Archive for Fabulous Killjoys

Science Unfair

Aaaand we’re back. Hope you all had a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and a Joyous First-Week-or-So-of-January. Time for reviews? Sure, why not.


The Manhattan Projects #17

Well, the forces of evil (Oppenheimer and Westmoreland) are working their way through the forces of slightly-less-evil (everyone else on the Manhattan Projects). Oppenheimer has General Groves pumped full of truth serum to get more secrets out of him. And a monster is raging through Westmoreland’s soldiers — ironically, a peace-loving, hippie-like alien who saved Feynman and Einstein and was then betrayed by them and rebuilt into a savage body. Is the monster going to kill everyone? Or will Westmoreland kill everyone?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Nicely done, tense story, with Groves forced into helplessness and required to use his brains instead of just his brawn, and the morals-free quest for knowledge getting close to giving Einstein and Feynman the comeuppance they probably deserve. By the way, love the surprising and hilarious way the alien talks.


The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys #6

The Girl is heading for Battery City. Destroyah is heading for Battery City. Korse is facing overwhelming odds. But B.L.I. is going to win — especially when the Girl surrenders and gets fitted with a Draculoid mask. There’s no way for the good guys to come out on top, right?

Verdict: Thumbs up. An excellent ending for the series — if you haven’t read any of this yet, it’ll probably be better if you get the collected edition of this series instead. But it’s a great conclusion — evil is defeated, freedom is restored, and Dr. Death Defying still rules the airwaves.

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What Does the Fox Say?


The Fox #1

Okay, I’ve cut back really drastically on my superhero reading, thanks to dropping most of DC’s books, so I should check out a few independent superhero comics. This is the part of the relaunch of Red Circle Comics, which is basically the superhero comics line for Archie Comics. Our lead character in this comic is Paul Patton a newspaper photographer who periodically takes the superheroic identity of the Fox, mostly trying to find interesting news he can take pictures of. And usually, the news he runs into is much, much more exciting than he really wants to deal with.

So in this issue, Paul gets to interview the beautiful Lucy Fur, a social media star who’s launching a new site called MyFace. Paul is smitten, at least until he discovers that Lucy is actually a skull-faced demon called Madame Satan! Can an unpowered hero survive against a supernatural demon? And the the backup story, the Fox must deal with a living, shapeshifting house that wants to steal his vintage Polaroid camera.

Verdict: Well, really, I’m not that sure. The story’s fine, the art is fine, dialogue and characterization are both fine. But it just seems sorta middle-of-the-road. Something like this needs to bring its A-game to drag people away from Marvel and DC, and this comic isn’t committing yet to playing the A-game. I’ll keep reading it, at least for a few issues. But it needs to take things to the next level if it wants to be anything other than something quickly forgotten during the next summer crossover.


The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys #5

There’s a lot of stuff that happens in this issue, a lot of it pretty weird. Blue gets shot but recovers and discovers the deactivated form of the giant robot Destroya. Korse is dropped into a re-education center, but escapes through sheer force of will. Cola and the Girl both get shot; Cola dies, but the Girl has an out-of-body experience, talks to someone called the Phoenix Witch, and learns that she has the power to drain or recharge batteries and to restore or create life — and that her cat is actually a tracking device. Is this the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a lot of weird stuff, but it makes sense in context — even more so, it makes a lot of awesome in context. Don’t know if this story is really post-apocalyptic or if it’s more of a pre-apocalyptic thing. Or if it’s a reverse-the-apocalypse thing. Heck, I dunno, but it’s good fun.

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Mighty Guys


Mighty Avengers #1

The Avengers are all off in outer space dealing with some intergalactic threat, which makes Thanos figure he can invade Earth ’cause the Avengers aren’t around to stop him. Of course, there are plenty of other heroes running around the joint. Which brings us to the newest incarnation of the Heroes for Hire — Luke Cage, White Tiger, and Power Man (who’s a completely different guy — a smartass teenager nowadays). But that team only lasts ’til the Superior Spider-Man shows up, talks some smack, and convinces White Tiger to take a hike.

