Graphic Novels (#SFWApro)

FLAMING CARROT: The Wild Shall Wild Remain is Bob Burden’s second collection of his 1980s absurdist hero, the Flaming Carrot (which completes my collection other than one or two issues later in the run). This collection develops the Carrot’s womanizing personality and unlike a lot of the series has an overall arc involving the mad scientist Gonzaga, a die-hard Communist who plots to turn women’s fat into a super-explosive and Khazarian, a Russian super-spy determined to stop his former friend (“If he destroys America, where will we get our wheat?). Can the Carrot stop Iron City from falling under Red rule? Will he survive his after-death experience? As always, insane fun; the climactic story looks like a Red Dawn parody but it could just as easily be the 1950s’ Invasion USA.
Following BPRD: 1947, Mike Mignola, John Arcudi and Max Fiumara give us BPRD: 1948. It’s a year later and Anders (the agent victimized by vampires in the previous collection) is going off the rails, Hellboy is growing up (and starting to realize he’s not like the other kids) and Bruttenholm is coping with both strange goings-on around a nuclear test site and a pretty physicist who has her own theories (and is quite shocked when the professor equates her scientific view of other dimensions with his mumbo-jumbo occultism). At this point, the BPRD is starting to assume the shape it first appeared in in Seed of Destruction, with agents who aren’t quite human and are decidedly damaged (as the demon Varvara puts it, the professor’s a moth finding more flames to burn himself on). Good, heavier on the personal stuff than the supernatural threat (cover art by Dave Johnson, all rights to current holder)
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BATMAN AND ROBIN: Born to Kill by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason is a flat TPB from the DC reboot universe in which a vigilante pissed off Batman doesn’t kill more criminals decides to train Bruce’s son Damien (the then-current Robin) to unleash his inner killer. Unfortunately Damien isn’t at all interesting here, and NoBody’s an unimpressive Punisher type, so this one’s a flop for me.
Archie Comics isn’t known for superheroes, but it has had some off-and-on over the years THE NEW CRUSADERS: Rise of the Heroes by Ian Flynn and Ben Bates revives some of Archie Comics’ super-heroes from the 1940s and 1950s and surprisingly it works well. The surprise being that they’ve been revived multiple times before and usually they stank. The 1960s revival was a very bad attempt to ape Marvel’s style; a 1980s effort was mostly forgettable (though it had some good stuff) and DC’s Impact! revival of the 1990s even more so (the only good book was The Jaguar). Nor was DC’s more recent revival of the characters very memorable, but now the characters are back with Archie and this first volume was very enjoyable. The premise is that the various heroes have aged in real time (though the Shield is still remarkably capable for an 80something guy—I’m presuming he’s enhanced somehow) and spawned a new generation. When their old foe Brain Emperor returns and kills most of the heroes, the kids are forced to step into their parents shoes, possibly a little too fast. Legacy heroes are a fairly common concept now, but Flynn does a good job with it.

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Filed under Comics, Reading

2 responses to “Graphic Novels (#SFWApro)

  1. Pingback: How Would I Rebuild The DC Universe From Scratch? – Teen Titans (Robin, Wonder Girl, Bunker, And More) | Jyger's Rant

  2. Pingback: Young Animals, Aquaman, and writing about comics: books | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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