Irredeemable #3 Review

Irredeemable #3 CoverBasically all you need to know about this series is that it is centered on The Plutonian. He used to be a great goodie and he’s turned into an evil baddie. It’s a great and simple premise, but writer Mark Waid has fashioned it into quite the complex tale. As any scribe knows, or is at least told, no-one wakes up in the morning and decides, “I think I’m going to be evil today!” Every well crafted villain, especially in comics is motivated by what they see as a genuine cause. Lex Luthor is motivated by his ego, Magneto is motivated by belief in mutant superiority, and so on.

The beauty of Irredeemable is that we are given glimpses into The Plutonian’s reasons for turning evil; the emotional erosion that gradually forced him to turn from humanity. As he says here he lives in “a world of miserable, bitter, ungrateful paramecium who lash out at you in a state of perpetual rage for not solving their problems fast enough.” It’s part of a great speech and gives concrete words to the years of frustration he’s obviously felt as the world’s most loved superhero.

This ish opens with a voyeuristic, though unrevealing, sex scene. Apparently the ex-hero likes to watch, and has lost someone dear to him. Like the previous issues, there is carnage here as his former team-mates from The Paradigm discover a Batcave-like hideout of Inferno, one of The Plutonian’s friends. After Inferno’s death, his secret identity became public, so the Paradigm members go there in the hopes of finding some clues as to how to stop The Plutonian’s rampage.

A few supervillains have the same idea, and just when it looks like The Plutonian will team up with them, he shows that he’s not really that interested in making any friends.

Peter Krause’s art is freshly realistic, but not overly so. Some of his costume designs seem somewhat outdated, but it must be difficult to come up with new superpowered analogues. We’ve seen a lot of them, and Mark Waid has created a many over the years.

This isn’t the best issue of the series, but it does move the tale forward. The danger would be in not humanizing The Plutonian, while only throwing us tantalizing glimpses of the past, a la Lost. However it’s obvious that Waid has thought about the past, present and future of Irredeemable and is having as much corrupted fun throwing it at us as we are with reading it.

Astonishing X-Men #30 Preview

That Astonishing X-Men sure is one pretty series. The final issue of its Ghost Boxes story arc by writer Warren Ellis and awesome artist Simone Bianchi hits shelves on June 24. Below are a few random pages.

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City Cyclops

I just ran in to the rather humorous comic strip below on Dark Horse’s site. There’s plenty more at creator Jon Adams’ site. That’s the joy of the internet for ya. There’s so many hidden gems that it’s like Christmas every day.

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Obama vs Monkey

ObamaStory1That Barack fella just shows up all over the place these days. He’s the biggest hit in comics since the zombie craze. He’s shown up with Spidey, Youngblood and has had a few biographical stories from various publishers too. Even his dog is showing up in Marvel’s Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers. Now he’s got his very own children’s book. This 207 page book written and drawn by T.S Lee comes to a hapless world from Korean publisher Dasan Studios, and their new U.S imprint, Joyful Stories Press. It’s titled The Obama Story: The Boy with the Biggest Dream! and is the first in a series of manga biographies.

See below and cringe, or be inspired to make your own dream come true. Or perhaps ponder what the next page will be as “Barry” fights a wild monkey. Now that’s entertainment.

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The Aliens of Olympus

Aliens #1 CvrI’ve been working my way through the excellent 8 disc Alien Quadrilogy box set as of late. Every film in the franchise is so distinct yet it manages to tie-in to an overall story structure, which is impressive. This year is the 30th anniversary of the first Alien film by Ridley Scott and to celebrate, long-time holders of the franchise in comics form, Dark Horse are releasing a new Aliens series. Written by John Arcudi (who also launches next month’s new Predator series), with art by newcomer Zach Howard, I was impressed by this premiere. It wasn’t until the last page that I realised, very little of the aliens were shown, yet I didn’t care. Arcudi creatively introduces us to a new crew and in a shock that made me laugh with its audacity, dispatched them all in a swift  bloodbath. With its references to the events on the planet LV-426, where the first two films were set, it may very well become more closely linked with the mythos. It looks great, and as always in any Aliens story, the humans are the main players and there’s a scientific/military conspiracy at play, but this is only set up here. 

Howard’s art is is clean, yet murky and dark when it needs to be.  I suspect this tale may read better in completed Trade form as the plot appears disembodied at this point. Not being a huge fan of licensed properties in comics however, this bold entry made an impression. Go here for a neato preview of this issue.

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olympus1Olypmus is a new 4 ish mini from Image. Written by Nathan Edmondson with art supplied by Christian Ward, it’s focused on two brothers who are now eternal, thanks to the greek god Zeus. It reminded me of another new series by Image, the great Viking. That series also has two brothers coming to grips with the warring world around them and is daring in its visual approach. Whereas that tale is gritty and medieval, Olympus is light and sleekly modern. Some may be turned off by Ward’s art, which is kind of like Tommy Lee Edwards (who supplies the variant cover) in it’s sparseness, but it works well within the rambling, yet coherent, nature of the story.

It starts brilliantly with Pollux and Castor casually shooting each other at a New Year’s celebration, before flashing back to the pair chasing the winged Hermes and his staff through the city streets.  Most of the dialogue is centred on leaving Olympus, what immortality really means and defying the gods, but it never appears as high-falutin’ exposition. The brothers aren’t really immortal apparently, but they do get a free vacation every year in the underworld, ie, where you and I reside. This is a refreshing take on Greek mythology and the crazy shenanigans that go with it. It’s the pared down concept of  Blade Runner with a healthy does of mythology, and the extra pages consisting of Ward’s sketches and a well written prose piece assumedly by Edmondson complete this ably crafted adventure. This series is off to a grand and rollicking start.

Preview of this issue here.

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Archaia Returns

They used to be known as ASP or Archaia Studios Press. Now it’s just Archaia. They’ve been out of regular comics production for over a year, but are now back, with new and resumed series, such as The Engineer and Robotika, and that’s good news. Right now, on Broken Frontier, there’s a couple of cool Archaia updates. I reviewed David Petersen’s Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 #6. It’s the first issue I’ve read and I was quite impressed. It’s beautiful to look at. There’s also an in-depth roundtable interview with 3 of the guys behind the revamped Archaia, which offers some good (and rare) insights into the decisions behind an indie publisher.

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Die Hard at BOOM!

DieHard_001AThose whacky funsters at BOOM! Studios seem to have a knack for headline grabbing (at least on the comics interwebs) franchise acquisitions. Cars, The Incredibles, Muppets, Farscape, Eureka and now Jennifer’s Body (the upcoming Megan Fox film written by Juno’s Diablo Cody) and the classic Die Hard. That’s a diverse line-up. The Die Hard promo is in the latest Previews, for release in July. It stars a rookie John McClane and is written by Howard Chaykin. This could very well work. Here’s the official lowdown on the new series.

BOOM! Studios is proud to present America’s greatest action hero translated into the sequential art form for the first time! Every great action hero got started somewhere: Batman Began. Bond had his Casino Royale. And for John McClane, more than a decade before the first DIE HARD movie, he’s just another rookie cop, an East Coast guy working on earning his badge in New York City during 1976’s Bicentennial celebration. Too bad for John McClane, nothing’s ever that easy. Join legendary industry creator Howard Chaykin on a thrill ride that’s rung up over $1 billion in box office worldwide and become the gold standard for classic action! Yippee Ki Yay!

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