Happy Comic Release Day! Welcome to another installment of GeekMom Comic Book Corner, where we recap our adventures in comics for the week. This week, Dakster takes us into the spooky and horrific world of Zenescope’s Grimm fairy-tale world, while Kelly takes a look at DC Comics villains in Super Villains of DC Comics. Corrina ventures into the DC Comics world with The Sandman Overture, Forever Evil: Argus, and Damian: Son of Batman. Kay finishes off our spooky theme with a look at Buffy Season 9 Volume 4.
Kelly Knox–Necessary Evil: Supervillains of DC Comics (Documentary)
Last week DC Comics released a new full-length documentary, Necessary Evil: Supervillains of DC Comics, to examine the wealth of baddies in the DC universe.
The highlight of the documentary, which comes in a little long at 90 minutes, is seeing some of comics’ luminaries in person as they chat about their favorite bad guys. Marv Wolfman, Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, Scott Snyder, Brian Azzarello, Dan DiDio, and more speak at length about what makes a good villain. (Johns evens gives a play-by-play of a showdown he wrote between Sinestro and Green Lantern.)
It is a treat to see Dr. Andrea Letamendi, a psychologist and comic book fan who has appeared in the pages of Batgirl as herself, also make an appearance in the documentary. However, I couldn’t help but notice the omission of Gail Simone, who writes fantastically villainous villains (like Batgirl‘s Ventriloquist), and her point of view is sorely missed.
Necessary Evil: Supervillains of DC Comics feels like a comic convention panel with a somewhat aimless discussion of “our favorite DC Comics villains and why we love them.” The narration by the legendary Christopher Lee is a bonus, but overall the documentary doesn’t make much of a lasting impression.
The Sandman Oveture #1 written by Neil Gaiman and drawn by J.H. Williams III ($4.99)
Damian, son of Batman #1 of 4, written and drawn by Andy Kubert ($3.99)
Forever Evil: A.R.G.U.S. #1 written by Sterling Gates and penciled by Philip Tan, Neil Edwards and Javier Pina. ($2.99)
Neil Gaiman returns this week to his classic Sandman character, Dream, in The Sandman Overture and his universe has never looked better than when drawn by Williams, formerly of Batwoman. There’s an incredible four-page (FOUR PAGES!!) spread in the middle of this oversized first issue that I could stare at for a long time and never get bored. I’d describe what it details but that would be serious spoiler territory. Suffice to say, Gaiman is venturing even further into the world of dreams, with the Dream we all know as our guide into something more vast than we’ve yet encountered.
If you loved the Sandman series, this is a must, but if you haven’t read it yet, I would recommend going back and finishing the series before starting this.
Damian, Son of Batman, stars the late (?) and lamented Damian Wayne, the genetically engineered son of Bruce Wayne and Talia Al Ghul. Damian, trained to be a killer by his mother, instead becomes the newest Robin to fight crime at the side of Dick Grayson’s Batman, and later, with his father when Bruce returned to the role after being temporarily dead. (Complicated.) Damian died in Grant Morrison’s series, Batman Incorporated but by that time, he’d already become a fan favorite.
Is he back from the dead? He is in this series, which seems to be an alternate universe to judge by events in the first few pages, in which Batman is killed by a hidden bomb. Damian vows to avenge his partner and goes back to his training as an assassin to do it. He kills several members of Batman’s Rogues’ Gallery and then, well, the last page makes us rethink exactly what happened earlier. I had no idea what to expect from the book but it’s an interesting read and Kubert’s art, with the exception of a few facial expressions, is very, very good. I’ll read more.
I’m not so inclined to read more of Forever Evil: A.R.G.U.S. as it’s part of the big DC crossover event and it shows, with some of the book taken up by relating what’s happening from the point of view of A.R.G.U.S., a special government organization set up to monitor superheroes. The attraction in this book, however, is the retelling of the first meeting of Steve Trevor and Princess Diana/Wonder Woman, and a short glimpse of the pair as a couple. The splash page with Diana pulling open the cockpit of Steve’s crashed plane should be a poster, it’s that pretty.
Dakster Sullivan–Zenescope’s Grimm Fairy Tales Omnibus, by Joe Brusha (Creator), Ralph Tedesco (Creator)
With 50 horror and romance-filled issues, Zenescope’s Grimm Fairy Tales Omnibus is eight-pounds of awesome fairy tale adventure. Word of warning, however: due to the graphic nature of both the art and the story-telling this is not a book for the faint of heart (or anyone under 17-years-old, for that matter.)
