Fight Club 2 continues to be the bane of Kylee’s existence and she continues to read it out of sheer spite.
At least Jackson enjoyed DC Comics’ The Omega Men and Grayson. He also is still on board the Saga train with the rest of us comics readers. All of his comics fro this week’ s pull list were enjoyable.
Check out all of our reviews below and let us know what you think in the comments!
Fight Club #7
The continued self-indulgence of Fight Club 2 may only be topped by the heavy-handed ‘preaching’ of Tyler Durden and the tired re-hash of Fight Club the novel, with a visual presentation of the endgame he has been working towards. The problem here is that we’ve already been given the visual endgame years ago when Fight Club the movie was released – it’s even referenced in a panel touting the actual actors’ names who played Tyler and the Narrator.
I’m still reading because I’m a completionist and the masochist in me has some glimmer of hope that maybe Fight Club 2 can be salvaged in some form, that maybe the message has matured with Palahniuk’s audiences. I’m not holding out a lot of hope, but at least the covers keep pulling me in and the art is pleasing to look at between rolling my eyes to the back of my skull.
Beyond another punch in the face of the point he’s trying to get across (“My point is that fictional characters can survive their readers.”), the plot does move forward slightly. Tyler reminds Sebastian of how they came to be and what they’re working towards, Marla might be pregnant with not Sebastian’s baby, their son is fine wherever he is, and Robert Paulsen can be summoned and made to dance in a Peanuts-style chant.
Yes, it sucks. I want to personally apologize to anyone who grew up after reading Fight Club and urge you not to read the letters at the end of each issue. It’s just asking for a cringe.
The Omega Men #6
Author: Tom King
Artist: Barnaby Bagenda
Publisher: DC Comics
After debuting as one half of the writing team of Grayson, Tom King has rapidly become one of the most visible, stylish writers in comics. With experience fighting terrorism as a CIA operator in the Middle East during the early days of the War on Terror, he’s brought a nihilistic, lived-in feel to the world of superheroes and the cyclical, never-ending battles they fight. He’s channeled most of that experience into The Omega Men, an uncharacteristically dense book which forces readers to, if not sympathize with, then helplessly witness brutal, uncompromising acts of manipulation and terrorism. It’s a frequently shocking book, one unafraid to alienate readers with a bracing nine-panel grid and frank, brutal discussions of violence and the peril and power of blind faith.
After Broot’s death while securing a religious artifact, The Omega Men and Kyle Rayner are tortured and debriefed in the new The Omega Men #6. King’s script and Barnaby Bagenda’s stark line work do an exceptional job keeping Primus and Kalista’s motives unclear as they stage a breakout and wait for the captured former Green Lantern to decide whether he’ll unwittingly play his part in their grand, empire destroying scheme. More than almost any issue so far, The Omega Men #6 is almost painful to watch unfold. Kyle’s been so thoroughly broken and manipulated at the hands of his captors that he’s helpless but to play along, desperate to be a hero and totally unaware of how much that delusion is playing into his true enemy’s hands. It’s bracing and uncomfortable and in a genre so often defined by rigid, black and white morality, it’s fascinating and unexpected to see here.
Moreso than ever, I’m happy to see DC stick by their decision to publish the full run of King’s work here, despite the initial issues receiving a less than warm welcome on the stands. It’s still not too late to pick up the back issues of this book, one of comics smartest, most exciting, and unconventional new series and a strong contender for the best new book of 2015.
Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Fiona Staples
Publisher: Image Comics
The most surprising thing that could happen in comics would be if Saga had a bad issue. Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staple’s space-opera romance is probably the biggest crossover hit of the decade, a book that feels effortlessly cinematic, painfully human, and frequently heart-breakingly emotional and manages that tricky balance every issue. I stand firm in the belief that the six month breaks between story arcs is one of the biggest forces in turning trade-paperback readers into monthly comics readers.
This week’s Saga #31 splits the difference between the time jumps that usually characterize new arcs as well as picking up directly where Saga #30 left off. The entire issue focuses on Hazel’s time in a refugee camp, particularly her education and the way she’s beginning to unpack the horrors of her life and the loss of her family. It’s an almost unpleasantly sad portrait of growing up. Like classic stories, such as Where the Wild Things Are, this issue forces on the least childlike emotions. Filled with anger and discomfort, Hazel’s channeling her frustrations into childlike, scatological art but each time she looks for comfort or familiarity, she’s held at arm’s length.
The issue ends with Hazel opening up about her heritage and facing inadvertent consequences for her transparency. It’s an ending both unexpected and delightfully foreshadowed throughout the issue and it’s almost perfectly representative of what Saga frequently does so well. Even in a book as emotionally raw and nakedly optimistic as this one, there’s still nothing protecting good people from facing new-found horrors of their own making.
Author: Tim Seeley and Tom King
Artist: Stephen Mooney
Publisher: DC Comics
One of my favorite new villains of the last 10 years was Otto Netz, the ex-Nazi spymaster dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and slowly witnessing as his decades long plans all slowly became one tangled, incoherent mess that he can no longer quite understand or make sense of. In his appearances in Grant Morrison’s Batman Incorporated, there’s this fascinating sense that readers and the heroes alike are both constantly behind him or unable to fully comprehend the master’s madness. Like many of his best characters, Grant manages to do a lot with a little with Netz, who appears in barely a dozen issues before he’s killed but his influence is deeply felt throughout that Batman run although his shadow has never been darker than in that run’s spiritual successor, Grayson.
Grayson #14 shows the aftermath of Spyral’s trap, leaving Dick, Tiger, and agent of the God Garden, Ladytron, in over their heads as the former Boy Wonder desperately tries to unearth the secrets of Luka Netz, the daughter of Otto and the secret force within the compromised spy organization. The issue is split between Dick’s high-wire spy act and a flashback to Otto trying to explain his motives to his daughters as his mind decays and he plans for a never-ending war between Spyral and Leviathan.
I’ll be upfront, this is a complicated story that’s probably going to be enjoyed most by people who obsessed over Morrison’s complicated, self-referential, labyrinthine Batman run, particularly those who most enjoyed the globe-trotting, epic finale for his run. Those who were less fascinated by some of Morrison’s more, well, let’s call it self-indulgent turns aren’t quite going to be as drawn in by the recurring imagery, pitch-black humor, and literary flourishes Tim Seeley and Tom King obviously were inspired by and show off in the script and Stephen Mooney illustrates so wonderfully here. This is one of the best issues of Grayson yet, already one of the best series of the year.