Monthly Archives: November, 2016

Plutona

“So…you wanna be a superhero?”

Hey, all. This is D.C. here for a throwdown. I’ve been trying to barrel through my mountain of single issues, trades and graphic novels. I read some interesting and good comics latey, but few quite like Image Comics’ Plutona.

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Quick–the premise!

Simply put, Plutona is a tale of a ragtag group of children who accidentally come upon the body of one of their hometown’s heroes, Plutona. Sounds simple enough, yes? What happens while the children keep this secret unfolds in some very disturbing ways.

Highlights

Simply put: I really did not expect writer Jeff Lemire to unfold this story the way he did. It really surprised me.

While the dialogue is ultimately generic and simple, it fits, given the protagonists are only children. I expect more nuance and captions to capture the feelings and emotions of characters and environment, but the simplicity has its place here. In spite of the simplicity, Lemire does a commendable job detailing the shifting relationships between the children.

While there doesn’t appear to be a central character, more care was taken with Mie, Ray, and Teddy, but I did feel not as much was given towards Diane and Mike. Still, each character had very distinct personalities that made it difficult for me to like or dislike any of them. They were all flawed, as humans are–and children, especially.

The relationships serve to add to the disturbing nature of this series. There are friends who grow closer, friends who grow apart, others who are clearly being used, and those who are so desperate for acceptance or develop a sense of self. For that, Lemire deserves credit.

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Teddy’s evolution–or devolution–it’s the most striking in Plutona. Who this boy is, and what his aspirations and obsession are, are hashed out in frightening fashion. I was almost disgusted with this meek child’s actions. Was he psychotic, or was he just like other bullied children with repressed and bottled anger, just waiting for the properly escape, trigger, and outlet?

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The interesting thing about this book is, despite its name, the heroine Plutona is not the focus. Her background is delved upon only sparingly, but never the exact nature or origin of her powers. The book deals with the children’s discovering her and the fallout of that discovery.

Emi Lenox’s art is more cartoonish than I’m accustomed to when it comes to a book this serious. However, she captures the appropriate emotions in her characters to help drive the story. Each character is their own, and you can really feel their emotions on their faces, aided even more by Lemire’s script.

This is one book I don’t want to spoil (also because Kay hadn’t read it yet, and she’s a real whiner when it comes to spoilers), but you really have to read this series and see just how the ending comes about. It was just…simple, yet chaotic and disturbing with a somewhat open ending.

Verdict?

Plutona is started out as a simple fantasy that took a severely dark and disturbing turn. Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox work well in this hard tale of how children deal with a secret that becomes a crisis. This book gets a thumbs-up from me.

END THROWDOWN.

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Introducing….Ironheart

Image result for invincible iron man #1 riri williams

Hello everyone, it’s Kay G, today I’ll be discussing Bendis’s new story of Invincible Ironman. A new story, featuring a new character Ironheart who is young girl named Riri, walking in the footsteps of Ironman after his departure. This first issue shows how Riri grew up a genius and her struggles do deal with everyday life and be as normal as she can be.

Image result for invincible iron man #1 riri williams

What I loved most about this issue is that we watch Riri struggle trying to operate her first days as a superhero. It’s soothing we never get to see with most heroes. We hardly ever get to see behind the scenes on what it takes for them to get out there and be the hero, especially on their first run.

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I’ll admit I wasn’t so sure about the character, not because of the talk about her not being Ironman or replacing him and all the negative talk. I wasn’t sure of her because of what I thought of her personality when I first saw her. Riri seemed like a girl version of Tony Stark, she was arrogant and thought that she knew everything, but I was wrong. Riri seems to be a girl just wanting to make a difference; she’s just as scared as the res t of us.  Riri, unlike most heroes’ lack the resources she needs to be as efficient as she can be. She’s struggling to fit in her role, but that’s what makes her humble and sincere.  I don’t believe that she is meant to replace Ironman despite all the talk of it, actually if she’s replacing anyone it would be War Machine.

Regardless if she’s replacing anyone or simply an add on character, I absolutely loved this issue. It was a great first introduction to this new story by Bendis. He’s making me remember again why I loved his writing. So if you’re interested in starting a new story that’s hard to put down; this is it. I am very much looking forward the second issue. This story seems like it will have a lot of heart, which if you think about is very fitting to her character name. This is Kay G, thanks for reading and don’t forget to pick up a copy of Invincible Ironman.

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Deathlok the Demolisher

“MAKE. THEM. PAY!”

Welcome again, all. This is D.C. back to throw down on one of the more tongue-in-cheek choices I’ve made during the LA Comic Con this past weekend.

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Who is Deathlok?!

In nearly all incarnations, Deathlok was the amalgam of (dead) flesh and metal, proposed to be the ultimate war machine. Deathlok has always been a hero with its biological and technological personae at war with one another in some form. Two of Marvel’s best known incarnations were Luther Manning and Michael Collins. However, many others from both the mainstream and alternate universes have used the moniker Deathlok, which, in my eyes, have added to the complicated history Deathlok. The most recent incarnations were Deathlok Prime from Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force and Henry Hayes.

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Deathlok Prime from Uncanny X-Force

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Henry Hayes, Deathlok

With my limited experience with Deathlok as a whole (minus Uncanny X-Force–fun run!), I figured now was as good a time as any to learn about him.

Plot?

