Monday, February 14, 2005

Quick Comic Takes

I spent the weekend in Houston, and in one of the malls there is a comic shop which is great for readers like me to just wander in and pick up things cold. The two I picked up were:

Vimanarama #1

I wasn't sure what to expect from this sort of new romantic epic superhero tale by Grant Morrison and Philip Bond. For the most part I've always been fascinated by the huge imagination Grant has, but tend to find that the execution and resolution of that imagination lacking. In this first issue he seems to have harnessed that imagination for the good though.

The book revolves around an Indian teen named Ali, who is in fear of meeting the wife his father has picked for him. He finds distraction when his brother has an accident at the family store, revealing a hidden underground world.

When he goes in search of his baby brother who has wandered into the strange world. He meets his would be bride, and finds an adventure with an old evil race of world conquerors, and competition for his new love in a strange group of superbeings leader, who seems to be sort of a Hindu Superman.

Bond's art really brings the world to life. From the comedic actions of Ali and his brother discussing whether God hates him or not, the eerie spookiness of the hidden monsters, to the wide eyed imaginative designs of the hidden world and its inhabitants. Everything fits together but is given its own personality as well.

I look forward to seeing where the series goes from here, as it looks like it'll be a fun ride. Yet also an interesting one given how it not only gives insight into a culture that is different from mine, but in a way that makes it something I can relate to.

Young Avengers #1

First issues of mainstream superhero titles are a real crapshoot sometimes. Time is usually taken to establish who the characters were, and what they become for the series premise, and you don't really get a feel for what the book is really going to be like.

This issue breaks that mode a little bit anyway, as the team is already established and active. Plus a possible drive for the series seems to be established, with the teen heroes coming in conflict with their older counterparts who feel they know what is best.

The dialogue by Allan Heinberg is good, though I don't even know the characters history or even what they look like out of costume. I'm already getting a sense of them by how they interact with each other.

One thing I thought was sort of cool, and gave me a bit of a Legion of Super-Heroes vibe, is the goofy codenames and outfits that seem to fit the members personalities. The design sense and pacing by artists Jim Cheung and John Dell was quite impressive.

Though Cheung may want to work on developing more diverse faces, as I don't think Jessica Jones was supposed to remind me of the Ethan character from his work on CrossGen's Scion.

I'm not won over by the book yet, there really wasn't enough to make a definitive judgment on yet. I am intrigued enough to want to see more though, which is pretty good for a first issue with mostly new characters.

No comments: