The #NerdsRead Pull List – May 24, 2017
From BOOM! Studios this week, Sam continues to love Lumberjanes, while Kylee is delving into a new series: Victor LaValle’s Destroyer. Jackson recounted the latest from Image Comics and The Dying and the Dead, which has been nearly two years in the making, and also Mother Panic from DC Comics. Renee is sticking with Captain America: Steve Rogers from Marvel Comics.
Want to hear more about what we thought about these issues? Read on – and let us know what you thought in the comments below.
Author: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Brianne Drouhard
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Source: BOOM! Studios DRC
I stand by my earlier statement in our Lumberjanes #37 review: this is the greatest arc ever. I love the Lumberjanes’ parents and I never want them to leave. Yes, I know, eventually they will have to but Rosie’s idea for a parents’ weekend was the greatest. This new influx of characters really helps breath some fresh air into the series. Because while the book has done a lot to include some of the non-Roanoke cabin Lumberjanes in recent arcs, they’re still generally familiar faces. The parents are something new entirely.
And the whole scavenger hunt set up is amazing. It’s a really clever way to introduce conflict into what everyone intended to be a fun, low key weekend with the parents. I love April’s competitiveness and Ripley’s attempts to get her own team to keep their eyes on the prize. As clever as Jo’s parents and Ripley’s family are I’m totally #TeamApril. She’s super intense – plus we get tons of cute moments with Mal and Molly (complete with Mal’s mom embarrassing her in front of her girlfriend). Granted, #TeamRipley kinda gets sidetracked with a strange, clearly malevolent fox spirit but hey!
As much as I’m loving the parents we have seen so far, I have to imagine that at some point Molly’s family is going to show up. They’ve built up the conflict between her and her folks for far too long now. And I bet that things aren’t going to turn out the way we’ve probably been expected. After all, when does anything ever go as expected at this camp?
Anyway, with this issue we not only have lovable new characters in the Lumberjanes’ families but also apparently an intriguing new evil fox spirit bad guy. I’m seriously loving how this new parents’ weekend arc is progressing. I can’t wait to see what’s next!
Destroyer #1 (of 6)
Author: Victor LaValle
Artist: Dietrich Smith
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Source: BOOM! Studios DRC
Honestly, I’m not exactly sure how I feel about Victor LaValle’s Destroyer through the first issue. At the moment, there are really two disjointed stories being told. Frankenstein’s monster returns to humanity after witnessing a whaling ship at work and it is jarringly graphic right from the jump. Once free to dole out justice as he sees fit, the story shifts to a shady government agency collecting “alchemists” to solve the problem.
One of those scientists is Dr. Josephine Baker, who has her own plans for the reanimation that made Frankenstein’s monster possible. Her son died in a police shooting, which you would only know from the solicitation, and she’s clearly trying to bring him back. That part of the story is muddled thus far, as is her familial connection to Victor Frankenstein (also from the solicitation), but there is plenty of potential and lots of easter eggs in the writing.
Dietrich Smith’s character work is great, though Frankenstein’s monster will certainly draw comparisons to the White Walkers of Game of Thrones. With help from colorist Joana Lafuente, they succeed in perfectly coloring the memories of Josephine Baker contrasted against her current state. There are a few strange perspectives, like Frankenstein’s monsters with the whales in the beginning, but they’re only mildly distracting.
While to love for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is clear, Victor LaValle’s Destroyer doesn’t quite hit the mark in its first issue. LaValle wrote a jam-packed script that doesn’t yet deliver on the promises of the solicitation, nor hint at groundwork that would begin the exploration of police brutality, but there is something to this modernized re-imagining that is intriguing and I’ll be sticking around at least for the next issue.
The Dying and the Dead #4
Author: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Ryan Bodenheim
Publisher: Image Comics
Source: Image Comics ARC
After two years off of comic shop shelves, The Dying And The Dead #4 faces the unenviable challenge of reminding readers why they cared about the series. In that regard, it doesn’t quite succeed, feeling most like a companion piece to the flashback that formed the backbone of issue #3, a comic that many readers may have forgotten the intricacies of. Read the full review here.
Mother Panic #7
Author: Jody Houser
Artist: John Paul Leon
Publisher: DC Comics
Mother Panic has, somewhat ironically, stood out the most from DC’s Young Animal imprint by virtue of how closely its connected to the company’s larger superhero universe. While the book does have a bleaker tone, more lyrical style, and looser approach to sexual content and obscenity under writer Jody Houser, Mother Panic is still very much a superhero comic, with the eponymous protagonist occupying space in Gotham City side by side with Batman and the vigilantes of the city.
The first two arcs of the series tried to carefully negotiate that complicated territory but Mother Panic #7 starts trying to actively address Violet Paige’s relationship with how her vigilantism is perceived and her need for vengeance. A body-bag wearing serial killer is haunting Gotham and after he attacks the adoptive family of a girl Violet once rescued, she’s forced to consider what the city wants her to be as well as what she’s capable of as her combat-suit begins causing more damage to her body.
It’s a story entirely about the tricky line between fighting for yourself and fighting for other people and the art helps accentuate that conflict. John Paul Leon handles art duty here, drawing everyone with a very soft, almost comic-strip like definition, often with very light inks. It’s an interesting look, especially with Dave Stewart providing moody, muddy colors, namely browns, reds, and forest greens. The only absolute color here is the white of Mother Panic’s suit, highlighting just how separated she is from the city and the other vigilantes who defend it.
After a slow start, Mother Panic #7 feels like a book finally becoming what it was always meant to be, a lyrical exploration of vengeance, madness and vigilantism, as indebted to Batman and Moon Knight as ‘80s Vertigo Comics. It’s a smart, bleak story that’s relentlessly focused on a single, almost purposefully unlovable character and it’s fascinating to see her negotiate a genuinely difficult moral line.
Captain America: Steve Rogers #17
Author: Nick Spencer
Artists: Andres Guinaldo & Ramon Bachs
Publisher: Marvel Comics
This issue opens with Sally Floyd providing her credentials as a reporter and citing the previous times that she interviewed Captain America. As Sally interviews Cap, he presents as charismatic and caring. The comic then switches perspectives, and the reader can see the Inhuman holding centers, as well as the black door, deals with Magneto and the mutants to avoid another war.
As the interview progresses, Cap continues to emphasize how much “good” Hydra has done for the country citing “we have never been stronger.” Sally, being the precocious reporter that she is, contradicts him and points out that the more vulnerable people among them are not protected under this new regime. She points out that people have been stripped of their rights. Of course, Sally looses her temper and is then arrested for violating the parameters of the interview.
Hydra Cap has officially been elected President and Leader Supreme in the Marvel world, allowing Hydra to take over the world with promises of conservative morals, values, and economic stability. Steve has created Inhuman concentration camps and increased the job market, at the expense of the marginalized people.
This issue was very well done, but also increasingly frustrating as Steve spouts off hate rhetoric that would make Hitler proud. Watching the brainwashed people of this world believing that they are being kept safe, despite the fact that their civil liberties being taken by the Hydra regime were especially frustrating.
Renee Marriott is a staff writer at Nerdophiles.