“If I can put our past aside, can you forgive me for my pride?” Zecora returns home in My Little Pony: Friendship is magic #91

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As a comics fan I’ve managed to grow a much thicker skin when it comes to the regularly occurring discussion of “are comics art” or the dis”it’s kids stuff. When Allan Moore accuses comics of causing a “deliberate, self-imposed state of emotional arrest” it makes my appreciation of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic a really difficult stance to defend. What? It’s a great comic and it succeeds for exactly the same reason the now ten year old rebooted cartoon did by being bright, colourful,charming and uncomplicated in terms of real life. I know exactly what the appeal is and where it fits into my reading diet. It’s the comics equivalent of a huge,warm comforting blanket and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. It’s the warm and reassuring kind of media we’ve all retreated and relied on even more in 2020. Oh,that’s not to say that the Ponies don’t have huge adventures and even bigger problems,but there cute problems! The “Mane Six” can usually untangle any complication within an issue or two without too much bother. Although the series ended last year, the comic gallops on into season 10 straddling the line perfectly with being a great all ages read whist still appealing to the older ‘Brony’ side of the fandom without pandering to them.

Such is the creators’ confidence in My Little Pony at this stage,the new ‘season’ begins without the involvement of the regular familiar faces, instead focusing on Apple Jack, the rhyming zebra Zecora and a whole cast of new characters in her old friends. A mixture of Zebra’s, kelpies and other characters keep the comic constantly inventive with a lot more world building than is surely needed for a ‘kids comic’.

There can be no doubt that creative team over at IDW know the show inside and out but are also dyed in the wool geeks themselves as this issue begins with Zecora recalling in true D&D style an imaginary adventure she played with her old friends journeying across “The Desert of Infinity” as they cross a far more real and perilous desert. The recollection ends with the revelation she is a true DM and ended it when she “got fed up and told us we all died of heatstroke!”

Longtime FiM artist Andy Price takes up art duties on season 10 and while he has always taken cues from the show has developed a look that’s in keeping with the animation whilst being clearly distinct. A little more cartoony, his ponies emote with the best of them and appear expressive and elastic. Clean, cheerful and exuberant art that is filled with adorable background details and outstanding character design for the new additions to the gang.

Did I say it was uncomplicated earlier? Well the thread running throughout the adventure this issue is Zecora reconciling with her friends whilst realising that their will always be different perspectives to events, even if we have thought of them as immutable as she asks her former friends “If I can put our past aside, can you forgive me for my pride?” This is all before the issue delivers on the warning “there is singing in this comic” on its cover and bursts into a fullon musical number that was a Hallmark of the series on screen,translating it onto the page through Prices framing and pop culture nods to show the different styles coming into play. When Zecora appears in a very iconics yellow leather jacket it’s evident that the song has reached it’s epic stadium anthem conclusion.

Micro review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #111

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Through a combination of moral outrage over the word “ninja” and the fact that the trading cards had strips of bubblegum in them, Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles was always a property I was generally steered away from. I was never exposed to the cartoon and generally had zero nostalgia or interest for the sewer-dwelling reptiles. I don’t mention this to drum up sympathy or get some catharsis but to drive home just how good a series IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is that I’m over one hundred issues deep into a franchise I had no interest in before now. Even with that many issues, the title continues to be exciting and inventive for new and old fans alike.

Ten issues into her run and Sophie Cambell has the turtles firmly entrenched in their new lives in Mutant Town, a quarantined neighborhood on Manhattan’s East Side built to house the sudden rise in the mutant population, having to work together to try and build something and function as a larger community. Although this arc has so far seen the turtles building lives and discovering themselves beyond fighting, this issue does plunge them back into the action as they defend their new home from Hob’s spies in classic ninja fashion. With stealth and silence being the key to the Ninja’s plans, Jodi Nishijimi’s art expertly paces the action and ramps up the suspense, capturing the sudden moments of action and an almost eerie silence as fear begins to overcome the intruders.

