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Comics: We Could Be Heroes
by Dee. 4/12/2023Hello beautiful people! Dee here, with a brand-spankin'-new comics review for the past month. First up, we've got X-23: Deadly Regenesis by Marvel Comics, followed by Clear, from Dark Horse, and DC RWBY from DC Comics.
X-23: Deadly Regenesis (Marvel Comics): If you aren't familiar with X-23 by name, perhaps you know her better as Laura Kinney, clone of Wolverine. This is an origin story for a beloved character from the X-Men: Evolution TV show and as the 11-year old girl in the movie Logan. She debuted in comics circa 2004 in NYX, and has made numerous appearances in many other comics in the meantime.
Set during her stint with the X-Men and X-Force, this story reminds us of past storylines and villains, but is also a new adventure for Laura. There is a bit of broody angst as she regrets her violent past, and the story generally takes itself pretty seriously. This five issue mini-series is tightly written, with some action shots that are very striking.
The visuals are well done by Edgar Salazar, and the addition to a good script makes the design flow well. The color theme for the inner monologue thought bubbles is unsurprisingly blood red, and the overall colors used in present day are mainly reds and oranges. The flashbacks are a pale blue, and the color-based contrast between the two time periods thematically underlines the break Laura has with her past. Overall, I enjoyed this issue, and look forward to the detailed background of her current villain.
Clear (Dark Horse): Scott Snyder, writer for Batman, Detective Comics and American Vampire, brings us an immersive neo-noir cyberpunk story about Detective Sam Dunes. There's a staggering amount of detail in the environment, and layers of innovation regarding the level of tech that has evolved in this history. For example, many people in this universe live with a visual filter on: anime, old Hollywood, zombie apocalypse, whatever. Our hero, with a small minority of the population, pays to live without filters at all.
As with many detective story tropes, Sam's sucked into a shadowy, violent underworld after someone winds up dead. Some of the scenes read exactly like a noir film with shadows through the blinds, while the technology results in some beautiful bright shots of the city. Where there are veils in this story, we see both reality and pieces of the veils, which is cleverly done. Manapul clearly has a skill with lighting scenes, and he looks like he's fully enjoying and embracing this thematic hybrid.
One of the interesting layers of this story deals with a fictitious (but scarily enough, possible) war that leads to the current dilapidated and fantastical environment. I'm interested to see how much of the military/ governmental involvement is revealed throughout this story, as Clear has piqued my interest.
DC RWBY (DC Comics): DC and RWBY, two great tastes. For those of you just tuning in, RWBY is an excellent computer-animated webseries about four monster hunters fighting the forces of darkness in their world, Remnant. This comic, then, is DC crashing into the RWBY universe, and Batman trying to figure out what the h*ll is going on. Will this change the DCU for good? Perhaps; you've got to check this out.
While Batman always takes himself seriously, this comic is lighthearted and good fun to read. When reality goes sideways, there's always the potential for misunderstanding, and it's fun to see someone else's point of view re: Batman and his whole shtick. The script does fall into the "exposition as dialogue" trap, but it's necessary to lay the groundwork and start to unravel the bigger mystery of what these universes crashing into each other will mean for Gotham and the larger universe.
The color palette is brighter than a usual Batman comic theme, and the art comes off as more anime-inspired and less detailed than a usual Batman comic. The playful attitude and tone of the comic makes me wonder if there will be lasting changes to the universe, or if it will be a temporary, superficial sort of alteration. In either case, fans of the DCU and RWBY will be amused by this cheeky romp of a comic.
Until we meet again,