Chris’ Comics: Kaptara Volume 1- Fear Not, Tiny Alien

kaptara-vol1tp-cov-webKaptara Volume 1: Feat Not, Tiny Alien

Chip Zdarsky, Kagan McLeod

Image  $9.98

::: Wipes forehead in relief:: Phew, almost went 3 weeks without mentioning a comic written by Chip Zdarsky. Glad I put a stop to that!

2015 was the year Chip Zdarsky went from being Matt Fraction’s chum who drew Sex Criminals, to Chip Zdarsky, Matt Fraction’s chum who draws Sex Criminals as well as plethora of covers, writes Howard the Duck for Marvel, as well as Jughead for Archie. It was the year that saw Zdarsky grow as writer, not just as artist and a guy who favorites a bunch of stuff I say on social media.  And while his work for hire stuff is great, those books didn’t get to show off the Zdarsky brand like Kaptara does.

Kapata, drawn by Kagan McLeod, was original sold as “Gay Saga”  when it was first hitting the stands/being marketed. In reality it’s “Intentionally Gay Masters of the Universe”, which is something I think is fantastic. It stars Keith Kanga, a scientist who’s Kaptara04_Preview_Pageship crash lands on the planet Kaptara, and find out that the Earth is in grave danger. However, Keith isn’t sure if he wants to actually return to Earth, or continue to live among his new acquaintances.

In my defense, art aside, the first issue of the series wasn’t as strong as Chip’s debut on Howard or Jughead. I decided to wait for the trade, which turned out to be my prefered method of reading Kaptara. Once the initial cast/naked shape shifting wizard is introduced, and the plot is establsihed, the book begins to take off, mixing Zdarsky’s trademark humor with some gorgeous work from McLeod.

Kagan’s work on this book is stunning, managing to recreate the Kirby meets Robert E Howard look of He-Man, only taking it to the extreme. McLeod creates such interesting visuals as a Smurf-like race of Mushroom people who are the actual worst, Cat Tanks, oh and like 50 new characters all with names and M.O.s in the span of 2 pages. McLeod is artistic tour de force, and Kaptara’s all the richer for having him attached to the book. His pages are filled with lush colors and wonderfully bizarre characters and setting. McLeod was absolutely stunning on Infinite Kung Fu, and he’s equally wonderful  on this book.

screenshot_2015-05-20-19-07-302I’ve sung Chip’s praises as a writer plenty of times before, but with Kaptara, we get to see his skills as a writer that are more in the vein of Sex Criminals than his work for hire, as he and Kagan have created everything from the ground up. Like I said earlier, the book suffers a little bit early as the cast/plot is established, but once Keith lands on Kaptara, the book really takes off. We get to see Zdarsky’s trademark brand of humor mesh with some interesting character building, letting us see a different side of Chip’s skill sets. It’s some solid work, and shows just how talented Zdarsky is as a writer.

Kaptara Volume 1 includes the first fives issues of the series, a cover gallery,  breakdown of the final 2 pages of issue 5 (this will make sense once you read it!), and autobiography/tale kaptara02_preview_page5-jpgof sexual conquest by Dartor (Prince of Endom!), really making this $9.98 (Chip will NOT be undersold!) package all the more attractive. Overall, Kaptara is a really charming book, well charming for a sci-fi fantasy comedy adventure book with sexist Mushroom folk. I know Image isn’t exactly short on comedy books OR sci-fi comics, but between Kagan McLeod’s psydelic visuals, and Zdarsky’s witty dialogue, Kaptara is a book worth checking out if you haven’t yet.

 

 

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Chris’ Comics: Gotham Academy #14

GOTHAC_Cv14_PREVIEWS_R1_5616b1b7728111.33337671

Gotham Academy #14

Brenden Fletcher, Adam Archer, Sandra Hope, Steve Wands, Katie Cook, Dustin Nguygen, Derek Fridolfs, Hope Larson, Kris Mukai

DC $2.99 

So yeah, I’m still worried about the fate of this title. Karl Kerschl left 2 issues ago, and Becky Cloonan has been M.I.A. since issue that issue. Hopefully this month’s round of solicitations will answer some questions, but I’m assuming the worse for this title but the time is said and done.

That depressing intro now out of the way, let’s focus on the fact that Gotham Academy #14 is wonderful. Here, the original creator standing Brenden Fletcher and the possibly new creative team of  Adam Archer and Sandra Hope are joined by a insanely talent roster for the first part of the “Yearbook” arc. This story seems to be a guest creator jam session, which I’m very cool with, if this issue is any indication of what we’ll be getting.

GOTHAC_14_3The framing sequence by Fletcher, Archer and Hope is solid enough, but Archer is still struggling a bit with character faces. The team is limited to 4 pages, which is good, because the real meat of the story comes from the guest creators. Leading things off is Derek Fridolfs and Dustin Nguyen, 2 creators I didn’t know I wanted to tell a Gotham Academy story, but now am glad I  got one. Prank enthusiast and general troublemaker Colton Rivera is the focus of this story, which has our lead deal with one of Kirk Langstrom’s bizarre subjects. It’s fun little chase story that looks amazing thanks to Nguyen’s gorgeous water-colored art. The humor these creator inject into this story is great, really capturing the tone you would expect from Gotham Academy. The final page of this story is AMAZING, and I would definitely assault a hobo with a wiffleball bat to see Nguyen draw these characters again.

From there it’s Katie Cook drawing a Maps and Olive story, which is by far the cutest incarnation of these characters to date. Cook’s style is perfect for a tale that involves mid control via Glee Club, and I believe it’s the first we get a DC Comics story revolving around cat tumblr_o0x790kQfg1rj45a8o1_1280videos.  Cook’s style is absolutely adorable, her sense of humor is fantastic, and this story was an absolutely treat.

Wrapping up the issue is Hope Larson and Kris Mukai focusing on Gotham Academy professor Isla Macherson in her teen years. If you want to see what the 1980s looks liked because you’re a stinking youth or some such, this is the comic to look at. It’s arguably the most well rounded tale of the bunch, mixing fantastic visuals with a really sweet story. It manages to avoid teen drama cliches by embracing the fact that it takes place in a city where Batman is a thing.

An jam issue with multiple creators sounds more like a special or an annual then a proper arc, but it’s hard to hate when the creators involved are this good. Gotham Academy #14 could be accused of staling, but frankly I don’t care. It’s a fun issue that allows a number of talent folk to play in one of the best new sandboxes in the DC Universe. If this is a proper taste of what to expect from this arc, consider me excited.

