6.19.2014

6.18.14 [Weekly Reviews]

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The Wicked + The Divine #1 (Image): I was a fan of Phonogram back in the day, so I was happy to see more creator-owned work from Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie. Gillen still has enough of an outsider’s voice to bring to the comic book industry to keep things interesting, while McKelvie has that slick sheen to his art that I love in artists like John Cassaday or Cliff Chiang, something I blame on a childhood partially spent on  Len Wein & Dave Gibbons’ Green Lantern comics. In some ways, this is what you might expect from the creative duo, pop music ephemera laced into something that could have served as a text in an old cultural anthropology course in had in college called “Magic, Science, and Religion.” On the other hand, the blend of resurging deities, genres, and general attitude will keep you guessing, and I love the refreshing feeling of just not knowing where a new series will go next, because it refuses to get caught up in formulaic cliché. My LCS didn’t get half of their books this week (sorry, Sex Criminals, no review for you!), and the half I did see had some strong contenders (like below), but I doubt many outlets will NOT be considering this the #BookOfTheWeek It’s about as handsome a debut as you’re likely to find, with plenty of narrative potential left to chew on. Grade A.
Winterworld #1 (IDW): Winterworld is a reintroduction of a decades old property created by writer Chuck Dixon and the late Argentine artist Jorge Zaffino. The interesting thing about this modern debut of Winterworld with artist Butch Guice is that it basically picks up right where the original series left off, yet still manages to feel quite contemporary. I suppose that’s a testament to how forward-thinking Dixon and Zaffino’s original creation was. While Dixon readily admits we’re not meant to know what exactly caused this post-apocalyptic story (it could be everything from Nuclear Armageddon given its 1980’s pedigree, to a more modern interpretation like Global Climate Change), it’s not common that you saw this type of climate change play out in that era of post-apocalyptic stories. It's been rendered unintentionally timeless, something that happens when you allow audience interpretation and favor subscriptive vs. prescriptive writing. We essentially follow Scully and his young companion Wynn on their trek across the ice to find food, shelter, and basic survival. Dixon is sure to drop in little world-building nods to their location, like the Panama Canal in this issue, that really amp up the amount of change present in their reality, and suck readers like me right in, people who are predisposed to gravitate toward tales centering on when the world just flat out breaks. Guice is a perfect addition to the series, with a style that takes all the harsh environmental qualities of someone like Steve Lieber, but inhabits them with softer lines for the figures, in order to really draw out the emotion. Grade A.

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