Campbell’s writing is extraordinary when stepping away from the action and giving us intense personal moments with the extensive cast of the comic. In this issue she gives us the very emotionally raw exchange Mona has with her parents, revealing herself on a video call to explain that she is a mutant. Justifiably distraught at their disgust and rejection she subsequently finds some support and solace with fellow mutant Sally.

Final Verdict: A series that continues to stun with new and inventive twists that has something for old and new fans alike that has a real heart to it.

Originally posted on multiversity.com

Micro Review: Strange Academy #4

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For all its brilliant reinvention and wide range of titles, the current X-Men line has left an obviously glaring gap in its range of books. With the majority of mutantkind upping sticks in favor of the newly founded island of Krakoa, Xavier’s School for Gifted Mutants has been left vacant along with a superpower school-based comic. For that, you’ll have to look somewhere, stranger?

Taking a few pages from Chuck’s book, Stephen Strange has established an Academy to teach the next generation of magical users as the mystical world starts to heal itself and become even more powerful and dangerous. Although it’s named after the current Sorcerer Supreme it’s funny to see him oddly absent, more like a celebrity who has franchised his name with Zelma Staton (from Jason Aaron’s run) guiding the kids in their mystical studies. In only a handful of issues Young introduces and builds up a large group of brand new characters from Frost Giants to Asgardians and despite the size of the cast has given them all equal development. While setting up what appears to be the big bad for the series going forward in the creepy swamp-like Hallow this issue centers around a more lighthearted and magical powered romp through various locales of the Marvel Universe as the motley crew of students is drafted into an intense game of tag whilst Doyle, the sulky son of Dormammu, hangs back to help with a disturbance in the school’s library.

Huberto Ramos’ art style complements Young’s frenetic pace of storytelling, hitting a middle ground between Skottie’s style and the more grounded work Chris Bachalo has brought to the main Strange title in recent years. It’s equal parts frenetic when focused on the kids’ antics and deeply creepy when creatures like the Hallow show up.

Final Verdict: Young has kept Strange Academy light and fun, creating a title full of heart and energy that quickly draws you into its world and its young cast of characters even though it’s a whole issue of them playing tag.

Originally posted on Multiversitycomics.com

Micro Review: Skulldigger and Skeleton #5

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May? The conclusion to this series is seven months away? As comic readers, we’ve all come up against big gaps between issues, but it’s that the penultimate issue of Spiral Cities vigilante and his kid sidekick so perfectly sets up such a perfect, edge-of-your-seat cliffhanger that makes six months sound so unbearable!


Lemire’s comic work always comes with the best “elevator pitches” to entice readers and Skulldigger is no exception to this. What if, Lemire muses, a character like Dick Grayson reeling from his parents’ violent and sudden death sees not the dark knight step out of the shadows to save him, but Frank Castle’s Punisher. It’s an exciting and intriguing premise and the series has riffed heavily on the ultra-violent “anti-hero” archetype and how we view them, touching along the way the line between them and the more obvious heroes while exploring the relationships between characters like Batman and his young wards. Where do you draw the line between heroism and the weaponization of a child’s rage and simple black and white view of justice? Skulldigger and Skeleton Boy mixes up the archetypes of characters we all know so very well and shines a spotlight on one of comics’ most established yet bizarre tropes, child sidekick. Despite the well-tread subject matter Lemire still has a new and fresh take on the matter and in five issues has delved deep into the life of street-level vigilantes.

Issue five takes a well-deserved breather from the violence and vengeance of the series so far as Detective Reyes escapes Spiral City with Skeleton Boy in tow, unsure of how to save him or what that even means anymore. Unsure of how to get through to the angry sidekick she recounts her own past and how it has been marred by the cycle of violence that Skulldigger perpetuates, giving us both a deeper insight into Reyes and re-establishing the comics core themes and ideas. Nothing is this plain and simple though and even during a brief dip in his anger when Skeleton Boy admits that despite his thirst for payback and pain, his time with the morally lacking hero has been deeply scarring, recounting being unable to shake the level of violence he has witnessed. It’s clear that neither she nor Skulldigger’s interventions in the young boy’s life are going to give him what he needs.

