Tuesday, April 29, 2014

PANEL BEATER: Random Thoughts From My Recent Comics Haul

It's been a wee while since I dove into my pull list and gave a few thoughts on what's working great, what needs a kick and what needs a shove. Here's four hits that serve to do just that.

COMIC OF THE MONTH: ARCHIE THE MURDERER This spot was going to go to Valiant's Eternal Warrior #6, but my fingers just won't let me type anything but Afterlife With Archie #4. Right from the retro stock the comic is printed on to the issue's dealings with Archie's parents, this book continually impresses the bejeebers out of me, and this is it's strongest instalment yet. Taste these three panels...

A.W.A. takes the static decades-unchanged lives of Riverdale and munches them up so no one, and I mean no one is safe. The caliber of this tale really does put other currently revamped icons to shame.

LAZARUS #7: True, the sun shines out the butt of Image Comics' Saga, but Lazarus is like that planet on Pitch Black, it has two suns shining out it's rectum and if it's not on your pull list, this ish will see that rectified. Here, Rucka, Lark and team focus on a rural band of 'waste' heading for selection to 'rise' in their class-status, and as one dies, Forever's trainer Marisol admits something that doesn't bode well for her future. Saga, prepare to be eclipsed.

JAMES ROBINSON: It's a great time to be this guy. His new Fantastic Four series is flawlessly recapturing all that rocks about the FF! If only James's The All-New Invaders was the same. Don't get me wrong, a lot of 'cool' happens here too, as the Kree track the WWII God Control machine hidden by three of the Invaders, 'cool' like this;

... but despite a retooled original Vision joining the team and well thought out intros for Jim Hammond (the original Human Torch) and the Winter Soldier, the five man war against the Kree Empire just drags pace in too many places. Hopefully remaining issues in the arc fire up, because Sub-Mariner deserves to reclaim his former heights of popularity, and what Robinson has in store for the title's future could easily see him do it.

MOMENTS OF THE MONTH: SEX AND CAR CHASES Being the indecisive bastich I am, I can't chose a 'Moment of the Month', so I'm picking two. One is the interrogation during a car chase scene in Dead Body Road #4, from Image Comics. Taking the entire issue, it is one of the best car chases ever rendered (especially in static panels), thanks to artist Matteo Scalera's kinetic art, and the blunt dialogue of Justin Jordan. It's a eyes flying, gangster-wrapped-around-a-4x4 wicked ride - highly recommended.

For sex, we turn to Valiant, and an issue that saved me canceling the series, Harbinger #21. Making up for recent luke-warm issues, the tale of the team taking stock in their new Ninja Turtle-ish headquarters hits an actual laugh-out-loud note, when Flamingo convinces Hope to go next door and cheer up fellow Renegade, Torque. Both thinking John's 'Torque' clothes are part of his powered transformation into a 'Captain Marvel-ish' body, they settle for a hug, until the 'Billy Batson' inside gets too excited, and this happens;

 And that's a wrap - what do you think? 


  1. That last scene is hilarious. Good for for Valiant to keep up the excellence they've been putting out.

    Ah, Archie. I've got to get that one, since I'm a big fan of the series.

  2. Thanks Dale - the best part of the Harbinger scene is that the team still manage to round that event off with a touching moment that makes you do a giant 'awwww' - in a manly voice of course (chucks a rugby ball).

    Afterlife = unmissable. Hey, now I know what the afterlife equation Darkseid's always ranting on about is. Ahh it all makes sense!