Mockingbird: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary #1

Marvel

Release Date:  9/2/15

Words: Chelsea Cain

Pictures: Joelle Jones

The Sitch:

Mockingbird: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary #1 issue also contains the debut of The Red Widow, Red Widow: First Strike, words by Margaret Stohl and pictures by Nico Leon.

Mockingbird has always been one of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s best agents but a crime against someone close to her forces her to take matters into her own hands. Using her many special skills, she will do what she needs to do to see justice is paid.

The Confession:

Mockingbird is a stand-alone, one shot look at the Mockingbird character, an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. fan favorite that has not gotten the attention she deserves. Sadly, this isn’t an ongoing book. It’s a real shame as Cain seems to really know Bobbi Morse. She has made an intriguing mini-story depicting Bobbi as a multi-layered woman who is super smart, snarky and badass. I would love to see what Cain could do with an actual ongoing book for Mockingbird like they have done for Black Widow and Electra.

I have to confess the main reason I had to get this book, the art. Joelle Jones’ art is so freaking rad. (Hello? Lady Killer anyone?) She makes Bobbi look awesome. Her style is clean, bold, and breathtakingly beautiful. She has a gift depicting kickass female spies with so much style and badassery I can never resist picking up one of her books. All you have to know to get this book is that Bobbi Morse is not just a scientist, she’s a biochemist. She’s also a super hero and spy. This woman can do anything and with Jones showing you how Bobbi does it all is worth every penny.

Mockingbird 02

4770458-mockbird2015001_int2-3

The teaser mini-story follow-up, The Red Widow: First Stike, promotes Stohl’s upcoming YA novel Black Widow: Forever Red on sale in October and is worth a look. Stohl paces a good story full of intrigue and drama in just a few pages. Leon’s art is a little subdued but also knows how and when to throw a good punch. Don’t stop reading when Mockingbird is done.

images

Lady Killer #1

Dark Horse

Release Date:  1/7/15

Words:  Joelle Jones & Jaime S. Rich

Pictures:  Joelle Jones

The Sitch:

Lady Killer is a new miniseries introducing the character Josie Schuller.  She is the picture perfect 1960’s housewife who can balance many hats, the wholesome homemaker, the wife to an unobservant husband, the mother of two perfectly precocious girls, and the deadly assassin.

The Confession:

Oftentimes in comic book stories, it all comes down to the execution.  There have been stories depicting the typical Joe or Josie in a not-all-is-as-it-seems environment, only to turn that world upside down.  I personally love a good dichotomy story.  Lady Killer wins as a classy, fun, dark comedy, action/adventure story.  It’s a bit campy.  I love camp.  I especially love the Kill Bill-ish feel mixed with a little Mad Men.  Watching Josie switch effortlessly between her seemingly safe and idyllic suburban household and vicious killer assassin for hire is pretty entertaining.

Jones not only can weave an entertaining story with tons of potential, she can draw some sweet lines.  I would buy this book for the art alone.  I love her style.  It is so detailed you are pulled instantly into the different time of the 60’s when women were certainly not imagined to lead a double life, let alone one so vicious.  The pages of Josie infiltrating a woman’s home to sell Avon, quickly turning into a vicious fight to the death was outstanding.  I love the little bit of the fight ending and Josie realizing she’s got a bit of gore on her perfectly pressed dress.  Kudos to detail.

If you like these kinds of stories, especially ones centered on a strong female lead, get this one on your pull list already.  There is no disappointment here.

Lady-Killer1-front-cover tumblr_nh99izLX8F1u1tz4ao1_500

Also, you can go to Bleeding Cool for a little Q and A with Jones and see her awesome pin- up poster advertisements she did for fun before the narrative evolved.   Someone needs to make those into a calendar ASAP and just take my money now.  It’s too hard to pick a favorite but today, I choose this one:

6-600x779

John Carpenter’s Asylum #1

Storm King Productions

Release Date:  5/29/13

Words:  Bruce Jones

Pictures:  Leonardo Manco

The Sitch:

In a world where humanity is increasingly at the mercy of evil, one man is heading the opposition in the struggle against hell on earth.  Father Daniel Beckett, a failed priest and the most unlikely of God’s warrior’s, has never seen an angel or spoken to God but has seen plenty of demons and knows the devil and his minions when he sees them.  Lucifer and his war are coming to Los Angeles and it is up to Father Beckett to keep fighting the good fight.

The Confession:

If you like horror you’ll want to pick this one up.  Any fan of John Carpenter’s creations will not be disappointed in this solid start of a story.  Father Beckett is not the holiest of holy men but the best LA has to offer the struggle against the growing demon population.  The development of Beckett’s character is solid in this first issue, hooking the reader into caring about who he is and why he’s doing what he’s doing.

The artwork is amazing.  It’s just beautiful to look at.  Of course, the subject matter can be pretty gruesome but I’m hard pressed not to look away.  Surely, this is not one for the kiddies, as mature content abounds, so it’s not for the faint of heart either.  But if horror is your thing you’ll want to take a peek at this one for sure.  Manco is spot on with the bleak feeling of a world just waiting to be taken over by darkness.  It must take a long time to draw this kind of art for a comic book, each panel looks like it could be it’s own piece of a giant twisted art show.

Image

Being a horror girl at heart, this is one I’ll be reading.

Before Watchmen: Comedian #6

DC Comics

Release Date:  4/24/13

Words:  Brian Azzarello

Pictures:  J. G.  Jones

The Sitch: 

The Comedian is sent back to the States after his horrific actions in Vietnam.  He must deal with the consequences of the fall out of his war crimes and how it affects his relationship with Bobby Kennedy.

The Confession:

I am obviously way late to this game but… really? I still do not understand why someone thought this was a good idea.  It’s been awhile since I’ve read “The Watchmen” but I remember enough to know it was the kind of standalone work not to be messed with.  The story was told.  The end.

I had to try it though.  I had to see what it was all about.  Now I’m sorry I wasted precious time.  The story was not that interesting to me.  It was not that the writing was bad because it wasn’t.   It just fell flat.  Moore gave enough characterization of Blake in the original story and it should have been left alone.  Delving any deeper into the mystery of who this man is can only lead to disappointment.

The artwork does make up for what the story lacks.  It is much like the original with great attention to detail and how it sets the mood for gloom and paranoia.  The realism of the characters facial expressions is impressive.  The art deserved to have a stronger tale to tell.