Archive for Girl Comics

Silver Agent Man

Astro City Special: Silver Agent #1

In Kurt Busiek’s epic “Astro City” series, the Silver Agent is one of the guys who ties everything together. He’s at least as important a character as the all-powerful Samaritan — he’s the symbol of how the Silver Age of comics fell before the Dark Ages that came afterwards. His backstory has him being accused of murdering a supervillain, put on trial, convicted, and executed — only for everyone to discover after his death that the villain had faked his death — the Silver Agent had been executed unjustly. And even worse, a time-traveling Silver Agent began to appear at various crisis points after his death — heroes and citizens begged him not to return to the past and his ultimate execution, but he refused, intent on sacrificing himself to preserve the timeline.

We finally get some more of his story. We start out in the distant future of the 43rd century, where the Agent had been pulled so he could assist the heroes of the future against a supercomputer called the iGod (snicker). Once they defeat it, using a code-bomb called a Tweet (snicker), the Agent remembers his past as a polio-crippled kid in a family full of hard-working public servants. Wanting to serve his community, he teaches himself to walk and gets a job as a mailman — not the most glamorous career, but something to help him feel he’s contributing. When he uncovers an attempt to rig an election, he tries to stop the crooks but gets chased into a cave, where he discovers a glowing silver machine that heals and empowers him, giving him the strength to fight off his attackers and become a hero. Can the Agent overcome the temptation to stay in the safe, comfortable future and avoid his fated death?

Verdict: Thumbs up. A very cool story so far, with excellent dialogue, characterization, and humor, and fans of “Astro City” will definitely want to read this.

Mystery Society #2

While Anastasia Collins welcomes the Secret Skull, an undead adventurer, into the Mystery Society, Nick Hammond is in Area 51 rescuing a couple of genetically-engineered psychic little girls. Of course, once freed from captivity, they’ve got powerful enough abilities to knock the stuffing out of the government’s secret war machines. But once they get back to the Mystery Society’s headquarters, they learn that the government is already busy manufacturing false spin to turn Nick, Ana, and their associates into the bad guys. After that, the Society’s next new member literally falls from the sky — the brain of Jules Verne inside a steampunk robot body! And after that, the military attacks — is there any way to escape? Well, turns out the Mystery Society has its own flying saucer

Verdict: Thumbs up. Really, the story is running all over the place, seemingly at random. But I’ll forgive a lot for the sake of flying saucers and the disembodied brain of Jules Verne..

Girl Comics #3

Final issue of this anthology series dedicated to women creators. Besides another edition of Colleen Coover’s endlessly awesome introduction, we get Marjorie Liu and Sara Pichelli with a cute story about Wolverine and Jubilee; Louise Simonson, June Brigman, and Rebecca Buchman with a story about the Power Pack taking on a babysitting job for the X-Men; Lea Hernandez bringing us a look at the latest battle between Wolverine and Magneto; Carla Speed McNeil inviting us all along for Kitty Pryde’s 21st birthday party; and a couple of stories about characters I don’t even recognize.

Verdict: I’ll thumbs-up it, even though I didn’t recognize all the characters, ’cause I did enjoy most of the stories here. Wow, this one was almost the All-Wolverine issue…

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Lost Girls

Girl Comics #2

The second issue of this anthology comic focuses on stories with writing and art by female creators. After another great introduction by Colleen Coover, we get a lighthearted story about the Inhumans by Jill Thompson, a story about Dr. Strange by Christine Boylan and Cynthia Martin, a very fun story about Tabitha Smith and Elsa Bloodstone from “Nextwave” by Faith Erin Hicks, and a very, very cool tale by Kathryn Immonen and Colleen Coover about Shamrock, the Invisible Woman, Patsy Walker, and Felicia Hardy inside a hair salon. Plus we also get some biographical pieces about historical Marvel creators like June Tarpe Mills, Ruth Atkinson, Valerie Barclay, and Linda Fite.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Much better stories than in the first issue — loved everything Colleen Coover did for this issue, and the Inhumans and Nextwave stories were pretty good, too. I know this series is ultimately a gimmick, but it’s been a pretty fun gimmick.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold #17

A week with Batman includes team-ups with Metamorpho, Merry the Gimmick Girl, Jonah Hex, Hawkman, the Creeper, the Inferior Five, and more. And it is all awesome.

Verdict: Thumbs up. No real overarching plot in this one, just a bunch of fun and unexpected guest stars. My faves were probably Metamorpho (with a very fun element-vs.-element battle with Mister Element), Jonah Hex (it’s amazing how cool the animated-version of Jonah Hex is), and the Inferior Five (I’ve always been a sucker for the Five). Yeah, this is a very light-hearted and kid-friendly comic, but if you’re a grownup who loves the crazy ephemera of DC history, this series was made for you.

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Battle of the Sexes?

Girl Comics #1

A somewhat misleading title on this one — you may suspect it’s all stories about female characters, but it’s actually an anthology comic produced by female comics creators. There are plenty of stories here about male characters — G. Willow Wilson and Ming Doyle have a story about Nightcrawler in a German cabaret; Trina Robbins and Stephanie Buscema have a tale of the old Golden Age heroine Venus (the actual goddess of love) trying to fit into today’s fashion scene; Valerie D’Orazio and Nikki Cook have a story about the Punisher tracking a child predator; Lucy Knisley follows Dr. Octopus around the grocery store; Robin Furth and Agnes Garbowska have an adventure with Franklin and Valeria Richards; and Devin Grayson and Emma Rios have something with Jean Gray, Cyclops, and Wolverine. There are also a couple of biography spotlights on real-life Marvel mainstays Flo Steinberg and Marie Severin, not to mention a great introduction by Colleen Coover and that awesome cover by Amanda Conner.

Verdict: I’ll give it a thumbs up. The Amanda Conner cover, the Colleen Coover intro, and the Doc Ock story by Lucy Knisley are 100% great. The bios of Steinberg and Severin are also pretty cool. The rest of it isn’t bad… but it isn’t real good either. Most of it is just… mediocre. I’m still giving it a thumbs-up ’cause I enjoy anthologies, and I’m hoping they’ll knock the next two issues of this outta the park.

The Mystic Hands of Doctor Strange #1

Speaking of anthology comics, here’s a fairly cool one — 48 pages long, all in black-and-white, and all for four bucks — with stories about Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme by Kieron Gillen and Frazier Irving, Peter Milligan and Frank Brunner, Ted McKeever, and Mike Carey and Marcos Martin. The first story is the real standout — Doc Strange having himself committed to a mental hospital to battle an unethical psychiatrist who’s selling souls to Hell to try to make the world a better place. It also features the disturbingly awesome image of Strange’s wife Clea making wildly unexpected plans to rob a bank.

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s a very cool project — like finding a bunch of undiscovered’70s-era Dr. Strange stories. Again, the first story is the best — a very good plot, excellent artwork, numerous mad, awesome images, and a very cool ethical/moral dilemma for Strange to puzzle out. The rest are a mixed bag — some good stories, some not-so-good stories, but on the whole, it’s more than worth the cover price. Go pick it up.

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