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Aug 212014

by Etienne Paul, CMRO Contributing Writer

All New X-Men

Issue #30

Written by Brian Michael Bendis, Art by Sara Pichelli

Published: September  2014

All-New X-Men #30For me, this is the best X-Men series currently in print and I have absolutely no reservations saying that. While I prefer the concept of Uncanny and Amazing has had some pretty outstanding art, this series has been consistently brilliant all the way along. The part that interests me really is that for some people this just is not X-Men at all, but it is some bastardisation of the Ultimate universe concept in a 616 backdrop. I can understand that point of view because the time travel aspect at the inception of this series was a gigantic deus exmachina, which from my perspective was just a way to get Jean Grey back into the world. Very few characters ‘die’ and even fewer stay dead. In fact unless you are called Uncle Ben it is nearly guaranteed that you will come back in some form be it clone, time travel, resurrected by aliens or simply running away from Heaven.

For me, I have no problems with this series because it does not feel like a backdoor reboot. With the exception of Jean all the other original X-Men are alive and kicking, most with books of their own or like Hank, appearing as supporting characters in half a dozen other titles. This feels very different to the ‘reboot’ of Nick Fury, which Original Sin looks like it might take to its logical conclusion, where the new one completely supplants the old. My biggest concern about this series, especially at first, was that it would simply be like the Ultimate universe where they ran through the ‘greatest hits’ of the characters before nuking the series from orbit when they ran out of stories to retell. Bringing Laura in and booting Scott out into space has meant that rather than re-running all those good ideas from the 60s, these characters can now grow and evolve on their own, eventually becoming very different from their older selves.

Let us take a minute to look at who we have. Scott is gone, temporarily possibly, but he is still the uptight school kid, constantly wanting to impress his elders. Compared to his older self who is the ‘New Magneto’ to Storm and Wolverine’s ‘Charles Xavier’ he is a completely different character and there is nothing to say he has to turn out the same way.* Warren is still just a pretty boy with wings, he has not seen the dark side as one of Apocalypses horsemen, he has never turned, never become Archangel and he has not been reborn as this angelic demi-god that he currently is.  Hank is still a wide eyed Peter-Parker-equse character who is full of good ideas, but has not been twisted by his transformation into a bestial blue furred monster that appears even darker than Scott who he abhors so much. Jean is even more different from her old self, ignoring the ‘not dead’ bit; she is not the focus for the phoenix that has passed on to others such as Hope and Quentin. She has been able to develop her own natural powers to a point that her predecessor was never allowed and has matured so much faster because of it. Finally there is Bobby and he is just a jackass in either generation.

Laura, X-23, for me is the best thing that happened to this comic; ok I will admit that I have soft spot for villainous-face-turn female characters, but even still her part in this comic has far bigger implications than you would otherwise expect. The ‘All-New’ team are based at Cyclops’ hidden facility** and that is now filled with new students. However Laura is not one of them, she has not been lost in the crowd, but has become part of this team lead by Kitty. What she has done is make the path they were following jump the tracks, it is no longer certain that Scott will end up with Jean, doubly so now he has wandered off to become a Starjammer. It means just like every X-team for the last 40 years, people can come and go, the team can be remade, break up and the characters could even be killed off. Nothing is out of bounds now.

This particular book takes Laura into the realms of either ‘cradle snatching’ or something vaguely illegal depending on how old we think this characters actually are (somewhere between 14 and 20, take your pick). Then again with this being in Canada and the age of consent a far looser ‘sometimes 14, sometimes 16’ perhaps it was the best place for it to happen. A full half of this comic was taken up by Warren and Laura in bed, or the preceding night and while it was cute, it did drag a bit in the meantime. However the confrontation between Emma and Jean was what really made this issue. It is clear that Emma has more of her powers back than she used to, that first turned up in Original Sin and it has carried on to this comic since. She might not be the telepathic powerhouse she once was, but it is all coming back to her, enough to be able to stand up to her young raw protégée.

The last thing I need to mention is the art. Sara Pichelli has been utterly wasted on the Ultimate universe and this comic shows exactly why. I will forgive her the very occasional wonky panel because the rest of the comic is unbelievably beautiful. For the most part I get the impression that someone has cellshaded a photograph, but unlike a certain other Marvel artist it is clear these are all drawn, not traced. This style is absolutely perfect for these character heavy issues, with lots of close ups on faces and people, less emphasis on the bangs and explosions.

