Grant Morrison came into Nameless fully loaded. It’s got aliens, it’s got secret societies, it’s got that weird vaguely sexual thing going on, it’s got dream logic, it’s got something approaching drug logic — all the Grant Morrison trademarks are there, backed up by Chris Burnham doing the work of his career. But: does it all add up?
As with any Hickman book, there’s a lot being built here. Manhattan Projects and East of West took a while to build an emotional core, but The Dying and the Dead wears that on its sleeve. This promises to not only be something special from Hickman and Bodenheim, but something we haven’t really seen before.
There’s a certain kind of mythology behind Stray Bullets. The story of ‘regarded indie series comes back after long hiatus’ or ‘long-rumored project appears after (insert number of years)’ is one we’re hearing more and more, but there was an excitement you could feel in the room when Image posted the SB logo with the Image ‘i’ at its side. This wasn’t just a regarded indie book: this was the return of the book that put David Lapham on the map and won near-universal critical acclaim during its run (and lots of grumblings during its too-long hiatus).
There were a couple other questions. Chief among them: can do he it again? and which David Lapham will we be getting?
Sometimes, you can judge a book by its cover. The cover of Unbeatable Squirrel Girl tells you everything you need to know about the book: it’s going to be …
There are two strong points in Nick Spencer’s favor as a writer: he writes great ‘unlikeable protagonists’, and he’s really funny. Superior Foes of Spider-Man started off as a book that stole everything from Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye that wasn’t bolted down, and ended up as something entirely its own: a book worth reading every month on its own merits, with a sense of humor and a verve almost inimitable. Here, with Ant-Man, he’s heading into similar territory, with similar success.
Did you think The Wicked and the Divine could’ve used less idol worship? Did you think Stray Bullets could’ve used more weirdness? Did you like the art in both, but your tastes go more to the Matt Kindt side of things? Curt Pires and Jason Copland cooked up some mad science, and Pop #1 might be the book you’ve been waiting for.
There’s a good side and a bad side to doing consistently good work. There are three things you probably know already about Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ books: they’ll be good, they’ll have crime, and it’s on your pull list / trade order. There’s a consistency to their work that fans have — rightfully — come to expect. The Fade Out #1 shows that there are, again, advantages and disadvantages to this.
There are about a million ideologies and influences behind punk. Much of it finds root in the do-it-yourself, be-your-own-person school-of-thought. Things aren’t how we want them to be, and we can’t change the overall landscape — so we’ll be over here doing our own thing. We’ll look like nothing you’ve ever seen before. We won’t do anything other than what we want. Rick Remender’s work in comics — from self-published to Marvel stardom — has always seemed to strive for that working-class punk vibe. This is the next logical step: a punk story.
This could’ve been bad. Really, really bad. In the hands of Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky, Sex Criminals ends up as much more than a cheap joke: it’s one of the best debuts of the year. The word that comes to mind, all the way through this book, from tone, to characters, to setting, is ‘inimitable.’