Comic Book Corner: Boldly Going Where No Man, Synthezoid, or Skeleton Has Gone Before

Reading Time: 9 minutes

This month the GeekMoms are reading about pirates, politics, and penguins. Catch up with Lt. Gaila, Mycroft Holmes, presidential candidate Loki, and more. Whether you’re looking for intense debate or wacky adventures, you’ll find something in this month’s Comic Book Corner!

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Image: IDW
Image: IDW

TITLE: Star Trek Volume 12
PUBLISHER: IDW
WRITER: Mike Johnson
ARTISTS: Tony Shasteen

Anika loves Star Trek. The whole franchise, from the original series that turns 50 this month to the latest film that premiered in July and everything in between. She’s been reading Star Trek comics since middle school when she would memorize speeches and act them out in her backyard. The latest Trek comics, which follow the Kelvin Timeline characters introduced in J.J. Abrams Star Trek (2009), have been wonderful for filling in the gaps between movies and adding nuance to the characters and relationships. This volume includes a trip to the Mirror Universe, home of bearded Spock, and the return of Lt. Gaila! She was Cadet Uhura’s roommate and has been missing in action since the attack on Vulcan in the first reboot film. Anika is delighted to see her again and learn about her family. She might give this book five stars just for confirming Gaila is alive, luckily it’s also a great story, and not just for Star Trek mega fans.

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Image: Marvel
Image: Marvel

TITLE: Vision #10
PUBLISHER: Marvel
WRITER: Tom King
ARTISTS: Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Jordie Bellaire

Shiri continues to be blown away by The Vision and Tom King’s ability to show readers the best and worst of humanity through the lens of a character who is simultaneously artificial and more human than any of his fully-organic teammates. Vision joining Viv in prayer for Vin’s soul, despite the absolute rationality of both synthezoids, brought Shiri to tears (for the record, a difficult thing to do) as did Vision watching his last recorded memory of Vin, forced to hear himself tell his son he was too busy to pay attention to Vin’s Shakespeare recitation. The art in this issue is darker in tone and more muted in hue than previous issues, with more shadows edging the pages: a gorgeous visual representation of the characters’ inner turmoils. The Vision’s internal monologue and facial expressions in the last few panels and on the final splash page are absolute showstoppers and Shiri is quite sure the look on Tony Stark’s face when he hears Vision has broken free of containment is identical to her face when she realized she was going to have to wait until next month to find out what happens.

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Image:
Image: Titan Comics

TITLE: Mycroft Holmes and the Apocalypse Handbook #1
PUBLISHER: Titan Comics
WRITERS: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Raymond Obstfeld, Joshua Cassara
ARTISTS: Luis Guerrero, Simon Bowland

Shiri will admit that, as a lifelong Holmesophile, she was predisposed to enjoy Abdul-Jabbar’s Mycroft Holmes but she had no notion of how much she would come to adore this interpretation of the elder Holmes brother in the space of this very first issue. This isn’t your elder generation’s staid, secretive Mycroft. (If you want to see the impetus for the transition, I strongly recommend picking up Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse’s magnificent novel, Mycroft Holmes.) In the comic, which is only just getting started, we have a mysterious and murderous object, an irreverent Mycroft getting kicked out of class, the same having inappropriate relations with his professor’s wife, and kicking the butts of several  nefarious fellows in masks up to no good. All this punctuated with the well-loved, if vicious, sibling rivalry between the Holmes brothers, displays of Mycroft’s deductive prowess, and an appearance by HRH Queen Victoria. The art is lovely and the colors a bit sepia, which emphasizes the period nature of the setting. A must add for any Holmes fans.

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Image: Marvel
Image: Marvel

TITLE: Vote Loki #3
PUBLISHER: Marvel
WRITER:Christopher Hastings
ARTIST: Langdon Foss

Vote Loki continues to impress with its hilarity and extremity while simultaneously scaring the crap out of Shiri with its just-on-the-other-side-of-impossible-but-not-quite analogues to the current American, and world, political climates. While we may not have a god running for president, the body politic’s reaction to Loki’s promises and theatrics are a cutting and incisive commentary on our nation’s reaction to demagogues and fear-mongers. There is, of course, a fair bit of mischief making thrown in because, well, he’s Loki. For those who think comics have nothing relevant to say, I present to you this mini-series.

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Image: DC/Vertigo
Image: DC/Vertigo

TITLE: Sheriff of Babylon #9
PUBLISHER: DC/Vertigo
WRITER: Tom King
ARTIST: Mitch Gerads

Sheriff of Babylon will also be one of the books Shiri cites in the “comics are so much more than capes and cowls” conversation. Shiri does love her capes and cowls but she has also, in the last several years, come to understand the power of comics as a medium more than a genre, and nowhere is this more evident than in King’s story of post-Desert Storm Iraq. This is a graphic book and certainly not for the younger set (which, Shiri assumes, is why it is being published by Vertigo). Sheriff of Babylon has said so much with its few words, desert tones, and kinetic figures in the last nine issues about US politics, Iraqi politics, human nature, greed, cruelty, and unexpected kindness. The American consciousness has moved on from that era in our history and we have abandoned that which we wrought, citing autonomy and damning an entire generation. Intense, dramatic, tragic, uplifting, terrifying, and truthful by turns, Sheriff of Babylon is a book everyone should be reading.

