Mike Clarke of BC Refugee Blog Picks Good Stuff for This Week
RED SPIKE #4 OF 5 (Benaroya / Image):
Loss of freedom comes in several degrees, from mild to severe – - – voluntary to involuntary – - -from indenture – - to servitude – -to slavery. As if to put a silent comment on those issues, RED SPIKE #5 takes place in the capital of the world’s largest free nation, on the steps of the Lincoln memorial. How appropriate for the questions and uncertainty that surrounds these proceedings, as the monument itself begins to crumble and fall down and the head of the famous statue itself becomes a weapon.
Just how much freedom do the RED SPIKE black ops team of Matt and Greg have? Do they have any real control over their lives or the freedom to make personal decisions? The loyal soldier with the servant attitude (Matt) must subdue, capture, and return to base with his best friend and fellow Red Spike member (Greg), now a rouge on the run and intent on disruption, rebellion – - and freedom.
This battle takes the foreground this issue, in lavishly illustrated detail. Nothing gets resolved as both members suffer damages, and not necessarily inflicted upon each other. During the skirmish we learn more of the history of the Red Spike program, which became narrowed down to just two members one year prior. The machinations of Colonel Moyer are beginning to be exposed, while the higher-ups in office maneuver to strip him of his authority. Issue 5 looks to be a barn-burner of a wrap-up.
STARBORN #9 (Boom Studios):
I was very impressed with the first two issues of this series, written by rising star Chris Roberson and based on concepts developed by Stan Lee. I’ve neglected this title since then, as well as the other Stan Lee imprinted titles at Boom – - mainly because of restrictions on my time and no other reason. While Issue #9 does not begin a new story arc (it’s been one continuing story) it does serve as a convenient jumping-on point for anyone curious about this title (which I recommend you explore).
In short, the main character is a budding science fiction writer who wasn’t aware that in reality he is a deposed prince from a ruling family of another planet. His science fiction characters and settings mirror his buried memories of his early life and remain as fiction – - until various space-faring races come to Earth looking for him. Since those early issues (which I do plan to write about in this blog at a later date) he has become aware of his true nature as the son of a “space Hitler” and in Issue #9 seeks help from the only other person on Earth familiar with his background. There is much explanation along with the action in Issue #9 and it’s easy to catch up just by reading this one issue.
FEAR ITSELF #5 (Marvel):
Another series I need to catch up with. I haven’t read any of these since #2 but they have been very good and worth a future write-up, probably when the series concludes.
FLASHPOINT: EMPEROR AQUAMAN #3 OF 3 (DC)
FLASHPOINT: FRANKENSTEIN & THE CREATURES OF THE UNKNOWN #3 of 3 (DC)
Great art and great stories. You can probably find all three issues of each still at your local comics shop. Both characters get continuing series in the DC NEW 52 debut, although not necessarily the same setting/characters/storylines as detailed here.
FLY #3 (Zenoscope):
Very entertaining and clever. Regular-seeming youths find themselves with superhero–like enhancements, courtesy of a street drug. There’s a message here with the story, as well as a warning to young readers who will recognize it and pay attention.
THE LIVING CORPSE EXHUMED #1 OF 6 (Dynamite Entertainment):
Tri-state residents and writers/artists Ken Haeser and Buz Hasson revive their creation and bring it to Dynamite for a new series of adventures.
THE RED WING #2 (Image):
I haven’t read this yet, but everything by Jonathan Hickman is super-hot right now. He’s on a roll!
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGE NTS #10 (DC):
I’m going to miss this series once THE NEW 52 arrives. I expect writer Nick Spencer to spring a few more surprises before this (now mini-series) wraps up.
X-MEN #15.1 (Marvel):
I swore off collecting X-Men titles many years ago, but these “Point One” issues among various titles have provided some entertaining intermissions.