THE GHOST BOX! Quick Shot Reviews

JUL138041DSUPERMAN #23.4 (PARASITE): This ranks up there as one of the best Villains Months issues yet – and who would have figured that artist Arron Kuder, whose work I’ve always enjoyed and championed in past reviews, could also deliver a solid script and put other Villains Months writers to shame (I mean have you read Joker’s Daughter by Ann Nocenti? Holy mother of god that may go down has the worst reviewed comic in the history of comics). Kuder makes the most of his first time out as a writer and gives us solid characterization of Joshua Michael Allan, a bike messenger that has had enough of living in Metropolis. Being attacked by “the monster of the week” is just one of the many incidents in Allen’s life that causes him to hit bottom and seek cash from being a medical experiment. And yeah, you guessed it, the experiment doesn’t go so well. Favorite moment of the issue: I picked in for my Freeze Frame of the week, the moment after Joshua becomes Parasite and looks at himself in the mirror for the first time. Damn good stuff here. WRITING: GOOD / ART: EXCELLENT

Jupiter's Legacy #3

JUPITER’S LEGACY #3: Delays aside, Jupiter’s Legacy is turning out to be one of Mark Millar’s most engaging works. Sure you can find old Millar staples here: kids with superpowers that they abuse, ultra violence, the bad guys having the upper hand 90% of time, the usual, but here in Legacy he also is giving us one of his most endearing creations: Chloe. The daughter of the most powerful superhero on earth Chloe behaves like most would, like a spoiled brat. But a brat that you find yourself caring about a great deal this issue after certain events take place. Events that have taken this series from lighthearted fair to absolute grim reading. And I love it. Heavy stuff and hard to read, but worth the investment – lets just hope Millar doesn’t rip our hearts out in upcoming issues. My favorite moment of the issue: the attack at Chloe’s house is some intense comic book reading. WRITING: EXCELLENT / ART: EXCELLENT

Red TeamRED TEAM #5: When the shit hits the fan in a Garth Ennis comic the shit really hits the motherfucking fan. Christ almighty this was a brutal issue and makes the aforementioned Jupiter’s Legacy read like My Little Pony in comparison. No one out there in the comic book world writes grim and gritty vigilante justice like Ennis. I will say if you haven’t been reading this series from the start you will be completely lost by jumping in now – so do yourself a favor and track down the previous 4 issues before reading this one – you can thank me later. Favorite moment of the issue: Saying this is my favorite moment just seems wrong because its a moment that is utterly and completely without compassion or moral fortitude, but the end of this comic with the drug deal gone bad is classic “go for the throat” Ennis writing. Chilling. WRITING:GREAT / ART: GREAT


RatQueens_01_CVR_FINAL-copyRAT QUEENS #1: Hey I like D&D as much as the next nerd and when you incorporate it in comic book filled with bad ass ass kicking girls that drink and cuss and kill monsters well shit, sign me the fuck up. Reading the first half of this book I was enthralled and had a smile on my face, this was great and surpassed my expectations. Fun dialog peppered the crisp art of Roc Upchurch and things were rolling along nicely. Then it all went south. Soon as the Rat Queens leave on their mission to kill some goblins the tone gets darker and script tries too hard to feel quirky. It threw me and I started rolling my eyes in a few spots. Example, the cute little Rat Queen Betty brings candy and magic mushrooms for dinner because, and I quote, “Candy is awesome….” Ugh. Throw in too much modern day slang and this first issue took a wrong turn. Fave Moment of the issue: Earlier in the book the Queens and other gangs that got in trouble in town are dispensed their punishments – funny stuff. WRITING: BORDERLINE GOOD / ART: GREAT
JUL130270TOM STRONG AND THE PLANET OF PERIL #3: Writer Peter Hogan does an excellent Alan Moore impersonation, and I mean that in the  nicest way possible. Tom Stong was created by Moore and of course any character created by one of the masters of the form will no doubt carry a lot of his attributes and spirit – Tom Strong is Alan’s Doc Savage. Hogan does not try and take possession of the character, instead he continues the narrative thread started by Moore all those years ago and it is seamless. Then add the artistic brilliance of Chris Sprouse and you have achieved comic book nirvana. In this issue Tom and Val land on the planet of peril, which is Earth but in a different reality/dimension where a different version of Tom Strong resides by the name of Tom Strange. Tom Strong was able to follow this Tom Strange and his adventures in this alternate Earth by reading comic books about it. Very meta and very fun. Anyway, they land and meet all sorts of interesting people in the search Tom Strange. My favorite moment of this issue: this may seem like an odd moment, and its really not a moment at all, but I love the way Tom and Val and other characters have their very own lettering courtesy of Todd Klein. Pretty cool. WRITING: GREAT / ART: EXCELLENT

