Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wednesday Is Handy For All I Care #140

Lobster Johnson: The Burning Hand #1
Road Rage #1
Thief of Thieves #1

Lobster Johnson: The Burning Hand #1 (Dark Horse, 2012, $3.50)
I saw the first movie and read a comic here and there, but I'm not well informed about Hellboy's universe. I don't know who Lobster Johnson is, and I probably don't need to. He seems to be a '30s pulp vigilante pastiche who battles crime and weirdness with two guns blazing. The story by Mignola and Arcudi is decent enough for a Lois Lane fan, even if this 1/5th of the total tale didn't exactly satisfy me to the extent that it cost in dollars. However, the art by Tonci Zonjic is a monster johnson, recalling Year One Mazzucchelli so vividly that your inner fanboy will want to swirl your tongue around it and attempt to swallow the whole goddamned thing. I will be spellchecking the name of this magnificent sunuvabitch again in the future, I'm certain.

Road Rage #1 (IDW, 2012, $3.99)
I thought this was going to be a Stephen King/Joe Hill mini-series where the son would do most of the heavy lifting after some bullshit plotting sessions with dad. Instead... well it might have been just like that, except it was for a novella in a Richard Matheson tribute book. It is adapted by Chris Ryall, and no flies on his writing. I'm sure he was as faithful as two issues allowed, but I'm not into this. The first seven pages are exposition heavy, which was fine by me, because it felt like a meaty story. Unfortunately, the other seventeen pages are mostly action and gore. The characters are established as a bunch of shitbags, so I don't give a fuck when a faceless trucker starts running them down. I'm not angry enough to cheer their deaths, and I'm certainly not rooting for them. I liked the art by Nelson Daniel, mostly because I love Zip-A-Tone effects, and every other modern artist/colorist has no use for any of that anymore. Still, no, away with this.

Thief of Thieves #1 (Image, 2012, $2.99)
This is so not a comic book. This is Robert Kirkman, after making TV money working with screenwriting teams, trying to sell another property. For instance, it's his company and he gets top billing, but it's only a nebulous "story" credit. He let rising star Nick Spencer go through the trouble of doing the actual typing up and scripting of said story. Then they got Shawn Martinbrough to do his best Dave Johnson impersonation, because people still love 100 Bullets and wish it was still around. Not Agent Graves enlists Not Dizzy Cordova to kill people steal shit, learning under the shit stealing master, hence the title of the book. There's a convoluted plot to steal some shit that only seems clever if you don't think about it at all, because seriously, you or I are smart enough to steal shit without having to "fake" being tortured while actually getting beaten up by our own people. Seriously, you and me baby, we can pull this off. After that, there's some character stuff that might be believable if it turns out to be part of a grand overarching conspiracy like in 100 Bullets, but based on the masterminding of the heist, would probably turn out to be stupid as shit. Finally, the twist! The Shit Stealing Master is done with stealing shit! Did I just blow your mind? Didn't think so, and stealing $2.99 is chump change, fuck-o. You're going to have to play the $9.95 trade card if you want another shot at grifting on me, bitches. Gotta spend money to make money...

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