Locke and Key Double-Shot

Locke and Key Volume 3
Locke and Key Volume 3
Locke and Key Volume 4
Locke and Key Volume 4

Locke and Key: Crown of Shadows (Volume 3)
Locke and Key: Keys to the Kingdom (Volume 4)
Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez
IDW, 2011

While on vacation a couple of a weeks ago I stepped into a bookshop in Portsmouth, NH and while trying my very hardest to keep my hands jammed deep into my pockets and away from the shelves none-the-less noted the hardcover editions of volumes 3 and 4 of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriquez’s Locke & Key (signed by Hill) sitting on a display.  My will was weak and in a near haze I found myself forking over a portion of my cash to the bookseller.  My regret was minimal however as the third and fourth volumes of Locke and Key, Crown of Shadows and Keys to the Kingdom, are just as solid as the first two and I would say (surprising as it was) even better than I expected.

Continue reading “Locke and Key Double-Shot”

The Best Comic You’re Not Reading

My first experience with Chuckles was G. I. Joe: the  Movie; a film that gave birth to the horrific Cobra-La, the kind cool but not really Nemesis Enforcer, the snake-faced Cobra Commander, and the death of Duke.  Thankfully the Chuckles seen in G. I. Joe: Cobra is nothing like the briefly glimpsed animated version.  No this Chuckles is an ice cold, charismatic, undercover badass sent on a mission to infiltrate Cobra from the ground up.  His handler, another familiar face, Jynx his only contact to his superiors.

While the rest of the IDW reboot of the G. I. Joe hasn’t got me really excited this comic has been the kind of update the series needed.  The cartoon Cobra has always been a bit silly, to put it mildly, so turning them and their larger than life characters into an actual threat isn’t the easiest of tasks.  While the main series is currently tasked with fleshing out the Destro/Baronness relationship (with really bad scottish dialects that I can’t quite get into) the real grounds eye view of Cobra as seen through Chuckles’ eyes is the first time I’ve ever truly believed that Cobra could be a living, breathing terrorist organization.

We’re only four issues into the series and we’ve seen a handful of fantastic updates on classic Joe elements including the BATS and the Crimson Guard.  It was a bit of a sedate start, but in a good way, slowly building up to some amazing plot twists and hardcore action.  Christos Gage and Mike Costa have absolutley nailed the behind enemy lines vibe.  Artist Antonia Fuso manages to impart that same oppressive atmospher with his art while at the same time pencils some exciting actions scenes.  This is some great stuff and if you were a Joe fan growing up you won’t want to miss out.

If you don’t have a nearby LCS you can always buy from IDW direct.

The Pull List- 1/17/2008

Hopefully I’ll make this a regular feature. You’ll see this post is in three sections: the first is my complete pull list of comics I bought this week, after that you’ll see my top three picks this week, and last some brief commentary on everything else. Enjoy, and let me know what you think…

The Pull List

  • Angel: After the Fall #3
  • The Sword #4
  • Birds of Prey #114
  • JLA #7
  • Robin #170
  • Shadowpact #21
  • Cable/Deadpool #49
  • Incredible Hercules #113
  • New Exiles #1
  • New X-Men #46
  • WWH Aftersmash Warbound #2

Best of the Best

Angel: After the Fall #3, IDW, Lynch/Urru
Angel and crew are in Hell. They’re not happy, there is much fighting…and a dragon.
Similar to Dark Horse’s ongoing Buffy Season 8 spin-off this comic takes place immediately after the series finale of Angel. I missed issue #1 but apparently we’re all in hell now and chaos reigns supreme. I’m not a big fan of the art here, Urru’s penciling appears a bit sloppy to me and the color palette feels a bit muddy. The story is top-notch though and Lynch manages to nail the tone of the series especially well maintaining the dark humor of the show quite well. If you liked the show you’ll like the book. Unfortunately finding issue #1, in reprint even, might be a bit of bitch.
The Sword #4, Image, Luna/Luna
Dara’s on the run from law and look for revenge. Meanwhile the people that killed her family let out a collective “D’oh!”
If you haven’t heard of the Luna brothers shame on you. A talented duo that previously brought you the Sex and the City meets Superheroes comic Ultra and the zombie meets cheescake series Girls comes this absolute gem of a comic about a girl and a magical sword. Despite the clean line work of Jonathon Luna he doesn’t shy away from visceral violence, though compared to last issue things are relatively tame, and conveys emotions via facial expressions with near perfection. While Jonathon’s command over the action is good I admit his style has a bit of a static feel to it (like seeing a cell of a cartoon) and the soft color palette, while pleasing to the eye doesn’t help in that regard (it does make the more vivid colors, say blood for example, all the more shocking). Joshua, handling the writing, does a phenomenal job at doling out tidbits of plot, hinting at a larger, mysterious back-story, while at the same time keeping fans sated via the action at hand. All in all a superb comic that anyone tired of spandex could, and certainly should, pick up and enjoy.
New X-Men #46, Marvel, Yost & Kyle/Ramos
The not-so-merry mutants continue their fight against all odds for the first mutant birth since M-day. Blood is spilled and tensions builds
The penultimate issue of the Messiah Complex crossover speeds things towards their, hopefully, epic conclusion and ramps the action up to an absolute frantic pace. A pace that is perfectly suited to the down and dirty style of artist Ramos. The uniformity of voice throughout the entire crossover is fairly impressive given that each of the X-books has its own creative team and the writing duo of Yost/Kyle once again do a deft job handling the sprawling ensemble of multigenerational X-men/villains. I do wish, at least a little, that the book focused a bit more on the title team (the younger X-Men) as they’re a crew I’ve come to quite like but I can’t complain as everything we do have here hearkens back to the glory days of the X-teams. If you’re not reading this crossover you’re an idiot. ‘Nuff said.

The Other Stuff

Birds of Prey #114:
This book has been struggling since Simone left, I’ll give it one or two more issue before it gets dropped. I do love Black Alice though.
JLA #7:
This book just can’t seem to hit its stride. I’ll keep plugging away at it but my prospects of really liking this book are fast dwindling. Black Lightning was pretty badass in the beginning though, and it had some fantastic cover art.
Robin #170
Is it sad that I like this better than the Batman books? I think Tim Drake is an interesting character and the father/son aspect of Batman/Robin books (now made legal in Wayne’s adoption of Drake) is
interesting if not played on enough. Solid book, not spectacular, but solid.
Shadowpact #21:
Come on, Detective Chimp! Looking at dating websites for furries! Seriously! No Blue Devil in this one though and I hope they’re going somewhere with the Nightshade/Ragman stuff, but again a solid comic about an weird team full of interesting characters.
Cable/Deadpool #49
Deadpool doesn’t just break the 4th wall he smashes it to pieces then grinds the rubble into fine dust. Still though it had me laughing out loud a few times and I really like his supporting cast, Bob the Hydra agent is perhaps the best comic foil in comic book history.
Incredible Hercules #113:
No that’s not a typo. This is good book but a strange amalgamation of leftover WWH plots details and the Marvel version of greek mythology. I like the violent sibling rivalry between Ares and Herc. Solid writing with some humorous quips.
New Exiles #1:
They restarted the series for this? Sorry, no #2 for me.
WWH Aftersmash Warbound #2
Another solid WWH spin-off. The loveable Warbound up to their crazy antics again being all monstery and badassy and whatnot. This is above all a redemption story about monsters trying to be heroes. If you liked Planet Hulk and World War Hulk you’ll like this title.