Graphic Novels

METHOD MAN by Method Man, Sanford Green and David Atchison is an urban fantasy in which the eponymous rapper portrays himself as a member of a former demon-slaying cult, reluctantly dragged back into the fold to help stop a scheme by Lilith to fight her way back into heaven. Routine.
THE ROCKETEER by Dave Stevens has young aviator Cliff Secord discover a stolen rocketpack hidden in his plane, which plunges him into adventures alongside Doc Savage and the Shadow, battling Nazi spies, defeating a freakish serial killer and pursuing his dream girl Betty. This one didn’t work for me anywhere near as much as I expected—the individual stories are too minor to work alone, but they don’t add up to anything like an arc. Secord just bounces from adventure to adventure, as if Stevens wanted to do a pulp story but really didn’t get how.
INCORRUPTIBLE Vol. 6 by Mark Waid and Marcio Takara has Max Damage continue struggling to keep Coalville a functioning community despite a deluge of super-villains, the return of the Dr. Doom-esque St. Lucifer and the Plutonian’s return to Earth. There’s a bit of sleight of hand to keep both series’ going by having Max xomehow convince the Plutonian to give Coalville a free pass—but assuming the eventual reason is valid, I’m okay with that.
Now, two that fit together, sort of—ALBION, by Alan Moore, daughter Leah Moore and John Repton, with pencils by Shane Oakley, is a tribute to the British comics heroes Moore and I grew up with, such as the Steel Claw, the Spider (actually a villain), the Wild Wonders and the robot-master Dolmann. A young comics nerd named Danny learns from Dolmann’s daughter Penny that the government locked away the heroes 20 years earlier and begins working to free them. Meanwhile, security at the prison begins to suspect something bad is coming down the pike … This suffers because the focus is on Danny and Penny, dull, generic twentysomething types, while the heroes sit in prison (even if they were hoping for a sequel, this comes off as too much build-up without enough payoff); lord knows what American audiences with no nostalgia for the characters made of this. I have the original series, but picked this up for the collection of original strips of various characters in the back.
JACK STAFF: Everything Used to be Black and White is an expanded version of the Jack Staff collection I read last year, takes pastiches of the same characters and puts them to much better use as John Smith (AKA the mysteriously disappeared hero Jack Staff) copes with Victorian escapologist Charlie Raven, the invisible Claw, the Question Mark Squad (apparently an original creation) and the Spider (I guess he isn’t under copyright since Grist uses the real one rather than a close copy). Even though Jack does relatively little, he’s the center of a much livelier world than Albion gave us.

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3 responses to “Graphic Novels

  1. Pingback: Graphic novels | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  2. Pingback: Books and Graphic Novels | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  3. Pingback: Books | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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