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Comics: Must Be This Tall to Ride
by Dee. 1/22/2020Greetings friends! Dee here with three new recommendations for the month of January. From Marvel Comics, we have Thor (2020), Daphne Byrne from DC Comics, and from the independent publisher Ablaze, Kidz. Let's get started, shall we?
Thor (2020) (Marvel Comics): Thor is back and better than ever, as king of Asgard. As old heroes have fallen, new ones arise. What is the Black Winter settling on Asgard, and can Thor alone stop it?
The script by Donny Cates (God Country, Redneck) is very well done, as the opening pages show Mjolnir's return to Thor through all the ten realms and it's effect on the beings that see the passing of the hammer. The script is strong in that it incorporates the little bit of backstory needed to frame the beginning of a series without it sounding like exposition is uncharacteristically falling out of the heroes' mouths in one big block of text.
With that being said, it would benefit you to read the War of the Realms series, seeing as this series is set after the fallout of said war. If you aren't familiar with why Thor doesn't look anything like what he does in the movies, that is because he has aged significantly in the comic universe.
The updated character design for Thor is amazing, as many of the covers for #1 have shown him in all his armored glory, ready to smite people with his newly elevated powers. The coloring is vibrant and dramatic, as it matches the tone of the book. I will be keeping my eye on this series, as the main conceit is so compelling and the art gives life and power to the story.
Daphne Byrne (DC Comics): Joe Hill's Black Label Hill House Comics series continues with Daphne's story, of a 14 year old struggling with the death of her father in late 19th-century New York. Her mother is basically useless in helping her to cope, as she attends a seance which Daphne realizes is a sham.
The art is dramatically shadowed, giving a haunted and desperate quality to Daphne's life. She is visited in her dreams by someone calling himself "brother", whose very presence portends all sorts of violence in her future. The surreal nature of her dream is unnerving, and the script is very well paced to maximize tension in the first issue.
Kidz (Ablaze): From a new independent publishing house Ablaze, comes a story of a handful of boys fighting against a world plagued by zombies. They have managed to survive this long thanks to their leader, Brooks and his zombie fighting rules. As all of the adults have died, the boys are able to scavenge what they need to survive, including comics and chocolate.
The dialogue is believable, as the boys tease and taunt each other mercilessly even as they fight for their lives. The cameraman, the aptly named Spielberg, keeps video recordings of their encounters. It comes as no surprise that the comic is bloody, but it is secondary to the humanity of this ragtag group.
The artist uses reds to express moments of extreme tension, while keeping the mundane color palette of browns, greens and grays consistent in the larger setting. The layout is mostly 8 panels to a page, but it doesn't diminish the impact of the story, nor the pacing. Overall, it was an excellent ride of a first issue, and I can't wait to see the big reveal (don't worry, no spoilers!).
Until next time,