Thursday, April 21, 2022
Friday, April 15, 2022
There's no cover image supplied for Black Adam—The Justice Society Files: Hakwman #1 by Cavan Scott, Bryan Q. Miller, Scot Eaton and company, but we do have a few paragraphs of solicitation copy and that long, strange title to go on, and, well, it sounds awfully weird. DC Comics disintegrated JSA continuity during the New 52 era , the very continuity that the upcoming Black Adam film that is inspiring this comic seems be based on, and so now I'm not so sure what the state of the JSA's history in the new, post-Death Metal DCU even is. Did everything just get restored and go back to the way it was prior to Flashpoint? If so, then there's still a weird, ten-year gap among the various JSA legacy heroes that needs back-filled in....which maybe this is an attempt to do so...?
Ha ha, and I didn't think Hawkman continuity could get anymore weird and alienating!
here), and DC tried something similar at least once, but it's been a while.
Sunday, April 10, 2022
Finally, a superhero comic book about a plague outbreak: Re-reading "Contagion" in the time of Covid
On the other hand, it's gone on long enough and been persistent enough that it's sort of odd that we never saw, say, civilian background characters in Amazing Spider-Man street scenes wearing masks, for example; the Marvel Universe is, after all, as a recent trade collection pointed out, supposed to be the world outside your window*.
Ebola Gulf-A...Incubation period, 48 hours. Flulike symptoms, when the virus spreads in airborne mucus. Blood leaks from the eyes.Gulf-A dessicates the muscles, shrinking and deforming them...turning the victim into a gnarled, misshapen cripple. Eventually, the bones themselves splinter and break...under the incredible pressure.
***I find myself curious what the notoriously conservative Dixon thinks about the aspects of the pandemic that have become political—masking, vaccine, mandates—given how apolitical "The Clench" and its fighting was in the pages of the comic book he wrote some 15 years ago, and what so many of his fellow conservatives think of those elements of our current pandemic.
Friday, April 01, 2022
While each of the five short comics is competently made, none really stood out to me as superior, must-read work. They are notable for their strange choices, however, like the decision to split up writer Preeti Chhibber's Black Cat story "Four Jobs That Felicia Hated and One She Didn't" into six one-page parts, each drawn by a different artist and inserted between other stories, almost like commercial breaks.
The Mirka Andolfo-written, Sumeyye Kesgin-drawn Scarlet Witch story "Real Witches" was notable for starring a new, original character, and not featuring an appearance by the Marvel hero until the fifth page of an eight-page story, and even then she's very much the guest-star.
Pressed to pick a favorite, I'd probably be torn between the two team-up stories, the Black Widow/Squirrel Girl story by Charlie Jane Anders, Emma Kubert and Elisabetta D'Amico, in large part because I so miss Doreen, Tippy-Toes and Nancy so much, and the Shanna/Silver Sable story by Rhianna Pratchett and Alina Erofeeva, mostly because it remembered Shanna existed and had a nice, heavy-handed moral I can get behind (Scan your snacks ingredients to make sure they don't have any palm oil before you buy them!)
For example, in this second volume of James Kochalka's new series about a bright yellow fox who is also a kinda sorta detective, Sour Grapes Jr., who now volunteers at a library, arrests Banana Fox for his excessive overdue fines and throws him in library jail.
"I'm pretty sure library jail isn't real," Banana Fox says from behind bars, and, when Sour Grapes Jr. insists that it is too real because he made it up himself, Banana Fox continues to argue "But...other libraries don't pub people in JAIL..." To which Sour Grapes Jr replies, "Well, maybe they SHOULD!"
As someone whose day job is in a public library, all I can think to say is ,"Right on, Sour Grapes Jr.! We should be able to arrest people and put them in jail!"
After a somewhat meandering, stream-of-conscious beginning involving Banana Fox, Flashlight, William and Tur-Tur, the action moves to the library, where Sour Grapes Jr. has enacted his weird plot that involves a book deposit bin that transforms into a book-eating robot. As with the first volume, it is high-quality silliness for all-ages.
Unfortunately, the society they target is the idyllic, pastoral community of Akira's home village, where his parents and neighbors have managed to escape the zombie apocalypse affecting the rest of Japan by sealing off the only entrance. The bad guys, lead by an anti-Akira NEET, unseal the the only tunnel leading into or out of the village by moving the construction equipment that blocking it, and then ride around in it, elevated out of reach of the zombie horde they've unleashed.
There's something of the superhero comic about this particular volume, with how neatly the villains are presented as the opposite number of our heroes, and the way they split up into four individual one-on-one conflicts.
I suppose if the series is to go on, something had to happen to the village, as otherwise our heroes would just stay there and live happily ever after, but this is such a drastic and sudden something, it ratchets up the suspense for the next volume quite a bit, especially given the cliffhanger, wherein Akira is given the choice to either sacrifice himself to the zombies or have his father fed to them.
Zom 100 continues to be an exciting and unusual entry in a well-trod genre.