Renderwrx Productions


Super Sunday Reviews 5/19/13

Posted on May 19, 2013 at 9:15 AM

Jesus is Never Coming Back, We All Understand That Right?

Anti #4

By Peter Calloway & Daniel Hillyard

12 Guage Comics

I've grown far tired reading stories about the second comings of Jesus or the anti-christ or these epic Heaven vs. Hell stories, but unfortunately Anti from 12 Guage Comics was a pretty decent 4 issue mini-series about just that. While I read the first two issues and was only mildly entertained, the story really picked up in the last two issues, culminating in a Saviour vs. Anti-Christ battle in issue 4.

Initially our main character, Zachary finds out he's special, but he doesn't know exactly why. So it takes 4 issues for him to find out that he was chosen by God to be the second coming of the saviour or something like that. Along the way, this 4 issue mini ripped Zachary through a bunch of life trials. From finding new special friends to making strange occultish enemies and battling dead people and demons.

While usually I'm in no hurry to read yet another comic about the battle between Heaven and Hell, this series turned out to be an unfortunately entertaining story. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Maybe that old Catholic guilt was acting up again, I don't know.

The art by Daniel Hillyard is interesting in it's sloppy, slopey, mopey way. The colors by Charlie Kirchoff really help bring out the sometimes boring art. 12 Guage Comics always has great covers, courtesy of Brian Stelfreeze, but many times the interior art is extraordinarily lackluster in comparison. While Daniel Hillyard's work is nothing special compared to Stelfreeze's work, once you get into the story the art's not too bad. It almost has a charm to it. His storytelling ability is good, even though his particular drawing style isnt quite to my tastes.

For an engaging story give this a read.

How Long Till Danzig or Rollins is Writing This Comic?

Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever & Ever #2

By Josh Bayer, Tom Neely and Mark Rudolph

I wasn't sure this comic would work as an ongoing series, but so far it's not doing a bad job at it. I imagine in time the charm will run out, but issue two is almost as good as the first two issues (there was the original "Henry & Glenn Forever' then there was "Henry & Glenn Forever and Ever"). This series has received much less attention since the original issue came out, but the charming haphazard quality and bleak humor are still in full effect.

While Tom Neely takes care of the main story, where Danzig's mom moves in with he and Henry. The final one by Josh Bayer is the most interesting, in my opinion. It's only problem is the sketchy ugly art. It's an interestingly ugly sketchy style of art, but at first glance it's a little indecipherable. Fortunately the story is pretty cool. Josh Bayer entreats us to little glimpses into the past, present and future of Henry and Glenn's relationship. From the time they met touring together with their first bands, The Misfits and Black Flag, to the year 2038 where they are possibly the only two humans left. There were a couple nice pin-ups included in the issue, but this one by Tom Scioli is my favorite.

I hope that issue three comes out soon enough, continuing the excellent cutesy vitriol we've enjoyed so far.

Someone Somewhere Finds This Interesting I Imagine...

Uber #1

By Kieron Gillen & Canaan White

Avatar Press

Here's yet another story about the Nazi's creating superhumans. It's a story so boring you'd hope at least the art would be interesting to look at. Unfortunately the art is so bad that it makes the story read even worse. I guess there were a couple panels where the art was acceptable, like where the English spy chick blows up a dude with a bazooka. But I can't find a single original interesting moment in the story, script or plot at all.

I know Kieron Gillen writes the new Iron Man comic for Marvel comics, but last I checked that was pretty terrible. I know I've unfortunately read other indy comics from him too and wasn't impressed, but still I'd really rather rank him below Jason Aaron on the most terrible big name modern writers scale, but I'm afraid I can't. I actually think Jason Aaron is a better writer than this Mr. Gillen. I don't know either man personally, and this isn't a judgement on their ability as human beings, but their comic book stories are so much shit. I wrote in an earlier review column regarding Jason Aaron's comics "...reading a Jason Aaron comic has to be worse than getting waterboarded.", I have to wonder how to refer to reading a Gillen book? Worse than having e-coli diarrea? Melodramatics aside, color me unimpressed Mr. Gillen.

The plot is this, it's May 1945 and Hitler is about to commit suicide, when he receives word that Nazi superhumans have been created. Within months this handful of superhumans pushes back the aggressive actions of the Allied forces. And that's it for the first issue. Sorry, but a first issue has to give me something more to chew on. This out and out sucked. Avoid this if you like reading comics.

L.Frank Baum is Probably Turning in His Grave 

The Steam Engines of Oz #1

by Sean Patrick O'Rielly, Erik Hendrix and Vannis Roumboulias

Arcana Comics

When a highly popularized creative property goes public domain the inevitable bad knock-offs always happen. It's unfortunate, but that's how it is. This comic falls into that category. Which in a way is a shame as Vannis Roumboulias does a fantastic job on the art. With help from colorist, Chandran Ponnusamy, Vannis turns out an amazingly enjoyable eye-candy book. Unfortunately it's in service to a dreadful story.

