Currently Reading: Aliens: Defiance, The Autumnlands, The Black Monday Murders, Black Road, Black Science, Briggs Land, Britannia, Deadly Class, Descender, East of West, The Fuse, God Country, The Goddamned, Heathen, Injection, Lazarus, Low, Manifest Destiny, Moon Knight, No Mercy, The Old Guard, Paper Girls, Rebels, Saga, Seven to Eternity, Shipwreck, Southern Bastards, Stumptown, They're Not Like Us
Sponsor Plug: Special thanks to Michael Cholak, Owner of Yesteryear Comics, for sponsoring this week’s review books. Make Yesteryear Comics your first destination in San Diego for great customer service on a wide selection of mainstream and independent titles at the best discounts possible. For a limited time, new customers can enjoy a promotional 25% discount on new releases, valid until September 30. After September, customers receive an attractive 20% discount on new books during their first week of release. Yesteryear Comics is located at 9353 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. in Kearny Mesa, or find them online at www.yesteryear-comics.com
X-Men #33 (Marvel): The resolution of this first arc involving the proto-mutants comes along and it turns out it’s actually not “unpenaterable” as some notorious twits of teh interwebs would suggest. It’s accessible, discernible, and perfectly available for comprehension; it’s… oh, let’s go ahead and say “penetrable,” the opposite of “impenetrable,” for the record. I’d say it’s actually one of the most intelligent and thought provoking runs of the property in the last decade or so, offering big adventure, big art, and even bigger ideas, all within the confines of an emotional core where characters question their own actions, making you question the reading appetite of those who so readily dismiss it. It’s not all introspection though, Brian Wood and David Lopez can do big dramatic superheroics too, like that first shot of the team before they dive out of the plane. I also like the way that Wood plays the script to the specific powers of each team member, they’re not interchangeable pawns on a chess board. It’s clear Wood has actually thought about it; where would Domino’s skills come in handy? How can Pixie best use her developing powers? When would Psylocke’s psi-powers be put into play? There’s also realistic emotional fallout to the decisions these people make immediately following the actions they take. They play like real people, not just cold assassins or punch-the-bad-guy-until-he-stops superheroes, in a way that actually enriches their characters. It’s this level of introspection that properties like this need, as they consider how best to wield the power and information they’ve been given. Thank Brian Wood for giving you the thinking man’s X-Men, in the delicious confectionary shell of David Lopez’s crisp, clean, and consistent aesthetic. Grade A+.
Mind MGMT #3 (Dark Horse): Meru continues to chase down leads regarding the Amnesia Flight that take her up the Xun Xi River and deeper into a mystery with so much rich international intrigue. Kindt has always been a master of color, but these are probably the most beautiful watercolors I’ve ever seen. In addition to all of the interactive clues and cryptic coding, there are clever creative choices that blur the line between the artist and writer sides of his brain, such as the “[Unintelligible Chinese.]” speech balloon. The riverboat incident is intense, something straight out of Apocalypse Now, bouts of unexpected violence marring otherwise dull intelligence work. The telling of the myth(you’ll know it when you see it) is one of those beautiful visual sequences, but also evidence that the further up-river Meru gets, the further down the proverbial rabbit hole she’s taken. One of the things I appreciate the most about Mind MGMT is that we’re now just 3 issues in and it’s clear that Kindt is giving and promising answers, not stringing his audience along inconclusively in the style of Lost or X-Files. Also? I want one of those Mind MGMT t-shirts. Grade A.