Reviews by Jason Serafino (@serafinoj1)
In a tight economy, it's not always clear where you should spend your hard-earned money. 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 November 21, 2012.
The Goon #43
What it’s about: One of the most popular indie titles for over a decade now, Eric Powell’s The Goon brings violence, humor, and the bizarre to comics with each new installment. As the big two companies look to tame their brand for mass consumption, The Goon features a foul-mouthed, antisocial hero that kicks, stomps, and pummels his way through armies of zombies, ghost, vampires, and countless other denizens of the paranormal world.
What to expect this month: It’s strange to see new issues of The Goon hit stands so often, but, hey, we’re not complaining. After a fossilized baby comes to life in and wreaks havoc in town during Halloween, it’s up to the Goon to settle the matter the only way he knows how: with his fists. It's a good old-fashioned showdown that captures all of the magic of the series’ glory days.
The Goon is as salty and miserable as ever, raining blows upon this baby in what can only be described as one of the strangest things you will see from a comic all year. He also puts a hurting on a defenseless child in the book’s opening pages after mistaking him for a zombie. This issue is really for the sadist in everybody.
The art, as always, is simply gorgeous. Powell’s style brings a certain circus sideshow element to each panel, which fits this strange world like a glove. There is personality oozing from every page and the meticulous care is seen in every new character and location. After all these years, The Goon still manages to be a title for the true comic lover that doesn’t mind a bit of the surreal and peculiar in their reading.
X-O Manowar #7
What it’s about: In 402 A.D., Aric of Dacia—heir to the Visigoth throne—was abducted by a mysterious alien race on Earth. He was kept prisoner aboard their ship, and once he escaped, he realized that due to time displacement, 1,600 years had passed. Now equipped with some powerful alien armor that reacts with his body chemistry, Aric has been transformed into a living weapon.
What to expect this month: For this installment of X-O Manowar, writer Robert Venditti pulls back a bit and allows the story to breathe. Instead of saturating the title with action, he allows for more character development amidst the daunting alien invasion that looms over them. By building up the threat slowly in the background, Venditti gives more validity to these aliens and makes the threat more palpable.
Also, in a rather strange development, Manowar takes a back-seat to Alexander and Ninjak, whom Venditti has built up into much more interesting characters than they appeared to be at first. Again, these decisions are designed build tension and dynamics and make the inevitable payoff that much more satisfying.
Being such a plot-heavy issue, there isn’t much to discuss that won’t spoil the whole thing, but if you’ve been following this series up until now (and we fully endorse that you do) this chapter definitely continues this series’ hot streak. Plus, Lee Garbett's art continues to improve with this issue being the highpoint of his run so far.
B.P.R.D: 1948 #2
What it’s about: This miniseries from Dark Horse Comics takes a look at the early days of the B.P.R.D. and how Professor Bruttenholm got involved in the supernatural/paranormal threats that influenced the later Hellboy comics.
What to expect this month: The creatures that were found in the Utah desert are now attacking the army, as Professor Bruttenholm must get to the bottom of their existence while dealing with his feelings for his female colleague. When the professor and crew finally kill one of the creatures and perform the autopsy, they come to a conclusion about its origins that shakes the entire series.
Which won’t get spoiled here, of course, but trust that it leaves things on an interesting cliffhanger that should have any BPRD fan coming back for more next month. Mike Mignola and John Arcudi handle the script perfectly by making the agency’s early days unpredictable, despite treading over familiar ground. The professor’s personality is being explored like we’ve never seen before, and this series looks into events that shaped him in later stories.
Max Fiumara’s art continues to jump off the page, especially in the opening scene with the army battling the creatures in the desert. The composition and scope help bring a big screen quality to the battle that really makes Arcudi and Mignola’s script jump off the page. Like most B.P.R.D. miniseries, 1948 is just a good read. There are no “shocking revelations” or publicity stunts like other comics. It’s just solid fantasy storytelling meant to appeal to people who want actual substance to go along with their books.
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Reviews by Jason Serafino (@serafinoj1)