At first blush, Edison Rex reminds me a bit of a Saturday morning cartoon version of Mark Waid’s Irredeemable or perhaps Incorruptible, the sister book in which the world’s greatest villain tries to be a hero after its paragon starts murdering everyone. The two blonde Superman stand-ins even look the same. Seriously, like the same costume, same everything. It’s weird.
MINOR SPOILERS BELOW
It’s been a while since a first issue has drawn me in as quickly as Pariah did. The art is great. It’s on the cartoonish side, but it’s emotionally expressive and quite effective in its science rich action sequences. It’s even more dazzling when it comes to portraying the space-scapes in which the story is set.
Love is in the air at Fanboy Comics! In this magical month of romance and enchantment, the FBC Staff and Contributors decided to take a moment to stop and smell the roses. In the week leading up to Valentine's Day, a few members of the Fanboy Comics crew will be sharing their very personal "Love Letters" with our readers, addressed to the ones that they adore the most.
To my Valentine, Discworld:
D is for the way you Draw me so fully into your rich and vibrant narrative. I is for the Idiosyncratic sense of . . .
Really, don’t worry. I’ve stopped.
Mage’s Blood is an immense, complicated, blood-soaked fantasy epic. The scope is inter-continental, and the world building is dense and painstakingly thought out. The characters are sufficiently scarred and battle weary to provide the appropriate mystique, and the set-up is terrific. The descendants of a prophet, gifted with supposedly divine powers, are a specifically designated Mage Class in a theocratic society at odds with another civilization across the sea which is reachable only when a magical bridge appears every 13 years. Then, basically, the crusades happen. The other country is a kind of general Arabia. Oh, and there was a revolution within the empire a while back which ended poorly for the revolutionaries.
It is an unshakable and absolute rule that one must read a book before watching its corresponding movie. I learned this at the feet of my parents. The commandments went:
1. Don’t drink and drive
2. Read the book before you see the movie.
3. Don’t get a credit card. Ever.
4. Something about compassion or whatever.
So, I held true to that edict upon getting this assignment from Fanboy Comics. Of course, the situation is slightly different when the book in question is a novelization of a film, which is the original source material. If there’s anything religious fundamentalism has taught us, however, it’s that simplistic qualitative statements should be followed relentlessly regardless of context.
So, I read the book first. I really enjoyed it.
Dark Skullkickers Dark #1 is a terrific read. It’s filled with action, drunken buffoonery, clever concepts and colorful characters. The art is terrific, the writing is lively, and, ultimately, I only had one tiny reservation about the book, which is that I had absolutely no idea what was going on. This isn’t the fault of the writer, at least not in the way you’d think.
There’s a lot to like in Sean Patrick O'Reilly and Erik Hendrix’s The Steam Engines of Oz #1. We have a likeable, if straightforward, protagonist in Victoria, a mechanic who has spent her life beneath the industrialized Emerald City making sure everything works, a supporting cast made up of the prisoners she interacts with on a daily basis, and a respectable dose of the generalized whimsy that made L. Frank Baum's books so unique. Yannis Roumboulias' art is terrific, particularly in action sequences, and incorporates the steampunk theme of the book without overindulging in it.
The second issue of this mini-series is as fun and engaging as the first. I was mildly concerned at the end of the first that the story might veer in a slightly melodramatic direction, but that hasn’t been the case at all. I titled the 1st review "Hogwarts for Hitmen," equating specialized magical prep school education with training in the killing arts. As the setting is developed, however, it reminds me more than anything of a public high school. It looks like one for a start and while the cliques are organized mercenary clubs, they have that oily sheen of teenage belonging. So, if anything, that setting, along with the serialized nature of comics, makes Five Weapons more easily relatable to a TV show like Boy Meets World or Freaks and Geeks. Except, of course, everybody’s learning how to kill people. Can’t forget that part.
All I can say (minor spoilers!) is that I really hope that if I am ever gunned down prematurely by a jealous girlfriend (not likely but well within the scope of the possible), I truly hope that I am brought back by Saint Peter to fight the vertically challenged undead. Who are also circus folk. Carnies. Small hands. Smell like . . . you get it. This is the task set to Garbiel Ehhm of Ehhm Theory.
Monster Myths is an interesting comic. I don’t mean to begin by damning it with faint praise when I say that. Interesting is often an adjective cop out used to describe something quirky but sub-par. That isn’t the case here. It’s the farcical story of two neighborhoods, two cultures colliding and the fallout that follows. It’s really interesting.