Sunday, May 17, 2009

You've Been Warned Vol II Issue XVII

COMIC REVIEWS BY A FAN, FOR THE FANS

**As always, mind the spoilers, fanboy.**

- OPENING REMARKS -

The League of Extraordinary Gentleman: 1910
by Alan Moore & Kevin O'Neill
Top Shelf Productions


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I'd be a fat fucking liar if I said I wasn't worried about this book sucking. Don't think I've forgotten The Black Dossier, that steaming crap book of plot summaries wrapped up in a thirty goddamn dollar crap package. Oh Lordy I'm still steamed about that one. So when it came time to pony up the bucks for this flagship issue, I was gun shy to say the least. Thank fucking whomever my fears were not realized.

Moore and O'Neill are back like gangbusters in 1910. O'Neill's art is sharp as ever, sucking the reader in like water through an open drain, detailed to the point that it's almost detrimental to the flow of the story. Moore has once again weaved a story overflowing with plots among plots among plots, like the fine stitching of a tapestry. From the clumsy bumblings of the newest incarnation of the League, to the trials of Nemo's prodigal daughter, to the gruesome misadventures of Mac the knife, there's so much action going on it requires a second (or third, or forth) reading to soak everything in.

I'd be a fat fucking liar (again) if I didn't admit that I read this book in front of the computer, so I could quickly reference the characters popping in and out of the spotlight. I may not be the most well-rounded bloke literature wise, but unless you've got an MA you're not gonna be catching the majority of the references Moore is making here. And that's okay. One of the genius qualities of the League has always been the multiple levels the book rewards its readers on. Believe it or not, one can be oblivious to the existence of a three penny opera or the prisoner of London and enjoy the holy hell out of this book (I know I was and did). A story offering so much content on so many levels only comes along ... well, they come along whenever Moore gets around to writing them. I can't think of a single comic on the shelves today offering half as much as this series has (and hopefully will continue to).

The League is back and better than ever. It's a good fucking thing.

The Umbrella Academy: Dallas
by Gerard Way & Gabriel Ba
Dark Horse Comics


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The sophomore series of this edgy super-hero satire ended things with a small explosion this month (if you didn't read it, you didn't get that and you have no one to blame buy yourself). Things started off to a rocky start in Dallas, with plot devices straight from the backlogs of South Park and whatnot, but it all made sense in the end (dead presidents, don't you know). After finishing the final chapter I find myself walking away feeling smugly satisfied. This is a series that hasn't been afraid to take risks in the slightest. It was packed full of gag-reflex stimulating ultra-violence, some wonderfully endearing (and disturbing) new characters, and one of the ballsiest murders I've seen in a long, long time. Frankly I'm a bit surprised some pencil dick conservative watchdog group didn't pick up on what went down in this title and throw a complete shit fit. This concluding issue (that being #6) is the most shocking thing I've read all year.

If I've piqued your interest and you haven't read Apocalypse Suite (The Umbrella Academy's first book) yet, I'd recommend starting there. If you've read that and are on the fence about Dallas, don't be. It's a blast. And then some.

From the Ashes #1
by Bob Fingerman
IDW Publishing


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I'll swear by Fingerman's past works. Seriously. Make me swear on the Bible and I'll lie to your face all the live long day. Make me swear on Beg the Question however, and ... well, I'd still lie to you. I'd feel bad about it later though. As far as From the Ashes is concerned though ... oh man I'm kinda bummed. Maybe it's because the whole post-apocalyptic honeymoon thing has been done to death in numerous venues, and I'm not seeing a lot of new ground being broken here. Maybe it's because I didn't stumble across a single humorous event in this first issue. Not one. I saw a lot of things try to be funny, like morning breath jokes. Trying and failing miserably. This worries me the most. Either way, I'm not liking what I'm seeing here.

Please do note that this is the first issue of the series. It's all sorts of premature to be flat out condemning everything. I'm holding tight to the hope that things will pick up. Fingerman's never let me down before, so I'm trying to stay positive. Things will pick up, right? Right?! Sigh ... it's the end of the world here, people. Let's try and fucking stay positive that things will get better.

- PICK OF THE WEEK -
Resurrection Vol.1
by Marc Guggenheim, David Dumeer, & Douglas Dabbs
Oni Press


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This was a pity buy. An absolute, unadulterated pity buy. I'd never read anything Guggenheim had written before, but I knew he wrote Spider-Man, so I immediately didn't like him ('cause fuck Spider-Man).

This first collection of his Oni book was a mere $6.00 for a whopping 184 pages. Six bucks these days will get you, like, 40 pages of a Marvel comic, and fifteen of them will be some shit reprinted from the '70s. So I saw that Oni and the perpetrators of Resurrection were so hard up for readers they'd practically give away the first storyline, and I took pity.

Resurrection blew me right the fuck away, which was the last thing I expected. Totally blindsided me. I sat down one lazy afternoon, expecting to trudge through the first issue before giving up and banishing it to the "crappy indie trades" longbox. I didn't get up until I'd finished the entire book. Story wise it's nothing new: another post-apocalyptic wasteland where everyone's trying to find purpose in the ruins of their former existences. The magic is all in the way Guggenheim structured to story: the point in time he chooses to start the narrative from, the rotating perspectives the story's told through, the glimpses of savagery from the survivors and of humanity from the former aggressors, it's all so fast and crisp and engrossing. This is one hell of an addictive read.

I know you've got some loose change laying around somewhere. Hell, you've probably got six bucks under your couch cushions. Gather it up and hit your favorite comic shop. Buy. This. Book. You won't regret it.

- NO PAN THIS WEEK -

It's the economy's fault. If I had more money, I'd probably buy a shitty comic now and again.

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YOU'VE BEEN WARNED

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