If you read my review of Ultramega #1, you’ll see my unabashed enthusiasm. I love a great kaiju story… Heck, I love a terrible kaiju story, but make no mistake Ultramega falls in the former category. It is stellar. The first issue introduced us to a world in which people turn into kaiju, and three humans were given the power to turn into protectors and fight them off. You saw how weary these heroes were, how depressed they were. The battles were insanely cool, and the ending was a shock!
Quick recap so far: We’re twenty years into the future with Zoë having all sorts of old troubles mixed in with some new ones. While the faces around her are mostly different, the jobs and the scrimmages seem familiar, but things are always different when you’re running with your young-adult daughter who’s got every bit of your stubbornness and her father’s dreaminess.
James Stokoe’s Orphan and the Five Beasts is continuing to be as deliciously weird as I was hoping it would be! Taking its inspirations from manga and anime like Berzerker and Fist of the North Star and Hong Kong kung-fu cinema, Stokoe has fashioned a tale full of Chinese mythological world building and epically daffy anime-style battles. It’s perfectly magical and freaking badass.
“I am a Ranger Scout… and I believe in the Seven Laws.
From nuclear fire to radioactive waste, I will not succumb to the Badlands… for I am d-descended from the Prophet…. and his w-words shall not be denied.”
“Commander— hazard detected!
“Hear my prayer. And let me fear not the wilderness of death… now and forevermore, I am a Ranger Scout,,,”
“Seek shelter immediately!!”
This graphic novel plays just like a Peanuts television special. It doesn’t just have the Peanuts style, though that’s certainly part of it. It also has the familiar rhythm of a Peanuts special—a rhythm I can’t really explain, but if you’ve seen a Peanuts special or two and read this graphic novel, you’ll see what I mean.
In 1901, Jules Verne wrote a novel called The Lighthouse at the End of the World about a secluded lighthouse and its keepers in the middle of nowhere, and the pirates who attack it. Now, David Hine and Brian Haberlin have adapted that novel into a sci-fi comic that includes spaceships, wormholes, androids… and, of course, pirates. I haven’t read the novel, so I don’t know how faithful the comic is to the source material, but it does manage to be interesting enough in its own right.
I wasn’t sure if I would have anything new to say after reading another issue of Home Sick Pilots, but let me tell you, folks, each issue includes so much story that there’s always far too much to say. Just when I thought this series would be finding its way to a conclusion… it makes a hard left turn. The absolutely unexpected occurs.