I almost hesitate to say I like a show, for fear it will be immediately cancelled. Whether this says more about the industry or my taste is not worth debating. The reality is that the ability to make a show set in space, with a solid cast and a decent plot, is apparently hard to do. Or not hard to do (hello Firefly), but it does seem difficult for TV executives to have a little patience while we build our complex relationships with shows we take seriously. You see, these kinds of shows aren’t just entertainment; they are mirrors. They are the age-old battles of good and evil in the future that we can relate to. And deal with. Which brings me to SyFy’s new show Killjoys. I mean, look at that poster. Space opera gold.
Here are eight reasons I love this show:
1. Dutch. Hannah John-Kamen kills it as the lady in charge. She is smart, sexy without being ridiculous, and clearly knows what she is doing. I also like that, no matter where the storyline goes in the future, there isn’t excess sexual tension as she works with two hot guys. Two hot brother guys.
2. The two hot brothers: John and D’avin. One is alpha male, ex-military, sarcastic, and is dealing with some major PTSD. The other is adorable, loyal, genius, and a bit of a MacGyver. They obviously need to work out some history, but generally they love each other like brothers should/would/could. I appreciate that the show doesn’t make those issues interfere with the rhythm of the episodes, nor are they panting over Dutch the whole time. I mean, I wouldn’t blame them if they did. She is gorgeous and has mad skills. But keeping the focus on the job, the loyalty of the team, and the individual journeys makes the whole thing relatable.
3. This summary: “Killjoys follows a fun-loving, hard-living trio of interplanetary bounty hunters sworn to remain impartial as they chase deadly warrants throughout the Quad, a distant system on the brink of a bloody, multiplanetary class war.”
Oh hell yeah.
4. This dress:
5. The back of that dress. Also, that necklace is made of explosive spider beads, which she can toss at annoying guards who get in her way.
6. The R.A.C. Or the “Recovery and Apprehension Coalition,” which is the organization that licenses, governs, and disciplines Killjoys, the professionals who pursue warrants throughout the galaxy. Independent from the governance of other worlds, there is something intriguing and mysterious about an organization that has to be well-informed and positioned, but also impartial. The Killjoys live by one rule: The warrant is all. There is something very space cowboy about all of this. Living separate from everyone, having a rigid internal code of honor. I suspect, however, that because of human nature being what it is, there will be conflicts within the R.A.C. in later episodes that will test our motley crew. Outside challenges always make for good TV, but it is the inside ones that are the most complex.
7. The plot (so far). I really like that each episode of Killjoys stands pretty much on its own. There are threads of storyline that tie them together (D’avin’s PTSD, the red boxes), but each show can be enjoyed without feeling completely frustrated and LOST. Pun intended. Also, each episode has been building in complexity and witty banter. I like clever dialogue, don’t you? Which begs me to mention the sassy ship AI. “Lucy” is clearly evolved, plays favorites, and is everything a ship AI should be.
8. The Red Box. Secret assassin cults? Dutch has one week to follow a kill order that shows up inside a Red Box when one appears? What is going on with that? Who is the creepy guy? Clearly Dutch realizes that her childhood was not an ordinary one, nor does she want anything to do with her master now. The setup is that she is now asking questions about why the targets she is given are chosen; the implication is that before she did as she blindly was told. I have a feeling that I should probably not make any assumptions because they will be wrong—which makes this subplot all the more exciting as it unfolds.
One of the benefits of watching a show that is building a new world is that you get to know an entire new civilization as the story is written. You visit new cities and observe new ways humans adapt and become resourceful. Because the future holds few boundaries, we get to embrace a myriad of possibilities. Killjoys so far is doing this really well, and I look forward to seeing more.
Happy Comic Release Day! Welcome to another installment of GeekMom Comic Book Corner, where we recap our adventures in comics for the week. Sit back while Sophie reviews the comic continuation of X-Files, Dakster delves into titles featuring DC’s Big Three superheroes, Corrina looks at DC’s two new “political” books: The Movement and The Green Team, and Melody explores the Galactus love of her two-year old daughter.
Dakster Sullivan — What I read this week
Due to a death in the family this past week, I went on a five-hour road trip which resulted in a lot of comic book reading. To take my mind off of the events to come, I picked up several graphic novels from my local library, including three Batman / Superman titles and Wonder Woman: Love and Murder.