Tonci Zonjic is the latest artist making his mark upon the rapidly expanding Black Hammer universe and has captured both the look of modern vigilante titles with its striking touches of Dark Knight Returns to the quaint and more subdued atmosphere of fifties crime comics in flashbacks that he gives a lot more clean-cut and almost naive feel all the while maintaining his own style and never falling into lazy homage. This issue employs a much more restrained layout and palette, with duller dust red tones as Reyes and Skeleton Boy hit the deserts outside of the city. Issues five standout art moment is Skulldigger gleaming mace crashing into Reyes windshield that brings the realization that no matter who gets to her first, Skulldigger or Grimjack, the outcome is likely to be just as bloody.

Final Verdict: Lemire continues the trend established from the start of Black Hammer and shows that he has a firm grasp on the deeper lives and motivations of the characters.

Originally posted on Multiversity Comics

“Big guns were the old guys thing, I always wanted a big &$£$ sword!”- Dugan and Noto’s kid Cable roars into fifth issue

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While the rest of the X titles are tying neatly into the ongoing mega event, X of Swords, Cable does it even smoother than most with the now young mutant having set off to explore his place as a now younger mutant in an emerging society, rather than a future that has left him constantly struggling to just survive. Finding the sword serves a greater purpose going into the gladiatorial contest to come but also on a more character driven level to signify his new course in life with cable declaring “Big guns were the old guys thing, I always wanted a big &$£$ sword!”

This issue the Summers family investigate a possible alien incursion on the eerily empty and powered down S.W.O.R.D station. From the moment they arrive the issue takes on the feel of a classic Doctor Who episode with the trio trying to piece together the details of what happened on the station. While it accumulates into the grand X-Men tradition of high octane, alien battling action the thing that shines through this issue and has won me over the series as a whole is that Duggan is giving readers a deeper look into the relationship with Cable’s now age appropriate parents, Jean and Cyclops. All parties appear to have thrown themselves into the roles and the chance to form a more conventional (ish) family unit. Jean and Cyclops support and guide their son, and despite what you might have first expected with a “teen cable” book with him rebelling against his parents, Cable actively seeks advice and support from the pair. Another issue in a series that has me genuinely excited for a character I cared very little for in the past.

Noto continues with the vibrant, clean and youthful art here that ties in perfectly with the story being told with his Cable and is strikingly different from any style previously used for the character. The standout this issue has to be his depiction of the new alien menace invading the station, pulling back from the main action and giving us a look at overwhelming scale of what the Summers family is facing as well as Cyclops’ eyeblasts which he infuses with power visually despite them being something we have seen a thousand times before.

Final Verdict: With Cable’s fifth issue Duggan and Noto deliver a satisfying issue focusing on the title characters new leash of life as well as adding intrigue for the ongoing X of Swords events.As with the series as a whole this issue surprised and entertained me as much for the fresh character dynamics as it did for the explosive action.

This review first appeared on Multiversity Comics

“Happy people don’t start believing in the end of the world”- ‘shrooms, romance doomed and the end of the world in Remy Boydell’s “920London”

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“Well, if you wanted honesty, That’s all you had to say
I never want to let you down
Or have you go, it’s better off this way”

While Remy Boydell has been working on comics projects for years now I would stake money that many, myself included, got our first taste our her work with 2018’s The pervert. Writer Michelle Perez’s deeply grounded, brutally honest and unflinching look at a trans girl’s experiences of sex work in Seattle. Bringing the same sensibility to her own story in the pages of 920London, Perez captures the slowly disintegrating relationship of two young scene kids as it burns down to the embers and, against the growing of illegal hallucinogenics before the end of the world.

