Conspiracies, Espionage & Mole Man Love


Every week Hannibal Tabu (winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt/blogger/novelist/poet/jackass on Twitter/head honcho of Komplicated) grabs a whole lotta comics. These periodicals are quickly sorted (how) into two piles -- the "buy" pile (a small pile most weeks, comprised of planned purchases) and the "read" pile (often huge, often including comics that are really crappy but have some value to stay abreast of). Thursday afternoons you'll be able to get his thoughts (and they're just the opinions of one guy, so calm down, and here's some common definitions used in the column) about all of that ... which goes something like this ...


Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #9

(Marvel Comics)

Ah, romance. It confounds even the most powerful, so when Squirrel Girl's date goes dramatically wrong and Mole Man shows up with what could be considered a legitimate beef, Squirrel Girl is forced into one of her most challenging adventures yet. Without spoiling things, it is challenging to encapsulate how ridiculous and wonderful this turned out. The effervescent Ryan North has done it again with this script, and the visual team of Erica Henderson, Tom Fowler, David Malki, Braden Lamb, Rico Renzi and Travis Lanham turning in another perfectly pitched issue with tension, intimacy and adventure. Great stuff.

Cryptocracy #1

(Dark Horse Comics)

Jump from the Read Pile.

For its ambition alone, this fun conspiracy theory earned a ride home. What if every crazy idea Fox Mulder ever had was not only true, but better organized and professionally run, with a taste of the workplace whimsy of "Superhuman Resources" or "Men in Black" and the competing families of "Lazarus," all in the modern day? You'd get a focus on Agent Shin, a mid-level operative hanging out with his bear-man best friend, managing banks of telepathic Roswell aliens managing the global zeitgeist and secretly feeding nuggets of intel to a fetching tinfoil hat radio host. This is all going really well, so when the script from Van Jensen tosses in a succession crisis and a sense of urgency, this issue immediately "clicked" as the issue told a tale -- a bad day for holders of secrets gets worse -- and enticed for the future. Kudos to visual team Pete Woods and Nate Piekos for taking what could have been a mess and making it masterful. A very nice surprise.

Deathstroke Annual #2

(DC Comics)

Jump from the Read Pile.

Along what's called the Silk Road, multiple less-than-scrupulous parties trade in opium and minuscule volumes of power over others. In a fictional country with a situation like that, Deathstroke comes to town with a plan, an extremely smart and clever plan, that unfolds over the course of this wonderful, surprising book as a masterpiece of murder and mercenary obligation. An assassin named The Balkan is terrorizing an opium cartel and they hire Deathstroke to hack away at his employers. From that simple premise, writer Phil Hester delivers an issue with such care and focus that it's remarkable, down to its pitch perfect ending. The art team of Mirko Colak, Roberto Viacava, Michael Spicer and Dave Sharpe help make this desert tragedy visceral and immediate, perfectly capturing the desolation and desperation of this moment in time. Outstanding stuff.

Mockingbird #4

(Marvel Comics)

Jump from the Read Pile.

If "Danger Girl" was less sizzle and more substance, it would be like this enticing issue where Hawkeye again gets in too deep and his ex-wife has to save him. That's not everything that happens as the titular super spy digs into something literally eating away at her and this issue mixes science, espionage, romance and comic book action (wait until you meet Total Idea Mechanics and can't feel your tongue). This superbly engaging book has Chelsea Cain, Kate Niemczyk, Sean Parsons, Rachelle Rosenberg and Joe Caramagna firing on all pistons, delivering a superbly engaging, re-readable joyride.


Three jumps? Holy crap, that went well!

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