|Posted on December 16, 2012 at 7:45 AM|
The Best of the Week:
by Roman Dirge
I hadn't read a Roman Dirge comic since about 1993 and was surprised he was still making comics. I figured his time had passed. I guess I shoulda realized that if Jhonen Vasquez was still making comics, there was probably a good chance so too was Roman Dirge. Did they ever do a crossover or team up comic? Maybe? I don't know. Anyway I picked this comic up on a lark and you know what? This was good. Maybe because it was in full color it seemed more modern than my ideas of his 90's work? Whatever the case I enjoyed this very much.
Star character Lenore takes her friends on a trip through Heck, the place before Hell. Not as bad as Hell, but still dangerous. Using a friends supernaturally powered pitchfork they travel to the room of portals on an adventure to show Lenore's new pet bug one last day of fun before it dies. If you've not read a Roman Dirge comic before the humor is extremely dark. Yet it appeals to that Beavis and Butthead/Jackass impulse in your brain, except when you see all the words you realize this might be just a half step above that level in our half-evolved primate brains. So you feel a little bit better about yourself, that you're not exactly a brainless semi-intelligent twat, but you understand why those kind of people are the way they are and you know what? It's ok. It's ok to let your brain dwell on silly social retarding yet sneakily entertaining material like a Roman Dirge comic. I was actually in a really bad mood when I read this comic and it cheered me up. Psycho analyze that comment after you're read this comic. Recommended!
The Worst of the Week:
TRANSFORMERS SPOTLIGHT: ORION PAX
The new, but temporary just for this story design on early Orion Pax/Optimus Prime is very Ironhide-esque. Not liking it. First page shows Cybertron once had blue skies? Seems odd, I don't know my science behind the ability of a metal planet holding atmosphere and it being a blue color, guess it's possible. Editors note says this takes place before Transformers: Autocracy which is the origin of the Autobots and Decepticons and their war, yet this story immediately begins by showing Autobot headquarters and Orion Pax having just changed into this new form. Am I wrong or is the continuity for this all out of whack? Plus there's an autobot called Kaput and he's dour! Oh geezus...
Then Rung shows up, another awfully named bot. Alpha Trion makes an appearance wearing cloth as to better resemble a desert nomad? The story does involve a journey through Cybertron's version of a desert so I guess as long as one of the bots are wearing the desert nomad gear, it's all good. But where does one get the materials to make cloth on a metallic planet? Then to top it all off, Alpha Trion transforms into the Batmobile, the Christian Bale version.
The artist on this kinda sucks. I realize it's hard to draw robots over and over and IDW's star Transformer artists are already all on assignment, but this comic is a bit rough to look at. So Bludgeon is the big bad and he wants Alpha Trion as he tries to trick the Autobots in a prisoner swap, but it doesn't work out as everybody gets away. Awful story, just a waste of time. Then the story ends without ending. It's clearly a to be continued type of story, but nowhere in the credits does it say to be continued, nor at the end does it say this. And throughout the whole story Orion Pax complains about his new form not having the infamous face plate, yet at the end after crash landing on a rocket courtesy of Bludgeon, Orion Pax grabs a piece of junk metal and somehow sticks this to his face as a stand in to his original face plate. Check it below.
Oh god there was so much wrong with this story. Please just pass on this one.
The Rest of the Bunch:
From Image Comics
I like that Image takes chances on a lot of projects. It means someday maybe I will have a chance to get something published at Image. Because as it is I've been rejected 14 times by Image since 2004. Sucks. But knowing that this project got the green light, it's given me confidence that there may just yet come a day that I will be given a chance by the peeps at Image. Anyway this comic, CHANGE #1, is a lot of shit thrown at the wall kind of project. It turns out that this is yet another Lovecraft/Cthulu apocalyptic future story. At first I wasn't sure, as the name drops aren't a tell tale sign, since anyone and everyone drops a Lovecraft name or phrase to let us know how hip they are. Another Lovecraft/Cthulu tale is fine, well maybe not, since there's been way too many of those for about 5 years now. So actually I'm kinda tired of them, I'm sure you are too. You know it's a tired concept when there's Cthulu meme's on facebook everyday.
Reading this comic I became confused pretty quickly, which isn't necessarily a bad sign, but after reading these 22 pages I can't evn remember what the general plot was. That kind of confusion is bad, especially if you want me to pick up the next issue. Now Aquaman #14 which I read a couple weeks ago was worse than this, but this was not a good comic by my standards. And I have a feeling that this comic will end up being one of those Image comics you see all the time in the quarter bins at your local comic shop.
Now all that said, it doesn't mean the creators won't be heard from again. I'm not sure who the artist is as the credits weren't obvious as to who did what, but whoever the artist is, they're not bad. They're heavily influenced by Brandon Graham and maybe Paul Pope, so those aren't bad guys to be influenced by. But the story is a bit of a mess. Maybe it will tighten up by next issue or the one after that, but I will have a hard time picking up the next issue because of the mess the first issue was.
