Kong on the Planet of the Apes 1 (November 2017)

Kpota1Kong on the Planet of the Apes #1

For a while, Kong on the Planet of the Apes is kind of fun. Writer Ryan Ferrier is doing a direct sequel to the original movie, but with Queen Kong on the shore just behind the Statue of Liberty. Roddy McDowell and Kim Hunter are still under house arrest for helping Charlton Heston. It’s an interesting way to do the crossover–Ferrier’s doing a sequel as subplot.

Plus there are a few moments where Dr. Zaius reminds, alternately, of Robert Armstrong and, yes, Charles Grodin. Kong on the Planet might be an Apes sequel, but it also has a lot of King Kong-related feels.

Basically the remaining cast of the first movie goes on the Kong hunt expedition. Zira writes about the ocean voyage. They land at another ape settlement and get provisions and hear tales of the dreaded giant apes.

By the end of the issue, they’re at Skull Island and artist Carlos Magno is drawing a terrible Kong. Some of the mystery is gone. But hopefully next issue will have enough oddity factor to get it through. Ferrier’s script falls off once they’re underway at sea. He’s going to have to reestablish the book real quick next issue.

As for Magno’s art? Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not. He’s too concentrated on lines. His faces aren’t distinct. They’re busy but not distinct. It’s a talky comic, knowing a character from sight is important. And Dr. Zaius never looks the same from panel to panel. There’s always something a little off.

Anyway. It’s worth at least another issue. It’s going to be six issues; Ferrier makes the case for about three here. So two’s going to be important.

CREDITS

Writer, Ryan Ferrier; artist, Carlos Magno; colorist, Alex Guimarães; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Gavin Gronenthal and Dafna Pleban; publisher, Boom! Studios.

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Dastardly & Muttley 3 (January 2018)

Dastardly & Muttley #3

Ennis splits this issue between Dastardly and Muttley (as Dick is starting to self-refer) and the President. Oh, and the pilots sent to get Dastardly and Muttley.

The President is suffering the repercussions not just of assaulting a political opponent on television, but also the cartoonification of reality. It appears to be cartoonifying into a Dastardly and Muttley cartoon, at least based on Dick’s transformation into Dastardly is continuing (he spontaneously grows the mustache).

The opposing pilots are conflicted (they know the leads), but might also be suffering from reality’s cartoonification. Ennis has some fun with it, Mauricet’s art is good. The book is now half over, without much hint of where Ennis is taking it (if anywhere), but it’s still amusing enough.

Hopefully that enough carries it three more issues.

CREDITS

3: I’ll Be Gone When the Morning Comes; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Mauricet; colorist, John Kalisz; letterer, Rob Steen; editors, Diego Lopez, Brittany Holzherr, and Marie Javins; publisher, DC Comics.

Batman: White Knight 2 (January 2018)

Batman: White Knight #2

Two big things happen this issue of White Knight. Sort of two steps back from Murphy. First, he gets into the Joker’s sanity and gives him a thoughtful reconciliation with Harley Quinn. It humanizes the character a lot. Maybe too much. Harley’s sympathetic. Joker’s not, because the comic is about waiting for the reveal. Joker’s really just as bad as Batman always thought he’s been. The return to the norm. How long can Murphy put it off?

Only maybe he doesn’t and he does more with White Knight. But the second thing he does is implying not. Bruce Wayne is finding out Batman’s war on crime has turned all of the rich Gothamites into real estate scumbags. Murphy explains it but it’s just more of the blah blah blah. White Knight has a lot of it, with Murphy apparently trying to do Dark Knight Rises and its “Occupy Wall Street” subplot over again.

Along, hopefully, with some of Batman & Robin. Though maybe not. But maybe. I mean, he calls Mr. Frost’s wife’s disease and Alfred’s MacGregors. That name is from Batman & Robin.

Whatever. Back to Bruce Wayne. He doesn’t like how it turns out all his rich friends are crap and racist too and he’s just never noticed it, not until the Joker took off his makeup and told Bruce (and the world) about it.

Great art. Nice twist at the end, not like the other two.

White Knight is kind of a crazy thing–it’s an event Batman book worth reading. Murphy’s story wouldn’t be worth it without his art, but also his earnestness and ambition. He’s not cynical about writing the comic, he’s thrilled to be writing it. And that enthusiasm makes it all very engaging.

At least, so long as there’s also the art.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Sean Murphy; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Todd Klein; editors, Maggie Howell and Mark Doyle; publisher, DC Comics.

Fu Jitsu 2 (October 2017)

Fu Jitsu #2

Nitz dumps information here. Just piles it on the reader, page after page. Fu isn’t just heart-broken over Rachel, his ex-girlfriend, she’s an android he created who fell in love with him and then out of it. She can shape shift (basically–it’s holographic something or another). They bicker as they try to save the world.

Fu’s enemy, Wadlow, has taken over the world. President Orrin Hatch surrenders to him–and typing those words just took a few years off my life–and the rest of the world capitulates easy. No one can stand up to his doomsday weapon. He wants to find Fu, but can’t, so he gets all of Fu’s enemies to hunt him down.

There’s a big fight scene at the end, with one big surprise, which Nitz and St. Claire admirably execute without fanfare, and then it’s cliffhanger.

Fu Juitsu is still in solid shape. This issue is just a lot, even though the story didn’t really go anywhere.

CREDITS

Curse of the Atomic Katana, Part Two; writer, Jai Nitz; artist, Wesley St. Claire; colorist, Maria Santaolalla; letterer, Dave Sharpe; editor, Mike Marts; publisher, Aftershock Comics.

Coyotes 1 (November 2017)

Coyotes #1

Coyotes is a little much. Caitlin Yarsky’s art is fantastic, but static. There’s no flow between panels. Great illustration and design chops, but it doesn’t move. Everything is still, which could actually work for Coyotes because it’s never still. Writer Sean Lewis yaps. If he goes a page without the poorly written narration, he makes up for it on the next page with more and more and more.

Coyotes is a concept comic. What if coyotes–people smugglers–were actual coyotes. But what if it were just a metaphor for how a young girl processes the world around her. But what if they were actual coyotes. Lewis wants so much to give the illusion of intricate mythology building, he makes the sympathetic protagonist downright annoying. Though some of the lack of sympathy comes from Yarsky’s narrative distance.

Then there’s a black and white backup going over the white guy cop’s backstory. He’s too dedicated. Wife took kid and left him. Now he’s being shipped off to a hellish border town.

Coyotes could be worse–well, Lewis’s narration probably couldn’t be much worse–but there’s just nothing to it. It’s pretty, topical, gimmicky, and translucent thin.

CREDITS

Writer, Sean Lewis; artist, Caitlin Yarsky; publisher, Image Comics.

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