 

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Chris’ Comics: All New Hawkeye #3

STK693569All New Hawkeye #3

Jeff Lemire, Ramon Perez, Ian Herring

Marvel $3.99

I believe it’s safe to say that I can stop worrying about the future of Clint Barton and Kate Bishop. Both figuratively and literally, thanks to how this comic plays out.

 All New Hawkeye #3 wraps up the creative team of Jeff Lemire, Ramon Perez and Ian Herring’s 2nd arc, which sounds weird, but try to remember exactly how relaunch-happy Marvel is these days. It’s a great issue that shows how important the Clint and Kate are to each other, even though they’re not on speaking terms with each other for most of the issue. It also wraps up the future Hawkeye story, which was fun alternate future thing filled with a ton of cool ideas and designs.

At first glance, you could accuse Lemire at rehashing a lot of what Matt Fraction had done: ie, broke up and reunite Kate and Clint. It’s a fair complaint, but in Lemire’s defense, he handles it differently, and resolves it quicker. He also shows how much Kate needs Clint, HAWKEYE2015B003-int-LR2-3-4c025which is nice, even though he flat out stats that Clint needs Kate to be a proper Hawkeye. Which is true, as we probably wouldn’t have had nearly 30 issues of Hawkeye comics over the last 4 years if it wasn’t for the inclusion of Kate Bishop. It’s good to see Lemire finally getting more comfortable with the Clint and Kate dynamic, and finally establishing his own take on their relationship. He also does some wonderful things with Clint’s brother Barney, who makes a welcomed return to these pages. It’s a wonderful series of pages, which really works for me more than the Barney/Clint stiff from volume 0. Part of me wants more Barney and Clint bro times from Lemire, but given the character’s current status quo, I’d also be okay with him being left alone with his happy ending for him for the time being.

Ramon Perez has always been great on this book, and I’m impressed that he also manages to improve in some small way with every issue. In issue 3 for example, he draws more sound effects into his panels, and their pretty great. “Bro Hug” was a sound effect that sounds like something that would have shown up in Adventure Time, and its presence is tumblr_o0y1e7HNyt1sqep2mo1_1280welcomed. It’s such a minor thing, but the tiny words give the art an element of comedy that I appreciate. Aside from sound effect, I love his character designs for the future cast of characters, and how Perez composes some of his pages, especially the  Miss America Chavez and Kate Bishop page in which the panels act as mirror images.. All of this, in addition to the fact that he switches up his art style 3 different times in this issue, make him one of the most under appreciated artists at Marvel. Any issue of ANH that take primary in the present is better for it, and issue 3 is proof of that, thanks to Ramon Perez’s visuals, enhanced by Ian Herring’s brilliant choice of colors.

All New Hawkeye #3 puts my fears to rest and helps make this book one of my favorites again. I’m glad the team got their stuff together for this arc, and I’m now genuinely excited for this book in a way I haven’t been for months.

 

 

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Val’s Toy Chest

Hello Readers! It is another new week at the Planet and though there isn’t a lot scheduled to come in this week- there’s still product that we’ve either gotten or are getting in within the next few weeks. Some of the new product scheduled to arrive will include Funko POPs as well as some of the new Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice action figures courtesy of Mattel. We’ve also finally gotten in the long-awaited NECA Predator series which feature figures from another Vs. film: Alien Vs. Predator.

The newest NECA wave features the following types of Predators: Celtic, Scar and Chopper. Each figure features more than 30 points of articulation and come with various accessories. This is the 14th series of Predator with more series on the way from NECA. I should be live on the Toy Fair floor in about a month so I will be writing about what’s new from as many of the manufacturers (including NECA) as I can. I will let you know when that gets closer.

Funko has some exciting products in the pipeline including things we should be getting in this week. Our first Funko POP from the Batman V Superman movie will be the Man of Steel himself, Superman. Hopefully the rest of the lineup will be here before too long. Another POP vinyl scheduled to hit is the popular but polarizing Felicity Smoak straight out of the CW’s Arrow TV Series. We will also be getting four of the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens POPs which will include Sidon Ithano, Leia OrganaAckbar and Nien Nunb. No ETA on the other figures in this wave, including Han Solo as of yet.

Speaking of Batman V Superman– Mattel who has had the DC master toy license for the past decade or so will be issuing figures from the forthcoming movie in many different styles and sizes. There will be at least two 6″ lines coming out for the film. One will be a basic five points of articulation series akin to the recent Total Heroes series while the other will fall in line with the articulation scheme of the now defunct DC Universe Classics and Movie Masters lines and is called the Multiverse series. We should be getting both styles of figures in by the end of the month if our shipment comes on time but these lines should include the Ben Affleck Batman, Henry Cavill’s Superman and the Gal Gadot Wonder Woman. I have personally seen the new Multiverse Wonder Woman figure and she is pretty awesome. She is definitely one to watch out for and was on my list of figures I was looking forward to. Future figures in this series will include comic and TV versions of all of your favorite DC characters including Flash and Arrow.

That’s all for me this week- I will be back next week with more toy news and assorted miscellany. Have a great week!

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Chris’ Comics: Paper Girls #4

PaperGirls_04-1Paper Girls #4

Brian K Vaughan, Cliff Chang, Matt Wilson, Jared K Fletcher

Image $2.99

One of these days I want to read and Image book and be disappointed with it. For starters, a review fueled by rage and HOT TAKES would be easier and possibly some fun than thinking of new ways to praise books that deliver month after month. But no, Image gotta Image and release quality comic after quality comic, forcing me to up my game and find new ways to praise their books. Unlike Marvel and DC, who throw me a bone every so often and do something dumb, helping me find new ways for me to toss shade at them.

This month’s issue of Paper Girls is another solid one, as team creative team produces a ton of cool visual and narrative moments once again. Yeah I know, another great comic by Cliff Chang, Brian K Vaughan, Matt Wilson and Jared K Fletcher, big shocker there. But at least they give me plenty to talk about, which I’m grateful for.

