Captain Kirk’s Weekly Comic Review: March 18, 2015

It’s March Break … so I’m taking the opportunity to read more comics than I normally would! Even still, there are a lot of titles to cover in this week’s list, so let’s just get to it!

 Image Comics

Chrononauts #1


In an editorial at the end of this book, Comic Book Grrl and Ambassador at MillarWorld forums, Blake Northcott wrote that this book was “pure eye candy”. I find it hard to disagree with this amazingly insightful and learned fangirl, so I simply won’t. Make sure you read her editorial at the end of the book.

Oh, did anyone catch the optical illusion on the cover?

This was a great comic! Full of action, energy and dynamic characters, this was a book that was hard to put down. Instead of a slow building storyline, the plot started instantly, rewarding the reader with the promise of an intense and exciting story to come. Wonderful debut and I can’t wait for Issue #2!

Or should I wait for the movie? It’ll happen …

Red One #1red_one__1_cover_by_terrydodson-d8d3kzg

A Terry and Rachel Dodson cover will always get my eye. I really needed to pick this book up just simply to see what their level of involvement was. I mean, this is Grade-A art talent we’re talking about and this couple will not get involved in something that wasn’t quality.

Sure enough, this comic falls straight into this category. The angle on this is pretty cool: imagine a Soviet version of the 1970’s Wonder Woman character. Now send this Soviet Super-Spy over to California to infiltrate and fit into American society and become a super-hero that Americans can relate to.

Not only is this a unique concept, but it’s pretty damn entertaining. Plus, the throw-back to the seventies, cold-war era of American society is a refreshing and fun decade to introduce to a generation of millennial comic readers. This is an integral part of recent pop-culture history that everyone should be familiar with.

The sexual overtones are also hard to miss. While Vera – Red One – is a powerful woman in terms of abilities and identity, the fact that she is also gorgeous as well as on perpetual sexual overdrive may well be good for a laugh, but is a little distracting. Still, there’s no doubt that this book has all the right stuff.

 Invisible Republic #1


I’m completely gob-smacked by this book. First off, not only is the art-style reminiscent of Joe Kubert that it is a total joy to behold, but the story pulls you in. This is probably one of the most intelligent comic books that I’ve ever had the pleasure to read and I think it’s safe to say that it will be definitely on my list of permanent pulls from now on.

I love that Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko are not only co-writers and professional collaborators, but are also married collaborators. This makes me think of the Wendy and Richard Pini days of Elfquest and the type of successful collaboration those creators had. In their comments at the back of the book, the level of witty banter shows that these two creators are not only doing something that they love, but are inviting their audience to be a part of the process as well.

Invisible Republic is a described “intense, epic, political sci-fi conspiracy thriller”. That’s a pretty tall order for a comic to deliver, but I have to say, I totally bought into it from page three. So should you – it was a great read and definitely whetted my appetite for more.

What I can’t figure out is how did this not get the lead-in press it deserved? This was a book that really needed some teasers in another book or at least a ton of advertisements.  Well, maybe this will help Hardman and Bechko out a little: go buy this book.

 Reyn #3


What is it with the amazing debuts from Image this week? What a quadruple punch they’ve delivered.

This issue took a bit of an unexpected turn, but it’s still great storytelling, decent art and great characterizations …. What more do you want? Symons and Stockman have a great thing going here and I’m pleased to say that this book is on my permanent pick of pulls. It needs to be on yours as well.

 DC Comics

Batgirl #40


I figured with all the hoopla over the proposed and discontinued cover of batgirl #41, I should actually read a Batgirl comic.

I’m not the audience, but I think it’s a pretty effective comic for the audience it was intended for. It has a “Sisterhood-of-the-travelling-Pants” sort of vibe to it. Not for me, but I can’t criticize it any more than that. I will say though, that it was cool to see the first appearance of the new … aww, I shouldn’t give that away.

 Batgirl Endgame #1


Surprisingly enough, I actually enjoyed this … a dialogue-free one-shot issue that spotlights Batgirl’s involvement in the events of the recent Batman story arc. It’s funny, but in comparison to the previous Batgirl comic I just read, I have to say I enjoyed it more. Maybe it was the absence of dialogue, or maybe it was the fact that the comic just focused on Batgirl by herself and not on her relationships to her friends.

