The Mocking Dead #1 (of 4)

Dynamite

Release Date:  9/14/13

Words:  Fred Van Lente

Pictures:  Max Dunbar

The Sitch:

The Mocking Dead is Dynamite’s new zombie parody series.  It centers around Aaron Bunch, a giant fanboy who runs a torrent site, but used to be part of a government project that studied genre films and their plausibility of threat to the human population, as well as contingency plans for said threats should they “come to life.”  When zombies become a real life problem, it is Aaron Bunch the government calls to humanity’s rescue, armed with his brain and a flame thrower.

 The Confession:

This is just a plain, old fashioned fun read.  If you pick this up expecting a Walking Dead parody, you will be sorely disappointed.  Instead it’s a parody of zombies and pop culture in general, which I found to be totally enjoyable.  Zombies and their somber tone have permeated pop culture of late, so much so, that poking fun at it is refreshing if you give it a chance and loosen up.  Then again, maybe I should mention I was one of those that actually liked Warm Bodies because I recognized satire and did not mix it up with another attempt at serious sparkly vampires.

The story opens with an unknown person holed up somewhere in a post-apocalyptic world recording, old school, what happened in the days just before the zombies took over.  We are shown that the zombies easily took over humanity because people are stupid.  Really really.  This is funny stuff people.  The writing is chock full of pop culture references and gags.  Seasoned super-nerds, as well as zombie noobs, will be satisfied with the many inside jokes and satirical nods to zombie culture.

Part of the fun of this ride is how well the art works with the words.  As much as the writing and dialogue hold gems for the pop cultured, so too do the pictures. The reader should take in every little detail in this book to fully enjoy it.  The super parody porn was pretty funny, almost as funny as the comic book on Aaron’s desk highlighting, “The comic that’s ONLY variant covers!”  Well played.  The art is grey toned with splashes of blood red, realistic with a cartoon like edge that fits nicely with the the not-so-serious feel.

If you are a hardcore zombie fan, a zombie noob, or just a pop culture nerd that enjoys poking fun at the stupidity of the human race you really should give this one a try.  As a self respecting nerd I personally could not pass up a description that sums up Aaron’s struggle as such,  “…he quickly learns the only thing more dangerous than ravenous walking corpses is the ineptitude of the living!”

 

Red Sonja #1

Dynamite

Release Date:  7/17/13

Words:  Gail Simone

Pictures:  Walter Geovani

The Sitch:

Red Sonja attempts to settle a debt of honor by training and leading a group of villagers to defend themselves against a brutal horde in just a few days.

The Confession:

Prior to picking up this book I had no knowledge of Red Sonja.  Unless you count the exception of that really bad movie with Brigitte Nielsen and Arnold Schwarzenegger back in the 80’s.  If you don’t know what I’m referring to, consider yourself lucky.  I have a suspicion that movies suck factor poisoned me against giving the character another chance, that is, until Gail Simone.

Simone does not disappoint in her execution of a solid first issue.  As expected, the first issue is the presentation and set up.  Simone shows Sonja, a barbarian in her element, in a setting of war and savagery.  She is in a dire situation that shows who she is, a woman who can be brutal and savage, yet compassionate and merciful.  She has a strong moral core and a sure sense of honor that may not be readily seen through her barbarian actions.  The girl has layers.  Also appreciated is, despite the story’s serious nature, there is humor interjected in all the right places.

Walter Geovani provides beautiful visuals to underscore the story.  He can draw characters naturally that are expressive in both facial expressions and body language.  My favorite panels are when Sonja shows three bunglers the consequences of underestimating a lady.  She is a warrior goddess in every sense.

Followers of the character and of Simone will no doubt be pleased.  Newbies, like me will find a strong, provocative female character that is worth following.  Sisters, don’t let the tiny armor, male-centric eye candy dissuade you.  Red Sonja is not a woman you want to judge at face, or body, value.

Damsels: Mermaids #1

Dynamite

Release Date:  5/8/13

Words:  Matt Sturges

Pictures:  Jean-Paul Deshong

The Sitch: 

This is what happens after The Little Mermaid leaves her original tale with a broken heart.

The Confession:

I live for fairy tale retellings.  The story telling possibilities are endless.  I cannot get enough of finding new stories in the old myths, and legends.  Apparently I’m not the only one who appreciates this, with the success from “Once Upon a Time” and “Grimm” on the tele, to movies like “Jack the Giant Slayer” and several Snow White adaptations.  With so many to choose from nowadays one needs to be careful not to waste their time.  Sturges sets up his tale of The Little Mermaid after the fairy tale ends.  Her one great love has done her wrong and she now lives a lonely life apart from her people, bitter and pissed off.  She happens upon an exiled prince who manipulates her to joining forces with him in the hopes they can get their revenge on together.  Vengeance stories are always more fun and interesting than plain romance alone, and hopefully that is where we are going

Deshong’s illustrations are dark and deep and dreamy.  There is beauty and ugliness in a world without walls or limits.  The pages underwater are my favorite, fluid and open and moody with all the blues and purples.

I will give this one at least another try before deciding if I want to see how this one ends.