Recent Comics

  • Howard the Duck

    I mentioned six months ago that Howard the Duck is the best thing going on in comics right now, and it's still true. It's just so great! No, I don't understand how this is possible, either! (Well, I do, it's that Chip Zdarsky is fucking hilarious, but still.)

    The "Gwenpool" backup feature is pretty amazing, too. (Apparently there's some comic where Gwen Stacy is Spider-Man -- I dunno, I haven't read it -- so the obvious next step is, what the hell, she can be Deadpool too.)

    Fun fact: any time I try to type Howard the Duck, it autocorrects to Howard the Fuck because years ago I set "Fuck" as the completion for "Duck", having noticed that I never, ever type "ducking" but type "fucking" a lot. Fucking thanks, Howard.

  • Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl

    There's a new Phonogram! It's basically about the Take On Me video! And the ghost of The Long Blondes! Aaaaahhhhh it's so great! And after they said it was impossible to do another. "The bargain was for half of a girl's personality. You may see a loophole."

  • Harley Quinn Power Girl

    Ok, this is going to be hard to believe, but the Harley Quinn Power Girl miniseries is actually pretty funny. The backstory is that Power Girl got bonked on the head and has slight amnesia, so Harley took the opportunity to tell her that she had always been her sidekick. Hijinks ensue.

    Some caveats: 1) It's not as funny as the 2010 Power Girl series, where she spends so much time punching out dinosaurs that it might as well be an Atomic Robo comic -- seriously, that series was great; and 2) I absolutely hate the way Harley Quinn is drawn (there is only One True Harley Quinn and that's the Paul Dini version from Batman The Animated Series. Likewise, the One True Joker is Mark Hamill and I'll fight anyone who says different). BUT: This happened, ok:


    Yeah, that's Sean Connery as Zardoz. Then at some point they get really high and hallucinate for no reason that advances the plot (such as it is) in any way. I totally respect that.

  • Sex Criminals

    A couple of dorks have the superpower that when they have orgasms, they can stop time. Bank robberies ensue. It's 20% filthy and 80% cringeworthy, in a very Mortified kind of way. And there's some kind of Sailor Moon Spunk Ghost. (Speaking of which, you should also be reading Oglaf.) Don't skip the letters columns, where people write in with childhood tales of the first time they came across moldy piles of porn in the woods.

  • Saga

    Wow, what happened? It's still ok, but I'm really kind of bored by Saga right now. It feels like everyone in it has been just bumbling around waiting for something to happen for a year.

  • The Wicked and The Divine

    Oh my god this is boring. It's by Gillen and McKelvie, who also do Phonogram, so I expected to love this but it is just so... Teen Paranormal Romance. I give literally zero shits about any of the characters, or the mythology, or who killed who, or whether any of them survive. Cartoon Annie Lennox was ok, but got killed off pretty much right out of the gate.

  • Bitch Planet

    It sounded like a decent concept -- The Handmaid's Tale as 70s women-in-prison exploitation movie, in spaaaaace -- but again, file it under no shits given for any character or plot elements. I've read more compelling ranty twitter accounts and you probably have too.

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12 Responses:

  1. Amazingly, I actually agree with you on almost all of this. Except Wicked and Divine, which I'm still enjoying, but more for the shorter individual issue stories than the overarching plot.

  2. Rae Deslich says:

    Oh, I love Sex Criminals! It's so brilliant.

  3. phuzz says:

    I've been enjoying Warren Ellis's "Injection", which is mainly Ellis weaving together every myth and legend of the British countryside with a conspiracy story. Or something, I'm not very good at this reviewing lark. Anyway, if you already like his other recent stuff, this is more in the same vein.
    On a completely different tack, I've also been reading Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, which I think is in the same direction as Howard the Fuck, but much more twee.

  4. Ryan says:

    Pick up the new Vision series. Issue three just came out, so it shouldn't be too hard to back-fill. It's so so so great and smart and interesting without actually being so far up its own asshole that it's no fun. The Vision creates a robot family for himself and then moves to the suburbs and sends his kids to a regular school and plays house while everyone around him is freaked out and they all have great robot-logical conversations with each other about things that come up. And there's this weird sinister voice-over that's telling the story and in the first issue it describes the inner thoughts of a visiting neighbor's passive bigotry and then casually and emotionlessly mentions that his house will be engulfed in flames before the end of the story.

