ATOMIC
EMPIRE

Comics: Batteries Not Included

by Dee. 4/10/2014
Flash Gordon #1 (Dynamite): As a Defender of Earth, a major role in Ted, played by the inimitable Sam J. Jones, and that's not even mentioning the radio plays and the cinematic nod in A Christmas Story (yep, check that out) and parodied on Sesame Street, Flash (AAH-AAAAAH! He'll save every one of us!) Gordon has been part of American pop culture for ~70 years. Dynamite has done a good job of keeping the Man from Earth relevant, while not going into mode.

Bungee jumping, dogfighting while being pursed by a hungry monster, portal hopping through a variety of dimensions, and cheesing off Emperor Ming looks like lots of fun. It also fondly reminds me of the "Spaceman Spiff" stories in "Calvin and Hobbes", surprisingly free of cheesy dialogue.

This would be kid friendly, as there's really only one instance of strong language, and is much more about exploring alien worlds.

Lola XOXO #1 (Aspen): Lola is orphaned at an early age by a deadly attack, and becomes friends with a man named Conrad, who then raises her.

The present is a post-event wasteland Manhattan, so horses, bullets and bikes are important commodities. When Lola takes off to find her parents, we don't have any idea about the danger she could get into. Lola proves to be a capable fighter, and the setting becomes more apparent as quasi-western/ diesel-punk.

The artwork for this comic is gorgeous in the "watercolor with slight sketch marks visible" way, so this comic is appealing without being just cheesecake art, or just another steam/diesel title. I am intrigued by this title, as we hear a bit of Lola's inner monologue without it becoming "The Wonder Years".

Shutter #1 (Image): This has an endearing set-up about a family of explorers... space explorers. Kate's line "The Moon's BOR-ing!" is very appropriate for a seven year old being hauled along to learn what her father does for a living.

Kate is now twenty seven, and living in a marvelous, fantastical New York City. Zeppelins, griffons, centaurs and reptilian humanoids are part of the new norm.

The art is subtle but also vivid, as the past has a more pixellated look, while the present is more polished looking. Intense/ florescent colors are used to pull focus to certain parts of the panel, and I feel that the entire issue deserved a second look to find all of the visual clues.

This plays with the "kid-explorer as an adult" trope, and Kate rolls with the punches, until the last panel's big reveal.

The environment of this story looks really intricate, so this will definitely be on my watch list.

Nightcrawler #1 (Marvel): I've always liked the Nightcrawler concept: for no reason in particular, he's blue, he teleports, he's Bavarian and plays practical jokes. This spin-off series picks up after his appearance in Amazing X-Men, and he's soon visiting the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, as a teacher.

It feels as if he hasn't been gone for long, and he's back to his charming, witty self again. Perhaps there will be more reflection in the next issue (though I'm not counting on it). I'm looking forward to the next issue already, so it's definitely gotten me interested again.

Other new releases this week:
From Marvel: All New Doop, All New Ultimates, Iron Fist: Living Weapon

From DC: Batman Eternal (Sold out this week, but check with us next Wednesday!)

That's a wrap, folks!

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