Welcome to this week’s Four-Color Bullet, the only comic-book review column sponsored by your (and my) misspent youth.
Over on DC’s side of the multidimensional barrier, it’s the masked Superman vs. Rampage in Metropolis, while Terry McGinnis (a.k.a. Batman Beyond) is floored by a revelation that could alter his entire mission, in The New 52: Futures’ End #9; Richard Dragon destroys Oliver Queen’s world, and Seattle gets a new Green Arrow, in Green Arrow #33, Broken: Part Two; Batman and Robin! Green Hornet and Kato! Dead?! General Gumm triumphant?! in Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet #4.
And on Marvel’s side, he’s a hero to the weak, a defender of the innocent, and an intergalactic heartthrob to the ladies. Now, he’s a raccoon on the run as Rocket Raccoon’s ongoing solo adventures begin, in Rocket Raccoon #1; twenty mob enforcers are holed up in an abandoned hotel with one abductee. Moon Knight to the rescue. Alone, in Moon Knight #5; and Peter Quill a.k.a. Star-Lord makes his ongoing series debut as he battles the Badoon, and makes some moves on Kitty Pryde, in Legendary Star-Lord #1.
Image releases the ongoing adventures if Zach Robinson, a.k.a. Tech Jacket, in Tech Jacket #1
If I thought the first issue of Jack Burton’s continuing adventures was mediocre, the second issue made up for it. Big Trouble in Little China #2 took off like a shot, and Eric Powell’s dialogue was laugh-out-loud funny. It turns out that a dark Chinese sorcerer wants revenge for Jack and the gang’s stopping Lo Pan.
So, the sorcerer crashes Wang Chi and Miao Yin’s wedding and kidnaps Wang Chi as leverage to force Jack to travel the Midnight Road to rescue the souls of the three storms from the Hell of the Seven Faced Widow. Egg Shen tags along and what follows is one of the funniest things I’ve read in a long time.
Once again, it’s John Carpenter’s story and Eric Powell’s dialogue, and Jack Burton is totally Jack Burton. Like last issue, Powell is spot-on with Jack’s constant running of the mouth, and there’s a particular scene with Jack talking about his third wife, who is a bloodsucker of a different type — I hope is some foreshadowing to a future story — and some building on the mythos. And if that weren’t enough, there are evil monkeys. Powell’s love of the film and the characters shows, and John Carpenter seems to have made the right choice as his scriptwriter. Brian Churilla’s art, while still cartoony and off-putting, grows on you after a while and works with Powell’s dialogue.
Again, though, there was no exposition of the events in the film, so new readers may be lost. And I don’t want BTILC to be a comic-snob kind of book, one that’s not reachable to new fans. If you have some time, and you’re interested in checking out the new series, watch Big Trouble In Little China first if you haven’t seen it. You will not be disappointed.
I knew a wise old comic shop owner once who said that the job of the first issue is to pull you in and the second issue to keep you there. Big Trouble in Little China did this pattern exactly. Great second issue.
Original Sin #4 ended with an aged Nick Fury, and this issue tells The Secret History of Colonel Nicholas J. Fury, as it kicks off Act II of the summer event. I won’t go into much detail about the story other than to say that Marvel may be trying some retconning or revising of Col. Fury’s past activities, as we find out that Fury, as narrated entirely by the good Colonel, has been up to considerably more than intelligence work and running S.H.I.E.L.D., and that all of this mess may just be his fault.
That said, it’s a good issue, but, if you’ve been reading Original Sin, this issue answers few questions and really only serves to leave you asking more. The reader, like the characters, is still trying to piece it all together. This is still some of Jason Aaron’s best work, and penciler Mike Deodato, Jr. remains consistent with his deep shadows and eye for detail.
And that is this week’s Four-Color Bullet. As always, feel free to leave a comment or email me. if you want to talk comics. Tell me what you folks are reading, or give me your thoughts on where Original Sin is going. Is anyone reading Saga? Should I be reading it?
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