Top Comic Books for the Week of July 17, 2014
The best of my pull list by Scott Bachmann
I’ve put to the top the comics that made my week. That doesn’t mean the others were bad, just that these stood out. Note: I get my comics from mail order by a week delay, and by ComiXology, so some titles may be older.
I’ve been raving about this series, and this is a perfect done in one to pick up. While it clearly follows in the vein of previous issues, and set up more, this story works well alone. Magneto has allowed himself to be captured to understand why mutants in Hong Kong have been disappearing. It’s like the Rorsharch line from Watchmen, “None of you seem to understand. I’m not locked in here with you… you’re locked in here with me!” Saying anything else is spoilers.
The art remains intense, perfectly detailed and gritty. The colors are muted, keeping what could be a disgusting gore fest down to just a disturbing level instead.
This series has become the Punisher War Journals starring Magneto, and it’s endlessly fascinating.
This is normally a light hearted series with bold bright colors, about a great kid becoming a superhero story. Mostly because Sam Alexander is always a kid, making kid choices, and kid mistakes. At the core though is a dark story. All the Nova Corps are dead, and Sam’s dad was a part of a secret cabal of black helmeted Nova that are either the Green Berets of the Nova Corp, or something vile and nasty. Sam has his dad’s helmet and is learning what happened to the Corp piece by piece. Thanks to the Original Sin tie in, Sam has a vision that his father was a monster – not a hero – and Sam’s friend, Uatu the Watcher, is dead.
So this happy comic now deals with a boy coping with death, terrible revelations of his lineage, and has family being uprooted from their home due to poverty. That’s a lot for anyone to cope with, and for an adventure comedy, it’s handled pretty well.
This is technically the first 7 chapters of an 18 chapter graphic novel. It was released as part 1 on Comixology, but all 18 chapters are available on a custom iPad app by Erik Loyer. The app has music and transition efx, but I read the flat version on ComiXology. I imagine this is like reading a Thrillbent comic in print.
All of my boring intro aside, this is a must read. It’s a brilliant bit of sci-fi that is as down to earth as possible. The conceit is that a process is being researched to upgrade cells so that a person can be free of the defects in their genes and given an entirely new and superior life. The reality is this is underground science being conducted in an abandon school house in the middle of nowhere by some of the best minds in the world. This isn’t a Michael Bay film.
The protagonists are an adorable set of grandparents who have both led successful lives. Successful enough to invest in the project, and successful enough to invest enough that the stipulation with the money they provide is that they become the first human test subjects.
That’s the Sc-fi side, but this is a very human tale. The people are convincing; the story telling is sweet and smart. The time is spent on the small details of what makes a life and a person unique. No one in this novel is two dimensional.
However you read this, it’s worth the price of admission and then some.
This story is a mystery that leads into a final revelation that promises for a great series to come, So how do I review it without ruining it? Well, it’s part ghost story, part Sci-Fi, and reminds me a LOT of Joss Whedon’s movie “The Cabin in the Woods”, minus Joss’s sense of humor. Our protagonist is living a Ground Hog day kind of life of mindless repetition, kind of like the Lego guy in the Lego Movie. He knows about a girl that doesn’t fit his drab world, and he follows her down the rabbit hole and into the Matrix. He basically took the blue pill, but doesn’t have the aid of a Morpheus to tell him what’s happened. Or maybe he does, because Ernest Hemingway shows up as the only other awake person in the land of…spoilers.
What I can say is that it’s a good story, and the weirdness pays off. So take the Blue Pill, and make Oni Press happy.
Scott is a contributing writer for Drunk on Comics. You can follow him on Twitter at @ScottABachmann, or at Scottcomics.com.