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Image:
Image: Image Comics

TITLE: I Hate Fairyland #8
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
WRITER: Skottie Young
ARTISTS: Jeffrey Cruz, Jean-Francois Beaulieu

Shiri loves this book. Loves. If it ever ends, she will be devastated. It is the shot of hilarious lunacy she needs every month to maintain sanity. Gert continues to be the anti-hero we need and deserve (take that as you will) and Duncan… poor, poor Duncan… (evil cackling). Young continues to beat the hell out of expectations of what a little princess should be, showing us instead what she could and would be without the ubiquitous, stale, and vomit-worthy happy ending. There’s an alt-art style, geek- reference laden sequence in issue 8 that had Shiri laughing so hard, she fell off her chair. Not for the faint of sensibilities but ever so perfect in its gross-out, fart joke, fairyland-curse laden self, Shiri is always happy when its I Hate Fairyland week and she always will be.

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Image: Marvel
Image: Marvel

TITLE: Spider-Woman #10
PUBLISHER: Marvel
WRITER: Dennis Hopeless
ARTISTS: Javier Rodriguez, Veronica Fish, Rachelle Rosenberg

When last we left Jess, she had agreed to help Carol Danvers vet Ulysses’ visions to confirm their legitimacy before Captain Marvel sends in the proverbial cavalry. Jess is a bit dismayed at how accurate the Inhuman is and is trying to explain her continuing reservations to Carol when Jess hears about the Hawkeye-Hulk incident. Rightfully enraged at what’s happened to Clint and Bruce, she throws her phone and storms out of the bar and its safe to assume from this point forward, Jess will be siding with Stark against her best friend. Awesome female friendships are hard to come by in comics and I sincerely hope this one recovers, but Shiri is most definitely with Jess on this one; Carol has set events in motion she can’t possibly hope to control, no matter how hard she tries, no matter what safeguards she establishes. Read this one before you choose a side and endorse predictive justice, friends. It isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

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Summer is a nostalgic time for Beth, who gained a love of comic books during those long, lovely school vacations. She picked two kid-friendly comics as a perfect endnote to this year’s summer days.

Image: Titan Comics
Image: Titan Comics

TITLE: Penguins of Madagascar Vol 4 – Secret Paws
PUBLISHER: Titan Comics
WRITERS: Cavan Scott, David Baillie
ARTISTS: Lucas Ferreyra, Grant Perkins

There’s no adventure like a Penguins adventure, and this trade paperback is funnier than a basket of Chihuahuas, something even Skipper finds amusing.

“Do you think we should worry that it’s called the Pyramid of Terror, Skipper?”
“Terror? Ha! We penguins laugh in the face of terror, Private. And Chihuahuas too. Have you seen the expressions on those guys? Seriously, they crack me up.”

Skipper, Private, Rico, and Kowalski take on the North Wind, the secret squad of crimefighters from Dreamworks’ Penguins of Madagascar movie. They’re competing for the Elite-est of the Elite title, and fighting robotically controlled crocodiles, vultures, and defeating the Pyramid of Terror along the way. Beth has been a fan of the Penguins television show for years, so she loved this new set of wacky adventures. Bonus: watching the show and the movie means hearing each character’s voice in your head as you read. Of course, nothing is as it first seems, and both elite forces must overcome a bad guy and save the day. This collection also includes another Penguins/North Wind adventure against the Arctic Fox and an extreme weatherizer, and a nice mini-adventure for the North Wind crew on their own. The corny jokes from the show are in evidence throughout the book, including an excellent nod to Star Trek and Montgomery Scott during a transporter scene, plus plenty of crazy gadgets, including a driveable iceberg home base that would make anyone’s summer road trip far more interesting. The storylines are easy for little ones to follow, and there are a few jokes that make adults laugh, especially if their inner 9-year-olds are still active.

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MrCrypt
Image: Alterna Comics

Title: Mr. Crypt, #1
PUBLISHER: Alterna Comics
WRITER/Creator: Troy Vevasis
ARTIST: Aleksandar Jovic

This book does a 180-degree turn from the gadgets and tech of Penguins of Madagascar, but still provides kid-friendly, funny moments. The year is 1932, and lightning strikes a cemetery in an unnamed village. That bolt brings a skeleton back from the dead, and he goes looking for answers among the townspeople. Of course, a walking skeleton will instantly turn skittish villagers into an angry mob, so the skeleton decides to hide in plain sight. He nabs a suit, top hat and fake mustache, and becomes Mr. Crypt. The disguise fools the villagers most of the time, until a dog steals an armbone or his mustache falls off. Luckily, they all have short memories, and Mr. Crypt goes through a short series of adventures finding an abandoned house, gaining a pet rat, and finally landing a job in the one place where no one cares who you are or what you look like: the local library. The art is bright and eyecatching, and the stories are simplistic but filled with a lovely innocence few comic books possess these days. Beth thinks this would be a great first comic book for bedtime stories or someone learning to read, and it’s fun for grown-ups, too. Here’s to many more adventures with the smartly mustachioed Mr. Crypt.

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