Wonders and Horrors

Wonder Woman #1

First new Rebooted Wonder Woman comic from Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang. And the biggest surprise about this isn’t that Azzarello’s writing is great, or that Chiang’s art is even better — the big surprise is that this isn’t really a superhero story. It’s horror.

We start out with Apollo in Singapore manufacturing his own oracles out of a trio of partygirls. After that, we get someone who looks likely to be Hera creating some centaur assassins by hacking off a couple horses’ heads and letting freakish human torsos claw their way out through the necks. Ewwww. This is all leading up to the centaurs attacking a woman named Zola who is being protected — against her will — by a weird looking guy with blue skin, big black eyes, and wings on his feet. He gives her a key that teleports her into Wonder Woman’s apartment in London. After they teleport back, Wondy beats the centaurs, reveals that Zola’s defender was actually Hermes, messenger of the gods. What the heck is going on here?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Like I said, Azzarello and Chiang are quite outstanding. I don’t know if I like the idea of this being a horror comic from now on, but there’s no doubt that the gods are depicted amazingly horrifically. And it really feels like an amazingly apt interpretation — if the idea of gods doesn’t creep you out a bit, you’re not really thinking about it enough.

B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth – Russia #1

It’s not a good time to be in the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. Horrific monsters are roaming almost unchecked across the Earth, Liz Sherman has gone into hiding, and Abe Sapien has been shot, is in a coma, and is probably dying. Kate Corrigan and Johann Kraus are on a trip to Moscow to meet with Russia’s Occult Bureau. And Russia is undergoing some sort of fungal plague that is turning people into monsters. Kate learns from the Russians that many of the B.P.R.D.’s secrets have been revealed to the world by Wikileaks. And the biggest surprise for Kate and Johann comes when they meet the man running the Russia Occult Bureau.

Verdict: Thumbs up. We’re just in the process of establishing the plot right now — but what really has me excited about this one is that it may give us a chance to catch up with the creepy demon girl Varvara, who we haven’t seen in quite a few years.

Severed #2

The year is 1916, and teenager Jack Garron has run away from home to stow away on a train. He wants to make his way to Chicago so he can meet his real father, a musician who he hopes will help make him successful as a performer. Jack has another run-in with the train cop who tried to throw him off, but this time, he’s able to get the better of the man and get his possessions back with the aid of a new friend named Sam. After they get to Chicago, they agree to rent a room together, and Jack learns that Sam is actually a girl disguising herself as a boy to avoid being assaulted or killed on the road. But Jack ends up missing his father — and he’s gone all the way back home to Mississippi. Sam suggests they earn some money by having Jack play his violin so they can take a train south — but the murderous traveling salesman with the horrific shark teeth has Jack’s scent now, and there may be no escape.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A rough-hewn, dirty story set in a rough-hewn, dirty country — it’s easy to forget that the U.S. wasn’t always the clean, heroic place we’ve invented for our myths. Good dialogue and tension — and more tension on the way, from the looks of it.

Today’s Cool Links:

  • Just one today. There are a lot of the books in the DC Reboot that I’m very glad I’m not reading, and this article includes a lot of the reasons why. DC looks a lot like they’ve given up on producing comics that are acceptable reading for either children or for mature adults — too much of their focus is on producing comics for, about, and by immature man-children.

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