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5. Satellite Sam #1 (Image): Matt Fraction and Howard Chaykin take us back to the dawn of television for a behind-the-scenes look at the type of low-fi, sci-fi program that nostalgists pine for as evidence of a simpler, more innocent time. But what Fraction and Chaykin show us is anything but: murder, sex, and best of all the breathless pacing and snappy dialogue of such stylish, seedy media sneak-peeks as L.A. Confidential, Mad Men and His Girl Friday. Captain Video this ain’t. Rather, with its mature themes and sophisticated storytelling, this is the kind of comic to give to people who don’t read comics. We need more like this. (DM)

Satellite Sam #1

Satellite Sam #1

4. Thumbprint #2 (IDW): Jason Ciaramella and Vic Malhotra deftly continue their adaptation of Joe Hill’s tour-de-force story about the horror that has seemingly followed a disgraced Iraqi War veteran back home. Emphasis on force: this issue largely concerns a flashback to a wartime episode of breathtaking cruelty. Hill’s accomplishment is not in the depiction of the act itself, but in the implicit conveyance that, as bad as this is, there were things that went on that were much, much worse. (DM)

Thumbprint #2

Thumbprint #2

3. Wild Blue Yonder #2 (IDW): Regular readers might remember that I celebrated the series’ opening salvo as a summer blockbuster.  Yeah, well, this issue takes all of the itty-bitty block bits left over from the initial blockbusting and busts them into even itty-bittier pieces!  Mike Raicht scripts the light fantastic as he slides from the Dawn to the dark side; as he builds bonds and, just like that, breaks them.  Zach Howard and Nelson Daniel come in heavy, bringing each scene to life or death with their gorgeously gritty artwork.  That’s right: grab your popcorn and pick the perfect seat: when it comes to high-flying fun, Wild Blue Yonder can’t be topped.  Two issues in and it’s quite clear: the sky’s the limit. (SC)

Wild Blue Yonder #2

Wild Blue Yonder #2

2. Six-Gun Gorilla #2 (BOOM!): Duck Dynasty ain’t got a damn thing on this simply “perfick” reality show from Simon Spurrier and Jeff Stokely.  Attention must be paid!  Hell, it’s “the name of the game.”  And if you’re not paying attention to this wild, wild western–if you’re not runnin’ with the ‘rilla by now–you’re clearly of questionable taste.  But, hey, it’s Goodall–I mean, it’s all good.  Sure, it’s possible–but not likely–you’re just not that into action-packed satires that co-star cigar-chomping simians who sell their lines like they’re looking to earn enough scratch to buy a big ol’ bunch of bananas before Blazetime. Yeah, that’s what I thought.  We ostentatiously tossed roses at the dusty knuckles of #1 (it was our Book of the Month for June), but Spurrier and Stokely very well may have raised the monkey bar with this one. (SC)

Six-Gun Gorilla #2

Six-Gun Gorilla #2

1. Mister X: Eviction #3 (Dark Horse): Dean Motter’s contender for Book of the Year is not just a compelling story with beautiful art; it is also a love-letter to the medium itself. From the Will Eisner-inspired cover to the delightful Winsor McCay interlude, this book is just catnip for comics enthusiasts. If Satellite Sam is recommended for people who don’t read comics, this is a gift for people that do. Book of the Month(DM)

Mister X: Eviction #3

Mister X: Eviction #3

Biggest Dis(appointment): Brian Michael Bendis’s X-Mess

Both Uncanny and All-New versions of the X-Men this month–#8 and #9 of the former and #14 of the latter–are X-ercises in the ol’ rhetorical runaround.  Oh, they’re perfectly pretty–thanks to Chris Bachalo and Stuart Immonen, respectively–but what do they accomplish, really?  That’s right: be honest with yourself and with the world: the answer’s disgracefully obvious: not much at all.  Now, I know we’re headed toward the big Battle of the Atom crossover and maybe the jogging in place is related to that.  As it is, Bendis’s X-titles have been X-tremely disappointing for some time now; yeah, sadly this isn’t the first month where I’ve been like Why am I still buying these damn things?  But I’m still buying ’em–because I still believe in Bendis and because I’m not quite ready to be an ex-X-Men reader.  See: I’m a sucker for Cyclops.  So, on one eye, I’m like, to hell with it; and on the other, I’m sure that something’s going to happen–and soon!–to justify my loyalty.  I just know it!  After all, Bendis himself  promises–through Mystique–that “[t]here’s a bigger picture” here.  And, if, in the end, all of these pointless little pieces fit together to form it, well, then shame on me for doubting.  And if they don’t, whom do I ask for a refund? (SC)

Turning pages,

Derek & Scott

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