Archive for Pretty Deadly

Shoot the Moon


Moon Knight #2

A sniper is killing a bunch of people in a skyscraper, and Moon Knight moves in to take him down. It’s a tremendous knock-down, drag-out battle over the skies and inside the offices of New York. Can Marc Spector stop the assassin? Will he ever find out what triggered his murderous rampage?

Verdict: Thumbs up. You need to go get this comic. I ain’t even joking. The first eight pages are some of the most perfectly created graphic storytelling I’ve seen in months. It’s stunning, shocking, brilliant work, and you need to go get this now, ’cause it’s gonna win awards later this year.


Pretty Deadly #5

Basically, it’s a big ol’ gunfight and sword battle and a trip to the underworld — just in time for a truly epic gunfight with Death himself. And who ever wins a gunfight with Death? Can even Deathface Ginny pull that off?

Verdict: Thumbs up. An appropriately epic ending for this deeply surreal Western.

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Final Farewell to the FF


FF #16

It’s the last issue of this gloriously quirky comic book. The Future Foundation has managed to shut down all of Dr. Doom’s defenses. His robots have been destroyed, his allies are wrecked, his hostages freed, his science, sorcery, and stolen power have all been neutralized. It’s all down to Dr. Doom vs. Ant-Man. Scott Lang doesn’t stand a chance, does he? Oh, you might be surprised…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Not trying to tell a lot of the plot, to avoid spoilers, but it’s quite interestingly done, and if Marvel doesn’t end up forgetting all this, it’s going to make anyone using Pym particles a lot more powerful. But most importantly, this is a wonderful farewell to an awesome cast of characters, adults, kids, superheroes, supervillains, freaks, and weirdoes. It’s really too bad this one isn’t going to stick around — I’m going to miss Darla Deering, Bentley-23, and Tong.


Mighty Avengers #5

The Superior Spider-Man has decided he wants to take over the Mighty Avengers and run it like his own personal paramilitary force. Luke Cage and Jessica Jones aren’t having any of that, and they clean Otto’s clock — at least until his Spiderling minions shoot them with high-tech weapons. Can anyone save them from Otto’s wrath? Maybe a big green lawyer. Meanwhile, inside Attilan, time-controlling corporate supervillain Quickfire is after some mystic artifacts while Spectrum, Falcon, Ronin (actually Blade — still don’t understand the silly subterfuge), Power Man, and White Tiger try to stop her — and while a three-headed monster tries to eat all of them. Who will survive and what will be left of them?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’m enjoying the writing, the characters, and the story even while I’m still despising Greg Land’s tracing.


Pretty Deadly #4

Looks like we’re gathering our cast of characters together, slowly but surely. Johnny Coyote rescues Sissy from drowning in the river. Ginny and the Mason battle each other, but eventually come to an understanding. Death restores Alice to her form so she can go out and kill more people. And we slowly find out what this is all about.

Verdict: Thumbs up. This story gets a lot more enjoyable when you can keep track of all the characters and what they’re up to. Honestly, I don’t think this ever should’ve been released as single-issue comics — it should’ve been a complete graphic novel from the very beginning.

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So Very Many Comics…

I’m still trying to clear space for more holiday gift recommendations, so I’m gonna see if I can clear all my regular comics reviews all at once. Strap on your seat belt, kids — we’re gonna do a review marathon…


FF #15

The Future Foundation has everything planned out, and they’re ready to take down Doctor Doom. They send in a bunch of robots controlled by the kids to distract Doom and his robots and to wreck up his Latverian castle, while the grownups and their allies infiltrate and sabotage Doom behind the scenes before finally moving in for the final confrontation. But will all their preparation allow them to succeed against Doom the Annihilating Conqueror?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Great action, great humor, intrigue, drama — and thanks to co-writer and scripter Lee Allred, the story is jam-packed with in-jokes geared directly to fans of the late, lamented City of Heroes, the best dang superhero MMO ever. I loved it, and I want a lot more of it, so I’m crossing my fingers that the series will continue, despite its predicted demise.


Red Sonja #6

Sonja was prepared to duel Dark Annisia to the death, but they’ve both been surprised by the re-emergence of the genocidal tyrant Bazrat, who reveals that the plague that afflicted Sonja and the kingdom wasn’t actually a plague at all — it was all poison administered secretly to the populace. Can Sonja and Annisia stop fighting long enough to stop the madman?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Excellent action, drama, and art, and a genuinely smart story, all wrapped up in a nice chainmail bow.


