Category Archives: Comics

And Then I Read: CAVE CARSON #3

Image © DC Comics.

This book is an interesting mix of things. The story is somewhat traditional in structure but with odd moments and characters that make it seem fresh. The traditional characters from the original Cave Carson comics are sort of familiar, but with equally odd variations, like the cybernetic eye of the title. This time we finally have Cave and his daughter (with Wild Dog, for some reason) finally in the mole car heading underground (always the best thing in the original comics) here being chased by a monster and another mole car. The art by Michael Avon Oeming is pretty cartoony, so it’s kind of like seeing the story through a Saturday Morning animation filter. It works at times, though on occasion the simplified art style fights the story for me. But mostly it’s a fun read and it keeps me entertained and wondering where it will go next.

Recommended.

And Then I Read: DOCTOR FATE #18

Image © DC Comics.

The final issue of this run of DOCTOR FATE is the second half of a two-part story that mostly stands apart from the previous issues, with psychedelic art by Brendan McCarthy and a pretty good story by Paul Levitz. This issue drops us into everything midstream with no recap or explanation. I suspect these issues were intended to be an Annual, but that’s just a guess.

The best thing in it is that Khalid finally gets to meet the god who powers his helmet and himself, Thoth. Taking a break from battling evil creatures, Thoth and Khalid have a wonderful conversation about wisdom and free will that’s worth the price of admission. The rest of the issue is fun visually but somewhat predictable. There’s not much sense of closure at the finish, another signal this was not written as a final issue, but in the DC Universe, Doctor Fate will go on to other iterations, so perhaps that’s okay. We can imagine Khalid’s future in our own ways.

Recommended.

And Then I Read: WONDER WOMAN #11

Image © DC Comics.

The first modern-day story arc by writer Greg Rucka and artist Liam Sharp concludes with an issue full of delicious, lush coloring by Laura Martin. Diana and Steve Trevor have arrived in Themyscira at last, but one that’s strangely different than either of them remember. Diana has a hard time recognizing this at first, and when she does, with Steve’s help, she is devastated. What has gone wrong? Meanwhile, Wonder Woman’s handlers and friends are facing a threat from within their own ranks that will tear that group apart. Fine writing, wonderful art, great issue.

Recommended.

And Then I Read: SHADE THE CHANGING GIRL 3

Image © DC Comics.

I find this is a title that goes in and out of focus for me. In focus, I like the story of an avian creature, Loma Shade, inhabiting the body of a human girl on Earth, Megan Boyer, who was formerly in a coma. Loma is reckless and now a criminal back on her homeworld, Meta, having stolen a madness vest, the means of her mental transformation, though her body remains there. On Earth, Loma is having lots of problems adjusting to human life, particularly because Megan turns out to be a cruel person who bullied and tortured many of those who knew her. It seems likely her coma was not accidental. Megan/Loma has made a few friends who try to help her, but mostly she’s hated.

Back on Meta, we follow the life of Loma’s friend Lepuck Ledo, and the search for the missing madness vest, and there things get hazy for me. Not sure where that’s going or why it’s important. Then there’s another hazy area, a threatening female form approaching Earth. Finally, there’s a Dial H for Hero backup that I can’t get interested in, but it’s just three pages.

I find parts of this book interesting, and want to read more, but I can only mildly recommend it.

And Then I Read: THE FLASH #8

Image © DC Comics.

Things I like about this issue: Kid Flash is back. Not the one I remember, but close enough. Barry gets to work things out with his former partner August, now the powerful Godspeed, at least for the moment. The large group of extra speedsters are no more.

Things I don’t like: The Speed Force is becoming unpredictable and more like magic than science. Case in point: a new uniform for Kid Flash suddenly appears out of nowhere, seemingly created by it. This title was better when Flash’s powers had more credibility and predictability.

The story by Joshua Williamson is generally fine. The art by Carmine DiGiandomenico is full of action, but in the quieter moments the characters are looking more like fashion advertising art than comics art at times.

Mildly recommended.