The creators of “Skullkickers” have finally figured out what they need to do in order to get more people to read their series. It’s quite simple, really, as this one little thing has worked wonders for “X-Men” over the years and for “X-Force” and “Avengers” more recently. What is it? It’s quite uncanny and somewhat obvious when you think about it...
Uncanny Skullkickers #1: Don’t ask me how, but I can hear your groaning from here. After reading the first three volumes, though, I can say that this is one series which really deserves any sales boost it gets from having “Uncanny” added to its title. Hopefully, the irreverence with which this title change is being presented with will deter other titles from taking up the same tactic (outside of Marvel, I mean). In any event, I’m glad to see that “Skullkickers” is continuing after that cliffhanger ending from the last volume. If the name change gets us another three volumes of steadily increasing quality then it’ll have been worth it.
Snapshot #1 (of 4): A comic book nerd finds the cellphone of a hitman with some very incriminating photos on it. Said hitman is now out to get his phone back by any means necessary. By itself, the premise sounds pretty standard issue and it would therefore take a pretty strong creative team in order to make it noteworthy. That’s what this title has in Andy Diggle and Jock, who gave us one of the best action titles of the past decade in “The Losers” and the actually very good “Green Arrow: Year One.” They haven’t always produced work of the same caliber while working apart, but they have yet to disappoint while working together.
Debris: From writer Kurtis Wiebe and artist Riley Rossmo, two talents who have done a lot of work for Image that I have yet to read. That’s more my fault than theirs as people keep saying good things about both of them and their work. I’m particularly interested in this story, of a post-apocalyptic Earth done in by the amount of garbage on the planet’s surface and the beings that have sprung up from it. I can only assume that the setting and the fact that it has a strong-willed female are what have prompted the comparisons to “Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind” that I’ve heard about as well. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as my expectations that it’ll be on the same level are exactly nil, and that you don’t normally hear people break out that title as a comparison for anything. As you can see, it at least succeeded in getting my attention.
The Walking Dead #107: From the solicitation text, “Rick is once again pushed BEYOND the breaking point.” Which is what they call “Thursday” over in this series. The cover also features Carl’s hat in a pile of rubble. One would be tempted to infer that something even worse than having an eye and a good part of his head shot out is about to befall Rick’s son, but killing him off at this point feels almost like a mercy. You can only inflict so much physical suffering onto a character before we stop caring about the fate of the rest of their body parts and Carl has reached the threshold for that. More interesting is to examine the psychological toll such actions take on the character, and it seems that Robert Kirkman is going in that direction for now. Amusingly, I’ve heard Carl’s current mentality compared to that of Nick Fury -- not the regular Marvel Universe version, mind you, but the Garth Ennis incarnation. Hopefully we won’t get to see that development cut short, but it won’t be until next May or June until we see this collected.