Clever Titles are for Better Writers Comics Round-Up 03/06/13

I can’t think of a better way to epitomize these “reviews” than showing up 4 days late with only two comics to actually talk about. My lateness aside, here’s a quick reminder: I only review comics I buy, cause I think that’s fair. If I pay money, I can call your comic shitty, that’s writer law. I’ve culled my pull-list a lot, recently, so if I’m not talking about a comic that’s excellent, let me know in the comments. Now that that’s done, here’re some opinions.

Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake #3 written and illustrated by Natasha Allegri, colored by Natasha Allegri and Patrick Seery, lettered by Britt Wilson, “Sour Candy” backup written and illustrated by Kate Leth:

“Oh you… beautiful… idiot.”

I wrote a whole long bit about how the this book’s subversion of traditional gender dynamics not only takes advantage of the gender-swapping concept by being a fast-paced, enjoyable story with twists on the Adventure Time mythos, but also serves as a gentle reminder for kids that they can do what they want no matter their gender. Or even a bear disguised as a child. I think that happened in A Midsummer Night’s Dream… Or maybe just my upcoming screenplay, A Midsummer Nightmare – Bear Attack 2: Revenge of the Bear Commandos. Anyway, I ended up deleting all of that because that’s not what’s so great about this comic. It might be what an adult takes away and might be what the creators intended, but the most important thing is that when you give it to a kid, they come away excited that it exists and wanting to read more comics. And that’s friggin’ awesome.

Mara #3 written by Brian Wood, drawn by Ming Doyle, colored by Jordie Bellaire, lettered by Ming Doyle:

“This is me. This is who I am now.”

Once again, this comic is a brilliant showcase for Doyle and Bellaire’s collaboration. Doyle’s improving like she’s secretly entered the Secret Artist Improvement Olympics, and I’ve noted how much I like Bellaire’s coloring. Combined, they make this one of the best looking comics on the shelves. The writing, on the other hand… As Wood moves away from the volleyball-centric plot, the entire comic starts to morph into “the birth of a Super-Hero in a world that may not be ready,” a plot device we’ve seen many times before, certainly by better writers. I don’t mean that as a slight, just a statistically-sound observation. There’ve been a million of these stories, and by couching the story in a world of the hyper-competitive sports-obsessed, Wood gave the premise a good twist. Without the volleyball, it loses that innovation, making me less than optimistic that Wood can make the story work in the last three issues.

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