biweekly comics review

Wait, who’s this? That’s right, it’s me, Indrani. It has been a veritable age due to the election and a bunch of essays and Thanksgiving and computer issues and WordPress issues and a whole, whole lot of Indrani-Style Laziness™.

Some changes: comic reviews will be biweekly, and I won’t review them all. There are so many, and at this point everyone knows that I’m going to like Lumberjanes, and I’m going to be ambivalent about Captain Marvel (today I realized how blessed we are that G. Willow Wilson is still writing Ms. Marvel), and Saga‘s gonna be crazy good, etc. So what sticks out to me will get into the review.

This should also force me to write other stuff, like a midseason TV wrap-up/review—although I really cannot find info on when Madam SecretaryBull, or a couple other shows close for the fall. Notorious is basically done, which I didn’t realize (and forever), and Conviction‘s approaching what’s assumed to be terminal velocity. Anyway, other stuff, like Koffee With Karan talk, more pen talk, and another video roundup, and a book review or two, should show up also. More future post talk at the bottom.

Let’s get in it!

Oh wait I realize I haven’t been doing the ice cream thing! Uh, I think I had apple streusel with hot fudge (and maybe also whip?) three-ish weeks ago (I was so excited about hot fudge, you have no idea), and next I had apple cider with fudge, and this week I had caramelized honey and cardamom with hot fudge and whipped cream, because I had spent an absolutely unholy amount of time in pouring rain on my bicycle (The Streetle).

BLACK PANTHER WORLD OF WAKANDA #1: Coates, Gay, Harvey, Martinez, Richardson, Rosenberg, Bonvillain

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This was Very Good. I’m enjoying this new wave of authors getting into comics, specifically authors of color (see: Saladin Ahmed?! How cool is Black Bolt gonna be, guys?!), and I love Roxane Gay’s work. This included! Strong stories with strong black ladies, right up my alley. Highlights for me: Afua Richardson’s art in the backup story; black gal love; super-very-good T’Challa on the cover. (8.7/10)

NAMESAKE #1: Orlando, Rebelka

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Yes! Very GOOD!

I will start by admitting that I took a glance at this comic mostly because it shares a title with Jhumpa Lahiri’s fantastic novel. However, this is a genre-smashing and -mashing sci-fi/western/fantasy with gay dads and last rites and world-hopping, so, just a bit different.

I just read an interview with Steve Orlando where he talks about the Final Fantasy game franchise influencing this work in terms of world-building, which bodes well for us readers. He talks about architecture and mechanics and magic, and this first issue is promising. I’m sensing a big hit for BOOM!, even if this is limited (to my greatest chagrin).

The dichotomy of Jordan, the protagonist, being a firefighter in what looks like the modern era versus the magical, anti-iron world of Ektae, is interesting to me. When this kind of book is done well, it is excellent. As this one seems to be! (9/10)

MOONSHINE #2: Azzarello, Eduardo Risso

Very seriously considering dropping this one. Neither the story nor the art is getting to me yet, and there’s some questionable rendering of black people here. Worrying. I’m either going to give it through next issue or through the end of the arc. Ah well. (4/10)

THE MIGHTY THOR #13: Aaron, Epting, Martin

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Page one: the juxtaposition (visually and textually) of Jane talking to another patient about cancer and Jane/Thor’s inner monologue about knowing all of the ten realms/war in general—so good. Knowing the ten realms as a metaphor for the ins and outs of cancer (although I just realized maybe she already knew that because she is a doctor, M.D.), becoming intimate with both types of war—so very fab.

Moving on. I’ve never seen the League of—I started typing League of Legends. Fire me. Okay, never heard of the League of Realms before, but what a kickass team! A dynamite dwarf?! That’s straight out of The Adventure Zone (yes in my head I said it in that funky intro voice)! And how nice it was to see Angela again! Also a very cool giant lady who has trees for arrows. (!!!!)

