It literally took me an entire year
My friend interned at a publisher and got an advance uncorrected proof before it even came out.
Gave it to me.
…I still haven’t finished.
You lightweights. Tony Bennett at Knockabout was kind enough to send me an early copy a couple of months before it came out, and I managed to finish it by release day.
Read this week’s comics half asleep. Not sure that’s helpful. It probably took the edge off all three.
Walk Through Hell #4 - continues to enthrall, but it’s literally still all back story. There’s little forward momentum in the current day scenes, and that’s becoming exasperating.
Scarlet #1 - the first issue of the third volume does not display the bite or social awareness that the earlier issues did. It’s a little disappointing, as Bendis clearly still has that in him, but the visceral anger is not on display here. I think that the real world craziness of recent years has overtaken the fictional setting of this book, rendering it toothless and safe in comparison.
After an enjoyable start, Extermination #2 loses focus and gets bogged down in too many X-Men vying for screen time. The O5 become almost bystanders, and that’s unfortunate considering that this is supposed to be their big finale. The art and colour work is still superb though, and almost worth the price of admission.
I have a friend who borrowed it from the library and finished it before it was due back
City of Crime which ran thru Detective Comics. Batman is investigating the disappearance of pregnant teenager, during the investigation comes across a mysterious surreal cult made of sand?! that replicates people and then switches with them. Overall tone is unrelentlessly bleak. It’s rife with various disturbing imagery, (runaway pregnant teenager is found shot dead, along with her bf who killed them both), Batman fails to save some people from fire accident. Foreshadowing narrative makes it more unnerving. Psychological degradation and madness are one of the main themes. Probably the darkest, and the most depressing Batman comic I ever read.
Artwork by Ramon Bachs and Nathan Messengil is top notch, beautiful and detailed.
Is that a recommendation or a pan? It sounds too bleak for me.
Ahahahaha, I guess I was too carried away by emotional side. And Lapham’s inner monologues can be heavy-handed.
I’d give it 3 out of 5.
It’s solid detective, adventure mystery, with helluva grit. But, it all comes to personal tastes.
I didn’t like it. It was relentlessly depressing.
This is what I was afraid of with Scarlet. I feel like it’s a book that should be handled by a younger voice. I also feel completely disconnected from its narrative at this point, especially after the last time it came back.
I think it was a weird choice, given that we haven’t seen Powers in quite some time. That one I keep picking up, because I keep hoping he’ll get to the end he originally planned.
Same. I’m gonna pass.
Action Comics #1002 - whilst I do still prefer Superman, this book is “classic Bendis”. It’s very much a street level look at Metropolis’ organised crime, makes fantastic use of the supporting cast (both new and established), and where the superheroics are almost incidental to the story being told. Very good, but ironic given the title of the book. After two issues it reminds me very much of Bendis’ Daredevil run. Definitely worth a look, folks.
It should also be pointed out that Gleason’s artwork was awesome this issue. Really disappointed that he won’t continue on this book.
Justice League Dark #1 & 2 - everything Chris and Robert said about this book upthread is spot on. This is a very dense book. The first two issues took me 30-35 minutes to read uninterrupted. There’s a lot of story here. The character dynamics are interesting too; very meta in the way the magical crowd are trying to shun Wonder Woman, in much the same way most of us are thinking her presence here seems incongruous. But, it actually works very well, with her role almost being the reader’s.
The tone of the book is very old school Vertigo. Yet, not quite as portentous or nonsensical. It’s a fine line, that it balances well. Mostly on the back of a really well polished creative team. Tynion and Martinez were amazing on Detective Comics and they carry that energy across to this title too. It’s got the makings of another fantastic run here, if they can avoid being hijacked by wider DCU events. Fingers crossed!
The Terminator: Sector War #1
I’m a huge fan of the Terminator movies, but I’ve not actually read that many of the comics. I’ve checked out a handful of the miniseries that have come out over the years, though, and they often seem to fall into one of two camps - they’re either so reverent of the movies that they don’t end up having much of their own to say, or they’re such a departure that they just don’t feel like true Terminator stories.
While that can lead to some fun books (Alex Ross and Ron Fortier’s Burning Earth was a pretty decent future-war mini, and Frank Miller and Walt Simonson’s Robocop vs Terminator was gloriously nuts), they often don’t quite feel ‘of a piece’ with the movies. Brian Wood and Jeff Stokely’s Sector War is probably the closest I’ve ever seen a comic come, effectively emulating the tone and concept of the first Terminator movie but shifting the setting to New York, and telling a story that runs parallel to the classic first film.
