New Comic Book Day: Let’s Cast Daffy Duck as Painkiller Jane


I just want to talk about funny animals in dark stories – does that make me so weird? Apparently not, given how many of you fell in love with Rocket Raccoon this weekend. We’ll keep the Guardians of the Galaxy talk to a minimum but I have some definite thoughts on that very hazy movie.

Anyway, I was going to complain that it feels like summer is drawing to a close, but we still have big event comics coming out and that’s how I’ve been marking epochs for a while now: when the crossovers end. But wait, the current biggie involves Alan Moore and dead gods – what the hell does that even mean?

You there, boy – what day is this?! Oh, it’s the day that I crack wise about the week’s new releases. Carry on.

Fairest #28 (Vertigo)

The Fables-verse continues drawing to a close as the Mark Buckingham-penned Fairest kicks off its final arc. And… I’m gonna miss it?

I think Fables proper stuck around a little longer than was strictly necessary (you know, sometime after the big battle with the Adversary wrapped up). But series creator Bill Willingham was able to spin a handful of interesting books off out of the main title, offering other writers the chance to poke at some of the odd corners and inner lives of these twisted, complicated, and dark fairy tale characters.

And okay, Jack of Fables was a mess, but man oh man, Cinderella-as-spy was one of those ideas you wish you could club someone for and steal as your own (I’ve said too much).

Anyway, it was great while it was great, and we’ll always have this creepy animation of Bigby doing a solo slow jam.

You can download Fairest #28 from comiXology.

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #25 (IDW Publishing)

It’s weird reading the word “insurgents” in a comic book based on a toy for kids about American soldiers versus snake-themed supervillains, but that’s the world we live in. The current issue sees a bunch of the less interesting toys none of us ever played with* getting attacked by said insurgents in the nation of Olliestan.

How do you readers out there feel about comics taking ostensibly real-world concepts like global terror networks or the financial crisis and filing off the real names and places out of… I don’t know, sensitivity? That doesn’t sound right. Like, I’m cool with a guy who calls himself Dr. Doom controlling his own fascist state, but when you get to places like Bialya, which is essentially Iraq – I think I’m getting crotchety in my old age.

Plastic soldiers, real war – see them try to survive the terrorists in this month’s issue.

*Check that: Duke is in it, and I’m down with anyone who can survive a snake to the chest.

You can download G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #25 from comiXology.


Looney Tunes #220 (DC Comics)

What’s your favorite Daffy Duck persona? I’m kind of partial to Duck Dodgers, but hard-boiled detective seems to be a good fit for him, too. There’s something about his cantankerousness and crankiness that seem to be a good fit for a good noir pastiche. Hell, why can’t we have an entire comics line that’s just alternate Daffy Ducks (or, here’s how I would be the single worst comics editor in the world)?

Also, can we talk about how much I love this cover? Between incorporating Daffy’s speech impediment into the title “The Thene of the Crime” to the bikers making a mad dash toward the fire, someone at DC (well, writer Scott Gross and cover artist Horacio Ottolini) deserve a very specific “talking animals plugged into adult genres” award for the month.

Also, in my head, I’m now plugging Daffy Duck into all of Jack Nicholson’s scenes in Chinatown and it’s bananas.

You can download Looney Tunes #220 from comiXology.

Genius #1 (Image Comics)

This is a reprint of the Adam Freeman/Marc Bernardin from a few years back about a teen girl growing up in South Central L.A. who also happens to be this generation’s greatest military mind.

The core idea of the book is that every generation gets its great military genius, and – look out – the new one is a girl named Destiny living in poverty with a thing against authority.

I mostly remember it for the Afua Richardson art, but the book itself wasn’t half-bad. Basically, it put the hood at war with the cops, although I remember some of the minority character dialog being way too “extra of color on Law & Order trying to hard,” which is a very specific category I created just now.

You can download Genius #1 from comiXology.

Painkiller Jane: The 22 Brides #2 (Icon)

I’m not really following this book, but thought I’d use it as a chance to point out that someone is taking another stab at bringing Jane to the big screen – this time out it’s the Soska Sisters (American Mary).

The duo have carved out a very specific niche for themselves in horror (violent women in peril; also movies made by twins, I guess) and they’re tackling a character who – in spite of whatever permutations she goes through, still feels like something from the tail-end of the bad girl era of comics. A short-lived TV show attempted to do something with the material, but could never really expand its synopsis beyond “beautiful lady murks people.”

I actually like writer Jimmy Palmiotti’s work most of the time, but I could never get into his lady Punisher who I think is also a merc and has a thing where she doesn’t feel pain (or always feels pain – I refuse to Wikipedia it).

You can download Painkiller Jane: The 22 Brides #2 from comiXology.

God Is Dead: Book of Acts Alpha(Avatar Press)

So, this is what happens when Alan Moore decides to participate in a big, summer event comic: the mad magician of funny books plugs himself into his own story about his own personal god in a plot that attempts to explain where gods get their power.

Whatever his weird personal scraps with other comics creators, no matter how often he’ll get out there and talk extended noise about the modern comics landscape without having read any modern comics, the guy is vital and alive, out there making short films, writing novels, and just not being so much bothered by the part of the industry that he feels (largely rightly) did him wrong.

Oh, and Simon Spurrier and Mike Costa get their own stories, too, but Moore’s is the most whackadoo of the lot, combining the two things the brilliant and sometimes frustrating writer likes to hold court on: the nature of our myths and gods, and Alan Moore.

And it’s an Avatar book, so just assume something is going to be sticky and bloody by the end.

em>God Is Dead: Book of Acts Alpha from comiXology.

Those are my picks for the week. What’s on your list?