A misguided tour of the past few months in comic books…
An alternative angle on the last three months in comic books
To boldly Photoshop where no man has Photoshopped before
John Byrne is singlehandedly attempting to revive the photonovel (remember them?). His Star Trek: New Visions series for IDW upgrades the old-school photographs-with-captions montage format with swanky modern high-tech computering stuff, manipulating images to create all-new Trek tales out of existing material. The first issue, “The Mirror, Cracked”, is a sequel to the classic 1967 “Mirror, Mirror” episode. Sometimes it looks a bit weird, but it’s as close as you’re going to get to an Original Series season four. Here’s the bridge of the Enterprise as the ship gets hit by Klingon energy blasts. For best results, shake comic book from side to side.
Eye’ll be seeing you
Who’s got their hands on one of the Watcher’s peepers? None other than dorky Ghost Rider foe the Orb. How appropriate. Debuting in Marvel Team-Up #15 in 1973, the Orb was a motorcycle stunt rider who came off worst in a race with his rival Johnny Blaze and skidded along the ground on his face. His eyeball helmet not only hides his disfigurement but can hypnotise people and shoot laser beams. Of course. The question you need to ask yourself, though, is why does he wear a hood for most of Original Sin #2 before whipping it off at the end for the dramatic reveal. Could it be… just for the dramatic reveal?
The prize for the promotion of international understanding goes to…
… Harley Quinn #6! If you ever wanted to become conversant in both Russian and Yiddish profanity, this is the comic for you. The best bit of Russian swearing is “kloun suka” which means, we think, “clown bitch” (a more or less accurate description of the title character). As for the Yiddish, the p’tcha in “p’tcha-forbrains” roughly translates as “calves’ foot jelly” and not something nastier – but it’s still the kind of expletive you might be tempted to use in polite company. And let’s not get started on the punsome supporting-character names: Kosta Armanoleg, Zena Bendemova and, best of all, bionic senior citizen Sy Borgman… Whatever co-writers Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti are on, we’ll have some of it, please.
We’ve all been there. Holiday in
Southeast Asia. Pretty girl at a bar. You get her back to your room, only to find there’s a little more going on down below than you expected. No? Just us then? Anyway, issue #1 of Warren Ellis’s Trees brings that queasy-but-strangely-unforgettable moment back to life with this two-panel sequence in which a lissom beauty turns out to have something of a sapling in her panties. Better just to pretend it never happened, right?
The dog’s bollocks
That naughty scamp Garth Ennis. Just when we thought Rover Red Charlie was settling into being a nice, friendly funny-animal comic after all, along comes this nad-munching scene in the final issue. Bad dog!
The “If Only It Were True” department
In Rob Williams’s and D’Israeli’s Ordinary, a mysterious event gives everyone in the world different powers and abilities. In the case of the US President, that means his innermost thoughts are visible to all as thought bubbles. Can you imagine if that happened to Obama? Our guess is all we’d see would be him musing smugly on how hot his wife is. And if it were George W Bush… Well, the bubbles would be blank.
Hissing Sid is innocent!
Ever wondered what were-chickens would look like? Wonder no more, thanks to Al Ewing’s Mighty Avengers #10. But that’s not all. At last a mainstream Marvel comic has included a reference to Captain Beaky (of Captain Beaky And His Band fame – you know, Timid Toad, Reckless Rat, Artful Owl, Batty Bat, all of them, remember?). We can die happy, clutching our vinyl copies of the original album – which featured the voices of Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and, er, Twiggy, among others – to our bosoms.
Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)
Hydra baddie and emotion vampire the Drain, in Rick Remender’s Winter Soldier miniseries, looks awfully familiar. As drawn by Roland Boschi, he’s an albino David Bowie circa 1976 and The Man Who Fell To Earth. Not since Mike Allred’s Madman has anyone paid such an overt tribute to the Thin White Duke. We can be (super) heroes…
Who edits these things?
The cover of Guardians Of The
Galaxy #15 trumpets it loud: that issue’s guest star is none other than Captain Marvel. But wait. Although there are a host of cameos from other characters, the good captain herself doesn’t appear in a single panel. Wha-aat? The mob of indignant Carol Danvers fans is probably forming outside Marvel’s offices right now.
Astro City atrocity
Okay, “atrocity” is maybe taking things too far. The word just looks a bit like Astro City, so we used it. Because that’s how we roll at Comic Heroes. It’s a shock, nonetheless, to see someone else drawing the title after a run of 66 straight issues (by our calculation) during which no one else has sat in the artist’s chair but Brent Anderson. Not that Graham Nolan does a bad job in #12 of the book’s Vertigo incarnation – far from it – but it doesn’t feel right, and we hope this doesn’t become a permanent state of affairs. Anderson is listed in the credits for his “insight and design”, so we can only assume that Nolan’s appearance is a guest shot and normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. At least Alex Ross is still on board, providing a gorgeous cover as usual.
“Look into my eye. Look into my eye. The eye. The eye.” That Ennis has got some balls.
Who’s been exploring strange new worlds?
Like politicians all over, then.
She won’t be firing ping pong balls with that… FILTH ALERT!
Sings: “The bravest animals in the land…”
Separated at birth: the Drain and Thomas Jerome Newton.
No offence Nolan, but bring back Anderson!
It’s a, erm, marvel no one noticed sooner. Sorry.