POW! Bi-Weekly Comics Review! 12/20/2009!
Never shall I besmirch the name of The United States Postal Service for despite the miserable weather they still delivered unto me… MY COMICS!
This week is a notoriously small list of titles. We have 1 DC, 1 Vertigo, 1 Marvel and… look at this Kodansha has reprinted Akira for all the world to enjoy. Well, Tis the season as they say. As always I’d like to thank Heavy Ink for getting my books to me and once big props to the U.S. Postal Service, who came through despite all the crazy weather. Let’s jump in with our pick of the Bi-Weekly shipping period shall we?Hey look! It’s Vartox, an ex-Superman pseudo-baddie who just oozes late 60s/all of the 70s machismo all over the DC Universe. Well lo and behold, our most Connery-in-Zardoz-esque baddie determines that he must mate with our girl Kara Zor-l, or as we like to call her… POWER GIRL! See Vartox of Valeron is awesome because he is such an out there character, who basically got rolled out once in awhile during the Silver Age to play up his he-man status and try to get it on with Lois Lane and basically call Superman a pussy, or as close to calling Superman a pussy as the Comics Code Authority would allow. Vartox is awesome, this must be accepted as fact. I mean just look at the cover to Power Girl #7. As if he wasn’t Connery in Zardoz enough already, the fact that his spaceship is basically a giant floating head just seals the deal. Why does this have anything at all to do with Zardoz? Simple, the plot of Zardoz is basically this… Sean Connery runs around bare-chested and hairy in somthing that is almost but not quite a banana-hammock for 105 minutes of your life that you will never get back. Somewhere in there is a story about… something… and a giant floating head in space and… something else. Look, Vartox is essentially Zed from Zardoz. So you basically get Sean Connery trying, rather ineptly, to seduce Power Girl. This is why God invented comics people! Hey look, it’s The Incredible Hercules: Assault On New Olympus one-shot that was supposed to be out 2 weeks ago. Too bad I already read Incredible Hercules #138 and already know where the story goes from here. Still, it doesn’t mean it isn’t worth reading. Basically, since Amadeus Cho and the Goddess Athena discovered Hera’s crazy plot involving the Olympus Group, they realize that only one dense piece of Marvel Universe muscle is going to be able to put Hera and her band of Olympians in their place. Of course that is Hercules, but he has other things on his mind… like asking the question “Why is that nerdy kid kissing my wife?”. Hold on there Herc, that isn’t just any nerd… that’s Peter Parker and that means we get a fun-filled little Herc v. Spidey throw-down. Vartox v. Power Girl? Herc v. Spidey? It’s like fight week here at POW… maybe in my new issue of Fables Princess Ozma will challenge Geppetto to a steel cage match… Yeah no such luck kids, sorry. Where as Power Girl and the Incredible Hercules Special are about the glorious art of comic book smackdowns (and in Spidey’s case, smack-talk), the new Fables plays out more like Donahue back in the 80s. See Phil Donahue would invite guests on, have both sides of the argument present their case and then Phil would actually rebut both sides if they were talking out of their asses. Donahue was daytime talk for sophists. This month in Fables, we get to see Geppetto play politics amongst the Fablekind, as he proposes to lead that he should lead the magic council in order to defeat Master Dark. Well that is all very good and all but in case anyone forgot, Geppetto is a fear monger, much closer to a Mussolini than a Hitler mind you but evil is evil. Luckily, little Princess Ozma steps in to challenge Geppetto’s mad play for power by calling in a very specific and POWERFUL magical force who has a HUGE beef with the little old puppet maker. Also Generals Bufkin and Frankenstein‘s battle with Baba Yaga reaches its climax! Still that is secondary to what is about to happen to Geppetto because The Blue Fairy is back and she is ROYALLY PISSED~! I’ve now read Akira in a collected format from 3 different publishers. First was the old EPIC imprint from Marvel. EPIC digitally colored Akira back in its initial release and actually did an incredible job of it. Finding those single issues of Akira isn’t easy and probably would cost an arm and a leg today. Hell, even finding those collected volumes of the single issues probably would be a pain in the posterior since there was a pretty low print run on those. Dark Horse released Akira in 2001 or so and they did a great job of it. Now Akira‘s original Japanese publisher, Kodansha is re-re-releasing it and you know what? Akira just might be the greatest manga I’ve ever read. There aren’t a lot of modern manga that hold up to it too well. I mean most manga these days is very disposable and doesn’t have much depth. Akira has so much depth that I was just a few pages into it and felt like I needed scuba gear. Add to this Writer/Artist Katsuhiro Otomo being one hell of a draftsman, his images leap out at you and every emotion you want to hit you comes across the way you want it to. That and Otomo’s art-style is pretty much Anti-Manga, since most of his influences came from Europe (well all the influences not named Osamu Tezuka that is). I can rave about Akira all I want, that doesn’t mean you will go out and read it. Fuck that, go out and read it anyway. Go see and read one of the greatest works of science fiction of the last 100 years. Go in with a closed mind as to what you perceive manga and comics and in general to be. I can almost guarantee that when you come out, you will look at Akira as something completely brilliant, so much so that it belongs in the same breath as Maus and Sandman as a work that rises above the genre that spawned it!
Well this week was light, well kinda, what with Akira Vol. 1 being 350+ pages and all. Next installment will only feature 4 books as well, though nothing quite as epic in length as Akira. Hey look at that, Assault On New Olympus continues in 2 weeks in The Incredible Hercules #139. Nekron continues to rise and leave people asking “Who the hell is Nekron?” in Blackest Night #6. Madame Xanadu #18 continues to look into the swinging Satanists in the 1960s and its title character just might run into a certain green-skinned guy that shouldn’t be showing up in a Vertigo book. Last but not least, hopefully, in Wonder Woman #39, Princess Diana just might get her hands on the traitorous bald-bitch Alkyone, methinks we shall see the return of Donna Troy and Queen Hippolyta and one of those two will be showing up to make things worse for Diana.
I think the Bi-Weekly comics haul will get to decent sied proportions once the Holidays are over. But until then, fewer books means that I get to write POW! in less than 3000 words, so I ain’t complaining too much. Actually, I’m not complaining at all since I love to talk about comcis almost as much as I love to read them. So come back in 2 weeks time and revel in my adulation and love of comics. Come… Nerd-out with me then won’t you?