The cover of Think Tank comes with a disclaimer: “DANGER: Reading this book will make you smarter.” While I don’t know if that is necessarily true, the book does raise some interesting questions---and who knows? This is only the first issue, after all, and I did learn a couple of new factoids. Maybe, as the series continues, I actually will rack up a couple of IQ points. Of course, Think Tank’s protagonist doesn’t think much of IQ tests, and he seems way smarter than me, so maybe I should stop speculating and tell you what I actually thought of the book.
Hypernaturals takes place in a far-flung future where the sentient A.I. known as the Quantinuum links all the known worlds and civilizations and keeps each of them running. The Quantinuum's defenders are a team of super-powered individuals known as the Hypernaturals who are hand picked and serve for up to three five-year terms. Seven years ago, the Hypernaturals defeated the threat of Sublime, a man who possessed an intellect far superior to that of super geniuses, whose goal was to destroy the Quantinuum. Now, the latest team of Hypernaturals has gone missing on a routine mission, and it's up to the retired members and wash-outs to form a new team before whatever took out the Hypernaturals comes for the Quantinuum.
Who doesn't love futuristic sci-fi, where the heroes travel from world to world fighting dinosaurs and bounty hunters? Sam Humphries delivers another awesome issue of his action-packed sci-fi series, Higher Earth. Humphries has rocketed to stardom as a top writer at several of the major publishers since the debut of his Image book, Our Love is Real, and he deserves all of the praise he gets, as he is one fantastic writer. He somehow manages to build this awesome new multiverse filled with incredible characters while keeping the book moving at a brisk pace and never shying away from intense, bloody action.
Jim McCann used to work in soap operas, and he told me once in an interview that comics, even superhero comics, are just soap operas with more action. He went on to give examples of how many long-lost twins and comas and bouts of amnesia could be found in both comics and soap operas. Well, it looks like Jim has finally made a true soap opera comic in Mind the Gap, and it is awesome. Like a soap opera, Mind the Gap has a big cast of characters who all have their own secret motives and dark secrets. Unlike a soap opera, Mind the Gap has extraordinary elements like an entire world that takes place in the psyche of coma patients. Yeah, you read that right, this book is trippy.
Harvest is a gritty look at the grimy underworld of blackmarket surgery and organ transplants. A.J. Lieberman spins an interesting tale about a doctor's fall from grace and the criminals who take him in to make use of his unique skill set. The book is filled with all of the drugs, violence, and language that you expect out of a dark crime book, but with its crisp dialogue and very believable characters, it reaches beyond its genre to be a unique thriller with plenty of intense drama in store for the reader. Colin Lorimer's art is fantastic. He uses clean lines that give his characters a very realistic feel, and then colors over them with thick, dark colors adding a very film noir feel to the book. This especially makes the color pop when he adds a bloody red to the scene.
From Titan Books comes a beautiful, oversized volume of the 1970s war-comic legend, Major Eazy. What’s that you say? You don’t know who Major Eazy is? Well, friend, you might like him, you might hate him, but either way, you can’t ignore Major Eazy.
1986 gave us several comic milestones that helped define a new generation of writers, artists, and readers, most notably, Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, Alan Moore’s Watchmen, and Art Speigelman’s MAUS.
And, seemingly lost in the background, Comico began publishing a brilliant gem of a series called Grendel, by the brilliant Matt Wagner.
But, this wasn’t a new comic. Originally created by Matt Wagner in 1982 as a feature in the short-lived Comico Primer, and appearing briefly as a black-and-white title for 3 issues in 1983, Grendel was originally a noir comic that, in the words of Wagner, “evolved into a study of the nature of aggression."
And now, with the publication of the Grendel Omnibus Volume 1: Hunter Rose, this epic work now stands poised to assume its mantle as an equal to those other landmarks of comics.
Orchid, the name of an exquisite flower representing between 6 to 11 percent of all seeded plants in the world. Orchid, the name of which comes from the Greek ὄρχις (órkhis), literally meaning "testicle," because of the shape of the root. Orchid, the lead character - beautiful, resourceful, and delicate all at once - in the graphic novel by Tom Morello. Coincidence? I think not.
Orchid is the brain child of Rage Against the Machine/Audio Slave guitarist Tom Morello, who also performs solo under the political folk alter ego, "The Nightwatchman." Another comic coincidence? I would guess no. Morello, who grew up in suburban Chicago, went from there to be not only the first in his school, but the first in his town not only to apply to Harvard, but to be accepted. Afterwards, once moved to Los Angeles, he introduced a fellow high school student to some new friends out in LA who became the band Tool. Morello also in those early years worked as a male exotic dancer to pay the bills. Trying his hand in the Sunset Strip metal music scene, he was rejected at the time for his lack of 2-foot-tall, teased out hair and spandex. Moving on to the East Side underground music scene, he was embraced by accepting friends, many of which were prostitutes or drug addicts, all of which did not judge. Does Orchid hold a fun house mirror up to Morello's own young personal life? The world may never know, but this old owl leans towards yes.
And, WE Comics has done it again! Another new comic and writer Mairghread Scott and artist Candace Ellis have hit it out of the park. Triage is geared more towards adults than the other WE Comics fare; it’s snappy and slightly disturbing, and the first issue is a strong opener for what promises to be a really great comic.
52 Catch Up is a series devoted to looking at issues from DC's New 52 and seeing how they're faring now that they're underway, why they're worth reading (or not), and places we hope they will go in time.
Seven young heroes from the future are sent back in time to stop a tragic event from changing the course of history. Throughout their time in our present, they encounter criminals, government agents, police officers, and normal citizens who don’t understand what’s happening to them. Forever unsure of their chances of getting home, they are the Legion (of Superheroes) Lost.