spun by Valhallowed barbarian scribe, Jason Aaron (Thor, Wolverine, PunisherMAX), and the visions of Mike Del Mundo (Planet Hulk, Bucky Barnes: Winter Soldier) are awash in acridly intestinal hues; that bleed into polychromatic oblivion. Arkon’s mettle is battle-tested U.S. Navy S.E.A.L.-style in this #1; as our fur-loin-clothed crusader crushes brains and bones in salted seas, amorphous airways, and lugubrious landscapes. Sometimes when you sink to the bottom of the drink, you find yourself amidst an evolutionary twist. And what in the unholiest Hades of witchery is this??? Slide into this flesh-melting, miasmic slagheap to find out, my fiends! Hell hath no fury more scorned… 4/5 Severed Ogre Scrotums.
World-building is difficult business: Evidenced by the sheer volume of first issues that stumble all over themselves; establishing heroes, villains, societies and stakes, without ever actually going anywhere. Not so for Starve #1, new from Image Comics; which deftly sets up all of the above in considerable flair, without sacrificing pacing or tone. Starve wisely pushes the near-total systemic collapse of its setting to the margins in its opening pages; while letting us get to know protagonist, Gavin Cruikshank, former celebrity chef and TV host. Delivered from a three-year bender in Southeast Asia, Cruikshank returns to a life of savage network and interpersonal politics; in order to compete on Starve, the TV show he once ran. With the continued decay of society, though, the show has been reformatted from a travelogue (essentially Parts Unknown) into an income-inequality reality competition; wherein culinary stars are challenged with making the food of the 99% Masses (in this case, carved canine), palatable for the 1% Ruling Elite. Ending with Cruikshank’s visceral act of defiance against the system, writer Brian Wood (DMZ) and artists Danijel Žeželj (Captain America: Dead Man Running), and Dave Stewart (Hellboy) deliver readers to a pit-of-the-stomach climax; leaving them asking for more of that delectable dog meat. 4/5 Bibles.
Welcome to BattleWorld!!! Multiple Realities Enter!!!! One Reality Leaves!!!!!! Thunderdome?? No??? Ok. Neil Gaiman’s 1602 was one of my most beloved alternate realities, Marvel has ever introduced. It thrived with intrigue and drama, and the characters were recognizable variations of the ones we already knew and loved! As someone with a degree in History, this mini-series was right up my alley; and I enjoyed every second of it! That being said, it’s totally understandable that I’d be both excited and a little apprehensive; when it was announced that a 1602 title would be included in BattleWorld.
1602 Witch Hunter Angela #1, is written by Marguerite Bennett (Batgirl, Earth 2: World’s End) and Kieron Gillen (Uncanny X-Men, Darth Vader), with artwork by Stephanie Hans (Storm, Max Ride), and Marguerite Sauvage (Thor Annual, Bombshells). It’s an uneven first issue when it comes down to the tone and flow. It starts out a little I Love Lucy, then flips to a medieval version of Supernatural. While I didn’t hate it, I’m not exactly thrilled with it either. The art keeps pace with the original, as does the dialogue (Shakespeare meets Lord of the Rings). It’s definitely worth checking out, if you’re a fan of the original 1602, and I feel as if BattleWorld’s 1602 will be judged by the sum of its parts, not on its debut issue. 3/5 Inquisitor’s Bibles.
The Disciples #1 is the crazy new space adventure book from Black Mass Studios (who??); and though this first issue doesn’t give a whole lot to go on, there’s promise in what’s there. Basically there’s a crew of three rag-tag misfits, who are hired to fly to one of the moons of Jupiter; and retrieve some senator’s daughter, who was taken there by some religious nut job, who started a mining colony in space, and took his disciples with him. The tone borrows a bit from Firefly, Star Wars and Star Trek; as well as several other big names in sci-fi, or at least it seems to so far. The issue ends right when we are finally getting to the meat of the matter, regarding what’s going to happen in this book; so that’s a bit frustrating. The artwork by Christopher Mitten (Wasteland, Batman: Arkham Unhinged) gets you through this first issue, and writer Steve Niles (30 Days of Night, Spawn: The Dark Ages) just didn’t have enough time here to really get things going. Issue two could be a lot of fun though, and I’ll very likely read it. 3.5/5 Bibles.
A double-fisted, power word punching combo, from writers Kelly Sue DeConnick (Bitch Planet, Avengers Assemble), and Kelly Thompson (The Girl Who Would Be King, Heart In A Box), galvanizes gauntlet girl greatness in this brilliant book of butt-kicking Betties, called Captain Marvel & The Carol Corps #1! In a futuristic Battleworld that combines a vintage feel with estrogen-laden empowerment, this comic is right up my alley; and I loved every page of it! The artwork of David Lopez (Fallen Angel, Catwoman) brings great life to the camouflage coloring of this military setting; and Marvel’s crack at bridging the gender gap is extremely successful with a story line fitting for even a male superhero! That’s what I’m talkin’ about! Comic book equality! 5/5 Ass-Kicking Super Heroines!