Yay To ‘ANIMOSITY’, Nay To ‘SUICIDE SQUAD’– CASUAL WEDNESDAYS WITH DOOMROCKET
By Molly Jane Kremer and Jarrod Jones. Happy New Comic Book Day! This is Casual Wednesdays With DoomRocket, a podcast series where each week we discuss our feelings concerning the comics that mean the most to us, and the industry news that affects us all. This week, MJ & Jarrod get stoked on the next season of ‘Supergirl’ and don’t bother talking around Tyler Hoechlin’s finely-contoured tuchus. (Because why would they?) Then the pair share their Top 5 Most Anticipated Issues and read reviews for ‘Animosity’ #1 and ‘Suicide Squad: Rebirth’ #1.
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MJ’s Top 5 Most Anticipated Issues:
Paper Girls #8 — Image Comics/$2.99
Giant Days #17 — BOOM! Studios/$3.99
Doctor Strange #10 — Marvel Comics/$3.99
Tokyo Ghost #9 — Image Comics/$3.99
Sheriff of Babylon #9 — Vertigo/$3.99
Jarrod’s Top 5 Most Anticipated Issues:
Lady Killer 2 #1 — Dark Horse Comics/$3.99
Green Arrow #4 — DC Comics/$2.99
Kill or Be Killed #1 — Image Comics/$3.99
Superman #4 — DC Comics/$2.99
4001 A.D.: War Mother #1 — Valiant/$3.99
REVIEWS FOR AUGUST 3, 2016
Written Marguerite Bennett.
Art by Rafael De Latorre.
Colors by Rob Schwager.
Letters by Marshall Dillon.
MJ: Amongst a plethora of post-apocalyptic scenarios gracing the many screens and pages we go to for entertainment, Aftershock’s Animosity has a legitimately original one: in it, animals gain consciousness and the ability of speech… prooobably sealing humanity’s doom? (But we don’t truly know yet, it’s only the first issue, silly. But also… probably.) Writer Marguerite Bennett mostly eschews any pokey exposition or narration and drops us directly into the budding action, establishing the characters as the events unfold.
Artist Rafael De Latorre shines on this book. He’s put to the task of drawing a lot of different animals in different situations and showing different emotions, and he draws each of them extremely well, managing to give them expressive faces and bodies within these accurate depictions. He also draws the child protagonist like an actual child—some artists have real difficulty not just drawing miniature adults when trying to draw kids, but Jesse looks like an actual little girl.
Stand-outs within the issue are the three twelve-panel double-page-spreads in a row that show the moments before, during, and after the animals “wake up” (called The Wake, according to an introductory/explanatory page, throwing in a little necessary exposition within a healthy amount of context), with every single panel within the consecutive spreads telling/showing a specific animal’s epiphany of consciousness within their current state and situation. (The moment reminds me a little of Ray Fawkes’ amazing One Soul graphic novel.) We watch each animal separately become cognizant and morally aware and how they react to it, and the storytelling on display in these six pages is excellent.
There’s a little humor sprinkled in amongst the horror (though this might seem all-ages friendly with the “little girl and her dog” premise, it is not, with a profusion of profanity and gore), one panel shows a butcher-knife-wielding octopus at “Tokyo Ghost Sushi”, and Jesse’s hound dog (who looks to be the story’s other main protagonist) is named Sandor—if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you can’t miss that reference. As an animal lover myself, I was immediately intrigued upon hearing Animosity‘s conceit (not to mention the title—that’s a good ‘un) and I’m extremely pleased that the book itself has achieved an incredibly compelling first issue. This is the beginning to a series of which I cannot wait to read more.
8.5 out of 10
Suicide Squad: Rebirth #1
Written by Rob Williams.
Art by Philip Tan; inks by Jonathan Glapion, Scott Hanna and Sandu Florea.
Colors by Alex Sinclair.
Letters by Travis Lanham.
JJ: So here’s a hell of a thing — President Barack Obama, Expository Device. What the hell am I talking about? Suicide Squad: Rebirth #1, that’s what the hell I’m talking about. That’s right, the Commander in Chief makes yet another comic book cameo, in what is being promoted to readers as one of DC’s newest and truest core books. Now what am I talking about? Since when is Suicide Squad a “core DC book?”
Since David Ayer’s movie happened, that’s what. And even though the press for DC’s latest foray into their disastrous cinematic universe has been far from kind, the cross-promotional spirit is alive and well with Suicide Squad: Rebirth #1, timed for a release just two days before it’s older, cooler sister hits theaters. And it’s just as loud, brash, and messy as those pretty damn fun trailers have led us to believe. So how does this book fare, reading-wise?
Well, visually, it’s all over the place. Philip Tan attempts to adhere to the style of Squad‘s marquee artist (and DC co-publisher), Jim Lee — he’ll be filling in with Suicide Squad #1 before too long — and there are places where he vaguely succeeds and places where he fails spectacularly. Tan is a magnificent cover artist, but his interiors are the stuff of chaos, and what doesn’t help matters is the murderer’s row of inkers tasked with getting Squad in under deadline — Scott Hanna, Jonathan Glapion, and Sandu Florea, all of whom are generally seen making Mr. Lee’s art look so damn slick. Tan has the chops, but his finesse leaves a lot to be desired.
Rob Williams’ script operates in a clockwork fashion, having the Leader of the Free World wag his finger at Director Amanda Waller while laying out what Task Force X is to any new reader who would care to listen in, only to then jump through hoops to make sure the top tier members of the team (yes, including Harley Quinn) get a moment in the sun. Their jokes are never once funny and always in bad taste — which may be the point — but the alchemy between Williams’ rambunctiousness and Tan’s wobbly consistency never gels into something that I can get excited about. Maybe it’s just an omen of what’s coming to theaters on Friday, but Suicide Squad: Rebirth #1 is a whole bunch of “meh” wrapped inside far too much hype.
4 out of 10
Check back next week for more from Casual Wednesdays!
Before: ‘”CAPTAIN KID #1’ And DC’s Problem With Batgirl”, here.