Graphic Novels and TPBs (#SFWApro)

12944455HELLBOY: The Storm and the Fury by Mike Mignola and Duncan Fegredo worked to finish off Hellboy’s first story arc (starting roughly with Seed of Destruction) where the BPRD’s King of Fear failed. With Hellboy now the heir of King Arthur, the noble dead of England rise up to follow him—but Hellboy decides if he’s going to avert the apocalypse, he’s going to do it alone. The finish gives it a sense of completion the BPRD story didn’t, though it’s just as emphatic that for all his heroism, not even Hellboy can stop the new world that’s coming, all he can do is delay it (though that’s established as vitally important in controlling what sort of world will arise). However the story never really explains what would have gone wrong if Hellboy had chosen to wield Excalibur and accept kingship.
SHOWCASE PRESENTS THE CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN Vol II is a mixed bag. Most of the stories are the slightly ridiculous SF of DC’s lower-tier SF books, with weird improbable aliens, bizarre robots and Cosmo, the Challenger’s wacky alien space pet. Some of them have excellent twists, and there are also signs of stronger characterization and more personal drama as the series moves along. Fun for me, but possibly not for everyone’s taste.
HAWKEYE: Little Hits by Matt Fraction and several illustrators has Clint Barton (the original Hawkeye) and protege Hawkeye Kate Bishop dealing with Hurricane Sandy, Clint’s tangled love life and a mob scheme to rub out an Avenger (“Naturally they’ll target the weakest one.”). This book has some intense fans, but whatever the magic is, I’m just not feeling it—to me, it’s kind of amiably bland all the way through.
ATOMIC ROBO: Atomic Robo and the Deadly Art of Science by Brian Cleveger and Scott Wegener is a fun pulp pastiche set in 1930 as a young Robo joins forces with Jack Tarot, a masked vigilante less than thrilled to be saddled with a metallic kid sidekick. Funny and lively, despite some language anachronisms (I don’t think anyone would have heard of kung fu in 1930s) and the Evil Edison/Noble Tesla dichotomy was way too heavy handed (Edison was no saint, but he wasn’t a monster).
THOR: The God Butcher by Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic interweaves plot threads in ancient Scandinavia, the present and Asgard’s far future, as Thor comes up against Gorr, a powerful fanatic wiping gods from the universe a pantheon at the time. A very good read, but the pseudo-gothic font for Thor’s dialogue is annoying, more so to me than the pseudo-Shakespearian Ye’s and Thee’s of his 1960s dialog.
GREEN LANTERN: The Revenge of Black Hand by Geoff Johns and several illustrators has Hal discover the secret behind the Indigo Lanterns of compassion, lock horns with Sinestro and Black Hand once more and learn the terrifying plan the Guardians have for finally bringing order to the universe (having already read the TPB following this one, I know how that played out). This is fun reading, but it would be more fun without all the endless Big Reveals about different people’s agendas, and the Hal/Sinestro sniping gets awfully repetitious. Which is why I’m reading a library copy rather than my own.
WONDER WOMAN CHRONICLES Vol. 3 by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peters is a mixed bag. The strengths include having Diana’s long-time foe Paula von Gunther reform, and the introduction of the sinister, mindbending misogynist Dr. Psycho. His cunning and his anti-women stance makes him one of my favorite WW foes—a natural if they ever need a villain for a WW movie (though I’d drop the idea of him as a grotesque dwarf). On the other hand, the slavery and bondage themes are heavy, even for Marston, so they may not be to everyone’s taste. Thumbs up from me overall, though.

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Filed under Comics, Reading

3 responses to “Graphic Novels and TPBs (#SFWApro)

  1. Pingback: Catching up with the BPRD and Hellboy (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  2. Pingback: Supergirl, Teen Titans, Dr. Strange: comics TPBs I didn’t love (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  3. Pingback: Wonder Woman: All This and World War II (#SFWApro) | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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