Fear Agent Library, Volume 1, The Books Of Magic, The Deluxe Edition, Scalped, Volume 10: Trail's End, Darkwing Duck: F.O.W.L. Disposition, Hellboy: The Right Hand Of Doom, Dark Horse Presents
Hello there internet people, it’s your good buddy, RU, here continuing his escape from the comic book fort. For the foreseeable future, the RUviews will primarily be focused on the trades and other collections that have trapped me in the basement, but if there are any new comics you’d like me to take a look at shoot me a message either on YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter.
So, off we go:
Fear Agent Library, Volume 1 – Holy kosher pigs on a stick, this book is fantastic! It’s been on my “to read” list for a long time, and when this oversized HC came out I bought it blind, meaning I’d never read Fear Agent before, and I was not disappointed. First of all this thing is a great deal, $50 for an oversized collection of three trades and enough back-ups (Tales of the Fear Agent) to make a fourth trade, all the art is re-mastered, and the book itself is gorgeous. Besides all that, the story is amazing. Set a couple years in our future – flashbacks seem to take place when the book was being published – Fear Agent tells the story of a lone human who, for his own reasons, took his whiskey and left Earth after it was almost destroyed by an alien invasion. There are some pretty big plot-holes that I hope will be filled in with the publication of the second library edition like where does Heath Huston get whiskey in space and how do all these aliens know what a human is if they’ve only been in space worthy for about 5 years, and some other details that if you let yourself notice them can take you out of the story, so don’t do that!
I will say that I did not enjoy the arcs that were drawn by Jerome Opena as much as I did the Tony Moore chapters. Not saying that Opena did a bad job, but following Moore is no easy task and reading Opena’s stuff right after Moore’s chapters (without the month or more wait) was jarring. Already pre-ordered Fear Agent Library, Volume 2 and will probably be depressed when I finish that as there is no more for me to read.
The Books Of Magic, The Deluxe Edition – Quick confession, I ordered this without really looking at the description thinking they were finally collecting the Books Of Magic ongoing in glorious HC, so this is an accidental double dip for me. I’m not upset though, because I hope this and the return of Tim Hunter in Justice League Dark means that DC will be publishing the ongoing eventually.
Book Of Magic is Gaiman at his finest. This is a book that appeals to readers of all ages and tastes. Before Harry Potter there was Tim Hunter, this generation’s Merlin, and his unlikely inductors into the world of magic, John Constantine, The Stranger, Mister E, and Doctor Occult. The four members of the “Trench Coat Brigade” give Hunter a tour of Magic’s past, present, future, and in-between all while being chased by enemies both inside and out. As a limited series, Books Of Magic is near the top of the list, as a lesson in how to leave stuff behind for other writers to build off of it is a lesson in perfection. There does not appear to be the normal comic book prima-donna egotism attached to this creation, rather Gaiman leaves the reader with the impression that he wants Tim’s tale to be told and he has faith that someone will pick it up.
Buy this book, if only so DC thinks deluxe editions of the ongoing will sell well.
Scalped, Volume 10: Trail’s End – Maybe it’s because I read the last four trades of Scalped back to back to back to back but by the end of the series I began to feel like the book had lost its way. It seemed that rather than solve a problem by thinking or trying to write his way out of a corner Jason Aaron just decided to kill off anyone that was in his way. I know that after he murdered someone there was no “happy ending” for Dash, or anyone for that matter, but surely even in these grim and gritty comics there is some room for happiness. Scalped was a great series, no doubt, but it did lose some of its heart there towards the end with the last few trades feeling like repetitive filler that should have been edited out.
My recommendation; read Scalped, but spread it out some, this is one of those books that it is easy to become over-loaded with.
Darkwing Duck: F.O.W.L. Disposition – BOOM! Studio’s Darkwing Duck book proves that you can go back again. As I’ve discussed before in a previous episode this comic, canceled because Disney doesn’t want us to have nice things, captures the voice, tone, feel, and look of the 1990’s classic cartoon almost perfectly. If you are around my age and have kids that are too young for Spider-Man but too old for Owly I’d highly recommend these trades. There are only five with F.O.W.L. Disposition being the fourth and they are too much fun.
Hellboy: The Right Hand Of Doom – I’m going to say something that I am not sure I’ve seen anyone else ever say: I do not like the Hellboy comics. Four and a half trades in and I do not care one bit about any of the characters, the story, or anything to do with this universe. There is obvious talent here, Mignola has a plan and a style that works great for him and I do not want to take anything away from that, but I’m out. I think that the only reason I lasted past the second trade was because Hellboy is one of those comics we are all supposed to like and it took me longer than it should have to realize that I was faking enthusiasm for a property that doesn’t speak to me. All the stories seem to be on a wash-rinse-and-repeat cycle that holds no interest for me. I actually feel guilty that I don’t like this book.
Dark Horse Presents – Although not technically a trade, Dark Horse Presents is thick enough that they can but the name of the book on its spine so I’m allowing it in this RUview. I picked up Dark Horse Presents with issue #19 because of the return of my favorite Comics Greatest World hero, X, but its staying on my pull list for everything else. I've already published a Ritten RUview of Dark Horse Presents #19 but the highlight of the issue had to be the eight page Mind MGMT story by Matt Kindt. In eight pages Matt Kindt told a better, more detailed, better looking, character developing story than Old Man Logan did in eight issues (and 16 months). After reading What’s The Magic Word? I immediately pre-ordered MIND MGMT Volume 1 as I needed more as soon as possible. Damn fine read. If you are looking for a great anthology book that lets you test out what is out there out there or coming soon, Dark Horse Presents is well worth the money.
Ok, well, that ran long didn’t it? I still have read trades that didn’t make this cut. Maybe next time.