This comic finally ties in with Uncanny and Charles Xavier’s will. In some ways it is my biggest concern with these comics like this, Uncanny, Wolverine and the X-Men, Amazing and just plain X-Men all share the same characters or did until recently. It means that it is very hard to read just one of them as important moments from one end up being discussed by another character in a different book. Then again if you are a proper X-Men fan, why would you not be reading them all anyway?

* For a start, there is no Xavier for him to kill, so it would be hard for him to follow the same pattern.

** Yes, the one that is so well hidden that practically anyone who wants to find it can just waltz up to the front door, but that they PRETEND they don’t know about.

Aug 212014

by Etienne Paul, CMRO Contributing Writer

The Complete Battlefields

Volume 3

Written by Garth Ennis  & Russ Braun, Art by Carlos Ezquerra, Hector Ezquerra & Tony Avina

Published: May 2014

The Complete Battlefields, Vol 3

This was a new experience with reviewing comics, I could not find out which comics this actually was! Some of the copies I am sent come without covers or in fact any of the introductory pages, but this one was especially tricky. It has been reprinted in so many different ways and with so many different combinations of the stories that I thought part of it was missing. Well it turns out this is the hardback version, which is a bit odd seeing as how 50% of the ‘experience’ of owning this book is completely lost on me as digital versions do not come bound.

If you are interested in this book, unless you are a fanatic for the bookshelf porn that is hardbound trades, then there is a much better option of Complete Battlefields Volume 1 which contains all of this, plus the next story as well, and considerably cheaper. I have never understood the obsession with hardbacks, I own one novel like that because I was desperate for something to read one holiday and the paperback did not come out for another 3 months. I ended up throwing it in the loft and buying the paperback anyway because it looked ridiculous on my shelf at home, stuck there 3 inches higher than the rest of them. Me, OCD? never.

Anyway, enough about my dislike of printing idiosyncrasies, what is this book like? To start with it is not really a single book, rather it is two distinct stories about two completely separate sets of people. In the future there may be a tie together, but I would be surprised as they both feel like discrete completed stories, one more finally than the other. They would also get completely different opinions from me if they were given to me as separate books to read, one I really liked, the other I hated because of how much effort it took to read it, even if the end product was not too bad.

Book 1 is The Green Fields Beyond, but is also known as ‘Tankies’ in its own collected mini trade. This book is nearly unreadable for me. I am English and a Londoner, but I have family who live in Birmingham and for that matter, Wolverhampton, Liverpool, Manchester and Edinburgh. If I had some Geordie relatives as well then I could have the full set of strong accents this country has to offer. The thing is, despite having strong accents, we all read the same written words on a page, they just get pronounced differently, but what happens in this book is they are written to be how a Brummie sounds.

I am quite certain that a child learning to read would have less problems reading this than I did, but I have not had to sound words out under my breath since I was 4 years old, which is what I was having to do to work out what they were supposed to be saying. Honestly, can anyone tell me what ‘reet’ and ‘gannin’ mean just by reading them; and as for ‘scran’ well your guess is as good as mine?* The language thing is further exacerbated after reading the second comic which is full of Russians, none of whom are ‘written’ with a Russian accent.

The story itself is fine, a new kid gets assigned to a tank and his commander decides to drop him in it and takes him for a midnight ramble through the jungle. Unfortunately he gets lost and the attempt to shake up the new guy ends up with the pair of them stuck on a godforsaken hill top in the Korean equivalent of Zulu.** Everything about this part would have been fine if not for the language it was written in, I might have had more luck if it had been in Korean.

The second story is about two female Russian pilots during the end of WW2 and their later careers. On every level this is a better story and it has the best concluding ending of any comic I have read this month or perhaps even this year (as opposed to a cliffhanger ending which works in a very different way). I had no idea that the Russians had any female pilots, and this could have been completely made up, but a quick google search tells me that even down the name ‘Night Witches’ this is all real, it is just these particular people that are made up.

The two protagonists of the book have ‘borrowed’ their planes and gone off in search of some Germans to shoot, unfortunately they run into some problems and Anna gets shot down. Spending years in a prisoner of war camp with broken legs, ribs and everything else you can imagine she is only too happy to be rescued at the end of the war. The flaw is, getting captured is tantamount to desertion as far as this military is concerned so her problems only get worse.

