Welcome back to this Black Ship of ours. As always I thank you in advance for reading the ramblings of a comic-book mad man; me! Since last I wrote, we celebrated the infamous FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! I, as always, went to multiple shops and got free comics, but with the class that my mama gave me I also purchased a bunch. By the end of the day I had quite a haul and I wanted to highlight some of the titles I grabbed.
It’s been some time since I bought a Marvel or DC comic, but Punisher is one of my top characters. So when I saw the first issue for the new run I had to get my hands on it. I was sadly disappointed. This issue is a prime example of what is wrong with both DC and Marvel. They have an overabundance of action panels and a lot of testosterone oozing through the writing, often neglecting character development. I want the internal monologue that made me love the character known as the Punisher, not just the would-be action scenes of a movie.
This issue is a miss but I give new series three issues before dropping them, so they’ll have two more to woo me.
This Punisher title was $3.99 and it was written by Becky Cloonan, and drawn/inked by Steve Dillon.
Love and Rocket:
I got a free comic of Love and Rocket, a classic series which can be summed up as a chicana-punk soap opera. As a chicano who loves punk I’ve copped a few of the graphic novels, but it was great to get a few new stories from this series that I hadn’t read. Like I said, this title works for me because I relate to a lot of the themes and ideas expressed in the writing. I think it’s safe to say that every comic lover should read at least one story from Love and Rocket, just to be exposed to comics as literature instead of just the superhero genre. This title comes from Frantagraphics Books which has a whole lot of titles worth reading that aren’t based on capes.
Love and Rocket is written and drawn by Jamie Hernandez.
Young Terrorist and We Can Never Go Home:
I had been thinking about picking up Young Terrorist for a little while now, and this free isuse had both Young Terrorist and We Can Never Go Home (which I had never heard of). I am now glad that I never purchased an issue of Young Terrorist. Both titles presented in this free comic fall short for a lot of the same reasons publisher Black Mask Studios has been missing the mark: there aren’t any real characters. The ones presented are bland and boring, and the writing gives you nothing but scenes or premises that seem cool yet have no cohesive story behind them.
To be fair I need to mention that the art in both titles is great. That’s what usually attracts me to Black Mask comics. The art is always gritty. Usually I feel that comics have too clean a look, so I appreciate that a lot.
Young Terrorist was written by Matt Pizzolo, and drawn/inked by Amancay Nahuelpan.
We Can Never Go Home was written by Mathew Rosenberg & Patrick Kindlon, and drawn/inked by Josh Hood.
Superman/Batman: Dawn of Justice Special Edition
This was a free comic and it was great. (Of course, that’s a bit of a given considering it was written by Jeph Loeb.) It is full of internal monologue for both Batman and Superman, and some of it has to do with their views of each other. I don’t know why they named it “Dawn of Justice Special Edition” as it had nothing to do with that movie, but it literally was the beginning portion of Superman/Batman: Public Enemies animated DC flick. Despite being familiar with most animated features from DC, I hadn’t heard of this one. Once I read this comic I went to check it out, well worth a watch.
Superman/Batman: Dawn of Justice Special Edition was written by Jeph Loeb, drawn by Ed McGuinness, and inked by Dexter Vines.
I got another free comic from a publishing company that I never heard of, Stranger Comics. This title wasn’t horrible, but it also wasn’t good. The writing seems a little forced. It didn’t flow, and the main character seems like the same “mad at the world but pressured to save it” archetype. Nonetheless for all its fault I wouldn’t mind seeing how this story progresses. If they are able to make the character likable in the next issues to come they might have a comic worth reading.
Erathune was written by Sebastian A. Jones & Darrel May, and drawn/inked by Sheldon Mitchell.
I Hate Fairyland:
I had heard about this book, and I happened to see it in graphic novel format so I got me a copy. Holy shit did I need it. The art is great. Making fun of the clean art I spoke of earlier. For any Tank Girl fans, this might be for you. I love the premise — young girl becomes a women in a Fairyland because she is no good at questing. She becomes bitter and begins to kill and be ruthless rulers of Fairyland, who most certainly weren’t ready for her. Chaos ensues. It’s great fun. Not a lot of character development, but the splashes provided are more than enough for you to love and root for the character. It is funny and fast-paced, leaving you wanting more. This is an Image title well worth the money!
I Hate Fairyland Vol 1 was $9.99 and put together by Skottie Young.
Lastly, I got all the Valiant titles that I was missing from Rai and Divinity, but they don’t pay me enough to continually mention them. I’ll say this, if you’re not reading the current Valiant titles you’re missing out. They are are publishing some of the best comics right now.
Any titles worth reading let me know. Until then, all hands on deck and let’s keep this Black Ship of ours sailing.