3.14.12 Reviews (Part 3)
Saga #1 (Image): Well, you can believe all the hype. The new, err, saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples is really that good. They do more world-building in the first 6 pages or so than most books do in their entire first story arc. It mines the comics format for all it’s worth, using the primary, secondary, and tertiary layers of delivery into your brain. There’s what you see, what you read, and a third layer that combines the two and is sometimes enumerated by the background text voice-over. It’s full of all kinds of relevant social allegory about our own cultural customs, pushing a futuristic Shakespearean vibe about interstellar war, with our two protagonist lovers caught right in the middle, and on the run, while examining how the choices we make largely determine the merit of our life. If you’re one of those people who comes in late to a critically acclaimed series years too late when they’re already on the 5th arc or issue 67 or whatever, now’s your chance to get in on the ground floor of the next big thing. BKV is back. It’s like 40+ pages for $3. This is an easy Grade A+.
Glory #24 (Image): If you were a fan of Alan Moore and JH William III’s Promethea (and really, who wasn’t?), then this is a book you should be picking up. It’s got a more warrior culture, but similar, blend of myth, magic, belief, and dream. I always enjoy self-aware characters, and seeing Glory examine her purpose of being, while regretfully recruiting another into her army gearing up for war is very engaging. It’s centered on a female Oedipal type of family strife, and Keatinge’s dialogue works so effortlessly to bring these huge fantastical elements to life. Ross Campbell’s art is so fun to look at, the larger panels are particularly compelling, inviting you to wander through simply to see what you can find. The best example of this is probably the, uhh, Glory Batcave, or the Glory Bush? Glory Hole? Heh. ANYWAY. This is good comics. Image Comics Wins. Grade A.
Wasteland #35 (Oni Press): I really enjoyed the heft of the text recap on the inside front cover (the typo at the bottom of the second column notwithstanding), yet another reminder of the vast world-building and storytelling Antony Johnston has squeezed out of 34 issues. It never fails that Michael’s “hrrr hrrr” reminds me of Rorschach as he interrogates Gerr. One of the best parts of this book for me was the dichotomy between the scenes with Michael and Abi. If Michael is largely using his strength and powers to get out of a sticky situation, then Abi is largely using her wits and guile, they’re such a formidable combination. After some delays, this finally feels like the story that Johnston and company were meant to get to, with information steadily being revealed at an exponential pace, clues abounding. If for some shameful reason you haven’t been supporting Wasteland, this is the arc that proves why you should have been all along. Grade A.