“Cyber Force” is back! For free even! That’s what Image is leading off with this month with what is a genuinely novel approach to distributing the series with the help of Kickstarter. If the campaign on the crowdfunding site reaches its goal, then you’ll be able to pick up the first five issues at your comics store FREE of charge. They haven’t reached their goal yet, but the push has crossed the halfway mark with 20 days left so I’m pretty sure that they’ll make it. Now, this is where I usually say something about how I hope that this works out for them, but even though “Cyber Force” was Marc Silvestri’s initial contribution to Image, I’ve never heard of it actually being any good. I realize that it’s mean to say that they’re giving it away because people couldn’t be bothered to pay for it, yet I have no reason to expect that this will be any better than it was when the title was launched over twenty years ago. Maybe I’ll be proven wrong and it’ll take the momentum the company has gathered this year to a whole new level -- except I can’t bring myself to say that out loud without starting to laugh.
MacGyver: Fugitive Gauntlet #1 (of 5): The TV series was a cornerstone of my childhood and revisiting it on DVD shows that it has aged better than most. Yes, parts of it come off as INCREDIBLY cheesy, but the basic ingenuity of the character’s solutions to any given problem remained undiminished as did Richard Dean Anderson’s indefatigable good humor in the title role. Does that mean picking up this series is a no-brainer for me? It certainly does, and creator Lee David Zlotoff’s involvement should only sweeten the deal too.
Multiple Warheads: Alphabet to Infinity #1 (of 4): The solicitation text reads: “Sexica and her Werewolf boyfriend Nikoli travel across a sci-fi, fantasy Russia smoking singing cigarettes. Meanwhile the organ hunter Nura is sent out with a severed head and instructions to find its body.” It’s so bizarre that there’s no way I can’t not read this. However, as this is coming from “King City” creator Brandon Graham, I also can’t help but wonder if the end result is going to be nothing more than amusing strangeness in search of a coherent plot to tie it all together.
The Walking Dead #103: Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard and company deliver a hearty and well deserved “Fuck you!” to Marvel and DC with this line from the solicitation: “It’s such a perfect jumping on point, it could easily have been a new first issue – but instead, the world’s best selling creator-owned comic just keeps moving forward, with #103 and counting!” Rock on guys! Keep showing them how it’s supposed to be done. Also arriving this month is The Walking Dead: Michonne Special which reprints her first appearance from issue #19 and the character’s six-page origin story from “Playboy” last year. It’s funny. While “I only read it for the articles” has been a long-standing punchline for the men’s magazine, I’m willing to bet that for that particular issue a lot of its readers went, “I only read it for the comics.”
Not My Bag: This is also tangentially related to “The Walking Dead” as though it’s listed as coming from the artist of “The Li’l Depressed Boy” and “Amber Benson’s Among the Ghosts,” Sina Grace is best known around here as the editor of that seminal zombie title. It’s described as a “retail hell” story where a young artist takes a job at a department store in order to make ends meet and winds up embroiled in a sea of competitive pressure, corporate treachery and high fashion. The cover image also features tentacles... so I’m convinced that there’s more going on here than what’s indicated. I’m intrigued enough to give this a look when it arrives.
Mind the Gap vol. 1: Intimate Strangers: I still think that’s a terrible title, but it seems to be doing all right for itself as far as sales concerned. Now I’ll be picking it up to see if it’s quality will be enough to allow me to get past that issue.
Saga vol. 1: Here we have a clear case of, “If this isn’t one of the best things I’m going to read all year I’m going to be disappointed.” So yeah, expectations for this are as high as they can get around here. Let’s see if I can find a way to manage them in the next three months so I can enjoy it if this volume turns out to be just “really good.” (Yeah, I’ve got a ways to go there...)
Skullkickers vol. 3: Six Shooter on the Seven Seas: This isn’t as eagerly anticipated, but I’m encouraged by the fact that the second volume was better than the first. While it’d be nice if the dwarf and the big guy emerged as actual characters in this volume, I may just have to content myself with the fact that it features lots of lady pirates, sea monsters, food fights and the secret of the sole firearm in the “Skullkicker’s” world. Personally, the big guy’s gun never struck me as a glaring anachronism in this fantasy world because of its “don’t take any of this too seriously” tone. However, the reveal of its significance caused one of the guys at “Bleeding Cool” to flip their lid over it a few months back, so now I’m curious. This may also be the final volume in the series as the buzz it generated prior to its release has largely dissipated. Let’s see if vol. 3 will make me truly broken up about that fact as well.