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I was on a frame vacation–which is a vacation within a vacation, of course–and didn’t have time to flesh out my previews for 8/8’s books.  So, for you Images and Nerds completists out there, here’s a quick rundown.  This go-round, said rundown will be more re- and less pre- as I’ve read all of our I&N Demand books.

Thanks for your understanding.

  • The Dead Hand #5 (Image): I&N Demand I’m loving this series.  Haven’t heard much buzz about it, but it’s really good.  Kyle Higgins is doing great work here, playing with paranoia, with isolation, with existentialism and with an external existential threat, which, at this point, has found its way into Mountain View, a community essentially built upon a cleverly conceived existential threat of its own–one that wears the face of and, more important, particularly as it pertains to the development of the pervasive danger in the book, exhibits the mental and emotional capacity of a child.  (Parents: hits pretty close to home, no?  Ha!  Another fine twist!)  Stephen Mooney’s artwork, accentuated by Jordie Bellaire’s colors, helps to stretch the tension from panel to panel, page to page, issue to issue.  Sure, the Cold War might be over, but there are bombs still waiting to go off–and a shit ton of them are planted in the pages of The Dead Hand.

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  • Eternal Empire #10 (Image)
  • Farmhand #2 (Image)
  • Oblivion Song #6 (Image)
  • Unnatural #2 (Image)
  • She Could Fly #2 (Dark Horse/Berger Books): I&N Demand The first issue was a promise; and with #2, Christopher Cantwell, Martin Morazzo, and Miroslav Mrva delivered on it.  For one, the book moves at a decapitating pace; yeah, the narrative threads–see, they’re piano wire, and the quick cuts’ll leave your head in your hands.  (The cover’s got that covered, yo.)  The madness that fuels the frenzy is manifested meticulously, which may seem contradictory in reflection, but instead makes sense–which, considering the nature of the creator-reader relationship, in the end, makes all the sense in this mad, mad, mad, mad world.  Cool touch: Luna’s barrettes look like devil horns.  You know, once I noticed that, I couldn’t not see it and was like Wow, cool touch.  I even showed my wife.  She said, “Oh, yeah” and then went back to her phone–on Pinterest or Etsy or Instagram or Match or whatever the hell it is she spends so much time on.  She could swipe, that one.  But She Could Fly, if it keeps up this level of storytelling, will touch the fucking sun.

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  • Catwoman #2 (DC): I&N Demand Joëlle Jones has brought her sexy lines and lots of leather together to give us the solo Catwoman we knew we needed and have desperately wanted, especially since the Tom King proposed the whole Bat-Cat thing.  #1 hit a lot of great notes writing-wise and art-wise.  Some of those notes were echoes of Jones’ terrific Lady Killer, which was, in retrospect, the perfect audition for Catwoman.  This second issue didn’t scratch the same spots as the first, but Jones whipped up a solid issue nevertheless–particularly in the portrayal of Cat’s angst over the big Bat break up and the development of the mystery surrounding Lady Creel’s plan for Selina; and, again, with the lines and the leather–and the Laura Allred’s luscious colors–all of it justification for my objectification of the femme feline–it’s damn easy on the eyes.

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  • Sandman Universe #1 (DC/Vertigo)
  • Superman #2 (DC)
  • Amazing Spider-Man #3 (Marvel)
  • Fantastic Four #1 (Marvel): I&N Demand The First Family is back!  Well, they’re almost back–and that, kids, is your hook.  But could their return be Doom-ed from the start?  Can’t wait to see what Dan Slott’s got in store for comicdom’s most indispensable four.

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  • Black Badge #1 (BOOM!): I&N Demand I’m kind of a Kindt junkie, and, logically, following with more figurative language, Black Badge is my next fix–oh, and how satisfying #1 was.  Exploiting the same chemical formula that worked so well in the intoxicatingly agitative Grass Kings–Kindt+Jenkins^2=masterfully mature storytelling and a well-deserved Eisner nom–Black Badge bursts onto the scene like a nostalgia bomb with a perfectly-paced adventure that calls to mind the ubiquitous kidventure movies of the ’80s (Stand by Me and The Explorers were two of my faves) and mirrors those games my friends and I used to play on the farm, as we’d battle imaginary Nazis or Russians a la Where Eagles Dare or Red Dawn.  These kids, however, aren’t playing a game–and neither is the creative team: this is some dark stuff; and like good little scouts, we best be prepared for more.  See: “Nobody can do what [they] can do.  No one can go where [they] can go.”  (Hey! you say?  “They”? Doubled for your pleasure, fair reader!  OK, you got me: mostly for mine.)  For the week, Black Badge #1 is #1 with a bullet drone strike.

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  • Clankillers #2 (Aftershock)
  • Hot Lunch Special #1 (Aftershock)
  • Strangers in Paradise XXV #5 (Abstract Studio): I&N Demand Terry Moore’s return to Paradise has been exhilarating, with familiar faces and events unfolding, particularly around Katchoo, at a breakneck pace.  #5 slows things down a bit a lot to offer a history lesson, which is meant to make the mystery lessen a lot a bit, which it does–though not before Moore uses Katchoo–and her big ol’ yawn–to let us know that it’s OK that we got a bit–yeah, a bit–beaten up by Tambi’s walking like an Egyptian through her explanation of the situation that plagues them both.  In the end, however, Katchoo faces defeat her feet and realizes that she’s got to change her attitude–and her longitude–if she’s going to get to the truth.  Another black and white beauty from Mr. Moore.

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Thanks for reading!

Turning pages,

Scott

 

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