4 out 5 Space Monkeys
Why?: Because after 73 years, Aquaman finally joins the big two of Superman and Batman, with a second ongoing series. So Suck it Flash, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern !
(GL doesn’t count fanboys! Green Lantern deals with Hal Jordan, GL Corps primarily deals with John Stewart & the 7,200 other Lanterns, GL: New Guardians focuses on White Lantern Kyle Rayner and well the New Guardians and Red Lanterns spotlights Guy Gardner and… you guessed it…Red Lanterns ).
But who are the Others, you ask? Why are they hanging around with Aquaman?
No fear! Bob is here… to fill you in:
Turns out, before Aquaman showed up on the docks, kicking Parademon ass and impressing the hell out his future Justice League teammates (and us fans as well!), he had a team of his own!
The Others were a team (who barely got along!) of different people from around the world, who have each come into possession of an ancient Atlantean artifact that gave them special abilities.
- Aquaman has his now familiar Trident
- Prisoner of War is a former P.O.W. with Golden Manacles of force, he is able to summon ghosts of slain soldiers and co-opt their skills
- Ya’Wara is a South American warrior woman, defender of the rain forest an it’s denizens. She possesses the Globe of Transportation granting her the ability to teleport. She has an affinity for Animals and a romantic history with Aquaman.
- Sky Alchesay – is a Native American shaman, who recently inherited the Seal of Clarity,and granted the ability to walk through Ghost Lands
- The Operative possesses the Golden Key, and uses its power to enhance his super spy career. He also pilots their flying home base, a state of the art spy-plane known as “The Living Room”
There were two other Others, Volstok a Russian armored hero, with a Golden Helm,and Kahina, an Iranian woman with prophetic abilities. Both killed in battle with Black Manta.*
Now Dan Jurgens and Lan Medina reunite the discordant teammates for the adventure of their lives. As the Others are hunted down by parties unknown, their artifacts begin to fail them. After being attacked Skye contacts Aquaman, warning him of the attackers ultimate goal…to gather all the artifacts.
The team gathers on The Operatives Plane to discuss their plans, after they all narrowly escaped their attackers. While discussing the artifacts origins, and their link to Atlan, the ancient King of Atlantis, who caused its sinking, the Others are shot out of the sky!
Meanwhile, the artifact hunters finally have some success, kidnapping Kahina’s sister Sayeh (also plagued with prophetic visions) from an Iranian asylum*… and what do her prophetic visions have to do with Future’s End, DC’s upcoming weekly book that jumps 5 years into the future? Find out all about it and more as Jurgen expands on the character’s Geoff Johns created, with Lan Medina killing it on the art! He captures the flavor Ivan Reis’ run on Aquaman, and makes Aquaman & The Others a perfect companion piece to the hero’s solo ongoing book. I’m reallly looking forward to see where they take us, from Atlantis’ deep dark past, to the fearful future seen in Kahina’s visions
*edits made with a hearty tip of the Trident to “anon252“. Thanks for pointing out my sleep deprived error!
4 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Why?: Although I was never a big Flash fan (pre or post New 52 ), this writer/artist/colorist creative team’s work impressed me, especially Manapul’s use of movement and the spectacular array of bright colors used to make the Flash… flashy. It surprised me when I heard they were taking over the Dark Knight’s flagship book, worried that the art might not fit the character.
I was wrong.
Manapul’s layouts are fantastic, his Batman leaps from panel to panel with a grace of movement that borders on 3D, and the use of bikers and a Batman rooftop chase after a motorcycle gang let’s him use the speed lines and panel breaking that made the Flash comic look the best it did in years. Buccellato’s coloring talent works in the character’s favor, with a dark and gritty Batman, juxtaposed against the neon lights of Gotham’s East End Chinatown being a wonder to behold. Even his use of shadow to convey emotion, as seen in the panels where a mourning Bruce and Alfred discuss Damian and his death, is so well done. Both characters eyes are hidden in shadow, effectively adding a saddening touch to both men in a subtle way, giving the scene more depth.
The two artists, who also co-write the title together like they did the Flash, have the makings of a great story arc building here, with a new villain (the Squid, and no he doesn’t look like one, but owns one!), a Gotham -centric story, and interesting new supporting characters in Elena Aguila, a fellow philanthropist who wants to work with Bruce Wayne to transform Gotham’s East End Waterfront into a community center, with Drug Treatment Facilities, Schools and Hospitals, despite politicians and fat-cats wanting to turn it into money-making establishments that would neglect the down trodden community that lives there,and her daughter Annie, an extreme motor-cross champion, who judging by the cliffhanger ending, will play a major role in later issues.
