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Comics: Sometimes I Give Myself the Creeps
by Dee. 9/15/2023Welcome back, my comic-loving brethren (and sisterens)! This month had some interesting choices to pick between: from Massive Audio, Plot Holes, from DC Comics, Batman Beyond: Neo-Gothic and from Marvel, Star Wars: Dark Droids. So let's get started, shall we?
Plot Holes (Massive Audio): Sean Murphy has created a comic about comics: but it's more than just that. Cliff is a comic creator who knows that the world on the page isn't real; he's proven wrong as he has his self-realization when a ragtag group of misfits aka the Plot Holes enlists him to help save as many books as possible.
The group of misfits range from a barbarian tiger, to a comic strip kid, a manga samurai and a vampire assassin. The art by Matt Hollingsworth is excellent, and the homage covers are a fun bonus. It's a bit angular, very detailed and appropriate to every genre they touch on. The "character sheets" are beautiful, and the genres are well represented. It's definitely in the "Across the Spider-Verse" mood.
My favorite character so far is obviously (not) Peanuts/ Calvin and Hobbes/ early comic strip little boy, and reminds me a bit of Gert from I Hate Fairyland. This comic doesn't take itself seriously, and references everything from sci-fi and fantasy to more literary genres. This is a highly entertaining comic, and I look forward to hearing more stories that the group saves (or edits).
Batman Beyond: Neo-Gothic (DC Comics): I am a big Batman Beyond fan, so this peaked my interest. It's the dark, broody, futuristic comic environment I've grown to love. For those of you not familiar with the TV show, do not be concerned: there is enough exposition and identification of new/old favorites like Killer Croc and a group of thugs called the Jokerz.
The art is literally dark, with a few bright patches for explosions and sound effects. One of the villains is called Lumos, so there's a blue tint for his powers. I consider the use of neon lighting to represent the future to be a throwback at this point. Which echoes the show, as it was definitely a 1999 TV version of 2039.
The issue ends with an interesting hook/ cliff-hanger which will definitely have me reading at least another few issues before they reveal what's going on.
Star Wars: Dark Droids (Marvel Comics): This is the comic you're looking for. If you like stories within the Star Wars universe, this one is an interesting look at AI sentience, the inevitable robot rebellion and mysterious, ancient threats. Technically, this is more of the event that's going on in Star Wars (2020), Star Wars: Bounty Hunters, and Star Wars: Darth Vader to name a few.
There are references to the original trilogy, Star Wars Rebels, and many other sources. Details that would usually fade into the background are just as important to the SW canon, and the faithfulness to the original material is apparent in all the art in this book. This is one of those books that does so much with showing the story rather than just telling you "many Imperials died to bring us this information". And as a horror story, silence speaks volumes.
The narration from the POV of the Scourge and dialogue are engaging, if a little tropey because of the whole robot uprising subject. The introduction of "the Scourge" to the robots is an important distinction from other "robot rebellion" plotlines, as it isn't quite a virus, and isn't quite a nanobot. The source of the Scourge is still a mystery, but there are hints within this first issue. It'll be explained through the various comics within its story arc.
Issue #2 has been released as of this article, and I look forward to even more issues of this book, as a semi-casual Star Wars fan.
May the odds be ever in your favor,