ARCHER & ARMSTRONG #5
From Valiant Comics
Fred Van Lente is the writer here and he's done some good stuff before, but this was heavy in the meh territory of things. I've not read any of the previous issues of this series, nor had I read any of the original Archer & Armstrong comics from Valiants original publishing days. So I came into this concept clean and with no prejudices. But after reading this I woulda prefered I had picked up some other comic. Maybe even a different Valiant comic.
So according to this issue Archer & Armstrong are buddies on the run looking for the next Geomancer, who is some sort of earth sorcerer. I'm not sure why this is important, but this is what's going on. Now Armstrong's brother, Gilgamesh who was the sworn protector of the line of the Geomancer's, thinks Archer is the guy who killed the previous Geomancer and is out for some revenge. If Gilgamesh would stick to the facts as presented by Armstrong and Archer in this issue, facts which he seemingly already investigated and knows to be true, he would lay down his sword and not wanna kill this Archer kid. But this is a comic book and there has to be some sort of action and melodrama, therefore we have this issue's story. It's not at all badly written from a technical standpoint, but as worthwile reading it's as I said already, very meh.
The art while strong standard modern day comic stuff does nothing for me personally. I guess Valiant needed material to publish and while as a whole this might end up being an entertaining story, but issue 5 as a single piece kinda sucked. Bleh.
LEGION LOST #15
By DC Comics
Why do I torture myself with bad comics? This is a bad comic. I do it for you my handful of readers! I put myself through torture to make sure you pass up these bad comics and in the end make this a stronger industry. Seriously. Maybe. I mean this is a good looking comic with artist Andres Guinaldo. The coloring is nicely done too, but the story by Tom DeFalco is awful. He's writing a story for kids in a market that is supported by adults. Yes, these adults are largely still children wrapped in the bodies of men, but they have been learned on comics a little more, hmmm I guess I will say, advanced, than comics like this. Is there a better term? New Avengers & Grant Morrison comics are a little more "advanced" right? That a good enough example to explain what I am trying to say?
Legion Lost is a comic much like the Firestorm comic which DC is publishing (which I reviewed a couple weeks ago). Comics which might have worked about 15-20 years ago when the majority of the comics buying audience were still in high school. Now if this comic was intended for kids, then they need to say so, but even though this stories IQ is about that of an average 10 year old, the language and situations are not your standard kid fare. (Why must every villian talk in the same villian-y way? I see it in every fucking comic.)
Now I loved the Legion of Superheroes when I was a pre-teen, even when Keith Giffen did the 5 year later storyline I was still heavily into the comic and characters. But ever since Dan Jurgens got ahold of them in Zero Hour they've been tainted. In Legion Lost #15 we are slammed into the middle of some vague fight between the Legion, some bad guys and some even more badder bad guys. They're trying to save some planet from one of the bad guys while saving their asses from the other bad guys. I have not read any of the past 14 issues, so I have no background on this issues story and this issue did me no favors. Wildfire blows up and dies in this issue, it's not a Legion story if Wildfire doesn't blow up and die. Seriously every new Legion writer has their plan on how to blow up and kill Wildfire. He is literally a helium balloon that you have to keep away from fire or it will explode. So boring.
Now it seems the next issue of this will be the last and I can understand why after reading this issue. What was DC thinking letting Tom DeFalco near one of their properties. This guy made his money by putting out hundreds of mediocre comics in an age where mediocre comics were more widely accepted because the industry wasn't rapidly shrinking. In this day and age you can not give Tom DeFalco a property and expect it to do well for you. He's like that backup quarterback that has been around for years. You know who he is, the home town loves him, but if he ever sees action he shits all over the place.
From Image Comics
This has got to be in the running for the most boring title of the year. Which sucks considering that the story is pretty good. Let's see if I got the plot right... Our Amerikan government produced a bunch of clones of the same dude and have used some for nefarious reasons and others just thrown out into the wild. Through Facebook a bunch of these clones have teamed up to get back at the government. But the Attorney General with the help of one of the bad guy clones wants to eliminate these so far good guy clones. I didn't read issue one so that's about all I know about the story so far. It reads far better than how I just described the plot. But now that I just described the plot it seems kinda stupid. Hmp, anyway it was still a decent book by my standards.
The art was by Jose Juan Ryp who is someone I think is either one of the worst artists out there getting consistent work or a really interesting artist. I mean I love the line textures he does. The backgrounds are usually superb, but the anatomy gets really wonky at times. As do the character gestures and facial expressions. Nonetheless Ryp is a decent artist and tells the story in an interesting, but at times ugly way. Which is still better than last weeks Aquaman #14.