Icon / Marvel Comics
(a) Steve McNiven
FC 32 pgs w/ ads $2.99 US / Higher in Canada
The tag line on the cover of the comic proclaims that Mark Millar’s latest “Makes Kick-Ass Look Like Shit”. It’s the kind of statement that Garth Ennis made when he started up The Boys. He was going to out Preacher Preacher. Millar likes to hype up his work. It’s good for business. But does this latest venture actual surpass Kick-Ass? Or Millar’s previous work.
Continue reading Nemesis #1
Icon / Marvel Comics
Brian Michael Bendis
(a) Michael Avon Oeming
FC 41 pgs $3.95 US / Higher in Canada
So far this new arc in Bendis and Oeming’s Powers has been just okay. Walker and his new partner are trying to solve a murder. They’ve arrested the daughter of an old school super-hero. And the daughter’s mother isn’t happy about it.
I don’t if it’s because both Bendis and Oeming are busy with other projects but Powers just hasn’t had the same intensity it once had. At one point this comic was one of my favorites and now, well, it’s not terrible by any means, but it has lost some of its zip. I don’t think it’s the change in partners either. Sure Pilgrim was extremely entertaining but Enki Sunrise hasn’t had much of chance to build up her character or form any sort of dynamic with Walker other than they’re partners. But the last arc with Pilgrim was where the series started to lose its punch.
I keep hoping Bendis and Oeming will kick things up. They are trying – this issue was 41 pages of super violent car chasing but there still feels like something is missing. Maybe it is Pilgrim. Still it’s better than most of the other comics being put out there right now. (Shane Hnetka)
Criminal: The Sinners #1 (of 5)
Marvel Comics / Icon
(a) Sean Phillips
FC, 36 pgs w/ ads $3.50 US / Higher in Canada
The greatest modern crime comic returns. Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips put their Eisner award-winning comic on hold to produce Incognito, their pulpish five-issue miniseries about a super-villain living in a witness protection program. As a fan of Criminal, I was eagerly awaiting the series’ return, and the return of Tracy, the character reported to be headlining the new story arc.
Criminal: The Sinners #1 picks up Tracy’s story one year after his first appearance in Criminal (which, by the way, is collected in the trade paperback Lawless.) He is still working for Hyde as a contract killer, though Tracy is proving to be a pain in the nuts for his boss. Tracy wants to make sure his contracts deserve killing, but his employer simply wants and needs dead bodies. Hyde’s patience is wearing thin but he is willing to forget past transgressions if Tracy finds out who is behind a series of high-profile murders. There have been no witnesses, no clues, and no one in the criminal world knows who ordered the hits. “I’m not an investigator,” says Tracy. “Then it’ll be a challenge, won’t it?” snaps Hyde.
This setup and the way it is unrolled is a great re-entry into the world of Criminal, but what truly makes The Sinners #1 an excellent read is the way Brubaker handles Tracy as a flawed, complex character, and the way artist Sean Phillips and colorist Val Staples create a tangible time and place for the story to unfold. Great crime stories have a hard edge to them, which includes the settings. Brubaker creates the characters and Phillips and Staples create the places. The combination is hard-hitting crime stories as vivid and rewarding as anything penned by the greats in crime fiction. (Chad Boudreau)