Welcome to this week’s Four-Color Bullet, the only comic book review column with its own huggable, gun-toting raccoon. It’s comic-book-talkin’ time, y’all!
Over at Marvel this week, Bruce Banner knows that Tony Stark is responsible for the Gamma test that turned Banner into the Hulk. And now, the most epic, ultimate fight between these two juggernauts is on! And it’ll cause an event that will shake the Avengers to their knees, in Hulk vs. Iron Man #3, an Original Sin tie-in; East L.A. is a battlefield with the all new Ghost Rider vs. the all new Mister Hyde, in Ghost Rider #5; and, while helping his brother, Clint finds himself in a fight and comes out of it with major ear damage. Now, Hawkeye must cope with total hearing loss, in a special sign language issue of Hawkeye #19.
Over at DC, Lex Luthor continues to adjust to life as a hero and leader of the Justice League, but the Doom Patrol is gearing up for a fight, in Justice League #32; Five years into the DCU’s future, it’s the world vs. Terry McGinnis a.k.a. Batman Beyond, in Futures End #13; and, Joker and General Gumm! Forcing Kato and the Boy Wonder in a fight to the death?! Where, oh, where are Batman and the Green Hornet?! Will they find their young allies in time?! Find out in Batman ’66 Meets The Green Hornet #6
The end is nigh! For the series and the world! Only two more issues to go before IDW wraps its 30th Anniversary Ghostbusters event, Mass Hysteria, as well as the series itself. Tiamat is still on the prowl, spreading chaos everywhere, and the Ghostbusters have no idea how to stop her. From once again de-possessing Louis and Dana, to fighting Vigo the Carpathian on Hart Island, the boys and girls in gray are stumped and overworked.
There was nothing terribly spectacular about this issue, aside from seeing some familiar enemies, and a neat appearance by one of the ghosts in Ghostbusters: The Video Game, which is part of the comic book universe canon. It felt more like a filler issue. Writer Erik Burnham and artist Dan Schoening continue to tell the story even as the series starts to come to an end. The action is decent and fast-paced, with the majority of the team fighting Vigo, while Egon and Kylie try to put down Louis and Dana in the firehouse.
And is someone sabotaging Winston’s marriage? We think so, in an awkward interlude that served to pull us out of the action faster than a gravity well pulls you out of hyperspace. It’s obviously important down the road, but it was just a bit jarring.
It will be interesting to see how they resolve Tiamat’s assault on the Big Apple with only two issues left, but I’m certain Burnham has something up his sleeve.
Robert (The Walking Dead) Kirkman’s new horror comic Outcast is on its second issue, and while this one was much slower and less fright-filled than its premiere issue, the tension is still there. You know how you see a good horror film or a read a good horror book and after you get the crap scared out of you, there’s that calm moment that lets you collect yourself before they throw it at you again? I have a feeling this issue was like that calm moment. But while the scares weren’t there, Kirkman and Paul the-best-artist-for-horror-comics-today Azaceta play around with the mythos as Kyle comes to grips with what’s going on, and it looks like we get to meet the, or a, big bad of the series. The devil, perhaps? Either way, we learn that it wants Kyle. Badly.
And while Kirkman crafts his tale, artists Paul Azaceta and Elizabeth Breitweiser were meant for this thing. Black shadows, and grays, and splashes of red in all the right places … And I have said before that I’m not a fan of horror comics, primarily because they’re hard to pull off. There have been some noble tries, but in a genre where you have to keep the scares hidden, a simple glance at the next panel can ruin it. Outcast may have that problem down the road, but there’s something about Azaceta’s art that makes you want to peek closely at every panel, then when you hit the scare on the next panel, it’s there and it’s genuine. And then there’s the story. Kirkman is writing a series about demonic possession, and whether you believe in God, or not, or Satan, or not, there are thousands of documented cases of demonic possession on file. And while neither I nor Robert Kirkman want to launch a debate on religion, the point is that these scares are real, or at least grounded in reality. Movies like The Exorcist scared the crap out of me and they still do. And many others, I’m sure. Kirkman writes an excellent afterword in the first issue about this, so go read it in his own words.
Kirkman has promised some scares to come in Outcast, and I think he’ll deliver.
And that is Four-Color Bullet for this week. As always, thanks for stopping by. Emails and comments are always welcome if you want to talk comics. Guardians of the Galaxy is out this weekend, and SCIFI.radio staff writer Nur Hussein has already seen and reviewed it for us! Marvel is already working on a sequel, based on Internet buzz alone. This thing is going to through the roof. If you see it, let us know what you think.
It’s a good time to be a comics fan. See you next week!
Michael Brown is a comics nerd and a father who lives in small town Tennessee. When he’s not making his players mad in his “Shadowrun” RPG or experimenting with new and inventive uses of duct tape on his children, you can find him checking out the latest comics and movies for SCIFI.radio!