Some of the best stories have very simple beginnings. In Power Up #1, Amie seems almost okay with her life. Waking up late, going to the local mini mart for milk in her pajamas, working at a not-so-busy pet store, where her boss Karen takes the job far too seriously for Amie’s sensibilities. You can tell, however, that even though Amie doesn’t say it out loud, she feels something is missing. She isn’t as happy as she could be. She most likely agrees with her boss that she’s not living to her fullest potential. This marks the strongest element of the book, the dialogue and how the creators use the visual medium to say the things left unsaid. Kate Leth (Adventure Time, Smut Peddler, Bravest Warriors) is simply a really good writer. Her dialogue is natural and unencumbered by pesky things like exposition. The characters speak like real people. We learn about them by their doing of things and reacting to others.
With Issue #3 of Sons of the Devil, we’re entering territory in which the best person that could score this would be the one and only Carter Burwell. So, I threw in a little No Country for Old Men soundtrack, and everything gelled beautifully. Not that there’s been anything missing from Brian Buccellato and Toni Infante’s series. It’s exceptional.
Predator: Fire and Stone brings the Fire and Stone cycle full circle with what started in the excellent Prometheus: Fire and Stone as we head back to LV-223, thanks to an extremely dedicated Predator. This hunter is after his Moby Dick, with which writer Joshua Williamson (Aliens: Colonial Marines - No Man Left Behind) smartly draws a comparison. I won’t say what that Moby Dick is, but for a Predator story, there are some nice twists and turns.
The title of Paul Cornell and Tony Parker’s new, incredibly entertaining, cheeky book, This Damned Band, says it all and in ways that I won’t reveal.
Paul Cornell is a writer that has only recently been added to my list of writers to watch due to his deft handling of Wolverine leading up to his death. He’s a writer with intelligence that understands why we read comics. He actually gave Wolverine an arc, a journey to follow that tested who he was as a person. In This Damned Band the journey is a bit different. We’re introduced to a hard rock band circa 1974 called MOTHERFATHER (who may just be more popular in Japan), which, in and of itself, encapsulates the homogenized, money-making machine that the band actually is. They’re edgy, but in a safe way. If you don’t get the joke in the band name, imagine me calling you a Motherfather, and what “F” word might make it worse.
This is where Matt Kindt’s (Mind MGMT) mind-bending crazy kicks in. It’s the moment I look forward to in his work. Kindt digs into the psyche of his characters in ways that I’ve only seen Philip K. Dick do, and my guess is that Dick is a big influence on Kindt. More than a guess. Looking at the back cover of Past Aways #3 and the schematic of the giant robot, many of the body parts' names seemed directly inspired by Dick’s work. One specific part referenced an “android’s dream.” So, yes, if you like Philip K. Dick – you will love this.
The best thing about The Tomorrows #1 is that its heart is in exactly the right place. It has a very strong vision of what it wants both in tone and in thematic responsibility. So, even when the storytelling doesn’t quite catch up with the task at hand, as if the characters were racing to get to the main beats in the story, it’s an enjoyable read.
I didn’t really consider the ramifications of the title after reading the first issue of Sons of the Devil, but after reading issue two and feeling the world naturally expand, it occurs to me that this story isn’t about one potential bad seed son (though the story focuses on one thus far) but is about more than one bad seed - Sons. A silly thought, but one that gave me a shiver, and it wouldn’t have given me a shiver if creators Brian Buccellato (Detective Comics) and Toni Infante weren’t handling their story with such a nice edge of unnerving, psychological subtlety. Essentially, this is a psychological drama wrapped in a mystery of potential mystical elements, so that’s a big bonus.
A lot of people complained about the movie, Prometheus, and missed the larger picture. The first collection of the Fire and Stone anthology, which was a sort of Prometheus sequel, used the potential of the film to go someplace spectacular. It showed us the creation of horror or the horror as creation. After reading the collection of Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone which follows the story of a few of the characters from Prometheus: Fire and Stone, it became plainly clear why Prometheus, the film, even as a somewhat failed film, was necessary, and why the Fire and Stone follow up did such a beautiful job embracing that potential, because horror needs something beyond what we understand to truly be terrifying, and Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone has nothing of the sort.
It was only a week ago that I realized a new series by Alan Moore was hitting the newsstands, days before its release. My placid face as it perused the soon-to-be new releases was suddenly punctuated by enlarged eyes and a dropped jaw.
Quick recap: Earth was hit by a deadly pandemic, but before millions of people were to die, they were uploaded into a virtual world called Arcadia. Now, these millions of people will never die. Those with money get more programs to play with, those without walk around as globs of information. This is a world in which anyone can pretty much do and create anything; if you have the power, it becomes your personal virtual fantasy playground. On the outside, in Alaska, humans that survived watch over the banks of memory keeping everyone in Arcadia “alive.” That’s the basic premise.