Elsewhere, Monica Rambeau is back in town, now wearing a new costume and calling herself Spectrum. She has a mysterious, shadowy benefactor, too. Aaaaanyway, Thanos’ minions finally attack New York City — does this ragtag band of do-gooders stand a chance?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fun dialogue, action, humor, and drama. Excellent characterization, too. This is a darned interesting group, and I’d really like to read more about them as quickly as possible.

Oh, but I do have some serious quibbles. First, the art. Hey, it’s by Greg Land, who is infamous for tracing other people’s art and photos. Looks like he’s up to the same gig here, with lots of weirdly awkward facial expressions and poses that you just know look like that because he copied them somewhere else. Why does Marvel still employ this guy? Does he have some serious blackmail photos of Joe Quesada?

Another thing that bugs me is the way Monica Rambeau looks in this. I’m not a big fan of the new costume — I actually liked the look of the jacket she wore in her previous appearances. But new costumes show up all the time for B-list characters, and really, this costume isn’t all that bad. But I do think her hair is a more serious problem.

Look, “Mighty Avengers” is pretty much getting marketed as Marvel’s “Black Avengers” comic, much like Brian Wood’s new “X-Men” book was billed as the “Female X-Men” book. It’s got more African-American characters than any mainstream superhero book has had since Milestone’s glory days.

Among the female characters we know of, Spectrum is black, White Tiger is Hispanic, and She-Hulk is, regardless of her skin color, Caucasian. And all three of them have straight hair. I might be able to excuse it if Monica had ever been depicted with straight hair, but in her most recent appearances, she had cornrows. And taking your only African-American woman and giving her chemically-straightened hair isn’t really the most enlightened thing to do. I’ve got to assume Monica’s hair has been straightened because the women Land traced had straight hair, but that’s just another reason not to use Land as your artist.


The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys #4

Red and Blue, the porno droids on the run from BLI, are trying to make it out of Battery City. Their power will shut off once they pass the city limits, but they figure they’ll be able to die together. Elsewhere, Korse’s secret — he’s fallen in love — is revealed, and his lover has been killed. Now he’ll be taken away to be reprogrammed. And the Girl is stuck in the desert, forced to hang out with the rotten Val Velocity as he barrels down the road into paranoid psychosis and self-destruction. Can any of them survive BLI’s crackdown?

Verdict: Thumbs up. All the storylines are really picking up and turning seriously enjoyable. Great art, great storytelling, great characters — excellent pop/sci-fi comics, and it’s worth picking up.


Red Sonja #3

Sonja is wandering the wilderness, burning with fever as the plague begins to overwhelm her. Forced to surrender to an enemy in the last issue to protect innocent villagers, she’s been cast out and humiliated — and she’s beginning to hallucinate as the plague starts to destroy her mind. She sees her long-deceased father and relives the nightmare of her childhood when sadistic raiders destroyed her family and village. Will the hopelessness of her past predict her own doom?

Verdict: Thumbs up. More excellent storytelling and art. Sonja’s childhood is simultaneously incredibly grim and grandly badass, and the latest cliffhanger is very nice, though I’m pretty sure we know how it’s going to turn out…

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A Study in Scarlet


Batwoman #23

Desperate to earn Maggie’s trust back, Kate Kane injects herself with the Scarecrow fear serum that she’d previously administered to Maggie. So while Kate undergoes a variety of nightmarish visions, her father, his team of mercenaries, and Bette Kane capture a D.E.O. employee to try to learn where Kate’s corrupted twin sister Beth is being held. Torture doesn’t get him to reveal any info, so Bette has to hope that talking will work better.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Most of the action is focused on Bette and Joseph Kane and the attempt to squeeze information out of Agent Asaf, but there’s a lot of good stuff in Kate’s hallucinations, spotlighting all the things she’s afraid of — particularly whether her sister can be trusted or redeemed. And the discussion between Kate and Maggie at the end is especially nice.


