Goners #1: Jacob Semahn has an interesting new book out from Image about a famous demon-hunting family. There's not enough Belmont homages in the world for my tastes, and Semahn pulls out a great legacy showing exactly how something like an ancestral line of monster hunters might adapt to the modern world.
In this case they decide to start a reality television show. Good idea, but there's a reason they don't take TV crews into hostage negotiations and active battle zones most of the time. Needless to say, this idea goes quickly to shit.
It's honestly a little hard to follow this book. The dialogue is amazing, but the characters swirl in and out of recognition sometimes thanks to flashbacks and sudden appearances. It was also cool to see the bakaak (which I was raised to call the bay-kok) make a showing as a monster in a comic. The liver hunters always scared the crap out of me as a kid and aren't used nearly enough, in my opinion. Special love goes to artist Jorge Corona, who keeps things pulp but warm in his drawings.
Rating: 6 of 10
Hobgoblin #1: Aside from Captain Cold and Harley Quinn, if there's anything Marvel always seems to beat DC at, it's creating compelling villain books. Where DC rarely manages to touch, though, is the amazing look into the everyday lives of the bad guys. There, Marvel is supreme.
Hobgoblin has always been one of my favorite Spider-man foes. Sure, he's the B Team Green Goblin, but there was always something a little more about him. Not being insane, for instance. Well, as part of the huge Axis event, Hobgoblin Roderick Kingsley has turned to the side of good. More important, he's basically become the Steve Jobs of superheroics.
He's turned his brand as Hobgoblin into a franchised operation reaching out to the desperate washed-up heroes and luckless villains of the world. In doing so, he creates a Goblin Army that, well, gets the job done. They stop crime, they save people from fires, and they even help out by cordoning off areas where metahuman battles are waging.
Holy crap, Hobgoblin is a better Batman than Batman ever was. Part Reaganomics greed machine, part wide-eyed dreamer for a better world, Roderick Kingsley may be the best superhero in the world of comics today.
Rating: 9 of 10
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Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #6: I have enjoyed Miles Morales as Spider-man more than I have ever enjoyed Peter Parker. There. I said it.
Morales has just always managed to bring a deeper connection to the character than Peter. As time went by, Parker became an almost Captain America figure of innocence and virtue. That's not surprising considering that he is essentially Marvel's Superman in terms of acclaim if not in power.
His successor is a more real figure, and works better even as he stands in the shadow of Parker. As his newest series hits its stride, we get to watch Norman Osborn get his immortal self thoroughly humiliated by the kid in a classic battle. More than that is his amazing sense of heroism. Parker's quest was always driven by guilt, but Morales is a better man with a stronger core. I'm glad he's stuck around.
Rating: 8 of 10
Arkham Manor #1: Might as well compound my blasphemies from the last entry by asking, "Does the world need more Batman?" I mean, don't get me wrong. The rebirth of the Dark Knight in the hands of Scott Snyder was the best thing anyone had done for the Bat in years, but he's freakin' everywhere now.
Well, Gerry Duggan proves at least that if we don't exactly need more Batman, then we are at least no worse off for having it.
Arkham Manor is an intriguing book. Having lost the family fortune, Bruce Wayne has seen his ancestral home claimed by eminent domain and willed to Gotham as a new home for the criminally insane. Bruce still maintains his vigil from the Batcave under the house, but a string of murders sends him into his old home under a false name as a prisoner.
After spending so much of the last several years surrounding Batman with his family, it's sort of nice to see him brooding alone in the dark again. Bruce rarely gets to explore his power and strength outside of the cowl, and this is a chance to do it.
Rating: 7 of 10
Edward Scissorhands #1: Remember when Tim Burton made original films and was just the best OMG, you guys? I do, and it's always been sort of a strange disappointment that he stopped doing that to become the king of tired adaptations.
Edward Scissorhands is a direct sequel to the classic film set right after Kim dies having told her granddaughter the story of Edward. To the town at large, he remains a figure of legend and a murdering monster. Kim's granddaughter, Megan, believed that he was an innocent, though, and keeps the faith.
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Meanwhile, Edward may finally have found a friend left behind by his creator all those years ago.
The book is a good start, I'll grant you. The story of Edward always left plenty of room to tell more, and it's a shame it's taken this long. Kate Leth has a keen grip on Burton's most famous creation, and Drew Rausch's art grows on you as the book goes on. His pictures mirror the glaring difference between suburban American and Edward's cold, gothic birthplace.
Rating: 8 of 10