Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Comic Quickies: The Rocketeer Flies Again

Rocketeer Cargo of Doom:  It's no secret around here that I'm a liker of the Rocketeer.  So, a new Rocketeer mini series is pretty much an instant buy and instant read for me.  IDW apparently also shares my love for the Rocketeer as well, since they have been responsible for producing all this great Rocketeer material of the past couple years.

The creative team behind The Cargo of Doom is a couple of industry heavy hitters, Mark Waid, and Chris Samnee.  Recently, Waid has been winning Eisners and Harvey's thanks to his work on Daredevil and Samnee has been earning lots of recognition cred for his high quality art, on a variety of projects.  As far as creative teams go, I think IDW really picked a couple of winners.  Waid has a knack for writing gripping, action-packed, and fun stories that don't go off the deep end with too much darkness or grittiness.  On the art side, Samnee has this great dynamic art style with lots of thick and juicy black inks that is a really great fit not only for the Rocketeer's high-flying action, but also a great fit for the time period the story is set in.

This first issue works pretty well as an opening issue.  We get to know all the primary characters, get a taste for their personalities, get some Rocketeer action, and get just enough of a taste of the "cargo" that is so doomy.  Oh, there's also some love drama in Cliff's life that could add an interesting element.  I can already tell that this is gonna be one of my favorite comics for the next few months.

The Sixth Gun #24:  Yikes!  I can't believe it's been nearly a year since I last wrote about The Sixth Gun.  I've been reading this comic in the monthly format since the first issue came out for free comic book day a couple years ago.  Ever since then, this has been one of my favorite titles, and it has only gotten better as time passes on.  Bunn and Hurtt have created a wonderful fantasy western world to set their story in and I truly enjoy falling into that world on a monthly basis.

This 24th issue is the start of a new story arc titled Winter Wolves and looks to be the start of more wonderful stuff.  General Hume, who has been out of commission since the 6th issue, makes a brief and creepy appearance, and Drake and Becky run  into some trouble with a giant white wolf.  It also looks like we might see more of Gord Cantrell, one of my favorite side characters, in this arc.  Gord's got some voodoo-dark magic tricks up his sleeves, so I'd love to see more of what he's capable of.

Brian Hurtt is one of the most unsung artists in comics, and this is one of his very best issues of The Sixth Gun yet.  This is an artist working at the top of his game on one of the finest comics on the shelves.  If you haven't had the pleasure of checking this comic out, throw all reservations aside.  The Sixth Gun is a winner.

Fables Vol. 5 The Mean Seasons:  Yup, I'm still reading and loving Fables.  Hands down some of the very best stuff I've read in comics.  The fifth trade collection, The Mean Seasons, is one hell of a whirlwind read.  Lots, and I mean lots of things go down in this volume.

First off, we get our first taste of Cinderella in this one, and I gotta say, she is one of the most interesting fables yet.  Her first story is brilliant.  That's just the opening salvo of this volume which covers more ground than a football field.  We also get a war story starring Bigby Wolf from back in his war fightin' days, the birth of some new little fables, the sundering of a relationship, and the election of a new Fabletown governor.

It's a lot of diverse stuff going on for one collected edition, but it didn't take away from my enjoyment one bit.  Sure, this volume didn't do a ton to move the major story line along too much, but it did move many different character arcs forward and put some pieces in place to make the story going forward much more interesting.  The Mean Seasons left me craving more from Fables which is why I followed this read up immediately with this next one....

Fables Vol. 6 Homelands:  This one starts out catching everyone up with what Jack has been up to since he ditched Fabletown. The story is pretty good, as Jack is one of those characters I love to hate, but I gotta say I was not a fan of the guest artist for this story.  David Hahn had the guest artist duties here, and he just wasn't up to snuff compared to the other guest artist that have been featured in this series.  Weak art can definitely take away from a good story, and that was the case here, as I don't think I enjoyed Jack Be Nimble nearly as much as I could have.

So, the start of this volume was a let down, but the rest of the trade more than made up for the false start.  The bulk of the remainder of this volume is given over to Boy Blue and his epic adventures across a series of fable-realms.  With the Witching Cloak and the Vorpal Blade, two of the most powerful fable artifacts, at his disposal, Blue goes on a deadly rampage through the Adversary's realms in an attempt to take out that evil fucker.  Not only is this an incredibly exciting adventure to read, but there's some really BIG reveals in this one that are quite important to the story.

With six volumes of Fables under my belt, I have no plans to slow down my pacing.  Well, maybe a bit, as I have to read Underwater Welder soon, but I plan to dive even deeper into this series over the next few weeks.  It is really fantastic and if you haven't already done so: read and enjoy.

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