City of Dust #3 Review

cod3_covera_clint_langleyThere are very few series I look forward to each month. This is one of the fortunate to make the cut. Along with Geoff Johns’ Action Comics, Paul Dini’s Detective Comics and select titles from Jeph Loeb and Brian Michael Bendis, I know with City of Dust I’m guaranteed a good read.

Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) has used the series thus far to craft a tight story within a compelling world. There’s no extraneous information. Every character, every concept and every panel is all there for a reason. 5 issues isn’t a lot to make a lasting impression with an original concept from a new publisher, but Niles and his assorted artists serve up quality by the shovel full.

City of Dust’s core concept is an intriguing one. In the future, creativity is basically abolished, with all religion and art banned so as not to corrupt the minds of the masses. Protagonist Philip Khrome is a cop who imprisoned his father years ago for reading him a fairytale, but now he is beginning to see that perhaps such stories aren’t as corrupting as the lawgivers say.

cod3_coverb_lucioIssue 3 opens with a gruesome scene, of which this series is not shy of, as Khrome uses some old school CSI techniques to determine exactly what happened. His superior, Blake believes Khrome’s mind is slightly askew for not putting his trust in the crime scene bots, who say that there is no evidence amongst the bloody corpse. Facing suspension, Khrome walks away, with fellow cop, Sonja to check out an old evidence storage area. At the same time what appear to be werewolves brutally attack a high society ball. Khrome gets called into Blake’s office, but instead of receiving the expected, “You’ve gone too far! You’re off the case!” type scenario we’ve seen in every Steven Seagal film, Khrome gets a surprise. Blake takes his face off, revealing himself to be a Terminator-like android, created by Henry Ajax. Ajax was once a respected proponent of hi-tech gadgetry, but has now gone underground after being disgraced. Blake and Khrome visit him, surrounded by assorted monsters, and the importance of Khrome’s father in the story takes another step forward. The dramatic change in behaviour from Blake can only be attributed to him “saving face” in front of the other cops, due to the fact that moments later he’s pleasantly talking to Khrome like an old buddy. With Sonja, and now Blake, it seems Khrome’s allies are growing, but they still prefer to remain closet friends, lest they too get in trouble with the harsh authorities. This is never spoken, despite Khrome’s noir-like captions (which work well), so there is some assumption on the part of the reader, which is never a good move. However, the series’ concept and visuals rise above these minor storytelling distractions.

cod3_coverc_michal_ivanThis isn’t the best issue so far, and has less of the supernatural elements introduced in the previous two issues. The art is also different, but not in a jarring way. Brandon Chng handles the art chores here, whereas it was Zid on the previous two. Both have a similar painterly style, with great textures and lighting effects, but Zid’s is the better of the pair. This issue is a slight mis-step in the series as it doesn’t really propel things forward until the last few pages, but with only two issues remaining until the conclusion, Niles will undoubtedly unleash a barrage of blood, and answers, upon us as the sci-fi scenario and horror elements finally meet head on, as tantalisingly promised in this series.

This issue goes on sale December 24.

Paul Dini Signing

paul-diniAt Meltdown Comics, a very cool comic shop, you can catch a peek at writer Paul Dini. The man has been closely related to the Bat Universe for the last 10 years, as the creator of Joker’s girlfriend Harley Quinn, a writer for the 90s Batman: The Animated Series cartoon, and the current scribe for Detective Comics, which has been so much better than Grant Morrison’s Batman work as of late. Official details below.

Paul Dini will make an appearance on Friday, Dec. 19, 2008 from 7 – 10 p.m. at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles, Calif. for a Jingle Belle holiday party to sign copies of the recently released holiday special JINGLE BELLE: SANTA CLAUS VS. FRANKENSTEIN and copies of the MADAME MIRAGE trade paperback.

Dini will also be available for a Q&A to talk about these projects and his other works. Holiday cookies and egg nog will also be available for attendees. 

After a successful run of the first “season” of MADAME MIRAGE at Top Cow, Dini then announced he would bring his entire Dinicartoons universe to the publisher. The JINGLE BELLE holiday special is the first book in that line.

Meltdown Comics is located at 7522 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90046. They can be reached at (323) 851-7223 and found on the web at


Mighty Avengers #21 Cover

mightyavengers_21Touted as a great jumping on point for new readers, this extra sized issue guest stars all the different Avengers flavours. That would be New, Young, Dark and Classic. I think there’s also a Cinnamon. Written by Dan Slott and pencilled by Khoi Pham, this January 14 releasing special ish shows the new line-up,  post Dark Reign. On the cover is the once-crazy (hopefully) daughter of Magneto, Scarlet Witch, Hank Pym in a new outfit to honour his wife Janet who died in the last issue of Secret Invasion and the female android created by  Ultron, Jacosta. An intriguing mix of characters so far.

Hopefully fans won’t get fat on all these Avengers variations, but the post-Secret Invasion world, with Norman Osborn (Green Goblin) effectively now a recognised hero, the Marvel U could have enough room for the ever growing list of super-teams. It reminds me of when DC made Lex Luthor President in 2000, and all the great stories that flowed on from that. With Osborn gaining power, yet still retaining his evil machinations, our heroes could have some interesting battles ahead.

Official Wolverine Trailer

This trailer was supposed to go live on-line (after being released with prints of  sci-fi re-make The Day The Earth Stood Still) yesterday. However, I looked everywhere and couldn’t find it, until now. (Then I realised that due to the time difference between the U.S and Oz, I was too eager) So, here’s the latest trailer (not the one shown at Comic-Con this year) for X-Men Origins: Wolverine, opening May 1 next year. It has elements from the Origin comic series, plus guest stars such as fan faves Gambit, Deadpool, the Blob, White Queen and more. Sabretooth is in it too, of course, and it looks like Liev Schrieber was a good choice. So sit back and enjoy. Marvel really are making some fine films these days.


Cool, huh? And what a way to celebrate my 200th post! Woo hoo!