“I like sleeping next to her” one of the pair, Hana bluntly sums up early in the book “We don’t fuck anymore, we’re just co-dependent” She’s struggling with her mental health whilst her partner fluctuates between moods. Kiki  already nursing the feeling of having missed out on her big chance for fame, her ex’s having struck huge mainstream success even when he is portrayed as being the most odious of manipulative “superstar” cliches.

Boydell herself recently commented on twitter on the books release, having worked on it for two years since her collaboration on The Pervert with Michelle Perez. The two years of work, the refinement and confidence is there on every page of  920London. The majority of The Pervert’s pages were broken down into strict nine panel grids and while this worked to compliment the story and it’s narrator there, for her own story Boydell experiments a great deal more allowing for a more dynamic looking book from the character poses to page layouts.

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In one particularly atmospheric dream state, Kiki finds herself walking around a large ominous pumpkin patch punctuated with bright bursts of orange from the spooky fruits, rendered expertly on the page in Boydell’s gorgeous watercolours. With all the tensions of a cult horror movie, she eventually comes face to face with a twisted version of her ex Jake Price. He reassures her “all the time you felt alone and weird, everything is going to be good from now on”, mixing both terror and wish fulfilment to an uncomfortable degree.

Their day to day activities and attempts to kick start their lives into something grander and far more exciting will most likely resonate for those far away from what anybody would reasonably call “the pulse” in the arse end of nowhere. The laid back tempo and deliberate pacing that calls to mind a certain sort of cool British Indie film, the book’s splash pages serving here as quiet cutaways that gives the story a lot of space to breathe an let it’s quiet moments hit with full precision. The most striking of which occurs when Boydell depicts Kiki worriedly questioning her friends almost romantic and idolised take on suicide. It works alongside the perception of “emo culture” and it’s detractors most repeated arguments to convey something really impactful in this moment and throughout the book.  When the story needs it the bold watercolour spreads pull back into the smallest vignette moments alluding to the characters mood or mental state, like cutting between mundane objects and details of a therapists office, Hana looking down at her feet, so succinctly sums up that feeling of concentrating on anything else, of normality happening all around everyone and everything  but yourself.

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Something shared with her previous book The Pervert, is a  great knack for visual pop culture shorthand when it come to secondary characters, opting to spend time developing her two protagonists instead. Even before he is elaborated on by Kiki, Jake Price is portrayed on poster for his “Epic Riot Tour” as a smug blue Garfield looking motherfucker, arms out in a Christ like pose which tells you everything you need to know about the guy at this point. Even a cursory glance at Boydell’s instagram shows a clear passion and a distinct  flair for fashion and costume design. 920London leans heavily on the emo sensibilities of the early 00’s, all Nokia flip-phones, checkered Vans and pink Leopard prints. Here the duos distinctive ensembles quickly set them apart from the muted greys and blues of their loathed, rural hometown. Bright for Kiki that is, as Remy expertly ties her designs to their respective characters and even introduces and expands the trans threads of the story through the artwork and ultimately by commenting on Hana’s darker and more relaxed wardrobe. “Just exercising my god given right to wear hoodies” explains Hana in an inner monologue on not having to explain herself or to conform to gender norms as it defending it to herself the most.

920 London has an  almost treacle thick melancholy that Boydell expresses through her storytelling with the vibrant, life changing parties you imagined for your youth, the reality of long boring bus journeys, and the extreme effort for parties and gatherings that will end up limp and soul destroying. Whereas Kiki is somewhat more optimistic, Hana is acutely aware of the wafer thin edifice in these social events, recalling a previous party where the host had bought and imported, at great expense, the iconic red cups that are the staple for any happening party teen party in America, commenting “bare depressing” in a reference that had me smiling and cringing to at the same time.

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Don’t come to 920London expecting heart wrenching or overwrought statements, instead the story settles into it’s own very low burn brand of despair. Things get hinted at or go unsaid, or talked around that feels more instep with it’s grounded grey English setting. Kiki and Hana only feel able to push the uncomfortable subjects so far with each other before pulling back and retreating mentally, at one point Hana trying to explain why she didn’t make an appointment with a therapist, and after a few panels deflecting, says simply “Tell me a story or something okay?”.

