Light of the Meta Day

Traditionally the second issue of a new series drops dramatically in sales. I can testify to that. I have countless #1s sitting in boxes, and that’s because I always like to give a new series a chance. Occasionally a new series will tick the right boxes and I’ll follow it through. Lately, I’ve discovered 3 such series.

The Light, simply put is awesome. Nathan Edmondson (Olympus) and Brett Weldele (The Surrogates) are creating the best work of their careers. This 5 part mini-series from Image is just magnificent in its storytelling simplicity. The elevator pitch would be something along the lines of, “troubled father and daughter try to survive a mysterious virus within light sources that is brutally killing anyone who looks directly into…the light.” Each issue has been better than the last, and that’s a rarity within any new mini. Edmondson knows just how to throw the right story morsels at the reader, leaving them wanting more. In this 3rd ish (of 5) Coyle and his daughter Avery run into 2 armed brothers, who are filled with confidence and a cavalier attitude to the madness surrounding them, ie, people dropping dead and the safety of darkness. My first reaction was to expect some sort of disturbing backstabbing behaviour from the pair, but Edmondson presents them as a helpful duo (though that may change next issue). That and the startling transformation of some victims into walking torches, and the effect of the virus on local birdlife proves that The Light is far more than just a cool concept without any surprises. See a preview here and you can also grab the first 2 issues in one new, handy book.

Meta4 is another 5 ish mini from Image. From creator Ted McKeever it is enjoyably weird, like a David Lynch film. Trying to explain it after just one issue in easy to grasp terms is somewhat difficult, but I’m hooked already. His sketchy art style should appeal to fans of Sam Kieth and he uses black and white with the same skill that Frank Miller does in Sin City. McKeever also worked on 3 books for DC’s Elseworlds line that re-imagined Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman through the lens of classic German Expressionist films. Man, I gotta get my hands on those. Well, Meta4 (assumedly a reference to “metaphor” which descriptions of future issues indicates) centres on an amnesiac dressed as an astronaut  who wanders in to a petrol station, gets accosted by a grotesque hillbilly and then saved by a manly woman dressed as Santa, whose name is Gasolina. So weird, yes but strangely mesmerising too. McKeever could go anywhere from here, and his experiments with captions, and symbols as speech works a treat.

Daytripper from Vertigo is a 10 issue mini-series. If you like Demo, then this is for you. Created by Brazilian brothers Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba (who worked with Matt Fraction on Casanova), the series follows former obituary writer and novelist Bras de Oliva Domingos throughout his life at different ages. This issue he attempts to track down an old college friend who mysteriously vanished years ago. Like every issue in this series, it looks like a vibrant dream and is filled with unexpected emotion.

Batman and Superman Fan Films

Two different approaches, for two very different DC characters.

First up is the 30 minute short film made by Bat in the Sun Productions,who also made the Joker-centric Patient J film in 2004. Their latest endeavour, City of Scars was made on a budget of $27, 000 and looks very impressive. It’s all suitably dark, with noir overtones. Batman looks great, as do Joker, Mr. Zsasz, Harley Quinn and Ventriloquist and Scarface. The plot is appropriately low key (Joker escapes Arkham Asylum and takes a boy hostage) befitting its fan made status. The Alex Ross inspiration seems obvious too, evidenced by Bruce’s imposing yet scarred body, the all black and grey costume, and the pose below. See the whole film  right here.

Another fan driven project is this first episode of this twelve part Superman web series, utilising live action, CGI and animation. It may not be as polished as City of Scars, but it’s a lot harder to make a good Superman film on a small budget. It features the expected supporting cast, plus Metallo, Toyman and Lex Luthor in future episodes by the looks of things. For the most part, the blend of different visual imagery works rather well. Follow the rest of the series at the team’s website.