KK’s Keen Comics, October 2nd, 2013 Releases

After a few busy weeks, there’s inevitably a smaller week. Still, some intriguing comics – the end of a miniseries worth hunting down, the beginning of a new Vertigo series, and a turning point in one of Marvel’s quirkier titles, gives more comic book goodness!

Mara #6Mara #2

And this ends Brian Wood’s utterly fascinating science fiction wearing superhero clothes story.

The inevitable comparison is to Doctor Manhattan from Watchmen. And yes, they’re both superheroes that transcend humanity. I’ve always thought this was an interesting idea, and just because someone has visited the idea before by no means says that nobody else can go there, just that they have to put a different twist on it, and Mara certainly does.

Doctor Manhattan’s transcendence was all about being disconnected. Utterly dispassionate, ultimately removed from mankind like we’re removed from the lives of an insect. He’s got limitless power, but he’s ultimately worthless to us because he doesn’t care.

Mara, on the other hand, is all about passion. She disconnects from humanity out of a justified anger, not out of being above it all. Indeed, she tells herself a story that sounds a lot like Manhattan, but it’s just a story she’s telling herself out of pain. At the end of the day, she cares. She’s not happy about it all, but she cares.

It’s got an open-end, and I hope we see more from this character, because there’s more to say. If you want a different take on human transcendence, this is something to find the trade paperback of soon. (Or read the issues now!)

Hinterkind #1Hinterkind #1

This is a new, ongoing post-apocalyptic series from Vertigo. Some time ago (it’s not specified, but the impression I get is 20-30 years ago), something unspecified happened, and humanity was more than decimated. This issue is set in what was once New York City, with the wilderness having made massive strides to reclaim the skyscrapers and concrete jungle.

Our main characters live in a village in what was once Central Park. The focus character is a young girl, Prosper Monday, who is skilled with a bow. She’s definitely cut from a Katniss cloth, which isn’t a bad thing, though I’m sure that future issues will develop the characters more.

And the world is populated by monsters. Horrible mutants, that hunt the remnants of humankind and use them for food, or worse. The villagers seem to have established a safety such that the younger kids aren’t entirely aware of how bad it is out there. Or the adults, really, as Prosper’s father leaves on some sort of unspecified quest out of the village.

And Prosper’s best friend Angus has grown a rat tail for unknown to both of them reasons. They take off foolishly, and encounter really serious trouble, launching our plot.

There’s some serious world building going on here. It’s only one issue, but it looks like a fresh take on the frequently done post-apocalypse survivor story. I’m looking forward to more!

 

The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #4The Superior Foes of Spider-Man #4

This is a really nice change of pace title. In the midst of all the heroes and big events and saving the world, there’s these guys. Two-bit criminals with a little of the fantastic, they lose again and again, and yet keep on going. What’s the world they live in like?

Well, it’s not awesome! Your coworkers are jerks, bickering and scheming and always thinking about how to split the loot one fewer way. Your leaders are lying to you, always making sure they’re a step ahead. And sometimes Power Man and Iron Fist bust through your wall and punch you in the face and throw you into a police van.

In this case, the Sinister Six has kicked Fred “Boomerang” Myers out (becoming increasingly misnamed with just four members.) And it’s Fred that tips off the Heroes for Hire, so he can be the one to rescue them and assert his leadership (giving us both a Breaking Bad joke and a Charles in Charge joke in the sequence.) And he’s still doing the job for the terrifying Chameleon.

Shocker saw some of what was going on, but is kind of a softie at heart, and Fred sweet-talks his way out of it. But better safe than sorry, so things take a, well, shocking turn for the worse for the Shocker. Fred may be the focal character, but he’s not an anti-hero. He’s still a criminal at heart, with the mindset, and is not on a path to redemption.

This is a fun title exploring a corner of the Marvel universe we don’t see much of. And I’m glad that, while the characters are interesting, they’re not actually all that likeable. I’m still not sure how long they can sustain this trick, but for as long as it lasts, I’m enjoying the ride.

 

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