Welcome once again to my weekly lightning review, where I cover everything I read this week. This one is on the shorter side, which is a nice break for me. I read several of my unread back issues and some trades, so I’m good! A great week for comics for me, on the whole, as expressed below! Enjoy!
Moon Knight #3- PULL! This comic really dives into the Egyptian origins of Moon Knight, aka Mr. Knight, as he delivers Frenchie, Gena, Crawley, and Marlene from Ammut and her cronies. Marc is forced to overcome his mental crisis and one of our crew must make the ultimate sacrifice! Both Jeff Lemire and Greg Smallwood are at the top of their game here, impressing us visually and intellectually. Encountering Anubis is a high point for me, but the whole thing is great. Anyone who tries comparing Moon Knight to Batman from here on will have to eat their words because the mystical elements brought to light in this series draws a hard line in the sand.
Rough Riders #3- PULL! The origin part of the story is out of the way now, and Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders have arrived in Cuba to investigate the source of the destruction of the USS Maine. Our team splits up to address different pieces of the puzzle and we see a showcase of abilities and personalities. Adam Glass and Patrick Olliffe once again raise their own bar as we are introduced to yet another historical figure of notoriety. I love Annie Oakley and Harry Houdini in this series and can’t wait to see more of their stories. I’m really happy this book exists and thanks to Aftershock for quoting my review of the first issue in their previews.
Sex Volume One, The Summer of Hard- PULL! Don’t be confused, this isn’t exactly a new release; I picked it up a while back and just got around to reading it. So, obviously this book has very mature, sexual art and content that is enough to make you feel dirty for even owning it, but the amazing part is that the story would be great even without the sex stuff. It’s about a Batman-type hero who has hung up his cape to focus on himself and his empire, and he discovers just how serious crime and debauchery have gotten. Great art, characters, plot, etc., but the hook is sex and this collection is full of all sorts of stuff that will make your bits tingle (and in some cases, your lunch come up). VERY MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY!
Angry Birds #6- PASS! While the movie based on the popular mobile games has proven to be a relative success, this comic is not as fortunate. While its two short stories are completely pig-focused, the main feature shows the birds being fooled with wooden cut-outs by the pigs who, surprise surprise, are trying to steal their eggs. The gags and jokes are recycled and do nothing for me, although the art is about par for the course. I know why IDW isn’t leaning on the movie version as a crutch, but at least that would be relatable to those picking up the comic because they enjoyed the film. Also, the page numbering is such a waste of space, seeming as though there wasn’t enough story to fill 20 pages.
Buffy The High School Years: Freaks and Geeks- PULL! As I’ve mentioned before, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a bit mature for me when it premiered, so I never watched the series. Much like the series Spidey, this giant one-shot (or small graphic novel) shows our title character in their early days as a hero. This story deals with school, stress, and stakes with a smart story and anime-style artwork. Peer pressure and friendship are major themes in this and I feel it captures the essence of Buffy (as my novice mind understands it). This is especially good for those who aren’t up to date with BtVS canon, because it lies outside of continuity (but still occurs in the nineties).
Control #1- PULL! I’m not a big fan of crime dramas unless there is a hook, and this comic has a great hook on the final page. Our head detective is tormented by the memory and consequences of losing her partner in the line of duty, and she has been tasked with solving the case. This is just a cut and dry cop comic, but the story itself is interesting enough without needing aliens or superheroes or anything. The color scheme is muted and the art is anything but “fun”, which further adds to the dark tones this comic elicits. The writer doesn’t shy away from violence, sex, or foul language, making this a realistic portrayal of police work that I really enjoyed.
Discipline #4- PULL! Image is putting out many titles right now that push the envelope and this comic adds to their brand quite nicely. What I really love about this comic is Leandro Hernández’ character design for the race of the Discipline and the comic even includes several pages of the design process. They are fearsome yet strangely beautiful and are committed to eliminating another violent race, the Stalkers. The fact that these aliens (monsters?) infect and transom human hosts adds real drama to the story by having that conflict of humanity and society with the new responsibilities of being a Discipline. This is a mature comic but isn’t overwhelmingly so.
I, Mage #4- PULL! Coming into the fourth issue blind, the plot was somewhat hard to follow, but the diverse genre fusion and unique art stylings really captured my attention. A great blend of future tech, fantasy, and adventure really provides something new to fans of all types. Mel Bontrager has a wacky art style, but no so much so that the reader is distracted by it, and I especially enjoyed the robot, the guide, the tinkerer, and the snow leopard characters. It was just a lot to absorb at once… but still a fun read for kids and adults alike.
Interceptor #5- PASS! While there’s nothing particularly wrong with this comic, I just didn’t dig it. I think it might be too much happening as far as the plot goes. It’s humans vs vampires vs goblin-like monsters, all in outer space with robots. The art is looks like Tony Moore tried an anime style but didn’t get it quite right and the coloring lacks contrast. I kinda get what’s going on in the story, but apparently there’s a way to halt development at a young age, so some leader-type characters look 8 or 9 years old, which is weird for me. I’ll say it’s an okay book, but I’m not gonna pick it up.
Whoop, there it is. My birthday is this weekend, so give me the best gift of all by sharing this article on your social media! Follow me on Twitter (@bamfingbob) and remember that Comic Crusaders is the best place to get honest reviews for fans, by fans. Make sure to click that link to my Deadpool #13 review, because it’s a rare 5 star. Until next week, go BAMF yourself!