The unusual pacing and tone might strike a lot of readers as mood over storytelling when it steadfastly refuses to  spell things out for you but as with Perez’s The Pervert, 920London isn’t necessarily about a grandiose running storyline but concerns itself more with being more a character study and ultimately I found myself taken in by the moody tone and overall feel of the book, the quiet fatalism that pervades throughout in it’s moody, brilliant and always brutally honesty portrayal of mental health, relationships  and through it’s the intricately layered and fascinating lives of both Hana and Kiki.

920London is available now. Remy Boydell’s art can be found at her instagram page or website

Wednesday Adventures 19th February

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A brief weekly rundown of recommendations of new releases I’m intrigued by, excited for and will be grabbing off the shelves to curl up with every new comics day before delving into them later in the week!

Have you hugged your local comic store owner today?

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Plunge 1- DC Comics

Saddened as I was to see DC so casually retire the horror and fantasy imprint it already had with the long established Vertigo,it’s hard to deny they love a fresh start lately and that the clout that the Locke and Key scribe brings with him to his new “Hill House Comics” line probably didn’t hurt the company in the old sales department. That the books have so far been uniquely eerie and high quality helps too!

The fifth book in the line so far,Plunge has Hill on writing duties alongside superstar Marvel artist Stuart Immonen to spin a disturbing Lovecraft-ian Horror series centred around the discovery of a vessel lost over forty years ago sending out a distress call from the icy wastes of the Antarctic. On the prompting of my husband I’ve been trying to find my way sneakily into the works of Lovecraft with adjacent and related properties and with the moody artwork, arctic setting and nail biting writing from Hill this definitely makes the list for me.

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Machine Man 2020- Marvel Comics

While it’s always been pretty much a mainstay in sci-fi, and especially comics, it’s been interesting to see how the exploration of what constitutes a ‘person’ work it’s way out of the collective conscious and onto the main stage. Especially when it comes to “artificial life”, the idea seems to have oozed it’s way into the mainstream like motor oil with shows like Westworld or the recent Picard series, which out of all the threads it could have picked up decided to focus it’s sights on following up “Measure of a Man”. Are we all worrying about something? Nah, probably just me overthinking the funny books again.

Like the criminally underrated and mostly overlooked “Avengers AI”, the recent Iron Man 2020 series which sees Arno Stark take over the mantle from his “deceased” brother, finds the denizens of the Marvel universe looking toward it’s many artificial and robotic members of the world in a manner previously reserved for mutants. A tour de force of the vast and varied robot population of Marvel and bringing them under the banner of a single cause and giving panel time to some who have only been seen fleetingly over the years in almost a meta commentary on how quickly robot characters are created and cast aside in their narratives. When was the last time you thought about H.E.R.B.I.E or Awesome Andy? Not recently I’d wager.

Machine Man stands among these characters for me, standing in as a general for the robotic resistance which spins out into his own title literally picking up from his departure in the second issue perusing his once lover and friend, Jocasta. Re-programmed by Arno to do his bidding and used as a distraction for Machine Man, already acting more human than the new shell head or his cohorts. Only a few issues in I’ eager to see if Iron Man 2020 and it’s spin off titles like Machine Man can establish an interesting new status quo for Marvels numerous “artificial people” that have been teased and picked at in recent titles like the aforementioned Avengers AI seriously check it out!) and The Visions.