First and foremost, and slight spoiler,  I’m intrigued by the decision to make one of the girl slightly homophobic. While their words aren’t as harsh as they were back in issue 1, it’s still not great, just slightly less offensive. To have a lead character act like that is bold cb3c481590c0d42e112bf54a45b914ff._SX640_QL80_TTD_decision, as it could result in some readers dropping the book, despite this sort of behavior not being entirely unheard of in the 80s. And in the creators defense, they make sure that she’s called out on it by the other leads, so it’s not like her actions are condoned, and she’s certainly young enough to change her stances as the book progresses. It’s something worth keeping an eye out, but given Chang and BKV’s track record, it’s safe to say they’ll handle this correctly.

Something less controversial to touch upon is Chang’s art for this issue. There’s a bit where a character has a flashback of sorts, and I how Chang and Wilson go with the 9 panel layouts with black borders for 4 wordless pages, and that those pages are printed horizontally. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a book printed out like that, and it’s jarring in all the right ways, giving the chaotic nature of the scene. Chang is stellar as usual on this issue, giving us more bizarre characters and creatures, but this sort of story telling through visuals only is really something else. Vaughan has shown a tone of restrain in this series, and the results have work in the book’s favor, letting the gorgeous art tell the story instead of going with a ton of scene-chewing exposition.

All joking earlier aside, Paper girls #4 continues to be a quality read, deserving your attention along with BKV’s excellent Saga. It’s a fun sci-fi book with some really clever nods to it’s late 80s setting, and the gorgeous visuals and design make it unlike anything else on the market. The first arc will wrap up next month, and it’s hard to predicate how this whole thing will end, which is exciting in it’s own right. Visually stunning, Paper Girls is a shining example of how good Image Comics is right now, and is worth your attention and money.

 

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Chris’ Comics: Bitch Planet #6

STK674615.jpg.square-true_maxheight-285_size-285Bitch Planet #6

Kelly Sue Deconnick, Taki Soma, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Clayton Cowles

Image $3.99

The Feel Good Book of 2015 returns, with all the smiles, jokes, and sexiness you’ve come to expect from Bitch Planet. No wait, that’s all lies. Bitch Planet #6 is a bit of a downer, and an exceptional comic that covers a variety of topics rarely covered by comics. That’s the Bitch Planet we’ve come to know and appreciate.

Comics with parental advisory ratings slapped on them is nothing new to the medium Bitch Planet #6 however, is the first comic from a major publisher I’m aware of with a trigger warning for sexual assault, which is something I appreciate, even as a Cis White Dude. NOTHING in Bitch Planet is ever glorified, and writer Kelly Sue Deconnick and guest artist Taki Soma definitely put in some thought and consideration before doing what they did in this issue. Which, in case you didn’t pick up on the sarcasm above, makes for a depressing read, especially when you consider how issue 5 ended.

Bitch Planet #6 tells of how and why Meiko Maki landed was incarcerated.  It’s a tale of family, blackmail, casual racism, and revenge, making for a powerful comic that will make you feel 91b79f76075ba039b72f8e44051f9ad9._SX640_QL80_TTD_AWFUL once you’re done with it. Oh sure, Kelly Sue does toss in a few jokes to lighten up the mood, but it’s far from a fun read. Artist Taki Soma’s style is perfect for a flashback comic, as her styles gives off a nostalgic, Mad Men vibe. Her more simplistic, grounded style is perfect, for establishing the tone, and I love clean and minimalistic it is. There’s some excellent use of negative space, and Soma absolutely slays KSD’s violin metaphor. And most important all of her characters are super expressive, which really enhances the dialogue. New series colorist Kelly Fitzpatrick is a perfect fit for Taki, as her retro style color palette really gives the book a cool, exploitation era vibe, and the yellow, ageing look for the pages are a clever way to remind readers this a flashback. Clayton Cowles’ choice of fonts are all too fitting, as you would expect from a master-class Letterer like him. I’m impressed on how good Bitch Planet continues to look with rotating artists, and I hope to see this continue.

Bitch Planet continues to be some of the best work of Deconnick’s career, as she puts so much into every script. What we get in 24 pages of comics is so good, intelligent and fresh it really makes it hard to want to talk about other comics. Even when we get an issue like that that’s super depressing, you can really appreciate the level of craftsmanship involved in it.  And to sweeten the pot, we get some great back matter, including a nice pair of essays and a really important response to a well-meaning but ultimately insulting letter from a reader. For $4, you can do a lot worst.

Bitch Planet has always been one of the more rewarding and thought-provoking comics released in recent history, and issue six is no exception. The creators set out to tell a horrifying story, but make it so if you risk being triggered by it, you can skip over for it and wait for assault-free recap when issue 7 drops. It’s that sort of dedication to the reader/inclusion that I really appreciate, but am not surprised by given how thoughtful of a person Kelly Sue is.

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Chris’ Comics: Spider-Man & Deadpool #1

Spider-Man_Deadpool_Vol_1_1_TextlessSpider-Man & Deadpool #1

Joe Kelly, Ed McGuiness, Mark Morales, Jason Keith

Marvel $3.99

Coming into this review, you dear reader may expect some annoyance and snark from me regarding Marvel putting out yet another Deadpool title.  That’s fair assumption, given the books I like can make me come across as a bit of a comic snob. But it’s also totally wrong in this instance, haha, way to blow it nerd . Now let me tell you about why Phonogram is amazing…

No wait, let me actually get back on topic. CHRIS FACT: Joe Kelly and Ed McGuiness’ Deadpool book from the late 90s kept me in cape comics. It’s a run that I really enjoyed, was my favorite book for a long time, and having them reunite on a Deadpool book warrants an instabuy from me. The fact that Spider-Man is involved too is nice, as I really enjoyed Joe Kelly’s all too brief run on Amazing Spider-Man, especially since it result in  THE BEST Spider-Man/Deadpool interaction of all time. That is not an opinion by the way, that is fact, how dare you imply otherwise.

spider-man-deadpool-1-interior-590x900Spider-Man and Deadpool #1 is a fantastic read. It’s also the gayest Marvel comic I’ve read since Angela, and that’s something I mean in the best way. Marvel has been not so great with LGBT representation in leading roles as of late, and giving a pan-sexual character like Deadpool another amazing creative team is nice to see, especially when it results in some of the most creative genital jokes I’ve seen in a Marvel comic. It’s also really funny, which is important given these two characters personalities, and looks stunning, thanks to the team of McGuiness, Mark Morales and Jason Keith. It also does a nice job of fitting into the status quo of both these heroes, which props to Joe Kelly and the editorial team, without having to sacrifice much of the charm Kelly brought to Deadpool and Spider-Man way back when.

