If you haven’t already tried Paklis #1 from Image Comics, Jackson makes a pretty good case for why you should pick it up this week. He also loved Moon Knight from Marvel Comics and the message it messily conveys. And Renee’s caught up on Sex Criminals from Image 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: Dustin Weaver
Artist: Dustin Weaver
Publisher: Image Comics
Source: Image Comics ARC
Paklis #1 feels intensely personal and unrestrained by corporate requirements in a way that even indie comics rarely actually succeed in being, an up close and personal look at the influences and fascinations of one creator. It earns a recommendation if nothing else for the creeping horror of Weaver’s pencils and script on “Mushroom Bodies” but offers plenty more for the asking price. Paklis #1 is a clear, uncut look at one of American comics’ most fascinating, idiosyncratic artists and that’s something that demands attention. For the full review, click here.
Moon Knight #14
Author: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Greg Smallwood
Publisher: Marvel Comics
I worry about every Moon Knight story. The character who Marvel has spent decades trying, often unsuccessfully, to differentiate from Batman, has had more bad stories than good and his worst have often cast him as an irredeemable violent man, one who has utterly surrendered to his personal demons.
It’s part of the reason why I hung on every issue of Jeff Lemire and Greg Smallwood’s run on the character, which ended this week with Moon Knight #14. The issue finally sees Marc Spector square off with Khonshu as he returns to the asylum he was once imprisoned in. It’s a fist-fight as much physical as it is metaphorical, emphasizing that Marc is forced to fight his demons both physically and mentally, that his effort to maintain any sense of identity is going to be a struggle he must be proactive in.
It’s a surprisingly messy message for a comic so explicitly about super heroics and mental health, namely that the only peace Marc can find is in violence and heroism but it’s also explicitly in character, never exonerating the central character but expressing how difficult his path to self acceptance is. It’s a message that knows it’s ugly but is communicated beautifully. Smallwood’s smart, expressionistic layouts and sharp pencils showcasing why he’s rapidly become one of the best working superhero artists.
Self-improvement is hard and Moon Knight #14 is here to remind you of it. It’s a comic that makes a challenging statement on the intersection of vigilantism and mental health, reveling in the uncomfortable headspace of a challenging character. Even more-so than Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey’s landmark run, Lemire and Smallwood have offered the definitive statement on a character writers and artists have struggled with for years and it’s a hell of a way to end Marc Spector’s story, if only for a moment.
Sex Criminals #19
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Chip Zdarsky
Publisher: Image Comics
Suze and Jon are fighting in this issue, due to Jon lying to her. However, Jon and Suze go to an amusement park to meet with another sex criminal who is being chased by the sex police. He takes off but later leaves a suicide note for Jon stating that he is sorry.
Meanwhile, all of our other side characters with unique sex powers realize that they are up against something much more sinister than they thought with the sex police. Suze realizes that she wants to get away, and applies for a position that would have her relocate.
Jon and Suze meet each other and realize that they both have these special sex powers and begin to rob banks and a few other crimes to save a library. In doing so, they are chased down by the Sex Police, who are pretty scary people in the real world.
Fraction and Zdarsky also provide numerous editorials here and there about the process of creating the comic, which is a fun read. Not only that, but the comic doesn’t take itself too seriously, but does tackle some societal taboos, such as being an adult film star and the prejudices surrounding that field.
The title alone should indicate that this comic is for mature audiences. This comic explores the relationships between others and how sex either complicates or helps, and that people are much more complex. The entire premise of this comic series is that there are select people who, when they have mind blowing orgasmic sex, can freeze time and explore the real world.
Renee Marriott is a staff writer at Nerdophiles.