Monday, September 21, 2015

What I Bought 9/15/2015 - Part 1

Didn't even have to wait for Wednesday last week to pick up the previous three weeks' comics, since nothing came out for me last week. Five books total, 4 of those from the week of the 9th. And I'm only expecting two books total this week and the next. At least Squirrel Girl starts again next month.

Starfire #4, by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti (writers), Emanuela Lupacchino (pencilers), Mirco Pierfederici (pencil assists), Ray McCarthy and Trevor Scott (inkers), Hi-Fi (colorist), Tom Napolitano (letterer) - Kori looks a little puffier in the cheeks than normal. It's Tamaranean mumps! Which probably causes Earthlings to pop like a balloon, so the street cleaners are gonna have a bad time of it.

Kori and Atlee deal with the Chida, by having Atlee hurl it to the sea, and then Kori blasts it until it grows so large it breaks through a weak spot in the sea floor and sinks in. Atlee also explains why the Chida's after her - she wouldn't marry his boss as arranged - and her origin, which does still include Power Girl being her best friend, which makes me wonder if that's why Atlee added a boob window to her costume, because her old one had a v-neck collar. Even so, I was glad to see they kept that friendship.

Kori and Atlee get really excited about both having super-powers, which kind of freaks the sheriff out, since she's concerned having superheroes around will get the town destroyed. That argument doesn't make much of an impression on the girls, but perhaps this Soren fellow, telepathic serial killer, will cause a reassessment. And it seems Kori's sister has hired someone to find her, which is certainly played as ominous. Her sister stays mostly in shadows, the guy she hires is a trained killer, she won't explain why she wants to find Kori (though it makes sense a ruler wouldn't feel it necessary to explain herself to a hireling). Which makes me suspect Conner and Palmiotti might make this into something relatively benign, just to mess with our expectations.

The biggest issue I continue to have is my uncertainty whether Lupacchino's art fits the tone of the book. Kori here seems very heavily drawn from Teen Titans Go! in terms of personality, but whereas the animation on that show doesn't really sexualize her, I don't know think you can say the same about the art here. Of course, Conner and Palmiotti have pretty much every character notice or comment on how attractive she is. The characterization puts me in mind of a much younger character, which clashes with that.visual presentation. I know Kori was portrayed as naive about Earth from her earliest appearances, but her she initially ignores the part she's supposed to play in Atlee's plan, to listen to Atlee explain why the Chida's after her. It's supposed to be a joke, but it does feel more like something a child would do. Lupacchino seemed to favor having characters place both hands along their face, in some expression of glee or surprise, but it just looks odd. I especially didn't buy it with Atlee, because her face doesn't really match the body language. It's trying for extreme excitement, but doesn't get there. It doesn't help her eyes are drawn looking at us, rather than Kori. That actually makes it a bit creepy. Anyway, there's a conflict there I'm struggling to resolve, but I'm not sure how that's going to happen.

Mrs. Deadpool and Her Howling Commandos #4, by Gerry Duggan (writer), Salva Espin (artist), Val Staples (colorist), Joe Sabino (letterer) - It's the little touches in that cover. Frankenstein wearing the wizard's cape from last issue, Man-Thing with the flower growing out of his head.

I was wrong about Dracula killing everyone last issue. He killed everyone, except a fair number of his vampire minions. Shiklah spends too much time gloating about having a magic scepter with the power of starlight, and not enough killing Dracula with it. It turns into a scramble for the scepter, which kills the Commandos, save Man-Thing, and ends with Dracula seemingly triumphant. Wade finally gets involved and possesses a minion, tosses the scepter to Shiklah, she finally kills Dracula and vows to conquer the surface world. Then she and her followers are killed by the Thor Cops. The end.

That was a flat ending. The Commandos went out like a bunch of chumps. The series introduced Marcus the centaur as an unbeatable warrior (except for his diabetes), and Drac casually beheaded him in one panel. She decides to wage war on the surface world - and it goes worse for her than it ever has for Namor. Was it a lesson about overreach, or had Duggan simply written Shiklah as preparing to conquer the above world at the end of the last Deadpool series, and decided to nod towards it here? There are a lot of stories where the main character quests for some item, finds it, takes their revenge, and all ends well. Here it seems like that up to a point, and then we find out it went downhill because just finding a magic doohickey doesn't mean every decision is a good one. I'm just spitballing, trying to understand. Duggan probably just thought it was funny to end an ultimately meaningless story like this.

So neither book was exactly a winner. Friday's selections will be better.


Arion said...

I haven't read Teen Titans since 2006 or so, but those Starfire covers sure are good-looking. By the way, I just read your post about Wolverine and it was great. You seem to be a bit of an expert in Greg Rucka. Anyway, I also wrote about Rucka's run in my blog (wich I encourage you to visit):

I hope you enjoy my review, and please feel free to leave me a comment over there or add yourself as a follower (or both), and I promise I'll reciprocate.



CalvinPitt said...

Arion: I think I would enjoy Starfire more if Amanda Conner did the interiors as well as the covers, because she is pretty great, and I think she has a style that better lends itself towards comedy.

As for Rucka, I think you're more of an expert on him than me. I haven't read much of his work outside Wolverine, other than what I read other people saying about his stuff online. I liked your post about the Abnett/Lanning Legion storyline. It reminded me I need to get around to buying that at some point, since I enjoyed their work on Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy so much.