The visuals created by Ed McGuiness and Mark Morales are top notch, even though I wish Ed would draw Spidey not as jacked as he does. I prefer my Spider-Man/Men drawn sleek, not like he’s dropping passing for the Jets. But that’s a minor nitpick, as his stylistic, Capcom fighting games meets John Romita Sr. style looks fantastic overall, especially in the case of Deadpool. He gets a lot of emotion from these character’s body language, which is very impressive, and his action scenes look great. Mark Morales’ inks are bold and clean, resulting in some crisp art that is colored superbly by Jason Keith. The art team comes together to create beautiful art that really captures the fun tone you would expect from a Spider-Man & Deadpool book.

GreyPouponIt’s been quite some time since Joe Kelly and McGuiness have collaborated on a Marvel book, although you couldn’t tell from Spider-Man and Deadpool #1. Both creators create a comic that feels like they’ve never stopped working together since the mid-90s, making for a great read for old and new readers alike. It’s a super accessible book that looks great and has a number of quality jokes, making it another fine addition to the relatively solid catalog of action/humor titles Marvel has been putting out as of late. The book may not convert any haters into fans, but anyone longing for more Deadpool in the style of one of his greatest runs is in for a real treat, with no fear of sudden cancellation.

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Val’s Toy Chest

It is a brand new year at Forbidden Planet and this week is fairly light in terms of new toy releases, so I am going to discuss a toy line that I’ve had an on/off affair with- we’re currently on at the moment. That being said- this week’s new releases are all about Minimates. We are getting two new Marvel series in as well as a Predator series. Each set usually comes with two figures and interchangeable limbs and weapons. Marvel fans can look forward to the Jane Foster Thor, Captain Marvel, Deadpool, Dazzler, Howard the Duck, Siryn and more in the two Marvel assortments. The Predator assortment features different Predators as well as some of the human characters from Predator 1 and 2. We are also getting a neat Femme Fatales statue of Wonder Woman as she appeared in Justice League.

So there was a new Star Wars movie at the end of last year and I loved it. Watching it brought some of my childhood nostalgia back and made me reminisce about all of the Star Wars toys I’ve bought over the years. I’ve been into Star Wars for most of my life- though I have gone through periods where I’ve not been as into it. I really liked the original trilogy and had some of the figures when I was a kid during the ’80’s. Even back when I was four or five years old I always loved the female characters. Of course the main woman in the original trilogy is Princess Leia Organa and its telling that I had the most figures of her when I was a child. I’ve touched on my favorite Leia figure in this column before so I won’t get into that this rime. I will however try to highlight some of my favorite Star Wars toys encompassing all eras from when I was a kid all the way through today. I’m going to try and be diverse and not just make a list of every Leia figure that I’ve ever owned…

I had a limited collection of Star Wars figures in 1983 and through the 80s. I think I still have some of them at my mother’s apartment though they aren’t in great shape. I did manage to get at least one of each unique hero in the trilogy though they all came from different movies. I clearly remember having the neat C-3P0 with removable limbs as a kid. Something about an action figure that you could take apart appealed to me. I do kind of wish that one had survived my youth but alas. I did manage to get an updated version from Hasbro many years later. Another neat figure from my childhood and very much keeping in line with my favorite Leia was the Lando Calrissian in Skiff Guard outfit. As seen in Return of the Jedi– this was the Lando as he appeared during the Jabba’s Palace sequence. I must have loved removable helmets as a child. I guess the secret identity/disguise aspect appealed to me. My Lando is gone too. Interestingly enough I never had a Darth Vader growing up.

Moving into the ’90’s- Star Wars had fallen in popularity after the release of the final movie in the original trilogy and the Kenner toy line died after 1985. Ten years later Kenner would return to Star Wars with their Power of the Force line. That line was like Star Wars on steroids- though later figures in the line were well done and not as muscle-bound as the earlier 1995-1996 figures. Some highlights for this series include the very first Princess Leia as Jabba’s Prisoner figure which was one of the hottest commodities way back in 1997. I also loved the Oola and Salacious Crumb two pack that was originally produced as an exclusive for Star Wars Insider magazine. Oola was one of the few featured female characters in the original trilogy and though she meets her demise rather quickly at the hands of Jabba and the Rancor, she was a very memorable character and a welcome addition to the collection. The updated version with more articulation was nice too, but the original figure still has a nice sculpt.

I didn’t collect much Star Wars between 2000-2012- with a few stray Leia and/or female figures here and there but I got back into it a bit with the Vintage Collection and the Black Series. The Black Series is now mostly a 6″ action figure line as the 3 and 3/4″ figures are now Walmart exclusive, but the 3 3/4″ line gave me characters like the now out of canon Mara Jade who as a fully poseable action figure was awesome. As far as the 6″ line goes- there have been some gorgeous figures including Boba Fett, Chewbacca and the X-Wing Luke– but one figure stood out for me so much that I had to get it despite the fact that I swore not to collect the 6″ line as heavily- Darth Vader. As an adult I had several smaller Vader figures- but the recent 6″ figure was a beauty. Crafted with cloth parts and full articulation plus a removable helmet to reveal the scarred visage of Anakin Skywalker as seen in the original trilogy, Vader is a definite favorite in my collection.

And that brings us to the current The Force Awakens line and my wallet crying for mercy. I have decided to embrace this new trilogy with open arms and I look forward to adding the main players to my personal collection of figures. I’ve already acquired the beautiful Captain Phasma figure as well as new hero Poe Dameron. Both figures are nicely detailed and come with character appropriate accessories. I just need to get Rey, BB-8, Finn and the rest and I should be good-and-broke. That’s it for me this week- catch you next time with more toy news! Happy New Year!

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Chris’ Comics: Obi-Wan & Anankin and Jughead

I would read that comic!

Obi-Wan_and_Anakin_1_cover_CBRStar Wars: Obi-5Wan and Anakin #1

Charles Soule, Marco Checchetto, Andres Mossa

Marvel $3.99

Hey look, another Star Wars comic drawn by Marco Checchetto, hope this one works out better than last time.

Coming out earlier than expected is the debut of the new Obi-Wan and Anakin mini-series, written by Charles Soule and drawn by Checchetto. Star Wars hype remain high in the Troy household, and I like the idea of mini-series set between installments of the prequel, so I figured I’d give this debut a shot. While I’m pretty cold towards Soule’s Marvel work (his creator owned stuff is great), I found a lot to enjoy with his contributions to this issue. His dialogue is solid, particularly in a scene set during Anakin’s training in the presence of Senator Palpatine, and his premise for the inaugural issue is fun, with some cool moments. Charles does a lot of things right with the tone and “directing” of this mini, succeeding in telling a captivating story with Obi-Wan and young Anakin where George Lucas has failed.