As for the last page, I had to hop on the Google Machine to figure out who this bag-head fancy-pants man is, but now I know that Kurse is a former dark elf who fell in some lava and subsequently got ‘roided up by the Beyonder. My question is, are the things on his bag-mask teeth, or a necklace, or neck-horns, or what? On the preview of the next issue’s cover they’re made to seem like teeth, but…are they? (9/10)

WONDER WOMAN #11: Rucka, Sharp, Martin

Okay, okay okay okay okay. Wonder Woman, it’s a trap! Good on Steve for noticing. When I read this at the ice cream shop, the word that popped into my head was funky. Like, this is a very funky mystery, in an inestimably bad way. I think I was wrong about the Silver Swan thing, but there was a robot lady, so I was on the right track. I would really like to reread all of these with the context I have now, but that’s going to have to wait a couple weeks. (Side note: please don’t kill the dogs, Etta.) (10/10)

MONSTRESS #8# Liu, Takeda

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I would have read this if it were a YA book, I would have watched it were it a movie, I probably would have eaten it if it were food. I unequivocally love Monstress, and this issue (like every issue) validates my love. Such a strong and compelling story! Sana’s art (honestly how did this happen. her art is incredible)! The pure worldbuilding of this series blows me away every time.

Plus, this issue introduces a very cool shark lady named Old Tooth. Also some scary things I don’t understand? I need a reread here as well. Please read Monstress—this goes for my non-comic pals (read: all of my pals) as well. (10/10)

THE GODDAMNED #5: Aaron, Guéra, Brusco

It has been one day less than six months since the last Goddamned came out. But it was worth the wait! We wrap up the Noah’s Ark…arc…here, and it seems that Aaron is stepping definitively outside the general Biblical canon, which is not something I expected.

Reading this is like playing a first-person shooter (most of which I hate, with very, very few—like maybe one—exceptions). It’s good to get your Over the Garden Walls and your Batmans and what-have-you in, but sometimes it’s nice to just sink your teeth into a complete and total gorefest. Which is precisely what this is, with a lot of morality talk and a sort of post-apocalyptic depression? Maybe pre-apocalyptic? I don’t know what that term would be exactly, because it’s really neither. Purgatorial, kind of. But very good. (9/10)

(I guess my rating system at this point is: Very Good, very good, good, fine, ambivalent, bad, Very Bad, no.)

SEVEN TO ETERNITY #3: Remender, Opeña

I don’t have anything to critique here, but this is not what I thought I was getting into. I thought this story was going to be Adam vs. Mud King, I.E., long journey getting to the castle, getting in the castle, beating up (?) the Mud King, getting beat up…I don’t know, but I was very surprised when the Lord of Whispers himself showed up in the flesh in the first issue. But this is more like…oh, what piece of media am I thinking of. Not Midnight Run, I think more fantastical, but in that vein…kind of like Blacklist, I suppose. Something with the criminal tied up and forced to tag along. I think it’s a book, however, but you get the gist. So very different than my initial expectations, but this story is so strong, and it’s going very well. (9/10)

Actually hold on. I think Adam literally just left his young son behind in a city on the cusp of anarchy/a human-killing spree. Dude, what? For someone whose whole deal is loyalty and doing the right thing and, oh yes, family, what are you even doing? Did he just forget his son in the adrenaline rush of it all? What?

ROMULUS #2: Hill, Blake II

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I can’t find a similar Luther Strode cover, but this is so Tradd Moore. When Blake II draws the Romulus agents, he is straight channeling.

This issue was as good as the first, and I enjoyed it a lot. It introduces some magic elements, and starts to build the supporting cast out. This comic has a good feminist agenda, as well. The main thing I want to talk about, though, is the appearance of another mystical spooky organization:

img_0494I lost my whole entire mind. When it’s first mentioned, I did a double take, then laughed out loud, then went a little wild in my head. It’s one thing to make a fictional pseudo- and psycho- Illuminati. To then introduce the REAL Illuminati…very bold, very audacious. And this, the last panel, I just…physically, I can’t handle this stuff. (Though I have never seen a more me panel in my life.) (8/10)

That’s it for this fortnight, folks. Midseason post should be after December 14th at the earliest—I can’t see CBS pushing anything long after that. I’m going to start doing “things I loved this week” posts, kind of like The Gentleman Stationer’s “Sunday Reading” posts. Expect lots of end-of-year wrap ups, books-, movies-, webcomics-, and maybe games-wise in mid- to late December. And I have to do a post on my analog setup for 2017, but due to Christmas items I may or may not receive that will probably be in the first week of 2017 itself. Some other things may crop up as well—I have a nascent book review and I might also talk about this year’s analog setup and its evolution if I get around to it.

Okay. Sleep tight! Spread the word re: me in your dreams.

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