Boom! Studios very kindly let me have a quick peek at the titles they’re shipping this week. And what a week! Irredeemable #4, Finding Nemo #1, Muppet Robin Hood #2, Toy Story #2, Dead Run #2 Farscape: Strange Detractors #4, and Mr Stuffins #3, seven books! Okay, it’s no 39 titles, but it’s a fair whack. So, what are we looking at?
Muppet Robin Hood is fine and dandy with an engagingly quirky art style that in places reminds me of Dr Seuss. It’s just… well it’s not Roger Langridge is it? I’ve been spoilt by Roger’s tight structure, multi-panel page structure, dialogue and ability to fit more jokes per square inch than ever before. And Hood is not that. It’s spread out, jokes feel far too lazy with weak puns that go nowhere, and you flip through it in an instant, the characterisatuion seems off and the likes of Sam The Eagle when he appears are criminally underused. Usually when the Muppet Show takes on a piece of fiction, the characters of the muppets pushes through. And it doesn’t do that often enough. Aside from the visual appeal, there not that reason to see why this is a Muppet comic. It does improve as it goes on however and we do kinda get a cameo by Seymour Two..!
Toy Story however does a remarkable job at getting the characters right. Especially Hamm the piggy bank, his voice sings off the page . We also get some philiosophy on the nature of being a toy in the Toy Story world as the toys take a trip to the science fair in the wee hours.
Irredeemable does the “let’s destroy a city” in a cold, calculating fashion here and in a few short panels demonstrates the impossibility of being a Superman and the understanding about how that may affect a mind. And destroy it utterly, As the world and his fellow superheroes try to find different, often contradicting each other, the Plutonium has his own callous, inhuman agenda to follow. And it’s a scary one to follow… one to stack next to Miracleman #15, Authority and The Pitt.
There are clothes you use for rock climbing… and there are midriff revealing clothes you don’t. Dead Run is Judge Dredd for Americans, lots of guts and violence and knives and mutated people and post-apocolyptic wastelands with a touch of Tank Girl and a smattering of Mad Max in the right places by way of Lone Wolf And Cubbette relationship. Have I sold it you yet? What do you want, blood? Well there’s plenty of that as well.
As AA Milne readers will know, there’s nothing more special than the relationship between a boy and his bear. Well, Mr Stuffins is not so much Winnie The Pooh as he is Rambo. And while the series has shown the bear protecting the boy, in this final episode, the roles are reversed. For a while. This book uses the strong disconnect between form and ability common in titles such as Howard The Duck and Cerebus and gives a furry action hero who proceeds to kick the stuffing out of everyone. But in the end it’s still about a boy and his bear. Terribly sweet.
Finding Nemo looks a bit weird. Some portrayals of the characters look great others while are as off model as my atempts at making Airfix planes when I was seven. That’s not in a good way. Also the language just doesn’t zing like the Toy Story comic and I started to feel being pulled to a sledgehammery environmental message. I mean if you’re going to have such a story, Finding Nemo would be a good place but this does creak rather. Nice coral though. And my four year old daughter loved it and she generally has better taste than me.
Farscape is the Jim Henson property that I always forget is a Jim Henson property. And this time it grabs a large chunk of Incredible Journey as John goes microscopic into the bloodstream, as alien a world as anything the crew coule ever normally experience in space. Which was partially the point of Incredible Journey so kudos there. And the comic remains as beautifully un-self conscious yet self aware as the original show. Good times.
That was The Week Of 7 Boom! Titles. I wonder who’ll be next?