Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Punk Jesus, Vampire Queens and Bloodshot

I picked up three books last week. UND HERE IS WHAT I THOUGHT OF THEM

Punk Rock Jesus #1, by Sean Murphy and published by Vertigo, is an incredibly well-crafted book. Not only a smart idea played convincingly, the book refrains from overexciting itself or going too far. The idea is that a TV station have taken DNA from the Shroud of Turin, and will clone it in order to create ‘Jesus 2’ While everybody promptly goes utterly crazy at the idea, we see the various people behind the decision manoeuvre around each other for position and power, with varying agendas. Presented in hatched black-and-white, the book is a superb read from Murphy, with crackling dialogue, realistic characters, and an inventive core concept which plays out in unexpected and imaginative ways.

Meredith Gran’s Marceline and The Scream Queens #1 suffers a little from focusing on a side-character from the Adventure Time TV series I’ve never seen before. While my lack of exposure to the series didn’t harm the eponymous title from Kaboom, here is likely detracts a little from my enjoyment. Marceline seems to have a unique personality which I can’t put a voice to, exactly, and the book almost certainly would be more fun for a fan of the series to pick up. Having said that, Gran’s sense of humour is on-point here, with some smart, subtle jokes hidden in the art and some slightly more obvious, still-funny-though jokes in the dialogue. It’s a fun, quirky title, as you’d expect, and sets up an unpredictable next issue. The story is simple enough to get past the fact I don’t know the characters well, and the lightness of the storytelling actually adds to the charm of the book.

Valiant’s relaunch continues with Bloodshot #1 from Duane Swierczynski, a pulp war story featuring an assassin with an identity crisis -- one forced upon him by his controllers. A little obtuse to begin with, the book quickly settles into a fast-paced, entertaining read. It’s the comic equivalent of a Tom Clancy novel, probably, but I’ve never read Tom Clancy so maybe not. It’s an entertaining, throwaway story at the moment, which has several hints of depth lurking behind the gunplay and mind-games. It’s a worthy addition to a still-stellar line-up of books from the publisher.

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