Friday, August 5, 2011

Comic Quickies or Sea Creature Double Feature

The Vault #1: Undersea treasure hunting doctors, Gabrielle Parker and Michael Page think they know the location of a massive treasure trove.  They've assembled a team, and acquired the financial backing of a man named Kirilov, who not only can put up the needed money to fund the remainder of their expedition, but can also supply some sweet digging technology.  However, as they near their treasure trove, and start hauling out some booty, a hurricane threatens just over the horizon.

I came into this one hoping for some sweet sea creatures, and monster attacks, and from the way things panned out in this first issue, it looks like my wishes will be granted.  I gotta say though, this first issue was a bit shaky.

There was a lot of information unloaded on the reader, and the learning curve of getting to know the cast of characters, and what is going on is a bit steep.  On top of all that, writer Sam Sarkar packs in a lot of plot development and even the plotting is a bit garbled.  There is a lot of in and out of the water stuff going on, with a character submerged underwater on one page and on the ship in the next.  It is also pretty fucking hard to tell who is who in the diving gear. 

This is only a three issue mini, so I can see why a lot was packed into one issue, but it did feel awkward.  The art is handled by Garrie Gastonny, an artist I found hit and miss during his work on Warren Ellis' Supergod.  The man can draw some sweet beastly creatures though, so I'm hoping for a bit of that in The Vault.

Witch Doctor #2:  So, I was a little skeptical after the first Witch Doctor issue, and though I'm still a bit skeptical after #2, I'm feeling a bit better about things.  This issue kicks off what is intended to be a 3 issue story arc, and has the Doctor investigating a baby who is possessed by a Cuckoo Faerie, a creature that mimics humans, while the brood mother feasts on the human babies her hatchlings are switched out for.

While Dr. Morrow is searching for the Cuckoo Mother, he is contacted by Absinthe O'Riley, a woman who seems to have past connections to the good doctor and is searching for a creature called a "Dagon Lure", a ghastly looking beast if I do say so myself.

The creepy, fucked up looking life-sized Barbie thing that is the Cuckoo Mother is a horribly freaky looking thing, and provided some solid entertainment for this issue.  I get the sense that the real story for this arc lies with Absinthe O'Riley, and her weird sea creature though.  Looking forward to where this is headed. 

Elephantmen #33: There was only one reason I bought this comic...the artwork of Shaky Kane.

Shaky filled in on art for, uh, someone else, in this stand-alone story set in the Elephantmen universe, which I happen to know pretty much next to nothing about.  The story is about a creepy plastic surgeon and his wife/canvas upon whom he tries his most elaborate and daring augmentations upon.  His latest quest is to completely replace her skeleton with an all new ivory one...harvested from dead Elephantmen.

Um, so I didn't pay super close attention to the story, I sorta used my Steven Erikson reading technique where I skim parts that don't seem to matter, and read what is important.  Via this technique I was able to get the gist of what was going on, then sit back and enjoy the insanity that is the art of Shaky Kane. 

Kane's art definitely made this one worth the purchase.  There is some amazingly weird and visceral imagery.  Crazy shit, but totally worth it if you love the work of Shaky Kane.

The Intrepids #5:  As I type this, there is a single, solitary tear leaving a wet track down my cheek...Why? Because it's pretty sad to think that there is only one issue of The Intrepids left to read. 

From the very first issue, I have been in love with this series.  Not only has it featured sharp story telling, some solid humor, great art and some epic battle scenes, but it has, by far I might add, the absolutely best mad-science constructs I've ever encountered.  Though I have a soft spot for the Cyber Bear, Carbon Calamari the robo-squid who terrorizes the pages of this issue, is amazing and is in the running for the Best Creature of the Series.

The Intrepids is truly one of the great comics on the shelves.  I realize at this point, if you aren't already reading it, then it makes sense to buy the trade, however if you aren't reading it, be sure to buy the damn trade when it comes out.  You will not be disappointed.

I can't wait to have the final issue in my hands, and re-read the whole series start to finish.  Great stuff and worth every penny.

The Sixth Gun #13:  I mentioned this last time, but this latest arc of The Sixth Gun is shaping up to be the best one yet.

Every aspect of this comic has shown marked improvement, which is saying a lot 'cause it was pretty damn awesome to begin with.  Hurtt's art is climbing to new heights, and the writing has not only provided some great new characters, but has delivered some great new twists as well.

Though I've enjoyed this series quite a lot, through each issue, I've never had much fear for the safety of the two main characters Sinclair, and Becky Montcrief.  That being said, those two seem to be well and truly effed in this arc.  They are seemingly surrounded by enemies, and their friends seem shaky at best.

This issue had a great cliff hanger of an ending and I'm pretty much drooling for more.

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