Kaijumax: Season Three #6 (February 2018)

Kaijumax: Season Three #6

I’m not sure Cannon would want the compliment, but Kaijumax: Season Three just duplicated the feel of a problematic third television season perfectly. After stumbling through the first half of Season Three, Cannon rallied. That rallying has led to this issue, which is a great comic.

It’s an action issue. There’s a prison riot. The warden is out of town. The prisoners are trying to settle scores–including Electrogor, who’s far from the lead, but clearly needs to be in the comic–and all the plot threads get completed. Including some leftover from Season One. It’s an awesome, awesome finish. And one where Cannon could take however long he wants before Season Four, frankly.

Some great art. Cannon does big action real well–he also gets to play with his visual pacing, as they related to narrative reveals. Everything going so fast–monsters to guards to monsters to interlude to monsters to guards–he’s got rhythm. The issue flows.

I can’t imagine it’s going to seem such a victory in trade as it does in this one issue, where Cannon doesn’t exactly save Kaijumax (clearly it wasn’t in any real danger), but he does resurrect it.

Of course, Season One and Season Two didn’t have cliffhangers anything like this one so hopefully he starts next series as strong as he finished this one.

CREDITS

Consequences; writer, artist and letterer, Zander Cannon; colorists, Cannon and Jason Fischer; editors, Charlie Chu and Desiree Wilson; publisher, Oni Press.

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Kaijumax: Season Three 5 (November 2017)

Kaijumax: Season Three #5

If it were any other comic right now, an issue like this one would seem like a major course correction. Cannon talks through most of Kaijumax’s outstanding issues–with talking heads scenes–but really well. He manages to make the prison doctor in love with Zonn work. He’s never been able to do that one. But now there’s crisis and it’s working. Maybe because it’s crisis the reader cares about.

And there’s resolution to the giant goat arc. It’s got some surprises in it, little ones, but also just great comic book pacing.

Some of the problem with Season Three has been Cannon’s fixation on the prison as a whole and that whole is where the problems come in. Is Kaijumax on Antarctica? Where else is big enough. It’s got to be crazy big.

Anyway. It’s a very solid issue. It’s just not enough to convince me Cannon’s going to have a good way to wrap it up next issue.

CREDITS

The Standoff; writer, artist and letterer, Zander Cannon; colorists, Cannon and Jason Fischer; editors, Charlie Chu and Desiree Wilson; publisher, Oni Press.

Kaijumax: Season Three 4 (October 2017)

Kaijumax: Season Three #4

If Season Three had gotten off to a good start, Cannon might have some leeway for this issue. He’s ambitious and absurdly overindulgent; it’s the perfect example of creative lane changing. The issue has a framing device. The Kaijumax Musical Theater group is putting on a shoe. Their performance cuts to various other activities going on, which all happen to have something to do with a subplot. No one involved in subplots is watching the show. They don’t like musicals, I guess.

Cannon’s not a lyricist. He’s gimmicky. Kaijumax is already pushing it with the gimmicky dialect for the prisoners. The more he expands the world, the less likely his stuff makes sense.

The rest of the comic’s pretty darn good. The subplots aren’t exactly interesting, but they’ve got a pulse. And Cannon executes them all well. There’s an awesome Kaijumax moment with the doctor, where Cannon’s art and writing perfectly intersect; it’s been a while since he’s had one of those moments. Kaijumax used to be full of them.

The return of old characters either hint at a different last two for this series or maybe the Season Four plot. Either way, it’s too late to even be too little. Even when the comic’s good, it’s still lost.

CREDITS

A Special Effects Fantasy Series; writer, artist and letterer, Zander Cannon; colorists, Cannon and Jason Fischer; editors, Charlie Chu and Desiree Wilson; publisher, Oni Press.

Kaijumax: Season Three 3 (September 2017)

Kaijumax: Season Three #3

Electrogor returns to Kaijumax–figuratively and literally–but as a supporting player. The goat monster and the human doctor split this issue; his story is a tad more amusing than hers. There are hints of intriguing revelations for him, while she’s just doing more of the same with her kaiju lover. Cannon doesn’t recapture the magic–this issue reads like it should’ve been number one, not three–but he seems like he’s back on the right track towards it. Hopefully Electrogor’s season-long odyssey in Season Two wasn’t all just filler.

CREDITS

Rock Solid Rep; writer, artist and letterer, Zander Cannon; colorists, Cannon and Jason Fischer; editor, Charlie Chu and Desiree Wilson; publisher, Oni Press.