Of the three graphic novels I picked up, the issues #51 and #52 inside Batman / Superman: Finest Worlds (written by Michael Green and Mike Johnson, art by Rafael Albuquerque) hit me the hardest. This original Batman / Superman storyline included some of my favorite stories–I really enjoyed the complex relationship that developed as these two very different heroes worked together.
Thanks to Mr. Mxyzptlk, an annoying enemy of Superman’s (though also one of the more lighthearted villains), an alternate dimension’s Justice League falls into our Superman / Batman’s world, and things get weird real quick. Under different circumstances this wouldn’t necessarily have been such a big deal, but this other Justice League is actually a miniature version of the Justice League we know and love, with the size of their fighting matches their height. The enemies in the mini-dimension fight more like bullies on a playground than gun-wielding super villains.
What shocked me most about this issue is that DC would go so far as to kill a miniature version of one of their most popular characters. Okay, so he wasn’t from this dimension…I’m not sure that excuses killing him in “child” form (then again, child heroes are never safe in DC Comics hands: Rest in peace, Damian).
The mini Justice League is at a total loss with how to deal with this tragic death but one thing’s for sure, with their innocence lost, things will be very different when they get back home…
Wonder Woman: Love and Murder (written by Jodi Picoult, art by Drew Johnson and Paco Diaz Luque) is part one of a two-part story arc revolving around Wonder Woman’s decision to give up her superhero persona and live a normal life as government agent. Now living as Diana Prince, special agent in Metahuman Affairs, Diana and her partner, Nemesis, are asked to do the impossible: bring in Wonder Woman for questioning in the death of Maxwell Lord (see Wonder Woman #219). No surprise here: eventually things get messy. This ending had me frantically searching the internet for a copy of the sequel, Wonder Woman: Amazons Attack. Thankfully, I found a reasonably-priced copy on Amazon (ironic…) and should have it in my hands in a few days.
[Corrina can’t help interjecting here that Amazons Attack is widely derided as one of the worst crossovers ever, so hopefully Dak isn’t too disappointed…]
I feel comfortable in recommending Batman / Superman #51 and #52 for anyone seven-years old and up but due to some of the content in Wonder Woman: Love and Murder, I would say: save this one be for the ten-and-up crowd.
Sophie Brown– What I’m reading this week — Killjoys #3 and X-Files #3
Killjoys #3by Gerard Way and Shaun Simon
Out in the desert outside Battery City, people are getting restless. Dr D believes something big is coming and Cherri Cola senses it too as he attempts to teach The Girl how to shoot. Val Velocity is seeing red in more ways than one but are he and his gang really fighting for the right thing?
Back in the city Blue has passed the point of desperation and finds herself acting on impulse. She and Red have nothing left to lose but they’re not the only ones who’ve had enough.By the end of the issue it’s becoming less and less clear where everyone’s loyalties lie. Only the droids seem completely honest about their intentions; their talk on what death and the afterlife means to them is fascinating.
It’s a strange world that Gerard Way has created as vanity, vengeance and fear collide but as Dr D reminds us; an eye for an eye leaves everyone Blind.
X-Files Season 10 #3 by Joe Harris and Chris Carter
Issue three of The X-Files season 10 begins to pull together some of the plot threads that have been dangling since the beginning of this first story arc. The intriguing question of the Van de Kamps finds the first hint of resolution, Scully learns something about her kidnapper and his motives, and we find out a little more about the fate of William Scully – although naturally for The X-Files this simply leads to even more questions. Monica Reyes makes her first non-flashback appearance with new partner Special Agent Ellen DeGeneres, I mean Hendricks, and Mulder meets up with an old enemy who as usual teases us with glimpses of the bigger picture.
All in all it would be a great issue if we could just lose the dialogue issues plaguing the whole series.
The clumsy phrasing and odd naming conventions constantly pull you out of the story and will have die-hard fans cursing the pages yet again, not to mention the supposedly profound and enigmatic sound bites that read like a parody of the show. This one has nothing quite as ludicrous as the hidden Arlington base from last issue but I challenge any X-Phile to get past the second panel on page 18 without shaking their heads in sheer frustration at the out-of-character behavior displayed there.
I’m still hopeful about Joe Harris’ ability to keep my beloved show on the straight-and-narrow so I’m hoping that panel can be explained away by those immediately afterward, but with each little problem my belief falters a little more.
Corrina– The Green Team #1-3 by Art Baltazar and Franco, The Movement #1-2 by Gail Simone and Freddie Williams II
These two titles were launched by DC as mirror books to each other. There was a great deal of confusion due about their concept and whether it was too political not that I’ve read the books, the premises are relatively simple.
