Pull! July 5th 2013

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Happy 4th of July weekend to all my fellow pyros fireworks enthusiasts out there! On with the show….

AVP #3: (Boom) I was all sortsa excited about this one when I saw the title. Alien vs. Predator? Sweet! But in fact, this is Aliens vs. Parker, and it’s about a guy who works as a space delivery man. He falls for a girl, grabs a spaceship in order to follow her, then gets stuck on a planet full of….yep. I wish I could say this is awesome, but the main characters – Parker and his buddy Modi – are so hyper that I’m rooting for the aliens. And the Marine that saves them is kind of a douche. The good news? This is a 4 part series. Pity AVP uses hyperactivity as humor; a little bit is good, but every page is overkill. At least Manuel Bracchi draws cute baby aliens. Bumped up a half star for the SpaceEx slogan “We know how to handle your package”. I’ll take that on a tshirt, please. (2.5 out of 5)

Catalyst Comix #1: (Dark Horse) Wait – is this story using the West Wing’s President Santos? A’yup. So! Many! Exclamation! Points! The background narrative reads like an acid trip to the Golden Age of comics. Except writer Joe Casey is having a conversation with himself, rather than with the readers. And that’s just the first story; there’s two more in Catalyst. They’re tied together by the general “ZOMG the world may end” premise, and they’re just as convoluted as the first one. Lovely art by Dan McDaid, Paul Maybury and Ulises Farinas can’t save the overblown chaos that is this issue. (2 out of 5)

Dexter #1: (Marvel) I love Dexter. Well okay, I stopped watching last season, because it felt like it had jumped the shark. (Though I am open to revisiting that assessment.) Now Marvel is giving us a dose of everyone’s favorite do-gooder serial killer. Jeff Lindsay takes Dexter to his high school reunion and we get to meet Dexter’s former nemesis. Who doesn’t seem to have changed a bit. Pages 6 & 7 switch from Dexter’s usual first person narrative to third person, which is jarring (and something that an editor should have cleaned up), but this miniseries has a story that is looking like a fun non-premium-channel way to get your Dexter fix. (3.5 out of 5)

Clive Barker’s Next Testament #2: (Boom) Barker’s take on the Second Coming is a glorious look at what humanity believes God should be, and what a higher power probably is. Wick, the God that created us all (or at least says he did) is ready to get down to business. Haemi Jang’s art is beautiful as ever, but the rainbow letters of Steve Wands are the stand out here; if a lord of colors spoke, I’d bet that’s how it’d be. But Wick ain’t here for fun and games y’all. And the last panel ends with a bang. Bring forth issue #3! (4 out of 5)

Emily and the Strangers #3: (Dark Horse) This is the final issue of a special Emily the Strange story, and it’s got all the gorgeous, detailed art of Emily Ivie, plus a rock and roll battle! I’m a fan of Emily (okay, I’m really a fan of her cats), and this was a neat little miniseries. Is the theme a bit treacle? Yeah, but what do you expect from an all ages series? Not as much feline awesome as I’d like to see, but I’m betting that just as we’ll most likely see Emily and her bandmates again, we’ll see plenty of kittenness in Emily’s regular series. Fun stuff for kids, but emo-gal and rock and roll fans will find something to smile about too. (3.5 out of 5)

Screwed #2: (Zenoscope) I love the character of Special Agent Erin Scott. A gal that survived a serial killer’s advances and refuses to let that weaken her. Then there’s Anne, a woman with tons of scars and no memory; a woman who sees monsters everywhere. This is getting better and better, with gorgeous colors by Oracle that bring the incredible detail of David Miller’s pencils to life. Screwed is only a 6 part series, and I’m already hoping for more. (4.5 out of 5)

Camping: (DuskBunnies) Three guys go out for a bros weekend. Beer, campfire, shooting the shit. But as the story progresses, things aren’t all that great. The guys find themselves lost, and it’s all downhill from there. Mike Eshelman has a great story idea, and the minimalist art from Alex LeVasseur keeps readers focused on the horrors. But the big reveal isn’t focused, which left me wondering what was going on. The final page – where Eshelman and LeVasseur discuss the story – ties things up nicely, but I would rather have had a reveal panel that was a bit more coherent. Still, mad props for a killer (heh) story. (4 out of 5)

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