Report what comic books you have read today--and tell us a little something about it while you're here!

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Having read the first volume of No Mercy yesterday, I read the second one today. This book is definitely different from most other comics that I've ever read. It's not a super-hero tale. It is kind of an early-adulthood horror/psychological terror title. The characters remind me somewhat of the ones from Search Party on TBS--the kind you can't really stand, but that you can't stop watching. There is a strong sense of entitlement in these characters. If there is one thing that makes a Gen-Xer feel like a Baby Boomer, it's seeing the Millennials' sense of entitlement. Still, while you're reading the book, you do have a few of them to root for, and there is something to root for in all of them. They have started bringing the characters' families in now while the world is searching for these young adults, and it is clear that they are mostly the products of an apples-and-trees situation. 

The bottom line is that I couldn't put this down. I think the next volume is due to arrive this Tuesday, but I will be in Fort Lauderdale, so I will look forward to reading this when I get back.

And then, later on this afternoon, I read Roughneck by Jeff Lemire. It was good, but...man, after what I have read so far today, I am going to have to follow it up with some Giffen/DeMatties Justice League stuff to cheer me back up!

Sounds like a good plan! No Mercy has been on my read list for awhile, so it's good to get your impressions.

Wandering Sensei: Moderator Man said:

And then, later on this afternoon, I read Roughneck by Jeff Lemire. It was good, but...man, after what I have read so far today, I am going to have to follow it up with some Giffen/DeMatties Justice League stuff to cheer me back up!

It's definitely a different kind of comic book. It feels somewhat manga-like (and in fact, a few times, the art even goes there along with the story-type), and the story is definitely interesting. The characters are the kind that you don't necessarily want to see die, but if they did, you aren't too broken up over it. It's kind of a bizarre kind of tension created in a world of bad guys vs. people you don't like in the first place.

Mark Sullivan (Vertiginous Mod) said:

Sounds like a good plan! No Mercy has been on my read list for awhile, so it's good to get your impressions.

No Mercy is one of my favorite indies right now. I'm a few issues ahead, since I read it in the monthlies. It helps to read them in a chunk, like you're doing, since there's a large cast (that gets larger, even as people die), and it begins sprawling all over as things progress. And yeah, there are people you feel sympathy for even as they do something monstrous. Alex DeCampi is a really underrated writer -- she never shies away from going for the jugular -- and I've been in love with Carla Speed McNeil's art for ages.

Black Science Vol. 4 
Rick Remender, writer;  Matteo Scalera, artist; Moreno Dinisio, colors

Image Comics, 2016

This installment focuses almost entirely on Grant McKay, who has gone from being the leader of the inter-dimensional expedition to an isolated man with a tenuous grip on reality. Some part of him is still trying to understand, so he works through his tortured family history. It's all a bit pat, but he sees his father's infidelity mirrored in his own, as well as his basic inability to trust. It's a fascinating side trip: five issues that barely advance the main action at all. Except Grant finally catches up with Rebecca, and pays her back for what she's done. He's a man of action at the end, which has interesting implications for the next volume.

It really just reads differently than other comics. I've read stuff that feels like this before, but I can't place my finger on where, and it's been awhile.

I loved DeCampi's horror book she did a few years ago... I want to say it had "Grindhouse" in the title somewhere, but I can't remember who published it or exactly what it was called. But it was fun!



Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

No Mercy is one of my favorite indies right now. I'm a few issues ahead, since I read it in the monthlies. It helps to read them in a chunk, like you're doing, since there's a large cast (that gets larger, even as people die), and it begins sprawling all over as things progress. And yeah, there are people you feel sympathy for even as they do something monstrous. Alex DeCampi is a really underrated writer -- she never shies away from going for the jugular -- and I've been in love with Carla Speed McNeil's art for ages.

