The Best Comics in August Part 2: The Ninth Doctor Returns
Silver Surfer #5: The new adventures of the Silver Surfer are pretty amazing because they are both cosmically relevant and completely irreverent. The surfer is a being of unimaginable power, and that's always a problem when it comes to writing because it makes him distant and unlikeable.
That distance and hammy hugeness make for great comedy fodder now that he's paired with human Dawn Greenwood. Its very Doctor Who/Companion relationship, with the ending of this issue pretty much mirroring the ending of a first companion episode.
"To me, Dawn Greenwood!"
"You totally 'to-me'd' me. Do you have any idea how incredibly rude that is?
Doctor Strange and Hulk also join in as the Defenders attempt to locate a lord of nightmares that turns things all Cthulhu-like. Honestly, though, it's a sideshow to the awesome interactions between Norrin and Dawn. I imagine that their adventures off Earth will be most entertaining.
Rating: 7 of 10
Wayward #1: Half-Irish, half-Japanese teenager Rori Lane leaves the Emerald Isle and her father to live with her mom in Tokyo. It's a brave new world made even stranger that Rori ends up meeting a cat ninja who saves her from rape-y kappas and then discovers she has some sort of power that allows her to see the lines of fate.
In short, everything gets all Japan up in the book, but it's a good time nonetheless. It dips into some manga clichés here and there, but Jim Zub is a gifted storyteller with a penchant for memorable dialogue. Ayane the cat ninja is my favorite sidekick since Bedelia of Princeless. She quirky, deadly, and hints at a final old time for the two girls beating monsters.
Rating: 7 of 10
Spread #2: Justin Jordan has a great new apocalypse to share, but it's not for the faint-hearted. Spread takes place in a future where a Lovecraftian horde has taken over the world, reanimating corpses and eating people in very nasty manners. Among the ruins is a salvager named No, a brutal man just trying to get by.
He comes across a baby girl whose spit dissolves the spread, and decides to take her under his protection in hope that she can help beat back the spread. What follows is basically The Last of Us, but with shoggoths instead of fungus zombies. Plus there are crazy women breast-feeding. It's a dark, bloody book full of murder in the snow and the worst of humanity. But there's still a brightness to it.
Rating: 8 of 10
Kang & Kodos #1: Simpsons comics almost never live up to the show. All they ever really do is show you how important that voice cast truly is to the success of the cartoon.
Still, Kang & Kodos is probably the best one I've ever read. Of course it follows the mutant aliens and their endless quest to enslave Earth. In this context it plays much more Pinky & The Brain, and that's definitely to the book's benefit.
The best of the lot is the aliens meet up with the clan of Cletus and end up with more of a fight than they bargained for. The list of Cletus' children alone is comedy gold, and worth the cover price.
Rating: 6 of 10
The Cruel Sea: I got a surprise in my mailbox! Panini finally reprinted the collection of Ninth Doctor comics that initially ran in Doctor Who magazine for the first time in many years.
There are so few Ninth Doctor stories in the world, and this is an excellent collection that shows off some of the best of Rose and Nine. "The Love Invasion" alone is reason to buy, as it gives a you a chance to soften to Eccleston's angry soldier as he capers about being much sillier and warmer to Rose than before. I laughed out loud in several places.
It's also a neat chance to watch the writers Robert Shearman and Gareth Roberts establish Eccleston as a Doctor to the most dedicated fans in the world. To that end you need to keep your eye out for several First Doctor's time. Ben and Polly make a cameo, and there a references to Susan and Vicki. On several levels, it makes you love his Doctor more.
Rating: 8 of 10
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