Wednesday, July 15, 2015

This Week's Comics 7.15.15

Small week this time, but every penny was well spent!

Black Canary #2 hit this week and I almost skipped on it.  Not because I didn't like the first issue, clearly I did, but I was thinking about being a bit more frugal with my comics dollar, and Black Canary was one of those that was good, but maybe not sponge-worthy.  I'm glad I went ahead and picked it up anyway.  This comic is a lot of fun, and it's very well written.  The approach is fresh and it makes me feel like I'm reading something hip, which probably means it isn't hip at all.  I like the traveling band angle, and all of the mystery surrounding our heroine (remember, all I know about BC comes from the Arrow TV show and tidbits here and there).  I'm not sure how long they can keep this up, but I'm happy to be along for the ride.  Next month, I'll not eye it with as crucial an eye.

And while Black Canary was confirmingly good, the real treat of the week was another "out on a limb" selection: Death Head.  I saw a solicitation for this comic last week that featured a few preview pages and found it intriguing.  I've never really read any horror comics, so I had no idea if I was going to pick this up or not, but I liked enough of what I saw to pay attention for it on the shelf.

If you read one comic this month, make it Death Head.  Again, I don't know from horror comics, but if they are all like this, then the genre is sorely under-represented.  For the first time ever, a comic book has creeped me out.  I really, really don't want to spoil the fun for you, but let me just say that there are several real moments of suspenseful dread.  No character feels safe, even if it seems like they are set up to be the protagonist for the series.  Best of all, the dialogue is as realistic as it comes.  Everyone wants to heap praise upon Brian Michael Bendis for writing realistic teenager dialogue by giving us hundreds of empty panels only broken by the occasional "hmm" and "uh" and "yeah," but as I've said before that's realistic dialogue no one really wants.  The dialogue in Death Head is both realistic AND entertaining. Bendis could take a few notes from these guys.

The art is great, creepy where it needs to be, but also bright and colorful to break the monotony of doom and provide contrast.  I think that contrast is part of what creates the tension and the feeling of insecurity.  You feel like at any moment the story is going to turn dark, really dark.  It's just smartly done all across the board.  It gives you just enough monster to keep you curious, but doesn't devolve into gratuitous gore or violence.  It is well paced and despite juggling a few storylines, it keeps everything clean and clear.  Best of all, these guys clearly know their horror.  They understand why movies like Alien and the first (and ONLY the first) Paranormal Activity work.  They also understand why the original (and ONLY the original) Poltergeist and Texas Chainsaw Massacre work.  All of that is very clear, just from this first issue.  I would say the feeling I get from this comic is similar to what I get when I watch TCM. (that's Texas Chainsaw Massacre, not Turner Classic Movies, that's a different feeling)

I enjoyed everything about Death Head and I am super excited for the next installment.  I highly recommend it to anyone who loves horror movies, but has never tried a horror comic.  This one is it!

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