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This Week’s Haul

  • The Brave and the Bold #14, by Mark Waid & Scott Kolins (DC)
  • Ex Machina #37, by Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris & Jim Clark (DC/Wildstorm)
  • Tangent: Superman’s Reign #4 of 12, by Dan Jurgens, Jamal Ingle & Robin Riggs, and Ron Marz, Fernando Pasarin & Matt Banning (DC)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy #2, by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Paul Pelletier & Rick Magyar (Marvel)
  • RASL #2, by Jeff Smith (Cartoon Books)
  • Sparks #1 of 6, by Chris Folino & J.M. Ringuet (Catastrophic)
  • Dynamo 5: Moments of Truth vol 2 TPB, by Jay Faerber & Mahmud A. Asrar (Image)
Guardians of the Galaxy #2 Several clever things in Guardians of the Galaxy #2: First, a nice bit of redirection regarding what Captain America’s shield is doing in an ice meteor in the middle of space. Second, a nifty explanation of why the team is going to be named “Guardians of the Galaxy”, even though the term was originally applied to a team in the future. Ending up with a face-off with the guys I presume will be the main heavies in the title, at least to start with. Pretty good stuff, and not too heavy-handed. This title is looking better than I’d thought a month ago
RASL #2 If RASL #1 was disappointing for being nothing but set-up, issue #2 is a huge step forward in advancing the story and explaining what’s going on. We find out what RASL is (although not what it means), what the main character is doing (he’s moving between dimensions), and get some hints of both his backstory and who’s chasing him. So it’s got me hooked and I’m looking forward to where Smith takes all this. Bone was uneven at times, but ultimately it was a lot of fun even if it dragged in places. RASL is shaping up to be a completely different sort of story, and it’s exciting to see an artist as talented as Smith following up on his magnum opus with something that looks equally promising (quite different in that regard from Dave Sim’s Glamourpuss).
Sparks #1 Sparks is the first book from Catastrophic Comics, which seems like a “tempting fate” name for a company, but it’s also founded by William Katt, who played the title role in the old TV show The Greatest American Hero. Although it seems like Catastrophic’s publicity has mainly revolved around Katt’s name, he’s neither the writer nor the artist (nor, for that matter, the editor), although he is credited as the creator of the series, along with writer Chris Folino.. But it’s not clear what his involvement is beyond that. Still, small matter.

The story concerns the titular character, who grows up believing his calling is to be a superhero, but who has no superpowers. The issue also opens with Sparks showing up at a police station where he says, “I want to report my murder”, though it’s not clear whether he’s actually dead, or just very badly beaten. The rest of the issue is in flashback, where Sparks embarks on his heroing career, finding true love with a superheroine. And then things turn bad.

I’m not quite sure what prompted me to order this book, although I might have just been intrigued by the notion of a dead hero trying to find his own killer. The first issue is okay, though it’s entirely the set-up for the rest of the mini-series. f J.M. Ringuet’s art style is not my thing, I’m afraid; it’s dark and muddy and angular, just not polished or detailed enough for my tastes. So I think any chance this series has to be really good will rest on the story being surprising and fresh. We’ll see.