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.
SinEater #1 is curiously good.
The premise is very simple: Set in an era in which witch burning was a thing to do, a young woman, Cassandra, has the ability to suck demons out of people, but when she realizes she has a demon inside of herself too, she realizes she has to go on the run.
After Becky and Malcolm’s bizarre encounter with some kind of strange, alien lifeform in Issue #1 of UFOlogy, James Tynion IV and Noah J. Yuenkel take a step back and allow us to settle in with the characters and get to know them a bit which, when you have a story to tell, is a good thing to do. They’re playing the long game, creating a stronger foundation so the stakes really matter later on, and they’re doing it well.
Mythic #1’s Cass on science: “It adequately describes your observable world in a manner which brings you comfort. An opiate for the masses, if you will.” That pretty much sums up the creative mission statement of this comedy/mythology-based fantasy hybrid set in a contemporary real world in which “real” is questionable. So, science isn’t reality, but magic and myth are, and we follow a select group of investigative problem solvers called Mythics who fix magic that is broken. A fun premise with admirable execution.