This book has as I alluded to earlier a really good ending and it is so because I did not see it coming. I thought they would have gone with the obvious ending that happens to most books written for an American audience where the foreigner sees the error of their ways and throws themselves upon the mercy of the Land of the Free. But this does not and it is so much better for it.

Overall if you like military ‘history’ comics then this is probably a really good book to pick up. I am not convinced personally because I feel that this sort of action is best shown in films or read in descriptive prose as I have never seen vehicles drawn in a dynamic way in comics and this is no exception. It is definitely not bad it just feels rather static from time to time. There are bits where a platoon are hanging on to a tank to make a daring escape, it should feel tense and every bump in the road should risk flinging them off, but it looks like they are out for a nice drive in the park. That being said, the human side to these books is what makes them worth reading, especially the Fall and Rise of Anna Kharkova and I would recommend that to anyone.

* right and going if you wanted to know and my best guess is scran means food.

** Fantastic film if you have not seen it, manages to turn one of the greatest blunders of British military history into a victory. Best bit of historic re-writing until The Patriot came out.

Aug 212014

by Lindsay Young, CMRO Contributing Writer


Issue #1

Written by Guy Hasson, Art by Aron Elekes

Published: May 2014

Wynter #1

In a dystopian future where individuality is constantly discouraged, 17-year-old Liz is determined not to fit the mould. When she and a friend come across an app that shows dissenting voices, her desire to find and express her individuality is inflamed.

Writing-wise, Wynter takes cues from many dystopian narratives, but takes an intriguingly literal approach. Rather than merely relying on subversive socialization tactics, conformity in Liz’s future is enforced by a mental voice that constantly reminds her how unremarkable she is—how unremarkable any human to ever exist actually is. It’s a grim existence, one not helped by invasive technology that can analyse your inner self and give a full report in seconds. The systems of technology are inventive on their own merits, and while I wasn’t drawn in on a character level, it’s still early, and both the world-building and plot were strong enough to hook and hold my interest from beginning to end.

Art-wise, Wynter #1 is a pretty stunning issue right off the back, with dull colours occasionally broken by neon lights. It’s sort of like constantly reading through the haze of a rainy day, but it works—it’s sombre, hopeless, and reflects the dull conformity of Liz’s society. There are occasional issues of forward momentum—it flows without clearly delineated boxes, which gives the issue an appealingly dreamy look, but occasionally makes things hard to follow. Despite this, the line art is beautiful, and it’s hardly a trial to flip back and glance over certain panels again just to make sure.

Overall, Wynter hits some familiar notes, but there’s enough freshness to make it an intriguing read nonetheless, and oodles of potential. A strong first issue with much to recommend.

Aug 212014

by Dylan Duarte, CMRO Contributing Writer


Issue #19

Written by Matt Fraction, Art by David Aja

Published: September 2014

Hawkeye #19

Clint Barton is deaf. Hopefully not for good, but you never know. Barney Barton is in a wheelchair and hopefully that isn’t permanent, either. This issue of Hawkeye is full of empty speech bubbles and close-ups of hands performing sign language. That sounds like the most boring comic book in the world, but Fraction, Aja, Hollingsworth, and the crew make it work beautifully. Their pacing is incredible, which is instrumental in keeping up a consistent tone and mood. The work these guys do on Hawkeye is off the charts.

I love Matt Fraction, something I’ve declared multiple times in the past. David Aja is a terrific talent, too. What’s fascinating about this issue however is that with Clint losing his hearing, Fraction and Aja had to leave a lot in Hollingsworth’s (capable) hands and he performed admirably. It’s not like there’s no dialogue at all in this issue, but there is drastically less. The fact that it doesn’t impede the feel of the comic whatsoever is a testament to how good these guys are.

While it may begin with Clint and Barney at their lowest, it ends up triumphantly, with a deaf but not mute Clint Barton rallying the troops. He stands on the rooftop, seeking the help of the building’s tenants to fight off the impending threat of the men in tracksuits and it’s just a terrific scene. There’s a particular panel of an excited Barney that perfectly echoed what I felt at that exact moment. I couldn’t be more exciting for the upcoming battle.