19 thoughts on “THE GHOST BOX! Quick Shot Reviews”

  1. I feel like I should read Jupiter’s Legacy… But that last Millar comic I read was Kick-Ass 2 and I told myself NEVER AGAIN… But it’s QUITELY… I’m torn.

  2. I like a lot of Millar stories. Civil War, Old Man Logan, Nemesis, Jupiter’s Legacy and I read wonderful things about Red Son, but I never liked Kick Ass the comics (love the movie, though. Go figure.)
    but seriously, you should check it out. it’s Quitely. That fact alone trumps any argument to the contrary. 😉

    1. Why is it that the movie/TV version of Kick Ass and Walking Dead are better then the comics? Also you pretty much hit all the Millar essentials. Most of the other stuff is bull shit

      1. I liked the kick ass movie better only because cage brought that awesome 60’s batman voice into it. The walking dead comic I like better though.

    2. I feel that Matthew Vaughn (the director of Kick-Ass 1) improved upon the original narrative not only by making it more cohesive, but by also transforming Millar’s almost fetishistic violence into tongue-in-cheek action… Yeah, I liked the movie but not so much the comic.

      1. I have major issues with most of what I’ve read by Millar. Honestly, the only story I’ve liked by him from beginning to end is Civil War. I lost the thread of his Fantastic Four run somewhere along the way. Kick-Ass and Old Man Logan started out as interesting character pieces before collapsing into sensationalistic violence for no other reason but to be shocking. Jupiter’s Legacy sounds like a good concept, but, I don’t know, it’s probably not my thing . . .

        Oh wait, I forgot about Marvel 1985, that was a pretty a great mini . . .

        1. He wrote 1985?! Shit, I think I read that before I kept tabs on writers 🙂

          I’ve honestly never read Civil War. Seems divisive and WAY TOO MUCH too jump into.

          As for Old Man Logan, I enjoyed MOST of it. He actually advanced Logan’s character in a way not done in literally decades… Than regressed him at the end by becoming a psycho again and clawing himself out of the Hulk… And that twist with him killing the X-Men was lame. Too underdeveloped and just didn’t make any sense.

          1. Yeah, Millar wrote 1985 — I think the kid pops up again somewhere in his Fantastic Four run, but, as I said, that run turned into a big mess in my mind. (I pretty much gave up on keeping track of anything half-way through Masters of Doom).

            I liked Civil War a lot when I read it — it’s what got me back into reading comics monthly. That said, not sure how well it would stand up on a second go through . . .

            I agree on Old Man Logan, it started out as a really interesting examination of Logan and this world he was living in. Then, at the end, it just turned into one huge gore-fest. And that thing with the Hulk was just stupid. Marvel needs to just declare Wolverine an immortal god and get it over with. Hell, it’s easier to kill an Asgardian these days . . .

            1. I think it’s stupid that he can’t be killed. Reading older comics, I’ve seen that his healing factor used to be like Batman’s range of abilities: made him a hell of a hero and fighter, but not invincible. Up until the late 90’s Wolvie COULD die.

              Here’s an image of a Sentinel’s beam frying him!


  3. Okay that does it, next trip to LCS I get Jupiter’s Legacy. Hopefully they have extra copies. I think I liked Rat Queen’s slightly more than you Erik, but not much. I was also loving the beginning and felt like a little bit was lost at the end. I am going to keep going with it because like you said D&D comic with kick ass girls that drink and cuss, fuck yes!

    1. Yeah, despite my lackluster review of Rat Queens I’ll be back for issue 2. And dude, you won’t be sorry with Jupiter’s Legacy. As Sitara said, it’s worth it for the art alone.

  4. That Jupiters Legacy scene is staying with me. Actually 2 scenes. No spoilers but you know what I’m talking about. Frank Quitely is amazing.

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