The Green Team is about a rich, smart spoiled young adult, Commodore Murphy, who wants to basically create a team of superheroes to do something worthwhile. Think a young Tony Stark but one who’s determined to create a team. The Movement is set is a city much like Detroit, where the infrastructure of society is crumbling. Government doesn’t work, so those who can try to take the law into their own hands and provide some semblance of security and order.
They’re basically flip sides of the haves and the havenots but it’s not really fair to compare the books to each other, as they’re completely different in tone. The Green Team is more full of fun, winking at some of the superhero concepts and reality show stars, and can be a bit tongue-in-cheek, even as the supposed members are being chased before they can be fully formed.
The point-of-view character, Mohammed, is earnest and determined to make his own name, separate from his father. Murphy’s “entourage” fills out the supporting cast, including Lucia Lynn Houston, aka L.L. But Murphy has cut some costs to secure what he wants for his super-team and soon, super-villains are after him and his team. It’s definitely worth reading and the bright and sometimes exaggerated art nicely suits the story, but I didn’t emotionally connect to the concept as much as I expected.
The Movement‘s concept, however, hooked me, probably just because I’m more interested in how people cope when things fall apart. The art, by Williams, is murky and menacing.
The story begins with two cops trying to hit up a runaway for sexual favors, an encounter that is filmed. The video goes viral, bringing further problems to a police force that’s under-staffed and whose remaining officers are far more like those in the video than those dedicated to serving the community.
But the video is a chance for the self-appointed protectors of the city, the Movement, to make their point. A loose collection of super-powered people who’ve all sort of been tossed away for various reasons, including one who seems possessed by the devil, it remains to be seen whether they’ll be a true force for good or will just use their abilities as a means to an end. Their hearts are in the right place, their methods definitely place them in the gray “vigilante/possibly killers” category. It’s the kind of question I love in my darker superhero comics: at what point does a hero become a villain? And if the society can’t protect the underclass, how far should they go to protect themselves?
So I’m hooked on The Movement, not yet on The Green Team, but I’d recommend both.
Melody Mooney – Ella’s Pull Pile : Spotlight on Galactus
What to do with your two year old who is in love with Galactus? I mean, it seems like a natural pairing, one is a universal god-like figure that drains planets of their living energy, and the other is the center of their own universe who drains their parents of energy.
Still, it was quite amusing to my husband when he took his girl to the toy store to pick out some Squinkies ™ , the teeny tiny soft plastic figures that are collected and traded, and out of all the ones displayed in their large case, she chose Galactus. Well, because he is pink.
This got me thinking, who is this Galactus guy? Luckily we have the comic where he and the Silver Surfer make their first appearance, in The Fantastic Four #48 (March 1966), written by Stan Lee and art by Jack Kirby.
This Galactus looks nothing like her pink toy she has been taking everywhere with her. It was curious to find that he made the list of ‘Top 100 Comics Book Villains‘ on IGN.com and that Fantastic Four #48 was chosen as #24 in the 100 Greatest Marvels of All Time poll of Marvel’s readers in 2001. Impressive stuff but still did not answer who or what was he, really? Poking around online a bit more, I discovered that much had been written, discussed and debated about this, the oldest mind in the cosmos. All too much for a two- year old and even a bit more than I was willing to digest. I may have to ask Stan Lee just how and what was the idea behind this power cosmic, shape shifting demi-god. Perhaps a follow up post with his insight will be in the works.
I decided to show the issue to Ella even with the questions still swimming in my average human mind. Her take on him was “big monster man, big head, scary”. As we carefully flipped through the pages of Daddy’s ‘most expensive comic’ it was clear she didn’t seem all that impressed with him or his powers and asked ‘why he upset mommy’ to which I answered ‘he was just very hungry’. She seemed satisfied and bounced off to play with her tiny Galactus not really caring to make the connection between what we had looked at in print and her new pink friend.
I will not lie that I did indeed breathed a sigh of relief that she didn’t feel called to be the latest Galactus herald and put to rest any notion that my daughter was destined for the villain camp of the Marvel Universe, at least for now.
Wikipedia The Galactus Trilogy is a three-issue story arc in the Marvel Comics comic-book series Fantastic Four, by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist and co-plotter Jack Kirby. The story originally ran in Fantastic Four #48-#50 and introduced the characters Galactus and the Silver Surfer.
Looking for something else, readers? Check out Comixology’s website for a complete list of titles out today!