Whew! Let me tell you, December was pretty crazy for the store. However, I was still able to read some comics and reflect on them. So for your consideration, I've picked Subgenre from Dark Horse, Thunderbolts from Marvel Comics, and Batman / Santa Claus: Silent Knight from DC Comics.
Subgenre (Dark Horse): There's three issues of this Matt Kindt book currently, so grab a copy of the number one while you still can! This starts out as a futuristic noir comic, a la Blade Runner, with a few important distinctions: when he sleeps, he becomes an adventurer in a high-fantasy, barbaric realm. Is this the real life, or is this just fantasy? Queen lyrics aside, this is a fascinating book. It touches on the conversation around AI art and literature, and dives deeper into human connection and emotion. I expect nothing less from an excellent Matt Kindt story.
Willfredo Torres' art compliments the narrative, going to shades of brown and dull grey when we deal with the monotony of the mundane, while technology goes to shades of cool blue. Flashbacks from our hero's life are more pixelated and less vibrant. The architecture of the environment is precise and the whole book is very detailed, without being gory in its violence.
I look forward to reading all of the issues to see how the mystery unfolds, as well as the other environmental details both the future and the savage worlds hold.
Thunderbolts (Marvel Comics): Bucky Barnes recruits Sharon Carter, the former Madame Hydra (Contessa de Fontaine) and a few other heroes to serve some good ol' fashioned justice to someone who's had it coming for quite some time: Red Skull. So get ready for some Nazi-punching and killing fun, with many references to the recent Captain America series finale.
For those folks who missed it, this series assumes (or at least hopes) that you are familiar with Captain America and the roster of villains-turned-heroes that it contains. The tone is semi-serious, with a few sprinkles of sarcasm on top. It feels like a Batman comic, as Bucky fights from the darkest of shadows. Action shots are the name of the game, and there's a lovely "cool guys don't look at explosions" moment right near the end of the issue.
Batman / Santa Claus: Silent Knight (DC Comics): Can't have a holiday season without some schlock, and this year it comes in the form of a four-part Batman / Santa team-up. Zatanna makes a guest appearance, helping the story along with some exposition and backwards magic talk. Undead Norse monsters come through Gotham, tearing up everything and everyone that gets in their way. Batman makes a comment about learning from Mr. Kringle while he was abroad (?!), so there's now canon that Batman learned some of his moves from the jolliest of old elves.
Nightwing and Batgirl make their appearances, and Zatanna makes some tenuous connections about Santa, Viking legends, the Wild Hunt and Ragnarok. *shrug* I'll just enjoy Santa and Batman beating up our Big Bad, the Krampus.
See you next month,