Like his work on Shattered Empire, Marco Checchetto does a great job of capturing the proper looks for the established characters in this mini, and really shines when it comes to creating new characters and ships. His art perfectly captures the swashing buckling spirit of Soule’s script, making this book a perfect blend of drama and action. I also like some of the smaller, subtle things he adds to the art, like having Anankin’s hair indicate with way the winds are blowing Also man, colorist Andres Mossa really give the book a sweeping, cinematic feel, and making the setting climate feel more harsh and dangerous, while giving the book a cool glow. His contributions to this book are crucial, as the final product would not look as good as it does thanks to what Mossa brings to the table.

Obi-Wan and Anakin is a solid comic set in a time period that made for some pretty awful Star War movies. It seems the creative team has a better handle on this scenario and it’s players, not to mention the hindsight as to what to avoid. Assuming the writing stay the same over the next four issues and Checchetto can stick the deadlines, we should be in for a fun little mini.

jughead2015_03-coverJughead #3

Chip Zdarsky, Erica Henderson

Archie $3.99

In non-Star Wars news, Jughead remains wonderful. No one is surprised, as I’ve been praising this book since day 1, what with it’s fantastic creative team, which makes reviewing it a bit of a pain. You can only praise a book so many times before sounding like a broken record, so thanks for being good at your jobs Chip and Erica.

Erica Henderson draws the hell out of this issue, which introduces Jughead’s parents and gives us some spy action as Jughead deals with his expulsion from high school. I love the outfits she throws the cast into throughout the book, as Henderson’s fashion sense is better than most creators, and makes the cast all the more believable. Her art is treat for anyone who can appreciate a more animated style for their comics, and for people who like their character wearing age appropriate clothing.

As for writer/noted Canadian Chip Zdarsky, surprise, he’s great too. Asking Zdarsky to writer jokes is like asking me to make grammatical errors, and it’s also frustrating to see him deliver so effortlessly. Part of the fun of this book is seeing what he pulls from when it comes to the dream sequences for this book, and bringing back the Man from A.R.C.H.I.E. is a cool bit of Archie history, not to mention gives the chance to have the writer to have some fun with acronyms.

Jughead joins Saga as one of those books you know you’re bound to get your money’s worth with. It’s 2 very talented people who are doing some career defining work across the medium coming together to create a super enjoyable comic.

 

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Chris’ Comics: Star Wars: Shattered Empire TPB

Shattered_Empire_1_CoverStar Wars: Shattered Empire

Greg Rucka, Marco Checchetto,Emilio Laiso, Angel Unzueta, Andres Mossa

Marvel $16.99

I’m sure I’m not the only person who watched The Force Awakens was thought to themselves to check out the Star Wars comics Marvel has been putting out over the past year afterwards. It’s the type of thought process all comics marketing folk hope readers have, which is why there’s always some sort of post-blockbuster movie tie in comic on the shelves.

Marvel has been really good with the Star Wars licenses, putting a murder’s row of talent on the various books. Assigning Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto to a Star Wars comic that bridges the gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens continues that trend, and the collaboration results in a tie-in comic that’s pretty good, not great.

148jd2I say pretty good only because it’s a bit of a bait and switch on Marvel’s end. This mini is marketed as being drawn by Checchetto, but in reality, he’s assisted by Angel Unzueta and Emili Laiso, 2 artists who are serviceable, but not as experienced as Marco. Their styles are in the same vein as Checcheto’s but lack the same amount of detail, energy and experimental panel angles that Checchetto brings to this. Luckily colorist Andres Mossa manages to make the artist switch ups not too jarring thanks to his excellent choice in colors.

The pages that Marco draw are fairly dope, as he excels at capturing the established characters actor’s licenses without coming off looking too photo realistic/light boxed. And I adore the way Checchetto draws that various ships and tech in this comic, giving the story as fantastic imagery. I think I would have enjoyed the book more had he drawn the entire mini.

dfdjg-2Greg Rucka handling the writing duties for the mini makes a ton of sense. Rucka is a great talent, and he already has experience writing Star Wars material thanks to the Smuggler’s Run Han Solo novel that dropped this past September. It’s a shame that this book is only 4 issues, because Rucka introduces at least 5 new characters in this mini that I would love to learn more about. 2 of which include the parents of new fan favorite character Poe Dameron, who Rucka handles like a very PG and less complicated versions of Marko and Alana from Saga. He also does a terrific job of writing the original, established and much beloved characters from episodes 4-6 as well, including a fantastic Princess Leia, much to the surprise of no one thanks to the incredible work he did writing badass females characters like Batwoman and Renee Montoya for DC.

In addition to the 4 issues of the Shattered Empire mini series, we get a copy of Mark Waid and the DodsonsPrincess Leia #1, and a recolored version of the original Star Wars #1 Marvel put out in 1977. I’m obviously not a fan of the new modern colors on the book, but it’s interesting to see how Marvel started with this license. The Waid/Dodsons Leia comic is very rad, and I can’t recommend picking up that mini-series enough.

Overall Shattered Empire is a fun read, but sadly suffers from some inconsistent art, and being a little too brief, thanks rush to get the trade out by the time The Force Awakens in theaters. I would love to see these creators revisit these characters again in the near future, and would recommend this trade for someone who wanted to dip their toes in Star Wars comics, but didn’t want to commit to an ongoing book like Darth Vader or Star Wars proper.

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Chris’ Comics: What I loved about Comics in 2015

It’s been awhile FPNYC Faithful! Both my wife’s and my parents are divorced and remarried, so that means 4 families in 3 different states over the course of 3-5 days, depending on the year. The upside to that is that I got to see “The Force Awakens” twice, which I enjoyed a bunch. Downside is that my portable keyboard’s “N” and “B” keys don’t working, making writing while traveling virtually impossible, at least if I wanted proper spelling.

2015 was kind of a mix bag for Comics. Between Convergence and Secret Wars, there were WEEKS where I didn’t pull any big 2 comics. Which was fine really, as Dark Horse, Image and Boom put out some fantastic books this year. Which means I’m going to spend today talking about what I loved about comics this year.

