Saturday, December 28, 2013

Almost Caught Up

I'm almost caught up with the comics I'm reading in monthlies. I've still got old Painkiller Jane issues and the just started new story arc to get through, plus The Lone Ranger and Fatale and maybe a couple of others. But after that come all the graphic novels and limited run comics compilations to get through. But it feels good to be able to read most of the monthly issues as they come out and not have to let too many wait for me to catch up with them. And it's wonderful to have so many female-dominated, well written titles on my pull list. More on that in another post.

Here's the latest batch of reviews.

Honey West and T.H.E. Cat. 1
I was a big fan of the Honey West TV show in the '60s, but I didn't watch THE Cat. I read the recent Honey West comic and liked it, so I tried this. Trina Robbins does a nice job with Honey, and Silvestre Szilagyi's art is decent and suitable for the era. The story is mostly setup, with Honey hired by a mystery man to investigate unusual accidents at a Vegas hotel/casino. The cliffhanger at this chapter's conclusion promises plenty of action next issue. My only real complaint is the same one I had with the earlier comic. Moonstone keeps cutting things too close on the edges, especially the covers. Even some of the interior pages feel like art at the edges of the paper got cut off. The paper is slick, though, which is nice. Honey West was a female PI when such characters were rarely seen on TV (Emma Peel on The Avengers and April Dancer on The Girl from UNCLE were notable exceptions), and she had her origin in a series of books I'm going to need to track down -- back in the '60s, I didn't know about them, unfortunately. It's so nice to see her getting renewed attention.

Noir 1-2
This is a team-up book from Dynamite with two less than upstanding costumed female characters in the World War II era: Miss Fury and The Black Sparrow. The Shadow appears in the first issue. Miss Sparrow seeks the Shadow's help in finding the gem she stole, which was then stolen from her, but he'll help only so far. However, Miss Fury has her own reasons for wanting to find the gem, called the Moon Stone, which links to the Knights of the Templar and, presumably, treasure. There's not a lot of trust between the two allies, and their banter, bickering, and overall naughtiness makes for an entertaining romp.

Velvet 1-2
The first issue sold out almost immediately, to my regret, since I'd neglected to add it to my pull list in advance of publication. Thankfully, Image reissued it fairly promptly, at the same time as issue 2 came out, and it was well worth the wait. Velvet Templeton is by all appearances, a secretary for a top secret spy organization in the UK in 1973. But in reality, she's a highly trained, highly skilled, retired operative. In the first issue, Jeff Keller, a top agent is ambushed and while reviewing his case files for her superior, Velvet comes across a discrepancy in his most recent expense report: a missing day. When Keller's murderer is identified as a retired operative Velvet knew well, she's convinced he's being framed. She goes to the one place she thinks he'd be hiding out, only to find him dead and her under suspicion of killing him. She does what any respectable one-time agent would do: She makes a dramatic escape. Now she's hiding from the authorities and her superiors and also on the hunt, to find the real killer. With Ed Brubaker writing, with lovely, realistic art by Steve Epting that suits the time period, Velvet quickly became one of my must-read -first comics.

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