I will admit to once upon a time being a huge Wizard of Oz fan, having read all of the original L. Frank Baum books, plus a few of the ones that came after his death. So while I prefer to stay away from the awful knock-offs that are now being unloaded on us at a breakneck speed, I fell victim to the temptations of the good looking previews I saw of this book. So while the art is completely enjoyable the story just eviscerates the original Oz story continuity. All the charm that was held in that cannon of stories is nowhere to be found in this comic book.

What this series gives us instead is a story where the land of Oz has fallen victim to a series of tyrants and bad things. Yawn.... There's a Wicked Witch in the North now, whereas the Wicked Witches were only in the East and West. The Tin Man has become a tyrant ruling over the Emerald City in a new giant evil robot form. All of the Munchkins have disappeared, hunted down for some reason. And the Cowardly Lion has produced a bunch of agro-emo children and spawn that like to eat humans.

Maybe this story will turn around, but I have to remember these writers were responsible for "The Intrinsic", a book published by Arcana last year, which immediately went on my list of the worst comics of the year. So I think I will skip the rest of the series, but wish the artist well, as he has a bright future ahead of him somewhere beyond this terrible book.

WTF?! Where's the Rape?

Sword of Sorcery #8

By Christy Marx, Salvador LaRocca and others

DC Comics

I've not read an issue of this series since issues 1 & 2 because after reading those two issues I decided to stop abusing myself with terrible comic books. I once thought it funny to purposely read bad comics, but the sheer craptitude of reading bad comic after bad comic really began to ruin me as a person. So I stopped. Until I read online somewhere that this series was getting cancelled with issue 8. Despite my negative reactions to the first two issues of this series, I knew I had to give this final issue a read out of simple morbid curiousity.

Issue's 1 & 2 created a bit of a stir when they came out initially because they each had mentions or instances of rape in them which stood out from the story. Issue one some chick got raped, issue two refers haphazardly to another chick who got raped. The coldness and unflappable inclusion of these two cases of rape seemed chilling in the fact that both the writer and editor didn't think it was a big deal. How it got past the other editors is a bit surprising to me still. A comic aimed at young female readers and this comic just threw out rape like it was no big deal.That "Hey girls, yeah, you might get raped someday. Deal with it. You being a girl or a woman and us being horny strong men that's just what happens. Fact of life, sorry, that's how it is." kind of attitude permeated the stories for me. It was unnerving.

Putting that issue aside, the comics were just dreadfully boring and now obviously failed to attract those much hyped for female readers. The first two issues were so bad, I'm surprised that DC let this series get past issue 4. 8 issues just shows us how much money DC has because they can waste it on shit like this for 8 months straight before it begins to hurt their bottom line.

As to the story itself, somewhere between issues 2 and 8, Eclipso came on board as the big baddie and is threatening the whole Amethyst realm. Amethyst was a comic in the 80's which had a cult following amongst men and women readers. Publisher of DC Comics, Dan Didio in his infinite wisdow decided to bring it back under a new name in an attempt to attract new female readers last year. Obviously he never really tried to make this a success and what we got was this awful, convoluted, cheesy, tepid attempt at a fantasy story. So issue 8 has all the good guys, Princess Amethyst included, defeating evil Eclipso and entrapping him in his giant black diamond. Which will allow him to threaten the DC universe again sometime in the future. I don't know, but as a final issue I'd think you'd like to do something better or more original, something a little more grandiose. No?

This final issue summed up a pretty lackluster effort at creating new comics for DC. In my mind this series signifies where they are as a company. They're just a big corporation with the newfound in-ability to sense what the true creative spirit is. They just don't know how to make good comics anymore (some nerds might argue, they never had that ability to begin with), and it starts at the top with guys like Dan Didio, Jim Lee and Geoff Johns. I realize they are in service to the board of directors at Warner Bros., but if the heads of your company are putting out shit like this in manifold form, I expect another shake-up at DC comics not too far in the future. As a lifelong comics fan, these kind of attempts at making comics are what drives me away from the whole industry.

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Reply Tom Neely
8:03 PM on June 22, 2013 
Hey Paul - Thanks for the review. I just want to correct you that the story you describe in issue #2 with the "scratchy art" is actually Josh Bayer's story "Same Time Next Year." Mark Rudolph draws the middle story "How The Chores Thrill."
Reply Paul Renderwrx
12:33 PM on June 23, 2013 
Thanks Tom, it's now fixed! Good luck on future issues, you'll always have a fan here.

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