Picking up at the beginning of a new story arc and not having read the original arc can prove to be as annoying as not being able to change out potatoes for fruit on the brunch menu at the place where you are typing your review, so you are left with $14 Eggs Benedict with no sides. Fortunately, Hexed #9 is compelling enough to draw you in, and the Benedict was excellent.
*Please note that this article is an opinion-editorial.
Over the last few weeks, there has been a lot of hullabaloo from fans of Warner Bros./DC Comics about the TV universe being a separate entity from the film universe. I’m going to be clear about this: I haven’t seen Arrow, The Flash, Constantine, or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, and I’ve only see two episodes of Gotham, which I really liked. One would think that would put me at a disadvantage talking about them - not so. I’m not emotionally connected to any of this. I look at everything here as a possibility, not as realities that I’m personally experiencing. I only know that fans really like most of these shows. Liking these shows means they really like the actors playing the characters.
I don’t want to go off the hook and call Matt Fraction’s new book from Image Comics, ODY-C, triumphant, because it’s only one issue into its run. Who knows where the story will lead, but I will say it has me hooked and more excited to experience the series than most other books out there right now. I say “experience,” simply because that’s the only way to get something out of a book like this. It isn’t meant to be read like your typical, run-of-the-mill comic.
Being a reviewer, I don’t always get to jump in at the first issue of a comic book run, and that is my situation here. I’m reading the fourth issue of a four-issue run on Judge Dredd: Anderson, Psi-Division by writer Matt Smith and artist Carl Critchlow. And yet, that shouldn’t matter. Instead of an exciting comic book conclusion, what I’m treated to is half a comic of an antagonist doling out exposition to the protagonist. It’s the old cheat: the bad guy talks so long that it gives the good guy an opportunity to get out of the situation. The good guy never is pushed to do something out of their limits or think on their feet, because the bad guy doesn’t amplify the tension. The good guy, in this case, is Judge Anderson, Judge Dredd’s sometimes psychic partner. Though, as the description of the book states, this is early in her career working in Mega-City One.
My last experience with Judge Dredd was the Karl Urban film. Ugh, again, I thought, another rebooted film franchise. Thankfully, that opinion changed when I saw it on DVD, and I was immediately bummed that I didn’t see Dredd in the movie theatre, because it was awesome. In the 33 pages of the book that is Judge Dredd #26, I can see that the comic has the same level of awesome going for it, but things have changed for Dredd.
I should be reading a comic right now or going to bed, but I just saw the new film from writer/directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. The same team that brought you This is the End, Pineapple Express, and Superbad. (Though not officially one of their films, Neighbors was extremely funny.) All hilarious movies. Unless you’re deaf to the world around you, you’ve heard of their newest outing, The Interview, a studio comedy that has accidentally found itself becoming a beacon for the Second Amendment, a cultural phenomenon, rising to the ranks of folk hero cult status, which it most likely wouldn’t have received otherwise. But, as we sat in the local, indie theatre (Yo, Cinefamily!), the energy in the room was palpable, curiosity was high, and, once the film started, no one stopped laughing. So, maybe it would have reached some of those levels. This was probably my favorite comedy experience in a theatre since watching Young Frankenstein in a room full of fans. Everybody knew what they wanted, and they got it. Everyone in that theatre simply connected as a community and found synchronicity.
I picked up Big Trouble in Little China #1 a while back and wasn’t sold. I’m a huge fan of the film. I watched it every day over the course of a summer one year in my youth, but with the first issue from BOOM! Studios, they lost me in the first five pages.
I was curious to come back to it at Issue #7, and, I have to say, it’s managed to pull a complete 180. We find Jack and Wang searching for Egg, who has been kidnapped by exactly the kind of creature-being you want to see in a Big Trouble in Little China story – the Seven-Headed Widow! Jack’s rat-a-tat speech rhythms are put to outstanding use. He’s still a stumbling buffoon whose two main personality attributes are charisma and bravery, and little else.
Abigail is new to town. Her only friend is her invisible dog Claude. As in most cases, and I was on the receiving end of this often while growing up, new kids aren’t treated very well by other kids. Also, Abigail’s dad has lost the job he just got but claims to be a great electrician, so his attention is suddenly focused on finding employment. With Abigail’s birthday coming soon, things aren’t looking up for her. Until she meets a Yeti at the local park.
Josie Schuller is a lady and she’s a killer, so the title tells us and so it is. This new book from Dark Horse Comics falls in line with their brand of comics, offbeat and edgy. Written by Joelle Jones and Jamie S. Rich, who previously worked together on Oni Press’ 12 Reasons Why I Love Her, You Have Killed Me, and Spell Checkers, the offbeat nature of Lady Killer makes for a fun read.
The Woods is created and written by James Tynion IV. I know him from his excellent work on Batman and Batman Eternal with Scott Snyder, both phenomenally well-told series. He has his creator-owned title, The House in the Wall, and from the looks of it, he also has a Wonder Woman title coming out soon. I have been looking for a good time to jump into The Woods to see what tales Tynion spins on his own, and Issue #9 promised to be a good time to jump into the mix. So, I did.