Monday, August 18, 2008

Just When You Thought It Was Safe AKA Yet Another Poisonous Paragraphs Comic Book Nerd Special Edition

Here are a few recent comic book titles and graphic novels now available for purchase that I highly recommend. I just realized that I haven't done one of these comic book drops in a while so here goes:

Universal War One

Marvel wisely decided to pick up this French comic book title and reprint it in English along with several other French series under the Soleil/Marvel imprint (Sky Doll, Scourge Of The Gods and Samurai). Denis Bajram writes and does the art for the title. It's a space opera about a team of pilots and soldiers (seven in all) that are grouped into a sort of mercenary squad sent by the military to deal with an unknown threat: a massive wall appears in space and cuts off half of the space fleet from the other half and lies in between the Earth colonies. This six part series is well worth the read and price point. Check it out.

The Killer

Yet another masterfully done French creation that flew under the radar here in the States for far too long. The team of Jacamon and Katz created one of the best graphic novels in recent memory but it's been overshadowed by other recent comic books and properties that have been optioned into upcoming films. Hopefully, now that "The Killer" has finally been translated to English maybe heads will begin to check for it now.

New Warriors: Defiant
I was a huge fan of the original New Warriors incarnation and fell out of touch with the title during the last go round when they were corporate sponsored heroes for hire/reality show stars. In post Civil War New York where The Initiative rule and The Decimation has all but eliminated Homo Sapiens Superior there are several trained but depowered and depressed mutants in halfway houses struggling with trying to live a "normal life".

Along comes the previously presumed dead Night Thrasher to resurrect the legendary superhero team New Warriors from the ashes. He recruits depowered mutants and former X-Men to help him in his mission against Tony Starks and The Initiative through blogging, graf, podcasts, MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and the like. By using tech he manages to give depowered mutants powers of their own if Thrash can just keep his young team in line and focused in the battle with Tony Starks, S.H.I.E.L.D. and the heroes under The Initiative umbrella. Excellent writing by Kevin Grevioux perfectly complemented by the art of Paco Medina.

Mark Millar (Wanted) and John Romita Jr. (Amazing Spider Man, Wolverine, Black Panther, World War Hulk) team up to tell the tale of a high school nobody whose a comic book fan. He comes up with the idea to get into the hero game despite the fact that he has no powers, no real skills and only passable fighting ability, speed and agility. It results in him getting his ass kicked most of the time and Mark Millar is the perfect dude to write this title.

Our "hero" ends up a MySpace and YouTube sensation that can't fight as well as many of the people he tries to protect. Not only is this title topical and works on many levels but it's a great read. A film adaptation of the title has also just been greenlit for production with Matthew Vaughn on writing and directing duties and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (best known as McLovin from Superbad) attached as the lead character, Dave Lizewski. Check for it if you haven't already.

Deathblow...And Then You Live!
If you asked me to list my favorite post-9/11 graphic novels right after I say "Wanted" and respond with "Deathblow...And Then You Live!". Brian Azzarello's version of America's greatest soldier/killer Michael Cray is a must read. If you love the politically tinged work of Brian Wood (Channel Zero, DMZ), Mark Millar (Wanted, Kick-Ass), Brain K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina, Runaways) and Warren Ellis ( Transmetropolitan, Planetary) then this is for you.

I don't wanna give anything away about this graphic novel except if you're sick of the Bush Administration's abuses of power in this post Patriot Act world of Terror Alerts and Fox News coverage then buy this shit! It has the perfect blend of violence, humor, parody, weirdness and social commentary. Buy this joint now, you won't be disappointed.



brandon said...

I need to check out that 'Universal: War One' comic, European space comics are the shit! My money's short though an Skydoll was 5 bucks an issue, but if you're into I'll have to check it out. I hadn't even seen this anywhere.

You need to do the Norbit scale on 'Kick-Ass', I half love that comic and half have some problems with it, especially uh, every criminal being black or puerto rican?? JRJR art though is incredible.

Dart Adams said...

@ brandon:

My take on "Kick-Ass" is that he's a wimpy White kid in an urban environment that is intimidated by the scarier cats in said environment.

Being a "hero" and wearing a costume gives him the courage to stand up to bullies in his inner city existence whom I'd wager WOULD be predominantly Blacks or Latinos. The same theme was in Millar's "Wanted" and I "got it". It's how White kids that aren't considered "cool" feel in Boston Public Schools for the most part.


Anonymous said...

I've read the first issue of Universal War One hen it dropped in France and loved it.
But I don't think you should expect anything more from Soleil as they are mainly known for poorly written suposedly fun fantasy comic books (which all have the exact same graphics).
Anyway, keep up the good work, love your blog.
A French reader.