Greetings and welcome to the Comic Roundup, the one place where baseball card collectors fear to tread. This week I present the latest in my long line of Rachel Rising reviews, this time for issue #15, as well as a look at the first issues of Broken and the newest volume of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Broken #1 (of 3)
By Mark Bertolini and Allen Byrns
Of all the comics I’ve read over the years, the one origin that never made any sense to me was Batman. You have a guy with more money than he knows what to do with and how does he decide to avenge his parent’s murder? Does he start a law firm? Does he hire a hit man to take out the guy who killed his parents? No, he dresses like a giant bat. It just never made any sense to me.
But now Broken by Bertolini and Byrns comes along and takes that very scenario, minus the wads of cash, and makes in into something truly remarkable.
Broken #1 has the same basic set-up as Batman; a child named Quinn watches his family murdered by the local mob and wants to get even. But here, he decided to kill the people responsible by becoming one of them, which makes perfect sense to me. It is a dark, twisted story that pulls no punches and will leave you thinking about it long after the last page. Bertolini’s script is elegant and perfectly paced, taking us along and letting us watch as a young man’s life changes forever. The art by Byrns is just amazing, moody and evocative, showing us a world in constant shadow where you never know what’s around the corner.
Broken is a near perfect comic book and gets my highest recommendation. They don’t get any better than this and you should not miss it. I will be counting the days until I can read issue #2.
Guardians of the Galaxy #1
By Brian Michael Bendis and Steve McNiven
When the Abnett and Lanning version of Guardians of the Galaxy was unceremoniously cancelled, I was completely heartbroken. It was such a great book that never got the push from Marvel that it deserved, I guess I should have seen it coming. But now with a Guardians of the Galaxy movie on the way, the series is being relaunched with the A list creative team of Bendis and McNiven and the full power of Marvel’s marketing department behind it. So is it as good as the version I love so much? The best answer I can give right now is “kinda”.
Bendis definitely has a good handle on the cosmic aspect of the title and has come up with a unique twist for the team to exist, I’ll give him that much. And the artwork by McNiven is right up there with some of the best stuff he has ever done.
I can’t help but be apprehensive. This is Bendis we’re talking about here, the man who made the Avengers unreadable after a few years. The man who never saw a Marvel event he didn’t like. It’s tough to get that excited after one issue, especially knowing his track record. The book will probably be incredible for a year or so, and then might stink so bad it’ll make Sleepwalker look like fine literature.
For now, I’m more than willing to give Bendis a chance though, much as I’m doing with Uncanny X-Men. Guardians of the Galaxy #1 is a great comic, that much is certain. It just remains to be seen if it can stay that way.
Rachel Rising #15
By Terry Moore
Just when I think Terry Moore can’t creep me out any more, just when I think “This is it. This is as freaky as Rachel Rising will get” he manages to up the ante yet again. With the book quickly heading toward it’s conclusion, storylines are beginning to be wrapped up and the endgame quickly approaches. And it involves rats. Lots of them.
And not just rats running around in the streets either. We have rats coming out of faucets, pipes, toilets, you name it. And you might think to yourself “Oh, it’s a comic book for cripes sake. How creepy could it be?” Well let me tell you, I finished reading issue #15 and I felt like I needed to take a shower and said a silent prayer before I turned on the water in the bathroom. And unless you have seen a comic where a little girl takes the heads off rats with a baseball bat as they come out of a pipe in the floor, you have no room to talk.
Rachel Rising continues to be one of the best comics being published month in and month out. Everyone should be reading this book, whether you like rats or not. And for you non-rat people, remember the Strangers in Paradise Omnibus is still available for you to preorder. Head over to Terry Moore’s website and get yours today, you won’t be sorry.