Friday, August 19, 2016

What I Bought 8/16/16

I finally got to see Ant-Man. Some of it, the first 30 minutes. And I was flipping back and forth between it and One-Punch Man at the time. But what I saw seemed OK, I guess. I'm sure I'll catch the rest of it eventually. These are the other two comics I got earlier this week, one of which is closer to two months old. I've only had two books come out in the last two weeks, though. Stupid five Wednesday months.

Wynonna Earp #6, by Beau Smith (writer), Lora Innes (artist), Jay Fotos (colorist), Robbie Robbins (letterer) - And that was how Wynonna learned the hard way not to stand on graves and fire guns into them as a way to celebrate New Year's.

Wynonna is forced to confront Johnny Ringo, who has managed to trap Doc Holliday, and is therefore sure he can handle this girl. He's wrong, and winds up with a bullet in his head and gets dragged back to Hell. Agents Dolls and Valdez took care of the remainder of the gang menacing the tourists, in spite of Valdez being quite unhappy that her gear changed to a period-era dress when they entered city limits. So Wynonna is ready to go forward with the special revolver, and possibly Wyatt's spirit is along for the ride, according to Valdez and probably Holliday, anyway. Which is the sort of development I could find concerning, depending on how active a presence he is. If it's simply a case of additional power to her, fine, but if he starts offering advice, eh, that could get annoying. Have to see how it plays out.

I had kind of expected Wynonna to have to fight her way to the final confrontation with Ringo, but that would have spoiled the surprise for him of her having the Peacemaker. Although I was also surprised all it took for her to get that was for Doc to give it to her last issue. Beau Smith: Subverting my expectations of traditional narrative structure! Which is fine, since I suspect it was a given this is how it would turn out, so why waste a bunch of time on it? Get the stuff you have to and move forward to what comes after.

Smith puts a lot of little humor bits in his writing, and Innes' style seems to work well for them. Valdez' irritation at that dress she got stuck with, and Agent Dolls' amusement with her (also how pleased he is with the clothes he got). Although Dolls (whose first name is Xavier), has a personal license plate of "X8VR", which is just, no. Never have a personal plate of your own name.

Also, the full-page spread of Wynonna preparing to have her showdown with Ringo. The last panel of the previous page was Ringo, feeling cocky and drawn from a relatively low angle looking up at him. Supposed to make him look imposing and dangerous, especially after Holliday's warnings (and the fact the panel next to Ringo is Doc struggling futilely, unable to help). Then you go to the next page, and here's Wynonna, shot from an even more extreme upward angle, calm, ready, the ghost of Wyatt behind her. Big, impressive shot, completely dwarfing Ringo's just before, and showing how out matched he is.

Roche Limit Monadic #4, by Michael Moreci (writer), Kyle Charles (artist), Matt Battaglia (colorist), Ryan Ferrer (letterer) - Fun with the Cosmic Spirograph. And I'm guessing on the credits because I can't read the damn things because of the stupid choice they made for text color against a black backdrop on the inside cover.

OK, human souls are poisonous to the creatures from the other side of the Anomaly, which is why they're ejected from any bodies that try to enter. So you have the one group that eventually manages to kill Moscow and capture his soul, then try to trick the big monster in the tower into taking the deceased Alex' soul instead. Independent of that, you have Sasha and her daughter who are going to pilot a ship full of all those ejected souls into the midst of the alien fleet and detonate it, killing them by human soul exposure. And both these things work, I think. There's a definitely an explosion of the ship that results in a bigger explosion that destroys the planet, which I assume would solve those problems. Although in the second mini-series, everyone pretty much assumed there were already some of these creatures back on Earth (which is why doomed missions kept being sent to the colony secretly), so I don't know what's happening there.

The art really doesn't help. In previous issues, there were stretches where Charles would seemingly stop inking over his pencils, and the work would have a rougher feel to it. I tended not to like those parts, because the visual clarity of things declined sharply. This entire issue is like that. Near the end, when Bekka and Sonya manage to force feed Alex' soul to the Final Boss, he reacts by barfing a stream of purple energy into the sky. On the next page we see Sasha's ship heading towards seemingly empty space, and then an orange beam strikes it from behind and triggers the explosion. I don't know if that's meant to be read as deliberate, a dying effort by the creature to stop her, but it doesn't understand her plan, or just a freak coincidence that doesn't matter because she was going to blow up the ship anyway. Or if that was something entirely different striking the ship, or not even something striking the ship, but something else entirely. Not exactly ideal, as you might imagine. There are points in the book I would almost say Charles is going for a later-period Frank Miller look (the panel of Bekka decaptating Moscow in particular), but I'm not certain that's true, and I don't think he's quite pulling it off.

Ultimately, the aliens are defeated by the human willingness to sacrifice ourselves for others. Which is a trait the aliens had scorned, and were pretty vocal in pointing out how they were going to exclude it from themselves when they took over as humanity. It's strange to me that they seemingly understood it existed in people, understood it was a compulsion that can propel us forward, but either didn't recognize it was at work in all this people confronting it, or didn't recognize the danger it presented. They understand humans will give their lives to save others. These humans in front of them seemed determined to stop them. So perhaps they, too, are willing to die in the process, and them should take this a little more seriously? Is the point that the concept is ultimately so alien to these beings' way of thinking that even if they think they grasp it - and can thus dismiss it - they don't really get it? Or that for all our screw-ups, all the selfish decisions we make that the creatures were able to exploit up too that point in the story, that capacity for self-sacrifice is intrinsic to us, and by excluding it from their attempt to be us, they fail at their goal?

1 comment:

SallyP said...

Ant Man does start a little slow... but once it gets going, it is a hoot! And Beau Smith remains one of my favorite writers.