Category Archives: Comics

And Then I Read: CAPTAIN GINGER #3

Image © Stuart Moore, June Brigman & Ahoy Comics. Main story written by Stuart Moore, art by June Brigman & Roy Richardson, colors by Veronica Gandini, letters by Richard Starkings & Jimmy Betancourt. Backup written by Tom Peyer, art by Randy Elliot, colors by Andy Troy, letters by Rob Steen. Extras by those listed above.

I can’t quite decide if the main cat characters in this book are just winging it, or if they have a better idea of how to get by in their world than it seems. The Captain and his right paw, Mittens, are risking their lives in a jury-rigged ship to follow a signal they think might be from another cat ship like theirs. How this might help them is not clear. Once they’ve gone, things continue to go wrong on The Indomitable. One ray of hope comes from a message pulled from the computer archives featuring the feeder (human) who “created” them. His hologram seems willing to help. Ginger and Mittens have reached a destination, but found only more trouble. 

The Hashtag: Danger backup has fun exploring the personalities and resources of the three-member team, and as usual, there are several text features to read and enjoy. Good stuff.

Recommended.

And Then I Read: THE WRONG EARTH #4

Image © Ahoy Comics. Main story written by Tom Peyer, art by Jamal Igle & Juan Castro, Backup story written by  Paul Constant, art by Gary Erskine, both colored by Andy Troy and lettered by Rob Steen. Additional material credits above.

This book continues to surprise me, and after a lifetime of comics reading, that’s not easy to do. Most of the main characters show intelligence and resourcefulness in their mixed-up situations. Earth Alpha (the fun one) has Stinger knocking out his doctor and Deuce neutralizing the Earth Omega version of her boss, Number One, for instance. Even the signs on the buildings are clever and amusing, like the one on the Earth Alpha garage of sidekick Stinger labeled, “Abandoned Warehouse, No Trespassing.” Earth Omega has a criminal dive bar named the Razor and Kidney, while Earth Alpha has fun crime props like a huge piggy bank. And just when I think I know where the story is going, Peyer and Igle do something else more interesting.

The backup Dragonfly story is pretty good too, and the text stories are all worth reading. In fact, my favorite line in the book is from “Rich” by Carol Lay: “People vex me.”

Recommended.

And Then I Read: THE DREAMING #3

Image © DC Comics. Written by Simon Spurrier, art by Bilquis Evely, colors by Mat Lopes, letters by Simon Bowland.

Lucien the librarian is struggling to fill the void of authority left by the absence of Dream, and has allowed an old Nightmare to be released, Judge Ezekiel Gallows. He was created by Dream as a horror of the old west. Gallows suggests he would be happy to advise Lucien on the many problems he sees plaguing The Dreaming, and Lucien is willing to let him while he has a rest. Before long, the equally long imprisoned characters Brute and Glob are enlisted by Judge Gallows to help set things right, in a quest for justice and punishment, as he sees it. The inhabitants of The Dreaming watch nervously as Gallows confronts Dora, wondering if they will be the next target.

I’m really enjoying Simon Spurrier’s prose and dialogue in this third issue. I think he’s loosened up a bit and is making the series his own, and I like what he’s bringing. The art by Evely is quite excellent too, and also perhaps taking on a more personal vision of the characters, which works fine for me.

Recommended.

And Then I Read: GREEN LANTERNS 57

Image © DC Comics. Written by Dan Jurgens, art by Mike Perkins, colors by Hi-Fi, letters by Dave Sharpe.

Not only the end of the “Evil’s Might” story arc, this is the end of this GL series, though as I write this I’ve already reviewed the first issue of the next one and admired it greatly.

Hank Henshaw has been stymied in his attempt to completely control the entire Green Lantern Corps as well as the Guardians through infiltrating their power rings and central battery. Just enough of the group have avoided his contamination to keep him from achieving that control. In a rage, he’s off to Earth to destroy Coast City, as he did once before. Hal Jordan is determined that should not happen. I will leave it to you to decide which way that’s likely to go.

In all, I’ve enjoyed this arc, both the writing of Dan Jurgens and the art of Mike Perkins, not to mention the continuing excellence of Hi-Fi and Dave Sharpe, who have been on board for a long time. Much the best to go out on a high (if somewhat predictable) note, and there are a few surprises at the end of this issue.

Recommended.

And Then I Read: EDGAR ALLAN POE’S SNIFTER OF TERROR

Image © Ahoy Comics. First story written by Rachel Pollack, art by Rick Geary, colors My Michael Garland. Second story written by Stuart Moore, art by Ryan Kelley, colors by Rico Renzi, letters by Rob Steen. Additional material as listed above.

I’ve always had difficulty with things that are meant to be both funny and frightening at the same time. To me, if it’s funny it can’t be frightening. The most successful example I can think of is the film “Young Frankenstein,” which is not at all frightening itself, but is a parody of horror films I did find frightening as a child, yet a very funny parody of those films. This comic wades into that uneasy mix with portrayals of Poe, the author, as a sarcastic and humorous narrator of his own story, “Ligeia,” in the first tale. The original story may itself be a parody of German gothic tales of Poe’s time, but it has a chilling plot of death and return from death. The retelling by Rachel Pollack and Rick Geary is entertaining, but not very scary, especially when the drama is interrupted by clownish commentary by Poe, ruining whatever scary mood might have been developing. I never liked that sort of thing on TV either, where a horror host interrupted the film with silly jokes.

The second story begins with a TV reporter somehow back in time interviewing a drunk and disorderly Poe, then moves on to a modern parody of Jules Verne’s “From the Earth to the Moon.” That one didn’t work for me very well.

Perhaps the most fun I had reading this was the two-page Poe humor piece by British legend Hunt Emerson. That did make me laugh.

Mildly recommended.