Wandering Sensei: Moderator Man said:

I loved DeCampi's horror book she did a few years ago... I want to say it had "Grindhouse" in the title somewhere, but I can't remember who published it or exactly what it was called. But it was fun!

I think this is the one you're trying to remember:

https://www.comics.org/series/76948/

Finished reading an anthology called Trickster. Its a collection of Native American stories, and each one is written by a Native American writer. I thought it was really good, and I like some of the themes that got repeated.

Last week, while I was traveling, I read many many 80's and early 90's books on my iPad--especially during my 14+ hours in airport hell yesterday. Here is what I had the opportunity to read:

  • Robin Annual #3: I think this was the year DC had the brilliant (not really) idea to make all of their annuals Elseworlds books. This Robin was a ninja, trying to live up to his master (Batman, natch). The story was really nothing special, but at least stepped through all the right hoops. I think I bought this one way back when I was searching for more artwork by Alcatena. The ending of this book was a major downer.
  • Batman Year 3: I liked this much more than I did the first time I read it. The first time through, I was a wide-eyed kid who ate up anything Batman (this was right after the Batman film came out, after all). This was the story of Batman coming undone after the death of Jason Todd, with Nightwing coming back to the fold out of concern. In the meantime, he reflects back on his beginning days as Robin. This story now obviously featured the first appearance of the teeny little Tim Drake as a circus visitor, and has a whole lot of Zucco in it. What I liked much more this time around was the artwork of Pat Broderick. I didn't appreciate it the first time, but reading it on the iPad did afford me the chance to look at the art up close, and I saw a lot of Walt Simonson in there. Great work!
  • Cosmic Boy #1-4: This was a Legends side-title. This was written by Paul Levitz, and featured Cosmic Boy and his girlfriend Lydda coming to present day and trying to find their way back... back to the future! I loved the art here. It was by Keith Giffen and Ernie Colon. It looked ahead of its time, but also reminded me of book illustrations from the 70's with the faces. This was a pretty good read that is very pretty to look at.
  • Batman: A Lonely Place of Dying: This is another one I read the first time it came out, but hadn't read it since. This was the story of Tim Drake solving the case of who Batman and Robin/Nightwing are, and earning his place as the new Robin (eventually). This story wasn't bad, and it is important to the mythos of course. Tim Drake did a lot of his research by stalking! I really appreciate the art of Jim Aparo now more than I did at the time. Yes, Bruce and Dick look the same age as Alfred here, but that's the kind of thing that happened then. It was a fun nostalgia trip.

Oh, and I also read the Shazam miniseries that came out alongside Legends. This was by Roy and Dann Thomas with art by Tom Mandrake. This was an origin story for the character, and it didn't really do much for me to be honest. I still can't understand how Dr. Sivana is a competent foe for Captain Marvel. This one had Uncle Dudley and Beautia (Byoo-TIA or Byoosha?) and her brother with some absurd name that I can't remember. Probably the funniest thing to happen in this story was at the end where Sivana is drowning his sorrows in tequila, and then we zoom in on his bottle and there is Mr. Mind at the bottom of it.

Hellboy in Hell Vol. 2: The Death Card
Mike Mignola, story & art; Dave Stewart, colors
Dark Horse Books, 2016

It's been hard being a Hellboy fan for the last few years. Mike Mignola killed him and sent him to hell--and then took forever to finish the story. This conclusion to the Hellboy in Hell story took from 2014 to 2016 for five monthly issues. Fans should perhaps be grateful that it didn't run for another five, which Mignola says was his original plan in his Afterword. Despite the compression, the story manages to tie up some loose threads. Hellboy battles the Vampire of Prague for a second time, defends himself against a charge of murdering his family (by his sister, but the Furies are also involved), causes the destruction of Pandemonium (the center of hell), and gets to see the new World Tree he helped create. The conclusion is gentle and elegiac, "this is always how it was going to end." Of course as Mignola points out, if a character has died and keeps walking around, it's hard to call anything an end. 

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