The Best Comics in July Part 2: Four Weird Mysteries and Lumberjanes
Supreme Blue Rose #1 This part of the comic round up this month is dedicated to a quartet of strange mystery stories that all began in July. It was just a damned good month to start looking at things that are insane.
First up, Supreme Blue Rose by Warren "Here We Go Again" Ellis. Twin Peaks fans will know that a blue rose is a euphemism or code word that indicates something paranormal or extraordinary. This book takes that idea and runs with it Beginning on a strange dreamscape that rivals anything in the Black Lodge. we meet a young, recently unemployed journalist who agrees to work for a man that supplies impossibilities to his clients. It's a mind-warping trip of a tale that promises to bend the lines between reality as only Ellis can.
Be warned, you're going to be lost going in, but just go with it and you'll be fine.
Rating: 8 of 10
Bodies #1 Easily the strangest comic that came out this month was Bodies by Si Spencer. It spans all across space and time, but there is always one thing each segment has in common. There is always a detective and there is always a body. The detective changes from man to woman, from consummate professional to ruthless and corrupt thug, but the body is always the same. The same wounds, the same position, it just appears over and over again. The coming question is why?
The book is really inventive. Though Spencer is the writer for each segment, a different artist takes them on. This really heightens the distance between the various time lines, and adds to the surreality of the situation. There's so much to hope for from this weird little mini series.
Rating: 8 of 10
The Woods #3 This is a book I feel bad for having missed until now. James Tynion IV's Woods is a high pitched something else all right. A school full of teachers and kids gets mysteriously transported to an alien world with little hope of return. The faculty try and organize the school into a cohesive survival outfit, but the principal is quickly undermined by a cruel coach that declares martial law and begins to rule with an iron fist.
Meanwhile, out in the woods may be the answer to what's going on, but there are also bears, dinosaurs and all kinds of other terrible things. Which is why it was probably a bad idea for a bunch of the students to go out there at night. The adventure is really heating up this third book in, and it's probably my dark horse candidate for best indie comic of the year. It's like Lost, but you get the impression someone actually knows what's going on.
Rating: 7 of 10
Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #1 Confession of a bad comic journalist... I missed some really big stuff, OK? You'll notice I didn't cover Rocket Raccoon, and of the two highly-anticipated new Doctor Who comics from Titan I only have a Tenth Doctor. I didn't get to the shop before Rocket and the Eleventh Doctor sold out, and that is a failing on my part. Look for next month when I'll check in on both series.
For now, let's see how Ten is doing in a new setting. Taking place after the mindwipe of Donna Noble, Ten is on his own again hunting monsters. Honestly, though, he's barely in the issue until the very end, and I don't think we see the Tardis at all.
Instead we focus on introducing a new companion in the form of Gabrielle. I'm loving her. First off, she's American, the daughter of successful Mexican immigrants in New York City. he loves her family, but chaffs under her dad's expectations of her to help out with his various enterprises. In the middle of all that, she and everyone around her start seeing terrible demonic hallucinations, which draw the attention of you know Who.
It's just a taste of a good, old-fashioned adventure with a new companion, but it's got a lot of potential. Ten was always one of the better comic Doctors, anyway.
Rating: 7 of 10
Lumberjanes #4 The overall appeal of Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis' work remains lost on me. I just don't get it, but for the first time I think I might actually try a bit harder to understand.
Lumberjanes is a girl scout book on steroids. In this issue our intrepid group of girls meets the boys camp from across the lake, who despite an uber macho scoutmaster are more into cleaning and cookie baking. Their domesticals drive the master away to go catch a fish by wrestling it from a bear, and a group of the Lumberjanes head off to explore a mysterious lighthouse (On a lake?).
The book is pretty fantastic, with inventive situations and a nice balance of social commentary and whimsical humor. It's definitely on my to-read list for bedtime with the girl-child in the near future.
Rating: 7 of 10
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