In this post, from Aspen Comics: Idolized #3, Image Comics: Hack/Slash #19, and from Vertigo: Fables #122. Before Watchmen is on hiatus until November 14th, so you will have to wait to hear my ridiculous thoughts on Silk Spectre (the Watchmen crack-fic) until then.
Idolized #3 by David Schwartz, illustrated by Pasquale Qualano, David Curiel, cover by Micah Gunnell
Genre: Fiction, superheroes, action, satire
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
The reality superhero show continues and it looks like Joules will be disqualified from the competition because of her previous antics (i.e. underage drinking, fighting). Of course, business executives being business executives decide to parley this into a ratings boost because let’s be honest, this is more about entertainment than about finding a viable superhero. Just like real reality TV! Oxymoron? This issue is particularly enjoyable because it covers the best part of any reality television show: MAKEOVERS! The group gets new costumes, new identities, and a new look. It’s “America’s Next Top Model” but with superheroes and definitely no smizing.
There is one very large problem with this comic however and that’s Joule, who is not the most likeable narrator. You feel bad because of her tragic back story, but it’s tiring to hear her complain about it all the time. “Blah blah blah, I’m sad that my family is dead.” We get it, you’re lonely and depressed, it sucks to be you, but try to have a life outside of your circumstances, YOU HAVE SUPERPOWERS! This is the occasional problem with teenage girl protagonists. Although having to try and stop the events of September 11th in a simulation for the entertainment of the masses is a tad much for anyone.
Hack/Slash #19 by Steve Seeley, Michael Moreci, illustrated by Emilio Laiso, cover by Tim Seeley
Genre: Fiction, serial-killers, horror, dark humor
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The Hack/Slash team gives us another one-shot this week and another guest team of writers and artists, one of whom (Steve) is regular writer Tim Seeley’s brother. I really wish I understood comic book politics more- I don’t understand how and when guest writers are chosen, who decides to cancel a series, etc. etc. My assumption is that it’s similar to television shows where the network and the ratings (sales) have a say but I wouldn’t quote myself on that. Regardless of comic book publishing standards, this story is just in time for Halloween, and comes with all the horror movie conventions we know and love.
In this issue, Cassie and Vlad are hunting down a villain who just won’t die. And not just in a Monty Python way, because this slasher has the ability to regenerate, making tensions between Cassie and Vlad run high. So much so that they allow themselves to get arrested by a bumbling Sheriff and his open minded colleague just so they can get some rest. Of course this is when things really get started and the cops learn some horror movie rules to live by. Specifically: always listens to local legends and myths, there’s a 100% chance they’re the cause of all your ills. Some characters really need to watch more horror movies.
Fables #122 by Bill Willingham, illustrated by Gene Ha, Shawn McManus, cover by Joao Ruas
Genre: Fiction, fractured fairy-tale, fantasy, drama
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Once again I find myself nonplussed by Fables, which is sad because the last arc was so wonderful. Maybe the last arc was so good that this one couldn’t possibly hope to compare. It doesn’t help that the issue moves away from the main storyline (the aftermath of Snow and Bigby’s children embarking on their own journey) and instead focusing on A. Wolf, who is writing a history of Fables in the Mundy world and beyond. It’s even split into several volumes… Just like Fables. Hmmmm, me smells some self-referential work from Willingham here.
The story itself details the prophecy of the “Great Wolf” who is chasing a sorceress known as the Green Woman who in turn for not eating her, tells the wolf his fate. Specifically, that in three days he will be torn apart by a wolf as big and bad as himself. Please say we’re getting a Bigby cameo! This makes the presumed narrator (A. Wolf) sad, as his life goal was to kill his own father. How lofty of him. As exciting as the prophecy aspect of the narrative may seem to some, I worry that Fables is once more heading into a territory where I lose all interest in the series. It’s happened before, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened again. Although props to Willingham for referring to A. Wolf as a “dire wolf”. Get it? GET IT?