Hey ‘Sourcers!’ Let us kick off 2016 with our helpful guide highlighting some of the comics that shipped the first week of the New Year! We have some Marvel, some DC and a nice Indie entry to kick off our 2016 right.
Code Pru #1
Writer: Garth Ennis
Artist: Raulo Caceres
Publisher: Avatar Press
It’s not often a comic can balance raunchy humor and truly chilling horror, but Garth Ennis’ Code Pru #1 does just that. The book focuses on four female roomates, three of which practice black magic rituals in the privacy of their apartment. The fourth, Pru, lives to make bawdy comments about her three pals which pisses off her rival Lisa to no end. All four of the main characters arrive on the page fully formed with Pru displaying Ennis’ signature scathing wit. This book is both an extension and a parody of the ‘Vertigoesque’, female-driven coven books that have been en vogue for a few decades now, but Code Pru is also an original and oft-time very frightening black magic tale. There is also a subplot involving a human playing Monopoly with a caged, many-tentacled Eldritch god; how this fit into Pro’s story, I couldn’t tell you, but I can’t wait to find out. The art by Raulo Caceres seems a bit rushed in places, particularly when it comes to his figure drawing, but his backgrounds are lush and evoke a sense of those old Marvel black and white fright mags of the 70s. This is a good start to a journey that will no doubt be as amusing as it is heart stopping.
Big Picture: Garth Ennis’ name will be everywhere once Preacher hits AMC and some of the master scribe’s other works should be in high demand. Code Pru should be a book that will appeal to the Preacher crowd as it combines the same elements of risqué humor with truly daring, classic horror.
4 ½ stars
Captain America: White #5
Writer: Jeff Loeb
Artist: Tim Sale
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Well, we’ve been waiting a long time for this one, huh? It seems like Captain America: White has been delayed since World War II ,but Jeff Loeb and Tim Sale wrap-up their retro mini-series in style with this final issue. Like the creative duo’s other color-themed Marvel projects, this series was a love letter to one of Marvel’s greats and Loeb and Sale’s love for Captain America and Bucky shines in this final issue. Sale’s artwork is the main event as the master (but George R.R. Martin-level slow) artist creates a breathtaking canvas of a world at war. Loeb’s story is exciting enough with no obvious flaws, but it is a rather ABC Cap story. But it is an ABC Cap story drawn by a modern master and FINALLY HERE!
Captain America: White will make one hell of an artistic tribute to Cap once it is collected.
Big Picture: This project will be a great entry level Cap (and Bucky for that matter) comic for years to come.
3 ½ stars
Squadron Supreme #2
Writer: James Robinson
Artist: Leonard Kirk
Inker: Paul Neary
Colorist: Frank Martin
This is more like it. I panned Squadron Supreme #1 a few weeks back, citing a disjointed morass of continuity quicksand and needless bloodletting as reasons why this new project shockingly failed to deliver. All four creators on this book are at the tops of their game with the second issue and I was shocked that I had such distaste for the initial installment. But the ship is righted with issue #2 as Robinson takes time to explain who his players are in this new Squadron. As fans of Starman know, Robinson excels at quiet and subtle character moments and there are tons on display in this very enjoyable issue. I particularly love the direction that Robinson is going with Hyperion and Blur. This book should appeal to old school fans as Robinson chooses to focus on who these super beings are rather than focusing on how much mindless violence they can inflict. Leonard Kirk is one of the finest superhero artists in the biz and his copious artistic talents are on display on this issue. Every segment has its own feel as Kirk proves once again what a masterful story teller he is.
Big Picture: I want to love this book and it seems like the potential for adoration is there. While no means perfect, this book could be a sleeper hit for marvel if the series resembles the second character driven issue.
Justice League #47
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Jason Fabok
Colorist: Brad Anderson
Things continue to get big as “The Darkseid War “continues while the Justice League explore their New Gods powers. This epic Justice League story continues to combine the best part of the classic ‘New Gods’ with some of the more fan friendly elements of the New 52. Jason Fabok is channeling his inner Kirby while putting his own spin on these DC legends as Geoff Johns juggles an immense cast in grand fashion. Seeing Batman in Metron’s Mobius Chair just never gets old. This storyline is taking forever and you know, I hope it takes an eternity more, because this might be DC’s best story since the New 52 began.
Big picture: Hopefully, “The Darkseid War” will fully integrate the New Gods into the ‘NuDC’ because I would read the bejeezus out of a Geoff Johns-written Mister Miracle and Big Barda title. Man, does that Johns have those two down!