New Comic Book Day Roundup: September 11, 2013

In this post, from Dark Horse Comics: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys #4, IDW Publishing: Locke & Key: Alpha #1, Image Comics: The Walking Dead #114 and from Marvel Comics: Avengers Arena #15 and Kick-Ass 3 #3. Basically, all the comics came out.

Dark Horse Comics

True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys 4The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys #4 by Gerard Way, illustrated by Becky Cloonan, cover by Becky Cloonan
Genre: Fiction, androids, science fiction, post-apocalyptic
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The My Chemical Romance spin-off comic The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys continues to be a well-drawn, slightly confusing mess of a plot that I cannot stop reading. I don’t always 100% understand what’s happening (AKA why I’m supposed to care about the fate of Grant Morrison’s character when he’s mostly peripheral?) but I still keep reading anyway. Mostly because I don’t mind seeing a limited run to an end that I’m not totally in love with if I know it has an end point. Which is only two more issues away, during which things will hopefully be explained and the series will get a resolution. Again, hopefully.

In this issue, the love story between Porn Droids Red and Blue comes to an end as they seek to flee Battery City and die off the grid in the desert so they can go to android heaven. Which seems to be a place in the sky where android consciousness is beamed aboard a satellite to orbit around space for all eternity. Android God has a pretty sick sense of humor. Also he makes all androids wear capes in public? Meanwhile, the Girl has joined forces with the Ultra V’s in order to seek revenge for her murdered friends the Killjoys, who were trying to destroy the evil corporation Better Living Industries. If only the suspiciously like Gerard Way looking leader Val Velocity weren’t so chaotic good and didn’t spout lines like, “Haven’t you heard? Killing is the new cool?” Can I haz explanation please?

IDW Publishing

Locke & Key Alpha 1Locke & Key: Alpha #1 by Joe Hill, illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez, cover by Gabriel Rodriguez
Genre: Fiction, horror, action, humor
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

All good things must come to an end and so it is for Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s fabulous comic book series Locke & Key. Have you started it yet? You should. I don’t think we can be friends if you haven’t read it. In this penultimate issue, an all out battle is being waged by the forces of good against the forces of Dodge, which if you’re keeping track would also be the forces of evil. Dodge has completed his conquest of the Omega Key which if used can open a door (the Black Door to be precise) to the demon world and pretty much destroy all of humanity. Which isn’t very good for humanity.

This issue is entirely devoted to the battle against Dodge, who spends the majority of his time monologuing his backstory and his nefarious goals for the future, all of which are frighteningly illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez. Without getting into too much detail, I can tell you that Dodge got a tad adjusted to the human world and has plans for the domination and conquest of humanity, because isn’t domination always about world domination? Will the Locke family be able to save the world? Will Dodge bring his evil key-making plan to fruition? What tale will possibly be told in the final issue? Joe Hill, why can’t it go on forever? I don’t know, but I do know that the last two pages of this comic will rip the still-beating heart out of your chest and stomp on it. Repeatedly. Sorry.

Image Comics

Walking Dead 114The Walking Dead #114 by Robert Kirkman, illustrated by Charlie Adlard, cover by Charlie Adlard
Genre: Fiction, post-apocalyptic, zombies, horror
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

A battle is brewing under the surface in The Walking Dead which is going to come to a head starting next month with the “All Out War” arc. An arc that is so big that Robert Kirkman will be putting out two issues a month to tell the story. According to what I’ve read it’ll focus on a war between the good guys of the new world and one of the bad ones: everyone’s new favorite villain Negan and his men. Yes, Negan is so terrible he puts the Governor to shame. He doesn’t just wink, he also says “wink.” Basically he’s an eviler version of Lucille Bluth and he’s more charismatic for it. Although if he could fail to imitate a chicken while calling people out on their cowardice I would really appreciate it. Plzkthnx!

Things go back to the “too much talking dead” problem I have with the series during the latter half of the issue, but it’s okay because I know Kirkman is just preparing us for what’s to come. Unfortunately, nothing could get us ready for some of Charlie Adlard’s stylistic choices, which include turning Carl into a lanky emo-looking teenager overnight and placing a stupidly symbolic sun behind Rick’s face at a poignant part in the narrative. We get it, Carl is trying to hide his face with bangs and Rick is the savior of his people. There’s no need to beat people over the head with your metaphors, Charlie.

Marvel Comics

Avengers Arena 15Avengers Arena #15 by Dennis Hopeless, illustrated by Kev Walker, cover by Mike Deodato
Genre: Fiction, superheroes, violence, action
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

SPOILERS IF YOU ARE NOT CAUGHT UP IN THE SERIES SLASH AREN’T YET AWARE OF WHO THE “BOSS LEVEL” BOSS IS FROM LAST ISSUE!

This is one of the stronger issues in the Avengers Arena series and for once it has nothing to do with Arcade’s hilarious backstory or the attempts of the adults to fail at finding their missing students which they’re terrible at keeping track of. Instead, it has everything to do with Arcade turning X-23 against her friends which forces one of the kids on Murder World to turn into a giant hideous monsters who lays eggs in your soul. Fun! This arc isn’t called “Boss Level” for nothing after all.

The standout character this time around (because each issue gives due diligence and backstory to a character or two to more fully flesh them out) a la “Orange is the New Black” is the Atlantean sea-dweller Nara who up until this point in the series has been nothing but a salty, best-friend stealing hussy. A misplaced and narrow viewpoint which was completely rectified in a mere 32 pages, or rather less, when we learn about her life complete with a cameo from Namor. Nara, now everyone loves you, you’re not a bitch, you’re the best. Let’s be best friends forever. Ahem.

Kick Ass 3 #3Kick-Ass 3 #3 by Mark Millar, illustrated by John Romita, cover by John Romita
Genre: Fiction, superheroes, action, violence
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Kick-Ass just keeps getting better and better and in this issue everyone’s favorite superhero Hit-Girl makes her triumphant badass return, even if its illogical that she was sent to a maximum security prison and not a juvenile detention center considering she’s only 13. As expected, she is able to handle all the gangs within the her solitary confinement (she may have killed an inmate or two) because she’s fucking Hit-Girl. She’s managed to drive multiple doctors insane and even has a hookup to the outside, who supplies her in whiskey, cigarettes and Hello Kitty Cards because, “We all have our vices, bitch.”

Things aren’t going quite so swimmingly for Kick-Ass, who is forced to go on dates in uniform because he doesn’t know who he can trust, no one on his new team is anywhere near as competent as Mindy and his grand plan to recreate a scene in Batman: Year One has a possibility of going horribly awry. Meanwhile, Red Mist/the Motherfucker has been taken under the wing of his crazed Uncle Rocco who is seeking to distract his nephew from the treacheries of his own mother while trying to combine all the gangs on the East Coast. Basically, Kick-Ass isn’t even prepared for what’s to come. And I’m hoping what’s to come is glorious.

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