 

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Wonder Woman Dead Earth 2

As well as focusing on it’s villians,it’s obvious that DC loves nothing more than a good old fashioned apocalyptic setting and between Last Knight on Earth and Futures End in recent years we haven’t been left wanting them. Which is why I initially almost passed by on Johnson’s Wonder Woman Dead Earth but after spotting very un-DC artwork picked up the first issue and between the images of an unspecified apocalypse (although the tone and mushroom clouds suggest heavily this is human stupidity rather than any Villain shenanigans) and Diana awakening in the Batcave and taking the utility belt from the skeletal remains of Bruce it quickly had me hooked. Although there is spectacle to be had in spades, especially from Johnson’s art, he seems intent on keeping this,at it’s core, a story exploring Diana as a character and her steadfast nature to fight on the side of love and justice no matter what how dire the circumstances. Even in the face of the apocalypse and a battle lost long ago, Diana knows what she is and what she stands for.

From the storytelling,the art, the design work and prestige format presentation,Wonder Woman Dead Earth demands attention on the crowded shelves and hopefully indicates the direction that DC’s currently unfocused “Black Label” line of tittles could and should be putting out.

 

Wednesday Adventures 18th September

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A brief weekly rundown of recommendations of new releases I’m intrigued by, excited for and will be grabbing off the shelves to curl up with every new comics day before delving into them later in the week!

Have you hugged your local comic store owner today?

 

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Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen 3- DC Comics

In a year full of surprise returns for underused or unknown characters, a new Jimmy Olsen title was definitely one of them coupled with the return of Matt Fraction to DC! The first two issues have already shown us the lighter side of the DC Universe and it’s history as Fraction has the journalist looking towards the future while also establishing a legacy for the Olsen’s that reaches way back into his home stomping ground of Metropolis.

What shouldn’t be surprising to long time fans of Fractions work is that Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen is by far the wittiest and lighthearted books set in the DC Universe on the surface, like Sex Criminals before it also has a lot of pathos for it’s antagonist as Jimmy questions his place in the world and what he is contributing to it, fearing he is stuck in the same silly shenanigans he always stumbles into. Filled with genuinely touching moments between Jimmy and his best pal as well as conflicts with his history and family, Fraction gives a depth to Jimmy not seen in along while.

 

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Steeple 1- Dark Horse Comics

While Boom and Giant Days launched Allison to a wider audience, he already had a huge back catalogue of work in his web comics Bobbins, Scary Go Round and Bad Machinery which he has been working on since the late 80’s and after wrapping up Giant Days last month no one would begrudge him a well earned break but instead is already launching a brand new series over at Dark Horse, Steeple.

Following the tumultuous first steps of a friendship between two women both have very different word views but are thrown together to deal with super natural menaces in a sleepy costal town. Seemingly the perfect vehicle for Allison’s comic talents having demonstrated a knack for combining his very British sense of humour and the supernatural in last years By Night.

 

“Did you ever feel like you were going to explode?” Sam Humphries and Joe Quinones hear the call and Dial W, for Wonder

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As a rule of thumb, when it come down to reviews and recommendations to not feature series that are in high enough number for a reader to not be able to jump on-board or empty their wallets on something that might just not click with them. Humphries’ and Quinones’ Dial H for Hero reboot, requested by now DC superstar, Micheal Brian Bendis was so good it was just begging me to break this excuse and perhaps bring it some more love that the recent decision to double it’s run from six to twelve issues (along with the equally delightful Wonder Twins) finally justified my initial excuses.

There is something beautifully simple and alluring about the H-Dial and it’s ability to call up an uncountable number of wilder and wilder super-heroes that has an almost childlike quality of sketching out endless streams of heroes and their adventures, which makes it a little more obvious why Bendis was eager to have it as part of his youth slanted imprint “Wonder Comics”,part of the starting line up in fact. For all it’s modern elements, much like Fractions’ Jimmy Olsen series running at the moment, Dial H shows a modern sensibility and style, but has an unrelentingly upbeat golden age exuberance to it that seems to be slowly but inexorably returning to the pages of DC comics and will hopefully be an energy that will attract old and new readers alike, straddling the fine line between nostalgia and the new so perfectly. The writer creates a very relateable and human cast in Miguel and Summer, the former already a compulsive thrill seaker before ever coming into contact with the glowing red phone, having struggles that can’t just be undone with a magic doohickey or a secret word.

