Caution: I’m going to defend the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie in this week’s comics round up. I hope we can remain friends (or at least frenemies).
Oh, and over at Valiant, it’s no big whoop, but the latest Archer & Armstrong tries to explain the very nature of faith itself (with an on-the-nose yet hilarious joke about cultural appropriation and Elvis’ role in that kind of thing), but even that pales when we learn that not only is there a book about a woman looking for her long-lost pirate brother, but that they were conjoined twins.
Godzilla smash! Hexed returns (sans Emma Rios), and take your kids to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – unlike Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s a complete movie.*
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures #14 (IDW)
Poring through the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles visual guide out from Insight Editions, you become aware of two things: Eastman and Laird still seem like they have a little hot-cold beef going (they’re at no point interviewed together for the fairly expansive book) and Turtles are a boom-bust cycle.
The current boom is appropriately booming with two ongoing comics (this particular all-ages titled based on the animated series and another featuring its own continuity), which is exactly how Mirage Studios and Archie handled the storytelling duties in the ’90s. And yet again, we have a successful live-action movie in theaters with another on the way and the cycle will continue until there is no other kind of story but Ninja Turtle story.
Anyway, as I’m a known apologist for the current film (hey, it’s got well-staged action and jokes that are funny for nine-year-olds), and a fan of the new animated series, I’d say this isn’t too bad a time to be a fan of these particular characters. Also, IDW’s been putting out those pricey but gorgeous-looking hardcovers reprinting the early Mirage issues.
Get those! They’re nice!
You can buy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures #14 via comiXology.
El Nino Omnibus (Humanoids)
I didn’t read El Nino during its original publication run and I’m gonna straight-up admit that I’m adding it because artist Boro Pavlovi?’s work puts me in mind of Milo Manara. But that concept, man: a Red Cross worker finds out that not only did she have a long-lost brother, but that he was once her conjoined twin, who’s now living as a dread pirate on the high seas.
That’s some next-level bananas there, in the way that only Euro comics seem to be able to pull off.
This is apparently the first time the series has been collected in trade and it’s bugging the hell out of me that I had to find that information out via a retailer page since publisher Humanoids site is not great (case in point, the go-nowhere link to the book’s digital edition).
Still, don’t let that stop you from picking the collection up (it’s about $40 most places).
Godzilla: Cataclysm #1 (IDW)
Godzilla is not our friend – hell, that thing is a jerk. Basically, he’s a rampaging maniac you aim at an even worse rampaging maniac so that the human race doesn’t get obliterated (quite as quickly).
So I’m drawn to the concept of Cataclysm, which asks what happens if the giant monsters aren’t stopped and the world gets completely wrecked, from writer Cullen Bunn (The Sixth Gun). I’m gonna guess it involves a lot of irradiated bones and nuclear babies, but that’s just how I would approach the material.
Bunn, however, pokes around in the ashes of civilization with new character Hiroshi, who belongs to one of the surviving tribes of men. It’s all stompy-smashy goodness from artist Dave Wachter with the benefit of not having to be one more Godzilla story where we have to suffer through endless scenes of its titular monster swatting planes out of the air.
Why do you get so close, stupid planes? So stupid.
You can buy Godzilla: Cataclysm #1 from comiXology.
[email protected]: The Blasphemy Throne #1 (Image Comics)
I haven’t thought about [email protected] in a minute. But according to the solicitation, this might be the end of the off and on series from writer/artist Joshua Howard. I almost want to say that the book got started alongside Hack/Slash which actually predates Howard’s book by at least four years.
You could imagine my confusion, though: both feature miniskirt-wearing heroines cutting their way through monsters in big old, pitch-ready high concepts (and both had languished in development limbo after Hollywood got hold of them).
Anyway, Nara’s story is coming to some kind of end here while the the book’s lead character is actually sidelined by magic and such as the series’ villains make their final moves. Sounds very Mockingjay to me.
What? The first half of that book is dope.
You can buy [email protected]: The Blasphemy Throne #1 from comiXology.
Archer & Armstrong #23 (Valiant)
Another story drawing to a close – this time the latest arc of Archer & Armstrong, “American Wasteland.” And while most of this story has been a hoot, between pitting Archer and Armstrong against a certain celebrity church with the serial numbers filed off for control of an ancient artifact and explaining the nature of faith in the Valiant Universe, “Wasteland” feels a lot bigger than the Hollywood goof it’s supposed to be.
For one thing, the script has all of this weird stuff in the margins involving time travel, cross-dimensional plots, and the well of human consciousness, but more than that, it feels like it’s Valiant stripping away one more secret layer of their universe and showing how much weirder it is (the new Harbingers arc has allowed villain Toyo Harada to expose the world to psychics while Armor Hunters throws a full-on alien attack at Mexico City).
Each of these books is doing its own thing, but they feel of an increasingly complicated piece.
You can buy Archer & Armstrong #23 from comiXology.
Hexed #1 (Boom Studios)
From endings to new beginnings, I guess?
I remember enjoying the first issue or two of Michael Alan Nelson and Emma Rios’ Hexed when it first launched at Boom six years ago. Or at least, I think I remember – it’s been a while and I could have just been dazzled by Rios’ art.
Well, it looks like I’ll have a chance to learn if my love of lead character/occult thief Lucifer was strictly superficial now that Rios is off at Marvel (although she did supply the cover for the first issue). New artist Dan Mora (he of the dope-ass biker Wonder Woman) is no slouch, so at least the book will look great.
Also: please put Dan Mora on Wonder Woman.
You can get Hexed #1 via comiXology.
*I mostly enjoyed Guardians but wasn’t over the moon about it – so much of it was little hyperlinked bits teasing the movies that are coming afterwards that this one never really felt like it could stand on its own. I’d love for those singing the “Next Ghostbusters” chorus to tell me what they think five years from now.
Those are my picks for the week. What’s on your list?