Thursday, September 13, 2012

Paranormal Pop Comics Sept. 12

BY ERIN WOLF

School is back in session and already telekinetic wonderkid Peter Stanchek has a demerit, the Lord of Nightmares has gone train hopping in his sleep and the Hoax Hunters are mixing their metaphors. But don't worry, old school Batman has returned to bring us back to the basics in this week's Paranormal Pop Comics Rundown:

Harbinger #4 – Pick of the week!
Valiant
Written by Joshua D. M. Dysart; Art by Khari Evans, Lewis LaRosa
Peter Stanchek is having trouble in school. Only at his school, instead of Math and English, Peter and his fellow psionics practice telepathy and psychokinesis in order to learn how to control and hone their special abilities. The founder of the Harbinger Foundation, Toyo Harada, is desperate to lead Peter, who is by far more powerful than the other students, down a road where his abilities would best be utilized under careful guidance. The only thing Harada didn’t seem to plan for was the moodiness and rebellious nature of a disgruntled adolescent and boy, is Peter Stanchek one temperamental teen. In accepting Peter into his school, has Harada created an esteemed super-protégé or a dangerous enemy? I predict we will soon discover in the next issue of "Harbinger" that the line between Valedictorian and Evil Overlord is a very thin one.

American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares #4 (of 5)
Vertigo
Written by Scott Snyder; Art by Dustin Nguyen
Who knew that one lil’ ol’ Vampire could cause such a ruckus? As "Lord of Nightmares" races towards a conclusion faster than a brakeless freight train, let’s take a moment to reflect on the chaos, death and destruction this Vampire of Vampires has caused so far and he’s still asleep in his coffin! With plenty of exploding bridges, espionage, helicopters and mountains of snow to fill an opening montage of a James Bond film; Scott Snyder unveils this issue of "American Vampire" like an action movie wrapped in a spy novel wrapped in a sneaky train heist caper film directed by Steven Soderbergh. All I have to say is, if the most powerful Vampire of all time jumps out of his stolen coffin wearing a tux and drinking a martini - someone better call Sean Connery’s agent and tell him he’s got a potential hit film franchise on his hands.

Batman #0
DC
Written by Scott Snyder; Art by Greg Capullo
This is classic Batman at his best and who better to write it than Scott Snyder? Fresh off the "Court of Owls" arc, Snyder is back and so is Bruce Wayne in "Batman" #0. In the opening pages of DC's newest 52, we find baby-faced Bruce testing out some new gadgets and disguises while trying to infiltrate the ranks of the bank robbin’ no good Red Hood gang. There is also a particularly tense scene between a suspicious Lieutenant Gordan and Bruce Wayne as one of Batman’s newest gadgets ticks down the time to impact thus potentially exposing Bruce’s secret vigilante identity. It’s always nice to go back to the classics and luckily, reading "Batman" #0 is reminiscent of the first time I ever met The Batman and that is a good thing. Feels like the first time…

Hoax Hunters #3
Image
Written by Michael Moreci, Steve Seeley; Art by Axel Medellin
When I read the tagline “It doesn’t matter what you believe; only what we can disprove,” on the last page of this week’s "Hoax Hunters" issue #3, many questions ran through my mind. First of all, it implies that what “we believe” is irrelevant, even though "we" are the audience. Also, why must the Hoax Hunters “disprove” anything? What if you do “prove” something, which seems to happen more often than not to the Hoax Hunters? Half of the investigative team has been touched with some sort of paranormal gift, wouldn't it make more sense for the Hoax Hunters to adopt a credo that was less cynical and more open-minded? Maybe I misunderstood the concept, but to me, Hoax Hunters is intended to be tongue in cheek book but the problem is, there doesn’t quite seem to be enough cheek to hold the tongue. There is a very open arena in the world of paranormal comics with an audience ready and willing to follow a story that pokes fun at the world of paranormal investigating, but this book just falls short. Not for lack of effort, but perhaps more originality and less pop culture monster sampling would do to push Hoax Hunters towards realizing its full potential.

Also released this week:
Avenger vs. X-Men #11 (of 12) Marvel
Before Watchmen: Comedian #3 (of 6) DC
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Freefall #13 Dark Horse
The Darkness #106 Image
Fanboys vs. Zombies #6 Boom!
Saucer Country #7 Vertigo
The Strain #8 Dark Horse
The Waking: Dreams End #4 (of 5) Zenescope

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