Ben Rhodes

Ben Rhodes (240)

Favorite Book:  Cryptonomicon
Favorite MovieYoung Frankenstein
Favorite Absolutely Everything:  Monty Python


Zed A Cosmic TaleWhat is the cutest alien inventor to do? In Michel Gagné’s Zed: a Cosmic Tale, our hero, Zed, has invented a powerful device that provides cheap, plentiful, and clean energy, but something terrible happened and now he is on the run from a powerful and blood-thirsty warlord. This adorable sci-fi comic book wades into some pretty dark and menacing territory. And, that seems to be the most important detail of this comic. It is never just one thing. The story, tone, and artwork are often both cute and disturbing at the same time.


Rex Mundi V2Arvid Nelson’s Rex Mundi Omnibus Volume 2 is an interesting book. If you read it having read the first volume (which is definitely the recommended route), then it is the evolution of a story from mystery to conspiracy to war. If you have not read the first one, then it is an unusual alternate history of World War II. The comic stands on its own either way, but I think the story is stronger if you have read the first one.


SW Blood Ties Boba Fett TPBThe first page of Star Wars: Blood Ties Volume 3 - Boba Fett is Dead is a wonderful splash page of the recently dead Boba Fett. I honestly don’t think this next bit counts as a spoiler since the surprise is spoiled before the first page of the comic, but if you want your experience to be completely unsullied, skip the rest of this paragraph. This book takes place about a year before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV— A New Hope. Eagle-eyed readers might notice that this means that the book takes place before the first appearance of Boba Fett in the Star Wars Holiday Special.* Clearly, Boba Fett survived his death, but that’s not really the point of the story.


Star Trek Countdown to Darkness 1Based on the title, I assume that sometime soon, the crew of the Enterprise will find themselves trekking into darkness. Cumberbatch speculation aside, this comic takes place in the months after Star Trek, when the crew find themselves in danger from an unexpected source.


Mind MGMT 7Wow. This one got its hooks in me deep. For those of you who haven’t picked up Mind MGMT, this is a great place to start. I can say this with complete confidence, as someone who has not read Mind MGMT before. I suppose I could begin where the issue does, with a wonderful page that gives you all the backstory you would need to pick up the story. This is something that every comic should do, every time.


One Trick RipoffI have to confess that one of my favorite sub-genres is the low level gang drama. I love it when these stories involve double and triple crosses and the contradiction of trying to maintain a sense of morality while operating outside the law. In case you haven’t guessed, Paul Pope’s The One Trick Rip-Off is this kind of book. It is a beautifully sad story of trying to escape the life of petty crime. Or it’s an action-packed character piece about a criminal who is willing to betray his colleagues to get ahead. Or it’s just a good story that fits into several genres without feeling trapped by any of them.


TODD 1It’s gotta be hard to be the ugliest kid on Earth, but Todd seems to take it all in stride. He is upbeat and friendly to everyone, but this is not Pollyanna. For one thing, Todd’s town is the haunt of a maniac killer. Also, everybody else seems to be immune to his charms. But, those charms seemed to have worked on me. Despite the fact that there are precisely zero other characters in this comic that are even slightly sympathetic, I enjoyed this book a great deal.


Frank Cho Women 2There are few books whose title so clearly tells you exactly what you are going to get as Frank Cho’s new art book, Women Book 2. (I’m looking at you, Catcher in the Rye.) The book is devoted to Cho’s comic depictions of beautiful ladies. The artwork is split between collecting various comic covers, pinups of a character from his webcomic, and (mostly) tasteful nudes and semi-nudes.


Doctor Who 4In Issue #4 of the Doctor Who comic, Rory and the Doctor are unable to get back to Amy, who is stuck in 1814 in London. Rory and the Doctor find themselves a few years early (or possibly later) during the War of 1812, a century and a half late and on the Moon, and about 115 years late in New York City. Amy, however, is left to deal with one of the most odd (Doctor-Donna-Friend) tragedies in London’s history: the London Beer Flood.


Adventure Time Fiona 1As I have said many times before, the Adventure Time comics are really good, so it should not be surprising that Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake is also great. This comic takes place in the gender-swapped alternate universe. Finn is now Fionna, Jake the dog is now Cake the cat, Marceline is now Marshall Lee, Princess Bubblegum is now Prince Gumball, and the Ice King is the Ice Queen. Pretty straightforward. Like a lot of alternate universe stories, half the fun comes from comparing this version to the one you are accustomed to. Fortunately for this comic, the other half is a fun and very funny story, so you don’t miss out if you aren’t familiar with all the intricacies of Adventure Time.

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