Digested #5. This latest issue of Aussie creator Bobby N’s touching and humorous series has been out for a while, but is definitely worth a mention. As is the fact that he has a new collection of self-published comics coming out, called No Map, But Not Lost. Loving the title. Both myself and my podcast co-host Mladen are fans of Digested. In fact, Mladen chose it as his fave Aussie title of 2011.
This issue continues the surreal tale of gas mask wearing citizens in Oxygen that has featured in every issue thus far. In mostly 4 panel, black and white pages, Bobby manages to draw out great empathy and the need to question monotony and embrace the unusual. It’s great stuff and speaks volumes about his ability to use comics as an emotional tool. The other story here is a 3 pager called Small Victories about moving house, and the reason why. Again, with superb use of captions, and facial expressions rather than lots of dialogue, he expresses something that most people can relate to.
You can pick up every issue of Digested (and I suggest that you do) from Gestalt.
Batman Beyond Unlimited #1. I was never a huge fan of the future-set Batman animated TV series that this is based on, but I do love any alternate version of the Justice League, and the art of Norm Breyfogle and Dustin Nguyen, all which feature here. This is the print debut of tales which originally appeared as digital comics BTW. Guided by an elderly Bruce Wayne, teen Terry McGinnis is the Batman of Gotham years from now. The first story, 10, 000 Clowns and features on an influx of Jokerz gangs from other cities, while Bruce talks to Commissioner (Barbara, ex-Batgirl) Gordon, and Terry attempts to reunite with his ex, Dana.
The second story, Konstruction follows a battle between the usual villains from the TV show and new gang, the Animal Kingdom for street splicing. Then the JLB show up. I assume that’s Justice League Beyond. It’s good to see Warhawk, Green Lantern Kai-Ro, exiled New God Big Barda, and Aquagirl again. The older Superman shows up for a bit, with two Bizarro kids and the team discusses what to do with the new Atom, or Micron as he’s been kidnapped and possibly brainwashed. This tale is more action packed than the previous one and features a host of different characters. This 4 part anthology series is pretty newbie friendly, and both stories are a generous 20 pages long too.
Bionic Man #7. Dynamite have been grabbing my attention lately. I was very impressed by the last Lone Ranger TPB (my first time reading that series) and their new Tarzan series, Lord of the Jungle is great, especially the just released second issue. Based on the Six Million Dollar Man TV series, Bionic Man is great too. It should be as, like the first few issues of their Green Hornet series, it’s based on Kevin Smith’s unproduced screenplay and features the same creative team.
Steve Austin and his fiancee Jaime reunite and after some understandable friction (she thought he died in the plane crash, after all) he reveals his new, hi-tech body to her. It’s the kind of touching moment that Smith can write well when he wants to. Their reunion doesn’t last too long though, as Steve is pulled back in to duty, and learns about the powerful new enemy, Colonel Avery Hull and his history with the O.S.I. team that made Austin the titular Bionic Man. With creative exposition, and great action packed layouts from Jonathan Lau, this is another winning issue in this intense series.