Happy Comic Release Day! Welcome to another installment of GeekMom Comic Book Corner, where we recap our adventures in comics for the week. Corrina is not a fan of Princess McStabby Sword but does love the new Ungrounded graphic novel and Lisa Tate reviews Assassin’s Creed: The Ankh of Isis Trilogy.
Corrina–Ungrounded, by Patrick Gerard and Eryck Webb
I’m not sure how to describe the plot of this comic. I’ll leave that to the creator’s description in the next paragraph. But I can tell you how it makes a reader feel: happy, hopeful, and intrigued. Ungrounded reminds me very much of Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman in theme. It takes place in a superhero universe in which bad things happen but the final message of the story is that heroes can still be heroes.
This is a comic that really stayed with me and had several layers, sending me back twice to re-read.
From the description: Ungrounded features the debut of Mr. Solenoid, a physicist who answers the call to become a costumed hero with mastery over electricity and magnetism. He literally breaks reality in the process. Empowered by the Egyptian deity Thoth, he is joined by the flying polar bear Ulysses, billionaire treasure hunter Vivian Von Valiant, the world’s first zombie-vampire-werewolf government agent Major Freakshow, and others on an anything-goes romp that leads him into conflict with Doktor Bleak, an army of ninja gorillas, and a plan to annihilate the earth.
In other words, this book is wildly creative, the author’s vision matched perfectly by Webb’s art. You can buy copies now on B&N and other outlets but you can also back the new Kickstarter for a hardcover printing that better shows off the visuals.
Forever Evil #6, by Geoff Johns and David Finch
I can’t get into this event. Johns is capable of wonderful work, as shown by much of his runs on Green Lantern and Flash but this event just seems to be his favorite characters fighting, with occasional small steps forward of the main plot, which is that an evil alternate version of the Justice League, the Crime Syndicate, has taken over the Earth. The first six issues were spent with basically the bad guys doing some really evil things, which seemed redundant after the first two issues, and putting some pieces in place so Earth’s villains (Luthor most prominent) can become Earth’s defenders. Oh, and after six issues, the fate of Nightwing/Dick Grayson is up in the air. It’s long, drawn-out, grim, and depressing.
This issue reads like the worse of a fanfiction, a mosh of concepts basically meant only to appeal to hard-core fanboys, plus some smashy battles. Johns can certainly do better.
Batman/Superman Annual #1, by Greg Pak and Jae Lee
I almost didn’t go past the first few pages of this comic, as it once again features Wonder Woman in her “Princess McStabby Sword” persona as if that’s all she is, as if she’s not the hero who would always offer a hand before a fist. No, DC seems firm on their commitment to “Grr…warrior…fight!” Wonder Woman. But I kept reading since the art was unusual and gorgeous. Jae Lee has a unique style that somehow bleeds emotions onto the page.
Basically, Superman and Batman have to go to WarWorld to help Mongul’s heir take over the place or else Earth will be destroyed by a really big gun. Each picks a team to help them, with Supergirl and Steel for Superman and Red Hood and Batgirl for Batman. The techies Batgirl and Steel are put to work disabling the gun while the rest go to WarWorld to fight in the arena. I particularly liked Pak’s Batman and, after this, would like to see him write one of the monthly Batman comics, and the others were better written than I’ve seen in their own books. Is it worth the $5.99 price tag? The story is very good but it’s the art that’s stellar, so for that alone, it’s worth a look to decide on your own.
Lisa Tate–Assassin’s Creed: The Ankh of Isis Trilogy, by Eric Corbeyran and art by Djilalli Defaux
I rarely find myself with the urge to read video game-based comics, as I’ve learned that although I like both games and comics they don’t always merge well. With the popularity of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and the increasing buzz about the future movie tentatively scheduled for a 2015 release, and popular series of novels, I decided to give the recently-translated series by Eric Corbeyran, with art under the names Corbeyran and Djilalli Defali, a try. Originally created as a French-language comic in 2009, the first three books, collectively called the Ankh of Isis Trilogy, were released as hardback in November from Titan Books. The fourth volume in the series, Assassin’s Creed 4: Hawk, released later that month.
The trilogy, Assassin’s Creed I: Desmond, Assassin’s Creed 2: Aquilus, and Assassin’s Creed 3: Accipiter, follow the characters of modern-day Desmond Miles and ancestral counter parts from the past, similar to the plot of the first three video games in the series although with some different characters. For example, Lucy’s story being quite different from in the games, we find out at the beginning of the first book that Subject 16 is not dead. The first volume bears the greatest resemblance to the first games, however, but the second two volumes slowly depart from the game plot into a new story. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as an original story is always appreciated.
I did enjoy these enough to want to read more, and I plan on hitting Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed comics The Fall, The Chain, and Brahman, by Cameron Stewart and Karl Kerschl, next. The Ankh of Isis Trilogy wasn’t a fantastic read, but it was fun, and certainly exciting enough to hold the interest of those who have no interest in the game at all. Desmond, to me, is the most interesting character created for a video game to come along, and seeing him in comic book form might just be enough to entice some non-gamers to make an exception and follow him through the ages.
Looking for something else, readers? Head over to ComiXology for a look at what’s coming out today.