That lousy thing called life, it quite frequently seems to do everything it can to annoy you. Frustrate you. Bug you until you go bonkers! It can do this in any number of ways, many of which are much more serious and tragic than it is currently doing to me, but still, working several jobs while attending school, all while wishfully thinking about all of the things you would rather be doing, such as playing games or actually adding something substantial to a small site you run, it can be quite nagging, if not outright maddening.
So here I sit, clock reading 12:20 AM and although I only just got out of work a couple hours ago, I will be leaving for my other job in just over another hour, what to do with the time? Find something to write about dammit! And the one thing I can write about quickly is sitting right in front of me in a neat pile, comics! Anyone who listens to me or follows me on Twitter will have noticed that I have begun diving back into comics recently. One reason being I have wanted to do so for some time now and just recently discovered a nice little comic shop nearby and the other being with no free time comics are easy bits of joy to easily digest, much like the pizza I live on!
So although I have been reading comics like a mad man, I will list below 5 randomly selected series out of this stack and mayhap this will be a recurring piece for the site, after all my collection is growing rapidly every day. And if you have been thinking about dipping your toe into comic reading, Marvel has a Marvel Now initiative that offers newcomers a perfect jumping on point and their Marvel Unlimited service is a great way to read old and new series with little spending. Also if you wish to begin a digital collection of comics that you can take with you anywhere, Comixology is the king and a terrific shop for all things comic related and they often hold great sales.
Now then, onto this weeks selections…
Saga: Volume One
Four pages was all it took for Saga to grab hold of me and it has yet to let go. From Brian K. Vaughan (Lost, Y: The Last Man) and Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, Thunder Agents) Saga tells the story of two soldiers who abandon their opposing factions and their futile never-ending war to find peace with each other and for their newborn child. The two must battle against armies, bounty hunters and the elements in their search for sanctuary and the writing from Vaughan keeps the entire journey fresh and exciting. Alana and Marko are flawed but endearing protagonists that you root for while the supporting cast of characters, from bizarre humanoid televisions to surreal arachnids, keep you turning the pages to unravel the secrets of this universe. Staples art is amazing and a standout as she makes each and every character come to life with unique tics and exciting looks. The blending of science fiction and fantasy, with the incredible talent behind this series, makes Saga: Volume One a no-brainer for anyone that wants to read a comic that is not about superheroes.
Final Score: 9.0 / 10
Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey have brought one of Marvel Comics lesser known heroes to the forefront and into the light like never before, making him stand tall right next to fan favorites Iron Man and Captain America as someone not to be trifled with, and someone Marvel fans should be keeping a close eye on. Moon Knight #1 is both a reboot and a continuation for the character, pleasing both longtime fans by not forgetting what the character has gone through and allowing newcomers to hop aboard having no prior knowledge. After a long hiatus former mercenary Marc Spector is back as Moon Knight, a vigilante who fights crime and has died doing so, and someone who may or may not have multiple personalities. In this series writer Warren Ellis and illustrator Declan Shalvey are reimagining Spector as a much more realistic and gritty hero, doing away with his fantastical getup of the past and putting the character into a striking all white suite and mask, having no fear of being seen as he walks the dirty streets of New York looking for wrongdoers. While the story is a simple reintroduction for the character, showing how he does things now, the ending will tease readers just enough to have them itching for the next issue. While the issue as a whole is a standout, it is Jordie Bellaire’s color that is the true champion here. The world of Moon Knight is dark and sinister but Bellaire’s choice of putting Moon Knight front and center by leaving him washed out and pure white is gush worthy. Bellaire’s coloring makes the title character seem iconic and her artistic choice is genius. If you are looking for a new hero to follow, you can do much worse than Moon Knights return.
Final Score: 8.5 / 10
Ms. Marvel is a character that I am not too familiar with, although I understand that the hero herself has seen several different characters take up the mantle and the latest to do so seems destined to deserve your time. Ms. Marvel #1, much like Moon Knight is part of the Marvel Now campaign and is the perfect starting point for longtime fans and newcomers alike. Writer G. Willow Wilson and artist Adrien Alphona tell the story of Kamala Khan, a young girl living in Jersey who loves her family, her heritage and superheroes, but also feels isolated from those at school because of those things. She longs for acceptance and often dreams of becoming a superhero herself, even writing fanfic in her off time, to play a part of that world. Wilson’s writing makes Kamala instantly likable and you easily find yourself rooting for this outcast just as you did Peter Parker long ago. The climax is handled perfectly, raising questions and fleshing out the character, as it gives Khan and the readers what they have been waiting for. Ms. Marvel adds to the company’s repertoire and gives fans both young and old a new hero to root for as well as a strong, smart and funny young woman for young girls to respect and learn from.
Final Score: 8.5 / 10
Dark Horse Comics latest series is one of intrigue and horror. From Greg Rucka and Toni Fejzula, Veil develops as a slow burn, but one that will easily keep you turning the pages as you long to learn about the young woman who has found herself waking up in an abandoned subway station surrounded by rats and naked and confused. While the premise sounds like the repercussions of something deeply sinister, the journeys beginning doesn’t have any nefarious connotations, although by stories end there are certainly nefarious deeds that don’t go unpunished. Veil is starting out as a story to watch out for with subtle hints in its dialogue about its characters and a main protagonist that is both frail and strong. This may be the beginning of something great, but it can just as easily be a path that leads to nowhere. If you’re looking for a mystery than Veil #1 should be considered, but if you want action and a light tone, stay away. A special note must be made of the art on display here. Fejzula brings a moody and entirely unique appearance to Veil that helps to raise the tension up a notch and makes it incredibly difficult to think of anyone else being put to work on this one.
Final Score: 8.0 / 10
Writer Cullen Bunn and artist Gabriel Hernandez have been given the unenviable task of taking one of Marvel’s most iconic characters, Erik Lehnsherr, and delivering to fans a new and exciting story for them to swallow, and for the most part, they succeed. Magneto finds the weary villain/hero alone and traveling the country, looking to deal out punishment to those that would harm the mutant race while staying off of S.H.I.E.L.D’s radar and sporting a new look. Magneto #1 is a much more methodical look into the character, just as the character himself is being more methodical with how he is approaching his agenda, even if his slow approach ultimately turns into an explosion of violence and death. Seriously, why even bother hiding in motels and wearing civilian clothing if you’re just going to break onto the scene like that in the finale? At the end of the day Magneto is a fun read that fans of the character should enjoy but may not be enough for those who are on the fence. The twist at the end hints at potential but Erik’s agenda may be treading territory that is ultimately too familiar to last for long.