Wherein the author takes a look at the different approaches to the end(s) of human life vis a vis the works of Mssrs. Ennis and Remender. Or: Remmy and Enny write some messed-up comics about dead humans and I think sometimes they’re pretty excellent. or at least intriguing, like this month’s Low #1.
More dead bodies with, er, Bodies out of Vertigo while Luke Skywalker commits some space crimes, Jedi-style in Dark Horse’s Star Wars: Rebel Heist.
Oh, and since Guardians of the Galaxy is out this week, we should probably talk about one of the comics bearing that name from Marvel. I mean, we don’t have to, but I feel like I’d be letting you down if I didn’t.
The things I do for your love and respect. Well, Internet love and virtual respect.
Bodies #1 (Vertigo)
I’m a sucker for a mystery anthology, and this one seems to be having fun with the concept, presenting four London-set murder mysteries across the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.
Hellblazer writer Si Spencer – who is NOT Si Spurrier, despite the wild insistence of my idiot brain – is on the script here, dropping bodies across the centuries with, one hopes, a Cockney ditty. Each 6-page story will feature a separate artist across the miniseries, so if you’re averse to leaps in storytelling styles, this one might not be for you. It’s the kind of concept that sounds great, even if it’s constrained by the monthly format (I do kind of hate the idea of waiting a full month for a six-page installment of single mystery).
But it’s dead Brits, and the English are so good at gnarly murder stories.
You can download Bodies #1 via comiXiology.
Low #1 (Image Comics)
I’m still sorting out my feelings on the last Remender/Tocchini joint, The Last Days of American Crime. The concept and art were pretty fantastic, even if the script from the normally on-point Remender left something to be desired. Actually, I thought it was kind of dumb, but not the fun dumb of Remender’s Franken-Castle run.
Low sees the duo leaving the mean streets of L.A. to the submerged cities of future Earth, and the alien species that live there. Consider it part of Remender’s continuing tales of the end of the Earth, which got their start over in Fear Agent following the alien decimation of most of our planet, and continued to his run on Uncanny X-Force which saw capital “A” Apocalypse becoming embodied in the person of one Mr. Warren Worthington a.k.a. Angel a.k.a. Archangel a.k.a. Ol’ Dirty Rich Bastard.
If nothing else, Low will be an opportunity to ogle more of Mr. Tocchini’s art, even if it might possibly be abstracted to hell in this undersea story, which will be fully painted for its first issue.
You can download Low #1 via comiXology.
Star Wars: Rebel Heist #4 (Dark Horse Comics)
Are you Dark Horse Star Wars fans still buying the comics now that you know they’re no longer in continuity? I tackled this a couple of installments back with the release of the Darth Maul comic, but it’s still a curious thing to me: how many of you are attached to the stories that can be told in this universe and how many of you are attached to the canon?
If it weren’t an eleventy-billion-dollar juggernaut, in some alternate universe Star Wars would simply be the kind of license that could support non-canonical stories about weird, off-model adventures for its characters (hell, the closest we’ve gotten to an M-rated story set in this universe was the terrible zombie book with Darth Vader and a bunch of Stormtroopers).
Anyway, enjoy the final fleeting days of Dark Horse’s time with the license. Marvel announced three titles of their own for 2015 which will fit squarely into the official continuity of the films new and old, but at least this one has the talented Matt Kindt kicking it Ocean’s-style with a badass heist featuring post-A New Hope Luke Skywalker.
You can download Star Wars: Rebel Heist #4 via Dark Horse Digital.
Caliban #1 reprint & #5 (Avatar Press)
If Remender is set on taking us to the depths of the ocean, Garth Ennis wants to cast us out into the void of space. Where Remender offers mystery and wonder, Ennis is bent on terror and gross-out.
I’m alright with that.
Avatar has offered Ennis a place to kind of blow his seemingly endless proverbial wad and blood and guts stories. This is Ennis by way of a particularly dark middle schooler’s high school binder, all copies of Fangoria covers and metal lyrics couched in some kind of violently simplistic world view (i.e. Crossed: the world is f’d up and then you die horribly).
This one has an alien species called the Karien (get it) picking off the crew of a pair of merged ships, where the ones who were jettisoned out into space are the lucky ones in what sounds like the best possible late ’80s film that Charles Band never made.
You can download Caliban #5 via comiXology.
Soul Eater vol. 21 (Yen Press)
It’s been a bit since I read one of Yen’s Soul Eater volumes – I think it was actually around the time the manga was getting around to introducing the part traumatized kid/part weapon Croma, so it’s only fitting that I try to reacquaint myself with the series in the other half of that arc outside of the anime adaptation.
Croma’s a troubling (in a good way) character, a little boy abandoned and manipulated by his murderous mother, who’s sacrificed his sanity in order to make the kid the ultimate weapon. Hell, he’s even bullied by his own weapon, a blade embedded deep in his body that acts as both comic relief and a little mental torture for the poor kid.
In a legitimately great all-ages series, the Croma/Maka storyline was one of the strongest, offering a plot that was as much about cool and cleverly-designed action as it was friendship and forgiveness.
Pick up the first volume; work your way up.
Yen Press trails their digital releases by a few months, but you can pick up previous volumes of Soul Eater in the Amazon Kindle store.
Guardians of the Galaxy 100th Anniversary Special #1 (Marvel Comics)
Finally, there’s a little movie coming out this week that I’m sure some of you are excited about. It’s Cavalry, with Brendan Gleeson, and I think you could do worse than to check out this dark comedy set in a small town where someone is determined to kill the local priest.
Of course, there’s also a little independent film out of Disney this week called Guardians of the Galaxy if that’s your thing. I think it’s about the Star Wars missile defense program, but I haven’t really heard too much about it.
Okay, so I’m next-level terrible at your “jokes” and having a “sense of humor” (I had to use one hand to make the appropriate air quotes while typing that), but you’d think we’d have reached the Guardians saturation point. Strangely, against all odds, this writer hasn’t. Of course, the movie could turn all of that around for me, but until then, Marvel keeps cranking out comics in that corner of their universe that keep my interest piqued.
Earlier this month, it was the terrifically fun Rocket Raccoon #1 from Skottie Young, and now we have Andy Lanning returning to the franchise he helped resurrect for one of these 100th anniversary specials. So instead of the futuristic, science fiction adventures of Peter Quill and his crew, we’ve got the even more futuristic adventures of a new team of Guardians going after the Silver Galactus.
That… sounds dumb. But whatever. It’s on the shelves this week and will remind you of a time with DnA were cranking out cracking good comics.
You can download Guardians of the Galaxy 100th Anniversary Special #1 via