Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Steven's Reviews: Uncanny Avengers, Fanboys vs Zombies, Evil Ernie plus More!

Archer & Armstrong #3
We open with a quick recap of who the Sisters of Perpetual Darkness are as they welcome a new recruit into their ranks.  There order is descended from Lilith the first woman who was made as Adam was and not from his rib.  Clayton and Pere really manage to make these women creepy, beautiful and deadly looking all at the same moment so wow and thanks for that.
            I still appreciate and enjoy those movement boxes letting us know which talent he is using at any given moment. 
            Archers sense of honor versus Armstrong’s self preservation skills and you’ve got the original odd couple.
            Well once they defeat the Sisters of Perpetual Darkness in the area they are in the discover the Vatican possesses every tome allegedly burned during the inquisition.  What I wouldn’t do to be in that room, just think of the knowledge.  Oh yes and there is a book in that room on the Vine mmhmm nice tie in to X-O Manowar.
            I still can’t get over Fred’s skill and the dialogue he creates for these characters I mean when Armstrong is rhyming away it’s just so incredibly amusing and it so infuriates Archer you just can’t help but smile. 
            Then we learn who that initiate is.  Mary-Mariah whom we last saw in issue one who grew up with Obediah, or Obie, and is his young love.  Well his parents have poisoned her view of him already as they have all the other children’s as well.  So the two fight and it’s fun but heartbreaking as she won’t believe Obie but is so under their parents control you feel saddened.  The whole deal with those two is intense and makes you really think cerebrally about things.
            Though that Mary shoots Sister Tommy isn’t a fun fact.  Here’s hoping that Tommy survives this because I want to see her pop up every now and then for many years to come.
            Green Dragon Llamas, the Fourth Reich and a working machine that caused the problems to begin with, welcome to the cliffhanger people.
            This is probably my favorite re-launch it’s just that incredibly well done and executed.  The art is phenomenal and overall I feel as if this is the most successful at making this as modern a retelling as human possible. 
Evil Ernie #1
Dynamite Entertainment 2012
Written by Jesse Blaze Snider
Art by Jason Craig
Coloured by Marcio Menyz & Adriano Augustino
            There is something about this origin story that heavily reminds me of Rob Zombies Halloween movie.  Not sure if that is a good thing or bad thing, if it is just the feel that is there than okay if he took too much direction from it then I’m disappointed and I can’t decide which it is.
            So Ernie’s life has been one messed up event after another starting on the day he was being born till we meet up with him as a teenager.  Granted I like the role the smiley face button plays because it’s supposed to but I also am very appreciative that it isn’t focused upon but mentioned only in passing here and there.  Scripting wise, plot advancement, characterization, pacing and information delivery Jesse has all that down to a tee. 
            Ernest or Ernie is thirteen when he goes to see his step-dad in prison.  As the two are talking Ernie tries to kill the man, in the prison.  Turns out he’d killed six hundred and sixty five people up until his father who was supposed to be the six hundred and sixty sixth.  Yeppers the number of the devil if I’m not mistaken.  See this is where we learn Ernie listened to the voice in the button but of course they attribute everything to paranoid schizophrenia which it isn’t but hey that’s easier to believe right.
            So Ernie becomes the youngest person ever to be put to death using the death penalty.  I think by this time he’s eighteen years old, it should be five years later.  Dear old step-dad is in the audience and everything goes freaky.  I mean lights in the sky weirdness surrounds everyone and then Ernie comes back but he’s still dead.  What ends up being Ernie is the classic image we’ve all come to know where he’s missing half his body and he looks well like a bad acid drip visual.
            Ah here is the bitter sweet stuff as he believes he is only killing bad people who seriously deserve it and the final one is his step dad whom he now gets to finally kill.  And we leave it there.
            This really does feel like a Rob Zombie film and has many characteristics of Halloween.  I’m not sure if this was intentional but on some levels it really worked mainly because you get to see Ernie’s life up until he was made Evil Ernie.  The artwork is pretty spot on for this genre as well.  I’m also a tad surprised that this is a Dynamite offering and not from say Avatar or Boundless.  That Dynamite is willing to take a chance on this property has earned them even more of my respect.
Fanboys VS. Zombies #7
Boom-Studios 2012
Sam Humphries –Writer
Jerry Gaylord & Bryan Turner –Art
Mirka Andolfo, Felipe Sobreiro & Gabriel Cassata –Colours
            I hope that Missy doesn’t get eaten, not after she so successfully noticed and charted that the zombies were indeed behaving like birds.  And on some sick level it totally reminds me of Jurassic Park and I have to appreciate that even more.
            Gunther’s Comic-Con is fandom at it’s most extreme and psychotic.  Though again in many ways this is totally funny and fun.  His behavior and the behavior of his special guest is beyond entertaining. 
            The Zombies surrounding Missy were the more surprising element of this issue as they recognized her and wanted their pictures taken with her.  Now if this is some kind of residual effect or if the virus is running its course I have no clue but it does seem completely odd and out of place to see them talking coherently.
            Do not push a woman already on the brink people I mean did anyone really doubt that Gunther wasn’t going to die?  I mean it was really hard core and her reaction to doing this was running away and out on her friends is well I want to say understandable but she’s been indiscriminately killing zombies for weeks now.  So one live person who is totally and completely psychotic and deranged shouldn’t have been so bothersome a thing but that’s just me I suppose.
            Yeah as if taking the man who wrote the zombie survival guide comic books and graphic novels isn’t someone you are going to leave behind.  Plus the more the merrier right.  It’s too bad Gunther was so obsessed with him and Missy that he couldn’t see the bigger picture but he did get what was coming to him.
            The dialogue throughout this issue was amazing!  Laughs galore some words were just laugh out loud moments because it was just that odd seeing them in print again.  Characterization was absolutely delightful and what would or should have appeared to be some sort of salvation instead turned deadly and dangerous which from a readers standpoint was phenomenal. 
            I couldn’t be having any more fun reading this series than I am.  These guys and gals at Boom really have their hands on the pulse of what’s new, fresh and fun.
G.I. Joe #18
IDW Publishing 2011
Chuck Dixon –Writer
Will Rosado –Artist
Romulo Fajardo Jr. –Colourist
            Target Snake Eyes part one.
            The newest arc to sweep all three titles in the Joe Universe is here. After what transpired with the new Cobra Commander stepping up Snake Eyes went with Storm Shadow and rejoin the Arashikage.  At first he teammates thought him dead once Scarlett realized the truth however she is now gunning for him as public enemy number one.
            She is so far in the wrong on this one it isn’t even funny and for some odd reason the fact that she has a hard on to kill Snake Eyes is causing me to lose some respect for her.  Mainframe being the one to support Snake and stick up for him, even though he is in love with Scarlett, is as equally surprising.
            Duke is and always will be the voice of reason too bad he isn’t used more and doesn’t assert himself as being in control of the Joes. 
            Well I love the disarray that we see in Cobra at the moment.  I mean Serpentor promised the Commander positive results and so far has delivered anything but much to everyone’s chagrin, oh yes and a heavy loss of life.  The Baroness is one of my favorite characters and this issue reaffirms just why.  Have a problem turn to her she’ll give you the smart solution all you have to do is realize that and take it.  They nuked one country so if they want another one they need to buy it.
            So wow I really thought the Soft Master was dead I must have missed where he was kidnapped an not killed, shame on me I know.  So that one student is listening in on the Master’s and Serpentor’s talk is frakkin wonderful!  It would only be better if somehow Mains was able to listen in as well.
            I love where they are taking this franchise.  The espionage, the warfare, the politics, love, loss and everything and anything else you can possibly imagine is all here in just the right proportions.  The Joe universe has never been this real and this accessible before.  Chuck is simply an amazing talent and I’m in awe of his work here on this franchise.
