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Weekly Comic Reviews - 11 Nov 2015

Weekly Comic Reviews - 11 Nov 2015

Ratings out of 5 stars. Shipment was delayed by a day but it is a good week for new mainstream comics, a slew of number ones – All-New Wolverine #1, The Goddamned #1 and All-New Hawkeye #1 courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura).

 

The Goddamned: Before the Flood #1

Story: Jason Aaron

Art: r.m. Guera

Image Comics

Jason Aaron has been working hard – Ghost Rider (drawn by Tan Eng Huat), Star Wars, and the new female Thor. All star titles in recent years. Now he reteamed with r.m. Guera, his partner for Vertigo’s Scalped series to do their creator-own take on the Book of Genesis. Or what happened to the folks who left Eden. No more spoilers. Violent and great art by Guera. Has a Moebius feel to it. Go get.

(4 stars)

All-New Hawkeye #1

Story: Jeff Lemire

Art: Ramon Perez

Marvel Comics

One wonders if any team can match the combo of Fraction and Aja’s fabulous run of Hawkeye. Heck, it was even nominated for a prize at the Angouleme Comic Festival in 2014. Jeff Lemire can be a hit or miss but he hits that sweet spot in this All-New Hawkeye. It builds on the relationship between Hawkeye and Kate Bishop. It hints of a future that the two had a falling out and had to rectify a past mistake they made 20 years in the future. It is to Lemire’s credit that you care about what’s going on. And Ramon Perez’s art has that Aja feel but he is also putting his own touch in his drawings of old Hawkeye. A great start to the series.

(4 stars)

All-New Wolverine #1

Story: Tom Taylor

Art: David Lopez and David Navarrot

Marvel Comics

I wasn’t sure of this series, thinking I may not like it. Do we need another X-23 series trying to live up to the legacy of Wolverine, fighting a mysterious new villain and flirting with the Angel in mid-air? Apparently, yes. I found myself enjoying this light run of superheroics in Paris (with the Eiffel Tower as the setting). With Marvel downplaying on the X-Men and mutants in their comic universe, this is a good fix for the X-fans. The art keeps up the action and is easy to follow.

(3.5 stars)

The Zodiac Legacy: Convergence

Story: Stan Lee and Stuart Moore

Art: Andie Tong

Disney Press

You have to give it to Stan ‘the man’ Lee. At 93, he is still writing new stuff. It’s business, of course. Disney has bought over Marvel and the Young Adult market is booming now. It makes sense for Disney and Stan to start a new series with an eye on movies and merchandising.

The synopsis reads: When twelve magical superpowers are unleashed on the world, a Chinese-America teenager named Steven will be thrown into the middle of an epic global chase. He'll have to master strange powers, outrun super-powered mercenaries, and unlock the mysterious powers of the Zodiac.

Sounds typical. Lee is ably aided by Stuart Moore (Marvel writer) in the scripting department and Andie Tong’s full page illustrations are nicely rendered. The second volume, The Dragon’s Return, is coming out in January 2016 so look out for it. If you like this, you can also check out Romeo and Juliet: The War (2011), co-written by Lee and drawn by Skan Srisuwan and others.

(3 stars)

Leaf

Story/Art: Daishu Ma

Fantagraphics Books

The good thing about the Singapore Writers Fest, which just ended last weekend, is that it introduces you to new books and writers that you have not heard of. Originally from Chengdu, China, Ma did her studies at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London. She co-founded the interdisciplinary studio, Alien & Monkey, and her first graphic novel, Leaf, was published in China in 2014, and in the US in 2015 when her agent sold her book to Fantagraphics at Angouleme. Leaf, an environmental cautionary tale, is done in colour pencils, fully rendered and absolutely gorgeous. It reminds me of Shaun Tan’s The Arrival, Eric Drooker’s The Flood, Peter Kuper and also the work of masters like Lyn Ward. In fact, she told me her next book will be done in the woodcut style. A talent to look out for.

(4 stars)

 

Escape from Reality

Editors: Maisarah Abu Samah and Joelyn Yep

Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy

Not a comic book, but comic fans would like this new collection of short science fiction stories from Singapore and Malaysia. Speculative fiction is gaining ground in the region. Two volumes came out from Math Paper Press three years ago, Ayam Curtain and Fish Eats Lion, and there is the Lontar journal. Across the causeway, Buku Flexi has also put out Cyberpunk: Malaysia. Escape from Reality is a new addition to this collection of titles. Freshly launched at the Singapore Writers Fest two weekends ago.

(3 stars)

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