Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What I Bought 3/29/2016 - Part 1

It's been interesting to me, watching the reactions to Batman vs. Superman, as I've seen people whose opinions I respect who liked, and others I respect who despised it. I'm still not going to see it, mind you, because it doesn't look like anything I'd enjoy, but it's still interesting.

Descender #11, by Jeff Lemire (writer), Dustin Nguyen (illustrator), Steve Wands (letterer and designer) - TIM seems remarkably calm, especially considering his admission in the issue he feels something akin to pain.

The Hardwire can't find any sign of TIM's dream in his brain, and Telsa is both starting to maybe care about TIM, and definitely doing a bad job of concealing her mistrust of the Hardwire. TIM-22 is jealous of TIM-21's ability to feel affection for Andy and other humans, and he's not too happy about 21 having replaced him as Psius' favorite. So he tries to kill him. Or maybe that's just part of Psius' plan to see if another near-death experience gives TIM-21 another prophetic dream. Andy is still trying to negotiate assistance from his ex-wife, a plan not aided by the fact the Gnishians tracked his ship and are on the attack.

I can't decide if things are picking up any. Everything seems to be happening in small increments. I'm not sure why Telsa would be surprised the Hardwire worship the Harvesters. They were the ones who showed that the organic species are not invincible, and could be resisted, seemingly with impunity. Yes, their actions also created a lot of hardship for robots everywhere, but Old Testament God was frequently a dick, and people still worshiped him. I'm mostly curious at the difference in Driller the UGC grunt observed since Andy showed up. I'd probably be more curious if it was something we'd seen, rather than been told about, but that's not the way this book is going to operate, I guess.

Nothing much has changed as far as the art goes. It's still a very pretty book. The contrast between the expressions of TIMs-21 and 22 at any given moment is used well. The sadness on 21's face when he hadn't actually found Bandit, contrasted with the blankness on 22's face in the background. 22's eager smirk at the robot army being constructed, against 21's shocked look.

Roche Limit: Monadic #1, by Michael Moreci (story), Kyle Charles (art), Matt Battaglia (colors), Ryan Ferrier (letters), Tim Daniel (design) - I think it's supposed to be a broken mirror, but the way the border curves around it makes it seem like the faceplate on a helmet.

This book has done a full-on swan dive into Dark City. Alex Ford, who was the drug maker with the bomb in his chest in the first mini-series, finds himself alive in a city, with the corpse of Gracie, who ran the nightclub in the colony, next to him. Watkins who was doing experiments on people warns Alex he has to find the Black Tower. Which leads to a sequence of Alex trying desperately to find a train that will take him there, although no one can seem to give him proper directions to one. And Sasha, the scientist who stayed behind on the colony in the second mini-series is living in an observatory, being visited by an adult male and a child called Man and Girl, until some old guy tells her she needs to move her recording instruments to a different section of sky, and she picks up a transmission from the leader of the expedition in the second mini-series, and she starts remembering things.

So people are dead, but not dead? Or trapped in some simulation or dream created by the things from the other side of the Anomaly, trying to figure out humans? Or the alien creatures have absorbed their souls and this is some attempt to break them down, incorporate their essence somehow, by getting people to buy into the illusion? I don't know. It's not an encouraging start, especially with the whole sequence of Alex trying to catch a train and getting the runaround, which is straight out of Dark City. I guess I should be glad Moreci didn't try to start with an entirely new cast again, given how poorly I thought that went last time.

Battaglia's color choices are probably what stands out most. In Sasha's place, the colors are softer, they blur together more, and they're usually warmer, friendlier colors. In the parts that take place wherever Alex is, the colors are usually these sick looking ones. Like there's a yellow haze over everything, the way it might seem in a room full of smoke with a dim lamp. Everyone is yellowish, and even when the background shifts, it's to a solid color of something garish. An obnoxious green, or a bright orange. It grabs your attention, and sometimes corresponds to moments of violence (though there are plenty of those where the color doesn't do that).


B. S. Denton said...

The colors alone draw me in to the Roche Limit title. Future post idea: Newbury vs Caldecott, comic style. Best visual comic with worst plot line, and worst visual with best plotline. (I realize I just butchered the idea behind both awards, but I think its an interesting idea as presented.)

CalvinPitt said...

That seems like an interesting idea, though I'd probably need to hand it off to someone with a better sense of wider comics history than me. Offhand, I'd have to think Marcos Martin provided some outstanding art for some pretty garbage writing in his career, though I can't come up with anything egregious at the moment. Worst art with best plot, though, hmm.