|Ed’s Early Evaluations
Welcome back friends and family of Fantasium! I hope you’ve been enjoying the reviews and maybe I’ve convinced you to take a dip in the deep end with some titles that seem a little odd. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about reading comfort books to escape my troubles for a few minutes, but I think it’s important to stretch my brain a bit and read something challenging. Whether the art style is uncomfortable, or the subject matter is a little too realistic, I like having that balance in my reading. This week I encourage you to step outside your comic comfort zone and try something troublesome, read something rowdy, buy something bothersome, and peruse something pleasant as well, after all this hobby is supposed to be fun!
“Black Mask” DC: I really enjoyed this One-Shot, it’s a cool look into the childhood of Blackmask and then a short current events story that ties into DC’s “Year of the Villain” don’t worry though, it ties in very loosely and the chance of getting lost is slim to none. It’s got good pacing, though the art doesn’t do much for me. Overall I’d say 7 maybe even an 8 but I just don’t like the penciling, inking and colors are solid though. 6 creepy masks out of 10
“Ghost Spider” Marvel: Is a fun read if a little on the bland side, though that’s to be expected since she spends most of the issue enrolling in college. I really think issue two is when the series will take off, this is very much a set up issue. Enjoyable art, a little rough in the pencils but I suspect that adds to the energetic nature of the few action panels in this issue. I did however learn some cool stuff about Ghost spider, like her suit is made of spiders?! That’s wild! And miyazawa perfectly captures how ballet can be adapted to combat! Although I enjoyed reading it I think I’m trade waiting on Ghost Spider, 6 college credits out of 10
“Pretty Violet” Image: If you like “I Hate Fairy Land” you’ll probably like this, it’s a similar cartoon art style mixed with gross out mutilations and adult language. Main difference is it’s riffing on modern comic superheroes rather than fantasy tropes. It seems pretty good, it’s just not my cup of tea. Even so it seems a bit slow, a bit plodding though it sets up a pretty compelling question about the protagonist Gamma Rae. I won’t be picking up the second issue. 5 hyper violent deaths out of 10
“Strayed” Dark Horse: It’s got an interesting premise, an astral projecting cat is used to find habitable planets for colonization. It’s subdued and moody, somewhat melancholy, the art deftly captures otherworldly alienness. Almost the entirety of the story takes place within a space station or maybe a spaceship, which acts to highlight the cat’s ability to astral project since the only time we see anything outside of the structure is through Lou’s projecting. It’s a great premise, it sets up some interesting space gods, but it gets a bit heavy handed with its colonial politics and its portrayal of a sadistic military. It’s interesting if a bit bland. I’ll probably check out the next issue, 6 space cats out of 10
“Transformers ‘84” IDW: Takes place before the Ark leaves Cybertron for Earth. The art is bombastic, and exciting, perfectly capturing the 80’s aesthetic that spawned the Transformers initially. Full disclosure, I’m a very casual fan of the original cartoon, and the movies. I haven’t been reading the comics so maybe that’s where my confusion comes from, but it didn’t seem to read smoothly. I’m not sure what was going on when the story switched to Earth in the Viking age, or what subterfuge Optimus was engaged with. It seemed like almost every other panel they name dropped a different Transformer, like they were trying to pack as many characters into the issue as possible. I’m not asking for the next great literary epic from Transformers, after all it’s giant fighting robots, but I’d like am plot I can follow. I won’t be following this book moving forward. 3 robots in disguise out of 10