Transfusion #1
IDW Publishing 2012
Written by Steve Niles
Art by Menton 3
            In the future, robots will run on human blood
                        And they will destroy the Earth
                                    Drinking deep the end of life.
            Okay the artwork is hauntingly beautiful and just eerily gorgeous in ways that should be disturbing but aren’t.  Menton 3 manages to really create this world that could almost be told without words and be just as effective. 
            This was fascinating I mean humans running around looking for food come across a small cornfield.  This of course is a set up and the robots have laid a trap for the humans looking for food.  They all die but one and while yes William led them into a trap it wasn’t the one he intended which was all the better.
            This is more an illustrated story that at times is graphic, startling, gross and disturbing all while being riveting and mesmerizing.  You start and you find you can’t finish it because you don’t want this to end.  Though some part of you does because of the violence involved.
            Technology turns on humans we’ve seen it before, I, Robot for example but somehow Steve manages to make it one of your worst nightmares come to life. 
            It took me a minute to realize that William narrated this story and his background from childhood on up is chilling and so very similar to anyone else of the same age, range.  Once the robots were introduced it took five years for them to overthrow their human makers and dominate the world.  Though they took much life too soon and didn’t say farm them so that they would have a steady amount of blood to grease their parts.  Guess artificial intelligence is just as flawed as organic intelligence who knew.
            The ending blew me away.  You’ll flip when you see it.
            This story is hauntingly beautiful and highly recommended.
Uncanny Avengers #1
Marvel Comics 2012
Rick Remender –Writer
John Cassady –Artist
Laura Martin –Colour Art
            I’ll be perfectly honest I didn’t touch an issue of Avengers VS. X-Men in any way shape or form.  I had no interest in all the hooplah and I thought it one big gimmick.  That is honest truth, I still feel it’s a gimmick something to say hey look that caused this so come see what’s new with us.  I wasn’t even going to look through this but curiosity got the better of me.  One of the perks of working in a comic shoppe you can say.
            I became a fan of Rick’s work with Fear Agent so I knew the man could write, he’s been doing it non-stop for what feels like forever now.  What I wasn’t expecting was for him to be able to get me past the Marvel Now gimmick and care about the characters forming this team.  Another honest fact most Marvel books I love to read get cancelled quickly because they don’t feature characters Marvel promotes like they do these, so I was somewhat determined not to like this.  Just goes to show how good at what he does Rick is.
            Wow okay so brains and brain transfers seem to be the order of the day here.  Kind of zombie-ish, gross and utterly fascinating to say the least at best brain surgery and amplification yeah okay wow.  I guess we had to have some of the soap opera stuff and see Wolverine remember and talk at the funeral but it was a tad too sappy for me.  On the other hand seeing Alex visit Scott was incredibly well done.
            Ah so now we understand why Cap and Thor chose Alex to lead this team.  To promote unity between the two teams and to the general populace at large saying that they are all friends now and should be trusted.  I do kind of like Cap admitting they haven’t done enough to help them on the rights front and that was a mistake.  So it is a tad contrived, the reason for Alex to lead, but through happenstance it proves the three of them at least work well together.
            I’m not sure Rogue has a lot of room to take a stand against the Scarlett Witch.  Although again this confrontation between them and then with the four antagonists that came for them it all fell into place beautifully.  It has this natural flow to it and a believability that shouldn’t be there since it does feel overly orchestrated. 
            By tying in one of Cap’s all time foe’s with a tie to the mutant community as they did, okay last page is the spoiler page but you won’t read it here, foreshadowed from the opening mind you was pretty effin excellent!  I still feel that making all the Marvel Universe Avengers and X-Men centric is a mistake but I’ll keep giving this a look see till I can’t takes it no more.
            Of course the art here helps a lot as well.  John is incredibly talented and pairing this team together was simply brilliant.  This is actually a successful book that could fit into Marvel continuity at given point in time.

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