The Best Comics in September Part 2: Duck Zombies and Angela Returns
Each month the staff at 8th Dimension Comics picks out the best book to review. Click here for Part 1 of this month's round-up.
Infinity Heist: Lately, I just love looking at the supervillains of the Marvel universe. It's honestly something like a revolution, whether it's the grand epic that was Thanos' origin, or the life of Doc Ock in Spider-Man's body, or Scott Summers basically becoming the world's most powerful terrorist.
More than that I love these looks at small time villains. The disposable one-shotters that exist just so Spider-Man can have someone to beat up. Yet these folks have lives, too, skills they've honed, motivations, relationships. In a weird way, these costumed thugs have created a whole new culture dominated by not only criminal intent, but just the sheer connection that people have doing the same thing as their coworkers.
The Heist follows small-time crooks Blizzard and Whirlwind as they get recruited by Spymaster to join a robbery of Stark Towers. That's all to come. For right now it's the adolescent bitching between manchildren, villain bars, spurned one-night-stands, and just in general the other side of the world of costumed adventure. Marvel really has started something amazing with its bad guys over the last several years.
Rating: 7 of 10
Killer Croc #1: I am a huge fan of Batman's rouge's gallery because he has the best of the best. Killer Croc always stood out to me because he was so often portrayed in very different ways. Callous thug, tragic victim, some sort of statement on the nature of man and beast... all of these had a place in the character of Croc.
When I heard that he was getting an origin story I was stoked because the last time I saw Croc was when he was helping Arsenal get his life back on track by getting him to AA and stopping him from committing suicide-by-supervillain. It was one of the best comic cameo appearances I've ever seen.
Tim Seely's new look at the character, unfortunately, doesn't seem to have any connection to that. Croc now rules a subterranean empire of the homeless and lost of Gotham, killing those who would enter his kingdom. It's pretty pedestrian stuff, honestly, and a real disappointment from a more rounded story than I was hoping for.
Rating: 5 of 10
The Other Dead #1: Everyone is sick of zombies, of course, but every once in a while someone really does come up with an inventive idea to take it to the next level. In this case, it's a zombified animal kingdom.
An aspiring rock star named Az pulls a Jennifer's Body and decides that the road to the top is paved with black magic. He and his band murder a coop full of ducks in order to fuel a blood ritual. It appears to go off without a hitch, but a gator swallows their duck-corpse before completion . Now, every animal killed rises from the dead to attack humanity.
Think on how clever that is? So many of the weakness we attribute to human zombies don't apply, and now some of them can freakin' fly. Not only that, but you're also cutting off a major source of the world's food supply at the same time since slaughtered animals are now just as big a threat as wild ones! It's a scenario no one ever would expect, and lends new blood to a tired genre.
Rating: 8 of 10
Guardians of the Galaxy #6: I more or less skipped the Age of Ultron thing because if you ask me Marvel is way too into these giant multi-book sagas right now. One interesting fall out from the time travel shenanigans is that Angela from the Spawn universe has been pulled into Marvel.
I have no real attachment to Angela. I always thought that Spawn was a crap hero. More I'm fascinated to see a character that Neil Gaiman created that Todd Macfarlan pulled one of his famous legal dick moves to control finally get new life in Marvel. I hope Gaiman bought himself something nice with the royalty check.
Angela takes on the Guardians and more or less wipes the floor with them. It takes pretty much all of them to take her down as she makes her way to Earth for unknown reasons after passing through holes in the multi-verse caused by too much time travel in the Age of Ultron storyline. The coming storm is big enough that even Uatu the Watcher feels the need to make contact, and Thanos promises Star-Lord that the end of the planet is already written. This would be a good place to jump into a really first-rate adventure.
Rating: 7 of 10
The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror #19: Finally, in the children's selection today we go old school with Treehouse of Horror. Watching the Simpsons Halloween specials stayed a tradition in my house long after I'd grown tired of the show proper.
Simpsons comics never seen to live up to me. There's just too much involved in the animated timing that can't quite come across even on the illustrated page. The ghost stories revolve around a haunted house that Homer stumbles upon, a mysterious new lunch at school that is mutating the children into super geniuses, and the one and only Lord Cthulhu.
Only the Lovecraft tale really lives up to its promise, delivering the scene in a distinctive pulp art that adds extra oomph. The twist ending is predictable, but actually manages to be a little frightening for all that. When you really sit down to stare at it, you see terrible things.
Rating: 6 of 10
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.