Thursday, February 05, 2009

Comics Roundup 5/2/2008

Has it finally happened that I have begun to outgrow comics, or is there really not that much good stuff out there at the moment? You tell me. Anyway, here is this week's crop.

The Age of THE SENTRY #5

In the first story, the Sentry has to team up with The Guardians of the Galaxy to help a planet which is about to give birth. In the second, The Sentry is facing a world of hassle thanks to some well-meaning manipulators intent on improving his public image.

I love this title, as I mentioned previously it reminds me of Alan Moore's 1963 (still neither finished nor collected), with its arch take on the up-and-at-'em superhero comics of yesteryear. The title also has this odd edge to it, where The Sentry seems to lose his sense of what is real and what is not (and be drawn differently). Thus far he has always snapped out of it, but I cannot but suspect that the title is fated to change direction alarmingly when one of these reality breakdowns becomes permanent. Maybe this will happen next issue, when the narrator who is telling Sentry stories to his little boy threatens to reveal The Final Sentry Story. Dare you miss it?

EDIT: But where is Watchdog in this issue?

Bang! Tango #1, by Joe Kelly, Adrian Sibar, & Rodney Ramos

So this new title features some gangster type who fucks up and skips out of New York, moves to San Francisco, and there becomes a tango dancer. Or maybe he always was a tango dancer. Then his ex lover from New York tracks him down, not to get him back but to get his help in dealing with a little blackmail problem. And then the astonishing twist – the tango dancing mobster's ex-lover is a ladyboy. OMG. Eh… not really sure what to make of this, it seems somewhat interesting and has its moments, but in these troubled economic times a new title needs to be totally freaking awesome to get its second issue into Panda Mansions.

Agents of Atlas #1, by Jeff Parker, Carlo Pagulayan, Jason Paz, and Jana Schirmer

I regret buying this, it is one of those titles where you need a degree in shite mainstream comics continuity to understand how the characters relate to each other. There seem to be these guys who are a team of bad guys planning to do bad things. Or maybe they are good guys. I don't know. Still it does bring a certain nostalgic tear to my eye by featuring minor Spiderman villain Man Mountain Marko* as a one of the characters. One of the first US comics I ever saw was some Marvel UK reprint of a John Romita Spiderman strip introducing that very character – he was some low rent thug who fell foul of the webslinger because he was beating up some woman (Spiderman being against domestic violence). In this story he seems to have found employment with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

Anyway, I won't be buying this again, even though it has a somewhat enjoyable Sentry-esque epilogue.

Glamourpuss #5, by Dave Sim

You know, the one where Mad Dave does funny detournements of fashion magazine images and then posts bits and bobs about the history of US newspaper comics. Maybe this is a duff issue or maybe the Glamourpuss premise is wearing a bit thin, but this did not really do it for me.


Andrew Farrell said...

I'm not sure whether you already know this, but the end of the Sentry story is exactly that - this series is a prequel to the original series which established that he was wiped from reality when he realised that he was his own nemesis, which is why he hasn't been in any comics of the last 50 years (though he is now tediously back! back! back!)

Keiron Gillen's been writing Man Mountain Marko into the rap game, apparently. Paul O'Brien has reviewed it.

ian said...

I am dimly aware of this Sentry explanation stuff, thanks to some spoiler action on I Love Comics. The Age Of The Sentry is big fun in its own right.

I don't really like the long-haired Sentry who shows up in other comics. Also, they do not seem to have brought back Watchdog.