Aug 212014
Aug 202014

by Joshua Starnes, CMRO Editor

Like the US Post Office, Marvel Entertainment lets neither wind, nor rain, nor director around who project was created leaving, nor dead of not stop them from making their appointed rounds. And thus, on August 18 in fog shrouded San Francisco, some six weeks later than originally planned, cameras finally began rolling on ANT-MAN.

Directed by BRING IT ON’s Peyton Reed, from a script by Edgar Wright and Adam McKay, ANT-MAN will follow the adventures of con man Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) who becomes entangled with scientist Henry Pym (Michael Douglas) – inventor of a suit which can shrink a grown man to the size of an ant – and his daughter Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) in a plot to save Pym’s company and his invention from the clutches of the villainous Yellowjacket (HOUSE OF CARDS Corey Stoll).

ANT-MAN is due for release July 17, 2015 where it will launch the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase III, to be headlined by CAPTAIN AMERICA 3 (May 3, 2016), GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2 (July 28, 2017) and probably a DOCTOR STRANGE film somewhere between the two.

Full press release follows:

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA (August, 18, 2014) – Marvel Studios began principal photography today in San Francisco, California, on its newest Super Hero franchise Marvel’s “Ant-Man.” The film brings one of Marvel comics’ original founding members of The Avengers into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The production also shoots on location in Atlanta, Georgia, which serves as the base for the film’s production.

Set for release in the United States on July 17, 2015, the film is directed by Peyton Reed (“Bring it On,” “The Break-Up”) and stars Paul Rudd (“I Love YouMan,” “Role Models”) as Scott Lang aka Ant-Man, and Michael Douglas (“Behind The Candelabra,” “Wall Street”) as his mentor Dr. Hank Pym and Evangeline Lilly (“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” “Lost”) as Hope Van Dyne, daughter of Hank Pym.

The film also includes outstanding additional cast including Corey Stoll (“House of Cards,” “The Bourne Legacy”), Bobby Cannavale (“Danny Collins,” “Annie,” “HBO’s “The Long Play”), Michael Peña (“End of Watch,” “American Hustle”), Abby Ryder Fortson (“Togetherness”), Judy Greer (“13 Going on 30,” “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”), David Dastmalchian (“The Dark Knight,” “Prisoners”), Wood Harris (“Remember the Titans,” “The Wire”), John Slattery (“Mad Men,” Marvel’s “Iron Man 2”) and Gregg Turkington (“The Comedy,” “On Cinema”) and multi-hyphenate T.I. (“American Gangster,” “Takers”).

Based on the Marvel comic character first published in 1962, Marvel’s “Ant-Man”continues the lineage of epic big-screen adventures chronicled in Marvel’s “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” “Thor,” “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Marvel’s The Avengers,” “Iron Man 3,” “Thor: The Dark World,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” and the upcoming Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

Marvel’s “Ant-Man” is produced by Marvel Studios’ president, Kevin Feige, with Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo and Stan Lee serving as executive producers.

Director Peyton Reed’s creative team also includes Oscar® winning cinematographer Russell Carpenter (“Titanic,” “21”), production designer Sheppard Frankel (“Identity Thief,” “Horrible Bosses”) costume designer Sammy Sheldon Differ (“X-Men: First Class,” “Kick Ass”), visual effects supervisor Jake Morrison (Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World,” “The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers”), stunt coordinator Jeff Habberstad (Marvel’s “Iron Man 3,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past”) and six-time Oscar® nominee, special effects supervisor Dan Sudik (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Marvel’s The Avengers”).  The editors include Dan Lebental, ACE (Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World,” Marvel’s “Iron Man”) and Colby Parker Jr. (“Lone Survivor,” “Hancock”).

Marvel Studios’ upcoming release schedule includes Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on May 1, 2015, Marvel’s “Captain America 3” on May 6, 2016, and Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy 2,” on July 28, 2017.

Marvel Studios continued its unprecedented success in 2014 with more record-breaking films including the #1 releases of Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which recorded the largest April opening of all time at $95 million and Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which recorded the largest August opening of all time with $94.1 million. Both films were the #1 film in the world when they were released on April 4, 2014 and August 1, 2014, respectively.

