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RUviews: Hellos and Goodbyes

Written by GHERU on Monday, April 23 2012 and posted in Columns

RU said hello to some new books recently and immediatley turned around and kicked them to the curb.  Were there any new to RU books that made the cut?

Voodoo Child, Saucer County, Fairest, The New Deadwardians, Mondo, Thief Of Thieves, Prophet, Guillermo del Torro's The Strain, Astonishing X-Men, Northlanders, and DMZ

Hello there internet people, its your good buddy RU saying "Hello", "Goodbye", and everything in between to some new and finished books from the past year or so.  With all that being said, lets get this started.

(As usual, a text version of the RUviews is available below the video)

Vertigo's four new #1's – To say that Vertigo batted an even .500 with its four new books – Voodoo Child, Saucer Country, Fairest, and The New Deadwardians – is being very generous.  To get the bad out of the way first; I had to force myself to finish Voodoo Child.  There was absolutely nothing about the comic that held my interest or even inspired me to keep turning the pages.  The tale itself was tired and boring with art that was so absurdly lame that it actively made me angry.  I don't mean the skill involved, obviously Denys Cowan has the technical abilities to draw comics, it's just that I don't need all the characters to be labeled with what they are on their clothing.  All four of the college kids had the name and/or city of their school on their sweatshirts.  There was even a course cop tagged with "Police" written across his vest (but only for one panel?). This might seem to be a petty thing to focus on, but the art was the only part of this comic where I could see actual talent involved in its creation. - Goodbye

Saucer Country was an utterly forgettable exercise in run of the mill X-Files sci-fi and an utter disappointment from a writer, Paul Cornell, from whom I've come to expect better. - Goodbye

The obvious cash grab that is Fairest wasn't too bad.  I had already decided that I would probably be getting this book in trade, and the only damage issue #1 did to that plan was to make is so that I won't necessary purchase the trades the week they come out, rather putting them on the "wait for a slow week list." Phil Jimenez hit the art out of the park and should give lessons on how to draw beautiful women without making them look like whores (Greg Land, I'm looking at you). – Goodbye, for now.

By far, The New Deadwardians was the highlight of the new batch of Vertigo books.  Dan Abnett tells a tale of murder and mystery in a world where everyone is already undead.  If there is anything to be said for this vampire/zombie craze we are going through right now it's that good creators are forced to be even more creative in making the undead interesting.  The lead character is at both interesting and normal creating a character who like, in most of the mystery books I like, I care more about then the crime itself.  My only complaint about The New Deadwardians is that I found out the day it came to me from DCBS that it was an 8-issue mini rather than an ongoing.  For that reason I am trade waiting, but I will preorder the collection as soon as possible. – Hello.

Ted McKeever's Mondo is a book I wish I could toss at every single person out there constantly complaining about the lack of non-superhero books.  Mondo is a beautifully drawn comic whose art takes the role of primary storyteller with words used to fill in the detail (basically a reversal of what I normally expect from a comic).  I have no idea what this book is about or where its going, except that the primary antagonist seems to be a giant chicke, but unlike so many new comics these days, this confusion is endearing, effortless, and creative rather than feeling like its following the structure of some other book.  The only reason this is wait for trade is because of the Golden Age size of the book and my lack of storage for monthlies of that size.  Mondo is a welcomed addition to my trade pull list (already pre-ordered vol. 1). – HELLO!

Other recent "hello to the trade wait list" books are Thief Of Thieves (the investor book of 2012 so far), Prophet, and Guillermo del Torro's The Strain.  All of these books had first issues that entertained me enough to look forward to reading more, just not enough to care about on a monthly basis.

Before moving on to the two books I am sad to say "Goodbye" to, I want to give a special "Hello" to a writer I've never had the privilege of reading before; Marjorie Liu.  Her first issue of Astonishing X-Men, #48, was one of the best issues of that comic I've read since Joss Whedon's first arc - a respect for the past and a good eye for the future.  I'm not going to go and look for books she's written in the past – I don't have an interest in X-23 – but I hope she gets more work on properties I care about.

Finally, it is with a heavy heart that we said goodbye to Northlanders and DMZ this year.  Although far from perfect, Northlanders was a consistently good and creative book that solidified Brian Wood as a creator I will buy anything from.  I'm happy that he has found the freedom he was looking for, and even happier DC let him finish his story.  Northlanders was a comic about Vikings, and that was it.  It was a 50 issue series with arcs that all held up on their own, with stories readers could pick and choose from.  A true anthology book and I will miss it.

And then there is DMZ, the book that introduced me to Brian Wood, the book that was the last book (the book I want to read the most) I read every week it was out, the book whose last issue I put off for a month because I didn't want it to end.  DMZ is one of the few books I look forward to double dipping for if and when Vertigo publishes oversized HCs ala Preacher, 100 Bullets, and FablesDMZ #72 was not the story I wanted it to be, it wasn't the redemption issue I was hoping for, it wasn't Y: The Last Man #60.  DMZ #72 was the perfect ending to an almost perfect series.  DMZ #72 was the issue that reminded me why I am not a writer, because I would have written what I wanted, not what the story needed.  I am sad to see DMZ and Northlanders end, but Brian Wood is taking over for that hack Gishler on X-Men, he's been writing a great limited series, Wolverine and the X-Men: Alpha and Omega, and has a new creator owned book with Dark Horse coming out.  Brian Wood's Vertigo books will be missed, but I'll follow his work to whatever properties he goes to next.

'till I get off my ass and do this again, later peeps.

RUviews on Facebook
RU on Twitter @IamGHERU

Written or Contributed by: GHERU

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About the Author - GHERU

RU, or as he’s known in the writers’ room: the cute one, is relatively unappreciated in his time.  RU’s YouTube show, RUviews is watched by literally multiple people every month and his Outhouse articles have helped line many a bird cage.  Before you send RU a message, he knows that there are misspelled words in this article, and probably in this bio he was asked to write.  RU wants everyone to know that after 25+ years of collecting he still loves comic books and can’t believe how seriously fanboys take them.  RU lives in Akron Ohio (unfortunately) with WIFE, ‘lilRuRu, and the @DogGodThor.  You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, & even Google+ (if anyone still uses that).


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