Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mystic #4 review, Supernatural #2 review, Legends of Oz The Wicked West #1 review

Comic Book Wednesday

Issue #25

Part One of Two

I have to go get ready for a speech I'm giving tomorrow - yikes, public speaking! - but for now, let's talk about some legitimately awesome comics.

Mystic #4
Written by G. Willow Wilson
Pencils by David Lopez
CrossGen Comics


Today, one of my favorite miniseries of the past few months comes to an end. Mystic has been at the very top of my pull-list for a while, so it's sad to bid Giselle, Genevieve, and their world a farewell... for now. This issue ends on a note that begs for more stories to be told and I for one can't wait to read 'em.

As for the conclusion, it's good. It's very hard to gauge exactly how I feel about it, because everything that I loved about the first three issues is here: the art is wonderful, the dialogue is snappy, the world is so interesting, and the characters are lovely. The one thing missing thing time around, I believe, is pacing. The first issues have a very slow, deliberate pace, while this last issue is absolutely break-neck. It makes sense for a climax, yes, but there were so many big moments here and so little time to live in the moments that I was left wishing the series has another issue to breathe.

The small moments that are here just sing. When Gerard kisses Giselle right after saving her, her reaction is perfect: Panel One, bug-eyed shock. Panel two, grabs him and kisses 'im back. Just great. I wanted a bit more of those very deliberately paced moments, but I understand why the resolution had to fly by.

The two main arcs of the series, the emotional arc being the relationship between Giselle and Viv and the plot being the impending loss of Aether (the magical source), are dealt with nicely. The former is left somewhat unresolved and rocky, which I really liked, and the latter gets the CCR - that's the Classic Castle Resolution. Now, I know that Castle, while an awesome show, didn't invent this, but a good 3/4 of the show's episodes are resolved in this manner: Castle overhears someone say something, it triggers him to put the final mental piece of the puzzle together, and then he brings the case to a close. G. Willow Wilson uses this device with Giselle to solve the Aether problem, and her solution leads to a beautiful, beautiful visual from David Lopez, who, let me take the time to say, is an absolute kick-ass artist.

I'm going to miss this series. Let's hope it isn't gone for very long. Amazing job to all involved.

Supernatural: Caledonia #2
The Dogs of Edinburgh - Part 2 of 2
Written by Brian Wood
Art by Grant Bond
DC Comics

This series is so weird... and I love it. I'm not sure how it's all going to come together, because this is a six issue limited series and the plot gets very much tied up at the end of the issue. I mean, it's expected when the title ends with "Part 2 of 2," but it's a bit strange to have a mini-story arc kick off a miniseries. Not bad weird, though. Weird in that it's got me wondering what the structure of the book is going to be like. It's safe to say, though, that the Supernatural comic seems to be playing with format the same way that the television show so successfully does.

The focus stays on Sam in this prequel. He and Emma continue their strange adventure, and this time they're on a hunt. Sam is very much playing second banana to Emma, which in itself makes the relationship between these two rich and interesting. It brings out a side of Sam that we didn't get much of a chance to explore in the show. One thing that does concern me, seeing that this takes place while Sam is in college, is that his relationship with Jessica isn't addressed. If it's played right, I can see Sam having a fling with Emma while on his trip, buuut... thing is, he was planning on proposing to Jessica. I haven't seen the first season in years, so maybe I'm off in my years or missing some bit of continuity, but Sam was planning on proposing to Jess, so it seems a bit weird. Other than that, though? This is one of the best tie-in comics I've ever read. So, so good.

I don't know why the whole internet isn't exploding over the fact that Brian Wood is writing Supernatural. That show's fandom is usually very vocal - hopefully more of 'em will pick up this comic, because this series has the potential to do what the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics did... and that's introduce countless fans to the wonderful world of comics.

The Legend of Oz: The Wicked West #1
Written by Tom Hutchison
Art by Alisson Borges
Big Dog Ink

Big Dog Ink claims to be "the new standard in creator owned comic books." That's a mighty big statement, true, but I'll be damned if this book doesn't back it up. The presentation alone is a step above your average monthly comics - the closest that comes to this standard in page quality is IDW, but even they don't have the thick covers that this has (and, judging from the copy of Ned the Chainsaw Guy I picked up at NYCC, the other BDI comics have). The book is sturdy, with real weight to it. With that and a full 23 page story, the cover price of $3.50 is a pretty big bargain.

But hey - let's chat about the story: it's gold. The concept is simply The Wizard of Oz as a Western, but it's the execution that elevates this to the next level of awesome. Dorothy Gale is a complete badass, and she's believable too. We don't break through her defensive shell much in this issue, but the beautiful art goes a long way to show us that she isn't a one-note female version of Chuck Norris. She's got a big story, and I am in for the ride. Everything from the covers (gotta dig that rainbow in the background, huh?) to the way we're slowly rediscovering this very strange version of Oz makes this one of the most unique book you'll find at your local shop.

So go on. Pick up a new creator-owned book. This time around, I can guarantee that you'll dig it.

TOMORROW: Action Comics, Detective Comics, Static Shock, Batwing.

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