Sunday, September 07, 2008

Comics Roundup 5/9/2008

These are actually last week's comics – there were no comics worth buying this week.

Guerrillas #1, by Brahm Revel

This is an odd comic. It is set during the Vietnam War, and for most of it it takes the usual Vietnam War story form – soldier arrives in Vietnam, finds everything very scary, people get killed around him, horrible dehumanising events are witnessed, and so on. And then suddenly it all takes the most bizarre turn, with the kind of thing you would get ending a Tharg's Future Shock jumping out at the reader. Blimey. Frankly, the ending of this issue is so bizarre that maybe it should have ended there and then, but this Guerrillas is actually a nine-issue limited series. I reckon I will give it another issue or two to see if Mr Revel is able to stretch his odd premise over the full run of issues.

Madame Xanadu #3, by Matt Wagner & Ann Reeder Hadley

So I somehow managed to miss issues one and two of this hot new Vertigo title, probably as a result of being in Ethiopia. The main character here is this magician lady who has a job as court mage to Kublai Khan, Lord of the Mongols (with the action being set in Kublai Khan's somewhat mythical capital Xanadu (hence, presumably, the comic's title)). And she is from England or somewhere in Europe. And then Marco Polo and his pals arrive at the court of the Mongol King, and stuff starts to happen.

My initial impressions of this title are favourable. Ann Reeder Hadley's art has a soft and sensuous quality, with the main character having the kind of big-eyed rowrness that appeals to a certain type of heterosexual man but without alienating women readers. The story has the kind of dreamy floaty quality that recalls Neil Gaiman's Sandman. Matt Wagner (the writer) – his name sounds familiar, what has he done before? I'm curious enough as to where he will go with this to stick with this for a while. One thing I wonder is whether the story will always be set in the 13th century (or whenever Kublai Khan lived). It is apparent from this issue that the protagonist has access to secret remedies that make her able to live far far longer than normal humans, so maybe future stories will jump backwards and forwards in time, showing her doing stuff in different historical eras. Or maybe not.

Anyway, I think my mission for now must be to look for issues one and two of this title.

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