No fancy logos for this column… just lots of bright shiny pink text. I’m Paul Sebert, longtime Nexus reviewer (AKA the Thursday guy) and former Marvel News & Views columnist during our 411 days. Welcome to the Frosted Pink Sugar Inferno, your regular source for tiny, tasty bite-sized reviews of all the latest comics. Here’s a trio from last week.
Truth, Justin, and The American Way #1
Art: Guiesppe Ferrario
Story: Aaron Williams & Scott Kurtz
Described by co-creator Scott Kurtz as “The greatest 80s TV show you never saw” this comic isn’t just a homage to Greatest American Hero, it’s loving tribute to a genre of sophomoric junk food television that is seldom made these days.
Our first issue follows the misadventures of an amiable slacker named Justin Cannelle who through means too ridiculous for me to reveal ends up possessing and wearing an alien space suit that grants him superpowers. I can’t go into the further details of the plot without spoiling some of the better gags, but Kurtz and Williams do a very good job of introducing the title character, while Guiseppe Ferrairo’s artwork is delightfully cartoonish. Featuring some gloriously exaggerated body language and hilarious facial expressions. The humor is broad, slapsticky, and good natured much akin to it’s source material. Anyone who grew up in the 80s, or just enjoys a good humor title should find something to like in this book. Oh and did I mention there’s a cameo by Ponch and Jon from CHiPs?
Writer: Keith Giffen
Art: Scott Kolins and Ariel Olvetti
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Marvel’s big cosmic event, but this one-shot did pique my interest a bit. As someone who knows very little about Marvel’s cosmic characters I was a hard sell on this, (honest, I just thought Nova was a guy in the New Warriors with a cool helmet) but this debut one shot-offers a an intriguing plot, some explosive action figures, and GIANT SPACE BUGS! Following an attack on a galactic prison/power station called the Klyn, the Nova Corps (sort of Marvel’s answer to Green Lanterns) find themselves under assault from an seemingly unstoppable army of insect like critters. Familiar characters like Thanos and Super Skrull make cameos, as do more obscure ones like Ronan the Accuser. Drax the Destroyer even shows up fresh from his mini-series last year.
That said I do have some reservations about this book. Though Giffen does a passable job of introducing the characters and concepts in this title, some get whipped out so quickly one wonders why he even bothered. Scott Kolins art is also going to be an issue for some people as his style seems to be a love it or hate it affair. I personally love his backgrounds the designs of the various alien creatures, though his human figures tend to be odd. He feels like a more natural fit here than he was on Avengers.
Infinite Crisis Secret Files & Origins
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Layouts: Dan Jurgans
Finishes: Jerry Ordway, Cam Smith, Art Thibert, Nelson
In the midst of DC’s chaotic event that is Infinite Crisis, comes this little oasis of a one where Marv Wolfman, author of the original Crisis on Infinite Earths decides to show a new generation of readers how to get the job done storytelling wise. On the surface this is the story of how the Superman of Earth II learns his wife is dieing while Superboy Prime falls under the manipulative thumb of Alexander Luthor. However this book works on a much deeper level as a parable about how feelings of loss, failure, and isolation can cloud the judgment of seemingly good men. It’s a think man’s comic about an event which has been for the most part about sound and fury.
On the downside the switching art team gives the book a rather uneven look at a few points, and well there’s a sequence that’s so loaded with subtext that I found myself rolling on the floor with unexpected laughter. Still even with these faults this book is a must-read for anyone following DC’s latest event.