Image © DC Entertainment. Written by Tom King, art and coloring by Mitch Gerads, lettering by Clayton Cowles.
Unlike the last few issues, this one takes place mainly on Earth, in the continuity where Scott Free, Barda and their infant son Jacob are living a mundane existence in a nondescript apartment in an anywhere, USA neighborhood. Scott continues to be torn apart by the decision he’s been asked to make: he can halt the current war between Apokolips and New Genesis, thereby saving millions of lives, if he is willing to give his son Jack to Darkseid. Scott and Barda grew up on Apokolips, so they know full well what that would mean for Jack. Barda is understandably against it, but Scott is wavering, haunted by the choice. Not much happens physically this issue, but a great deal happens emotionally and between the characters. It’s an issue that shows how powerful good comics writing can be. Oh, and how did I not notice before that the baby has the same first name as his parents’ creator?
Image © DC Entertainment. Written by Aaron Gillespie, art by Roge Antonio, colors by Hi-Fi, letters by Dave Sharpe.
In the second part of “Rebel Run,” Jessica’s GL partner Simon catches up with her and throws his support behind her. Though he’s supposed to be retrieving Jessica for Hal Jordan, instead the two of them investigate the strange fit of rage that overtook her, causing injuries to many, that Jessica has no memory of. The answers lie with Accampo, a criminal that Jessica was supposed to be making a deal with to secure incriminating evidence on an important trader, Obazaya V’Sheer. She has no memory of that either, but when they catch up with Accampo, they’re soon headed for V’Sheer’s private pleasure planet.
On the one hand, this story feels like a fill-in between epics. On the other hand, I like the smaller mystery and crime-solving feel. And when Hal Jordan shows up on the wrong side for our heroes, I was actually a bit outraged, so I fell for it all completely. Well done.
Image © Rick Veitch.
Rick has sent me his latest self-published work, OTZI. The book is square, 8.25 by 8.25 inches, 142 pages, all in black and white except the covers. There are no dialogue balloons or captions. Every page is a single large panel. It’s a wordless story except for a section about two-thirds in where newspaper stories, signs, and text messages add information.
I knew a little about the real Otzi, nicknamed “The Ice Man,” among other things, whose mummified remains were found in a glacier in the Alps near the border of Italy and Austria. He was found by two tourists, a husband and wife, who thought at first he might be a more recent fatality, but when the remains were retrieved and tested, he was found to have lived between 3100 and 3400 BCE, or about six thousand years ago. The remains have been heavily tested and investigated, and provide many insights into the time period and the people of that time.
I knew a little about that from newspaper articles, but I did not connect the real Otzi with Rick’s story until the section where some text revealed it. Rick’s story is fantasy with some science fictional overtones. At first we see Otzi as he was, in his native ice and rock environment, but he is soon drawn into a phantasmagorical experience of stones flying in formation, and a meeting with a being that seems made of energy. I won’t spoil the story by revealing more, but simply say that Otzi is brought into the modern world and soon has a cult following before disaster strikes. I don’t understand the ending, which is again wordless, but the journey was interesting and visually stunning. The book can be found on Amazon.com among other places, and I recommend it, as I do all Rick’s self-published books.
Image © DC Entertainment. Written by Tom King, art and colors by Mitch Gerads, letters by Clayton Cowles.
This is a mighty eccentric and surreal book. It starts with the Jack Kirby creations of Scott Free (Mister Miracle) and his wife Big Barda, as well as the New Gods and their twisted counterparts, minions of Darkseid. Then it’s filtered through the possible madness of the title character (what is real, what is only in his head?). The reading experience suggests to me things like the novel “Catch 22” by Joseph Heller, the work of Franz Kafka, and the surreal humor of Monty Python and the Firesign Theatre.
We seem to be in negotiations over the end of the current war between New Genesis and Apokolips. At the negotiating table on Apokolips are Scott and Barda and Lightray. Across from them are Kalibak, Kanto and others of Darkseid’s elite. The negotiations are bizarre, and interrupted by side trips like a swim in the Apokolips firelakes. I don’t know what to make of it, but it has such unexpected and sometimes funny moments that I can’t help wanting to read more. Looks like Darkseid shows up in the next issue. That should be interesting.
Image © DC Entertainment. Written by Robert Venditti, pencilled by Fernando Pasarin, inked by Oclair Albert and Eber Ferreira, colors by Jason Wright, letters by Dave Sharpe.
Part Four of the “Darkstars Rising” story finds Hal Jordan on a distant planet with Hector Hammond, who has wiped Hal’s memories clean so he doesn’t even remember being a Green Lantern. Hammond hopes to fulfill Hal’s request for help with the Darkstars by himself killing all of them. Back on Earth, Guy Gardner, a newly recruited Darkstar, wants to take personal revenge on his own father. His friend Arkillo opposes him in that effort. On New Genesis, Kyle Rayner’s attempt to enlist the New Gods in their crusade has put him and his driver, Space Cabby, in jail, along with Cabby’s ship. Back on Mogo, GL headquarters, casualties are mounting in the war with the Darkstars, and it looks like it’s about to get a lot worse.
I’m enjoying all these storylines, even though I’ve never much cared for the Darkstars as either heroes or villains. Writer Robert Venditti is doing fine work here as he approaches his big finale in issue #50.