We’ve found ourselves out of pocket a lot recently, with the shameful evidence of obsessive comic collecting published for all to see on our Instagram page. We can hardly be blamed for these sudden and welcome additions to our collections, however, as there’s just so much to choose from!
For Comicphiles this week, I spent almost an hour browsing the shelves at my friendly neighbourhood comic store. I was torn between a few different issues and, in the end, had to bite the bullet and choose three. Actually that’s a blatant lie; I bought all five, but for the purposes of this week’s column, I’ll be discussing Dark Horse Comics’ The Resurrectionists, DC’s Bombshells and IDW’s Star Trek and Green Lantern: The Spectrum War.
After reading the title of this comic, visions of lame hipster vampires flashed through my mind, but I decided to give it a go based on the interesting cover. What was that about judging a book by its cover? In this case, it was a good thing! The story follows a group of people called Resurrectionists who can not only remember their past lives, but can also become them.
I was really excited to start this as it sounded like something that was right up my street. The opening page is visually stunning, with the main character, Jericho Way, walking aimlessly with his past self, Tao, following behind him, mirroring him while both are surrounded by all the people their past and present selves have encountered.
One of the initial action scenes featuring a character called the Scout was very cool in the way it was executed. As she fights a group of men who try to take her out for information she’s acquired, with each turn of her body it mimics several of the people she was in her past life. I thought it was good way to start to introduce the concept of past lives and how they impact on the present self, as it’s already quite a complicated topic to write a good story on. Immediately we realise that she is hunting the main character, Jericho.
Although the comic is off to a great start and I’m suitably intrigued, I wasn’t too sure about Jericho’s profession as a thief as too much of the story was spent explaining ways to steal The Book of the Dead from a museum. It was only after finishing the story that I realised the significance of this, so if you’re a little put-off by this seemingly silly side story, keep with it as it will soon make sense.
I really enjoyed the pages featuring Jericho’s past self, Tao, an architect working on the Pharaoh’s tomb. He is woken up from a dream by his pregnant wife, Maya, where he sees his future self and his exploits. These visions are dismissed by Maya, and the two exchange some charming banter that immediately makes you quite fond of their relationship. Unfortunately, as Tao knows the secrets of the tomb he has created, this leads to some very tragic circumstances that left me genuinely upset.
Overall, it’s a fantastic first issue and I’m glad I picked it up. If you’re looking for a story focusing on strong characterisation with some myth and history thrown in for good measure, this is the comic for you.
Best line: “How do you know who you are… if you don’t know who you’ve been?”
Will I Continue Reading? Absolutely!
Again, this is a comic with a very strong first page. It features a noir-style scene with splashes of stunning red and a modified character that we know and love too well; Batwoman. I’ve been looking forward to this series and I was delighted to finally snag a copy, as many of the stores I went to were totally sold out. The comic is set in Gotham City, an island off the coast of Greece and Moscow, featuring some of DC’s most beloved heroes in another time; Batwoman, Wonder Woman and Supergirl.
Immediately I loved the 1940s-style news announcer narrative (although I was the only one!), for the first few pages as it was so refreshing. I liked the fact that the story includes that the men are all abroad fighting in the war and the women are doing their part as well. The idea of wearing a mask was intriguing as Batwoman, otherwise known as Kate Kane, has to keep her Robin Hood inspired identity a secret to protect herself and her girlfriend, Maggie Sawyer.
The characters were witty and very well written, almost as though there was a team of people behind each Bombshell making sure they were the best they could possibly be. The issue also featured a fantastic war scene in the sky where we see the ethereal Wonder Woman for the first time; not only did it have excellent pacing, the art and dialogue combined created a tense battle scene absolutely unrivalled by any other comic I’ve read recently.
Although this happened in the sky, we’re soon brought to an island directly below, where Wonder Woman, otherwise known as Princess Diana, and her fellow Amazons tend to none other than a shell-shocked Steve Trevor. One of the more subtle touches to the comic was on a page which featured a plane bobbing above and below the water as it sunk to the bottom; while it did this, the words to a song in another language appeared, and could only be heard in English below the sea. It reminded me of the mer-people in the Harry Potter series.
The final introduction was of Supergirl, or Kara Starikov, as she prepared to fly for the honour of Mother Russia. Naturally, not all goes as planned and she ends up revealing parts of herself that she was keeping secret along with her sister, Kortni Duginovna. At times it was a little difficult to differentiate between the two characters, as they look so similar, but that would be my only criticism in an otherwise almost perfect first issue.
Ultimately, it’s a comic of pure, unashamed girl power and I loved it. It was so great to read a whole issue featuring strong female characters who kick ass and take names. The fact that a wide spectrum of races, sexual orientations and body sizes were included and well thought out was just a bonus.
Best line: “The Women’s Baseball League appreciates your support – except those of you who did not tip the servers bringing you your beer and pretzels – those among you can go join the fuhrer as far as we care.”
Will I Continue To Read? Definitely. This is a new favourite series of mine!
Star Trek and Green Lantern: The Spectrum War
Although I’m a fan of Star Trek on the big screen, I haven’t gotten around to reading any of the comic versions of the popular franchise. The same can be said of Green Lantern; it’s never been a series that I’ve spent a lot of time on, and not because it’s not good, just that there’s always been many other stories I’d rather be reading.
With the supposed ‘crossover event of 2015’ happening in this one comic book, however, I felt I couldn’t ignore any longer the need to dabble in both of these iconic series. It had quite a good start, with a vaguely familiar blue-skinned character surrounded by six colourful rings, who I believe is a Guardian, running from a threatening voice.
He disappears and we soon find ourselves on the Enterprise as it’s en route to Nodell-16, an unexplored system at the edge of the alpha quadrant on the galaxy’s outermost ring. This ‘big rock’, as Kirk calls it, is the resting place of the blue guy we meet on the first page. The team brings his remains, as well as the mysterious rings, on board to examine them after a scouting mission.
Immediately I noticed that the art style was quite inconsistent throughout. I’m not sure if it’s because the Star Trek characters were created to mimic their movie counterparts, or that they were drawn without much detail, but I wasn’t a fan of how they looked. Particularly because it was hard to read their expressions and their movements seemed very rigid, which was a total contrast to how the character on the first page was portrayed.
Scotty and his assistant are tasked with examining the rings and, although they’re careful, the rings cause an explosion in engineering just as Kirk is hailed by an angry Klingon seeking revenge so, needless to say, it’s not great timing. Or is it? The rings escape and fly off in all directions towards those who have been ‘chosen’ to bear them. I was incredibly surprised at the characters who were chosen, but I’m giddy with excitement to see what happens next.
Best line: “You are chosen.” “You don’t say.”
Will I Continue To Read? Yes! I want to see what happens with the characters who are chosen.
All three comics have gotten glowing reviews across the board! I think this may be a first! Have you read any of these comics? Are you planning to? Let us know in the comments below.