Comic Sense With Julia: February 25th Edition

I almost forgot to write an intro for this because I’m just so excited to tell you about what’s coming out tomorrow!! Whether that’s a result of the comics themselves or the caffeine I consumed this morning, we’ll never know! (Jk, it’s the comics. They’re seriously great this week.) So with no further ado, here’s what you should pick up tomorrow!

d4ve good

D4ve #1

Publisher: IDW Publishing

Writer: Ryan Ferrier

Artist: Valentin Ramon

Cover Artist: Fiona Staples

Price: $3.99

All I can think of when I see D4ve’s office at the beginning of this issue is Joe vs. the Volcano and that is certainly not a bad thing. D4ve is our futuristic Tom Hanks stuck in a life of robot monotony. The best part about D4ve #1 is that it’s a typical midlife crisis story, but the fact that it’s about a robot makes it a jillion times more interesting, heart-warming, and unique. The idea that robots have taken over the world and wiped out humanity, but then have simply fallen into the humanistic patterns they were working to eradicate is hilarious and a little sad. Also the robots for some reason have decided that wearing clothes is a necessity now. I’m not complaining because there’s nothing cuter than a one-eyed robot wearing a green hoodie with the hood up. D4ve is charming, but also provokes a good amount of introspection and life contemplation. It makes me want to start talking in robot speak. For example dreams are night-cycles, sleeping is recharging, and milk is oil. Parades are still parades though and robots love them! I’m really enjoying the vibe I get from this comic. Read it!!

criminal good

Criminal: Special Edition

Publisher: Image Comics

Writer: Ed Brubaker

Artists: Sean Phillips and Elizabeth Breitweiser

Cover Artist: Sean Phillips

Price: $4.99

Criminal is back! And not only is it back, but it’s back with a comic within a comic and I am all about that. In this Criminal: Special Edition Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips celebrate the return of Criminal with a 48 page one-shot. The main character, Teeg Lawless (haha his last name is Lawless and he’s in trouble with the law) is in jail and only has the comic book Zangar, The Savage to keep him company. When the other inmates start becoming less than amiable, Lawless uses the rolled up comic as a shiv (wut.) and successfully gouges a dudes eye out with it (double wut??). Criminal has all of the violence, poor parenting, and intrigue that you would expect from a comic called Criminal that’s set in the 70’s and I kind of love it. The interspersing of pages from Zangar with Lawless’ struggle to survive jail and figure out who his enemies are is a great narrative technique that gives us a little insight into Lawless’ actions. For those who grew up on Criminal and those who are just reading it for the first time, Criminal: Special Edition is worth picking up.

curb stomp good

Curb Stomp #1

Publisher: Boom! Studios

Writer: Ryan Ferrier

Artist: Devaki Neogi

Cover Artist: Tula Lotay

Price: $3.99

This comic is everything. It’s The Outsiders, meets West Side Story, meets a group of hella rad ladies, meets a roller derby. Curb Stomp shows the bonds of friendship and family in an intensely visceral way that questions the lengths people will go to save the ones they love. After reading Curb Stomp I was a weird combination of emotional and wanting to dye my hair purple (hey Starbucks, can we pretend purple is a natural hair color if I saw it in a comic?). I know I talk about coloring a lot, but the coloring is just !!!! so good. The vivid pinks, purples, and teals add to the message of striking balance between wanting to spend time with friends and having to make difficult decisions to keep a community safe. The women in this book are strong and well developed and I already feel like I could be friends with all five of them. Read Curb Stomp! For the art, for the characters, for the story, for the colors, for everything! Read it!

zvr2good

Zombies vs. Robots #2

Publisher: IDW Publishing

Writers: Chris Ryall and Steven Niles

Artists: Anthony Diecidue and Val Mayerik

Cover Artist: Ashley Wood

Price: $3.99

Okay, so. I reviewed Zombies vs. Robots #1 when it first came out and I was totally in love with the concept, but not so much in love with the execution of the first issue. There was a lot of back information and, you know, I have a bit of trouble connecting with hunks of programmed metal and lumbering rotting corpses. However, I did not give up hope because I so wanted the second issue to grab me a bit more and guess what! It did! There’s this one panel where a robot is shooting zombies and yelling at them and the combination of art and dialogue makes me want to blow it up to ginormous proportions and frame it on my wall. Zombies vs. Robots #2 provides us with characters to connect with as humans who have been in cryo-sleep on a space station are woken up and prepare to return to earth and one of the robots left to fight zombies has had some wiring issues or some sort of malfunction that is making it shout like an angry human. In all honesty though, what I’m most excited about are the two short stories at the end in Tales of ZVR. They pick up where they left off in the first issue and they are wonderful. Last month we had the incredibly descriptive onomatopoeia, “windy sound” and this month we have, “That windy sound is still being heard! Small twigs breaking sound!” Even with very different artistic styles, these two short stories are both full of heart and robots, including a little robot who says “meep”. The main story is better and the short stories continue to be great, so I stick with my earlier assertion that Zombies vs. Robots is a series to keep your eye on!

they're not like us good

They’re Not Like Us #3

Publisher: Image Comics

Writer: Eric Stephenson

Artist/ Cover Artist: Simon Gane

Price: $2.99

They’re Not Like Us is like the X-Men with no morals. Like, exactly like that. A bunch of youth with powers are in a mansion with one older guy who is the leader, but instead of using their powers for good, they use them for revenge and stealing things. It makes me feel squirmy and grimy when I read it because I’m enjoying it, but I know that these people are awful! It’s an interesting comment on what would happen if people with powers didn’t use them for good, but also didn’t necessarily use them to be villains either. While the actions of the characters in They’re Not Like Us are totally wiggedy wack and not cool, they’ve built up their own system of justification that leads them to believe they are following the correct path. I’m still on the fence about this comic, but I’m not going to lie, I couldn’t put it down while I was reading it.

mister x good

Mister X: Razed #1

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Writer/ Artist: Dean R. Motter

Cover Artist: Ty Templeton

Price: $3.99

Great story: check. Great color scheme: check. Robots: check. Mister X: Razed was so refreshing to read and has all the makings of a phenomenal comic. The story was a straight forward mystery that ended spectacularly. The ending took me off guard in a really positive way, which I announced to everyone sitting near me in the coffee shop. Every week there is one comic that particularly stands out to me and this week Mister X: Razed was it. It has all the charisma of a Nancy Drew story and art straight out of the 50’s. If you read nothing else this week, read Mister X: Razed! Put it at the top of your list.

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