Monday, August 7, 2017
In the 25 years that I managed The Silver Snail in Ottawa I hired many staff to help me make our store the best comic book store in the nation’s capital. One of the best human beings I ever worked with was Dave Russell. I was deeply saddened by the news that he passed away on the morning of Saturday, August 5. I was at work at Comet Comics and was lucky enough to have time to compose myself before the first customer came in for the day. I got through the rest of the day trying my best to act as Dave would have while greeting and serving customers. Dave was an exceptional human being. We laughed and cried together through almost 14 years of working at the Snail. His honesty and creativity inspired me to try and be a better person. We lost touch after he moved to Windsor with his Mom and big brother Jason but he was always in my heart as he was in so many other friends’. The man made a big difference in a lot of people’s lives in ways that we will all never forget. Rest in peace Dave.
Generations: Banner Hulk & Totally Awesome Hulk #1 – Greg Pak (writer) Matteo Buffagni (art) Dono Sanchez Almara (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). Present meets past when Amadeus finds himself mysteriously transported to a time when Bruce Banner was constantly being harassed by General Ross and the army. There’s a lot of Hulk Smashing and Amadeus trying to do what’s right so this is just for fans of either Hulks. Not much story or plot here I’m afraid.
New Gods Special #1 – It would have been Jack Kirby’s 100th birthday this month if he were still alive and DC is putting out special comic books commemorating that anniversary. This one has a couple of new stories and a classic reprint which captures Jack’s creativeness and signature bombastic action scenes. Jack’s art on Thor and Fantastic Four helped to get me hooked on comic books and made me a lifelong fan of comic book art. His writing was overly melodramatic for me but his art always amazed me. “Orion of New Genesis” by Shane Davis (writer & pencils) Michelle Delecki (inks) Alex Sinclair (colours) A Larger World’s Dave & Troy (letters) gives you a good understanding of Jack’s creation, The New Gods, and their constant conflicts. “Teeth of the See” by Walt Simonson (writer & art) Laura Martin (colours) John Workman (letters) shows us what lurks beneath the surface of Apokalips’s ocean. You’ll see what I mean about melodrama in “Lonar” by Jack Kirby (writer & art) Vince Colletta (inks).
Elsewhere #1 – Jay Faerber (writer) Sumeyye Kesgin (art) Ron Riley (colours) Thomas Mauer (letters). Ever wonder where people mysteriously disappear to? According to Jae Faerber it’s Elsewhere. This fantasy book has a twist in the cast when two earthly characters find themselves trapped on an alien world. It’s a neat idea but not enough to make me want to keep reading.
Nick Fury #5 – James Robinson (writer) Aco & Hugo Petrus (pencils) Hugo Petrus (inks) Rachelle Rosenberg (colours) Travis Lanham (letters). Nick goes on a road trip. This issue is one where the artists do the heavy lifting. Not much plot but boy is it beautifully illustrated.
Batman #28 – Tom King (writer) Mikel Janin (art) June Chung (colours) Clayton Cowles (letters). Batman and Commissioner Gordon are not willing to pay the price to end the War of Jokes and Riddles…yet. This means the Deathstroke and Deadshot are allowed to roam through Gotham City trying to kill each other. As the war continues the price gets higher.
Lark’s Killer #1 – Bill Willingham (writer) Mark Dos Santos (art) Salvatore Aiala (colours) Thomas Mauer (letters). If you fondly remember Fables then I think you will grow fond of this new fantasy series by Bill Willingham. I liked Fables a lot and I liked Gene Ha’s Mae comic book which is similar to this. Lark finds herself in a land of swords and fantastical creatures and this is her story. This debut was a lot of fun and the art is very nice. Putting “Killer” in the title of an all ages book seems like poor marketing though.
Champions #11 – Mark Waid (writer) Humberto Ramos (pencils) Victor Olazaba (inks) Edgar Delgado (colours) VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters). This issue takes place during Secret Empire #2. I’m not reading Secret Empire and that’s okay because this shows how a good creative team can put an excellent comic book on the racks for their fans, and not make them wonder what the heck is going on. I love this book because it focuses on the team members and how they react to what’s happening. Here they are walking around utter devastation and everything isn’t all super heroics, just simple humanity.
Star Wars: Darth Vader #4 – Charles Soule (writer) Giuseppe Camuncoli (pencils) Cam Smith (inks) David Curiel (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). It’s not the light sabre that he’s looking for. Vader is very villainous.
Superman #28 – Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason (writers) Scott Godlewski (art) Gabe Eltaeb (colours) Rob Leigh (letters). A Memorial Day special as the Kents tour Washington D.C. I enjoy reading historical stuff.
Mech Cadet Yu #1 – Greg Pak (writer) Takeshi Miyazawa (art) Triona Farrell (colours) Simon Bowland (letters). I never got into the giant mecha craze like the Robotech and Gundam animes and comic books but the toys and models were cool enough for me to buy a few and put together. I only gave this a try because I like Greg’s writing on Totally Awesome Hulk. He didn’t disappoint me here, making me care for the little guy and dislike the bad guy. The clash of giant robots will be appreciated by some but for me it will be seeing these characters develop as the story continues.