In a tight economy, it's not always clear what you should spend your hard-earned money on, and with comic books getting more and more expensive, your dollar doesn’t go as far at the comic shop as it did in the past. We here at Complex feel your pain, so we're providing you with a rundown of the best comics coming out on October 10, 2012.
The Massive #5
What it’s about: In a world where a great “Crash” has ruined the climate, economy, and society as a whole, a ship of environmentalists must search for their lost friends while also finding purpose in a world that has lost its humanity. Writer Brian Wood’s series came out of the gate with some interesting ideas, but as this new story arc has moved to different areas and focused on some different characters, The Massive is now a series to really keep an eye on.
What to expect this month: This issue of The Massive continues the main story of the ship’s search for food and water as Mary and Ryan explore what they thought was a deserted military base in the Arctic for supplies. Unfortunately, they run into a rogue group that has been using the base of their own needs and the expedition for water soon turns into a trip of survival.
Wood continues to drop hints about what happened during “The Crash” throughout, with his ecological and political views pushing the book further towards being more than just an adventure tale. All of the previous chapters also dealt with these types of issues, but Wood finally strikes the right balance between real world political talk and escapist fantasy. This is where the series reaches its true potential as a post-apocalyptic comic with some real meat on the bone.
Garry Brown’s art also has to be commended here. His character models are very strong throughout, but its his rendition of the isolated, snowy terrain that really helps tell the story. It gives us a sense of the enormity of the story, but also how small, sad, and lonely humanity has gotten after “The Crash.”
With the last two issues, The Massive has picked up enough steam for us to wholly endorse it as one of the best titles on the market. Hopefully this can keep up, because the world needs more books like this to challenge our society’s views on the important matters.
Conan the Barbarian #9
What it’s about: By stripping Conan of his overwhelming masculinity and gruff exterior, Brian Wood has made the character far more relatable and interesting than previous incarnations. This take on Conan is younger and more inexperienced, and he is still feeling his way through this vast world as he journeys to become the world’s most legendary warrior.
What to expect this month: “Border Fury” comes to a close as Conan comes face-to-face with the man who has been using his name to commit violent atrocities across the land. It turns out this isn’t some overwhelming evil; instead, it's a former friend from Conan’s youth who is still pissed about losing his girlfriend to the famous barbarian. It’s as simple as that, yet it makes complete sense. That's the type of thing that would drive someone to want revenge on you and Wood plays that up perfectly.
As Conan battles his doppelganger, his lover, Bêlit, begins to make peace with herself and fights back against the cold oppression of Cimmeria, even going as far as to overcome the land’s vicious snow blindness. It’s a side story that adds layers to Bêlit’s character, even though the focus is still mainly on Conan.
The art, drawn by Vasilis Lolos, is much better than his work effort seen in the last issue, but it’s still not as tight as Becky Cloonan’s art from previous chapters. Lolos still has the habit of drawing over exaggerated eyes on all of the characters, but as a whole, the work really starts to come together towards the end of the issue. Again, this isn’t the traditional take on Conan; still, it’s a consistently stellar series that keeps on surprising us.
Point of Impact #1
What it’s about: It’s always a nice sight when Image Comics debuts a brand new series, and though we didn’t exactly see Point of Impact coming, this first issue is a solid start. The story focuses on a woman who falls to her death from the roof of a building.
That might sound like the beginning of a pretty tepid police procedural, but writer Jay Faerber instead shines the light on the people in this woman’s life. We see how the cop who arrives on the scene recognizes the woman from her yoga class, and we are also introduced to her husband and her mistress.
Each one of these characters paints a different portrait of the woman from an acquaintance, her devoted spouse, and her secret lover. It might not sound like much, but this gives the series a completely fresh perspective on a story that isn’t exactly groundbreaking. Then, like any good comic, the rug is yanked out from beneath us with an intriguing cliffhanger that leaves us curious for the rest of the series.
Helping move the plot along is Koray Kuranel's black-and white-art. The detail in the penciling is great, and his use of negative space gives the whole thing a vintage crime thriller vibe, with the first two pages even resembling Sin City. For people looking for a unique, stylized spin on the crime genre, Point of Impact hits all the right notes.
Written by Jason Serafino (@serafinoj1)