    Also, look for Limbo from Image (also just made it to three issues). You will love everything about this incredibly weird book. It takes place in New Orleans and starts off as a story about a private dick with no memory trying to do a simple job for a local down-on-her-luck dame. But there's a bunch of crazy magic and voodoo and old-tech fetishism and the art is spectacular and things are just so bizarre and wonderful to experience all the time. Issue two has a Max Headroom shout-out when the guy gets sucked into an old TV to fight through different absurd channels to get to the Technoshaman that's been stalking him....

    And maybe try Tokyo Ghost, too? It's up to four issues, but is probably more collectible and maybe marked up already, depending on the friendliness of your neighborhood comic shop. It's nominally about a techno-despotic future with hyper-violent cybernetically enhanced social control cops that are out of their minds on drugs/digital-entertainments. Then they end up in Japan trying to detox and there's sex and more violence. I don't love Remender's writing, but fucking Sean Gordon Murphy's art is a riot of incredible detail. I like the art better here than his recent time-travel-hijinx Chrononauts (which was incredible), and the setting/premise here has so much potential, but so far I think Chrononauts came together way better story-wise (great and fun four-issue arc from Mark Millar in case you missed it).

    Descender and Drifter are both Image titles that are the best sci-fi I've read in years (both close to ten issues now). Descender is loaded with robots and aliens (robots are outlawed after some big ones came and almost destroyed the everything, but one rogue AI companion bot maybe holds the answers and is being sought from multiple angles for multiple reasons), and Drifter is weirder but more excitingly written (lone stranger finds himself stranded on a backwoods planet and copes with mysterious races, circumstances, dangers--very noirish in a muted and reserved way, with writing that is so unique and great that I got physically excited every issue while reading it).

    Oh, and there's only been one issue so far, but Warren Ellis' Karnak was really subversive and dark (especially for Marvel), and I'm curious to see where it goes.

    That's probably more than enough out of me, but if you're finding Saga a little lacking, maybe see what you think about East of West. Great great art, and similar scope of world-building as Saga. Multiple very distinct factions exist in an alternate (?) future of the world as we know it. Within them, an Illuminati-type shady sect of powerful people are trying to bring about the end of the world, but one of the four horsemen of this apocalypse is fighting against it? Weird and cool and fun and great and less stagnant than some of Saga became even though it's technically/sort-of about politicking some of the time....

    • jwz says:

      Thanks for the suggestions! I was curious about The Vision. I read a bit of East of West but didn't get into it.

  5. Helyx says:

    I've been enjoying Warren Ellis's [i]Trees[/i] greatly, and seems like something you and dear readers would enjoy as well.

  6. Darren says:

    I strongly advise you all to give Jason Shiga's online comic Demon a try...

    http://www.shigabooks.com/?page=001

  7. Nick Lamb says:

    Marvell's resurrection of Miracleman is about to stop reprinting the stuff that already got out the door in the 1980-90s and reach actually new material. For Moore's run of Miracleman the writing doesn't entirely hold up in the 21st century; stuff that was a complete surprise at the time is now a plot element we've seen in kid movies. I'm sure that's part of why Moore was so unco-operative about bringing it back. But I think Gaiman's run still works, as far as we got to see it, and that's why I want to see it finished.

    The reprint of the last issue (#6) of Gaiman's Golden Age run includes text of his big plan that never happened and is now back in play. For the entire Dark Age it says only "Things go bad." I'm already looking forward to that.

    • jwz says:

      Oh, cool! I picked up the hardcover trades of Flying, Red King and Olympus but I haven't re-read them yet.

  8. Pavel Lishin says:

    I'm not sure if I've seen you mention it or not, but Rat Queens is a pretty fun series about a DnD party composed of four women. The art is mostly great (except for a couple of issues where they fired a wife-beater, and someone else stepped in for awhile), the story's amusing, and it's pretty funny. Oh, and there's Lovecraftian stuff going on, too, because why not.

  9. crtxc says:

    I have always thought Todd McFarlane's work impressive.

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