Kaptara-coverTHE RISE OF CHIP ZDARSKY: The homie Matt Fraction is probably my favorite dude working in comics, but in terms of books released in 2015, I think I’ve read all of 6 books written by Fraction in 2015. HOWEVER, his chum/Sex Criminals co-creator Chip Zdarsky had a fantastic year as far as I’m concerned. 2015 saw Chip teamed up with Infinite Kung-Fu creator Kagan McLeod and put out the excellent Kaptara for Image, Joe Quinones on Marvel’s absolutely hilarious Howard the Duck series, and in a move no one saw coming, Archie hired him and Erica Henderson for a Jughead series. Zdarsky and his army of artists released some gorgeous comics packed with sharp and brilliant humor. I’m excited to see what Chip and his friends can do come 2016, which will hopefully include Sex Criminals coming out on a regular schedule.

KIERON GILLEN, JAMIE MCKELVIE AND MATT WILSON PUT OUT PHONOGRAM VOLUME 3, OH AND THE WICKED AND THE DIVINE REMAINS AN EXCELLENT TITLE. 

PhonogramIG_04-1 Warning, this is where things get a little Image heavy for a bit.

For months, WicDiv has been battling it out with Saga for the crown of “Most Emotionally Damaging Image title”. 2015 saw that book hit all sorts of new creative highs, making for a fantastic read.

BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS THAT PHONOGRAM CAME BACK!

Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl isn’t the trio’s most accessible work, something I’ve stated several times,  but I don’t care. The music + magic plot point with it’s fascinating cast resonates with me in ways most comics don’t. I’m glad to see it come back, especially with these creators as good as they are now, and it deliver on levels I couldn’t predict. Between this and WicDiv, it’s hard to argue any creative team have had such a banner year more than these two.

PaperGirls_02-1BRIAN K VAUGHAN RELEASES A 2ND ON-GOING, IMAGE GETS ME TO GIVE THEM MORE MONEY. 

I might as well just get the rest of the Image stuff out in a single, dedicated section. In addition to books I was already reading like Rat Queens, Deadly Class, Saga, Sex Crimz, WicDiv & Pretty Deadly, Image decided to let a bunch of talented folk to put out more great books, which is both great for me as reader, and terrible for my savings account. Bitch Planet, Paper Girls, The Goddamned, Island, Montress,  and Tokyo Ghosts are just a few of the incredible offerings coming out from Image, who has had an banner year in 2015. And with creators like Bryan Lee O’ Malley preparing books for Image in 2016, I can’t see the publisher slowing down anytime soon.

SECRET WARS ISN’T TERRIBLE, A TON OF MARVEL BOOKS ARE FUN, THE STAR WARS BOOKS ARE GREAT, AND ALL NEW ALL DIFFERENT MARVEL Silk Marvel #1NOW HAS A TON OF POTENTIAL HITS ON THE WAY*!

I have plenty of issues with Marvel 2015, but I can’t deny the company has put out some amazing books over the past 12 months. Secret Wars, even with the delays, may be the new standard of excellent for event books. Marvel added wonderful books like The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Spider-Gwen, and Silk to their catalog. Hawkeye, Uncanny X-men and Secret Avengers all ended on high notes, as the Star Wars line kick several types of ass in ways Star Wars comics never had before. 2015 has been another great year for the House of Ideas, and 2016 looks to continue that trend with the new Black Panther, X-Men ’92, Black Widow, Luke Cage/Iron Fist and Captain Marvel titles dropping over the new few months.

*Anything Inhuman related being the exception, unless we count the wonderful Ms. Marvel.

DC….WELL DC TRIED REAL HARD AND THEY DESERVE SOME PROPS FOR AT LEAST MAKING AN ATTEMPT!

DC did not have a banner year, which is a shame. Convergence was a massive flop and it Batgirl_45_coverdid a ton of damage towards the DC You launch this past summer, which was pretty great for the most part. Black Canary, Starfire are excellent companion books to the already established (and wonderful) Batgirl and Harley Quinn titles, and Tom King is doing the Lord’s work over in Omega Men. The creative teams over on the Superman and Bat books are taking some neat risks, and the Justice League books have been pretty solid as a whole. Sadly, the sales haven’t been there, so who knows what’s to become of books like Gotham Academy and Prez come 2015. But with such cutting edge and diverse titles like John Constantine: Hellblazer, Cyborg, Grayson, and Midnighter coming out, hopefully DC’s 2016 will be better without having to sacrifice much.

And that concludes the annual wall of text. A weird but good year for comics IMO, which plenty to look forward next year! Thanks for reading, hope to see you again come 2016!

 

 

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Val’s Toy Chest

It has been quite an eventful year in the worlds of fantasy, sci-fi, comics and horror. We’ve lost a few stars of the genre this year including the beloved Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy), sassy librarian Barbara Gordon a.k.a. Batgirl (Yvonne Craig), the father of some of our worst Nightmares (Wes Craven), Superman’s best friend Jimmy Olsen (Jack Larson), the original Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen) and another of Kirk’s crew,Yeoman Rand (Grace Lee Whitney). It wasn’t just a year of loss as we witnessed the Age of Ultron and saw The Force Awaken(s) on the big screen. Heroes arose in live-action on regular and internet TV(Black Canary, The Atom and Speedy on Arrow, Hawkman and Hawkgirl on The Flash, Jessica JonesDaredevil and so much more) and the silver screen (Scarlet Witch, Ant-Man, The Vision plus the heroes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens) to much fanfare. The toy world has exploded with all sorts of characters this year including a bunch from the aforementioned properties and there will be a bevy of awesome figures coming out next year as well.

To close out this year at Forbidden Planet- we’ve gotten and are getting a few noteworthy items to talk about this week and I will also talk about my five favorite figures that I’ve purchased in 2015 and my five most anticipated figures for 2016. Kicking it off with NECA’s products- the excellent Terminator 2: Judgement Day action figure of Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor has arrived and she is AWESOME. Fully articulated with three interchangeable heads and a neat array of weapons I’d highly recommend her for Terminator fans and female action figure collectors. NECA has also released a new series of Aliensfigures- this time based on the Alien: Isolation video game and featuring figures of a Xenomorph and two versions of Ripley’s daughter Amanda. If you are a fan of the Alien figure series- these figures follow the same styling and articulation scheme as previous Aliens figures. Finally- we are getting the newest entry in Kotobukiya’s Bishoujo series- my favorite stunning siren- Dinah Laurel Lance- the Black Canary. Featured in her classic fishnets and leather look, this statue should please longtime fans of the series as well as Canary fans like myself.