Humphries draws from the past but being slavishly bound to it, a title that Dial H with it’s allusive and slightly foggy canon gives them a lot of space to add to the deliberately vague mythos behind the strange red rotary phone which perfect for having an established history but one has always, through the many iterations and writers has resolutely remained allusive and vague with many choosing to use the dial for it’s most obvious draw, to let their creativity run wild and create a million and one mayfly capes as the comic reminds us “a champion Never seen before and perhaps, never again!” tapping into the simple core idea that super heroes could be anything we imagine.

While never leaning back too far on parody or nostalgia,with each age and kind of hero serving the plot and the characters inner turmoil, rather than being their for sheer spectacle alone.

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Yet spectacle there is, in spades! Recently reading something older from my shelves and after a nagging feeling checked and was genuinely genuinely startled to find it was Joe Quinones and how quickly he had developed and built up his style and experience in the few years when he hit my radar with Howard the Duck. They are worlds apart and his work on Dial H cannot be understated,representing another jaw dropping leap forward. The contrasting and wildly different styles of both heroes and the style of artwork has me flicking back to the title page in every issue to check if other artists had been brought on board but only confirmed each time what I already suspected,it’s all Joe! J.H Williams used this to amazing effect with a myriad of different aspects of Morpheous together, each drawn in a different style in Sandman Overture and Quinones takes this even further,applying it to the entire series to stunning effect. Starting with a pitch perfect parody of the quintessential, grossly over encumbered Image era hero in issue 1,that even Leidfeild himself would struggle to not recognise as his own. Quinones’ only gets more ambitious and adventurous as the series progresses.

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As with other recent series, Humphries likens using the Dial to an addiction throughout the start of the series and it’s apt given that Dial H for Hero is one of the stranger, silver age concepts that the company, or indeed it’s creators can’t seem to quit either. Despite putting their considerable clout and support behind the more marketable and well known characters, if you wait long enough a reboot might come along and the H dial sneaks in through the cracks and this one has all the workings of something that stick around a lot longer under the Wonder Comics banner.

Wednesday Adventures 4th September

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A brief weekly rundown of recommendations of new releases I’m intrigued by, excited for and will be grabbing off the shelves to curl up with every new comics day before delving into them later in the week!

Have you hugged your local comic store owner today?

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Doom Patrol: Weight of the Worlds #2- DC Comics

It’s been a long hiatus but Way is back to show the world there are still stranger and more mind bending places he can send “the worlds strangest heroes” both in terms of strange locals and the casts damaged inner lives. We’ve had divorcing planets, a fitness obsessed planetary dictator a complete reinvention of Larry Trainor and we are barely three issues in!

I’d gotten used to the clean poppy work of Nick Derrington but cartoonist James Harvey’s art in Weight of the Worlds is a clear departure from that. Sketchy, disturbing and much more reminiscent of Richard Case’s jagged and tense tenure on the book with Morrison. Harvey’s work in the last issue depicting the “divorce” of two celestial bodies and the unusually intimate way one of the Doom Patrol deals with it, once again showcases just how experimental the Doom Patrol can be not just in terms of storytelling but it’s artwork.

 

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Giant Days #54- Boom Studios

The fifty fourth issue of a six issue series speaks volumes and in terms of sheer laugh of loud moments per page,Giant Days has spent it’s five years as the one of the funniest comics on the shelves and will be until the series concludes next month with Susan, Ester and Daisy spending their last few weeks at university together. It’s certainly sad to see it go but it’s a wise choice by Allison to end the story naturally after the girls third year of University rather keep it alive to fizzle out. It’s a snapshot of youth and it works perfectly as it is without extending it for the sake of it.

This weeks penultimate issue finds the trio spending the last summer together at Susan’s place before their graduation, like the readers eking out what time they have together. Giant Days has been a hell of a lot of fun and while I wouldn’t usually recommend a series so far in and coming to an end in a month you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not checking out the previous volumes and discovering John Allison’s work.