Hey everyone! It’s a busy week for me in comic land. So many comics! Sex Criminals from Matt Fraction starts this week, and a bunch of my solid favorites are out. But that doesn’t mean I can’t try something new, again thanks to ComiXology Submit.
I’ve also decided that I’m finally going to give in and try out Batman/Superman. It looks really pretty, and I like that at least some of the story happens on Earth-2, because I like the Earth-2 world. So despite my dislike of most things Batman, I’ll check it out. But I’ll start my catch up sometime next week, probably.
Speaking of catch ups, since last week I’ve caught up on all of Locke & Key and Thor: God of Thunder, and loved them both. I have a lot of issues with mythology in comics, but if I ignored all of that, God of Thunder‘s God Butcher arc was some really fantastic storytelling. Also I’m in love with Thor’s granddaughters.
Okay, onto this week’s pulls!
Mass Effect Foundation #3 (of 13)
Writer: Mac Walters
Artists: Tony Parker, Michael Atiyeh (colors), Michael Heisler (letters), Benjamin Carré (cover)
Okay, non-series fans. Scroll down. (And then buy Mass Effect and play it and we’ll talk.) As with last month’s issue that gave us some insight into Wrex’s activities leading up to the events of the first game, this issue is a look at Chief Williams and her squad of marines in the day or so before Shepard finds her on Eden Prime. It’s told via flashback, with The Character Who Links These Stories Together pretending to be a psychologist so she can get answers about what, exactly happened on the planet.
This series is really enriching the universe of the game, which I think I’ve mentioned before. Ash is a polarizing character amongst fans (she starts out as a bit of a “space racist” xenophobe, but can develop into something better depending on your choices) but I’ve always liked her, and I’m glad to see some more of her with a crew that isn’t from the Normandy. There’s also a great scene that is soooo Mass Effect-y that I couldn’t help but smile (it ends with my favorite panel, below). Again, I don’t think this is a series for anyone who hasn’t played the games. But for those of us who have, and who love the characters, it’s a must read.
The Wake #4 (Vertigo)
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Sean Murphy, Matt Hollingsworth (colors), Jared K. Fletcher (letters), Jordie Bellaire (cover, with Sean Murphy)
The wake remains one of the prettiest, mood-appropriate comics out there. What I mean is that the art, particularly the colors by Hollingsworth, so perfectly fit the tone and setting of the story. As for the story itself, this issue was moving pieces and adding a small bit to the mystery. I’m starting to wonder if this wouldn’t be a more engaging story when read as a trade, because someone died in the beginning and I had to go back and read a prior issue to find out who he was. Obviously that can be a problem with any monthly. But The Wake is self-contained, and will only be ten issues. Maybe I’d like it better as a continual read, where I don’t have to push pause on what I think is going to be a fantastic narrative that spans millennia.
Avengers Assemble #19
Writers: Kelly Sue DeConnick & Jen Van Meter
Artists: Barry Kitson (pencils), Magyar with Leisten, Geraci & Kitson (inkers), Nolan Woodward (colors), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters), Jorge Molina (cover)
As with last month, this is the same timeline of Captain Marvel, but from Jessica Drew’s point of view. Fine by me. I really enjoy how DeConnick is using these two comics to give us the stories of two awesome lady Avengers. I like these two because they’re damaged, but they’re trying. They’re layered. Like onioins!
Ahem. Anyway, this is the lead up to the rescue of Captain Marvel, Hawkeye et. al. that we read about in Captain Marvel. If you didn’t read about it, well. Now you have. And there are some panels that are basically the exact same action, but drawn differently. It works for me. But I will say, I’m looking forward to get the Avengers back on Earth after Infinity is over. Those are my favorite stories.
Unlikely Heroes Studios (via ComiXology Submit)
Writers: Zachary Dolan, Justin Piatt
Artists: Zachary Dolan with Tara Kappel (pencils, inks), Evarardo Orozco with Estella Yañez (colors), Justin Piatt (letters)
Here’s why I bought this book: there is a female superhero on the cover and she is wearing a full body suit. Not unzipped in any way. I clicked on the preview and there she was on the first page, being sassy and fully-clothed and superheroic. As far as I was concerned after that, it was absolutely worth investing $2.99 to check this 52-page issue out.
And, you know. It was pretty good. The setting is a city where superheroism (and supervillainy) is a normal thing, and there’s an officially sponsored hero team and some private hero teams, and a lot of individual heroes and some villain teams. The art is really colorful and classically superhero, and I really really like the design of the various supers. Especially the speedster, because he’s called The Streak, and he runs around naked. Love it.
So the humor is there, but there are also a lot of moments where I feel like I’m reading a comic written by frat guys. There’s a poop joke, use of the word faggot, a lesbian joke, and a lot of guys talking about what is and isn’t manly. It’s weird, since the main character, whose inner monologue we get to read, is a lady. Not that ladies don’t make poop jokes, but the tone felt off.
In the end, I think this is a pretty solid satire of a lot of things and overall was a fun read. I don’t personally like some of the humor, but most of it was funny and the world is really rich and well-populated. The “twist” at the end was pretty obvious, but also totally unnecessary to the story, which was mainly the introduction of this cavalcade of supers, so it didn’t detract much.
I don’t know if I’ll check out issue two. The price is good for the amount of comic you get, and the cast of characters is fairly diverse in a lot of ways (though with the gay jokes made in the comic, I highly doubt we’ll get an LGBT character of any sort, let alone one who isn’t a punchline… but you never know!). I’m on the fence. It’s still pretty fantastic to have a well-clothed female lead of a comic. That’s saying something, even when compared with the Big Two.
Sex Criminals #1
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artists: Chip Zdarsky, Becka Kinzie (color flatting)
I can’t decide what my favorite part of this book is. Is it the pin-up, but still cartoonish looks of Suzie? (She looks like a hipster Bettie Paige and I love it.) Is it the fact that it candidly talks about sex, in a very relatable, funny, way? That Suzie is not at all ashamed of her sex life, past or present, and, in fact, resists being shamed by others? That it’s about funny things and sex and robberies but also about human connection and growing up? I don’t know! But I sure do like this book!
As this story unfolds, we walk through Suzie’s life with adult Suzie, and we learn how she discovered her super power (you know, time-freezing via orgasm). And how she came to love books, how she met her match, and where they are now. I’m a fan of Fraction’s writing. I know a lot of people are. What’s new to me is Zdarsky’s art, which I think fits this book perfectly. Also it’s a book from a female point of view about sex that involves, like, zero slut shaming and one hundred percent agency and wow we do not have enough of those in modern fiction in general, let alone in comics.
Book of the week: Sex Criminals #1
Also reading: FF v2 #12 and Young Avengers v2 #10