The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys #3

While the would-be rebels in the desert parctice their shooting and try on lipstick, former scarecrow Korse is stuck on android collection duty. And pleasure droid Blue is willing to start a gunfight to get new batteries for her partner Red. But if that isn’t possible, will they both commit robot suicide so they can be together forever?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I gotta admit, I just don’t care about these jerks in the desert. But I can’t get enough of Korse, and I really can’t get enough of Blue and Red. Their stories feel more immediate and powerful, and I’d love to read a lot more about them, and a lot less about the dorks in the desert.

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Separating the Bat from the Girl


Batgirl #22

Barbara Gordon has a late date with Ricky, the former hoodlum she saved from Knightfall. But the date goes sour when they’re both ambushed by a gang that’s angry at Ricky’s brother. They manage to thrash the gang and derail their previous date plans to go visit Ricky’s family and go clubbing. The next day, Commissioner Gordon calls his daughter out to go shooting with him — even though Barbara is not a fan of firearms — because he’s fearful of losing her as he lost his son. Babs decides to give up being Batgirl, and Gordon has an angry confrontation with the Batman.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A really exemplary piece of storytelling. Batgirl doesn’t show up for a single panel, but it’s still a thrilling and enthralling story. Great work by both Gail Simone and Fernando Pasarin.


Hawkeye #12

This issue focuses on Clint Barton’s estranged brother Barney, who’s had a generally rotten life and has come to town to reconnect with his younger brother. He endures multiple beatings from the bros but gets to hand down a few of his own.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A nice story — the second in a row told from another character’s POV. Great characterization and action, too.


The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys #2

It’s another rotten day in Battery City. The outlaws in the badlands are preparing for war, and the Girl runs into Cherri Cola, an old friend from the Killjoy days. A pleasure android struggles to find batteries for her dying lover, and the assassin Korse — better known to us as Grant Freakin’ Morrison — is about to get put out to pasture because his kill percentages have been dropping.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A lot of this is still background material, but I’m still enjoying reading it. The background into Korse’s private life is cool, and the bit with the android trying to keep her lover from dying is really outstanding stuff.

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Killjoys, Make Some Noise


The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys #1

See, there’s this guy named Gerard Way, and if y’all read comics, you know he wrote the “Umbrella Academy” series, which is completely awesome. And you probably also know that he was the lead singer of a band called My Chemical Romance, and their last album “Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys,” featured a couple of videos in which the band portrayed the Killjoys, rebels in a day-glo post-apocalyptic future, opposed by mask-wearing soldiers called Draculoids and a corporate assassin called Korse who looked just like Grant Morrison.

So what we’ve got here is Way’s continuation of the storyline from those videos. Years have passed since the Killjoys were murdered by Korse and his Draculoids, and the Girl they tried to protect is on her own, wandering in the desert with her black cat. She runs into some punks in the desert who alternately hinder her and help her. Meanwhile, in the slums of Battery City, a pleasure droid works to buy a new battery for her — sister? Coworker? Lover? Beats me. And Korse has been reactivated so he can capture the Girl and destroy anyone associated with her.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I can’t be said to be all that familiar with the Killjoys’ backstory, but what this comic has generally makes good sense and is fun to read — I was fairly concerned that the opposite would be the case. The script by Way and Shaun Simon is well-done and fun, especially the monologues on the radio from Dr. Death-Defying. And the art by Becky Cloonan is really nice, too.


Batman: Li’l Gotham #3

It’s Valentine’s Day, and the Joker just hates Valentine’s Day. He’s not a fan of love in general, and he really hates it when Harley Quinn gets all lovey-dovey. And then he gets some of Poison Ivy’s secret formulas on him, and suddenly every woman in Gotham City falls in love with him. Is there any hope for the pheromone-plagued madman? In our second story, Damian Wayne teams up with Katana and Alfred to track the snakey thief who’s stolen a valuable jade sword.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Adorable, funny, action-packed, and beautifully painted. Why can’t DC make some more all-ages comics that are this much fun?

Today’s Cool Links:

  • Bully has an interesting post on why he wasn’t able to finish the new Superman movie, and on why some depictions of comic and film destruction affects us more strongly than others.
  • If anyone needed to be thrown out of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, it’s definitely this freakshow.
  • I wish someone in our army was hardcore enough to say this.
  • This is a very, very good dog.

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