Tyler’s Recommendation…Wild Storm #1
“Warren Ellis returns to the Wildstorm universe! I’m of the mind that any new Ellis book is worthy of my time, so I’m excited for this. I very much enjoyed his previous run on Stormwatch, and his work as of late has been fantastic, I would advise any curious minds to grab a copy of this on Wednesday“
The weather might suggest otherwise, but December has arrived and with it the inevitable year’s end lists. Luckily, at Nothing But Comics, we’re quite fond of year’s end lists. Our first group Top Ten will arrive tomorrow, but first I offer up my annual look back at some of the most memorable character from 2016.
All entries are listed alphabetically. For simplicity sake, characters without code names are listed by first name.
The guys process the US election results together and read poignant quotes from activist film maker Michael Moore & NBA head coaches Steve Kerr, Stan Van Gundy & Greg Poppovich. Pat proposes that Poppovich run for president in 2020 on the democratic ticket which was also proposed by Jade Wilson on the True Hoop podcast last Friday. Could we be on to something? The guys also talk some comics as that’s what they do, specifically all new series debut’s from the week. Debut’s like Mother Panic, Avengers 1.1, World of Wakanda, Violent Love & Namesake. Plus, the usual inanities
Cosmo’s Recommendations …A&A The Adventures of Archer and Armstrong #5
“How do you make Faith Herbert any more endearing? Send her out on a date with Obadiah Archer. It’s a charming evening full of awkward romance, geek-culture references and super-villain shenanigans. Fun times.”
Back in January Valiant launched a new solo min-series for Faith Herbert, aka Zephyr. This was great news for those of us who have been happily followingher adventures ever since Joshua Dysart reintroduced her to readers in the pages of his Harbinger series. Two weeks ago, Valiant announced that demand for Faith had proven so strong that not only would her story be continuing, but it would be upgraded from a sequel mini to a new ongoing title. This is no small accomplishment, as Faith will be the first ongoing female solo title published by the current iteration of Valiant. As such, the new series, which will retain writer Jody Houser, represents another successful step forward for diversity in comics. However, it also points to another trend that has been occurring recently: a shift in the tone of storytelling. Ever since Alan Moore asked “Who Watches the Watchmen?” and Frank Miller pondered the last act of The Dark Knight’s career, the medium has been dominated by the grim and gritty archetype. At its height in the 90s, the prominence of such figures somehow achieved self-parody (cough, Az-Bats, cough) without losing their popularity. To this day, a new creative team’s pledge to “strip our hero down to nothing and see what makes him (or her) tick” is frequently cited as a fresh approach to counter lackluster storytelling. It’s not. Which does not mean that it cannot work, only that there is nothing groundbreaking about it. Instead, a new generation of heroines, including Zephyr, are helping redefine superheroes for a new generation of readers.
My Chemical Romance lead singer and creator of The Umbrella Academy Gerard Way will be launching a mature readers imprint through DC Comics titled Young Animal focusing on their more esoteric properties like Doom Patrol, Shade and more. Way will be writing Doom Patrol & Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye with additional contributions on the upcoming series from Jean Paul Leon, Michael Avon Oeming, Marley Zarcone, Jody House & more. Details at CBR
By Jody Houser, Jim Krueger, Shawn Crystal, Phil Hester, Ande Parks, Jean-Francois Beaulieu & Trish Mulvihill
From the beginning, Mother Panic has had an identity problem. The first issue of the Young Animal series opened in a compelling manner by introducing readers to the jet legged, jet set heiress Violet Paige. Writer Jody Houser gave Violet an intriguing voice, which engaged the reader despite the many overly familiar elements of her backstory. Still, there was potential to the character. Unfortunately the following two issues almost entirely ignored Violet in favor of her costumed vigilante alter ego, Mother Panic. As a crime fighter, Mother Panic was effective but lacked the personality of Violet. Houser corrects this imbalance in the current issue which goes a long way to reconciling the dueling halves of Violet Paige.
By Jody Houser, Francis Portela, Marguerite Sauvage & Andrew Dalhouse
It is no secret that I am a fan of Joshua Dysart’s Harbinger in general and the character of Faith Herbert (aka Zephyr) in particular. Created by Jim Shooter and David Lapham in 1992 for the original Harbinger series, she blossomed in the pages of Dysart’s revival title. She quickly became the heart of the loose collection of comrades known as The Renegades. Her plucky can-do spirit was contagious (a trait she shares with other recent breakout female characters such as Ms. Marvel and Squirrel Girl). Following the dissolution of the Renegades, she has bounced around various corners of the Valiant Universe (fighting alien invaders in Mexico and serving a brief stint with Unity). Now she is trying to settle into a new routine, living on her own in Las Angeles while still pursuing her high-flying adventures.
This is the set-up for Valiant’s new Faith limited-series. The first issue spent a fair amount of time (re)introducing the character to readers, ending the chapter on an explosive cliffhanger. As the smoke clears in the opening to #2, Faith is feeling a little dejected. She was able to save several civilians, yet the bad guys got away. She should feel positive about what has happened, but, cannot help dwelling on her failure. Faith grew up on comic books and geek culture; in fact, they are the main connection between her and her deceased parents. Even after all her experiences as Zephyr, she still wishes that life worked the way it did in classic four-color spandex days. Bystanders thank her, police detective ask her for leads. “They know how the story is supposed to go.” So, why does Zephyr feel as though she cannot play her part?