Monday, September 19, 2011

PREVIEWS: What’s new for Wednesday, September 21, 2011?

 

PLANET OF THE APES #6  (BOOM! Studios)  “The Devil’s Pawn: Part 2”  Daryl Gregory, writer. Carlos Magno, art.

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If you’re getting curious about this book and wondering when is the best time to jump in and check it out - - it’s anytime.  Right now is fine.  Anyone with even just a basic familiarity with the Planet Of The Apes universe can quickly pick up on what is happening here and follow the new storyline.  And the script is definitely worthwhile - - as I read I keep being reminded of recent events and seeing the parallels to what is happening here (humans being given rocket launchers and other armaments from a secretive religious cult). 

Revolt and rebellion have broken out following the assassination of the orangutan Lawgiver in Issue #1.  Apes are enforcing a curfew and herding captured humans into “Retraining Camps” to return them to the workforce as useful laborers (or discard them). Various elements in the human  city/slum of  “Skintown” are plotting revenge for the death of Chaika, who became a martyr after attaching a bomb to herself.  Her father Bako, a rebel leader 18 years earlier before the truce between humans and apes was signed, works hard to develop a new cadre of rebels to fight for independence.  And Sullivan, the current mayor of Skintown, forms an uneasy alliance with the strange holy men, led by Kale.   The art work on this book is magnificent, particularly the scenes retelling the bloody battle of Delphi during the last struggle for freedom years earlier.  Keep your eyes on artist Carlos Magno. 

SAMURAI’S BLOOD #4 of 6  (Image / Benaroya)  Owen Wiseman, story.  Nam Kim, Matthew Dalton & Sakti Yomono, art.  Jo Chen, cover. 

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Every issue of Samurai’s Blood, writer Owen Wiseman relates different aspects of the samurai credo in the caption boxes - - little words of wisdom that the story and art then elaborate on and serve as an example of the meaning of the messages. 

The trio of young friends who fled the massacre of their clan in order to later exact revenge have been changed internally and externally in profound ways since their initial departure.  In this issue, Wiseman unfolds a multi-layered story of the continuing efforts to free Mayuko from enforced prostitution as a geisha-girl.   Katashi, the strong and proud companion with the closest ties to true samurai lifestyle, has gained some renown in organized street fights/mortal combat (using a false name to hide his identity) and ties to use his newly gained power and influence to  buy Mayuko’s freedom.  Her brother Daigan, who has assumed the role of leader, arranges a fight between Katashi and a legendary warrior with her release as reward for victory (and death to the loser).   This issue’s story revolves around the concepts of “love” and “betrayal”  - - seeming two sides of the same coin - - and drives its points home in example after example as each character loses their innocence and integrity.

Very powerful stuff.  The curious reader could also easily pick up any issue of this series without starting at the beginning and immediately immerse themselves in this beautifully detailed world.

 

OTHER BOOKS WORTH A LOOK THIS WEEK:   BATMAN #1 (DC);  CAPTAIN AMERICA #3, DAREDEVIL #4 (Marvel);  DAMAGED #2 (Radical); GAME OF THRONES #1 (Dynamite); RED WING #3 , WITCHDOCTOR #3 (Image); SIMPSON TREEHOUSE OF HORROR #17 (Bongo); SOLDIER ZERO #12,  (BOOM!)

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