Reviews in Brief (6/17 to 6/24 – 2015)

Only four issues this week. I considered picking up Thors #1, but it had the bad luck of coming out after I had already bought more Secret Wars/Battle World stuff that I had planned to. I looked through it and nothing stuck out at me as worth spending four bucks on. If anything, a bevy of Thors struck me as undermining the virtue of the Jane Foster Thor of the previous series.

Howard the Duck Vol. 5, #4 (released 6/24)
You’ll have to read “If It WAUGHs Like a Duck” #4 to see what I thought of it, but I’m looking forward to it, I’ll tell you that much.

Mind MGMT #34 (released 6/17)
Mind-MGMT34Two issues to go after this as Mind MGMT careens towards a conclusion. The problem is that as it moves in that direction the series becomes straight up action, losing its the edge of its weirdness and becoming a series of dreamy scenes that feel a little too coherent. There wasn’t even any paratextual elements in this issue (except for the usual non-reproduction blue report guidelines in the margin). The art remains fantastic, but I am hoping for a challenging incomplete-seeming ending, something that keeps me thinking about Mind MGMT long after the series is over. We’ll see.

Ms. Marvel vol. 3, #16 (released 6/17)
MSM16This title remains fantastic. It gets better, even. Sure the real end of the world occurring when you feel like the world is ending because your heart it broken may seem a little over obvious, but that’s what superhero comics are great at: making the metaphorical literal and then commenting on it.  Alphona’s art remains evocative and idiosyncratic. Reading this is as close as I am ever going to come to re-experiencing how I felt reading new issues of Amazing Spider-Man or Uncanny X-Men when I was in my teens. Yes, yes, it is kind of a Secret Wars tie-in, but it doesn’t matter when it it is good.




Prez vol.2, #1 (released 6/17)
Prez-Cover-2-smI like it. I wrote about the original short-lived Prez series from back in 1973 and found it sorely lacking. . .bad, basically, but this is good. Sharp and twisted and playing with the conspiratorial fears many of us contemplate and half-believe about the consequences of corporate personhood, failing healthcare, political corruption and a public that seems increasingly mesmerized by consumer capitalism’s oblique propaganda. Mark Russel plays with some if the figures of the original series, but gives them a contemporary twist. That said, the series could still end up being reactionary pap like the source material, but it seems a lot smarter than the original Prez so there’s hope. This feels like a Vertigo series, and I am excited to read more.

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