Columns, Comics

New Comic Book Day: The Promethean Adventures of A Beastly Batgirl

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Prometheus is not as bad as we pretend it is. Okay, it’s a pretty crappy, made-by-committee clustercuss, but damn if the movie wasn’t a triumph of production design and hastily scribbled notes on the origins of the species by way of aliens (or Aliens).

Which is a roundabout way of saying we’ve got the first comic follow-up to the film out this week, Paul Tobin’s Prometheus: Fire and Stone from Dark Horse, while in other licensed comics news, Regular Show gets its first original graphic novel.

But wait, there’s more: Regular Show gets its first original graphic novel while Gail Simone bids farewell to Batgirl in the only way she can: by putting the character in a muscle suit and making Batgirl a franchise in Gotham.

Paul Kirchner: The Bus HC (Edition Tanibis)

I forget where I first saw excerpts from Paul Kirchner’s The Bus, but it was weird and impressive. The wonderfully surreal strip uses the ever-fluctuating dimensions of a city local bus to create sight gags with shrinking humans, suicidal buses and urban anomie. Imagine if the TARDIS were a non-Euclidian piece of urban transportation that would sometimes flip out and be filled with anthropomorphic flies (with way less narrative than what I described there) and you get the gist.

Edition Tanabis is a French outfit, reprinting The Bus, which previously appeared in Heavy Metal between 1978 and 1985.

You can buy Paul Kirchner: The Bus HC vat your local comic shop.

Wild’s End #1 (BOOM! Studios)

Abnett does Welles via furry animals. And according to the book’s solicitation, there’s a little Cornetto Trilogy thrown in for good measure. I guess the easiest comparison would be The Wind in the Willows meets The World’s End, and you could do worse with your concept books.

Dan Abnett was one half of the team (along with Andy Lanning) that helped revitalize Guardians of the Galaxy, and the duo’s dark sense of humor combined with the series’ deep-cut Marvel mythology made the book a must read. How that will translate to this particular title is anyone’s guess.

The solicitation makes it sound half-serious, but if there’s a gun-toting, talking fox in it, I remain curious.

You can buy Wild’s End #1 via comiXology.


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Batgirl: Futures End #1 (DC Comics)

File under: “this just might be stupid enough to work.” Gail Simone is bringing her Batgirl run to a close with this Futures End issue, which sees five-year-later Barbara Gordon rebranding herself as B?te Noire, or “The Black Beast.” For some reason, she mixes short shorts and Bane drag as she leads a team of Batgirls through the underworld of Gotham.

Whatever perambulations Simone’s script will take to getting Barbara buff and wearing a luchador’s mask, I’m willing to give the book the benefit of the doubt. Simone has ushered the character through a fan-favorite run, and it’s her right to blow up the title in new and interesting ways before handing the keys to the shop off to the next team.

Also: DC needs more amalgam hero/villains.

You can buy Batgirl: Futures End #1 via comiXology.

Annihilator #1 (Legendary Comics)

Morrison does cosmic horror with Frazier Irving.

So, I want to be excited about Annihilator, but the contents of the first issue don’t really warrant it – this is a long form story diced up into a miniseries, and that’s screwing up the pacing somewhat.

The story, such as it is, sees a self-destructive screenwriter’s mental and physical meltdown run parallel to the story of a nihilistic cosmic criminal who wants to… I don’t, know, do the same thing every other nihilistic Morrison big bad wants to do.

It’s Morrison in full-on excess mode, and Luke’s absolutely right that the author really wants to make a more convincing case for the-writer-as-rockstar than is feasible. On the plus side: Irving’s art is great and I’m pretty sure Legendary made him finish it before soliciting the book.

You can buy Annihilator #1 via comiXology.

Robotech/Voltron #5 (Dynamite Entertainment)

The comics event that would have blown your 8-year-old self’s brain through its face is drawing to a close.

So someone out there tell me: is Robotech a thing anyone really cares about anymore? I don’t mean this with any snark intended. While Voltron always had the weird space monsters vs. giant robots cachet, the space opera of Robotech feels so very specific to one period of anime fandom that’s in love with the designs more than the fiction.

I’d really like to know what the sales were like on this crossover from Dynamite – if it did well enough, maybe it’ll inspire more hardcore robot on robot action with other licensors (fingers crossed for Challenge of the Go-Bots vs. The Incredible Change Bots).

You can buy Robotech/Voltron #5 via Dark Horse Digital.

Regular Show: Hydration OGN (BOOM! Studios)

Is it a limitation or an advantage that the solicitation for the first OGN from Cartoon Network’s Regular Show sounds like the synopsis of one of its episodes? Like, shouldn’t it be something bigger and stranger than what they can get away with in the show?

That’s probably a stupid question, but I’ve never been a smart man (and Boom seems to know its audience). Ed, Edd n Eddy writer Rachel Connor is joined byBravest Warrior artist Tessa Stone as the gang stumbles into a mysterious pool smack in the middle of a punishing heat wave. Who wants to bet it’s haunted/demonic/trapped in the ’80s, somehow?

You can buy Regular Show: Hydration OGN HC at your local book store (currently, it’s not listed on Amazon).

Prometheus: Fire and Stone #1 (Dark Horse Comics)

Hm. Hmmmm. Hmmmmmmmmmmm (to be read with increasing noise and intensity).

From what I recall, Fire and Stone will explicitly be a crossover event with Aliens, and not just via the weird proto-alien in Ridley Scott’s prequel. The story will see a second crew investigating the missing ship from the first film and whatever shenanigans were going on with LV-223.

I’m more interested in this as a mission statement from studio Fox about how they plan to lock down the canon for the franchise, and what answers they’ve been able to conjure up for the mostly nonsensical origins of the species film (why did they create us only to hate our guts – whyyyyyyyyyy).

I can’t imagine too many big questions will get answered here (gotta leave something for Prometheus 2: The Revenge of David’s Head), but Tobin’s work here could be illuminating.

You can buy Prometheus: Fire and Stone #1 via Dark Horse Digital.

Those are my picks for the week. What’s on your list?