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Cream of the Comics – 3/21/2007

Cream of the Comics - 3/21/2007

After The Cape #1Hero By Night #1After The Cape #1
written by Howard Wong, art by Marco Rudy

Hero By Night #1
written and drawn by D.J. Coffman

This week, two books caught my eye, and both of them are new. Just looking at the covers, you can already see that there are some stark contrasts between the two in art style, but if you take a look at the concepts, you can see that both use the ever-awesome superhero genre as a springboard. Keep reading after the jump for why you should buy them, and for preview pages of both to back my story up!
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Cream of the Comics – 3/7/2007

Dynamo 5 #1Dynamo 5
written by Jay Faerber, art by Mahmud Asrar

When Captain Dynamo died, his widow discovered he’d been unfaithful. Now, as his enemies descend on his unprotected city, Captain Dynamo’s widow rounds up his five illegitimate children, each of whom have inherited one of their father’s super-powers.

Kind of sucks to be Captain Dynamo’s widow. Not only does she find out about her husband’s infidelity, she also has to hunt down his illegitimate children, and then she has to flaunt his infidelity in her own face by sending out these children to follow and fight in his footsteps.

Honestly, it’s tough to say too much more about this book, as I’ve never read Faerber’s popular Noble Causes book, which this spins indirectly out of. All I know is that it successfully (financially as well as storywise) deals with family in the superhero context too. And honestly, the idea of these kids being asked to avenge a father who wasn’t there for them has my interest piqued all on its own. I’m definitely onboard for the first issue, and you should be too.

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War of the Independents

War of the IndependantsCBR is reporting on a new series featuring independently owned creations – from Savage Dragon to Shi to Madman to Cerebus – called “War of the Independents.” A cursory glance at the accompanying image tells me … well, it tells me there’s going to be dozens of characters I don’t recognize. Is that Captain Canuck in there?

The inspiration comes from artist Dave Ryan, who explains that having just survived Infinite Crisis and Civil War, he figured he’d never seen a similar sort of story featuring independent characters. The story he has planned is going to focus on “the villains Kain and Orcus trying to create a reverse tower of Babel to open the gates of Hell and destroy the Earth.” Not a terribly well-thought out plan, if you ask me – where will they live then? The moon?

As for when we can expect to see this, according the article, these villains are going to be introduced in Ryan’s Penance book in March 2008. So we may not be seeing this for a while, unless that ’08 was a typo for ’07. In the meantime, I’ll just oscillate between being worried and excited about seeing another potential train-wreck of a crossover.

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Cream of the Comics – 2/14/2007

GØDLAND #16GØDLAND #16
written by Joe Casey, art by Tom Scioli

Well, I definitely tried to pimp this book out before, but I don’t think anyone took any interest, as I also definitely screwed up the image-linking in that post, but no one minded.

BUT!

Tomorrow, to celebrate Valentine’s Day I presume, issue #16 is ONLY SIXTY CENTS!

And, considering the book is at Image rather than Marvel or DC, the creators have to give up more than just the bulk of their paycheck to put a book like that out. Think about what a labor of love and effort Casey and Scioli went through in making this so affordable. And if your local retailer doesn’t have one, just back-order it; it’ll still be the same price!

So seriously, take one for the team and cough up sixty cents already you damn cheapskate!

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Lost Classics: Spawn – In the Demon’s Hand (Arcade, Dreamcast)

spawninthedemonshand.jpgFirst of all, pay no attention to the low scores given by other media outlets. This game is the best game to make use of the Spawn license (besides his appearance in the Xbox version of SoulCalibur 2). Surprisingly, it was a third-person shooter made by Capcom. The gameplay is a fusion of Quake 3: Arena and Powerstone. Players select from 37 characters (most of which are unlockable and 12 being available at the start), each with their own array of weapons and powers, and blast their way through several stages in either arcade or story modes. You can also play the standard multiplayer modes for up to 4 players in stages with variable environmental settings. The character selection included nearly everyone from the Spawn mythos, even Cagliostro, Sam, Twitch, and a few alternate versions of Spawn himself. It’s a shame that the game engine was used in only one other game, Heavy Metal Geomatrix. It would have interesting to see more shooters by Capcom done in this style.

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Cream of the Comics – 1/24/2007

Invincible #38Invincible #38
written by Robert Kirkman, art by Ryan Ottley

I’m hesitant to recommend this specific issue, as it seems to be running a couple of the longer-running subplots, specifically involving the Viltrumites, Allen the Alien (who is totally awesome), and that weird alien business from Mars. Kirkman clearly always tries to make the book accessible, but there’s just so much more to appreciate if you’ve been reading it for a while.

In fact, if you’re going to start reading this book, there’s really one best way to do it – From the very beginning. Buy the first two trades (or just the Ultimate Collection, Vol. 1 – the stuff is collected in a couple different ways). I promise you, if you regret that purchase, then YOU ARE NOT HUMAN. Because once you’ve read the first 8 issues, you will hit the mindjob that is the overarcing story of the entire book – the deep issues between our developing superhero, Mark (Invincible), and his veteran superheroic father (Omni-Man). And the third trade only gets better from there (though again, that’s all part of that one Ultimate Collection – only $25 on Amazon or MileHighComics.com).

This book is a non-stop ride of excitement, classic superheroics, and heart-wrenching twists. Kirkman’s recent work at Marvel has failed to come anywhere near the heights of this joyride of a book, but that has more to do with just how incredible this book has consistently been.

It’s really difficult to talk to much without giving away the amazing plot points. Simply put, if you like superheroes, and you love a great story, just go buy those first two trades – or the Ultimate Collection, Vol. 1. If you’re feeling hesitant, maybe at least give tomorrow’s issue a try though – if you like that, THEN go buy the trades. And then you’ll understand that you must always trust my word on such matters. Because, like this book, my word is GREAT.

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Cream of the Comics – 10/24/2006

GØDLAND #13GØDLAND #13
written by Joe Casey, art by Tom Scioli

After taking a few months off at the end of the first year, this book picks up again tomorrow with issue 13. It’s a difficult book to describe, but basically, astronaut Adam Archer has been transformed into a super-being, and he seems to be the next step leading humanity into a much larger role in the universe… but for the moment, he’s much more wrapped up in the problems that keep on popping up around him. In the first 6 issues we encountered 4 super-villians, but the awesomest by far is Basil Cronus:

GØDLAND #2 GØDLAND #9

As you can see, he is clearly awesome. In issue 9 he got that new body, because – sorry to spoil it – the head that was on it exploded suddenly. It was incredible! And with all the crazy runningarounds going on with Adam Archer’s early villains, the giant spacedog Maxim is keeping him on track with his cosmic destiny!

This book is a powerful dose of fun, and the art and the writing do a bang-up job of providing a throwback to old school, Golden Age comics, while keeping it fresh and modern – much like how Captain America does it, only with a lean more towards the crazy Silver Age. In some ways, it’s really telling that it takes a team of two to channel the wonder and fantastic that Jack Kirby always brought to the table. If you don’t trust me, you can read the entire first issue online at Newsarama! And besides, any book that can boast the line “No time to chat, sis. I’ve got a giant, intergalactic dog to save.” is brilliant in any universe.

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