In 2013 Marvel Studios delivered #1 openings for Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World,” which grossed over $640 million worldwide and Marvel’s “Iron Man 3,” which grossed over $1.2 billon worldwide and was the highest grossing film of the calendar year.

In 2012 the studio produced the critically acclaimed “Marvel’s The Avengers,” which set the all-time, domestic 3-day weekend box office record at $207.4 million. The film, which shattered both domestic and international box office records, is Disney’s highest-grossing global and domestic release of all time and marked the studio’s fifth film to gross more than $1 billion worldwide.

In the summer of 2011, Marvel successfully launched two new franchises with Marvel’s “Thor,” starring Chris Hemsworth, and Marvel’s “Captain America: The First Avenger,” starring Chris Evans. Both films opened #1 at the box office and have grossed over $800 million worldwide combined. In 2010 Marvel’s “IronMan 2,” starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury took the #1 spot in its first weekend with a domestic box office gross of $128.1 million.

In the summer of 2008, Marvel produced the summer blockbuster movies Marvel’s “Iron Man” and Marvel’s “The Incredible Hulk.” Marvel’s “Iron Man,” in which Robert Downey Jr. originally donned the Super Hero’s powerful armor and starred alongside co-stars Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Shaun Toub and Gwyneth Paltrow, was released May 2, 2008, and was an immediate box office success.

Garnering the number one position for two weeks in a row, the film brought in over $100 million in its opening weekend.  On June 13, 2008, Marvel released Marvel’s “The Incredible Hulk,” marking its second number one opener of that summer.


Aug 202014

by Dylan Duarte, CMRO Contributing Writer


Issue #3

Written by Greg Ruka, Art by Russell Dauterman

Published: September 2014

Cyclops #3

I’ve always liked Cyclops. When everyone couldn’t help but compare him to Wolverine, a character who’s received much more attention and development over the years, I still saw the value in the hotheaded boyscout who was stubbornly determined to always do the right thing. Compared to Wolverine, He felt like an underdog in the race to secure the affection of the fans.

That Cyclops, of course, eventually broke bad and did questionable things. That leaves us with Greg Rucka’s Cyclops, which cleverly weaves old and new and acts like a reboot in the same way that J.J. Arbams’ Star Trek film was a reboot. Not only is the classic Cyclops alive and well, but his life choices are informing the choices of this new younger

He is young, too, and that gives the whole series this wide-eyed flavor. While I would prefer a much older, more confident Scott Summers, that isn’t what we have here. This Scott is naive and afraid and utterly lost, making the series just as much a coming-of-age story as a superhero tale.

Issue three finds Scott and his space pirate father crash-landing on what seems to be a barren planet. Even with the opening crash, it’s the least action-packed issue yet, but that’s okay. It gives us and Scott a breather, a chance to sit down and take in this new situation and what it all means. And just when we’re allowed to accept this new reality, it changes again with the revelation that Chris Summers is dying. Of course, he won’t actually die. We’ve all read enough comic books to know this. It does raise the stakes considerably, though. And it’s already chiseling away at Scott Summers, forming him into the stoic badass that we all know he’s destined to become. This is Greg Rucka’s way of telling us that tragedy is always looming.

Aug 202014

by Charlie Brooks, CMRO Contributing Writer

Original Sin

Issue #3.4

Written by Mark Waid & Kieron Gillen, Art by Luke Ross

Published: October 2014

Original Sin #3.4

Mark Waid’s Hulk run comes to a close with Original Sin #3.4: Hulk versus Iron Man. If I’m not mistaken, Kieron Gillen’s Iron Man run closes out with this crossover, too. However, since I’m not up on my Iron Man lore, I can’t provide the same retrospective on his run that I can forWaid’s. First, the issue: it’s actually pretty good. This issue wraps up the loose ends that were introduced in the first part of this crossover, but without the useless filler that comprised most of the past two issues. The Hulk and Iron Man have their throwdown, and things end badly for Tony Stark. However, the Hulk stops short of killing him because…well, did any of us really expect this story to wind up with one of these guys dead?

What we know from this story is that Tony did mess with the gamma bomb and did wind up turning Bruce Banner into the Hulk. However, his tampering with the bomb actually reduced its power, keeping it from blowing up most of the continent. He also sent Bruce an email warning of the gamma bomb’s possible mutagenic properties, but Bruce deleted the email without reading it because he was angry at Tony.

