Lots of indie books fulla monster-fighting this week, which is just how I like it.
First up, Mystery Society hit the magic number and so it's time for the long-absent THIRD ISSUE RECAP to make its triumphant return. Here's the poop: young wealthies Nick Hammond and his wife Anastasia Collins have started the Mystery Society in order to investigate/bring to light the occult, aliens, government conspiracies and so forth. All of the usual stuff. The story starts [[in media res with Nick in prison, then flashes back to the formation of the Society, which involved a) advertising for members and b) breaking into Area 51 to liberate a pair of pshychic twins who had been cryogenically frozen since the 50s. The break-in has had repurcussions (specifically, trumped-up murder charges) and now the whole society is on the run from government forces.
There is nothing inherently and explosively original about this setup, but I am very much enjoying the execution. Rather than defaulting to the standard "paranormal investigation" cliches (bigfoot, the Greys, yadda yadda), Niles and Staples are making up interesting new weird things for the heroes to encounter - in this issue, for instance a remote-controlled alien blob monster that occupies a brutish humanoid battlesuit. Heck, the two members of the Society that joined up via the advertisement are themselves pretty neat: the first is Secret Skull, a twentysomething girl who died and then kept on moving around and now wears a skull headpiece and a costume reminiscent of a 1940s movie villain. The other is a Victorian robot with the brain of Jules Verne. Together, they are my favourite new motorcycle-riding comic-book duo.
Next up, King! from Blacklist Studios, the folks behind John-favourite R13. Here is King! in a nutshell: take Bruce Campbell's rendition of Elvis from Bubba Ho-Tep and make him a young man, then drop him into the Evil Dead series. As someone who enjoys a good comic about monster-punching, I have to shine the full light of my approval on Thomas Hall and Daniel Bradford for this one.
Oh, hey! There's a zombie Elvis in Zatanna! How many other cultural icons can claim to have simultaniously occupied both sides of the undead/monster-puncher duality? Not too damn many.
I didn't weigh in on Morning Glories last month and now here it is at number two. This is one of those comics that I am happy to have impulse-bought: it's the tale of a group of problem and/or gifted high school students who are offered admission into a prestigious new private school, which is very exciting, I know. But then they figure out that they all have the same birthday, and then their parents start claiming not to know who they are, and then things start getting sinister. Writer Nick Spencer has done a terrific job of hinting at a lot of deep dark secrets and now he just has to dole them out at a measured pace and I'll keep on getting this. Well, as long as it doesn't turn out to be one of those books that is totally dumb once you knwo what's actually going on. I'm going to be optimistic.
Grant Morrison, you have fooled me once again. Joe the Barbarian almost seemed like it was going to end this issue and now I am in a heightened state of suspense which, coupled with my sadness over the fact that this most excellent of series is almost over, will surely wear me down to an emotionless nubover the next month. I will refer my loved ones to you, sir, when they accuse me of neglectful, robotic behaviour.
It kind of looks like I was wrong about Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors being a police procedural in space, but I suppose that I can deal with the crushed dreams. At least it's a good time, even if it is full of the sort of fluid-spewing grievous bodily harm that the various GL books have become known for in recent years. I can definitely have a good time with a comic about Guy Gardner, Arisa and Kilowog meeting and greeting with a selection of colourful Lanterns while en route]] to a confrontation with a snake-barfing evil mastermind. And I think that it might not engender a massive crossover, even!