It’s hardly what I call a long list for this week, but the good thing about a short list is that you can take your time and savour the experience of reading a good comic. After all, now that winter is here, the best remedy for a cold evening is to sit back, have a cup of favourite seasonal cheer and stay in for a warm, cozy evening with great stories.
Well, maybe two cups of your favourite seasonal cheer – it is a short list.
Detective Comics #946
Very thick and dramatic. It’s a real story that drives the reader to think about Batman’s end goal. It’s definitely a cerebral look at the motivations that have driven Batman to create a team to accomplish what it is he can’t do alone. However, the big irony about this story is that in the end it comes down to individual match-ups between the members of the Batman team and the members of the Victim Syndicate – which I have to say, is probably one of the coolest names one can think of for a villain team.
James Tynion IV is certainly a writer of great careful prowess. His stories are like Bengal tigers, circling around your brain, just waiting for their moment to pounce. They definitely give you a lot to think about.
DC Rebirth Holiday Special #1
This is eighty-six pages of holiday stories that for the most part, leave you with a sense of how adorable the DC universe can be! With Harley Quinn acting in a central narrator’s role, binding all of the collection of short stories together, we see how the heroes handle the holidays. It’s a good sampling of talent, both experienced and new; so it’s a really fun collection of stories with the chance to see familiar, favourite creators have fun and new creators show what they can do. It’s actually pretty damn cute.
Star Trek: Boldly Go #3
Mike Johnson and Tony Shasteen give me new reason to love the cinematic version of Star Trek. No, I mean it – they’ve taken on the perilous responsibility of extending this universe into a framework that actually grows on me. It’s like they’ve imbued this version of Trek with a natural sense of progression, and it works.
Johnson has created a real sense of relationship amongst all the crew members. The first movie didn’t have this sense as the characters and the audience were all being re-introduced to them. We had to go through this artificiality of pretending that we didn’t know these characters and had to affect a degree of surprise at mannerisms or behaviour that we knew all too well, or were to accept any changes with a sense of acceptance.
The last two films did little to reinforce those bonds, which is the drawback to cinema. If they wanted to really re-boot the TOS, then a new television show would have given them the freedom and latitude to introduce the transitional changes that Shasteen and Johnson are able to bring to bear in their book.
Johnson has gifted the crew of the Enterprise – now the Endeavour, with a real sense of team identity. They have a closer sense of relationship – Nyota Uhura jokes with Kirk about Spock’s lack of surprise at Kirk’s decision-making; they feel Sulu’s pain at his lost family, and even Shasteen manages to draw relaxed expressions on their face. Unlike their cinematic counterparts, there’s a real sense of unity in this crew. Perhaps that’s why I like Johnson and Shasteen’s rendition better?
Oh … and the ending for this issue will really get your heart pumping. It gets an honorable mention this week – that’s for sure.
I loved the pre-amble to this issue: “go back and re-read everything if you need to catch up, cos this is all we got left.”
I think that’s the attitude that I love about this book. It’s unpretentious, solid storytelling that’s solid and completely enjoyable in its simplicity. It’s proof that you just need a great concept and that the stories create themselves within this world that’s been built for the entertainment of readers to lose themselves in.
… And now it’s over. It’s a shame because I looked forward to reading this book every time it came out to see how the mysteries would end and see if I was right. Often I wasn’t but I loved the experience anyway.
This book gets a special mention this week. I look forward to the next creation from Antony Johnston and Justin Greenwood. They’re a damn good team.
God, what a hell of a concept. Oops, bit of a juxtaposition in that sentence just now, ain’t there? Well, that’s the type of thing that Mark Millar does with this comic.
I have to be honest: this book fills me with a kaleidoscope of emotions. I switch from being vicariously happy at Bonnie seeing her missed loved ones from her old life to laughing at the reason for Frost’s vengeance! But then, the Faerie Queen’s indifference elicits bitterness but also prompts me to ask questions about this new existence.
Of course, the big question I have is how does Mark Millar come up with these ideas? This probably has to be one of the most unique stories I’ve ever read. Not only does Millar challenge our concepts of the afterlife, but he also makes it an adventure to do so. In fact, we even want to know more about this world he’s created. Hell, if Millar ever turns into some sort of new-age pseudo-religious figure, then this story could serve as his Dianetics.
Yeah… I know: I just made a Scientology crack. Oh well.
Still, this is a truly new fantasy of new epic proportions. It’s the type of story that really catches my attention. It’s question-evoking but also contains relatable characters you can accept: a very delicate balance to achieve, but Millar does it with apparent ease.
He also has Greg Capullo on this book. That in itself is enough to make you want to look three times at it. What must be challenging to draw is the mix of technology and high fantasy this story encompasses. Even in the characters’ clothing there’s an odd pairing of elements from these genres. But Capullo, like his writer counterpart, pulls this demanding task off with ease as well. Plus, there’s a straightforward attitude that Capullo brings to his drawing that reinforces the emotional content. When Capullo presents a close-up of a weeping eye, you feel the tear sliding down your own cheek.
Yeah – this is definitely the Pick of the Week for me. Make it yours as well.
Now, go and pour yourself something warming!