- The Brave and the Bold #23, by Dan Jurgens & Norm Rapmund (DC)
- Ex Machina #42, by Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris & Jim Clark (DC/Wildstorm)
- Jack of Fables #34, by Bill Willingham Matthew Sturges, Russ Braun & José Marzán Jr. (DC/Vertigo)
- Far West #1, by Richard Moore (Antarctic)
- Gigantic #4 of 5, by Rich Remender & Eric Nguyen (Dark Horse)
- Invincible #62, by Robert Kirkman & Ryan Ottley (Image)
In a way, the best part of The Brave and the Bold is the wonky character team-ups, and matching second-stringer Booster Gold (time-traveling self-promoting superhero) with fifth-stringer Magog (irrelevant Justice Society member based on a villain from an alternate future) is about as wonky as they come. You’d think with Booster Gold creator Dan Jurgens doing the story and art that it would be a nice side-trip from the enjoyable Booster Gold series.
Unfortunately it’s not a Booster Gold story at all: Booster sees Rip Hunter apparently fighting Magog on his way back from another time period, and when Booster goes to see what Magog is up to in the present day, he finds that Magog’s reckless behavior puts innocent people at risk, and he’s disgusted at Magog’s viciousness. But this just tells us what we’ve suspected about Magog all along (although he’s a little nastier here than he is in JSA) and the fact that Booster is the hero who sees is it really just coincidence. There’s a little irony in that Booster used to have a cavalier approach to heroics himself, but he’s grown up now. Magog’s motivations are completely different from Booster’s, though, so the parallel doesn’t really work.
So the story’s thinner than I’d hoped; it would have worked better had it somehow been spun to be a Booster Gold story, not a Magog story. But, wonky team-ups are risky things, since it’s hard to throw two unrelated characters together and make the story work. Jurgens gave it a good try (and his art is as smooth and polished as ever), but I don’t think he pulled it off.
My comic shop found me a copy of the first issue of Richard Moore’s Far West to go with the second issue from a couple weeks back. I wasn’t too impressed with Moore’s recent series Fire and Brimstone, but I’ve enjoyed his series Boneyard for several years. (It’s one of the few series Debbi reads, too.)
Far West is somewhere in between: In a mythical Wild West, gunfighters, trains and saloons exist alongside dragons, ogres and spirits. Our heroes are Meg and Phil, a gunfighting half-elf woman and an anthropomorphic bear, who are also the best bounty hunters in the area. In Bad Mojo they’ve pursued their quarries into the Deadlands, where things are decidedly not what they seem.
Far West is predicated on Meg being a tough-as-nails smartass, with Phil playing her straight man as she drags him into situations that are more than he bargained for. It works pretty well, although Phil is definitely the second fiddle to his partner, especially here, in which Phil plays comic relief while Meg’s background is revealed and her personality is tested. The series doesn’t have the variety of character interaction of Boneyard, but it’s also not sheer fluff like Fire and Brimstone. I bet Far West could be a good ongoing series if developed as such, as Moore seems content to do the occasional short piece, like this two-issue series, and that’s fine.
And happily, I understand there will be more Boneyard soon.