Welcome to Gotham guys! Looks like we’ll be enjoying the experience!
4 out of 5 Space Monkeys
1. The Inhumans are one of Kirby’s coolest creations and designs ever. This is easily proven by the fact that there have been little or no alterations to the orignal designs of the characters in over 50 years (more specifically the Royal family), and they have never really gotten the spotlight they deserved. That is until Hickman’s Inifinity series which thrust them into the public-eye, both in the real world and in the Marvel U.
2. Charles Soule is a damn fine writer. I enjoyed his both his current ongoing books for DC, Swamp Thing and Superman/Wonder Woman, and highly recommend them to anyone who will listen. If you’re not a fan of the New 52 (and shame on you!), check out his sci-fi political drama from Oni press (Letter 44), which not only deals with earth’s first contact with an alien species, it gives a damn good excuse for the Bush administration’s bumbling ineptitude and war mongering theatrics.
Inhuman deals with the fallout of Blackbolt’s destruction of his kingdom Attilan over the skies of New York City and his release of the Terrigen mists into earth’s atmosphere. The latter causing the morphogenic gas to spread around the world, turning humans with certain genetic material into Inhumans through a rather intense cocooning process.
Now the race is on. With Inhumans popping up all over the world, it falls to Queen Medusa to gather her people and rebuild their kingdom in the wake of her husbands apparent death. With government agencies blocking her way and a new Inhuman by the name of Lash, who has taken it upon himself to build a new Inhuman Kingdom…. by weeding out those he deems unsuitable, and gathering those he wants as subject, will Queen Medusa be able to save her people, or will Lash bring the Inhumans to the darkest chapter in their history?
Soule and Madureira bring us the next chapter in Marvel’s epic cosmic storyline, with refreshing takes on old concepts, and Madureira designing some cool looking characters, like the new Inhuman, Inferno, who like many finding themselves transformed, will have to choose a side!
Soule’s story and dialogue are crisp and intriguing as always and Madureira’s manga influenced style is dynamic and creative enough for the concepts Soule will throwing out there. Even though we all know Joe’s run on the book will be short-lived ( just going by past examples) it’s a good start to the new age of INHUMANITY!
5 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Why?: Because this is the Magneto we have always wanted to see. Gone is the old meglomaniacal vaudevillian villain of days past, nor is this the knee-bending to Cyclops, the floating around doing nothing elder statesman that we’ve seen in recent years. This is MAGNETO, the haunted scarred holocaust survivor, who will now projected his hatred of Nazis onto their current incarnation of Mutant haters and killers.
The biggest appeal, and reason for the popularity of the X-Men and there fellow mutants is how easy it is to sympathize with them. Most comic fans have been ostracized, picked on and bullied, if not solely for collecting comics, for belonging to a “fringe” class that didn’t fit in with the muggles an norms as well.
So let me ask you this… if you spent a lifetime watching friends and family die at the hands of people who thought themselves better, or purer than their victims, and you were given godlike powers over one of the fundamental forces of the universe, would you reach out to shake hands and make peace like a good little Xavierite, or would you magnetically shove a bunch of nails through the tormentors face?
If you chose the former, you’re a better person then me.
Bunn and Walta are taking Magneto to new levels of deadly, even with his powers waning he is a force to be reckoned with, as the group behind the creation of the new Omega Sentinels are sure to find out.
Read this book! Because deep down we all know the truth:
w. Mark Millar
a. Goran Parlov
4 out of 5 Space Monkeys
Why?: Because my dad loved all those Buster Crabbe Flash Gordon serials from the 30’s and I spent many a Sunday watching them with him, thinking how goofy they were, and how they could be done so much cooler, with better sets and scripts. 25 years later Mark Millar and Goran Parlov have as proven my theory with Starlight.
Duke McQueen was an air force pilot who got pulled through a wormhole and ending up becoming savior of the planet Tantalus, defeating the tyrant Typhon, and becoming protector of the Queen. When the once of a lifetime chance to return to earth appeared , he took it, aching for his true love back home.
Upon his return, they ridiculed him for his tales of space travel, interplanetary adventures and alien cultures, forced him to retire to a small community and open a auto repair shop. His only saving grace was reconnecting with and marrying his one true love and building a family with her.
