Sunday, January 25, 2009

Random Dive #2

Now that the events from the "Big Two" are either done or winding down and neither company has left a really great taste in my mouth, I decided to just grab some random comics out of the boxes to clean my palette. I'm not in the mood to read about "Dark Reigns" or "Final Crises" for a little while, so I looked in the boxes for something different. Of course, the best place to start when trying something new is pick out the first issue, right? With only a peek at the issue number (to make sure I was starting a story at the beginning), I grabbed four #1 issues hoping that something was worth the paper that it was printed on. Let's see what I ended up with.

The first book was The Comet #1 from Impact Comics, story and art by Tom Lyle and script by Mark Waid. OK, I like Mark Waid. I can be hopeful that this book might be a good read. The issue was purchased entirely due to the fact that I know DC owns the rights to the Impact characters and is planning to fold them into the DC universe. The thought crossed my mind that I might like reading something about them before DC just dumps them into our laps. I can tell you now that I don't. Honestly, the origin of the Comet is pretty mundane and common. Young guy gets electrocuted, but instead of dying, he gains superpowers. After reading the book I ran to Wikipedia to find out a little more about Impact comics and found that the entire imprint was aimed more at kids. That explains it. The book just isn't for me. Keep it simple for the kids so that they can get into superheroes. I am a huge proponent of getting kids to read comics. If you have a copy of The Comet lying around, give it to a kid. They might like it.

We go from kid friendly to adults only with the next book, Power & Glory by Howard Chaykin for the "Bravura" imprint of the now-defunct Malibu Comics. From what I can gather, "Bravura" consisted of multiple titles of original stories from some big name creators like Dan Jurgens, Jim Starlin, Peter David, and others. When I started reading, I found that I fell into the "seen it before" trap twice in one day as Chaykin tells a story of the government creating a fake superhero to rally the American people. The thing that I found interesting though had nothing to do with the story. At the end of the book, there is a sign-up form for the "Bravura Gold Stamp Program." Listen to this great deal! All you had to do was buy every Bravura book (which, of course, you were going to do anyway) and you will be rewarded with FOIL VARIANT COVERS! Ah, only in the 90's could a company even think that something like this would fly.

After seeing how Malibu tried to steal money out of people's pockets, it was only right to read a book set in Las Vegas where money is stolen from people's pockets every day. Don't get me wrong. I love Las Vegas and as soon as I saw Nevada #1 in the quarter bin I had to buy it. Written by the great Steve Gerber with art by Phil Winslade and Steve Leialoha, Nevada starts out as a murder mystery set in a Vegas casino that looks a whole lot like the Luxor. Of course, it is full of Steve Gerber's signature weirdness. With victims cut in half, the main character's pet ostrich, and a crime boss with no head, the book got very strange very quick. Honestly, I was sort of hoping for a more realistic crime story but the well written story and the amazing art was enough to keep me entertained. Fables fans can really see Leialoha's ink style and where his own sensibilities influence the art. I do plan on going out and looking for the rest of this series or for the trade.

Lastly, I moved from the city where every dream comes true to a city where dreams actually are real. Dream Police by J. Michael Stracznski and Mike Deodato, a one shot from 2005, tells the story of two cops who patrol the streets of the city where people's minds go when they dream. Yeah, the concept may seem a little out there but JMS made a good little story. Dealing with the crazy things that people's minds come up with is hard work. I actually laughed out loud when they were get stuck in traffic because "as usual, it's filled with people finding themselves suddenly naked in a crowd." You have to give JMS some credit for a very original idea. Dream Police is definitely worth a read if you come across it in the cheap boxes at a convention.

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