Happy New Year! Well, by the time you read this New Year’s will have come and gone, but as I write this it’s just a few hours from the dropping of the ball to let us know that an old year is done and in the books and we are heading into the unknown of a new one. So this should tell you something about how exciting my New Year’s Eve celebrations were. After I finish writing this column I’ve got pages of script to write for Ayla Speaker for the Dead and The Almighty Project. (Go check Ayla at http://Aylathecomicbook.com while The Almighty Project is still a month at least away from starting.)
I hope everyone had a great Christmas and got tons of gifts and were able to give said tons in gifts also. For me being on the back side of Christmas means I can finally catch my breath. In my job that pays the bills I work in retail and we all know what that’s like for the Christmas season. But the good news is that the Ho Ho Ho Season is done and in the books and we’re heading into relatively slower times.
Which brings up some thoughts to ponder about this column as I type it and wonder what the next few words will be. How much of this column should be about me? While you’re not coming here to read about my day in retail (though some days that would make a very interesting column) or what I did on Summer break this column is greatly influenced by who I am. The title refers to me, the old dog, so I’m part of this column. You’re not going to get a column written where you’re not sure who the person is or what they feel, that’s not going to be this one. My thoughts and opinions are going to bleed across the page in this column, for better or worse.
One of the things this column is not going to be is a review column. But, didn’t you just know there was going to be a but, there will be reviews in this column. Mostly positive reviews. I’m not one to write a lot of nasty, negative reviews. I feel like if I don’t have something good to say, than why say it at all? I would just rather write about what I like, than what I don’t. Still saying that I’m not going to claim that I won’t ever write anything negative, because I will. I could write about the last Superman movie and that would be negative….
In most cases, I’d say 99.9% of the times, no one sets out to write a bad comic book. A lot of times what you like I might not enjoy as much and what I find enthralling may only get a eh out of you. That’s ok, there’s a lot of comics out there right now and more than likely there’s something you’ll find to like.
So saying all that what am I going to do in this week’s column? Write a couple reviews! For a couple comics that you may not have picked up. We know that the majority of comic book readers are super hero fans. I’m not going to debate if that’s good or bad, I happen to like super heroes, I grew up on them and still read them. They’re not the only things I read and I’m not quite as focused on them as I used to be, but there’s nothing wrong with a good super hero story.
Recently Marvel Comics published two new comics which can be said to fall in the super hero category, though a lot of people may quibble with that. They’re not your typical Spiderman or Batman comic for sure. I’m talking about Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur and Patsy Walker aka Hellcat.
The second issue of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur just came out. This comic is written by Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder (creators of one of my favorite comics published by Image Rocket Girl), art by Natcha Bustos and colors by Tamra Bonvillain. Moon Girl is Lunella Lafayette, a young African American girl (I might have missed it but I never did catch her age, but I think it’s before teenage hood). Definitely not your typical star of a super hero comic. She does fit into the mold of Peter Parker, the smart, genius kid that everyone picks on at school. She doesn’t have a very high opinion of either her class mates or her teachers. She’s trying to get into a better school, more suited for her intelligence. Her parents don’t understand her.
She also thinks that she’s an Inhuman waiting to be born. I’m not sure if this a fact or just something she’s scared of since the Terrigan mists have been effecting so many people in the Marvel universe lately. In the first issue she searches out a Kree device and finds it that she hopes will stop any future transformation. She’s not looking forward to any change in her body, she wants to remain exactly who she is.
Now she’s makes up half the title, the other character is Devil Dinosaur. DD was created by Jack Kirby back in the seventies and is not one of his better known creations. I have to admit, while I knew who he was and was aware of his existence, I had never read one of his previous comics. Evidently there’s a Moon Boy too that is partnered with Devil Dinosaur. All this takes place a long time ago. Throw in a bunch of bad ape type people that are after the object Lunella finds that jumps from the past to her time. Devil Dinosaur follows, Moon Boy is hurt (perhaps dying) and the bad ape type people follow, after the Kree device and all enter the present time.
This is a fun comic. It’s a comic that really any age could read. Even though it was written to be all ages, which usually means its going to be boring for anyone over the age of 12, this comic kept me reading and wanting to pick up the second issue. There’s a lot of humor in the comic, but the creators have given us a character I can believe in and you can’t ask anything more than that.
The next comic I want to talk about is Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat. I’m not going to go into all the history of Patsy Walker, if I did that we’d be here for hours. Short version is she was a romance comic published by Marvel in the fifties, some writers brought Patsy into the newer Marvel Age of comics and she’s been around everyone from the Avengers to Hellstorm to Daredevil. In fact, her more recent appearances have been not in the comic but the Netlix series Jessica Jones. I enjoyed her in the tv show, but am somewhat surprised by her new comic book.
You would have thought they might have tried to build off her tv appearance and structure her new comic around that character. Well you would be wrong. Really, really wrong.
And I’m glad. The new Hellcat comic is as far from dark and gloomy as you can get. The writer is Kate Leh, the artist is Brittney L. Williams and the colorist is Megan Wilson. One of the highlights for Hellcat in the issue is her recovering the tickets to a play for a woman after her boyfriend threw them down the sewer. So you can see this isn’t your typical adventure bang smash up comic book. Again like in Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur the creators give us a hero that feels real and has real emotions. And like the previous comic it’s just a fun read.
If you’re diet of comic books runs only to the ultra serious dark ones you’re probably not going to like either of these two comics, but you really should give them a try. There’s so much more to the comic industry than just the dark and serious.
Now if I haven’t alienated all of you I’ll be back soon (hopefully next week with stories from Wizard World) so be good to each other and pick up something that you would never think up and give it a chance. What’s the worst that could happen? You might like it.
John Holland is still writing Ayla Speaker for the Dead which can be found http://Aylathecomicbook.com. You can also check out an older piece at http://diebold.ws. He’s also writing three more series that he has a lot of hope will start in 2016. But then he’s always been a hopeful type guy.