New Comic Book Day Roundup: August 14, 2013

In this post, from Dark Horse Comics: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys #3, DC Comics: Batgirl #23, Image Comics: Saga #13 and The Walking Dead #113 and from Marvel Comics: Avengers Arena #13. Looks like the week’s lucky number is 3.

Dark Horse Comics

True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys #3The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys #3 by Gerard Way, illustrated by Becky Cloonan, cover by Becky Cloonan
Genre: Fiction, androids, science fiction, post-apocalyptic
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I still don’t quite know what to make of former My Chemical Romance front man Gerard Way’s concept album sequel The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. On the one hand I understand the basic concept, a group of rebels known as the Killjoys tried to take down a devious corporation known as Better Living Industries after some sort of apocalypse (which involves heavy radiation from the sun) and failed. Now some teens who think what they did was cool have risen to take their place and the Killjoys mascot, the Girl may be the key to bringing down BL/ind according to pirate radio DJ Dr. Death Defying. What I don’t get is pretty much everything else besides that Becky Cloonan’s artwork makes me want to hug her.

So basically, while Way’s story is pretty easy to follow, his world-building isn’t quite so straight forward. Better Living Industries have taken over a city and its inhabitants and for some reason it hires people to go after Porn Androids (who are part of a clever caste system organized by color) because things? It also employs workers who are part of an organization called S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W to take care of these androids and also kidnap little girls and if they’re bad they become Draculoids which involves wearing a crazy mask. How this all ties in together I have no idea, but I still want to learn. Slash understand this nonsense.

DC Comics

Batgirl #23Batgirl #23 by Gail Simone, illustrated by Fernando Pasarin, cover by Alex Garner
Genre: Fiction, superheroes, action, violence
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I’m not a huge fan of DC (since I’m a Marvel girl through and through) and as a result have read very few DC specific comics, with the exception of the fabulous Red Son (the only Superman anything I enjoyed), The Killing Joke, Arkham Asylum and Batman: Noel. But starting now I’m going to change that because it’s time I began Gail Simone’s New 52 run of Batgirl. Not only because I was drawn in by the gorgeous cover and intriguing plot but because I’ve always had a soft spot for Barbara Gordon, probably because of my preference for super heroic redheads. Which would certainly explain my love of Jean Grey.

In this issue, Commissioner Gordon is dealing with the loss of his son at the hands of Batgirl, who unbeknownst to him is his own daughter. Dysfunction junction, what’s your function? Unfortunately the comic didn’t deal with this as much as I wanted it to, but perhaps Simone is saving that for later in the arc. Instead, Barbara spends her time dealing with her own guilt and trying to make up for it by saving her beau, former thug Ricky whose own brother has been taken hostage. As well as dealing with her resulting rage which manifests itself when she and a friend are sexually harassed while shopping. Props to Simone for Barbara’s inner monologue which wonders at how the female species unfairly became used to dealing with such behavior. Can’t wait to get my footing in this series!

Image Comics

Saga #13Saga #13 by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples, cover by Fiona Staples
Genre: Fiction, action, romance, science-fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The saga of Saga continues, also known as Brian K. Vaughan’s amazing science fiction series about star crossed lovers from warring parts of the universe, Alana, Marko and their seemingly impossible daughter. In this issue, Vaughan continues to combine science fiction with modern themes in the most fascinating ways. Watch in curiosity as the story of a winged and horned baby is sold to some web-footed aliens, witness a freelance murderer be stuck on hold to fix his broken down spaceship and watch a drunken one-eyed author stumble across a minefield of sentient skulls worried that his publisher is going to take his advance away. It could only come from the crazy mind of the man who gave the world, Y: The Last Man.

All punctuated by Fiona Staples on point artwork, the story continues to the fog-covered planet of Quietus, where Alana takes Marko to meet D. Oswald Heist, the man who wrote their favorite book A Night Time Smoke. Widely hated by most as a terrible schlocky romance novel, some think the book is a super veiled metaphor about the current war between Landfall and Wreath. Unfortunately for our dissenters, “No one makes worse first impressions than writers” and it’s not exactly love at first sight. Even worse, they’re still being hunted by Prince Robot IV but thankfully less so by the Will, who is being pushed on his mission by Marko’s ex-girlfriend and a ghostly visitor from beyond the grave. Saga, it’s unfairly good.

Walking Dead #113The Walking Dead #113 by Robert Kirkman, illustrated by Charlie Adlard, cover by Charlie Adlard
Genre: Fiction, post-apocalyptic, zombies, horror
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Yet again dastardly villain Negan continues to raise the bar for Rick and company, proving that yes, he is in fact two steps ahead of everyone else. Sorry Ricktatorship, your days may be numbered. So much so that even impervious to death Andrea gets into some hot water while trying to snipe Negan from a hidden location. For those of you who have only seen the show, no worries, this Andrea is pretty awesome and doesn’t just bone horrible men and fail the female species episode after episode. In fact, she’s pretty bad ass. Which really helps in this issue, which begins with a lot of action and ends with a lot of action. Shit is getting real now.

Carl continues to be a crazy shithead, trying to do the right thing while ruining everything for everyone involved. I suppose this is what happens when you give kids and their raging hormones weapons. Which I suppose is the same argument/joke for why women shouldn’t hold office or positions of importance but hey, Carl’s brain isn’t fully developed yet! Things go from bad to worse for the group when Carl blows a hole in Negan’s barbed wire wrapped bat Lucille, the only woman he’s ever loved. It also gives the reader a great rant into why the poem “Humpty Dumpty” makes absolutely no sense. Good point Negan, how would the horses be expected to put an egg back together?

Marvel Comics

Avengers Arena #13Avengers Arena #13 by Dennis Hopeless, illustrated by Kev Walker, cover by Kaiman Andrasofszky
Genre: Fiction, superheroes, violence, action
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

After seeing the cover for the new Avengers Arena, I cried for the days when Runaways was good (AKA back when Brian K. Vaughan ran things and even after Joss Whedon took over for an arc). Yes, I am still angry at Terry Moore for ruining this series and I haven’t read it since. And it seems evil villain Arcade has something to worry about as well, as the teenagers he stole to battle to the death in his arena have people looking for them. Which would never happen in the good old days back when you stopped breastfeeding before the age of four. I imagine someone complaining about the current generation.

Good thing for him the only one who suspects anything is the adorable member of the Runaways Molly who doesn’t believe the letter Nico and Chase allegedly left behind. Bless her. Promising to protect her and her friends, Hank Pym (Giant-Man) starts to look into things and snooping around into the other disappearances at Avengers Academy and beyond. Because the mark of a good school is not keeping track of students, even when a bunch of them simultaneously disappear for three weeks with no one batting an eyelash. I’d say these kind of shenanigans would never happen at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning or Wolverine would go all snikty-snitkty-snoiche on their asses but it totally did. Hilarious and witty, some of the best Avengers Arena issues seem to be when we leave Murder World, and this one is no different.

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