It’s that time of the week again! Each Tuesday we offer some quick reviews of a selection of books released in that last few week. This time around we take a look at: Fatale #7, Hellraiser #17, Godzilla #4, Journey Into Mystery #642, and Red Hood And The Outlaws #12!
FATALE #7 (Image Comics)
It’s really interesting how this series pulls off conflicting styles. Obviously there’s the noir and horror touches, but go back through it (even issues coasting along like this one) and there’s this sense that Josephine, the femme fatale, was plucked from a completely different time period even without knowing what happened in previous issues. The way she dresses, her elegant poise, and the way she moves and gazes with an icy cool is pulled straight from the 40s and 50s. She stands out compared to the other women encountered in this issue–laidback and drugged out, post-hippy fashion, and far more overtly sexual–which adds a layer to the attraction the skeevy, sideburns sporting, would-be anti-hero Miles feels towards her (well, beyond that being her curse). Brubaker and Phillips’ previous noir efforts were already anachronistic, but seeing 50s mix with 70s (and the present day scenes from previous issues mix those decades with now) takes it further than that. Rather than just revealing the story through flashbacks, their visual elements–the eager-to-please Mexican gardener, an ancient tome used by the Method Church (the cult in this arc), or the mausoleum Josephine runs into on the cover (having elements of Gothic and Classical architecture)–gives the ongoing mystery a historical subtext that this tide of corruption (police and gangsters in the previous arc, drugs and Hollywood in this one, and renewed religious fanaticism in the present day sequences that bookend both) has been steadily building over centuries. It isn’t quite cosmicism (Lovecraft’s philosophy of human insignificance), but harbors a similar sense of helplessness in the face of the great unknown, like EC’s great horror comics: being privy to secrets (as Josephine is) won’t save you, merely make you panic when one rears its head. -Andrew Taylor
HELLRAISER #17 (BOOM! Studios)
Um…what is going on here? Seriously, while I am enjoying this series still I’m beginning to wonder what it is, exactly, that I’m liking about this book. It seems the longer it goes the less sense it makes. I get that the former Pinhead, Elliott Spencer, is creating his own Hell and I think he plans to take out his former boss, Leviathan. But the sub-stories with the government and this other guy who apparently knows more than anyone else just leaves me wondering if there is a plan for the story.
It gets even better when Kirsty finds herself all blurry and in the dreams of…Elliott? But then why is she holding a baby and why is Leviathan representing himself here as a milkman? There is so much going on its difficult to keep things straight. I truly hope things begin to make sense soon because while I do love looking at the covers and while I want to support the first Hellraiser story in forever that at least began really good, it’s dissolved into a very confusing mess where the scenes change faster than we’re getting explanations.
But I’m so confused by what’s going on that I simply have to keep reading because, much like the Puzzle Box in the story, I simply have to solve the mystery of what this is about and I’m curious about Spencer’s end plan. -Skott Jimenez
GODZILLA #4 (IDW Publishing)
In 1975 the original Godzilla movie series came to an end with The Terror Of MechaGodzilla, known as MechaGodzilla’s Counterattack in Japan, and featured the only original appearance of a rather ugly-looking monster called Titanosaurus. He really wasn’t missed because of all the monsters in the Toho Universe the only one I liked less than this one was Zilla (the American parody of Godzilla from 1998). So, keeping this in mind, I wasn’t really looking forward to seeing this monster again but, once again, IDW and Duane Swierczynski have shown that they know how to handle Godzilla and his supporting monsters.
Boxer and his crew are on their way to Japan to take out Titanosaurus when they are attacked by Rodan who seems to be holding a grudge. Boxer gets the genius idea of making the beasts fight each other than taking out the winner. Thing’s almost to 100% as planned but Rodan makes his escape and Boxer and Co. learn their main weapon doesn’t work on all the monsters. This might be troublesome when Boxer tells them their main target is, and has always been, Godzilla… who has just arrived on the west coast of America!
Also, we finally find out what happens to the monsters they capture… can you say “Monster Island”?
While Kingdom Of Monsters was a fun series, it seemed to have lost much of its direction as it progressed. So far this one, while only four issues in, hasn’t lost anything, in fact it’s just getting better. This, combined with the pure awesome that is The Half-Century War, is making this life-long G-Fan very, very happy! -Skott Jimenez
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #642 (Marvel Comics)
Everything Burns, Part 1 – From the start of this issue we can tell this is going to be a very bad story for Loki. In Mephisto’s realm, the dark lord is given a message and seems surprised and pleased to learn the identity of someone who will betray Loki. And it’s someone he didn’t see coming.
Thor learns all of Loki’s dealings since Fear Itself including making deals with Mephisto, Hela, and Surtur, his dealings with the Fear Lords, and everything else from Leah’s existence and the Hel-Wolf situation. It all comes out and Loki can only say he was trying to help. Which, I’m really beginning to think, is true.
All this happens as two realms begin a war and all hell breaks loose. Two realms head towards war and Thor tries to prevent it only to learn Surtur is involved as are the Westchester Gods, who quickly claim to be innocent of any involvement. They seem to feel as if Surtur has betrayed them as well. It’s madness on all sides when the All-Mother is accused of betraying the other Asgarians.
This issue ends on a great cliff-hanger as Thor stands in defense of the All-Mother and tries to ensure Loki is safe, telling him to just ‘run.’ Seriously, if this is just the first part of this story, Everything Burns is already shaping up to be the hottest crossover event outside of Amazing Spider-Man’s stuff!
Plus… Alan Davis covers! Heck, the interior art by Carmine di Giandomencio is fantastic as well, I don’t think this is a very well-known name at the moment but, looking at this single issue, I don’t think that’s going to be true much longer! -Skott Jimenez
RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #12 (DC)
Good God, that cover is terrible. I mean, it’s eye catching, since it’s ripping off (or ‘homaging,’ take your pick) the Hildebrandts, but those super-busy, horrendously designed costumes? The Red Hood’s girlfriend having an abdomen anorexics literally die for? The vaguely drawn blobs in the background? I thought those were spaceships at first, but looking at it again I’m certain it’s just space junk floating around, promising the exciting adventures of super-people collecting garbage, which is actually more interesting than what happens inside the issue. It’s the kind of comic that spends its first six story pages doing the whole “conversation before the big battle” thing, but then has the big battle be one page of incomprehensible action before going back to the conversations. Scott Lobdell is in no way a master of the fine art of dialogue, which is why we get Arsenal doing sub-Bendis-speech compliments to Starfire about how hot she is (“This ship looks like Fifty Shades of Orange”).
I’m serious about the ‘incomprehensible’ part, too: the only thing I can tell that’s happening on that one page without relying on the dialogue is our heroes posing–with Red Hood copping a feel on the aforementioned girlfriend while pretending to protect her, and she pretends she isn’t feeling at all awkward about that (much like bringing up the topic of sex in most comics or with their readers, amirite?)–then something happens and Arsenal has a J.J. Abrams lens flare coming out of his chest. Oh, turns out this was part of his plan to fool the bad guys all along, because in the New 52, Batman has killed everybody who needs a sales boost and replaced them with cloned versions of himself. -Andrew Taylor
And that wraps up another week! Let us know what you think about these books. Do you agree with our Bullets? Disagree? Now’s your chance to speak up! We have that comment section below just for that reason, you know.
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