Reckless vol. 1 HC
“My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies,” “Bad Weekend,” and “Pulp” were just the warm-up. With “Reckless,” Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips are set to give us their first full-length original graphic novel. It’s about Ethan Reckless, someone who’s willing to take on any job in the sun-drenched streets of L.A. for the right price. This time, the trouble he’s being asked to take on is personal. A friend from his radical student days has reached out to Reckless and he’s going to have to confront some aspects of his past that he thought he was done with before the job is over.
Brubaker has compared this to “The Rockford Files” and the setup sounds like it would make for a good 80’s-style detective series. I’m up for that, as I am for anything that this creative team has to offer. This series does have a couple things that distinguishes itself from their past work: The first thing is that this is just the initial one of three planned volumes set to release in the course of a year. I imagine there will be more if the hardcover OGN releases do well. The other is that the solicitation text tells us that Reckless is unique amongst Brubaker and Phillips’ protagonists in that he’s “a good guy.” I’m intrigued by this claim, even though I feel that the creators’ moral compasses are so skewed that calling him a “a good guy” may only be true in a relative sense.
Post Americana #1 (of 6): The bunker nicknamed “The Bubble” in the Cheyenne Mountains was built tough enough to do one thing: Ensure that the executive branch of America’s government survived the apocalypse. What winds up happening in this series is that some of America’s one-percenters did, and after eighty years they’re looking to use the bunker’s technology to subjugate the survivors of the American Wasteland. No, this series isn’t asking you to sympathize with them as the protagonists. Creator Steve Skroce wants your sympathies to be with the sword-wielding girl on the cover of this issue as she fights back against them. I know that Skroce is a hell of an artist, but the premise of this series hews a bit too closely to being a documentary of the future for my liking. Still, “Mad Max: Fury Road” fell into the same camp for me and it was a hell of a story. Maybe “Post Americana” will be just as entertaining?
Home Sick Pilots #1: This is about a haunted house that walks across America in the 90’s with the missing singer of a punk band inside. I didn’t know what to make of the title of this new series from writer Dan Watters and artist Caspar Wijngaard, and the solicitation text doesn’t make it any clearer. Especially the bit that describes it as, “‘Power Rangers’ meets ‘The Shining.’” This is some real head-scratching stuff and I’m almost compelled to pick up the eventual first collected edition to see if any of this makes sense within the comic itself. Almost.
Gideon Falls #27: The final issue. I can’t say that anything in the solicitations gave me the impression this series would be wrapping up at this point, but here we are. It’s also an extra-sized finale that will run you $8 for 80 pages. While I like this series more for its art than its story, I’ll be sticking around for this finale. Mainly because the penultimate volume arrived in the mail the other day and I’m feeling obligated enough to see how it turns out. That is, unless vol. 4 annoys the hell out of me and convinces me to drop the series like “Sex Criminals” vol. 5 managed to.
Stealth vol. 1: Stealth is a vigilante crimefighter with a winged super-suit who has been fighting crime in Detroit for decades. Only now he’s taking the fight to brutal new extremes. What looks like a superhero losing control to the general public, one reporter actually knows that’s the case. Stealth is his dad, and he’s suffering from Alzheimers. While I’m not really familiar with the work of writer Mike Costa and artist Nate Bellegarde, there’s no denying that they’re working with a great concept right here. A concept that originally came from Robert Kirkman and Marc Silvestri. Still, I’m curious enough to see if Costa and Bellegarde can deliver on the promise of this setup.
That Texas Blood vol. 1: Sheriff Joe Bob Coates wonders if he’s getting too old for the job of sheriff of Ambrose County, Texas. He’ll have to quickly decide if that’s the case after all hell breaks loose in the county following the the death of one of its local rogues. I think it’s safe to say that this doesn’t have the same kind of killer premise that “Stealth” has going for it. What “That Texas Blood” does have is art from Jacob Phillips, son of one of my favorite artists, Sean Phillips. Does he have the same artistic chops that his father has? I really want to know and I’m willing to wade through a story with so-so potential to get an answer. If the story winds up being really good, all the better!
Die vol. 3: The Great Game: WAR! What is it good for? Hopefully getting Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans’ board-game-centric horror/fantasy series to finally click for me. It’s not that I haven’t enjoyed reading this series, it’s just not on the same level as the writer’s other work. Though, I guess it is more interesting than all those random issues he did for Marvel over the years…
DIE!DIE!DIE! vol. 2: In which Senator Connie “Not Elizabeth Warren” Lipschitz tries to use the power of the Cabal to make the world a better place, while its former leader Barnaby “Not Mitch McConnell” Smith goes to some very dark places. Look, as dumb as the first volume was, if there was ever at time I wanted “Not Mitch McConnell” to suffer a whole lot it’s certainly right now. So yes, I’m absolutely picking this up when it comes out. Also, Obama boxes some aliens for the fate of the Earth.
Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta vol. 8: The Merged: Arrives December 23. So either Kyle Barnes successfully manages to purge the demons in his life, or they consume him and everyone he loves. Now that I think about it, either situation seems like a possible outcome for 2020 as well. What note do you think the year will end on: Hope or Despair?