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Comics: Heads Will Roll
by Dee. 9/27/2019Hey hey folks:
This month we've got some eye-opening selections. We are looking at Starcadia Quest, Strikeforce, and Flash Forward. We also have a preview of RV9.
Starcadia Quest (IDW Publishing): The art style on this comic is a very cartoon-heavy, chibi-character design. I would not consider it for kids however, as there is enough text and elevated language going on that it would fly over the heads of a younger audience.
The story is playful and highly developed, as the future has more pop-up ads, online gaming, and data security policing robots. It also has more acronyms, as our heroes go on QWSTs through a bounty system to gain fame and fortune. First, you need an intrepid crew and a spaceship. No problem, right? Hijinks ensue.
The colors are vivid and bright, which compliments the character design and futuristic environment. Though it could be considered wordy, the story clips along at a good pace, with explosions and visual gags abound.
Strikeforce (Marvel Comics): This comic brings together an unlikely set of heroes to deal with the more supernatural threats to the world: Blade, the Winter Soldier, Monica Rambeau (daughter of Maria Rambeau, Captain Marvel's best friend) aka Spectrum, Spider-Woman, Angela of Asgard, and Wiccan (Scarlet Witch and Vision's son). To make matters worse, all of them minus Blade have been framed for breaking into a hospital and stealing viruses.
Since there are shape-shifters from Svartalfheim (from the realm of Dark Elves in Thor's comic) causing all the mayhem on Earth, the team dispatches their foes quickly, and confront their King.
This comic assumes that you are familiar with all of the characters already, or can at least identify them (and has a handy-dandy list in the back of the book if you can't). I haven't had exposure to a couple of them, and there's even a specific mention of some backstory for Angela. I didn't feel completely lost in the comic, because it was more about fighting a clear threat from beyond the realm of Earth.
There's a scene bathed entirely in blue, and another which makes use of several reds. When the two overlap, it makes for great dynamic tension. The shadows also help to heighten the drama, as the mood of the book is not nearly as bright as Starcadia Quest.
Tini Howard (Excalibur, Death's Head) and Germán Peralta (Moon Knight, Agents of SHIELD) have set the stage for our unlikely set of heroes, and their storytelling is compelling. I will be watching this comic to see how things unfold.
Flash Forward (DC Comics): Wally West forgot the main rule of time travel: don't do it, there's always consequences. The first book in a six book mini-series focuses on the "Heroes in Crisis" storyline, with Wally in prison for his crimes. He is visited by a multi-dimensional being that is watching the Multiverse being destroyed by a negative version of itself. Wally is then catapulted into action, in a universe where Superman is President.
This is another comic in which back issue reading is required. If you aren't familiar with the "Heroes in Crisis" nine-issue miniseries, you will be missing a lot of the context for this comic.
The poses are dynamic, and the celestial guardian is big and imposing. The lettering for the otherworldly being is nicely done, as it comes across as having gravitas. The pacing of the script is good, as there are action sequences (aka prison fights) that help to split up the monologues.
RV9 (Mad Cave Studios): Our protagonist is Velveteen, on the run from the Order of the 9. She meets up with Inspector Pazzi and an American hacker in order to turn the tables on the Order.
Writer Ben Goldsmith (Seance Room) and artists Travis Mercer and Maria Santaolalla bring a tale from a far-flung future, filled with intrigue and assassinations.
The artwork is quite beautiful, even with the levels of violence throughout the book. Since Velveteen is an assassin bent on revenge, there's no real surprise that there's the amount of blood spilled within the pages. The color palette is pretty bright, and the inking is not overly dark.
Release date: November 13, 2019.