This first issue immediately establishes mood - and a slightly nostalgic flavour - by reproducing exactly the same introductory text as the 1984 movie (“The machines rose from the ashes of the nuclear fire…”), across a backdrop of HKs patrolling the sky during the future war, which quickly dissolves into the 1980s New York setting. Here, we meet Lucy Castro, a cop who we soon learn is the target of a second Terminator who arrives in New York at the same time as the one chasing Sarah Connor turns up in Los Angeles - and from there, the action plays out pretty much as you’d expect for a Terminator story.
So, you get the T-800 asking an innocent bystander for his clothes; you get a swift introduction to the hero and her friends and colleagues, immediately before her life starts getting torn to shreds; you get scenes of disbelieving observers seeing a Terminator stand up to a barrage of gunfire and keep on ticking; and you get hints of why Castro might be a significant target for Skynet, which crystallise into an interesting twist by the end of the issue that again takes an idea and situation from the original Terminator movie and remixes it slightly. There’s even a news report on the TV at one point that shows the events in Los Angeles playing out concurrently with this story.
That makes the comic sound a bit unimaginative, but the truth is that there’s as much enjoyment in seeing how this story is told as there is in the story itself. As with the best Terminator movies, the plot itself is fairly simple - effectively an extended chase - and is conveyed in a slick no-flab manner, with the pared-down writing letting the book be more driven by the art than the dialogue or captions.
As that page shows, Stokely has a fairly dynamic, manga-influenced style that is very clear and easy to follow (but which also allows for more detail and texture when the action slows down). Little touches like the Terminator reading Castro’s badge are dealt with smoothly and unobtrusively, and - like the movies - there’s a decent sense of forward momentum throughout the whole story.
Colourist Triona Farrell plays her part too - especially during some of the quieter moments that establish mood, like this page that captures a bit of New York flavour as well as conveying that sense of grimy grittiness that infused the first Terminator film.
So this is a solid first issue that feels like it skews close to the movies without being an absolute retread, introduces a compelling lead character and a mystery or two, and leaves all the setup complete so that the next three issues can hit the ground running.
Yes, there are a few nitpicks - a T-800 ‘Model 101’ should look just like Arnie, but the art doesn’t exactly capture his look, making it a bit unclear as to whether he’s meant to be the same type of Terminator or a different one; he’s a bit too chatty and merciful to feel like the same kind of Terminator we know from the movies; and the lack of any Kyle Reese-type character makes it a bit unclear as to how (or whether) the future Resistance are going to be involved in the story - but the first two of these are probably just a concession to the practical realities of comics, and the third is maybe just an element of the story that’s yet to be revealed.
Anyway, this is better than I expected, and I’m glad this week was quiet enough that I was encouraged to check it out. I’ll likely pick up the remaining few issues.
Good review Dave, I felt the same way about this book - it was very effective in capturing the feel of the original film, which can’t be easy to do.
Wood managed this in his recent Alien Defiance series as well, he seems to have a real knack for it.
It was your mention of it upthread that turned me on to it, so thanks for the pointer.
@DaveWallace - did you read the original Dark Horse cycle of books (4 mini- series: The Terminator; Secondary Objectives; Enemy Within; and, Endgame)? John Arcudi, James Robinson, and Ian Edginton wrote them, with art by the likes of Paul Gulacy and Jackson Guice. That was a really great run. I think they are all reprinted in the first Omnibus vol (although annoyingly, the final mini appears to be in vol 2, with some not so very good mini’s).
@ChrisS I think Wood has also written a Robocop mini at Boom as well recently. Definitely one to watch out for to complete the set.
I never read those Terminator comics - the ones I have read have just been odd bits and pieces that have caught my eye due to the creators involved, I’ve never followed them properly. I might keep an eye out for that omnibus in the next Comixology sale, thanks.
I think it’s still 50% off on ComiXology at the mo’.
Nice one, in that case glad you enjoyed it and also glad you felt the same way after reading it!
I actually found one of the originals (think it was secondary objectives) the other day when I was looking thru some old, very well read and tatty comics from the late 80s early 90s - I’ve put them aside as I felt very nostalgic when o dig them out. I remember being so excited going to the comic shop in those days.
I’m going to keep an eye out for the Wood robocop in the comixology sales, appreciate the heads up!