Now without further ado- my top 5 Action Figures of 2015:

5. Aliens Series 5 (NECA): Ellen Ripley– Dressed as she appears in the 1986 classic Aliens. She was one of my most anticipated and she definitely did not disappoint.

4. Marvel Legends Thanos Series (Hasbro): Hellcat– Currently the star of her own ongoing series, this 6″ fully articulated action figure of Patsy Walker is a first time figure and has always been a favorite character of mine.

3. Star Wars: The Black Series (Hasbro): Princess Leia Organa Boushh Disguise– One of my all-time favorite Leia variations made her way into the 6″ Star Wars Black line and she is a beauty. With a removable helmet and all the accessories one would need to reenact her scenes in Jabba’s Palace- this one was a definite favorite this year.

2. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (NECA): Ultimate Sarah Connor– As stated above- a great figure with a great sculpt and check out those guns!

1. Batman: The Animated Series- The New Batman Adventures (DC Collectibles): Batgirl– Based on the Kids WB version of Batgirl as seen in the 1997 series, this figure was gorgeously sculpted and looks like she just stepped off the screen.

And now- my five most anticipated figures for 2016, thus far-

5. Batman V Superman Movie Masters (Mattel): Wonder Woman– I am unsure how I feel about the film in general but I am still looking forward to seeing Wonder Woman in action on the big screen and collecting various paraphernalia. Based on Gal Gadot’s portrayal of the famed comic book character, this should prove to be a popular piece.

4. Marvel Legends Onslaught Series (Hasbro): Mockingbird– Never before available in a 6″ format- this figure of newly minted TV star of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  Bobbi Morse features her in her latest outfit and should be a good figure for those building their Marvel Universe in figure form.

3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Hot Toys): Rey– I loved when spoiler and also that scene where spoiler. I don’t want to talk too much about her since the movie is still new but she is an amazing heroine and the Hot Toys version of her is sculpted to look just like actress Daisy Ridley. I know quite a few staff members anticipating her release. On a side note- I am also excited to find the cheaper 6″ Star Wars Black Hasbro version sometime in the new year.

2. Batman: The Animated Series (DC Collectibles): Zatanna– Based on her appearance during the 1993 run of Batman: The Animated Series this Bruce Timm designed figure was always one I wanted when I was a kid. The closest we ever got was the Justice League Unlimited Figure from Mattel. This one comes with episode specific accessories and should be as gorgeous as previous offerings in the series.

1. Arrow TV (DC Collectibles): Black Canary– It took two and a half seasons for Katie Cassidy’s Laurel Lance to fulfill her destiny as the Black Canary on the CW’s Arrow and this figure is a nice commemorative piece for a character and a show I mostly love. Combine it with the fact that Canary is my favorite character of all time and you have a real winner.

There’s sure to be more coming out next year that I’ll love and you can bet I will discuss them in this very column. That’s it for me this year! Catch you next year with an all new Val’s Toy Chest. Happy New Year!

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Val’s Toy Chest

It has been a busy weekend at the Planet- so much so, that I actually didn’t get to see the complete list of what’s coming in this week. I know we will be getting the new Justice League: Gods and Monsters Animated Movie Figures of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman– all of whom are not the traditional versions of the characters and maybe a couple of other DC Collectibles items. This week’s column is a little different as I won’t be talking about our new items but rather discussing my all-time favorite comic book holiday tale.

The year was 1988 and I remember seeing and getting the DC Comics Christmas with the Super-Heroes special either at my local newsstand or at one of the mall bookstores I would sometimes find myself at. The cover featured seven of DC’s celebrated characters as illustrated by John Byrne in front of a Christmas tree with some very badly wrapped presents in front of them. Black Canary, Green Arrow, Batman, Superman, Wonder Girl Donna Troy, Robin Dick Grayson and Wildfire were the representatives of the six reprinted stories in the $2.95 cover-priced comic. There were two Batman solo stories, a Superman/Santa Claus team-up, a swingin’ sixties Teen Titans tale, a Legion of Super-Heroes tale and the one story that could quite possibly be my favorite Justice League of America story of all-time. First- a little background.

Now I know I mostly talk about toys in this column- so here’s something you might not have known about me- I am a huge fan of the classic JLA run- starting from when they were in the Secret Sanctuary with a mascot named Snapper Carr all the way thru the Satellite Era. I haven’t really connected with the Detroit era as much as I’d like to- but that’s another story. For me the very best of the original JLA title was the Satellite Era line-up which had been around maybe a couple of years by the time of this X-Mas tale. The Christmas tale entitled “The Man Who Murdered Santa Claus” was originally presented in Justice League of America #110 and was written by Len Wein and penciled by Dick Dillin. JLA members Superman, Batman, Green Arrow, Black Canary, The Red Tornado and the newly introduced John Stewart make up the issue’s roll call.

Something about this tale of a murdered Santa Claus and the perpetrator behind this act appealed to me- especially during the more action-oriented parts of the story. Here’s the plot- Old-school JLA villain- the Key is dying from radiation poisoning and wants to get revenge on the JLA. To set the events in motion- he murders a man dressed in a Santa Claus outfit that had been with Batman and Superman. Getting the rest of the JLA to investigate proves to be difficult as most of the members are celebrating the holidays with their families. Ollie, Dinah, and Reddy show up and try to locate the Key’s hideout with Batman, Superman and John Stewart (substituting for an injured Hal Jordan) helping out. Once they find their way into an abandoned building- the Key sets up multiple death-traps to take the JLA out.

I’ve always been a sucker for Ten Little Indians type stories where the protagonists get taken out one by one until you’re down to the last of them and this story didn’t disappoint. The most memorable moment for me is the scene where (of course) Black Canary has to sacrifice herself to save the rest of her team. Superman had just given himself up moments before and the five JLAers find themselves in a room filling with deadly gas which Dinah can hold back by using her sonic scream. Oliver wants to stay with her of course but she judo-flips him out of there as the door shuts separating her from the rest of the team- his despair- classic. I won’t tell you anymore as I think it is a story worth tracking down. As far as I know it has only been reprinted in that 1988 special- a shame since it was a good story that deserves to be read every Christmas season. I often wished that the Justice League cartoon would adapt the story into an episode- but alas.

