Justice League of America #7.4 (Black Adam) published by DC Comics
With DC Comics’ Villains Month promotion, all of their comic titles featured villain-centric stories each week, as a tie-in to “Forever Evil”. As part of Justice League of America, the longtime Captain Marvel/Shazam villain, and sometimes ally, Black Adam makes an appearance once again in the New 52.
The issue begins with Black Adam’s origins, as a protector of the people of Kahndaq from oppressive tyrants. Back in the current day, Kahndaq is once again being oppressed by a despicable leader. The Sons of Adam are a resistance group using violent means to overthrow and resist this tyrannical leader, and hope to use an ancient scroll to bring back Black Adam. In the desert, the ceremony to summon Adam once again begins, only to be interrupted by a raid by government forces, but Adam is still summoned. He once again protects Kahndaq, making it clear that the land needs no ruler since it already has a protector.
The story from Geoff Johns and Sterling Gates is a great way to bring Adam back into the New 52. It also sets him up as a somewhat sympathetic “villain”, which I’ve always viewed him as. The art from Edgar Salazar and Jay Leisten does justice to Adam’s origins and personality. The lightning effects in particular are done in a very appealing way, visually.
This is actually the only Villains Month comic that I’ve read, but I sorta had to because of my love of the whole Captain Marvel/Shazam universe. I was pleased with the way Adam was portrayed, more as a protector with a singular goal and brutal way of reaching that goal than a being with villainous intent. All in all, it made for a good read and should be good for most any fan of Adam or Captain Marvel.
Parental Concern: Mild. Black Adam is a violent dude.
Powerpuff Girls #1 published by IDW Publishing
IDW seems to have a thing for reviving cherished cartoons from more than ten years ago, if their involvement with Samurai Jack and The Powerpuff Girls is any indication. And as someone who grew up watching these sorts of cartoons, it’s great to see Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup back in action fighting against the nefarious Mojo Jojo.
With the city of Townsville on fire, the mayor has no choice but to call in the Powerpuff Girls. It seems Mojo Jojo is rampaging around town in a robotic exoskeleton, which causes no real trouble to the girls. After easily taking care of Mojo, the girls get some ice cream and attend an awards ceremony in their honor the next day. But, at the ceremony another monster attacks the town, but the girls take care of that with ease as well. All the while, Mojo has been pondering his place in the world and how his mind has trapped him, and turns to the only person who can make him a normal monkey again.
Troy Little does both story and art on the book, giving it a nice focused feel. The style looks extremely similar to the old cartoons and that instantly makes the book good for old fans. The humor and light hearted storyline keep the comic in line with the show, and make this both a great read for older fans and those who might’ve been a bit too young for the show.
This was a fun read and connected with the old show, while also going on it’s own sort of path. There really isn’t any background given about the Powerpuff Girls, so that might confuse some newer readers, but I imagine most picking up the book already know who they are. Definitely worth a read for both adults and children.
Parental Concern: None! Completely kid friendly.
Punisher: Trial of the Punisher #1 published by Marvel Comics
Though he’s been arrested, jailed, or put in prison numerous times, it’s unlikely anyone has ever seen The Punisher on trial for his various murders. But, after walking into a police station, revealing a body in a duffle bag, and confessing to a crime, Frank Castle is finally seeing trial for some of the things he’s done. It’s worth remembering though that Frank Castle generally doesn’t get arrested unless that’s exactly what he wants to happen.
After walking into a police station, dumping a body on the floor, and confessing to a murder, Frank Castle is finally going to stand trial for some of his crimes. While awaiting trial, he has a run in with some old criminal friends and gets what he wants from them. Assigned a lawyer, Frank gets a psych evaluation, making the psychologist himself check into a hospital after hearing Frank’s stories. As the trial progresses, things look more and more grim for Frank, but it seems he has plans of his own.
Marc Guggenheim weaves an interesting story, as it seemingly takes Frank Castle out of control of his situation, but in reality he’s very much in control. What he’s trying to achieve and how he’ll do it will interesting to figure out. Leinil Yu‘s art is great for the story, being very expressive and also being good at showing the gruesome things that Frank is often involved in.
This is honestly one of the more immediately interesting Punisher stories that I’ve read in quite a while. It leaves a big question about what Frank is trying to achieve, but the reader knows that he’s Frank Castle, so he’s pretty much always in control of what’s going on. The implications of having him actually being put on trial for all the things he’s done is something that could have repercussions in further stories. Yu’s art brings it all together in a nice looking package.
Parental Concern: Considerable. It is the Punisher, after all.
Sex Criminal #1 published by Image Comics
Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky are known for doing some things in comics that are a bit strange, so it should surprised no one that their newest work, Sex Criminals is anything but ordinary. About two people who can stop time when they have sex and then use that power to commit crimes, Sex Criminals is sure to be a comic quite unlike any other.
Suzie was always different, though it took her years to figure it out. It was only after she reached puberty and started doing things that she realized she could stop time through sex or masturbation. She always felt different until she met Jon, who it turns out had the same exact condition. Using this odd power, the two set off to commit crimes using their unique abilities.
Matt Fraction is well-known both for his creator-owned work and his work on many of Marvel’s biggest titles. He often has an odd sense of humor and story, and this comic is no different. The concept alone is pretty unique, but the way in which it’s presented makes it even more unique. The inclusion of sex acts as told by a high school girl completely puts it into insanely hilarious territory. Zdarsky’s art gives the book a great look, making it expressive and having a great sense of style. His stick figure drawings during the sex talk scene were absolutely amazingly hilarious as well.
This book is definitely not for the faint of heart or the prudish. New readers up for it will likely get a lot of enjoyment out of the book. It’s certainly not for kids, but fans comfortable with the material should be able to get a good laugh out of it, while also becoming interested in the odd story that Fraction and Zdarsky are crafting.
Parental Concern: The last page of the book reads, “FOR MATURE READERS DUH”.