Monday, 5 May 2008

Comic reviews

Evening chums, it's been a while since I bored you all with any reviews hasn't it? Here are some for you now.

Wake up at the back!

Thor Ages of Thunder
Despite Matt Fraction's admission that he hates all things fantasy, he's actually penned a damn good Thor book here. It's certainly much better than the ongoing Straczynski series which I dropped after two mind numbingly dull issues. I've heard from a few people that It's got better since then, but really two issues of Thor hanging around in small town America doing nothing was enough to turn me off for life.

Let's face it, Thor might have an introspective side to his character, but when it comes down to it he's the God of Thunder, he's got a fucking big hammer and he's good at smashing skulls. This should be the basis of any Thor book and, thank Odin, Fraction knows it. Within a couple of pages of Ages of Thunder our hero is bashing crap out of angry frost giants. Huzzah!

That's not to say that this is just a beat 'em up comic. Fraction's Thor is a different animal to the one I'm used to reading about, pretty Conanesque really. He's a surly bugger who does things his way, occasionally rising from his shagpad to clear up the latest mess that Loki has made. That might not do it for all Thor fans, but it works fine for me, and I'd be more than happy to see Fraction writing a lot more Thor.

Crawl Space #4 XXX Zombies
It makes the old EC comics look tame, but there's a whiff of EC spirit about Crawl Space, a feeling that Rick Remender and Kieron Dwyer are pushing their luck, testing our tolerance and breaking taboos for fun.

I read this issue on the bus and let me tell you, within two pages I was hurriedly ensuring that the person next to me couldn't see what I was looking at. It's genuinely sick stuff which could provoke a real outcry if it were to fall into the wrong hands.

Seriously, in 24 pages we get a nun giving head, an orgy, an anal rape, multiple murders and a souvenir poster of a zombie birth! Fffffuckkkk, I doubt that's a recipe we'll be seeing repeated in the soon to be relaunched House of Mystery.

Obviously Remender's tongue is firmly in his cheek (indeed the dark sense of humour provides another link to those old EC stories) but there are also times when XXX Zombies gets pretty damn nasty. Reading it is a bit like being clubbed over the head, but for all it's excesses (or maybe because of them) Crawl Space is a fine horror comic, the only truly horrifying one on the market in fact.

Green Lantern #30
Part two of Geoff Johns' Secret Origin arc, and one of the best issues in what remains my favourite ongoing DC title.

There's plenty of ammo here for those who castigate Johns for being a mawkish fanboy. After all this is yet another retelling of John Broome and Gil Kane's classic silver age origin story AND one which (once again) draws on Alan Moore's Tygers to boot.

For me though, Johns' interweaving of these two very different tales is a masterpiece of mainstream comics. He seamlessly knots the stories together adding his own spin to make something completely new. It's brilliant to watch and rather than replacing that classic origin story, fleshes it out.

Great stuff.

The Sound of Drowning #11
It's always a pleasant surprise to see this little British independent back on the racks. For those of you who missed it, I recommended the last issue HERE.

If you didn't give it a shot then, try it now. The latest issue features the a post apocalyptic take on Happy Days, a potted history of psycho-schematics, a disturbing tale of Artificial intelligence and a maniacal William Shatner.

Nightmarish, pamphlet sized goodness featuring the Cunningham family as you've never seen them before. What more could you want? If you can't get it in your comic shop, then you can order it through The Sound of Drowning website

No comments: