Panel Games

A side­ways look at the last three months of the comics verse

Comic Heroes - - Contents - Lee Kirby

Are you miss­ing Moe­bius?

The late, great Jean Gi­raud may have gone to that air­tight garage in the sky, but never fret, be­cause Go­ran Parlov has been chan­nelling his spirit in Mark Mil­lar’s new se­ries Starlight. Mil­lar’s homage to Golden Age space he­roes such as Flash Gor­don, Buck Rogers and John Carter has sur­prised ev­ery­one by not be­ing (a) gra­tu­itously crass and ob­nox­ious and (b) lit­tle more than a scripted sto­ry­board for Matthew Vaughn’s next movie. The real draw, how­ever, is Parlov’s art. Stip­pled rock for­ma­tions ahoy!

The “Take The Rest Of The Day Off” award for least ef­fort put into a dou­blepage spread…

goes to Javier Pulido for this ul­tra close-up of Shulkie’s eyes in She-Hulk #2. Colourist Muntsa Vi­cente prob­a­bly did more work here than Pulido. Then again, it’s a LOL mo­ment at the end of a ram­bunc­tious girls’ night out story, so who re­ally cares? In other news: mys­te­ri­ous world­wide short­age of green ink continues to baf­fle ex­perts.

Do con­sider giv­ing up the day job

Charles Soule, writer of the above­men­tioned She-Hulk, is surely the hard­est-work­ing per­son in comics to­day. In ad­di­tion to his script­ing du­ties on the Jade Gi­ant­ess’s new monthly, he’s also pound­ing the key­board on Swamp Thing, Red Lanterns, Su­per­man/Won­der Woman, Thunderbolts and the up­com­ing In­hu­man. That’s on top of his day job as an at­tor­ney. Let’s hope he de­cides to go full-time in the comics biz, not just so that we can read more of his stuff but so there’ll be one less prac­tis­ing lawyer in the world.

Ques­tion: can you tell what’s go­ing on in the panel be­low from For­ever

Evil #6?

Is Lex Luthor putting a hand over Nightwing’s mouth in an at­tempt to make him shut up? “Sshhh, lad, the grown-ups are talk­ing!” Nightwing: [thinks] “Oh man, I wish this guy hadn’t just been eat­ing bur­ri­tos.” Ac­tu­ally no, it’s Luthor killing the for­mer Robin by suf­fo­cat­ing him. Not that you’d know it from David Finch’s art­work. Quite pos­si­bly the least dra­matic su­per­hero death ever.

Taste is­sues

Over the years, Garth Ennis has given us more than a few “Holy crap!” mo­ments. There’s been Arse­face and ar­madillo sex in Preacher, Wee Hughie’s un­for­tu­nately timed act of cun­nilin­gus in The Boys, and just about any page of Crossed you care to men­tion. Ennis may well have out­done him­self, how­ever, with this im­age from

Rover Red Char­lie #3. Here at Panel Games we’re all for kind­ness to an­i­mals, but you have to draw the line some­where. Where’s that bot­tle of ex­trastrength Op­trex? We need to clean our eyes.

In­tro­duc­ing Ram-Man

While we’re on the sub­ject of hu­man/an­i­mal in­ti­macy, who can for­get the goat both­er­ing scene in Deadly Class #2? Luck­ily the im­age isn’t too ex­plic­itly graphic, but what’s shock­ing is that the dis­fig­ured hill­billy bes­tial­ist en­joy­ing his post-coital cig­a­rette hasn’t of­fered the goat a smoke too. Are there no real gen­tle­men left in this world?

All You Zom­bies

We love Ge­orge Romero. King of the zom­bie flick, the man who sin­gle-hand­edly in­vented the sham­bling-un­dead-apoca­lypse genre – who doesn’t love Ge­orge Romero? With­out him we’d never have had Shaun Of The Dead or

The Walk­ing Dead. We’d also never have had Brad Pitt’s World

War Z, but you can’t blame Ge­orge for that. We have to con­fess, though, that his Em­pire

Of The Dead minis­eries for Marvel is as messy as a dis­em­bow­elled corpse. Vam­pires and zom­bies! To­gether! Who’d have thought it? Err, well, Max Brooks, with

Extinction Pa­rade. And Dan

Ab­nett with The New Dead­war­dians. And Bobby Crosby with his Last Blood we­b­comic. And David Hine with

FVZA. And... We could go on, but we won’t.

It’s Bap­girl

While we’re still all hot and both­ered, how about Jonathan Ross’s Re­venge? In par­tic­u­lar, how about the age­ing movie star pro­tag­o­nist’s girl­friend Candy’s fake boobs? As drawn by Ian Churchill, you could bounce a coin off those pup­pies. Some­where on Earth-2, Power Girl is look­ing on and go­ing, “Hmmm...!”

Depart­ment of De­ferred Grat­i­fi­ca­tion 1:

Is­sue #5 of Matt Frac­tion’s Sex Crim­i­nals has been de­layed by over a month. Now, we hope you don’t think we’re men­tion­ing this purely as an ex­cuse to make some smutty jokes. Oh no, not us. But you have to ad­mire the stay­ing power be­ing shown by Frac­tion and artist Chip Zdarsky. They’re keep­ing us hang­ing on, tan­ta­lis­ing us. How they’re man­ag­ing to hold out so long, we don’t know. We can hardly bear the wait, and may go off the boil if the comic doesn’t come soon. Still, a late re­lease is bet­ter than a pre­ma­ture one.

Depart­ment of De­ferred Grat­i­fi­ca­tion 2:

Where is is­sue #2 of Sand­man: Over­ture? Comics read­ers haven’t been kept in sus­pense this long since the fi­nal is­sue of Camelot 3000 al­most never ap­peared. Well, you can’t rush per­fec­tion, I sup­pose.

The In­cred­i­ble Melt­ing Man

“Mummy, who is the melty-face man in is­sue #10 of

Über? I feel like I should recog­nise him.” “Why, dear, that’s Bri­tish World War 2 Prime Min­is­ter Win­ston Churchill, as drawn by Canaan White.” “He looks a bit like Clay­face on a bad day. He scares me.” “You shouldn’t be read­ing Über any­way. It’s gory and vi­o­lent.” “But Mu-u-um, I’m 43!” “Yes, dear. Bed­time now. Up you go.”

When pages run out!

The

non-event fi­nal panel of The Six Mil­lion Dol­lar Man Sea­son Six #1 is surely the least sus­pense­ful cliffhanger we’ve seen in an age. What hap­pened, writer Jim Kuhoric? Did you for­get when your dead­line was? Did you lose count of how many pages you were sup­posed to be de­liv­er­ing so you thought you would just stop the story when you’d run out of room? Maybe you spent too long com­ing up with awe­some Steve Austin bionic pow­ers sound ef­fects like “VRRRREEEETT”, “TEENENENEN” and – best of all – “BANANANA”.

Num­bers just ain’t as big as they used to be

The Panel Games of­fice was be­mused to re­ceive a press re­lease from an overex­cited Marvel an­nounc­ing the “over­sized, land­mark an­niver­sary is­sue” of All-New

X-Men in April. Sounds good. So what mo­men­tous is­sue has the comic reached? 50? 100? 200, per­haps? Nope. 25. That’s right folks, these days it’s a land­mark if a Marvel ti­tle man­ages a run of two years with­out a re­boot.

Who’s do­ing a great job as a French Im­pres­sion­ist?

Who put more green than ef­fort into a splash page?

What is Lex do­ing to Nightwing?

Who’s jump­ing on a band­wagon they started? Did this comic sim­ply run out of pages?

How is Garth Ennis leav­ing a bad taste now? Has Madame Tus­sauds left its Churchill wax­work too near the ra­di­a­tor?

Did he of­fer the goat a fag?

Does some­one need a coun­ter­bal­ance?

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