Saturday, February 02, 2013

What I Bought 1/31/2013

By the time this goes up, I'll probably have been on the road for 2 hours. Which means I'll only have 4 more hours of driving to go! Oh goody.

Atomic Robo and the Flying She-Devils of the Pacific #5, by Brian Clevinger (words), Scott Wegener (art), Nick Filardi (colors), Jeff Powell (letters) - That is a much different looking rocket pack than the one Robo uses in side the comic. I'm sure it's a more stable platform, it's just different is all.

Robo tries to chase Takeshi before he can use the earthquake bomb. As Takeshi notes, air-to-air combat between them has never gone well for Robo, and it's no different this time. Up close and personal fisticuffs are another matter. The She-Devils are left to contend with the other craft and the flying submersible battleship. Or would that be flying battleship submersible? They take care of it, but it costs them several lives, including Lauren, their resident engineering genius, which is too bad. I had hoped we'd learn she worked at Tesladyne or some other aeronautical firm in the '50s and '60s. It's a melancholy victory, but the She-Devils carried on in some form or the other.

It's strange to see people working with Robo die. Usually he seems able to prevent that, or else Jenkins does. Except in Dogs of War, I think. Which could be the point. That the stuff we usually see Robo dealing with, the super-science, Helsingard, the Vampire Dimension, that's all fantastic, but war is real. People die, and not just the "bad guys". Robo can't be everywhere to do everything, even on a single battlefield. Other people are going to help carry the load, and they aren't made of bulletproof metal, so it ends badly for them.

I like Takeshi's declaration that he and the others of Chokaiten are already dead. Comes back to what the old man said about the flying things being ghosts. The war is over, even if the unleash the earthquake bomb, it isn't going to retroactively make Japan the winner of World War 2, because the people of Japan were probably more concerned with putting their country back together at that point (I could be wrong about that, but my impression is most people were not in the mood for more fighting and killing, regardless of their nationality).

On a lighter note, it cracks me up to see Robo with a bandage over one eye, his arm in a sling and a cast. What does that even imply for him? He might be missing that hand, but is there a loose bolt or something in the arm, that's why he can't hold it up himself? I don't know, it's weird.

Captain America #1, by Rick Remender (writer), John Romita Jr. (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Dean White (colors), Joe Caramagna (letters) - I picked up a copy of the second printing. Pretty much the same as the first printing, except the stuff at the bottom of the page is in blue instead of red.

Cap saves New York from an ecologically-minded madman named the Green Skull, then rushes off to help Sharon Carter with something. Then he gets captured by Zola, has something injected into his chest, makes a bold escape with the baby that became Ian. Kind of an ugly escape, seeing as he crashed the craft out in the wasteland, but take what you can get.

This actually had 22 pages in it. I'm not talking about Handbook entries, or some stupid oral history. I mean 22 actual pages of comic panels and story and such. Strange.

I have to say, when Romita draws someone who got worked over (like Steve's mother), he really goes for it. It looks like her jaw is busted. Is it better that way, that the drawing accurately depicts how ugly the violence really is? I think it lends more emotional impact to the story, because it makes it clear the character isn't going to just shrug it off. It'll stay with them for awhile.

Captain Marvel #8, by Kelly Sue DeConnick & Christopher Sebela (writers), Dexter Soy (artist), Veronica Gandini (colorist), Joe Caramagna (letterer) - I know, I let Steve go ahead of Carol, which isn't following rank the way I did last time. But I figured Age before Beauty this time.

Monica and Carol try to destroy the giant, living scrap heap. It's not going well, as it keeps putting itself back together every time they damage it, as giant robotic things tend to do. A little research by Frank and Monica reveals it's powered by the remains of a robot army, and they'll have to destroy the whole thing at once to keep it from rebuilding itself. Which involves teamwork, naturally, of a very close variety. Made sense to me, given their power sets. At the end, the debris are used to repair the levees, Carol does mention a headache -which answers my question about whether that came out of the blue - and Monica reveals she picked up a few things during her and Carol's teamwork exercise.

I do like quick stories, and this was a good one. Had a giant robot, had a human aspect to it, probably expanded Carol's circle of friends by bringing Frank Gianelli back and having a team-up with Monica Rambeau. Gandini handling the colors instead of Soy had a peculiar effect. Soy preferred darker tones, and swirled them together at times. Gandini tends to keep her colors separate, but she also opts for softer tones - the word "pastels" is coming to mind - and it makes everything a little less harsh. Which I think works better for moments of humor or mild annoyance. Soy's style really made his linework stand out strongly, and that produced a feeling of everything being on edge, tense. Gandini blunts that, which I think it needed.

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