Since clawing my way back into the vast world of comics, I’ve found myself frequently surrounded by the clean and colourful shelves at my local store. I think I may have replaced one addiction (shopping for clothes) with another equally unhealthy but much more rewarding one (obsessive comic collecting).
Because of this, my purse is beginning to look quite sad, but I’m much happier now that I’ve revisited this long-lost, nerdy part of my life. There are so many first issues of new stories that catch my eye, so it’s difficult to choose which ones to feature in Comicphiles, but the following titles really stood out for both the right and wrong reasons.
Up this week is Inferno, Broken World and Secret Wars: Civil War.
Up first is Inferno #1 drawn by Javier Garron and written by Dennis Hopeless. After turning the last page of this story, I certainly felt pretty damn hopeless. Okay, that was a cheap shot, but I went in to this with fairly high hopes and couldn’t help but feel disappointed when I finished it; not to mention frustrated that I actually handed over money for something that’s mediocre at best.
The story itself seemed like something I’d enjoy. After the heroes of Earth-616 and Earth-1610 failed to save the multiverse, what took its place was a huge patchwork planet composed of the fragments of worlds that no longer exist. This world is called Battleworld. Inferno is set in one of its domains, otherwise known as Manhattan, where the X-Men have been fighting a horde of demons that have risen from the fiery depths of limbo to turn Manhattan into hell on earth. Sounds fairly interesting, right? Wrong, and for one very specific reason; the entire comic was focused around Colossus, also known as Piotr Rasputin, as he puts the entire team at risk to save his sister, Illyana, from the demons’ clutches.
I can’t stand Colossus’ character! The only time he’s ever been tolerable to me is when he’s within panel-distance of Kitty Pryde, and even then I’d rather take a nap than read his dialogue. The cover appealed to me in the first place because it was of two powerful looking women (who weren’t scantily clad, which was a nice change) standing over a big pile of bodies, one of which was Colossus’ hulking form. Needless to say, the tone that came across on the cover was not echoed within the pages of the comic. The story was dull and it was incredibly difficult to care at all about any of the characters, even ones I previously liked. Although I loved the red and blue colour dichotomy of which areas were safe and which were demon-infested, the cheesy dialogue was just impossible to get past, so the art didn’t save it.
Will I continue to read? Not if you paid me.
Up next for the chopping block is Broken World, which was illustrated by Christopher Peterson and written by Frank J. Barbiere. It opens with a very strong first page that grabs your interest in the same way that the cover does. It shows a family of three surrounded by angry protestors with placards that say ‘Save All Humanity!’ who are kept at bay behind a caged fence; the trio are shown holding hands while gazing up at a space elevator with their backs turned to the reader. Right away I knew these people were either humanity’s saviours or they were the lucky few who got to leave. It turns out it was the latter.
A meteor is days away from crashing onto Earth which will cause mass extinction of the human race, and time is running out for our main character Elena Marlowe. Humanity is being evacuated by leaving through space elevators that lead to giant spaceships which will transport the survivors to another planet; the catch is that only people with clean pasts are allowed to leave. Elena, as you’ve probably guessed, has had a bit of a dodgy life and she spends the first issue getting a forgery from the mysterious Fletcher and reassuring her family that they’re all going to be okay.
The most exciting part for me is the last page, as there’s a shock twist that left me with so many questions and anticipation for the disaster that humanity is left with in the next issue. Overall it was a very strong first issue. I’m not a huge fan of the style of the art but that can be easily overlooked because of the strong narrative.
Will I Continue To Read? Definitely! I can’t wait for issue 2!
Secret Wars: Civil War
I loved the original Mark Millar-penned Civil War so there was never any question of me picking up the Secret Wars version of events. As I haven’t had much luck with Secret Wars so far (it’s just not really my cup of tea), I didn’t have high expectations for this at all.
Drawn by Leinil Francis Yu and written by Charles Soule, the story is a kind of ‘What If?’ take on Civil War; namely that it never ended. The United States is a war zone, where six years of constant battles between the forces of the Blue and the Iron have (literally) split the nation down the center, completely transforming both the landscape and its inhabitants as well as society. In this strange new world, where families and former allies are divided, President Tony Stark and General Steve Rogers meet at the schism to try for peace.
Stark has his half, the Iron, with its strict rules and regulations, while Captain America watches over the Blue, which is a kind of modern day Wild West where people can pretty much do whatever they want as long as they follow his two rules: ‘Hurt no one’ and ‘Help when you can’.
I absolutely loved this story. It was incredibly informative with a fascinating premise. The story’s roots are firmly, and cleverly, planted in the final events of the original Civil War, in Prison 42, with a drastically different ending that had me thinking about this new take long after I put the issue down.
Will I Continue To Read? Absolutely, and you should too!
What have you been reading this week? Have you checked out any of these issues? Let me know in the comments!