Aside from the past implications, the new intelligent Hulk, nicknamed “Doc Green” in solicits, seems pretty interesting. I’m not happy that the concept of a smart Hulk is still being billed as new, but there is at least a twist here – the Hulk here isn’t smart because of Banner’s influence, but is instead our typical dumb Hulk given Banner-level intelligence. This is interesting, and it’s something that will stick around as Gerry Duggan takes over the writing duties on the book. So overall, Hulk versus Iron Man ends on a high note because of the new take on the Hulk and the fact that the plot does actually advance this time. Whether you like the new revelation of Bruce and Tony’s intertwined past depends on whether you like the idea of an arrogant Banner. And this brings me to a summation of Mark Waid’s run on the character.

Waid has taken an undue amount of flak from certain fans online for his run on the Hulk. I myself have been pretty outspoken in criticism about his time on the book. A lot of the trolling he’s received is undeserved, but I do think his run was largely disappointing. I think this is largely because anybody who has read Waid’s other work knows that he’s a very good writer. This run has some good ideas and would be seen in a much more positive light if the fans didn’t know how much better things could have been had Waid written up to his normal level of quality.

Aside from the expectations built up because of Waid’s reputation, the biggest reason I don’t like this run is because I don’t like Waid’s take on Bruce Banner. Waid’s Banner is arrogant, insecure, and relies on the Hulk to lash out at others when he feels like he’s been wronged. This miniseries is a prime example of that. As a character concept, that’s actually not too bad. In fact, it’s not even that far off from the Banner we’ve had over the years. The guy has always been a bit messed up and more than a little arrogant (“I don’t make mistakes, Igor.” –Incredible Hulk #1).

What Waid’s Banner has lacked, though, is the heroic streak that makes him and the Hulk good guys. For all his flaws, Bruce Banner is a hero. Very rarely have we seen Waid’s Banner be heroic. This is partly representative of how comics treat superheroes today – the concept of flawed heroes has given way to people who can often barely overcome their personal problems. If you like Waid’s Banner, his run is probably much more enjoyable. If you don’t, his run is probably a disappointment. The same holds true of the Hulk versus Iron Man miniseries. If your idea of Tony Stark is a guy who used to be the world’s biggest alcoholic and your idea of Banner is a bitter man who can barely keep a lid on his personal neuroses, this is probably a much more enjoyable series for you.

So that’s Hulk versus Iron Man and Mark Waid’s run on the character. In a nutshell, this is a run that is probably overly criticized. It’s not a bad collection, but was hampered early on by high expectations due to a critically acclaimed writer and, in my case at least, differing opinions of what makes the main character interesting. I think this is a run that will probably be more appreciated as time goes on, but for right now it’s very hit or miss.

Aug 202014

by Lindsay Young, CMRO Contributing Writer


Issue #4

Written by Guy Hasson, Art by Borja Pindado

Published: August 2014

Goof #4

Nick Knickerbocker, a.k.a. Captain Gorgeous, is just an average guy who was given superpowers by aliens. No biggie. In this issue, he contends with suicidal teens and tickle fights, all while avoiding a physical.

There’s something hilariously casual about Goof, a comic wherein our hero finds alien invasions completely mundane and can barely drag himself out of bed to deal with it. The “average guy with incredible powers” angle has been done before, but it gets a surprising amount of mileage here, and is perhaps the best I’ve seen it done. Guy Hasson’s dialogue is quick and witty without being overwritten or feeling try-hard. Nick’s awkward nature feels genuine, and his efforts to save Jessica cement his likeability, because he really tries. I really liked their relationship and am curious to see it progress.

That’s one nice thing about Goof, something that surprised me when I began to read. Goof is— well, goofy—but it doesn’t sacrifice heart for humour. While it never stops with the jokes, it also takes time to let the characters talk and introspect, and it’s clever enough to deal with sensitive subjects like suicide and still stay funny without being dismissive of a sad, serious topic.

On a similar note, Borja Pindado’s art is expressive and funny, contributing a lot of fun visual gags and vibrant body language that stops just short of cartoonish. It works in excellent harmony with Hasson’s script, which results in a cohesive issue that’s pretty solid on all fronts from beginning to end.

I had a lot of fun with Goof. It made me laugh out loud several times, which is always a good

Aug 202014