That’s it for me this week- hope you and yours have an awesome holiday season- if you celebrate Christmas- Merry Christmas to ya! I will catch you all next week with my final column for the year. I’m not sure what I will talk about yet- but it should be a fun one!

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Chris’ Comics: The Goddamned #2

TheGoddamned_02-1The Goddamned #2

Jason Aaron, r.m. Guera,, Giulia Brusco, Jared K. Fletcher

Image $3.99

 

I really wish this review was just me giggling inappropriately. Granted it would be the vaguest review, it would also be my cutest. Or creepiest I guess, depending on your perspective. Either way I should start doing video reviews for this blog.

The Goddamned #2 is more of the same insanity as issue 1 was, which is the breed of bonkers I love from my comics. This issue is split between Jason Aaron & r.m. Gueras take on Noah and his clan, and Kain, who stumbles across the distraught mother trope. There’s a lot for me to like in there 20 pages, even though it kind of stinks that the first female character we’re introduced to is a damsel in distress of sorts.

The-Goddamned-2-preview-mjmplajmuwohka5h64nauee8jtjzd0vdfa13tw2p1oNoah was introduced in the final pages of issue 1, and this issue sees him a little more fleshed out. Aaron and Guera’s Garth Ennis influence shines here, as we see Noah portrayed as a  righteous religious man who fully believes in carry out God’s work, just in the most violent of manners. He’s a fascinating character, and given his history, I’m excited to see his story play out.  A shame the same can’t be said for said female characte,r who doesn’t even get a name this issue.

While I’m less than pleased with how the book’s only female character is handled in the Kain portion of the book, I love what Guera and Aaron do with the character in this issue. While Kain throws down with a new tribe of foes, Aaron recalls the various methods Kain has tried killing himself. It walks to the line between ridiculous and tragic, because we feel for Kain in a way, but he’s also the dude solely responsible for the way the world is. I do appreciate Aaron and Guera finally giving the readers a reason to get behind Kain as a lead, and how they manage to let the reader know how bad the world is strictly from dialogue and visual cues.

Aside from the great narration and dialogue from Aaron, we get some fantastic stuff from the art team of this issue. Jared K Fletcher‘s choice of fonts really give the book a Prince Valiant/ old timey look, which I dig for a biblical action book.  It pairs well with the colors The-Goddamned-2-2015-Page-22used by Giulia Bruscowhich give the book a nice painted look. And of course r.m. Guera is fantastic. I like the various body type he uses for the book’s cast, especially when so many fantasy type stories only stick or two or 3. He really does a fantastic job of creating a sick and twisted world, while drawing some fine dinosaurs, and uses dark black inks to invokes shadows in some interesting wats. He also shines when it comes to drawing the action pieces in this issue, creating some really brutal art that hard too look directly art, but gorgeous in it’s own way none the less.

The Goddamned is pretty much everything I wanted from the team who gave us Scalped. It’s a violent fantasy book with a killer hook, and small but intriguing cast. Given what we know about the Bible & the Old Testament, we have a rough idea on how this whole thing is going to play out, but it’s fascinating none the less. Guera and Aaron managed to create a captivating narrative quickly, and with Brusco and Fletcher, and visual style that blend European style comics with some Games of Thrones level violence. It’s a book I can’t recommend enough if you want something a little more brutal from Image.

 

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Chris’ Comic: Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #4 and The Wicked and the Divine #17

PhonogramIG_05-1_263_405_s_c1TheWickedAndDivine_17-1Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #4

Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matthew Wilson, Clayton Cowles

Image $3.99

The Wicked and the Divine #17

Kieron Gillen, Brandon McCarthy

Image $3.50

I’ll confess, I’m a little sad that this is the last WicDiv/Phonogram same shipping day  that we’re possibly ever getting. It’s a real shame, because I’ve really enjoyed the last 4 months of having my heart torn out when reading the former, and then being confused in the best sort of ways when it came to Phonogram. 2015 has been a fantastic year for fans of Kieron Gillen comics, and it’s only appropriate the final month of the year gives us a penultimate issue of one series, and the end of the arc with the other.

CWTGfPkWsAIH-szPhonogram: The Immaterial Girl #5 features the return of Kid-With-A-Knife, who is the best character. That it not an opinion, mind you, it is fact. Also it’s the first issue in a long time that focuses on David Kohl, who’s clearly based on Kieron Gillen, and is the closest thing Phonogram has to a main protagonist.  Having Kohl as the issue’s central character seems appropriate, he was the first character we were introduced to, so it makes sense that he sets up the ending of Phonograms.  Once again, Gillen, artist Jamie McKelvie, colorist Matt Wilson and letter Clayton Cowles are brilliant, taking everything they created specifically for this minute and showcasing it in this issue. It’s been a incredible run so far, and I’m excited to see it all come to a head next issue. And props to artists Rosy Higgins and Ted Brandt, who handle the art to the B-side story for this issue. Higgins and Brandt create some gorgeous art, art that actually rivals what McKelvie is capable of creating. It’s another delightful installment of my favorite mini series of the year, as every creator really shines in this issue.

 

Over in The Wicked and the Divine #17, the final chapter of “Commercial Suicide” focuses on the Cat-demigod Sakhmet, drawn, colored and letter by  Brandon Graham. I really like how this issue is a play on the excessive partying Rock Star stereotype, with a the-wicked-and-the-divine-17-statuetwist that is horrifying, but makes total sense given Sakhmet’s M.O.. Graham is a fantastic talent,  and having him work with Gillen is a treat for readers. His more manga/graffiti mash up art style couldn’t be any more different than regular series artist Jamie McKelvie, but it’s so good that you shouldn’t mind. Gillen’s dialogue is as sharp as ever, and particularly dig the page in which cat and dog people are mentioned. And speaking of McKelvie, his final page of this comic sets up the next volume quite nicely, teasing at the return of a character who’s presence in this book has been missed. It’s a fantastic finale, and surprisingly easy on the reader’s nerves for a change.

Kieron Gillen’s creator owned output in 2015 has to be highlight of sorts for him, because it definitely is for me as a fan. The Immaterial Girl has exceed my expectations, and the Commercial Suicide arc of WicDiv has been nothing sort of incredible. Of course him being surrounded by a murder’s row of artistic talents helps a ton as well. It’s going to challenge for him and his team of creator to wow me as much come next, but if there’s anyone who can do it, it’s Gillen and co.

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