New Comic Book Day Roundup: October 3, 2012

In this post, from DC Comics: Before Watchmen: Rorschach #2, Image Comics: Hack/Slash #18, Vertigo: Fairest #8 and from Macmillan: A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel. It’s a nice hodgepodge this week. Also check out the digital only comic: Memorial: Imaginary Fiends #1, a 10 page short from IDW Publishing which due to length is not reviewed here but comes highly recommended nonetheless. End run on sentence.

DC Comics

Before Watchmen: Rorschach #2 by Brian Azzarello, illustrated by Lee Bermajo, cover by Lee Bermajo
Genre: Fiction, superheroes, action, prequel
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

While not uplifting (at all, expect blood and sadness and heartache) this Rorschach prequel does shed some light on the life outside of the mask for the most enigmatic member of the Watchmen. Or soon to be Watchmen. Writer Brian Azzarello is able to give Rorschach one of the more distinct and accurate voices in the Before Watchmen series, particularly through his journal. The only other voice this accurate is Dr. Manhattan and it’s definitely easier to suspend your disbelief when reading the comics that focus on these two fan favorites. Hell, it’s almost like you’re reading Alan Moore. Almost.

To parallel Rorschach’s distaste with the world, the artwork is gritty and realistic. There’s blood, dirt, sickness and death, with the world being depicted as a rotten place that is anything but uplifting.  You can literally see the world through the lens of Rorschach’s vision when illustrated by Lee Bermajo. Not that the subject material isn’t gritty in its own right, after all, he is spending his time rescuing prostitutes and trying to take down gang leaders named Rawhead. So if depression is your game, this is the comic for you. If not, there’s always Silk Spectre.

Image Comics

Hack/Slash #18 by James Lowder, illustrated by Matt Merhoff, cover by Matt Merhoff
Genre
: Fiction, serial-killers, horror, dark humor
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

In this brand new-one shot not written by regular series writer Tim Seeley, Cat Curio investigates the “Case of the Killer and the Questing King” and we get some hints at what the next arc in the series will be. Hint: it involves slashers, Cassie Hack in some scantily clad outfits and a whole lotta Vlad being a giant green bad-ass. And hopefully Cat continuing to rock the perpetually awesome Katniss braid. But what issue of Hack/Slash doesn’t involve these things (Katniss braid aside)? Seriously, real hint this time, it has something to do with the Monster Bait headquarters in South America from two arcs ago. But that’s all I’m saying!

This story is more of a lead in than anything, with heavy focus on Cat and Pooch of Cat & Dog Investigations and the appearance of Brendon Mannix Joyce, owner of the Mystery Solver’s Catalog. He and Cat work together to attempt to take down the Catalog Killer, who kills a catalog’s most valued customers based on subscriber lists. Craaaazy. Despite dealing very little with Cassie and Vlad, the series’ two main stars, it’s still a fun little offshoot full of twists, turns, mystery and intrigue. Everything you want in a one-shot plus a skinless dog from another dimension!

Vertigo

Fairest #8 by Lauren Beukes, illustrated by Inaki Miranda, cover by Adam Hughes
Genre: Fiction, fractured fairy-tale, fantasy, drama
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

After the first arc, I was confused about when Fairest would finally become about the female fables, and in this issue that question was answered with a resounding: NOW. With writing duties taken over by Lauren Beukes it seems like we will finally have the Fairest we’ve been waiting for. Don’t get me wrong the Briar Rose/Snow Queen arc was nice and all, but it was more about Ali Baba and less about the ladies. Same goes for the Beauty one shot that preceded this, which had a heavy Beast focus. Hopefully those problems are now behind us. ::crosses lady fingers::

This Rapunzel-centric issue takes the long-haired heroine to Japan to search for a possible portal to home and news of her missing children. And just to avoid any confusion, the arc is set pre-Fables, with Snow and Bigby as mere co-workers, Prince Charming as alive, and Jack being able to wreak havoc in Fabletown as his ridiculous self. There have to be some men in the series and I certainly don’t mind Jack or the inclusion of Rapunzel’s trusty hairdresser who has to trim her hair three times a day. In my personal head cannon he is also her sassy gay friend but that is neither here nor there. Regardless of his orientation, here’s hoping Fairest continues on the right track! There’s hope for this series yet.

Macmillan

A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel by Madeleine L’Engle, illustrated by Hope Larson, cover by Hope Larson
Genre
: Fiction, fantasy, retelling, time-travel
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s  fantasy time-traveling children’s novel is great for people like me who have not read A Wrinkle in Time since Middle School. I could have sworn it had more unicorns! It’s also a great read for Banned Books Week which started this Monday. If you too forgot that the kids traveled by tesseract, that Meg is called Megatron/Megaparsec and has a dog named Fortinbras of all things, this graphic novel is well worth a read. Just ignore the fact that the back of the hardcover contains praise from James Patterson and fall in love with Hope Larson’s adorable artwork instead.

The book itself, adapted by artist Larson tells the story of Charles, Meg and their friend Calvin as they travel about the galaxy to rescue their missing scientist father. Helped along by the three witches: Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, the trio rides on the back of a pegasus and planet hop, dealing with a consuming darkness known as the IT to rescue the world… WITH LOVE! A Wrinkle in Time: Friendship is Magic. Larson’s artwork carries L’Engle’s plot, with its gorgeous blue and white tones, fun calligraphic scribblings among the artwork and plenty of cute to keep you reading. JUST GET IT ALREADY!

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