Thursday 15 October 2015

Comics Wrap-Up - Grit, a God Killer, and Logan's Son

My reading this week, as far as my beloved comics and graphic novels are concerned, has been heavily verging on the gritty.

Bloodhound #1 from the publisher Dark Horse (which is, as far as I'm concerned, and quite aptly, the dark horse of comic book publishing,) is a rough-tough and bloody issue. It's set in a prison. And things get rougher from there really. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed it, it's well-drawn, the dialogue is tight, and the cover is like a beautiful piece of pop-art that I would willingly hang on a wall.

Thor: God of Thunder #1 deals with the prospect of a serial killer whose victims are gods. It's interesting - and the artwork is beautiful. Honestly, the depictions of Thor on the inside are far better than the (albeit decent,) cover. His hair looks like gold-dust. It's amazing. My only issue (ha, issue,) with the series moving forward is the potential for everything to end up in that confusing, time-travel, time-line, time-is-messed-up trap. Stories dealing with such a large span of time need to be plotted so tightly that I always get a little concerned. The first issue though, is great.

As far as graphic novels go, they don't come much grittier than the Dark Wolverine series. Please, don't make the obvious mistake. Dark Wolverine is not Wolverine. No, the main character here is Daken, Wolverine's troubled son. Daken is a seriously under-appreciated character, adding moral ambiguity, and diversity both in terms of ethnicity (he is half-Japanese, and the word 'Daken' is a slur term meaning 'mongrel,' or 'b*****d dog,') and sexuality (Daken is bisexual,) to the Marvel pantheon. Daken however, is most definitely not his father. He's not a hero - he's an anti-hero; a killer, and possibly a psychopath. But that's part of what makes him so interesting. He has all of Wolverine's broken nature, with little of the light to guide him on his way; he is cruel, merciless, and you still end up on his side.

What my main criticism of Dark Wolverine, Vol 2: My Hero, (US Link,) would be that there is unnecessary levels of faffing about in bras-and-panties. Yes, that curse of 'mature' graphic novels - i.e. the immature need to stick skimpy clothing and boobs in everyone's face, is present here. To me, this is lazy. The rest of the graphic novel is excellent; and, honestly, I don't mind women being objects of sexual desire in some circumstances - for example, when it serves a purpose for the story, or when it's making a point, or when it's done subtly and artfully - but this just tips over into boys drawing boobs for the sake of it to me. It was unnecessary - and that's what annoys me. Granted, we also get some very nice panels of Daken half-clothed, but at least there seems to be some reason behind this - for example, it's hard to keep your clothes in one piece when you've just been beaten up - rather than, 'we need to fill these panels with something - ooh! Soft porn!" Sorry if this seems a bit rant-y, but to me this detracted from the book. But I still love this book, and the Dark Wolverine series as a whole. It's excellent, if probably a bit gory, violent, and sexy, for some tastes.

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