Itty Bitty Hellboy #5

Abe’s little sister Eve is having a birthday, and everyone is invited to the party! Hellboy, Liz, the Rogers, Baba (and her chicken-leg hut), Hecate, Lobster Johnson, Johann Kraus, and many more all show up. Presents are opened, seaweed cake is devoured, hot sauce is splashed on people, and Hellboy gets turned into a chicken. Just like every other day then, right?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Very funny, very cute — it’s too bad this is the final issue, because Art Baltazar and Franco did a great job making Hellboy and his supporting cast look so adorable.


Young Avengers #14

Evil has been vanquished, and it’s time for the after party. A wide selection of artists are on hand to help document the first half of the Young Avengers’ last big party, along with most of the other young superheroes in the Marvel Universe. Wiccan and Hulkling reconcile for good, we learn more of Miss America’s origin and about her secret connection to Wiccan, and Kate Bishop decides where she stands with Noh-Varr.

Verdict: Thumbs up. A bunch of excellently crafted stories about relationships — both romantic and familial — all backed up by a bunch of cool artists. I’m gonna miss this series, but it’s nice to see they’re going out pushing the envelope.


A Voice in the Dark #2

Zoey is worried that her urges to commit murder are going to get the better of her, so she starts up a campus talk-radio show, hoping she’ll be able to quell her homicidal desires by basking in other people’s darkness. And her very first caller is someone who’s contemplating suicide. Can Zoey keep her from killing herself? Can her uncle and his fellow police officers find the girl in time?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Fantastic art and a great story that does not go where we expect it to go. Is there anything Zoey can do to keep from getting completely washed over in blood? Maybe not — and it’ll be fun seeing how it all turns out for her…


Daredevil #34

Matt Murdock wants to strike a serious blow against the racist Sons of the Serpent — and he particularly wants to take their ally, the Jester, out of circulation. He’s managed to obtain the Darkhold, an ancient mystical book that the Sons consider their Bible, and he’s also gotten hold of a device that will allow him to broadcast to every TV, radio, and web browser in New York City. He enlists the aid of Kirsten McDuffie and then makes his broadcast, warning New Yorkers about the Sons and threatening to destroy the Darkhold if they don’t turn over the Jester. Can the gamble pay off? Or will the Sons kill McDuffie as revenge?

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s an excellent story, with some real shining moments for McDuffie. The action is quite nice, and as always, Javier Rodriguez’s artwork is phenomenally beautiful.


Revival #16

The authorities are now exterminating the local livestock, which has gotten a serious dose of whatever is causing the revivals, and Ramin and Sheriff Cypress are the targets of a low-level terrorist attack. Dana Cypress enlists her ex-husband Derrick and her sister Em — a secret Reviver — to help investigate whoever murdered Em. And Derrick runs into a mysteriously deformed arsonist. What the heck’s going on?

Verdict: Thumbs up. The series is definitely trending away from horror right now and back toward noir. Not a bad thing at all — great characterization and art, and I’m still loving the story.


Pretty Deadly #3

Ya know, I’m not sure I could tell you the plot in a way that’ll really make sense. But we learn more about Ginny and Fox and Death, how they got the way they are, and what may be coming up for them eventually.

Verdict: Thumbs up. I liked this issue a lot more. It made a lot more sense, I could keep track of who the characters were, and there were multiple really good, really powerful scenes. I hope they can keep the quality high on this one.

Today’s Cool Links:

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No Habla Espanol, Senor Goon!


The Goon #44

Well, it’s an issue almost entirely in Spanish. And there’s not a translation. And I don’t speak Spanish! Oh, Eric Powell, why must you hide the crazy stuff that Franky says away from me?

Basically, as far as I can tell, the Goon and Franky are smuggling hooch into Mexico. But they’ve also accidentally smuggled in a booze-loving monster called El Hombre Lagarto! Which I’m pretty sure means “The Lizard Man!” He also loves chickens! And pretty women! And singing! Soon enough, there is fighting. Also: Tom Waits and Li’l Jon.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Yeah, I’da loved knowing what lunacy was being spouted by everyone. But even without translations, this was bizarre and hilarious and violent. And thus, it was The Goon.


