So this was a pretty big week for some of the comics we follow. Namely, Captain America’s HYDRA plans come to fruition and Coady and the Creepies reach the final stop on their journey to play all the classic, dive bar venues. We also say goodbye to Max aka Mega Princess this week as her miniseries comes to a pretty satisfying ending (for a kid’s book). Plus the latest from Deathstroke and Ms. Marvel!
Did you check out any of these picks? Let us know what you thought in the comments!
Coady and the Creepies #2 (of 4)
Author: Liz Prince
Artist: Amanda Kirk
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Source: BOOM! Studios DRC
All right, now that I’ve realized that the triplets are sixteen I have a lot of questions – not the least of which is what kind of parents trust their underage daughters to drive across country playing shows in dive bars with some random band manager they just brought on? Especially after a car accident that killed one of their friends and paralyzed one of the girls!
But, I digress.
I’m really loving how this series is progressing – both as far as the characters and the supernatural elements are concerned. I love all the little personal moments between the girls and their manager, Jose. I love seeing them joke around with one another. I love seeing how much they care about each other. And I think the writers do a really good job of showing how much the last year or so has affected them as they’ve tried to get their lives back to normal.
This book doesn’t gloss over the affect the devastating wreck had on them and I appreciate that a lot. In this issue in particular we see Corey freak out and hallucinate the accident. We also see Criss reduced to tears after they get a couple flat tires because the memory of that wreck is so traumatic. Criss’ reaction hit pretty close to home because after being in a severe car accident, I feel the exact same way. Sometimes it’s just nice to see that kind of stuff portrayed in one of your favorite mediums. It helps you feel less alone in those feelings.
And as far as the supernatural goes, I’m loving it. In particular, I really like how Coady’s beginning to accept her ghost-status. However, I have a suspicion that in the end we’re going to see both Coady and Shil potentially crossing over together. And that’s going to be super sad. In the meantime, though, I’m enjoying how they’re developing the supernatural side of things. In this issue there’s a whole new mysterious bad guy who is trying to sabotage The Creepies on their way to their last tour stop. In the end they make it – but this guy’s devious intentions are left for us to discover in the next issue.
Coady and the Creepies is a wonderfully fun book with a lot of heart. The artwork is different than a lot of other stuff you’ll see out there but it’s perfect for this series. This was a great issue that did a lot to show us the girls’ individual personalities. The bad guys plot didn’t seem very clear but hey! We’ve got another two issues in which to figure all that out.
Mega Princess #5 (of 5)
Author: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Brianne Drouhard
Source: BOOM! Studios DRC
I’m so sad, guys! Mega Princess is over. At least for now. The book ends with an ambiguous “The End???” but for all intents and purposes this is the end of the book’s initial five issue run. Which means we’re saying goodbye to Max and Justine. Luckily, everything turns out all right for them in the end.
Plus we see a return of the Rapunzel hair!
I like how this book wrapped up because it didn’t end with some sort of stereotypical showdown against the evil queen. While there’s some physicality to the series, most of Max’s problems have been solved through critical thinking and clever use of her seemingly infinite princess powers. While Max does use the Rapunzel hair to restrain the queen at some point, she instead shows wisdom beyond her years when deciding what to do next.
Realizing that the queen is just a lonely, bitter woman whose people abandoned her, Max helps her reason through some ways to make things better in her kingdom. And when she finds out that the queen turned her brother, Bob, and all the other princes into frogs without an idea how to turn them back, she doesn’t let it get her down. Not to spoil anything but… well all know how frogs turn back into princes.
While the detective theme sometimes got lost along the way, Max nonetheless proved herself to be an excellent role model for young readers. Adventurous, brave, and clever, she’s the kind of princess kids deserve to see leading their own books. From start to finish the story was great and the lessons she learned along the way subtle and rewarding. Mega Princess was an awesome comic for kids of all ages and I hope to see it back on shelves someday!
Sam Wildman is a co-founder and co-editor at Nerdophiles. She’d be totally down for a supernatural road trip.
Author: Christopher Priest
Artist: Joe Bennett
Publisher: DC Comics
It’s easy to focus on the wrong things when it comes to Slade Wilson. So often, he’s little more than a villainous Batman, one who rarely gets the chance to even be terribly malevolent or cruel. Often, that’s a product of the stories he’s written into.
In a Deathstroke ongoing, he’s not really able to be much of villain; he can’t kill a hero every issue and so he often ends up often appearing as the devil you know, fighting newer, worse evils, often with the somewhat begrudging assistance from actual heroes. It doesn’t really lead to a satisfying character arc for a figure meant to be one of the most dangerous cape-killers alive.
Writer Christopher Priest has mostly found a way around this by focusing less on Slade the killer and more on Slade the sociopath. Deathstroke #17 focuses on solely on Slade’s children, biological and surrogate, realizing how deeply they’ve been manipulated in a talky albeit stylish issue drawn by Joe Bennett.
