Comic Reviews 8/3/16 – Marvel and Image

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Doctor Strange #10

Stephen Strange confronts the Imperitor with the last of the world’s magic, and finally embraces his greatest failure.

A disappointingly neat ending considering all the shit this arc has put the character’s through; it ends in a punch-out. Stephen confronts the thing from the cellar, but is spared any actual consequences from the encounter. And the Imperitor, who’s been pretty unstoppable throughout the story, feels beaten entirely too easily in this issue.

Considering all the build-up, this final moment of triumph shouldn’t have felt so…easy.

 

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Moon Knight #5

First things first – amazing cover.

Also, whoa…this is one way to end things. Just when you thought you had this book figured out, it throws this at you.

I’m kind of speechless. These are some Terry Gilliam meets Chuck Jones shenanigans, which means that a good-to-bad scale doesn’t really apply; all I know is that it’s one heck of a ride.

What I can pretty easily describe as “good” though, is the art. The book switches styles a bit, and each one is great. I particularly enjoyed seeing Stokoe’s work in this book – he left a really good impression after Godzilla in Hell.

I really want to see where this goes.

 

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Spidey #9

Peter is pursued by Kraven the Hunter, who has some new tricks up his sleeves.

This issue is a bit of a lull for this series, and makes up for a real lack of stakes or plot with the longest single fight scene in the issue so far (I think) – which means more quips than usual – and a neat hint at what’s coming next. Still largely episodic, this book does subtly hint at some longer plot stuff, and it’s enjoyable when you can pick those things out.

 

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Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #9

Lunella is forced to deal with Mel-Varr at school, and during her heroic extra-curriculars.

This comic has settled into its groove very nicely, with Lunella and DD working nicely in tandem and becoming real heroes. The shake up here comes from Mel-Varr who gives off serious Invader Zim vibes as he tries to prove that he’s Lunella’s superior.

This book is light, fun, and very smart – exactly what it wants to be, and what it should be.

 

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Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #10

Mole Man continues to sink landmarks until Squirrel Girl agreed to date him, and the world is all up in her face about doing it!

Starting from the cover, and including the recap page, this book does an amazing job translating the very real struggles women have with everyone else deciding for them who they should be dating into a silly comic book. Besides one Squirrel Girl monologue, where Ryan North spells out the moral of the story (which, unfortunately is necessary for some people), this issue has some of the series best writing to date. North keeps on finding ways to tell old comics jokes in new and novel ways – for instance, a bit where Squirrel Girl wonders if she could make a profit selling photos of herself to J Jonah Jameson while the world’s eyes are on her.

My only complaint is that the book might’ve given Mole Man a happier ending than he deserves, but honestly, that does fit the spirit of the book more than an ending where he’s justly punished.

 

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Paper Girls #8

Erin and Adult Erin explore the shopping mall and find a clue, while Mac and Tiff get distracted from their own search for Adult Tiff and rush to the mall for themselves. And Future Erin just confuses things further.

BKV’s dialogue is as natural and entertaining as ever, a real feat considering the amount of exposition delivered in one scene in particular. We also get even more of the giant tardigrade fight, and even a scene with a giant silkworm lookin’ thing!

Between this and Stranger Things on Netflix, my appetite for 80’s throwback sci-fi is more than satisfied.

 

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Kill or be Killed #1

This is one of those stories that makes me question exactly how much of a walking stereotype I am. I feel like I identify with this main character too much, you know? The unrequited feelings, the white-male guilt, the violent wish-fulfilment, the depression and anxiety. Only thing he really has that I don’t is an inheritance.

Kill or be Killed concerns Dylan, a 28 year old grad student who decides he has to start killing bad people after a failed suicide attempt. His inner monologue informs us that he’s very liberal, feeling like his actions are justified actions against an increasingly corrupt system powered by greed and systematic oppression. But also, there may be a demon threatening to hill him if he doesn’t kill others. There’s also a girl, because there’s always a girl. She’s a redhead.

Seriously, Brubaker – I don’t care how easy it was to get into, I want you out of my head.

There’s also a really well-written essay regarding the film Death Wish in the backmatter, written by one of my favorite film critics – Devin Faraci – that, presumably, adds some context to the story going forward. I hope these continue.

If Griffin McElroy somehow appears in this comic, I’m taking it as proof that somehow Brubaker has a direct portal into my thoughts.

 

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