While Digga D and me (Vincent) are getting pounded by life (but not in the good way) we still find a little time to squeeze out some comic review goodness for you all! Enjoy!
Abe Sapien #11
Story: Mike Mignola and Scott Allie
Art: Max Fiumara
Abe Sapien is a microscope on the life of our favorite fish-dude from Hellboy. The comic deals with isolation, displacement, and all the horror that you come to expect from the Hellboy Universe. This issue features a lot of themes that should seem familiar to long time fans of Mignola’s . In this issue we have the walking dead (trademarked?) killing off people in hopes to possibly raise an anti-christ. Of course, this means there is an all encompassing evil far beyond the immediate danger for Abe Sapien.
Y’know, sometimes I just want a Mignola story without all the end of the world stuff attached to it. I know that’s his thing… but what I loved about this comic is that it started out as a man alone finding out what his purpose in the world is. That’s the kind of writing that would excel this book. Unfortunately, Mignola sticks to his comfort level and Abe Sapien starts becoming a convoluted mess. I wouldn’t recommend this book as a starting point. It’s far too confusing for anyone to jump in on.
Beasts of Burden Hunters and Gatherers (One Shot)
Script: Evan Dorkin
Art: Jill Thompson
It’s hard not to compare this book with other anthropomorphiscized books, like WE3 or Pride of Baghdad… and that’s not a slight on this at all. While reading Beasts of Burden I found myself going “is this a kids book?… No… maybe… NO!!! NO!!” There are things going on here that are well executed that COULD be a kids story, but it’s not. This story deals with magic, animals that can do magic, and how gossip spreads among the animal kingdom. Maybe that sounds boring, but it’s incredibly engaging.
I’ve loved Dorkin’s work since growing up and reading Milk and Cheese in my high school days, so it’s cool to see stories like these come out of him. I’m not sure if Dorkin and Thompson are still together romantically, but as a team, this is a great outcome. I really like the pacing of the story and it felt a lot like Mouse Guard to me than WE3. Thompson’s art is well done and it adds to the story quite a bit. If you are looking for a different take on animals doing their thing… check this out. You’ll be pleasantly surprised… Hopefully.
Story: Kelly Sue DeConnick and Chris Sebula
Pencils: Ryan Sook and Drew Johnson
Ghost is another one of those stories I always saw in my local comic shop that I worked at, but always passed on. It’s a story of a female demon hunter that is neither demon nor human and can pass ghost-like through a crowd of demons while still exacting a ton of damage while doing it. This issue takes her right into the belly of the beast. Now, the demons may look human in all manor of dress, but once the veil is lifted these CEO’s, Congressmen and all around other high-powered douche-bags turn into ugly snarling demons. A nemesis appears and her name is Ms. October. I’m not sure where that’s going to go… but for this issue, it was cool.
I like this book. I don’t know anything about any of the other stories, but I’m liking the direction this one is taking. Ghost, while in my memory, was visually another male-book about a tough chick with more sexy than strength. I’m glad to see this co-written by a female because it gives this book so much more than what could be in your mind’s eye. Ghost does a fantastic job of staying on point and introduces things at a good pacing amount. I look forward to see where this story is going to go to next. Didn’t pick up the first issue? Don’t start here. Go back and find it chuckles!
Story: Steve Niles
Oh good… another vampire story. At least this blood sucking story takes place after Humans are gone. So humans are pretty much wiped out in pockets that are ruled by vampires and either the vampires are at war or the the humans are at war… I missed something and I couldn’t figure that out. Nosferatu Wars deals with two married vampires and some mistakes they may have done along the way.
What’s nice about this book is that Steve Niles does it right. If this is a book about Vampire domination, take the freaking humans out. We don’t need another vampire book centered around humans in a world full of vampires. This is like I am Legend, after the fact. I take a little issue with a book called Nosferatu Wars and the Vamps looking for Bela Legosi than Max Schrek. The art by Menton3 (I wonder if the 3 is on their birth certificate?) is really fitting for the book. It reminds me of many of Nile’s other books with the washed out browns and grays as the primary pallet. If you are addicted to Vampires, give this book a shot. If you are tired of vampires, this won’t change your mind. If you are looking for a good book… sure, you might like this. I would give this a B- as I like it, but I don’t really care if I read another issue further down the line.
Story: Duane Swierczynski
Pencils: Daniel Maia
After reading several issues of this comic, I’m still trying to figure out if I’m supposed to know who X is (from issues I haven’t read) or if they are keeping it a secret from the readers until a bigger reveal. What’s nice is, I don’t really care either way. I kind of like the intrigue. This issue, puts X against some Bayou Jack looking dude as the tussle atop an exploding building while X’s lady friend is being held by a psychotic villainess looking for X’s identity.
One thing that X has going for it, is the pacing is always where it needs to be. Battles take a toll on X and things are revealed in battle that could otherwise saved for more “talky” parts. Essentially, X is a great vigulantee style book. I would like to see a call back to other characters that were introduced several issues ago to start wrapping up some of this story. Each issue is incredibly enjoyable and I would recommend this book to fans of Batman or other anti-hero subtypes. This wouldn’t be a terrible issue if it were your first. You would be lost at parts, but I think you could navigate it well enough that you would still enjoy the finer parts of X. The art at times wavers in this issue, but it wasn’t enough to turn me away from the story.