January's Issue Ones Part 2

Scroll down to this Monday for Part 1, as I read a bunch of first issues from the past month and half. Do I keep reading? Should you? Maybe I'll save you a buck, and maybe I'll cost you one. Proceed at your own risk.
Revolutionary War: Alpha by Andy Lanning, Alan Cowsill and Rich Elson for Marvel. I don't know much about Marvel UK, frankly, except what characters were featured in Cornell's MI-13 book or maybe those old Excalibur comics. But I'm always up for books covering non-American superheroes. The first issue of Revolutionary War catches you up pretty efficiently without it feeling like a constant barrage of exposition, and though you can tell a lot of the character designs come from the 90s, the crazy ideas are very "Brit comics". Love the dry humor too. Instead of standard numbering, each of the 8 issues, aside from Alpha and Omega, will be titled after a Marvel UK character or team, and will feature different creative teams. A limited but epic crossover appeals to me more than whatever big event is going on in the Marvel universe on this side of the pond.
Keep reading? I'm intrigued enough to keep at it, and hoping the MI-13 characters play a big role. (Edit: Read the next two issues and the scripts were HILARIOUS. Entertainment achieved!)
Juice Squeezers by David Lapham for Dark Horse. A four-issue mini-series about a group of kids who fight the giant bugs infesting their area, it's charming, quirky and quite funny at times, with lots of bug-busting action. In the first issue, they're already veterans, so our identification figure will be the new boy on the block whose dad just unwarily bought ground zero for the infestation. Promises to be a fun adventure.
Keep reading? Definitely.
Hacktivist by Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly and Marcus To for Archaia Black Label. Created by Alyssa Milano, of all people, Hacktivist is about a pair of social media moguls/hackers who believe the Internet should be a tool for changing your life and the destiny of nations. It could be prescient!
Keep reading? Yes. I think I'm going to enjoy this 4-issue mini.
EGOs by Stuart Moore and Gus Storms for Image. Neither Legion of Super-Heroes nor The Hypernaturals is being published right now, and I didn't really like Justice League 3000, so... Is there a far future sci-fi superhero series for me? EGOs could be it. The acronym stands for Earth/Galactic Operatives, but the series is called that for another reason completely, one that won't be clear until the last few pages of the first issue. More Hypernaturals than Legion (and there's nothing wrong with that), the science is high-concept and the powers interesting. The story about an old team of supers recruiting a new generation because of an old threat rising again has some nice twists to it, and the narration is witty and comes from an unusual source.
Keep reading? Another winner, I think. I'm definitely having more luck today than I did on Monday.
Skyman by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Manuel Garcia for Dark Horse. I've been reading Captain Midnight, so I was aware that world's Skyman was a racist douchebag who had to be taken down. With this new series, a new man steps into the role, and it's got diversity written all over it. The new Skyman is a war vet, handicapped and as you can see, black. And all of that isn't just thrown together, it's actually part of the story. For the government, it's a matter of PR. But he also happens to be the right man for the job, if he can survive his jerk of a handler and whatever the government has planned for him. Cuz it doesn't all look like it's on the up and up.
Keep reading? Sure! I'm a fan of Fialkov's and may just end up liking Skyman more than I do Captain Midnight.
Deadly Class by Rick Remender and Wes Craig for Image. Remender is hit and miss with me, but Deadly Class looks to be a very personal project that relates to his own experiences with punk culture, street violence and being a teen runaway. The first issue is a strange animal. It starts as a straight drama about a homeless teen surviving on the streets of San Francisco in 1987, and then he meets this ninja girl and the book goes on an X-Men/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles bender that evokes the comics of that period. I guess it's Assassin High from now on, I don't know. If he can keep the sensitive personal drama in there, this could be a winner. For now, it's really two series fighting for control. I do love the art though. It's artsy, detailed and dynamic, perfect for either of those series.
Keep reading? I'll be reading the second issue and probably more.
The Midas Flesh by Ryan North, Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb for Boom! Box. Ok, so on the one hand, you've got the King Midas story with a big crazy twist and the Ancient Greeks talking like surfer dudes. If this was the kind of thing the book was entirely about, I'd be on board. But the Midas stuff is really background for the main story, a space opera bit that tries to be quirky, with an ensemble cast that includes a talking dinosaur, and everyone once again talking like surfer dudes (it's a problem when everyone has the same voice). And the space opera elements just aren't as interesting to me, I'm afraid, especially since all the key words seem to have been pulled out of the Star Trek franchise. I really wanted to like this, and it had some undeniable charm, but I needed a bit more, especially if I'm going to keep reading all of the above series.
Keep reading? I'm a afraid the buck stops there.
Bad Ass by Herik Hanna and Bruno Bessadi for Dynamite. An odd duck, this one's about Dead End (so why isn't it called that?), a nasty, but amusing super-assassin who fights the likes of triads run by Chinese dragons and fellow assassins like the violin-playing Catwoman clone Amadeus Kitty. His angry scenes in the present are intercut with 1977 high school sequences when he was a pimply nerd getting bullied. I could call it tasteless or I could call it irreverent, mostly the latter. It feels to me like a Rated R version of Deadpool.
Keep reading? Borderline. I kinda dug it. Will read the next issue if I think of picking it up.

A better batch than Monday's, looks like. And it feels like I'm back on track reading monthlies. Still... way behind on the books I was already reading, and now I've gone and added more to the pull list?! I can feel a culling on the wind.


Matt Celis said...

Wow...all of those sound awful! I guess DC failed to maintain its Skyman trademark. Poor corporate giant. Thought Captain Marvel would have taught them all about that.

Tor Hershman said...


Señor Editor said...

I liked *some* of those early 90s Marvel UK titles. I liked the "Knights of Pendragon" series and most importantly I liked "Warheads" (enough to write about it on my site- linked my name to it!). I know that Gary Erskine, who was one of the original artists of this series, will be back to drawing the team during the crossover, so that actually got me a little excited. I'm gonna have to pick it up now!

"Skyman" sounds good to me, too!

Rex Kidd said...

Of these I only read Deadly Class, and Bad Ass, but I think I might look into EGO (even though I actually DO like JL3000) and possibly Hacktivist.

Also on the fence about Bad Ass, it didn't leave much of an impression on me but it did seem SORT of cool.

Siskoid said...

That's it exactly. That could be a sign of a lack of authenticity, writing "cool" from some formula. I dunno.

Martin Léger said...

Badass is a horrible name for anything. Like you mentioned, he's already got the cool sounding Dead End. But they go for "badass", wth.

Siskoid said...

Trying to evoke Kick Ass?


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