IDW Publishing

Star Trek: Planet of the Apes #4


You know, you can’t read this without thinking “Wow … they actually made this work”!

If it wasn’t for the mash-up aspect of this book, I’d swear that this was just another TOS episode storyline to enjoy. But moments like Scotty explaining the slingshot maneuver to Dr. Cornelius, or Spock discovering that he has to squeeze the nerve pinch harder on gorillas couldn’t happen anywhere else but this comic! This is just a damn fun comic.

 Dungeons & Dragons: Legends of Baldur’s Gate #5


Completely entertaining … it’s the dialogue in this that I can’t get enough of. Not only is this comic exactly in form with the original Minsc from the classic Baldur’s Gate PC role-playing game, but it is   also something that a younger generation of readers can love as well.

This wraps up the story arc “Tyranny of Dragons” and I have to honestly say that Jim Zub and Max Dunbar “went for the eyes” on this one. If you’re a fan of Minsc the Ranger and Boo, the dwarf giant space hamster, then you’ll get that reference.

In this issue, the adventurers encounter the realized danger the Dragon Cult – the summoning of a great red dragon to destroy Baldur’s Gate! While most of the comic centres on the destruction of the dragon, the combat is completely evocative of a typical D&D session. I can easily imagine a scene of my cronies and I rolling dice, determining battle strategy and quipping in-character dialogue. Of course, the pizza and beer is missing from this mental image but you get the idea.

Just a simply wonderful comic with plenty of imaginable adventure for one generation while tons of nostalgic goodness for another. Kudos to Jim Zub, Max Dunbar and John-Paul Bove for finishing a great introductory story arc and I am definitely looking forward for the next one to begin!



Ivar Timewalker #3


More like Ivar, Time-Liar. This is still a really unique book but right now there’s still too little revealed about the identity of our mysterious time-traveler. Though I like his character for his intrigue, I’m still a little in the dark as to his purposes.

That’s the issue with a Non Marvel-like script; when it’s detailed and drwnw out, you risk losing the audience’s interest. I’m still interested in this book and I love Fred Van Lente’s writing, but it’s got to pick up the pace a little more.

 Marvel Comics

Moon Knight #13


Nice piece from Cullen Bunn. Great story about exploring another of Moon Knight’s aspects: the guardian of the night-time travelers. In this issue, the spirits of the dead are being collected for nefarious reasons and Moon Knight is called on to investigate and defend his flock.

A good one-shot story but I have to say that this is probably the best thing of Bunn’s that I’ve read. It was short, concise and very reflective of the character’s background. You have to appreciate the beauty of a perfect short story. Definitely my favourite Marvel book right now.

 Princess Leia #2


Pretty cool … Princess Leia certainly does herself proud in this continued attempt to recover all the surviving Alderaanians scattered throughout the galaxy before the Empire does. It’s good to see a strong female protagonist in a comic but I especially like that Marvel is devoting a significant portion of its “Star Wars” effort to Princess Leia’s character.

In my opinion, Leia really didn’t get a chance to show what she could do until Episode Six and even then, she is still remembered for the Slave Leia outfit. It’s up to the extra-movie sources like these comics (that have now received full dispensation from Disney to be regarded as canonical) to showcase characters who didn’t get that full recognition originally.

 All New X-Men #39


It’s a Black Vortex continuation … anyone interested?


Okay … I couldn’t get past the third page, I’ll be honest. Oh how my X-Men have fallen so low in expectations.

So the pick of this week’s titles has to be:

Invisible Republic #1

What a great concept and you can clearly tell that there is a great deal of love behind the creation of this book. I get a sense of real craftsmanship and passion from this book but I have to confess that the art really drew me in. As I indicated before, there’s a real evocation of the legendary Joe Kubert’s style in the penciling and I am really drawn to historical style stories that look at the development of a character or the creation of his/her empire.

I’m definitely keeping my eye on this one; you need to as well.

So that’s it for this week. I need to take a break from my relaxing comic reading now. After all, it’s March Break! A time to relax!

About Captain John K. Kirk

Captain John K. Kirk
John Kirk is an English and History teacher and librarian in Toronto, Canada. In addition to the traditional curriculum, John tries to teach his students to make sense of geek culture. And with the name "J. Kirk," it's hard for him to not inject "Star Trek" into his lessons. Comics, RPGs and the usual fanboy gear make up his classroom resources.

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