Masters and Puppets


Multiversity: Mastermen #1

Welcome to Earth-10. After the Nazis discover a crashed alien ship with a tiny superstrong baby inside, they raise him to be a good National Socialist, and he helps Germany conquer the world in 1956. Sixty years later, the Kryptonian called Overman is still alive, but his cousin Overgirl is dead, he’s having nightmares about a mad haunted house stalking him, his wife hates him, and he’s having terrible regrets about the extremes Hitler’s madness took him to. And his fellow members of the New Reichsmen, including Leatherwing, Brunnhilde, Lightning, and Underwaterman, don’t care about the bodies their empire was built on. But a group of super-powered terrorists, brought together from groups persecuted by the Nazis, are calling themselves the Freedom Fighters, and they intend to bring the Nazi utopia crashing back to Earth.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The corrupted versions of the Justice League are appropriately dislikable, with the exception of Overman — while Superman has normally been the moral center of the Justice League, I’m not sure that a Superman raised from infancy as a Nazi would have much of a moral center left. Still, it all seems to work. I also love the revised version of the Freedom Fighters — these are people who you could make a very enjoyable comic about. And while I’ve mostly gotten tired of the rigid, scowling formalism of Jim Lee and Scott Williams’ artwork, it does seem an appropriate style for a story about Nazi supermen.


Bitch Planet #3

I wasn’t sure about this going in — a full-issue focus on Penny Rolle didn’t interest me a lot because she seemed like such a complete stereotype — the fat, angry, black woman. But this was a lot better than I’d anticipated. We get a short history of Penny, from her childhood. She was taken from her loving grandmother’s home at a young age, mostly because her mother was considered unstable. She was abused in school by her whiter, more fashionable, more authority-worshipping teachers and fellow students. And later, running a muffin shop, when the irritations of Fox News bimbos, racist douchebags, dieting anorexics, and an autocratic society finally push her over the edge.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Again, loved this a lot more than I was expecting. Best thing about it is how just plain decent Penny is. Yes, she’s angry and violent, but she’s angry about the right things, and she’s violent with the right people. She’s not abusive, she’s kind to those who need it, and she’s proud of who she is. I want a whole comic series just about Penny now.


Lazarus #15

The thoroughly rotten Jakob Hock has chosen another family’s Lazarus, Sonja Bittner, as his champion — because he knows she and Forever Carlyle are friends, and he wants to twist the knife. And for the sake of added cruelty, he demands that if Sonja wins, he gets Forever for his own, dead or alive. The battle is bloody and frantic — and Hock has even more plans for evil, whether he wins or loses.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Most of it is a long fight scene, but it’s an excellent fight, and at the end, the Carlyle family is in pretty deep trouble. Gonna be interesting to see what happens next…

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