Monday, May 6, 2013

Reviews of Comics from Wednesday 5/1

Fairest #15
Story: Sean E. Williams
Art: Stephen Sadowski

One of the best parts of Bill Willingham's Fables world is the variety of stories and settings available for writers and artists willing to take the leap. This new arc of Fairest, the spinoff spotlighting the strong female cast of Fables, "The Return of the Maharaja," takes readers into a new land, Indu, the source of myth and legend of India, and introduces a new beauty, Nalayani, string, confident, and a demon with a bow. When her village is attacked by monsters, she goes to meet the new maharaja and ask his help. Along the way she befriends and loses a jackal, fights hyenas and thugs, and more than proves her mettle.The identity of the new mahraja is not hard to determine for any long time Fables reader, especially since he's slapped right on the cover, but it's still a great last page reveal. I'm expecting a romantic comedy-esque journey across Indu, with Prince Charming attempting to add another beautiful bride to his resume, and I won't be disappointed if that's what I get, but Fables and it's attendant books do a good job of twisting expectations, so I'm expecting a twist or two. I am also excited that Stephen Sadowski is doing art for this arc; he's an artist I haven't seen a lot, but everything I've ever seen his do has been gorgeous. He draws beautiful princesses with the same skill as he draws wild dogs, so I'm curious to see what writer Sean E. Williams throws at him over the course of the arc.

The Movement #1
Story: Gail Simone
Art: Freddie Williams II

The advertisements for DC's new title, The Movement, made it seem to be about an Occupy protest with superpowers. There is a touch of that, but the book is about a lot more than that, something far more global. It's about the little guy standing up to corruption. Coral City is a new addition to DC's vaunted pantheon of fictional cities, and it's clearly a city more akin to gritty Gotham than shiny Metropolis. The comic opens with a pair of dirty cops attempting to extort a couple of teenagers, and do a lot worse to the female one, before a group of masked individuals stop them. We meet a captain at their precinct who is the typical, "good cop in a dirty town," and the police are called to a body, the most recent victim of the "Cornea Killer," a murderer who removes the eyes of his victims. Meanwhile, a young man enters a church and seems to become possessed by a demon. Finally all these plots come together as we meet the Movement, a group of metas who protect the Tweens, the blocks of Coral City the police ignore. They are entirely new characters, which is exciting in the landscape of mostly reimagined characters that is the New 52, and I got a good vibe of who each of them are, from team leader and psychic Virtue, to the poor possessed young man, Burden. As opposed to so many issue ones in recent years that are so setup heavy that nothing happens, and it won't be until issue six before anything really does, this felt like a full comic that fully establishes its premise. Gail Simone is one of comics' best character driven writers, and that is clearly on display in this introductory issue. With interesting designs from Freddie Williams II and a whole new city for Simone to make her own, I see a lot of potential in this series.

Suicide Risk #1
Story: Mike Carey
Art: Elena Casagrande

There's an old adage that the tale is in the telling. To me, that has always meant that the story itself is only as good as the teller, and that an old story can be reawakened by a new twist and a new writer. I think Mike Carey's new book from BOOM! Studios, Suicide Risk, is a good example of this. The world overrun by superhumans with no conscience isn't exactly the newest concept out there, but Carey gives it a good spin. He  makes his point of view character a cop sick of seeing his friends killed by rogue superhumans, and after his partner is maimed in a supervillain attack, he decides to do something about it. He goes and tries to get himself powers. This seems to go horribly wrong, but since this is more than a one shot, I have to imagine he's going to get better. Leo Winters, series protagonist, is a good guy in a world gone mad, and I'm curious to see exactly how much this series becomes about how power corrupts, as the first issue has hinted that even the superhumans who started out as heroes have gone bad after time. There's a nice mystery as well about how people receive powers and what the whole origin of the powers, adding a layer of depth to the series. Artist Elena Casagrande has a nice style, and does a good job of designing a whole world of superhumans in one issue, along with building Leo, his family, and his friends. A solid first issue, I'm always a fan of Mike Carey, and it looks like this is another success.

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