SHHHH! We don’t say that any more.
Your humble staff at Krypton Radio insist that our content be fresh and original. You’re part of the Krypton Radio family and what you want, we want. You deserve it. After all, Kryptonics are discerning and intelligent readers and listeners. And frankly, “The Pull List” was not original. Everybody and their grandmother was using that moniker, so it was time for a change. So I and the ever-alert Krypton Radio editorial staff hooked our big brains up to the Collaborative brainwave Generator (C.O.G, for short). And, after we put our hair out with the fire extinguishers, Four-Color Bullet was born. And the title is all that’s changed. You’re still getting the best comic book reviews of the week. We just wanted to make sure we were original. Not a clone of a clone of a clone. Besides, you know how bad the degradation is at about the fifth clone. They start drooling and picking their nose and licking their feet …
Well, you get the idea. We strive to be the template from which all other copies are made. Anyway, enough about that stuff. I’m still twitching from being strapped to the C.O.G. I’m told it will pass, eventually. Let’s talk comics!
Over in the Marvel Bullpen this week, someone is hunting Nightcrawler’s loved ones, and Nightcrawler and Wolverine won’t rest until they find out who and why, in Nightcrawler #2; Iron Man, Dr. Strange, Mr. Fantastic, the Black Panther, Namor, The Beast, and Black Bolt once again reassembled the Infinity Gauntlet and erased Captain America’s memories of the event. But no secret stays buried forever. And Steve Rogers is not a happy camper in Avengers #29, an Original Sin tie-in; and the Wrecking Crew is back with souped-up powers and they’re out to get the Fantastic Four, in Fantastic Four #4.
Over at the Distinguished Competition, a new Justice League is formed to protect the galaxy, in Justice League United #1; it’s the New 52 five years later and the heroes of the DC Universe gather to mourn a fallen hero, and Terry McGinnis scrambles to protect his future, in Futures’ End #2; John Constantine takes on a demon that’s feeding on the American Southwest, and the last vestiges of his humanity are at stake in Constantine #14; and in in Batman ’66 #34, Batman and Robin must stop Marsha, Queen of Diamonds, from acquiring her latest prize: the giant Bat-diamond that powers the Bat-computer.
Despite the impending loss of the Star Wars license to Marvel, and despite the fact that the Expanded Universe is no longer canon, Dark Horse Comics continues to make good on their pledge of bringing readers the best Star Wars stories they can publish. In Star Wars #17, and the third part of the current story arc, Leia continues her plan to marry the prince of Arrochar, in order to give the Alliance a home base. But things are not as they seem on Arrochar, and when Luke Skywalker is grounded from flying (again) because of insubordination, he is assigned to the Arrochar Rangers as a sort of military exchange program. And it’s there that Luke discovers Arrochar’s secret — and deadly — agenda.
Star Wars, set directly after the events in Episode IV, continues to be one of the consistently well-written books out there. Writer Brian Wood continues the daunting task of adding to the mythos, as well as expanding on the characters’ backgrounds. Luke is a hothead, Leia is portrayed as a warrior in her own right and not afraid of a fight, we see the birth of Rogue Squadron, and still more. And don’t let the fact that these great stories aren’t officially canon. Call them what they are: great stories. These are obviously a labor of love for Brian Wood and his love for Star Wars comes out in every issue. And I love well-written mystery and intrigue, and this current story has it. Star Wars is one of my must read titles, one of the reasons I show up early at the comic shop, and will be until it wraps with with issue 20 in August.
Sometimes, I like to check out the indie selections. Some are hit and miss, but sometimes you can find gems. That’s how I found two of my current favorites, Watson and Holmes, and Steam Engines of Oz. This new beauty, called Epic, is from ComixTribe and centers around a Miami teen named Eric Ardor. Eric’s a picked-on high school kid complete with swirlies in the toilet, he’s got a genius best friend, and all the other problems that high school can bring. But when Eric is involved in a freak accident and gets himself some super powers, things go from bad to confusing. He can fly, he’s super strong, he shoots optic blasts from his eyes, and beautiful girls render him powerless. Literally.
I can’t adequately explain how much I like this book. I picked up issue #0 on Free Comic Book Day and really just enjoyed how fun it was. The first issue became available this week and now we see that there’s an established superhero-verse set up, in which Eric and his Epic persona are new. Writer Tyler James is funny and there’s just so much wit and charm and zany super-villains and fun super-heroics, the book is like fresh oxygen to an industry that’s almost forgotten what fun is. The art is fresh and clean, easy to see, and complements James’ writing superbly. The story is well-paced. We get to see the fledgling Epic botch the apprehension of a criminal when he mistakes a new hero for a criminal, but totally makes up for it. And we get to see Epic as Eric, getting by in school, dealing with family, and some subtle foreshadowing for what’s coming later. Very much one of my surprises for the week. This is one I’ll be adding to my pull list.
And that’s the end of this week’s Four-Color Bullet. As always, let me know what you folks are reading, and if there’s anything I need to be reading or paying attention to, leave comments below or send me an email. And go see Godzilla this weekend. I hear it’s awesome. Maybe it’ll get that Amazing Spider-Man 2 taste out of your mouth.
It’s a great time to be a comics fan. Happy reading!