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Comics: Round 'Em Up
by Dee. 1/11/2022Hello, fellow enthusiasts of the comic / graphic novel persuasion! Dee here, ready for a new year, new possibilities and, of course, new comics. We are starting the year off with a bang, as we explore Monkey Meat (2022) from Image Comics, from DC we have One-Star Squadron, and Marvel shows up with Elektra: Black, White and Blood.
Monkey Meat (2022) (Image Comics): This book labels itself a "new thrilling anthology" from Juni Ba (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, TMNT: Jennika II), a writer and artist born in Senegal, currently residing in France. From the beginning, Monkey Meat is a ridiculous parody of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory about a Soylent Green-esque substance made from, you guessed it, monkeys.
After taking over an island and press-ganging the current inhabitants into employees, the action-packed adventures of Lug (the groundskeeper) take center stage.
The art style is not overly detailed, but is very dynamic and moves the action along at a swift pace. It reminds me of Tiny Titans from Art Balthazar in its storytelling, with a more grown-up cynicism and "the corporation owns your body and soul" message. Since they call this an anthology, expect to have a different one-arc story from the next issue.
It is unique, but also reminiscent of Chew in the sense of humor and in the playfulness that the artist is definitely enjoying expressing. I have a feeling that more will be revealed with the deep level of world-building that is being set up.
Release Date: January 5, 2022.
One-Star Squadron (DC Comics): From the depths of DC Comics come the adventures of Red Tornado and his capitalistic cohorts as they try to monetize super-heroism in the current market. Mark Russell (Flintstones; Wonder Twins) and Steve Lieber (Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen) are working on a fun project about superheroes along the lines of Plastic Man and Power Girl, though Superman and Batman also make appearances. The series is on issue two as of writing this article, and promises to be a funny but heartfelt journey.
The artwork gets the DC stamp of approval, which has the quality and detail to it of many long-running favorites: Flash, Wonder Woman, and Batman.
Release Date: January 4, 2022.
Elektra: Black, White and Blood (Marvel Comics): Elektra Natchios is getting the "Black, White and Blood" four-issue series treatment that we've previously seen with Deadpool, Wolverine and Carnage, so you know it's going to be killer (pun intended). The comic stands out brilliantly red with a blood-soaked black and white background. The first tale envisions Elektra as a vampire, and one of the most interesting sequences is her walking through the town wordlessly, able to pick out the heartbeats of everything around her.
The other two stories do an excellent job artistically as well, with strategic uses of red besides just the blood in this issue. The splash pages are epic, with Elektra facing off against an unending horde in one scene of the third story.
Overall, I enjoyed this issue, and I wish there were more stories to read. I am looking forward to the next issue, and learning more about Elektra's facets.
Release Date: January 5, 2022.