Monday, 24 February 2014

Comic Books That I'm Reading...

I’m reading a lot of good books at the moment but have somehow found myself in the position where I’ve either only just started them (most of the books but Leigh Brackett’s ‘The Long Tomorrow’ in particular) or am trying to work out what I want to say about them (Philip K. Dick’s ‘Dr Bloodmoney’ which was a great read but I want to say a little more than that). Hopefully you will see some of them in a few days’ time but right now, I’m easing myself gently into the week by having a little post about some comics that I was reading on the way to work this morning.

‘Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle’ #4 (Straczynski, Woods)

As a rule, I will read anything (comics in particular) with the Predator, Aliens, or the Terminator on the front cover. Being a child of the eighties it kind of comes with the territory really. With ‘The Terminator’ though I can’t help but wonder if the story has run its course; especially when the old time travel trope keeps getting wheeled out to jam yet another plot into an already creaking timeline. I’m kind of late to ‘The Final Battle’ but I couldn’t help but get the same feeling here… Don’t get me wrong, it all looks very good; I love the way Woods draws the Terminator point of view and the battle scenes are as good as they are in the films but… Another ‘time travel just when humanity is about to win’ plot though? That’s what it looks look to me and, even now, it looks like it will feed into a well-established plot anyway. Straczynski offers a fresh spin on the Terminator, in terms of its evolution, but doesn’t (can’t?) do an awful lot else. Of course I’ll be following this story (it’s the ‘Terminator’…) but more out of polite interest and a wish to be proved wrong.

‘Get the Lobster’ #2 (Mignola, Arcudi, Zonjic)

I don’t know why (really can’t put my finger on it…) but Lobster Johnson is my favourite thing about the ‘Hellboy’ universe. It might just be the name, I really don’t know… Anyway, the man himself has a mini-series going on; I’ve missed the first issue but there’s a lot to enjoy here even if I’m not entirely sure what is going on. There’s a midget with a transistor radio in his head and the police are gunning for Lobster because the Chief doesn’t like vigilantes tearing up his city (understandable really). Mignola and Arcudi offer up some intriguing mysteries (and a possible hint at the Lobster’s past) while Zonjic goes for a understated feel that perfectly captures nineteen thirties New York while casually stepping things up a gear when the bullets start flying. It’s a perfect combination really and I’ll definitely be following this one to its conclusion. I’ll even have to see if I can find that first issue.

‘Veil’ #1 (Rucka, Fejzula)

A girl wakes up naked in a subway tunnel with no idea of who she is but an instinctive grasp of the power that she can wield if someone threatens her… And… that’s it :o) We basically have a whole comic of this girl spouting nonsense to herself and slowly beginning to find her place in the world. You know what though? It works really well and I’m already hooked. Rucka does an amazing job of spinning out the mystery into a climax that answers questions and raises more all at the same time; all the more so because Veil doesn’t really do anything until the last couple of pages.
Feizula’s art is gorgeous, hinting at overworldly influences in the plot as well as capturing the neon excesses of the city. I can’t wait for more of the same in the next issue.

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