Good Comics Out May 9 & Short Reviews of Buffy #9, John Byrne’s Trio #1

I didn’t post one of these last week because there wasn’t very much I wanted to point out, and this week is another light week, but I don’t want to get out of the habit. The two books I’m most looking forward to are the second issue of the Courtney Crumrin series (Oni Press, $3.99) and the sequel to Drawing Words and Writing Pictures. Mastering Comics: Drawing Words & Writing Pictures Continued (First Second, $34.99) is the second how-to textbook from Jessica Abel and Matt Madden, and it promises to cover “advanced topics such as story composition, coloring, and file formatting”.

I’m also hoping to get a chance to catch up on some manga series I’m behind on, since Viz is bringing out new volumes of The Story of Saiunkoku (Volume 7, $9.99) and Ai Ore (Volume 5, $9.99).

Those interested in comic media mentions might find the timing of the new printing of The Pro (Image Comics, $7.99) coincidentally beneficial. In last week’s Entertainment Weekly, the cover story was a roundtable interview with the stars of The Avengers. The only comic prominently plugged was The Pro, as Samuel L. Jackson recommended this story of a superpowered hooker.

Here are two capsule reviews of other titles due out in comic shops tomorrow. (Publishers provided review copies.)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #9

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #9

script by Andrew Chambliss & Scott Allie
pencils by Cliff Richards
inks by Andy Owens
Dark Horse, $2.99

I was trying to tell a friend how and why I was enjoying reading this series, and describing events so far made it sound very goofy, but it’s in keeping with the best days of the source TV show. The combination of ridiculous science fiction/fantasy expectations with pointed and powerful emotional reactions is what made Buffy so much fun to watch and so involving to follow. Here, there’s a Buffybot, geekboy Andrew, and Spike with his spaceship full of talking bugs all chasing after a kidnapped member of the Scooby gang who’s suffering amnesia.

Aside from the “what happens next?” and “how do they get out of *this* one?” impulses, there’s also an intriguing theme of Slayer jealousy, with one of the others determined to take her revenge on Buffy for doing it wrong. How like this series, to cast typical human reactions in such over-the-top terms, making them all the more dramatic and yet keeping the feelings relatable.

The art does a nice job of balancing likenesses with story flow. The characters look like they “should” while not resembling photographs too often; they have a good sense of movement. Plus, you know, monsters and fighting.

This is the kind of story I like to see in comics, one that brings an identity crisis to attention in larger-than-life fashion with imaginative elements.

Trio #1

Trio #1 cover

by John Byrne
IDW Publishing, $3.99

I guess you really can make superheroes out of anything, as the three here are called Rock, Paper, and Scissors. (Scissors’ blades for hands strike me as immensely impractical, but they’re only temporary.) Byrne’s oddly flat cover shows the three and their powers, which are demonstrated in more detail in the big fight scene that opens the issue.

I found the captions overwritten, but fans will likely find this a welcome throwback to the classic comics where they first became “Byrne victims”. That’s the audience this is aimed at, after all. In the same tradition, some of the dialogue tells us what we’re looking at, just in case we needed the help. It’s a shame that the computerized coloring used on Rock (he’s got a texture insert to look like stone) is out of keeping with that mood and approach; I found it visually distracting.

One of the heroes is in danger, but we know so little about them in this first issue that it’s hard to care much. We’re told, not shown, the impact of several moments meant to raise emotions in the reader. I instead found the incidents flat, much like the cover. But I’m not the audience for this one.

5 Responses to “Good Comics Out May 9 & Short Reviews of Buffy #9, John Byrne’s Trio #1”

  1. James Schee Says:

    I’m most looking forward to Legion of Super-Heroes Archive Volume 13! Never thought I’d see it after so long since 12.

  2. Johanna Says:

    Oh, wow, I didn’t even notice that! Thanks for pointing it out. It collects SUPERBOY AND THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #224-233, and I fondly remember those comics.

  3. James Schee Says:

    Yeah I know you’ve cooled on present LSH, but was surprised o see you not mention it.:)

    Just saw that it doesn’t come out from Amazon until next week on the 15th, shops this week, but it is on the top of my list. Can’t wait, as I have never read those comics!

  4. Johanna Says:

    Well, we’ve reached a point where I already own all those comics, so the Archives aren’t as important to me as they used to be.

  5. James Schee Says:

    Yeah especially with the archives price going up. I don’t have these comics, so it interests me. Plus I love the archive series, they hold up so well I just read mine again.

    I would love to see omnibuses of th V4 Biernbaum and Giffen runs. They read so much better in bunches.




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