8.07.13 [Weekly Reviews]

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The Legend of Luther Strode #6 (Image): While nobody was looking, Petra quietly grew to be one of the coolest sidekicks, one of the coolest young females in comics today. She’s capable, has style, and a self-effacing sense of humor when her playful attitude gets too direct and gets her into trouble. Justin Jordan and Tradd Moore have created one of the most kinetic and entertaining stories in recent memory. It’s a story that fully embraces the fact that it’s a comic and does things on the page that could only be done in comics. Moore must be commended for some of the most different fight choreography being conducted today amid all the sinewy body-bending brilliance, as Luther and Petra confront Jack at a mall filled with hapless bystanders. Jordan works on many levels, telling the basic story, but also infusing everything with style, wit, and pop culture drops that some people might not get. I mean, not everyone is going to grok a Semisonic lyric, but it sort of fills me with glee that a creative team is bold and quirky enough to even attempt it. I’m excited that The Strange Talent of Luther Strode led to The Legend of Luther Strode, which will lead to a final installment in the trilogy, The Legacy of Luther Strode. It’s basically been a perfect mini-series so far, executing exactly what the creators envisioned, and there’s no reason to doubt it’ll continue to do so. Grade A+.
Satellite Sam #2 (Image): After an initial issue that set up the world effectively and set things wildly into motion, Matt Fraction and Howard Chaykin lay it all out on the table in the follow-up. We get a nifty character guide. We get a glimpse of character motivations by balancing what we think is driving them, with what might actually be driving them. Whether it’s the reluctant “star” of the show, the grasping bit players, the duplicitous network executives, or the females in a variety of roles, alternately acting as the glue, the goo, or the femme fatale, Satellite Sam is a study in veils and masks, a period in history nostalgically remembered for Leave It To Beaver, while eschewing the more turbulent and awful things that lurked just below the surface. Satellite Sam is a bit of a stand in for that dichotomy. There’s what you see, and what’s really going on behind the scenes in any situation. There’s the mask we wear for all the world to see, and then there’s a darker more hidden side. There’s the unspeakable taboo and the thin layer of vanilla in this, The Newsroom meets Flash Gordon meets Red Shoe Diaries. Grade A.

Prophet #38 (Image): Well, this is officially my last single issue of this title. I’ll be discount trade-waiting it from here on out, and passively at that. My growing concern with how the book is being written is essentially encapsulated in the very first panel on the very first page: “From atop the high coral, the Tij-Dekara watch a hole cut in their shell world’s sky.” We’ve never heard about any of that before, and we’ll never hear about any of it again. Prophet has tons of imagination behind it. Prophet has tons of potential. Prophet has tons of gorgeous art. Prophet has degenerated into a never-ending succession of cool set pieces and creations in a vacuum that are haphazardly strung together, lacking causality, correlation, plot, or story. I no longer know who the characters are, what they’re trying to accomplish, what any of their motivations are, along with how or why one scene leads to the next. From an editing standpoint, it’s also gotten increasingly sloppy. On page 6, there are 2 typos in 1 panel alone. For some reason, “psychic” is constantly spelled as “phychic” or “pshychic.” That whole “Tij-Dekara” business is sometimes spelled as “Ijk-Dekara” and I don’t have any idea if that’s intentional or a typo, and I don’t really care. It’s all “Hyyonhoiagn Boux! Rein-East Kacrik Suprema Oogoo Spores Bull Xoea Gell Venerable The Wake." Yes, those are actual words from the book. It’s all just a random word collage at this point. Grade C.


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