Revival #15

While Dana Cypress tries to piece together the mystery of who murdered her sister Em, the local government is confiscating everyone’s livestock — there are fears that whatever created the revivers is in the groundwater — and in all the cattle and chickens in the area. And young reviver Jordan Borchardt — who, despondent over losing her chance to die again, went nuts and cut off her eyelids last issue — gets turned over to the CDC for study. And the local anti-government wingnut is working to start up his own private militia.

Verdict: Thumbs up. This series doesn’t often feel like a mystery to me — the horror is very, very strong in this one — but this one felt like a mystery. Lots of clues being dropped, lots of people thinking about what’s going on, lots of people scheming to get their way. It feels like a real noir in this issue.


Pretty Deadly #2

Well, a lot of stuff happens. And it looks pretty cool. And it might be well written. But dang it, I can’t tell for sure, ’cause I’m not really sure exactly what’s going on.

Verdict: Thumbs down. Listen, I don’t even know most of these characters’ names. How am I supposed to care what’s happening?

Today’s Cool Links:

  • Why City of Heroes never had a chance.
  • Okay, Alan Moore is trying to sell some projects, so of course he’s gonna say some controversial stuff. But to a not-insignificant degree, it’s kinda bullshit. You could say this stuff about any dedicated, passionate fanbase, from comics to gaming to music to sports to politics…
  • Long but enjoyable article about the infamous Max Headroom signal intrusion.

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Viral Vector


Like a Virus

Here’s an interesting little supernatural-themed comic that heads a few places you might not expect. It got a lot of publicity as a Kickstarter project of Ken Lowery, Robert Wilson IV, Jordan Boyd, and Thomas Mauer. The story focuses on Felicity, a young woman who has the rare ability to sense spirits and ghosts. She’s staking out an apartment in New Empire City because of a rumor of a suicidal ghost. Once a week, Felicity hears a body strike the sidewalk, but no one else hears a thing. She finally makes it into the apartment, where she meets Marie, an older woman who’s relived her suicide every single week since her death decades ago. Why did Marie kill herself? And can Felicity bring any comfort or release for the spirit?

I don’t actually know if this has hit the stores yet. I’ve had it for a few weeks, but I got it in the mail for backing the Kickstarter. I haven’t seen it in my local comic shop, but that don’t mean it ain’t out there. I’m gonna assume it’s hit the stores, though, and be done with it.

Verdict: Thumbs up. There’s a lot to love here. It’s not really a scary comic — Marie isn’t portrayed as a supernatural threat, just as a lonely and deeply sad woman who happens to be a ghost. It does have a lot of eerie glory, though, especially early on when Felicity is investigating the haunting. But what really drives the comic forward is a meditation on suicide, what brings it about, and how the idea of it seems to worm its way into your life. As Lowery’s postscript states, it’s a very personal work. And despite the heavy subject matter, it was still a lot of fun to read. I hope you’ll pick it up when you see it in the stores.


Pretty Deadly #1

A new first issue — a bit of a horror western, or maybe a western with a few horror elements worked in. Much of the tale is told through a song by some strange traveling performers, about Death falling in love with a woman who tries to kill herself, and leaves him with a baby. And once the performance is over, one of them steals some sort of parchment off an outlaw, who’s soon pursued by a woman in black named Big Alice. And once she learns the parchment is gone, the performers find themselves pursued, too.

Verdict: Thumbs up. An interesting first issue by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios. As always, the first issue is all about setting our stage, meeting the characters, and getting the first hint about what’s up. I hope future issues will be as interesting.


Velvet #1

And another first issue — this time, a spy drama by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting. Our setting is 1973, and most of our characters are James Bond-style superspies, working black ops on a black budget with more flair and finesse than anyone else could reasonably manage. And ARC-7’s top operative has just been ambushed and murdered by someone wielding a common shotgun. Such things are just not done, and there’s plenty of suspicion that there’s a mole in the organization. In the middle of all of this is Velvet, a woman who is supposedly the organization’s secretary, the secret lover of almost all the operatives, and an even more secret operative herself. When a retired operative is eventually identified as the murderer, Velvet has her doubts and starts her own investigation — and soon finds herself set up and framed by whoever is killing ARC-7 operatives…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Action, intrigue, fantastic dialogue and characterization. And holy wow, is Epting’s art absolutely fantastic here. Just gorgeous, gorgeous work. Classic ’70s espionage thriller in comic book form — might wanna add this to your pull-list, folks.

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