A new week means new comics! Here are a few titles I’m looking forward to checking out this week.
Ody-C #3 launches with a birthing scene. Thanks to the cold open, we are not given the names of the three characters we see (parents and midwife), but the midwife does seem overly interested in the paternity of the child that is about to be born. “Ask, my child,” she says. “Ask after your man’s divinity.”
“Ivar Anni-Padda, the eldest of an ancient clan of legendary adventurers, has spent his life tracking time arcs – portals that allow him to travel to different periods in Earth’s history. He is brilliant, cunning, charming, and more than a little devious. He is… Ivar, Timewalker.”
Thanks to an article/review by Chris Sims at ComicsAlliance, I have become acquainted with a cool new indie comic series called Ivar, Timewalker. Published by Valiant Comics, written by Fred Van Lente and illustrated by Clayton Henry (pencils) and Brian Reber (colours), Ivar, Timewalker is like Doctor Who, except–in my opinion–less boring and pretentious. It’s a sort of self-aware pastiche, where the comic’s creators seem to have put their own spin on the concept of a lone, dashing time-traveler in a three-piece suit and his educated-but-new-to-time-travel-shenanigans human companion. Unconstrained by TV budgets, however, they’re free to tell an adventurous story that feels exciting, unpredictable, mysterious, and just plain fun.
Plus, my initially favourable impression that they based their “companion” character on Martha Jones only ballooned once I realised the character was actually a physicist (PhD and all) of South Asian descent. Brown girls represent!
Issue #1 sees Ivar rescue/hijack Dr. Neela Sethi, and take her across time and space to flee from the Promeathans, “a group of artificial cyborg drones from the Fifth Dimension (as someone who has often been kept awake pondering beings who’ve figured out how to manipulate the fifth dimension, this is hitting all my metaphysics buttons). It ends with a shocking revelation–that an older, cybernetically-enhanced is the leader of these Promethans, from the vantage of an orbiting city no less, and she’s out for revenge against Ivar. Is Ivar really a good guy, or is he the bad guy of the piece, having betrayed Neela in some terrible way? The shades of grey here are super intriguing, not to mention older cyborg Neela looks totally badass.
I was very pleased to see promotional trailers for Marvel’s Agent Carter on one of my local cable channels (Fox – Channel 505 on Starhub, for any Singaporeans/Southeast Asians in the midst), and even more pleased to see that they would be broadcasting this new show just 12 short hours after the US premiere. Hayley Atwell was a refreshing presence as Peggy Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger, and I was (am!) excited to see Marvel taking a chance on a female lead character.
Some thoughts on the first two episodes:
Secret Origins launched back in April 2014 with three origin stories: Superman, Supergirl, and the first Robin, Dick Grayson. This last was penned by Kyle Higgins, who had already given us his take on the New 52 origin of Robin in Nightwing #0. His Secret Origin story — which I found to be poignant and lovely — turned out to be an expansion of that, in a way; continuing the #0 issue, while also correcting some of the problems readers had with it.
So I was surprised to see that Dick Grayson would getting a second go-around in Secret Origins, this time in issue #8. Ostensibly, this story is meant to be the origin of Dick as a secret agent for Spyral. In actuality, it’s more of a “stock-take” for Dick Grayson in the New 52. Written by Tim Seeley (who has yet to write a comic I have disliked – I hope he takes the lead on more Grayson stories in the coming months) and illustrated by Stephen Mooney, the conceit of this particular “secret origin” is that it’s a history of the character re-told by Helena Bertinelli to her boss at the secret spy agency Spyral.
Given that the Batfamily timelines are a bit of a mess in the reboot DC universe, getting us up to speed is no bad thing. Read on to see what we learned (and/or confirmed) in Secret Origins #8.
If you’ve been anywhere near Tumblr lately, you’ll probably been exasperated by the “crave that mineral” meme that has inexplicably and rapidly went viral, to the point where even luxury brands like Tiffany’s and Mercedes-Benz were referencing it on their social media accounts. It’s not the first meme to gain traction and it won’t be the last, but it felt particularly relevant as I caught up on Memetic, a three-part comic series published by BOOM! Studios.
Memetic, created and written by James Tynion IV (Batman, Batman Eternal), also features an animal-based image (a sloth) slowly taking over the internet. People go into a frenzy over it, as they often do with internet memes, but things take a sinister turn when said frenzy involves homicidal zombification.
I wrote a review of Memetic #3 (the final part of the mini-series) for Word of the Nerd — you can find it here, and I’ve also cross-posted it below.
First of all, how amazing is this cover by Kris Anka? The composition is kept simple so that our main subject, Ms. Marvel and her large beast friend, Lockjaw, are dynamic and striking. I love Kamala’s pose: this a a hero on the go, ready to kick butt and save people. The spray-painted logo and police car fill out the rest of the picture without cluttering it. The colours keep it fun and energetic. While I’ve enjoyed the previous covers by Jamie McKelvie, I’d love to see more covers by Mr. Anka.
Anyway… Kamala is baaaaack! Woohoo! We’ve had a month-long break since issue #9 broke way back in October, but as I started this issue, it felt like it was just yesterday — this book’s look and tone is just that distinct, thanks to the combined talents of G Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, Ian Herring, Joe Caramagna (and of course the two editors shepherding them, Devin Lewis and Sana Amanat).
Issue #10 follows directly from where #9 ended: with some of Kamala’s peers, who she has just saved from captivity as human batteries, explaining to her that nope, the villainous Inventor wasn’t keeping them against their will. They were all there by choice. Yikes! As if the idea of kids plugged into weird machines, kept as energy incubators a la The Matrix, wasn’t horrifying enough.