It’s Tuesday and that means a steaming hot, fresh bowl of the Comic Roundup is on the counter and waiting for you to dip your spoon in. This week I review the latest Aspen Comics offering Bubble Gun, the newest Evil Inc. digital download from Brad Guigar and finally I hang out with Valkyrie and her team of Fearless Defenders.
Evil Inc. #15
By Brad Guigar
The last time we checked in with Brad Guigar, he had recently begun offering fans a chance to read the next month’s worth of Evil Inc strips ahead of time with a digital comic that he offers for sale on his site. When I heard about this, I thought to myself “this is such a simple, but brilliant idea, why hasn’t anyone else done this?” But it turns out few webcomics creators have half the drive and passion for their work that Guigar has. What else would you expect from a guy that lives in Philly?
His latest “pre-release” comic, Evil Inc. #15, features Captain Heroic’s sons, Oscar and Oliver, as they travel to the past in a “borrowed” time machine, trying to find out what really killed the dinosaurs. It’s a fun, pun filled romp that is perfect for a reader of any age, which is another thing I love about Evil Inc. In a time when so many webcomics (and comics in general) try to be “edgy” and “mature”, there is something very appealing about a comic you can load up to your e-reader, hand over to a kid of any age and let them read and enjoy, without having to worry about it. And you get what is still one of the best drawn webcomics on the web, bar none, too.
After talking with Brad at this year’s Wizard World convention, I can tell you he has some ambitious plans for the rest of the year. Big things are coming and he is going to need our support. So head over to Evil Inc. (http://www.evil-comic.com) and buy this month’s issue. You get a great comic and you help a local guy keep doing what he loves. That’s a win/win any way you look at it.
Fearless Defenders #5
By Cullen Bunn and Will Sliney
I have always had a weakness for the Defenders. It’s a book that has been enormously entertaining over the years but somehow always had a hard time finding an audience. Whether it was the original, New, Secret or now Fearless Defenders, I always seem to buy at least one issue, hoping that the magic that I remember has returned. And with this new team, I think we might just have a winner.
Like the new X-Men title last week, Fearless Defenders puts the spotlight squarely on the female heroes of the Marvel Universe. It stars Valkyrie, a mainstay of the team through all it’s incarnations, Misty Knight of the late Heroes for Hire and in issue #5, pretty much every female non-mutant hero in the Marvel Universe. Bunn fills the pages with lots of fighting, ass-kicking and funny quips that make the issue an entertaining read from cover to cover. And while I was not familiar with Will Sliney’s artwork before reading Fearless Defenders, I can say that I have since become an instant fan. His women are attractive, but not over-exaggerated bombshells and he makes each character unique, not the same generic looking, cardboard cutouts like some artists do when drawing women.
Fearless Defenders is a comic that doesn’t take itself too seriously but still makes the reader sit up and pay attention, just like all the best Defenders comics of years past. I really hope the book can find the fanbase it needs to survive, because I enjoying it way to much for it to end.
Bubble Gun #1
By Mark Roslan and Mike Bowden
Ever since Aspen announced Bubble Gun as the 5th title in their “10 for 10” program, I have been jumping out of my skin waiting to read this book. Because if there is anything I like better than comics, it’s cyberpunk. And when you combine the two, well, there are precious few things in life that will make me any happier.
Bubble Gun follows a crew of mercenary thieves in the year 2113 as they earn a living stealing from the giant corporations that make up the city of NeoCapital. Roslan has filled it with all the classic facets of the cyberpunk genre but added in some attributes unique to comic books to help make the series stand apart. The end result is a fun, fun ride that seems to go by way to fast. The art by Bowden is a perfect fit for the series, seemingly drawing inspiration from the likes of Appleseed and Ghost in the Shell, as well as Joe Madureira. Together, Roslan and Bowden have created a cyberpunk/anime/comic book fusion that stands alone from the pack and is a blast to read.
Bubble Gun is simply a great book that I loved reading from page one. Aspen has shown they are not afraid to try new things in their “10 for 10” program and have filled the shelves with some really great comics as a result. Bubble Gun is the latest, but I’m willing to bet not the last.