Friday, June 8, 2012

Paranormal Pop Comics June 6

BY ERIN WOLF

It’s all scrapbooks and warm fuzzies for DC’s newest prequel series Before Watchmen, while Dial H’s unlikely protagonist splatters the streets with bullets and snail goop, leaving the angst-ridden, pill-poppin’ teenage Harbinger-to-be no excuse but to straighten up when he finally meets his mentor in this week’s Paranormal Pop Comics breakdown:

Before Watchmen:
Minutemen #1 (of 6)

DC Comics
Written by Darwyn Cooke; Art and Cover by Darwyn Cooke

Probably one of the most anticipated comics of the year, and certainly the most controversial, the first issue of Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1 was finally released Wednesday in a blaze of sepia toned glory. Dealt with the impossibly ambitious task of penning the beginning of the Minutemen prequel with the legendary Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons series Watchmen looming over him, Darwyn Cooke does a fine job of introducing the diverse roster of the original Minutemen vigilantes from a perspective of nostalgic hopefulness which is unique from the subsequent Watchmen generation’s pessimistic sentiment. The prequels are presented as excerpts from Hollis’ (Nite Owl) memoir “Under the Hood” which documents the history of the original Minutemen. However, even though he knows how the story ends, Hollis looks back on his time as a crime fighter fondly, “From here, in my empty apartment, I can only see the good.” It is an interesting sight to see the octuplet gang of ragtag superheroes as they were in their separate lives before they assembled any sort of organized team. I think the fans will find it delightful to follow the hopelessly flawed, inevitably doomed, yet slightly idealistic, and well intentioned group of folks that will in time come to call themselves the Minutemen.

Dial H #2
DC Comics
Written by China Mieville; Art by Mateus Santolouco

Any story that begins with an overweight dude wallowing in his own dark depression as he chain smokes cigarettes, hunched over a small kitchen table in a dirty apartment is aces with me. I like sad, sympathetic characters but I like it even more when these type of underdogs are the ones that later turn into popular, beguiling and flashy Superheroes. Okay, so sometimes the “hero” our protagonist gets turned into after he Dials H-E-R-O at the local phone booth isn’t so glamorous and approachable. But, it gets the job done…most of the time. In this week’s issue, Nelson’s Dial H hero, the Iron Snail, makes even a slow moving mollusk appear to be badass. But, our slovenly savior is about to discover that crime fighting isn’t all “smack” and “slam” when a purple caped red headed babe shows up and gives him a warning that could change everything. Dial tone…


Harbinger #1
Valiant
Written by Joshua D. M. Dysart; Art by Khari Evans

If Mel Gibson couldn’t handle the chaos of a woman’s stream of consciousness in What Women Want, then I don’t know how teenager Peter Stanchek plans on surviving even one more day with the stray thoughts of every passerby resounding in his head. It is no surprise that his gift, or shall we say curse, has driven him to swallow pills and take up with his sidekick crazy Joe. Unfortunately, Pete’s yearning for normalcy and his regret of a youth misspent has landed the dynamic duo back in their hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. The boys make short work of blowing their cover and soon Joe is off his meds and being interrogated by the police, while Pete has put his childhood sweetheart under a love potion #9 spell with his glowing eyes. Thank goodness for the wisdom of Toyo Harada and his desire to bring lost Peter Stanchek under his wing as a psionic-powered Harbinger, without whom Pete would be either lost or dead. Now if we can only find a mysterious father figure for sidekick Joe who isn’t afraid to administer a good spanking…

Also released this week:
30 Days of Night #8
IDW
Avengers vs. X-Men #5
Marvel
Crossed: Badlands #7
Avatar
Extermination #1
Boom!
i, Zombie #26
Vertigo
Steamcraft #1
Antarctic Press
Swamp Thing #10
DC

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