Kaijumax: Season Three 2 (August 2017)

Kaijumax: Season Three #2

Gangsta bunny kaiju who live on the moon.

What am I even reading? It looks like Kaijumax–it’s not like Cannon’s art style has changed at all–and it has a bunch of Kaijumax characters, but it’s like the worst Kaijumax characters with the worst stories. It’s half about the little Minya taking over his dad’s gang only to discover he’s not tough enough so his imaginery human friend has to goad him and it’s half about the human doctor in love with the evil, abusive kaiju.

So far, Season Three has been every bad impulse from Season One without any of the narrative ambition of Season Two. It’s confusing, sure, but mostly just disappointing.

I never thought I’d question reading Kaijumax but I’m getting real close.

CREDITS

The Bad Place; writer, artist and letterer, Zander Cannon; colorists, Cannon and Jason Fischer; editor, Charlie Chu; publisher, Oni Press.

Kaijumax: Season Three 1 (July 1)

Kaijumax: Season Three #1

For the third season, Zander Cannon returns Kajiumax to, well, Kaijumax. He’s now following around the Monster of Devil’s Canyon or some such creature–basically a giant goat, raised by religious humans (or at least he calls them Mom and Dad). He doesn’t fit with the other mammalian monsters, but at least they’re not always beating on him like the lizard ones. Or are they? There’s also a bunch of intrigue and foreshadowing involving a volcano monster–who stars in the opening prologue, hinting at great import. It’s okay. It’s a lot of talking monster heads without any narrative or information. It’s all atmosphere and not particularly compelling. Fingers crossed it’s just a slow start.

CREDITS

The Bad Place; writer, artist and letterer, Zander Cannon; colorists, Cannon and Jason Fischer; editor, Charlie Chu; publisher, Oni Press.

Kaijumax: Season Two 6 (November 2016)

Kaijumax: Season Two #6

Season Two wraps up pitting the two “heroes” of the comic against one another. It’s dramatically successful and (albeit horrifically) exciting as Electrogor defends his kids. Cannon pushes too hard at the end, however, and endangers the nuanced characterizations he’s been doing lately. Worrisome, but otherwise excellent.

CREDITS

Above 9000; writer, artist and letterer, Zander Cannon; colorists, Cannon and Jason Fischer; editor, Charlie Chu; publisher, Oni Press.

Kaijumax: Season Two 5 (October 2016)

Kaijumax: Season Two #5

It’s a decent issue, but it’s unclear if Cannon’s building up a new subplot or if he’s just letting something resolve itself here. And there’s the return of awkward, possibly physiologically impossible romance; it seems lazy. It’s like a talking heads issue in a series without them.

CREDITS

Friends on the Outside; writer, artist and letterer, Zander Cannon; colorists, Cannon and Jason Fischer; editor, Charlie Chu; publisher, Oni Press.

Kaijumax: Season Two 4 (September 2016)

Kaijumax: Season Two #4

Cannon doesn’t offer a breather after a heavy previous issue. He sends Electrogor under the sea into the old gods’ territory (with Cthulhu showing up at the end) and it’s a real downer. I feel like it’s the first time he’s branched into different monster mythologies to this degree in Kaijumax–I mean, Cthulhu’s never been a kaiju (right?). Most of Electrogor’s half of the issue is spent with him feeling terrible, which is sort of his thing, but for really good reason as he meets the residents of this hidden, undersea slum. It’s heartbreaking and horrifying, but not in for any predictable reasons.

At the same time, Chisato the good mecha, gets herself a new partner and has to work vice, which provides Cannon the opportunity to do some mixed size action sequences. It doesn’t necessarily seem heavy, but then Cannon sticks the reader right at the end of the issue. He’s heavy on the “real life, real crime” parallels, which isn’t as successful as just when he sticks to the complicated world of Kaijumax.

Season Two is working out to be far more successful than the previous one, which is no small feat. Between Chisato and her character development–it’s not like the humans in Kaijumax have ever been particularly sympathetic so seeing someone try to be more like them is rather effective; her new partner–the burnout human–is a wonderful contrast, of course.

It’s such a good comic. It’s just brutally downbeat.

CREDITS

The Seamy Underbelly; writer, artist and letterer, Zander Cannon; colorists, Cannon and Jason Fischer; editor, Charlie Chu; publisher, Oni Press.

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