Power Girl realizes the blind man she rescued is actually one of the Teen Titans’ worst enemies, Rose gets confirmation that the people’s she’s gotten closest to are only pretending to be her family, Jericho and his fiancé are both pushed to recognize how much they’ve been manipulated.
Priest’s run on Deathstroke has always felt like a delicately constructed house of cards, where the Wilson family’s history of dysfunction and destruction always felt moments away from causing ruin to everyone that touched them. The last page cliffhanger of this issue promises that the chaos they’ve unleashed isn’t even close to ending.
The complicated family dynamics of Deathstroke have, until now, been the biggest thing holding back Slade as a character for me but Priest’s script revels in the monster of a man at the center of the dysfunction. Deathstroke #17 shows the depth of his desire to control and break those closest to him and the twisted sense of fatherly devotion at the center of it.
Jackson Adams is a staff writer at Nerdophiles. He’s still bitter about that fight in Identity Crisis. Follow him on Twitter @JacksonInACup.
Captain America: Steve Rogers #16
Author: Nick Spencer
Artist: Kevin Libranda, Yildiray Cinar, and Jon Malin
Publisher: Marvel Comics
“Through Hydra we will be made stronger. We will fight to forge a better world. No matter the cost. A world where no one is put above any other—where all work together for a common cause—ever expanding, ever increasing.” Man, oh man, does Cap make Hydra sound like it will change the world for the better, but then tyranny always sounds good in the beginning.
Cutting to present day, Maria finally has enough proof that Steve is Hydra due to a video recording she finds. She is attacked and the next panel shows Zemo attacking Bucky and the Thunderbolts. Zemo is attempting to obtain all the pieces to the Cosmic Cube and straps Bucky to the airplane. Maria realizes that she probably isn’t going to survive this and calls Rick Jones to tell him about Steve, and Steve intercepts the phone call to tell him that Maria is making things up. Rick sends Steve the codes and then is taken out by Black Ant. Steve goes out and announces that he is Hydra all over the world. Selvig can’t stand the thought of the little girl being killed and pulls a gun out on the bad guys.
Meanwhile, Barnes and Zemo have their altercation, and Barnes acknowledges that the little girl changed Steve, and none of this reality is real, and Helmut sends him off. Steve is reunited with his Hydra Council, and all chaos breaks loose after the announcement, and the Planetary Shield base is hit. Cap continues to give the Hydra speech, and the issue ends with Hydra taking over the world.
For this issue to make sense, Thunderbolts #12 should be read before reading this issue. Elisa brings Steve back to the school that originally shaped Steve to be Hydra and reunites him with his mother. Elisa explains that they made Steve think she was dead to make him stronger and who they wanted him to be. Elisa further explains that Steve will be going on a mission, where he will have to sacrifice everything about himself.
This issue finally brought all the major pieces together and tied together the complicated politics of Earth-616, going as far as killing the few people who have realized that Cap is Hydra and his reality has been altered and manipulated. Captain America plays to this world’s fears and anger to manipulate the populace into believing that Hydra will help them. There seems to be little hope that Cap will remember who he is. However, with the Cosmic Cube back in play, this could change. My prediction is that this series will end with Cap’s death at Capitol Hill.
Ms. Marvel #17
Author: G. Willow Wilson
Artist: Takeshi Miyazawa
Publisher: Marvel Comics
I love the commentary on social media and how it has shaped the world, especially in the context of high school. It acknowledges that people are always putting on a show, and then lying to themselves into believing that their performances are who they are. This issue also shows the lengths of human cruelty and the lengths that people are willing to go to hurt other people.
Ms.Marvel has a lot of exposition that should hit people right in the heart. The issue opens with Zoe walking through the halls, being heckled by the other students. Ms. Marvel decided to bring her online guild together to help piece together a mission to make the internet nice. Her fellow guild members met her objective with skepticism and asked her if she has ever been on the internet.
However, Ms. Marvel is resourceful, and they play their online game the same way, but change their behavior while they are playing and reteach the virus how to be on the internet. Ms. Marvel leaves her guild to continue their part of the mission and goes to lure the virus away from crowds and people. However, Ms. Marvel leads the virus to the founder day parade, and the virus continues to prey on the darkness that lurks in people’s hearts.
Ms. Marvel argues that people are fundamentally good and that they waiting for the opportunity to do good things when the virus manifests and becomes real. He’s defeated by other people willing to help spread gratitude and niceties, which leads to one of my favorite quotes in the comic, “It’s the victory of love over cruelty.”
Ms. Marvel brings up the idea of compassion and asks why it is so hard in this world of performing to be compassionate toward others. Ms. Marvel also addresses that despite the overwhelming amount of negativity and cruelty that people possess, they are also able to change and that the good in the world is often overshadowed by bad.
Renee Marriott is a staff writer at Nerdophiles.