26 October 2012

on bloodshot, bad medicine & more

I read a grand total of 2 Valiant comics in the 90's.  One was Rai & The Future Force #9, of which I did not understand a goddam word.  The other was Ninjak #1, which was kind of cool but didn't get me to pick up any later issues.  So I am not exactly what you'd call a Valiant fanboy.

Yet I've accumulated a virtual pile of comics that I either got for free or on 99 cent sales on Comixology, including the first issue of the new Bloodshot (Duane Swiercyznski/ Manuel Garcia), and durn if that wasn't a cracking first issue.  Duane and Garcia had a short but pretty good run on Black Widow a few years ago, but they've each stepped up their game on this series.  The plot's got lots of Duane's usual tics - nanites, memory implants, lots of explosions - but holds together really well, at least for the first issue.  Garcia's art has gotten bigger and bolder since Black Widow, as if he's become more comfortable and confident as an artist.  

Basically the idea is that Bloodshot is this black ops dude who is pulled away from his perfect family to go do black ops stuff, only there are all these little inconsistencies in the world around him versus what he's being told.  It turns into a big brain-bender at the end.  Kudos to Valiant and Comixology for making #1 available cheaply, because I'll be catching up on this one forthwith.  They made X-O Manowar #1 available for free, too, so that's another one I'll be checking out.

Likewise I dug the first issue of Oni Press' Bad Medicine (Nunzio Defillippis/ Christina Weir/ Christopher Mitten).  This one was totally free because it was Oni's FCBD offering.  It's about a police department trying to solve the mystery of a headless corpse, and calling in a really unconventional disgraced expert to aid in the investigation.  It reminds me a bit of Witch Doctor, which is a pretty good Image series where House M.D. meets the supernatural.  Bad Medicine seems, though, at least from the first issue, a little stronger than Witch Doctor.  Defillippis & Weir are way underrated as a writing team - I've never read a bad comic from them.

DC has been releasing Suicide Squad (John Ostrander/ various) on the digital store, one issue per week.  You'll recall they published a collection of the first eight issues last year, but aborted volume two as part of the "we were only kidding" solicitation policy.  I'm betting they'll stick with the digital releases, though, and so I've been double-dipping.  Frankly, it reads better in installments than collections, probably because that's how it was intended originally to be read.

Fury MAX (Garth Ennis/ Goran Parlov) continues to be the best Marvel book that no one talks about.  This is Ennis doing his war story thing - there are no other established Marvel characters (that I know of) in the book besides Fury.  Through the first six issues, he's been dropped into French Indochina and Cuba, both times with disastrous results, and it's just completely riveting to read.  These are the kinds of stories that Marvel can only tell under the MAX imprint, which makes me happy that they've kept it around.  #7's not out until December so you have some time to get caught up.

And yes, damn you people all to hell, but you got me reading G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (Larry Hama/ Augustyn Padilla).  I re-downloaded the #155.5 issue and then read #156.  Reading them together made me feel more charitable than the #155.5 issue did on its own.  It'll be a *long* time before I catch up because geez...  but I'll get there eventually.  I guess IDW is doing another relaunch of the Joe line, though details have been limited.  Dixon's on a Special Missions book which should be cool - might be something I tradewait, though.

Dear DC: I have enjoyed Scott Lobdell & Kenneth Rocafort on Red Hood & the Outlaws quite a bit, and would happily have followed them over to Superman.  That is, until I saw that their run will immediately become part of a multi-month long crossover with several other books I don't read.  You could not have discouraged me from trying out the title any more effectively if each issue featured Donna Troy humping Etrigan.  Sincerely, Guy Who Likes Superman.

BTW speaking of digital deals - if anyone hasn't picked up The Underwater Welder (Jeff Lemire), because I don't know, you're insane or something, it's only $9.99 on Comixology.  $9.99 for about 150 pages of Lemire-y goodness = deal that's hard to beat.

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