This week’s #1 comics were much better than in previous weeks. Instead of six, I actually ended up with seven premier issues for this week’s Love It Hate It.
Let’s see how those seven stack up against each other…
This Week’s Love It Hate It Contenders
So this weeks Love It (and I really did) is:
- A tie between Scales & Scoundrels (Image) & The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Titan Comics)
- Made Men (Oni Press)
- Bombshells: United (DC)
- Iron Man/Ironheart: Generations (Marvel)
- Kingsman: The Red Diamond (Image)
- What Is a Glacier (Retrofit / Big Planet Comics)
Scales & Scoundrels #1 from Image Comics
I knew I’d love Scales and Scoundrels by Sebastian Girner (W) and Galaad (A) from just looking at the cover, or at least I hoped it would. As one of the comic book store geeks said, it has the look and feel of Rat Queens, and that is one of my favorite books to come out in a long time. I’m happy to say that Scales and Scoundrels did not disappoint.
I’ve mentioned before – art is not my strength when it comes to reviewing comics. I either love it, simply like it, am generally not impressed at all with it, or out and out hate it. With that in mind, what I can say about Scales and Scoundrel is that I LOVE the artwork.
It, along with the vibrant colors, are enough alone to hook someone into this comic. It’s truly stunning just to sit and slowly page through without ever reading a word. The final 2-page spread, completely without words, is brilliant and begins to hint at the origins of our protagonist. And now that I think about it, I don’t believe we ever learn her name in this first issue.
Clearly, I love the story as well. It’s really difficult to get comics who have a really strong female lead and Girner does an excellent job of giving us just that: a protagonist that, at first glance, we are going to love. She is one who takes no shit from anyone, but who also has a heart and that heart sometimes interferes with her need for riches. So yea, I love Scales and Scoundrels.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo #1 from Titan Comics
But what about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Sylvain Runberg (W) and José Homs (A). I honestly did not know what to expect from this book, and I was sooooooo pleasantly surprised. And don’t let the price tag of $5.99 scare you off. It’s absolutely worth every penny of that for this 62 page, no ads, comic.
My hesitation on this comic stemmed from the fact that I read ALL the books several years ago, when they were first a #1 sensation in the US. The books were brutal at times, but the kind of books you couldn’t – or didn’t – want to put down. I wondered if they would be able to bring that same brutality and suspense to a comic without it becoming too much.
They did. From page one, I was hooked. They expertly put into images the very first pages of that first book. I immediately recognized the original book in the comic. For me, that’s talent. This book was just as suspenseful and page turning as the original novel. So much so that I can’t wait for the second one to come out.
But the art – well, the art is unique/unusual. It feels raw and gritty. There were times I didn’t want to see the images at all, but I was pulled into them and felt compelled to look at them even though I didn’t want to. I feel like that says a lot about the artwork here. It’s not what I’m used to, and perhaps that’s what makes it so damn compelling.
I loved both of these books so much that they will now be on my pull list. That says a lot. I don’t often get sucked into comics that I review, but both of these #1s have me hooked!
What Is a Glacier from Retrofit / Big Planet Comics
As for the book I hated, well, I truly hated it – Sophie Yanow’s What Is a Glacier? is not for your typical superhero reading comics fan. That’s not to say it doesn’t have an audience, but at a $6.00 price tag, I’m not sure who that audience is.
The book is done in black and white, which I typically love, but not so much this time. The ambiguity of our main protagonist left me wondering if I was intended to know the sex/gender of the character. Don’t get me wrong, there are times I think I’ve nailed it down, and I still think I finally figured it out, but I’m not sure I should have to work that hard at it.
So the artwork is ambiguous at best and simplistic in it’s rendering of images. The story, however, is where it really lost it for me. I kept waiting for something – anything – to happen, and not in a superhero kind of way; clearly it’s not that kind of book.
I felt I should have had some type of reveal, some type of existentialist moment . . . something . . . anything. Instead, I was left feeling like I hadn’t really learned much about why our protagonist is obsessed with glaciers. I also didn’t feel like I learned whether or not I should be taking climate change as an emergency or something that’s beyond our help. Sorry, but What Is a Glacier? left me wondering why anyone would pay $6.00 for it.
Until next time.