Happy ‘Comic Book’ Holidays

by J.D. Cook

Today’s Comic Book Commentary will unfortunately be a bit short due to the Holidays but I do have an announcement for the coming weeks! I will be doing a countdown of the Top 5 Comic Book Stores in Pennsylvania. I may also follow that up with a countdown of the 5 best Comic stores in New York City. So make sure you check out the site next week to discover what the 5th best comic store in Pennsylvania is!

Now onto last week’s comics! I’d love to discuss the shocking twists and turns of Dan Slott’s Superior Spider-Man but I unfortunately could not get a copy of it! I did pick up Saga issue 17, Thor God of Thunder issue 16 and the Uncanny Avengers issue 15. All good stuff in its own right but I need to know what happened to my favorite bully turned super hero Flash Thompson! Luckily this loss was supplemented by the happy surprise of a new issue of the Private Eye! First onto Brian K. Vaughan’s other big work in progress Saga.

Words cannot express how shocked I was with a certain even occurring near the end of Saga issue 17. I do not even think I can properly talk about it. One of the many great things about independent comics is the sense of finality when a character is dispatched. Marvel and D.C. can never really kill any of their characters. They are a continually ongoing mythology that also supplies their company with large amounts of cash. Whereas independent comics usually exist to give the world great stories. Such is the case with Saga and the recent character death. I really do not want to go into detail on it for fear of spoilers but I will say it was completely unexpected and completely final. There was no sense that the dead character would ever be back. Although interestingly in the Saga universe ghosts are a very real thing. Baby Hazel’s babysitter is in fact a ghost so I suppose the dead character could come back but I do not think he will and Hazel’s babysitter was a ghost because it was her duty to be spiritual protector of her planet after she died. So Vaughan may have intentionally explained that to assure readers that characters becoming ghosts was not the norm thus bringing me back to immense sadness over the loss of the character who I cannot name. Anyway I will say no more for the grief is still to near. If you like comics and have not been reading Saga you are doing yourself a disservice. I mean I even wrote an article inspired by it saying that the Best Science Fiction is in Comic Books in my first ever Comic Book Commentary article!

The Private Eye is another fascinating work worthy of an article dedicated specifically to it. Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin started the series online only. People can pay whatever they want or not pay at all and download a copy of the PDF. I love this idea immensely but I acknowledge it will probably only work for established creators. That said I’d love to be proven wrong on this count. Anyway the story is that after everyone’s internet history was revealed to the world people banned the internet and started dawning disguises to hide their identity whilst living life in order to keep their privacy. It’s a really fantastic science fiction concept that is near and dear to my own ideas on the internet. The primary story is a classic noir detective tale. A dame hires detective to look into the death of her sister and they discover a dark and evil plan! In this case it turns out the villain wants to…wait for it…re-establish…THE INTERNET! NOOO! You have to read the series to understand all the great moments of it. The detectives grandfather is from our own tech obsessed generation and he is a hilarious preview of what we Millennials might just end up as; primarily tech dependent.

Onto Uncanny Avengers! The steam keeps building in Rick Remender’s epic. I believe Captain America has now been dispatched. Isn’t it ironic that I talked about how Marvel never kills characters and then I discuss the one book on the market right now where characters are dying like crazy? Well in the case of Uncanny Avengers I believe all the deaths will be wiped away by good old time travel. That said it is still pretty gut wrenching to see characters you love killed in brutal fashion. The Apocalypse Twins continue to prove themselves as interesting and compelling villains while the story builds. I’m still waiting for Kang to rear his ugly head and hopefully when he does it will change everything!

Lastly Thor was good but not great. The Accursed story arc started out really interesting bringing Malekith, who was the primary antagonist in Thor: The Dark World, back into the Marvel Universe but the story has gotten less interesting in the last two issues. Hopefully the ending will surprise and delight me!

Until Next ‘Thor’s Day’!

Past Comic Book Commentaries

Eon Viant
Red Branch Publications ‘Cascade’
Comic Book Catchup
Laying the Hammer Down on ‘Thor’s Day’
Boycott X-Men: Days of Future Past