The Randomiser

From The Department Of Redundancy Department:  random raves and rants on various books seemingly chosen at random . . . . . . ..

TIME LINCOLN: FISTS OF FUHRER #1  (June 2010 cover date, Antarctic Press)  Story & Art by Fred Perry; Coloring by Robby Bevard & Wes Hartman

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I’m glad to see that TIME LINCOLN is returning in a series of one-shot books  = because the first issue was  tons of fun;  and this new addition continues the merriment.  In his final hour, in the minutes between lapsing into a coma after Booth’s fatal shot and eventually passing away, Abraham Lincoln surfed the “void” through time.  FISTS OF FURHRER continues the unknown history of Time Lincoln, who lived a lifetime in one hour and prevented numerous unknown catastrophes that never made it to the history books because they never occurred.  (Whew – that’s almost as hard to clarify in one sentence as it is to comprehend.)

Without taking away from any of the fun (like the exchange between a flustered John Adams and a pre-occupied Benjamin Franklin) Fred Perry does his best to further explain and clarify the inner workings of the Void,  a “formless dimension” that lurks around us and allows those who know how to contact it to use it to travel through time.   The “Time Tyrant”, Void Stalin, gets some new competition this time in the person of  Mephitler = a 1940’s dictator experimenting with the Void who discovered a way to use it to access “dark alternatives” and set himself up with an army of demonazis (goose-stepping fang-toothed soldiers).

With the aid of Ben Franklin and Albert Einstein, Lincoln dispatches Mephitler just in time to prevent his using Einstein’s stolen works to create an atomic time bomb.  Lincoln utilizes a mechanical glove devised by Einstein, the “mass less ultra relativistic particle scrambler” , to pummel Mephitler back into the deeper reaches of the Void with a Street-Fighter like “Rising Void Punch” uppercut.

I’ve been interested in Fred Perry’s manga-influenced comics for awhile but have never been hooked enough by the random issues of his GOLD DIGGERS that I’ve read to continue on a regular basis.  TIME LINCOLN is a title that I’ll be coming back to.  In fact, the next edition (taking place in Cuba), is featured in the latest PREVIEWS catalog for January 2011 release.

WARRIORS THREE  #1 of 4  (January 2011, Marvel)  Bill Willingham, Writer;  Neil Edwards, penciler; Scott Hanna, inker; Frank Martin, colorist

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I remember a few years back (pre-JMS) when Thor was nowhere to be found in the Marvel-verse.  Now it seems like every month brings a new Thor title.   The latest is this limited series, focusing on his best buddies, the Warriors Three.  I’ve always liked this trio so I’m happy to see them get some attention, especially when the scripting duties are handed over to Bill Willingham.  He understands god and myths so well.

It’s a nice break for Willingham, and a chance to break away from his FABLES creation (now into its centennial moments) and play with some Norse mythology for a change of pace.   As you might expect,  Willingham walks  into this very nicely and doesn’t miss a step, as if he’s been involved in this section of the Marvel-verse for a long time.   He  portrays completely those character traits that define Fandral, Volstagg, and Hogun in brief glimpses during their off-duty moments, and then sets about to beginning a very engaging tale.

Willingham brings a previously neglected creature of Norse lore into the forefront (the vicious and intelligent Fenris Wolf), updates it for the 21st century, and puts his creative stamp upon it. The Fenris Wolf as depicted here is of gigantic proportions and is as crafty as it is ruthless.  Feared by Asgardians for its massive destructive capabilities  and realizing how difficult it is to bring down, they hid it away in chained captivity on a secluded isle in a forgotten corner of the nine worlds.  

Now a group of AIM scientists find a way to travel through the nine worlds to make a pact with the Fenris Wolf and release it so it may exact its’ revenge on Asgard.  The call goes out to begin the wolf hunt, and the Warriors Three set about on their own quest, utilizing a short cut that puts them in peril at the end of Issue #1.   If you enjoy THOR and / or FABLES, you’ll want to check this out.

WARLORD OF MARS #1  ($1 introductory price - November 2010 release date, Dynamite Entertainment)  Written by Arvid Nelson; Illustrated by Stephen Sadowski; Colored by Adriano Lucas; Lettered by Troy Peteri

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   Give credit to Dynamite Entertainment for doing a great job with their adaptations of classic works (The Lone Ranger, Green Hornet, etc) . They seem to find the perfect blend of writers and artists to make older, familiar material seem new and fresh.  It’s sure to bring back those who remember the classic characters as well as grab new readers experiencing the material for the first time.

I’ve been a long-time fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ JOHN CARTER OF MARS books.  I read some of them during my early youth, and devoured the entire series following my college years.   I have a full set of the very fine but short lived Marvel adaptations (by Marv Wolfman and Gil Kane, among others).  Based on what I find in this first issue, I have high hopes for WARLORD OF MARS.

Writer Arvid Nelson does a fine job of laying out the background behind the post-Civil War storyline (the real one, not the Marvel version) by introducing two of the main players and relating  some character-defining moments that occurred just before they meet for the first time on Mars.  Back on Earth, John Carter finds himself embroiled in a saloon conflict with some trash-talking ex-Union soldiers.  They bait him as we learn that Carter’s strongly held principles and pride can often lead him into deadly trouble.   On Mars, the four-armed green giant Tars Tarkas displays both his battle skills as well as his dignity and “humanity”  while rescuing the captives of the cannibalistic great white apes.

The art by Sadowski is a joy to view.  His action scenes are dynamic, but it’s his skill at conveying the proper emotions through facial expressions that impresses even more.  The two-page text piece at the back of the book, allegedly written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, is a nice touch and a great way to end the first issue.  I’m looking forward to more. 

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