You have an inactive comic book subscription. Click here to activate.
You have started a singles trade-in. It currently has 0 items with a credit total of $.00. Click here to submit.
Comics: The Greatest Show on Earth
by Dee. 5/31/2019Welcome boys, girls and kids of all ages! This month, we have three great books to review: Radically Rearranged Ronin Ragdolls, Batman and the Outsiders and Savage Avengers.
Radically Rearranged Ronin Ragdolls (Kevin Eastman Studios): Yes, this comes from the same place as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and you would think that this would be a parody of what was originally a parody of comics like Daredevil (no really, the Turtles go up against the Foot, like Daredevil is plagued by the Hand - an unending horde of ninja minions). The parody of TMNT hits quite a few of the superhero tropes while making a few themselves.
The story of how this came to be is an interesting one: Kevin Eastman wrote a graphic novel called Drawing Blood, in which the main character creates the RRRR. After their Kickstarter, Drawing Blood will be released as a mini-series this month. So the parody-homage Inception gains another level.
In a similar vein is the one-shot of Unwritten, titled The Unwritten: Tommy Taylor and the Ship that Sank Twice. This was an excellent graphic novel about the world-wide phenom that was the Tommy Taylor books at the center of the Unwritten series. The Drawing Blood mini-series will be an excellent way to frame RRRR, though it only makes a brief appearance in the first issue of the short series.
RRRR is a one-shot about a trio of kick-ass crime-fighting mutant cat sisters, under the creators' names, Shane and Paul Bookman. One of the sisters speaks in haiku, which is more effective than you might think. The art is reminiscent of Eastman and Laird, without being a direct comparison. The coloring works well with the art style, as it's got some subtle lighting effects that work better with less heavily inked characters than the original TMNT. The story is a quick-paced one in bright colors, with the origin story of the RRRR in classic sepia tones. There's enough tongue-in-cheek humor and visual gags that it's obvious that the comic doesn't take itself seriously, but it is a good read.
Batman and the Outsiders (2019) (DC Comics): Batman teams together with a group of heroes that he calls the Outsiders (Katana, Black Lightning, Signal and Orphan). Even though this is hardly the first incarnation of the team, there's very little that you need to know going into this comic. I am familiar with Katana and Black Lightning though, which might give me a little bit of an advantage. The authors do make mention of a story thread from a Detective Comics volume, but I still feel like I'm not missing much based on the context clues.
Batman and the Outsiders, but mostly the Outsiders are on the trail of an orphan who has manifested meta-human abilities through horrific science experiments performed on her family when she was young. They need to get their hands on her before the opposition does, as she's told by a superhero from the future, Kaliber, that she is the catalyst for the coming change to humanity.
The panels are dynamic, with characteristic fighting poses and a bright color palette. The story zips along, introducing the different superheroes that make up the group without getting heavily invested in origin stories.
Savage Avengers (Marvel Comics): Conan joins the Avengers (Wolverine, Venom, Elektra, Brother Voodoo and the Punisher) in the Savage Lands. They are going up against some powerful blood magic in the City of Sickles, but first they have to get through a confrontation between Conan and Wolverine. They butt heads until Conan reveals that he's only after a magical amulet, and was allied with the Avengers recently. The Hand is involved with the people behind the blood magic, which is a mystery to be solved, and should unfold eventually throughout the series.
I think that with a passing knowledge of everyone and context clues dropped by Doctor Voodoo in the first issue, most people will be able to follow along. The action scenes are filled with reds and dramatic shadows, sometimes spilling out
of the panels with the speed and raw force coming out of such a brutal fight. So the art really carries the issue.