What’s up Comic Readers? It’s been awhile since I’ve been at the writing table for the comics column. But now I’m back with 3 new comics to talk about. The big tights and capes in comics have their stuff going on, a civil war (again) for one publishing giant and the beginning of what looks like another ”crisis” at the other publisher. The people over at BOOM studios aren’t going to be out done by DC or Marvel. They’re bringing titles to shelves that can compete with the big guys. This week we get Fanboys vs. Zombies #3, a new title – Extermination, and Supurbia #4 – the “Finale.”
I have to start with Fanboys vs. Zombies. If you’re not already reading this story you can turn your Comic Book Nerd Card in right now! Sam Humphries and Jerry Gaylord have turned San Diego Comic Con into Ground Zero of the most recent zombie apocalypse (actual zombies, not the zombie-like fanboys that you see leaving the beach on Sunday after the Con). Three friends, and their faithful sidekicks, meet up for their annual pilgrimage of the nerds for SWAG, celebrities and panels! Only this year, in addition to some personal issues, a zombie virus outbreak happens (from one of the most realistic causes ever in a zombie series!) in the San Diego Convention Center and all hell breaks loose. I’m sure if you’ve been to San Diego Comic Con, you’ve had the nightmares of being trampled by the zombie slave Leias and Stormtroopers on the exhibit hall floor. Humphries and Gaylord bring this nightmare to life (yes zombie Leia is in there) with all the stereotypes of comic cons we all know and make fun of. Instead of making it through the weekend against swarms of nerds in the Gaslamp District this year, the friends must overcome their differences and work together to survive the swarms of zombie nerds trapped in the convention center with them. Issue #3 finds the gang trapped at the top of booth surrounded by zombies and dealing with one of their own getting bitten. Can they save their friend and themselves? With some teamwork and the repurposing of cosplay items and Con-SWAG they just might last a little longer. This issue, like the first 2, is filled with great one-liners and jabs at all the things con attendees truly talk about it in real life. And the art is just phenomenal, colorful and detailed with a little hint of anime style in there. Just the expressions on the faces of some of the characters will make you laugh out loud. With San Diego Comic Con 2012 only weeks away, this is a great way to get in the spirit and might help with some tips on surviving San Diego if you’re headed down there next month.
Extermination is a new take on the old “odd couple” idea; putting a superhero and a villain together to fight a battle where good and evil are needed to win. By Simon Spurrier and Jeffrey Edwards, Extermination finds hero Nox working alongside his former nemesis, The Red Reaper in a post alien invasion world. Mankind has been all but wiped out and these two “super beings” are fighting to stop the extra terrestrial menace. Spurrier’s story flashes between the present and the past to hook readers into why the two characters are working together but have so much tension toward each other. Being a first issue, there is a lot of dialogue and a clear set up of each character’s persona. There is also this hint that both have other sides to their personalities and the world they live in now is bringing that different attitude to the surface (sometimes for good and other times not). Visually, Jeff Edwards has created a great look to the landscape of an attacked world and the characters have a simple look while still having a super heroic presence. The look of Nox reminds me a lot of Batman and The Red Reaper looks more like Cable from the X-men series’. While they are superheroes, their powers seem more like technology driven rather than a mutation or a gift from a space meteor. Being the only two capable of fighting the aliens in a place where technology has been destroyed, Nox and Reaper must use what they can find and in some situations that can make for a laugh (like a motorcycle with a side car). And I must admit, the panels with the motorcycle ride almost turned me off to the book, but after a reread it makes sense in the world the characters are now facing. The flashback scenes give a glimpse of a past battle between the former enemies and it is easy to see that this will become an important part of the plot as issues go on. The book drew me in enough to make me want to read the next issue, and will probably do the same for most who read it.
The last book I want to talk about this week is Supurbia by Grace Randolph with art by Russell Dauterman. Issue #4 hit shelves this week with what BOOM Studios is calling a finale. If you do not know about this book, it is basically like the TV show Real Housewives, but for superheroes. The Meta Legion, a team of heroes, and their families all live together in a little suburb during their “off hours” and have some semblance of a normal life for their loved ones. The story shows what it might be like for heroes and their families behind the scenes of alien fights or nuclear plant meltdowns, and the trials and tribulations that face heroes after they go home from fighting evil. And like the TV show, there is naturally dramatic stories and secrets in all of the households. I was a bit skeptical at first with the story, thinking it was not for a regular comic book fan and instead geared towards fans of shows like Real Housewives. Four issues, in, I am into the story (and for the record, I do not like the reality TV shows in the slightest) and want to know what’s going to happen. So then why is this a finale?! Like a TV show, it seems as though Randolph has given fans Season 1 of Supurbia and with enough “ratings success” will bring back the drama of “Superhero Lane.” So get out there and by an issue for yourself and anyone you know who watches those types of shows on TV!
All three issues hit comic shelves today. Three BIG books from one of the smaller publisher’s this week. That says something about comics these days; the big guys are not necessarily the only story in town anymore. New ideas, old ideas with new twists, and AWESOME comics are coming from BOOM, Image, IDW, Red Planet and other smaller publishers every week. And in a world of remakes and relaunches, some new and original material is desperately needed! When you’re at the comic shop next time, grab an interesting looking title from a publisher you don’t know – you may find yourself a fan of something completely new and original.