Welcome to another wonderful week of comic books on a Wednesday. So what's hitting the racks today? Well first, a little education, courtesy of Professor Wolverine.
I have to say I love that. Ninjas based on Kabuki theatre figures, dressed in black, so they could move objects around the stage as if they were floating, check. But to tie up The Hand with "stage hands"… well, that's the kind of thing Alan Moore used to do with continuity. Oh and look Alan Davis is on art. It's almost…
Oh, yes, Crossed Badlands takes on Japanese customs with far more sensitivity. But I want to know more about the theatre!
More theatre lessons from John Stewart in Green Lantern Corps, doing a Zero Year thing. We're learning so much about theatre today! What else can we learn.
I genuinely didn't know that about Roosevelt. And it happens to be all true! But I'm not the only one who needs educating about the true nature of Piranha…
Seriously, one genius living inside the head of another genius in Superior Spider-Man and they don't know this about piranha? Blame Teddy Roosevelt again!
See, Superior Spider-Man, that's what you needed to do. Bring in a Killer Shark with a sideline in sexual services.
It was only the other day in Batman Zero Year, that Gordon was complaining about the lack of technology amongst Gotham's Police Force (or is that Olice Force?) Now, five or six years later in Forever Evil: Arkham War, he finds the upside.
From the final page of Constantine #8, it leads into a crossover from a few months ago, before jumping forward to the current one. That's a rather entertaining way to cover up the fact that John Constantine basically turned up does a superhero fight and no one thought to give him enough motivation. Time for a continuity patch from Ray Fawkes and Aco here…
A Vibe sense? Isn't that patent pending for Spider-Man? I mean, come on, Spider-Man might be using that right now and he really needs it…
Okay, no, as you were, the Ultimate Spider-Man at least seems to have no use for it whatsoever.
Okay, Nightwing Zero Year gives us the closest I've seen an actual DC comic featuring a Robin of sorts, looking just like it came out of the pages of Rick Veitch's Bratpack. Such fresh faced innocence, about to be ground into splinter glass…. read this and Forever Evil at the same time and you won;t be happy.
Rocket Girl cuts to the chase of the causality loop. With bad guy Quintum Mechanics. But are they really so bad, they are after all only doing what they already did. And why ruin such a future over some time travel ideology. Basically, it's 2013, where's my jet pack and my robot car? What would The Doctor do in such a similar situation?
Ah, well, apparently, pretty much the same thing. I bet he wouldn't have much time for death rays either.
No, no one seems to appreciate a good old fashioned death ray these days, not even in Dark Nights #5. Haven't they heard of the second amendment?
Noir #1 thankfully knows all about that kind of thing. You're never naked with a semi-automatic.
Okay, Manifest Destiny is probably my favourite book this week. There's always the appeal of the new, but in this case a band of expendables, each a fascinating case study by themselves, set to tame the Americas – especially the native population who may be a little more that history tells us – and the setup for a slaughter of both sides is set. Colonial politics played against a fantastic work. And skull shapes flowers.
Umbral gives us an Arthurial legend or magic and derring-do, that hits an interdimensional invader out of HP Lovecraft, and, frankly, some rather unexpected language for this period. What more do you want in a comic book today?
Look, GI Joe: A Real American Hero has good a lot of characters in it. There has to be, they have a lot of toys to sell and Christmas is coming up. You can't remember everyone… especially if they're just another variant paint job.
Mars Attacks Judge Dredd 3… and everyone stands around with their legs as wide open as possible. Can I get a crotch shot?
Thank you Clown Fatale and your really dodgy sexual politics.
Oh and you as well, Walking Dead. Of course there's only one way to deal with an impending horde of zombies, Shaolin Cowboy, can you assist?
Most kind. That's one hell of a throw you have on you. Okay, so what's the opposite of all this nastiness, I need my palate refreshed…
And here it is! My Little Pony: Spike – reading his own manual. Aw bless.
At which point in the Star Trek universe, everyone on the entire planet shouts "Khaaaan!" in unison.
John Byrne on Triple Helix #2, as ever, dissatisfied with everything and being forced to make do with what he has on hand while moaning about it. Oh no, wait, that's the character…
I have to say, Calvin has really outdone himself with his snowmen diorama in Wraith #1 this year, hasn't he, Hobbes?
It does as well! The back of Peter Hogan's Resident Alien #3 reveals another Resident Alien series on the way. It will be called "The Sam Hain Mystery".
X shows us what an Extreme House Makeover really entails.
While Manifest Destiny was probably my favourite comic book this week, this was probably my favourite scene, with those final three words in this X-Men Gold panel I was suddenly back in the eighties and reading Uncanny X-Men at the bus stop waiting for the bus back from Leeds to Pontefract, after making my monthly visit to Odyssey 7, instead of revising for exams. Happy days… and just the beat of the language transported me. Maybe Marvel will let Chris Claremont write another comic, while he remains on his exclusive contract with the publisher, making X-Men Gold one of the costliest comics Marvel have published. No wonder they ran reprints from two recent X-Men issues in the back. They have to make their money somehow…
That Darkhawk gem doesn't half get around in Avengers Arena. Just don't let Nighthawk get it or he's be Nighthawkhawk. Cros universes and get Hawkmanhawk.
Sure Abe Sapiens know the Big Bang. Sheldon is his favourite.
Unity #1 sees X-O Manowar… well… doing something that would't be out of place in Crossed. A flaming skull used to burn out someone else's torso? Referee!
Archer And Armstrong #15 sets you a challenge. Beat Armstrong at drinking. Go on. It's not irresponsible at all.
Superman/Wonder Woman does the job of mashing up the very different realities of the Superman books and the Wonder Woman title with aplomb. And naturally Apollo would be a racist bigot. He's a Greek god, they invented the word xenophobia.
There we go Zero Year Batgirl… that line and that look remind me… what happened just before that Walking Dead scene we ran earlier?
Yeah, okay, in that case I'd watch where I stand around young Barbara Gordon… maybe I wouldn't give her my hand after all.
Okay, I know I need a shave, I will honest, just don't hypnotise me like that, Marvel Knights X-Men, stop, what, you doing, I need to finish my column.
What's that you say? It is finished? Okay then…
Comics courtesy of Orbital Comics, London. Currently exhibiting the work of Mark Buckingham's Fables, with an Ales Kot and Tom Muller signing next Wednesday, and Sean Gordon Murphy a week on Friday.