Man, I love the title to this latest entry — “The New Adventures of Psionic Lad (Part One)”. I realize that I don’t really know what to expect with the Superboy series right now. The last two issues were all Parasite/Poison Ivy/Parasite Frogs/Phantom Stranger… which was revealed waaay back in August during that one Action Comics teaser story. The not knowing has got me charmed.
About the art — there’s something about it… it may just be the extraordinarily tight jeans on Superboy and the glasses, but its got me weirded out. Fortunately, the Lori Luthor character is gorgeously rendered, and when some armoured time cops jump through a portal it looks awesome. So things are balanced out.
I like the way the story skips back and for in the narrative — it’s a tricky thing to try and do, and usually I’m wary of that technique, but I think it was used properly here: it helps the flow of the issue, sprinkling the action and drama throughout the book that would otherwise have been relegated to the back of the story in an unbalanced deluge. It also helps that there’s some time travel involved, that always helps to justify these kinds of things.
There’s a thought balloon! I didn’t notice it until now, but there’s a single small thought balloon with a little question mark in it. I love a well done thought balloon; it’s a much more immediate narrating device than the narration boxes. The boxes can be from any perspective- a random narrator, the main character in the future… there’re a lot of options here, a lot of rope for a writer to trip themselves up with. A thought balloon has the immediacy of dialogue, but without needing another character hanging around the scene.
Well, I’m just being nostalgic now. The boxes are plenty good enough, and I’ve seen people try and fail with thought balloons (*cough* early Mighty Avengers *cough*) to know they can be overused.
I’ve got to throw this out there: Ma Kent is saying “Son” far too often. Twice on the same page is weird.
Things are happening, and I’m enjoying myself, but (in an odd reversal) I’d like everyone to stop for a bit and think about how they feel about what’s been going on, not just thinking of the next move. Next issue maybe. – Isaac Mills
I know anthology comics are pretty scary to a lot of people (at least that’s my guess as to why they generally don’t sell well) but I like them. Seeing a few different creators stretch their creative muscles on some short stories can be a lot of fun. Now it’s true, I usually need the added incentive of at least one creator I’m a fan of to pick up one of these books and in this case it’s Kevin Maguire. I’m a big Justice League International fan, and so Kevin Maguire’s name was enough of a reason for me to give Weird Worlds a try. And I’m glad I did.
The first story is about Lobo. Now I don’t tend to enjoy Lobo stories. I view him as a pretty funny joke that some people started taking seriously for some reason. Still, in small doses I can get behind the character (I enjoyed him in 52) and luckily that’s exactly what I’ve got here: a small dose of Lobo. As such I actually quite enjoyed this. Vanhook and Ordway have put together a fun bar story about a bounty hunter who thinks he’s killed Lobo that made me laugh. There was a great sense of anticipation as you watch Lobo slowly heal in the background while the bounty hunter tells the story of how he killed the universe’s most dangerous man (alien? Creature?).
Next up is an original creation by Aaron Lopresti, a character named Garbage Man. Taking some inspiration (seemingly) from Swamp Thing or The Toxic Avenger this is a monster/protagonist (monstertagonist?) that is created by an evil scientist. What really drew me in here is the characterization of the evil scientist. He’s so deliciously evil that I can’t wait to see his inevitable confrontation with his creation.
Lastly we have (for me at least) the main event. Kevin Maguire’s new character Tanga. She’s a purple alien girl who’s flying through space looking for someone to talk to. It’s a funny concept with a hint of sadness. She keeps a cheery demeanour but underneath it all she seems really lonely. It’s a great story and Tanga is a genuinely likable and compelling character. Maguire’s artwork is as expressive and pretty as you would expect, but what caught me off guard was the strength of his writing. This is a character I really want to see more of.
In fact, that’s the highest compliment I can give to all three of these stories: I want to see more of all of them. I will, for sure, be buying issue 2. — Owen Craig
I don’t think it’s a secret — but I’m getting really tired of superhero comics. I’m still picking up a few titles, but my interest is even waning in those books. However, my love of comics is as strong as every which is why you should expect to see me reviewing more different stuff from here on out.
So, this week, Who Is Jake Ellis? — pretty good start to this new era of Miles reviews.
The first issue of this series is heavy on action and light on exposition. The focus is on exciting action and beautiful European locals. Thankfully, Zonjic’s art sells both to the reader. He’s got a ton of panels in this book that just look cool. Besides some fantastic pacing and compositions — he picks the exact right moments to drop the background to focus on the character. He uses negative space really well throughout.
Edmondson’s story is lean, but there’s nothing wrong with that. At the end of the issue the reader hasn’t learned a whole lot about Jon (and even less about Jake) but I do feel compelled to keep reading. Nothing wrong with a book that just wants to be a good action series. — Miles Baker