The main character in this omnibus is Sela, a strong, intelligent professor who helps her students learn valuable lessons through fairy-tales. Don’t be fooled though: there’s a reason the Grimm Brothers are invoked in this title…these are not the same, saccharine Disney fairy tales parents might know. In this collection, no story (or character) is safe.
Something you will notice from the get-go is Zenescope’s art style is very sexually-oriented and I beg you not to let it stop you from reading the stories. In my opinion, Zenescope has some of the most action-filled stories and the strongest, most adventurous females in the comics industry. That alone keeps me reading but don’t get me wrong: I don’t agree 100% with how the characters are drawn. But if I’d ever let that stop me, I’d never have picked up Robyn Hood (and she is amazing)!
One of the things I really like about the Grimm fairy tale world is the shared responsibility men and women have within the Grimm universe. Both genders get their time as the hero and the villain, so you don’t have to worry about reading 50-issues of male driven story-lines. Of course, that also means you need to be comfortable seeing both men and women in the role of the villain.
Sleeping Beauty is a good example where gender roles are swapped with the result that we see the story in a different, yet very interesting light. The violence towards the hero felt a bit mean at the end, but since the character himself was only “dreaming,” and he was actually safe the whole time, I’m okay with that.
With over 1,600 pages of good vs. evil adventure, the Grimm Fairy Tales Omnibus is a great book to pick up for anyone ages 17-years old and up. Ask your local comic book store for availability or check it out on Amazon for $45.00.
Want more of Sela? You can catch her in the new mini-series Realm Knights, along with other famous faces like Robyn Hood, Red Riding Hood, and Hook.
Curious to know what I’m pulling this week? Check out my pull list on Comixology.
Kay Moore–Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Season 9, Vol. 4 by, Andrew Chambliss (writer) and Georges Jeanty (artist)
This collected edition, Season 9, Volume 4, has Buffy and the Scooby gang living in a world without magic following their earlier clash with Twilight and the destruction of the Seed.
While out slaying, Buffy is hijacked by a mystical person from her past who requires her to assist them in their quest, forcing Buffy into uncomfortable alliances and keeping her away from her family and Scoobies at a time when it is most critical for her to be present.
Although I am reading this collected edition after missing some issues leading up to it, I was still able to follow the action. Actions and attitudes are true to the Buffy-verse. I recognized the agonizing choices several characters had to make about aligning with a larger cause or concentrating their efforts in a more personal arena.
A couple characters really hit true notes for me; familiar voices, choices that raise my sympathy in the present and my fear for the future. Back in season eight, some zany things happened, threatening a breakdown in the suspension of disbelief system, but if you’ve gotten past that, this story expands well from that and it was a fun read, a good visit with the characters. It certainly set up anxious situations. Where’s my next issue?
Looking for something else, readers? Check out this week’s listed books:
|Danger Girl The Chase #2 (Of 4)
Dinosaurs Attack #4 (Of 5)
G.I. JOE #9
Godzilla Rulers Of Earth #5
Joe Kubert’s Tor Artist’s Edition HC
KISS Kids #3 (Of 4)
My Little Pony 2013 Annual #1 KF10
My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #12 KF10
Powerpuff Girls #2 (Of 6) KF10
Samurai Jack Classics Vol. 1 TP
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #27
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Villain Micro-Series #7 (Bebop & Rocksteady)
Transformers Prime Beast Hunters #6 (Of 8) KF10
Transformers Robots In Disguise #22
Wild Blue Yonder #3 (Of 5)
Zombies Vs Robots This Means War MMPB
|Astounding Villain House (OS)
Avatar The Last Airbender Vol. 6 The Search Part 3 TP
Bad Houses TP
Blood Brothers #3 (Of 3)
Bride Of The Water God Vol. 14 TP
Captain Midnight #4
Chronicles Of Conan Vol. 25 Exodus And Other Stories TP
Criminal Macabre The Eyes Of Frankenstein #2 (Of 4)
EC Archives Tales From The Crypt Vol. 4 HC
Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven And The Red Death OS
Gantz Vol. 29 TP
Itty Bitty Hellboy #3 (Of 5)
King Conan The Hour Of The Dragon #6 (Of 6)
Last Of Us American Dreams TP
Star Wars Dark Times A Spark Remains #4 (Of 5)
True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys #5 (Of 6) GM
Acronym Key: VC = Variant Cover / HC = Hard Cover / TP = Trade Paperback / GM = GeekMom Recommended Reading / KF10 = Kid-Friendly for 10-years old and younger