Deathlok the Demolisher is a 7-part story under the Marvel Knights imprint, centered around an alternate future where Roxxon Corporation rules, and the world enjoys bloody warfare as a sport. Only the most brutal soldiers get the highest pay and greatest fame.

Charlie Huston wrote an action-packed and somewhat engrossing tale that gave insight our protagonists, the disciplined Luther Manning and the impulsive Mike Travers. Seeing the two characters interact throughout the story was good, if only to see how they can come to terms with one another in this profane culture.

However, the story was bogged down more than once by the incredibly dense dialogue Huston employed. I enjoy real dialogue in my books, and at times Huston wrote with comedic and wild effect. Still, there certainly was too much weighing down the story, especially with regard to Deathlok’s creator.

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The tone is what you might expect of a  future in which one company rules and dictates entertainment through warfare. It was alarming, cautionary, and rings reminiscent of our own culture now. A page of Mike Traver’s commercials is ridiculous and, in retrospect, a massive jab at advertisement and media as a whole.

I only wish that the profanity were written explicitly, with how often the pound signs were used. But it was a Marvel Knights imprint, and there were rules.

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While the story’s conclusion was more open-ended, it also had a very good finish to who this Deathlok is and what his world was, is, and might be. Perhaps it was because of the dense script, but I found myself lost as to the exact reasons Deathlok was able to cure this malady the disenfranchised anarchists suffered from. Still, it was a decent conclusion for what the story told.

Art?

Lan Medina did a great job capturing the overall tone, detail, and attitude of this story. At times, it’s dynamic, other times brutal…and still other times, just vile. It was a very satisfying mixture that meshed well.

Death scenes were utterly brutal and gratuitous–a perfect reflection of this dystopic and chaotic world. Medina really pulled out the stops in both landscape and character design, where the characters all look distinct and have their own personalities thanks to Huston. So much was put into this miniseries that it was amazing Medina’s art did not suffer throughout. More than once a panel caught me so off-guard that I’d exclaim, “Holy shit!”

This is truly art and script complementing one another.

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Recap?

Deathlok the Demolisher is a good book for anyone looking for an introduction to the core character of Deathlok. It is an action-packed and brutal tale of identity and independence. While parts of the story are incredibly heavy in dialogue, Charlie Huston and Lan Medina work a very satisfying graphic tale together.

END THROWDOWN.

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #7

My god…a month? A whole month of not writing? I’m upset at myself for not providing you with any throwdowns–but adult life (and the LA Comic Con!) got in the way of writing.

Enough excuses. It’s a new month, and it’s time to get to it. First pick, DC’s Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #7.

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(You’d be surprised how long it took to wait for a properly-sized picture to be available for use.)

Highlights

As I’ve stated before, I’ve been a fan of Robert Venditti since Valiant’s X-O Manowar revival. I know he has a knack for superhero sci-fi epics. I enjoyed his Rebirth run so far because of his strong characterizations (especially of Hal, Sinestro, and Guy Gardner), but I had more problems with this issue than I thought I would.

One character confused me throughout this starting arc: Lyssa Drak.

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She did debut as a Sinestro Corps member some years ago, but her allegiances have been dubious and in outright opposition to even Sinestro. Why is she back with the corps, let alone bumping uglies with Sinestro? Or rather, why is Sinestro porking her? Her entire being screams traitor, and I had difficulty wrapping my head around the logic behind Sinestro keep her around the team and in his bed. Perhaps I missed that from not having read the Sinestro series, or Venditti’s last run of Green Lantern.

Well, she is very alluring, I’d admit. Until you see her teeth.

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I did feel the “final” battle between Sinestro and Hal fell flat in a way. Issue #6 ended with Sinestro consuming the fear entity Parallax and leveling up even more using the Fear Engine. The effect? A power-up. Nothing more. No epic transformation in conjunction with the absorption of Parallax. Nothing out of the ordinary with charging his ring well over 2000%.

I was disappointed that nothing visually stimulating came from such a staggering power-up. Even worse is that the fact that Hal is becoming will itself wasn’t touched on as Hal easily defeated Sinestro. That alone sets up questions: how much will does Hal have, if such a thing can be quantified? Why was he, becoming will but not completely will, so easily able to destroy an entity-infused Sinestro, even with his Fear Engine power-up diminished?

The emotional entities are often depicted as the personifications of emotions. Did Sinestro limit his access to Parallax, or did his consumption of Parallax somehow have an adverse effect? These should have been alluded to in some form, because it makes one wonder just what that means for the other color corps. More importantly, what powers can one who is becoming emotion access, and are those powers specific to each emotion?

How does one become emotion?

Oomph. That sounds like rich stories for DC there. Here’s hoping these things get addressed in later arcs.

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The art does a great job of adding to the epic nature of this series. Rafa sandoval, Jordi Tarragona and Tomeu Morey mix their pencils, inks, and colors in fantastic fashion. It really feels like you’re reading a sci-fi hero book with its luminous detail, especially during Hal and Sinestro’s battle.

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Recap

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #7 gives a fair conclusion to the first arc. However several questions go unanswered in lieu of a battle that is visually great, if not somewhat neutered. Still, this creative team did a very good job in the first arc. I hope that the emotional spectrum’s seemingly evolving nature will be delved upon more, in light of Hal’s own evolution. And that Hal will finally meet with his corps again!

END THROWDOWN.