Forty years later, with his wife deceased and his children grown and moving on with their lives, a 12-yr-old child approaches a lonely Duke, a child name Krish from Tantalus, who stole a Starship to find the his planet’s long-lost champion. In the void of Duke’s absence, a race of alien marauders conquered Tantalus, subjugated its people and are stripping the planet of its resources Krish is a member of a small resistance group, who stole a warp drive enabled ship and went in search of their hero, and landed right on his front lawn. Can Krish convince Duke to return to Tantalus and become it’s champion once again? Is Duke too old and too tired to take up the mantle? Well with a dead wife, children who distanced themselves from him and years of being mocked by his peers, Duke’s not gonna miss a chance to become the man he once was!
Millar impressed me with deeper emotional aspects of Duke’s life post Tantulus and Goran Parlov’s art captures the look and feel of early 20th century sci-fi concepts, without looking dated or un-original. His clean line work and designs evoke feelings of Sunday color comic strips, but with a modern slant on storytelling. This is one fun book fans of any age can enjoy.
4 out of 5 Space monkeys
Why?: You had me at “…Garth Ennis’ new Sci-Fi Horror Series…”, Avatar!
As a long time Ennis fan, I was happy to see this book on the stands. I was even happier when I read it, and saw Ennis lost none of his wicked imagination, and compelling characterization. Caliban is vast a starship roaming the empty reaches of space, in search of valuable resources to mine and collect for use back home on Earth. In the far future space exploration has still yet to find life beyond bacteria and mold or a habitable planet or moon. The Caliban is staffed by a skeleton crew while it travels through warpspace towards its next mission. The travel is tedious and boring, with most of the miners and workers in suspended animation until they arrive at the next planet or moon. Ennis reflects the cabin fever like atmosphere among the awake pilots, navigators and maintenance personnel realistically, with spot on dialogue and believable personalities (his specialty in scripting) and is generously helped by Percio’s art, rendering the characters as individual people.
Ennis breaks one of the fundamental rules of physics (no two objects can occupy the same space), when suddenly, in mid-warp, the ship is partially merged with an alien vessel. Hundreds of sleeping miners and workers are suddenly ejected into space, and the crew find themselves separated and trapped by the merging of the two ships. Corridors blocked by parts of the alien vessel, whole sections of the ship cut off, and lives lost due to damaged systems. As the first contact with an alien race has disastrous results for both ships, will the remaining humans survive the encounter?
Percio, whose art I’m not familiar with, does a great job of designing both the industrial, clunky looking earth ship, as well as the smooth, sleek almost temple like look of the alien ship, giving clear division of what ship belongs to whom. The characters are individualistic, with fully developed personalities, foibles and flaws you see in the real world, which is the perfect device, pitting seemingly real people you could possibly know against a surreal threat they are in no way prepared for. If you’re a fan of Alien, Pandorum or my favorite, Event Horizon you will love this book! A great first issue that leaves you wanting for sci-fi goodness crammed down your throat like only Ennis could.
Last Week’s Surprise Pick
17 1/2 out 5 Space Monkeys
Because I almost never get a Deadpool book, and feel like he’s been over exposed with too many series, mini series, team ups, guest spots and blah blah blah, that he totally lost appeal to me (He’s the Adam Sandler of the Marvel Universe, yeah I loved Billy Madison and Big Daddy, but Jack & Jill… Grown Ups… ugh). Anyway, six issues ago Scott Koblish did a fill in issue that was pure Kirby Awesomeness, with DP time travelling to Wakanda and getting caught up in all sorts of Kirby inspired madness, which if I recall correctly hinged on cosmic baby poo! When I saw this solicitation I was like cool, another one.
So I grabbed it and had a blast reading. I can’t or won’t bring myself to collect the book regularly, but these fill-ins are awesome. This issue is a prequel to last, with a time travelling Deadpool teaming up with Nick Fury and Cable to take out a time tripping Hitler intent on killing Fury. Instead of channeling Kirby, Koblish opts for the stylized spy style that Steranko gave us on the early runs of SHIELD, and it works perfect for the subject matter. The story is laugh out loud ridiculous, with irreverent humor aimed at not only comic fans, but fans of time travel in general. From multiple time travelers attempting to kill Hitler (it apparently happens all the time!) to our 3 heroes finding a hysterical way to fix the paradox of killing Hitler outside of his time! You’ll Laugh, you probably won’t cry, but you’ll definitely pee your pants, that is if you haven’t already. Regular comics got you down? too dark? gritty? This is the book to get you out of the superhero doldrums!
See ya next week ladies and gents!