Comic Book Review – Promethea Volume 1

Promethea Volume 1 (2000)
Written by Alan Moore
Art by J.H. Williams

Alan Moore has always been a remixer of comics history and iconography. In 1999 he started his own imprint of Wildstorm (which was then a division of DC Comics), called America’s Best. The name was a repurposing of a defunct line of comics from the 1940s, which featured superheroes now lost to the memories of the general public like Black Terror and Fighting Yank. Moore stayed in that vein of pulpy, Golden Age stories centering this line around four core titles: Tom Strong, Top 10, Tomorrow Stories, and Promethea. Each book examined an archetype comics in typical Moore fashion, deconstructing the tropes and reinterpreting commonly accepted norms.

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State of the Blog – 2nd Half of 2019

Here are the things I have planned for the second half of the year on my blog.

I’ll start doing a bi-weekly short film review roundup on August 17th. I plan to feature quality short films that are available online so that readers can view them. I have the first eight posts planned with three short films on each post. The first post will feature reviews for the short films He Took His Skin Off For Me, Janciza Bravo’s Eat, and Ari Aster’s The Strange Thing About the Johnsons. I’ll be looking at films that come from all corners of media from classic French shorts (Le Jetee) to Adult Swim middle of the night surreality (the works of Alan Resnick).

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Comic Book Review – Power Rangers: Shattered Grid

Power Rangers: Shattered Grid
Reprints Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #24-30, 2018 Annual, Free Comic Book Day Special, Go Go Power Rangers #8-12, and Shattered Grid finale
Written by Kyle Higgins and Ryan Parrott (with Anthony Burch, Caleb Goellner, Adam Cesare, Becca Barnes, and Alwyn Dale)
Art by Jonas Scharf, Dan Mora, Marcus To, Dylan Burnett, Patrick Mulholland, Hyeonjin Kim, Simone Di Meo, Daniele Di Nicuolo, and Diego Galindo

Power Rangers has seen twenty-six different versions of the original premise from the first Mighty Morphin variety to the current Ninja Steel just launched Beast Morphers. I came of age just a bit too old to be a fan, but due to younger siblings in the house, I ended up watch much of the first season of the Fox Kids series. I know of the original group of teenagers and the evil of Rita Repulsa. After that era, I go blank. Boom Comics acquired the license to make comics based on Power Rangers a couple of years ago, and this reimagining came from writer Kyle Higgins. The books are a little more involved, fleshing out the families of the Rangers and making the city of Angel Grove feel a little bigger. With Shattered Grid, Higgins does the impossible and brings together the two dozen versions of the Rangers in one epic tale.

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Movie Review – Brightburn

Brightburn (2019)
Written by Brian & Mark Gunn
Directed by David Yarovesky

The premise “What if Superman was evil?” is nothing new to the world of comic books. Over Superman’s eighty year history we’ve had characters like Bizarro, Ultraman, and Cyborg Superman who explore those darker aspects to a being like Superman. There have been books like Marvelman and Irredeemable that also examine these themes with even more detail. So, for comic nerds like myself, Brightburn isn’t bringing anything new to the table. However, I acknowledge that general audiences haven’t seen anything like this before, and if you are someone tired of the same old superhero origin tropes, this does offer a different take.

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Comic Book Review – Upgrade Soul

Upgrade Soul (2018)
Written & Illustrated by Ezra Claytan Daniels

Hank and Molly Nonnar have been married for 45 years when they agree to undergo an experimental to give themselves new bodies and a second lifetime. However, as these things so often go, there are complications, and the couple’s bodies and souls undergo something life-shattering. As the two are led through the recovery process by the unethical scientists and researchers at the institute, they begin to uncover truths about themselves and their relationship. Molly makes breakthroughs in her research and sees her typical day to day needs fading away. Hank finds intimacy in an unexpected relationship and begins to imagine a future beyond the walls of their hospital. But as more is discovered about their conditions the bleaker the outcome appears to be.

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Comic Book Review – Gideon Falls: The Black Barn

Gideon Falls: The Black Barn (2018)
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Andrea Sorrentino

Father Wilfred has been reassigned to a new parish after issues with drinking. His new home will be the rural town of Gideon Falls, where their last priest went missing and is presumed dead. His first night in the priest’s quarters of the church leads to an encounter with the absent father and the corpse of Mrs. Tremblay; the church secretary/housekeeper found bled out in a cornfield. Wilfred swears he saw a black barn in that field, but the police find no traces of it and suspect Wilfred was involved in the murder. Meanwhile, in a city far away a paranoid schizophrenic man named Norton scours the back alleys and dumpsters for fragments of charred wood and rusted nails. Norton believes the city is revealing a larger cosmic truth to him, that all of these pieces when assembled will make a construct that answers questions he has repressed. The stories of these two men living great distances from each other slowly become entangled and promise to lead to genuinely dark places.

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Comic Book Review – Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion Evil

Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil
Reprints Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil #1-4
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by David Rubin

Taking a step back from the events of Black Hammer: The Event, we get to read the story of how Lucy Weber investigated the disappearance of her superhero father. Using her position as a reporter for the Global Planet, Lucy begins uncovering details about what happened the day Anti-God invaded Spiral City. This leads her to an asylum on the edges of town where the name “Sherlock Frankenstein” is given to her by an inmate. Frankenstein is a notorious supervillain who was seen being quite active the day of Anti-God’s invasion. Lucy becomes convinced that this mastermind is behind the vanishing and possible death of her dad. However, a shadowy conspiracy seems intent on blocking Lucy’s further prying.

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