Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Comic Quickies or Flights of Fantasy

The Cape One-shot: Joe Hill, yeah that Joe Hill, son of Stephen King, popular horror novelist, and writer of the successful comic series Locke & Key.  The guy seems to be popping up on my radar a lot lately, sadly, even though the guy is seemingly everywhere, The Cape is my first taste of Joe Hill. 

As a kid, Eric loved to play superheroes with his brother.  Eric was The Red Bolt, and Nicky was the Streak.  One day while playing in the yard, Eric fell from a tree, impaling his arm on a broken branch and fracturing his skull.  The result is a lifetime of splitting headaches and little motivation.  Luckily, Eric has a good woman in his life, his girlfriend Angie, but Eric doesn't seem cut out for a normal life, causing lots of friction with his far more motivated girlfriend.  After hitting rock bottom Eric discovers that he has a unique special ability.  But will this new power help Eric patch things up with his lady, and finally discover his full potential?

The only thing bad about this comic is that it is a one-shot.  I would love to read more, and see what the hell happens next.  There was a tease about The Cape returning in 2011, so it looks like I'll get my wish.  definitely a great, self-contained comic, with plenty of ground for further exploration.

Kill Shakespeare #8: Just when I was getting back into this comic, the creative team delivers another dud.  Aside from developing the love story and introducing a character that is long overdue for an appearance, nothing really happens.

With the aid of Iago and Falstaff, Hamlet sets off in search of that elusive bastard wizard Will Shakespeare.  In the mean time, Lady MacBeth is rallying her troops and setting things in place so that she'll profit best from the coming war between Juliette's band of rebels and King Richard's soldiers. 

I've generally been a fan of the art work throughout this series, but this issue felt a bit weak to me.  The pages of Kill Shakespeare are packed solid with panels full of art and lots of detail, but I've started to notice that facial expressions are not a strong suit of the artist, Andy Belanger.  Sometimes he'll dedicate a panel to just a character's face, but the expression on the face will not even come close to matching what is going on in the word bubbles.  This causes a disconnect that brings me out of the flow of events, and is pretty frustrating.  After this issue I'm unsure I want to carry on with this rollercoaster of a series.  Maybe adding Shakespeare to the mix will help...too bad he is probably at least two issues away from making his debut.

Dracula The Company of Monsters #4: Kill Shakespeare should take note as DTCOM cranks out another issue where the plot moves forward in leaps and bounds.

 In this issue we finally get an idea of what Conrad, the president of the evil corporation that resurrected Dracula, has in mind for his company's newest asset.  Let's just say, it ain't pretty.  In the meantime, Marta Stefanescu, and her vampire hunting family are mourning the recent loss of her father when they realize what Barrington Industries was up to in the mountains of Romania.  As Conrad seeks to fulfill a dangerous pact with Dracula, Marta and her crew hit American soil in search of Dracula and his accomplices.

I wanna point out how extremely cheesy the covers for this comic are, and I also want to add that they do a really shitty job of representing what lies between the covers.  This comic is by no means the cheesy piece of shit the covers suggest.  The story is compelling, and I enjoy the characters too.  This was another strong issue, and the series looks to be headed in some very interesting directions.


Seak (Bryce L.) said...

I forget if I congratulated you for becoming SFFworld's go to guy for comics. How cool is that? They're lucky to have you man.

Ryan said...

Thanks! Actually, it is very cool. It is really great being able to contribute to such an awesome site, especially one that has given me so many great book recommendations, and conversations over the years. It is nice to give back.