- Briggs Land: Lone Wolf #4
- Dark Knights: Metal #2
- Grass Kings #7
- Mister Miracle #2
- Ninjak #0
- Skin & Earth #3
It’s a shorter pull this week, but it also happens to be ample ammunition for those who would want to claim that my reading interests aren’t sufficiently diversified. That’s right, from top to bottom that’s a Dark Horse, DC, BOOM, another DC, Valiant, and Dynamite title. Don’t worry, I won’t let it go to my head.
Brian Wood and Mack Chatter’s Briggs Land: Lone Wolves is ample proof of the narrative power and freedom that opens up when a solid foundation is set. I’ve said in past weeks that I actually consider this follow-up to be superior…but it’s only able to take the focus it does, and allow certain characters to operate in a more peripheral role, because of the work the original did. This still stands as one of my #1 series for “people that love premium channel dramas, but aren’t into comics…yet.”
DC has entries in two highly lauded limited run series that premiered last month, rolling out their second issues this month. That would be Mister Miracle by King and Gerads, and Dark Knights: Metal by Snyder and Capullo. The latter for me gets the edge, though…if one had to choose. Mister Miracle featured some great distortion-y art from Gerads that felt like an overplayed VHS tape, and the work managed to be mysterious and allow the questions to stockpile…but I’m not sure I’d call it a masterwork. Metal likely benefited from the fact that it didn’t have comics criticism calling it the greatest work of the decade, one that would drive us out of the “dark ages of comics” that I never knew we were in in the first place. Metal felt like someone had dug up all of their action figurines, smashed them together, and wrote a book about it. And I mean that in the best way possible. You don’t normally get Dream the Endless, Red Tornado, and a Power Rangers homage in the same work. Normally.
I’ve talked about this before. I’m about to talk about it again. But I’ll try to keep it brief. Transitioning from arc one to arc two of a book seems like the toughest thing to do in a way that is, or at least feels organic. Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins masterfully planted a few seeds over the first arc, whose bloom is perfectly time with the arc’s closure. As the final page wraps, we discover that the Grass King’s utopia might have a deeper, darker threat than the neighboring town…one that was thought to be decades old, or not even real in the first place. But neither of those conclusions were correct.
As for another Kindt work, Ninjak #0 will be his torch-passing to Christos Gage, as the title, in usual Valiant fashion, gets a little shift to Ninja-K next month. I’ve seen preliminary pages which look promising, and I’ve actually read some of Gage’s earlier work on the Bloodshot/H.A.R.D Corps team-up. Even if Gage needs a bit of time to “set his feet” so to speak, Tomas Giorello, who kicked off recent hit X-O, will do the same for this Valiant title.
Finally, there’s Canadian synthpop artist LIGHTS’ third issue of Skin & Earth, a tie-in to her upcoming album of the same name. And for those wondering, this self-taught artist is handling the writing/art/lettering/coloring all by her lonesome…so while it might come across a little “rough” visually, it remains an altogether impressive feat.