Comics Load: Attack of the (Clingy) Clones

In addition to being a comic creator himself, Brian Andersen (So Super Duper, Friend of Dorothy) is also quite the comics scholar. Tossing out comics facts, figures and trivia, he can geek just about any fanboy under the table. I once tried to stump him with an obscure question about French Les Schtroumpfs comics in the 80s. He slowly peeled off his long, silk opera glove (his signature attire) and slapped me right across the face with it. So, it’s with great pride (and a little fear), that I present this week’s Comics Load, featuring frequent contributor and comics guru Brian Andersen! Take it away, Brian!

Brian‘s Load image

image The Li’l Depressed Boy #4
What I enjoy most about this odd little gem of a comic is that it’s so hard to pin down. It’s a rom-com with heart; it’s a rumination on post-Gen-X living twentysomething pseudo adults and their struggle to figure out their lives; it’s an exploration of a cartoonish near-faceless-doll-like-dude who no one seems to realize is a near-faceless-doll-like-dude. It’s so many things. But overall, it’s just a plain, well-crafted, enjoyable comic, one that just so happens to be very different, extremely fresh and completely left of center. Writer S. Steven Struble and artist Sina Grace make for quite a clever team. We need more comics like this; something this unique deserves a broader audience.
image X-23 #10
I’m really grooving on the Vampire Jubilee promotional tour of 2011. Girl’s appearing in so many comics, she’s starting to give Deadpool and Wolverine a run for their overexposed money. Heck yeah! Way to go, Jubes! Girl Power! And speaking of girl power, I love how X-23 reacts to our new fave bloodsucker hanging around Wolverine; she’s totally jealous! Jealous of Wolverine’s attention and dedication to Jubes. Who would have thought a soulless killer clone would be so needy! Now that I think about it, those dang clones do tend to be VERY clingy. See a therapist and move on, X. You’ll be happier for it.
image Power Girl #24
I’m still waiting for Power Girl to have a purpose: a reason to star in her own comic, something that stands out from Supergirl, Superboy, Superman, Superzombie and Supersarahpalin. So, what’s your angle, P.G.? Why do you deserve your own comic book over, say, Cat-Girl? Aside from this petty gripe of mine, writer Judd Winick has done a great job of giving the character roots. I like the fact that she has a new secret identity, a new non-powered life, and I’m digging on her banter-y relationship with Batman. So far, the book is heading in a positive direction. Just give me a mission statement along with these improvements, and I’d be sold 100% on this solo Power Girl series. As it stands, I’m about a solid 65%.
image Teen Titans #95
I’ve said it a zillion times and I’ll say it again: I adore me some Nicola Scott art. She always draws the best men. If Miss Scott ever reads this feeble attempt at a review, I want her to know that it’s not lost on me that she makes every attempt possible to show not only Superboy’s midriff poking through his tiny, tight shirt, but she also seems to delight in getting him shirtless as often as possible. Yay! As for the story in this issue, the Titans are fighting mythical gods and demons from Indian lore, or some-such. I’m not really sure; I’m focusing on Superboy’s delightfully bared flesh. Yeah, yeah, I have a problem, I know. Oh wait, I can report that the final page shows a ten-armed, ten-headed mountain of a monster called Rankor! Rankor! Yikes, sounds like a painful STD or something. I think I had a case of rankors once, but I got a cream and it cleared right up!
image X-Men: Prelude to Schism #2
Ugh. If I’d had known this whole issue was a never-before-revealed glimpse into Magneto’s past, I wouldn’t have bothered picking it up. Barf. Aside from Professor X, is any X-related character more boring? He’s like a nasty case of rankor that just keeps popping up over and over. How many more things can you do to the character? Really? He’s been bad, he’s been good, he’s been cloned (Remember that sweet and thoughtful Joseph character in the 90s that was all clingy to Rogue? The Maggs clone? I tell you, these clones, they are just so emotionally draining!), he’s been bad, he’s been dead like 20 different times, he’s been powerless, and now he’s good again. I’m SO over him. Also, it doesn’t help that the art in this issue is horrendous. It couldn’t be worse if I drew it myself. Yeah, trust me. It’s THAT bad.
image Alpha Flight #0.1
Start the ticker tape parade! Get Quasimodo to ring those damn bells over Norte Dame. Signal the Blue Angels to fly overhead, heralding the news! Northstar FINALLY f*&king kissed another dude! Yup! OMG! It’s true. After all these years as being the poster boy for Marvel’s gay inclusiveness, after many various superteam memberships, a terrible solo series, dying, turning evil, and always flying around in the background of recent X-Men comics not really doing anything, Northstar finally smooched his boyfriend. Whew! Our national nightmare is over. Cue the marching band playing “Like a Virgin!”
image Avengers #13
32 pages of talking heads. That is all.
image Astonishing X-Men #38
Hey, this was a pretty decent book. Snappy dialogue, the brood’s return (those X-Men aliens that are basically rip-offs of, well, Alien), and the surprisingly newish art style of Juan Bobillo. I’ve been a fan of Bobillo’s since he did that Mekanix mini-series starring Kitty Pryde, the one where she left the X-Men to become a bartender, went to college, had a mini-lesbian-ish moment with fellow mutant Karma, and battled some animal inspired-robotic sentinels. Eh. It was just okay. After that series, Bobillo launched that terrific She-Hulk ongoing series a few years ago that put now-Spider-Man writer Dan Slott on the map. It’s nice to see an artist mature and grow like he has. Wow, I sound like I know him personally or something. It’s like I’m a weird, stalkery uncle. Anyhoot, the reconciliation scene between Lockheed and Kitty was as funny and perfect and enjoyable as they come, which really touches my inner fanboi. We need more Lockheed in our world. Lockheed for President 2012!
image Supergirl #64
Wrapping up the storyline started by the dearly departed Nick Spencer, this issue was pretty good. I’m really loving the art by Bernard Chang. He has such a unique way of laying out a page, and his character shapes and design work really speak to me. Not sure what it is. Maybe it’s the fact that he’s able to draw beautiful women without making them look like $5 hookers on the corner of Hollywood and Vine. Also, I love that Supergirl teams up with her fellow teen heroes, like the seriously under-represented Miss Martian. Now that I think about it, let’s ditch the Power Girl series and develop a teenage superhero drama comic starring Miss Martian as she navigates her way through the perils of a typical hormonal high school. That is a book with a mission statement that I’d SO pick up.
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