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Weekly Comics Reviews - 2 March 2016

Weekly Comics Reviews - 2 March 2016

Ratings out of 5 stars. Shipment only came on Thursday. Swamp Thing and A-Force courtesy of Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura).


Swamp Thing #3

Story: Len Wein

Art: Kelly Jones


Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson created the Swamp Thing 45 years ago and Wein returns to the character he is best known for (other than the Bronze Age X-Men). DC has paired him up with an artist who is firmly in the Wrightson school, Kelly Jones. This should be a dream team, except Wein is writing this title as if it is still in the 1970s. Not his fault entirely as Alan Moore’s retcon of the Swamp Thing’s origins (‘The Anatomy Lesson” of 1984) has itself been retconned in 2011 as part of The New 52. Alec Holland is back as the Swamp Thing and he is trying to be human again – what’s the point? In this issue, Matt Cable returns to help the green monster to do that with the assistance of Zatanna. Get this for the art.

(3 stars)

A-Force #3

Story: Kelly Thompson and G. Willow Wilson

Art: Jorge Molina


Not much has happened since I reviewed #1 a few months back. The Singularity (go read the Secret Wars Battleworld title) is still running away from the Antimatter and the A-Force (Medusa, She-Hulk, Captain Marvel and Nico Minoru) are helping her. The Dazzler has joined in the fray but they are getting their butts kicked. The story concludes next issue. I hope.

(2.5 stars)

75 Years of Bruce Lee Exhibition and Art Charity catalogue

Art: Various

Not a comic book and not exactly new, this is the catalogue for the travelling show, ‘75 Years of Bruce Lee Exhibition and Art Charity’ that started in Penang last year and it travelled to Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru. The exhibition was to raise funds to rebuild Kelantan after floods devastated the state in 2014.

I have written elsewhere how pop is political in Malaysia, especially the use of Star Wars to comment on the 1MDB case. For this exhibition organized by Hew Kuan Yau, it is done in collaboration with the Democratic Action Party and the catalogue has introductions by Lim Kit Siang and Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan. It seems to suggest the spirit of Bruce Lee lives on in these opposition and human rights figures.

Putting the politics aside, this book boosts a who’s who of Malaysian comic artists – Alan Quah, Baba Chuah, Kenny Chua, Billy Tan, Michael Chuah, Lefty, Tan Eng Huat, Puppeteer Lee and Keith. It’s great to see good friends from Hong Kong like Sam Tze and Felix Ip chipping in to contribute to a good cause. Even friends from the Philippines sent in their interpretations of the legend – Harvey Tolibao, Philip Tan (wrongly listed as being from Malaysia) and Leinil Yu. It is pity but not surprizing that no Singaporeans were involved unless you count newly minted Singaporean like Sonny Liew, who was originally from Malaysia. Interestingly, Sonny is drawing more strips about Malaysian politics these days.

Most of the drawings are standard take of Bruce Lee from his movies and quite a few Kato from The Green Hornet. The most interesting ones are those that you least expect like the cartoon version of female Bruce Lees.

A collection worth hunting down if you can find it.

(4 stars)

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Weekly Comic Reviews - 9 March 2016
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Lim Cheng Tju is the co-editor of Liquid City Vol. 2, an anthology of Southeast Asian comics publish ...

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