It has been a good long while since I have been able to slow down a bit, and do some writing about comics. I have been ridiculously busy over the past 6 months with a lot of changes in my life taking place that I had little control over. Mostly, my life has been a jet stream of change with new management at work, new duties, new friends, and new personal goals. I had to get away for a bit to let life settle down, and now I am back, ready to start reviewing comics again.
At one point, my life became so hectic that I had to even drop my pull and hold list. I now have one again, I have made random trips to my local comic shop here and there, but I always left with only one or two issues, mostly variants (because that's how I roll). However, I am back and ready to start reviewing again so let me breakdown some of the comics I am currently enjoying.
1. SagaWriter:Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Fiona Staples
Saga was a huge surprise to me. I'd heard many people talking about this comic, and once I started reading the story, Saga put me on a roller coaster of emotion I have not felt from a comic since The Killing Joke. I have heard the story is comparable to Star Wars, and while I don't exactly agree with that opinion, I can definitely see the comparisons.
The art work in Saga is some of the best out there, and the atmosphere of each scene is masterfully created to pull the reader into a world rife with war, mercenaries, and odd spaceships that take the shape of odd looking trees.
This comic is also geared towards a much more mature audience, with the first lines of the comic being "Am I shitting" while Alana gives birth to her and Marco's baby. Being that Marco and Alana are supposed to be on different sides of the war, fate brought them together into an amazing story which continues to get better with every passing issue.
2. Samurai Jack: The Threads of TimeWriter: Jim Zub
Artist: Andy Suriano
Before I had to stop and work on some life stuff, I had heard a new Samurai Jack comic was coming out. First of all, I am a huge Jack fan for two reasons. 1. Samurais (duh) and 2. The artwork is so unique that it almost tells the story itself. The current series revolves around the same premise as the Cartoon Network series, Aku takes over the world and the only man who can stop him was forced into the future where Aku reigns supreme. Jack's journey is to get back to his own time to put an end once and for all to Aku.
During Jack's adventures in the future, he visits a sage who tells him about threads that were once part of a magical rope created by the gods that controlled time. Aku stole the powers of this rope to bend time to his will, and once he was completed, Aku shredded the rope. The threads are not destroyed easily and Jack's journey consists of finding all of the threads of the rope to return home.
One thing I have to mentioned is that this is a pretty cheesy comic, but anyone who is a fan of Samurai Jack will notice the comic is written in the exact same way as the cartoon. Jack comes up against a foe that kicks his ass, he figures out their trick, and POW Jack wins. Move along, next issue comes next month. Rinse and repeat and this is what this comic is about so far. However, there are some really funny moments that retain the same feel as the original cartoon series aside from just the name.
The main issue I have with the comic is every issue is essentially one episode of a cartoon series. There is no suspense, there are no drawn out fights with superior foes, and there is really no depth to the story. However, the art work and the fact it is another piece of the Samurai Jack universe keeps me intrigued.
3. Fearless DefendersWriter: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Will Sliney/Phil Jimenez/Stephanie Hans
I am a sucker for amazing covers, and Fearless Defenders has some of the most creative covers of any series currently in circulation. Take a peep:
Fearless Defenders supports a cast of strong female warriors battling against a crazed grandmother who wants to raise an army of undead Valkyries. Every now and then, the fighting pauses to look into the personal lives of each heroine with some back stories into their romances, flings, personal demons, and how each event impacts them personally.
I like the approach of bringing depth to characters through their personal and sexual struggles/successes, but there are times where the feminist undertones drown out the point of the comic. Thankfully, these soap box moments do not last long, and afterwards the Defenders go about doing what they do best: kicking ass and looking good during the process.