Monday, November 09, 2015

Bunch of Comics

I thought I'd get a batch of reviews up before this week's comics come out.

Codename: Baboushka 1
I like this! Image keeps publishing intriguing comics. Baboushka, (story by Antony Johnston and art Shari Chankhamma), is a former Russian operative trying to live a quiet life, but she and a friend/colleague Gyorgy, are coerced into doing covert missions for the US government. There's a Modesty Blaise vibe, but Baboushka is definitely her own woman Added to my Pull List.

(rant)I did have issues with the essay in the back, by Maya Rodale, about female espionage heroes. Mainly, that she seemed to ignore characters such as April Dancer, Honey West, Modesty Blaise, and La Femme Nikita, some of the main female heroes in any media. Also, she made an error in discussing the "Mary Sue" trope. Mary Sue  has its origin in Star Trek fanfic, in a parody story by Paula Smith, someone I actually know. Rodale says Mary Sues are "perfectly sweet and pleasant lady characters whose primary function is to blush innocently." That is wrong. Mary Sue, aka Mary Sue Wonderful (and there are male versions, often called Marty Stu), is perfect. She's the one who can fix the Enterprise with a bobby pin and not muss her hair or break a nail. She knows everything. She gets to sleep with the hero. She's the writer's wish fulfillment. She has no flaws. Rodale is right when she says Baboushka is no Mary Sue, but she makes the point for the wrong reasons. "Mary Sue" might have a different meaning these days -- I don't keep up on such things -- but I do know the origin and Rodale missed it completely. (end of rant)

Strange Fruit 2
I don't know where this mini series is going, but it's wonderful. Set in a south suffering from racism, the story involves a levee in danger of flooding a town and the need of whites to rely on black labor, something most of the white citizenry is loath to do. And into this volatile situation comes a giant black man who, so far, is spending a lot of time devouring books from the library, including science texts. He's seen as a hero by the downtrodden minority population, for his strength and indifference to white bigotry. But who he is and what he's after remains a mystery. Good stuff from Mark Waid and J.G. Jones.

Astro City 28
A one-off that focuses on a little boy who was bitten by a rare spider, who was shrunk after being given a cure, and left with spider powers. His mother, a scientist, finally found a way to restore him to normal size and he became a superhero and part of Honor Guard. But when his childhood cartoon heroes seemingly come to life, he decides to join them. Unfortunately, they have reasons to be less than happy about that. Fun fun fun, the way comics once were, all the time.

Barb Wire 5
Barb is given no choice but to accept a gig for the government if she wants to avoid jail. I can't say I love this comic, but I'm enjoying it too much to stop reading.  Mainly, I really like Barb.

Lazarus 20
Forever returns to action and the Carlyle family deals with the usual intrigue. This issue feels like a bridge to future issues. It's good, as always, but not a lot happens.

Velvet 12
We're in the final chapter of the first story, apparently, and things look to get more complicated before they get resolved, if anything in this book ever gets resolved. Hopefully, Velvet will at least be able to clear her name. In this issue, she is busy setting up her next moves and not everything goes according to plan. Well, of course, they don't.

Titans Hunt 1
I really debated with myself about getting this, but the chance to see some of the old characters was too hard to resist. I'm not sure what's going on, other than something seems amiss in the existing DCU, but it's great seeing Lilith and Gnarrk. Roy and Dick are in character for their New 52 versions, and I'm intrigued enough to keep reading.

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