Steven W. Alloway, Fanbase Press Contributor

Steven W. Alloway, Fanbase Press Contributor

“No one, no matter how bad, considers themselves the villain of their own story.” This was one of the conclusions I reached in my review of Samit Basu’s Turbulence last year: a superhero novel set in India, which explored the rather complex aspects of good vs. evil, heroes vs. villains, etc. Now, after reading the sequel, Resistance, I’m not sure that that statement still holds. It’s true to some degree. But, like with the first book, nothing is ever as simple as it seems.

Depth Charging Ice Planet Goth is rather different in style and tone from much of Andrez Bergen’s previous body of work. Even so, though, there’s a distinct flavor to it that, if you’re familiar with Bergen’s writing, is unmistakable. His influences and his passions always stand out, from elements of noir to classic films and comic books to music, and more. As I’ve remarked before, this tendency to wear his passions on his sleeve is part of what makes Bergen’s work so much fun to read.

Ragnarok is, essentially, the Norse apocalypse myth. It’s the foretelling of the final battle that results in the death of the gods: Odin; Thor; etc. In the Ragnarok comic, writer and artist Walter Simonson sets out to translate those myths into an epic fantasy story.

At first glance, The Star Wars seems like little more than a novelty. It’s a comic book adaptation of the George Lucas’ first draft of a screenplay that would eventually evolve into Star Wars. You may have heard trivia bits about the original screenplay before, and how bizarrely different it was from the final movie. That being the case, the main reason to read the comic is to experience for yourself what this strange prototype is like and see it in some way visualized. And, if The Star Wars was nothing more than that—a novelty to be gawked at—there would be nothing wrong with that, and it would still be worth reading. But, it ends up being much more.

Pink Zone takes the popular “Young Adults in a Dystopian Future” genre and does it on a shoestring budget. It’s certainly not The Hunger Games, but it’s a good reminder of how a filmmaker can turn a little into a lot, with just a bit of creativity.

A little over a year ago, Fanboy Comics reviewed a free online comic called My So-Called Secret Identity. The story revolves around Cat, a young woman in a world of superheroes, who’s been blessed—or cursed—with phenomenal intelligence. With no super strength of super speed, she is relegated to the background as the powered people fight an unending war all around her—until Cat decides to take up a costume herself and pit her intellect against some of the most deadly and dangerous forces imaginable—both heroes and villains.

Doctor Solar is another one of those 1960s sci-fi/superhero comics that’s just the right blend of cheesy and awesome. If you read my reviews with any kind of regularity (Is there anyone who does?), you may have noticed that I love this kind of comic. In fact, I reviewed the previous volume a few months ago. It was good, but Volume 3 (collecting Issues #15-22) is even better.

Wart is a collection of short web comics inspired (somewhat) by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. That alone wouldn’t really distinguish it in any important sense. It seems everything is inspired by Lovecraft these days. Cthulhu, his most famous creation, has gone from ancient, unspeakable evil to a meme and a punchline. In so many cases, this “inspiration” that horror creators claim to get from Lovecraft turns out to be little more than an attempt to cash in on a familiar name. But, Wart is different. Wart gets the things right that so many others continue to get wrong.

Indestructible, from Darby Pop Publishing, explores the notion of superheroes as celebrities. It’s an idea that plenty of other comics (and other media) have touched on before, but perhaps none quite so in-depth as this one. In the world of superheroes, those who use their powers for fame and fortune, instead of altruistically helping the helpless, are generally portrayed as self-absorbed and egotistical, or perhaps as having “lost their way” after a prior career of successful civil service. But, Indestructible shows us a world where altruism and self-promotion aren’t mutually exclusive, and the people making money from their abilities can still be the good guys.

Meet the Patels is a funny and insightful film about the search for true love, but it’s not a romantic comedy. Rather, it’s a film about family and cultural traditions. It’s also a documentary, which makes the characters and situations that much more engaging, knowing that it’s a real story, about real people, not just a warped Hollywood depiction of clichés and stereotypes.

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