Merry Christmas it’s time to get out the trees and the lights and a copy of Batman Returns, a welcome response to those who claim that Die hard is the best Christmas movie. Not only is Batman Returns Set over Christmas, its entire plot is entangled in religious mythology, from a child going down a river in a basket to the resurrection of Selena before the words “HELL HERE” to the penguin’s plot to kill Gotham’s firstborn. (Plus, like Jesus, the Penguin is supposed to be 33, which … damn it.)
As a firm believer that this is both the best Christmas AND the best Batman movie ever made, you can imagine my joy to hear that Danny DeVito himself has written some sort of sequel, a short story for an anthology in which The Penguin and Catwoman established more than one … well, let’s call it a report.
Equally interesting this week is a first-person exploration of queer history, which is MY BRAND when I’m not busy watching movies about psychotic women and whispering, “Honestly? Work. ”Thanks as always to Phoenix for sorting out this week’s new stuff, and don’t forget to skip online monopolies in favor of local comic book stores for all your holiday shopping needs.
KING OF SPIES NUMBER # 1
What if the world’s greatest spy, at the end of his life, realized that all his work was in the service of sustaining a decadent and cruel empire? King of spies manages a neat carpet draw, starting with a thrilling action streak set in 1990s Panama before moving on to present-day London, where an aging decorated hero is consumed with regret. With six months to live – three before a tumor in his brain makes life miserable – this overpowered secret agent decides to devote his unique abilities to rid the world of the terrible oligarchs and wealthy politicians he has spent his life defending. . “Have we ever made a difference? Our hero thinks at one point. A colleague replies: “We are not supposed to make a difference. Work defends a system of work. We’ve both seen what happens when empires fall. It’s an interesting observation, one that suggests tough choices on the road ahead – as malicious as the ruling class is, would their violent overthrow make the world even worse?
Unfortunately, the nuance opportunities are wasted, at least in this first issue. The rich and powerful are portrayed as cartoon villains and their elimination seems to have no negative consequences. Perhaps this four-part series (by the creator of Kingsman and already slated for an adaptation in a Netflix series) will become more complex – now that the easy choices are dead, the next targets may present a more difficult moral dilemma. But on the other hand, if this is just a fantasy slaughter of the rich, who needs a book for it? It’s just an ordinary daydream.
Evaluation: 🕵️🕵️🕵️ (3/5)
Writer: Mark Millar. Artist: Matteo Scalera. Alternative covers: Mark Chiarello, Ozgur Yildirim.
MANIAC OF NEW YORK: THE BRONX IS IN BURNING NUMBER # 1
A blind killer stalks New York, wielding a giant machete and slicing through anyone who crosses his path; As detectives search for him in vain, he arrives at a Bronx high school to spill more blood and guts. This series is a continuation of the one that took place earlier this year (now in paperback) and it references the events of this story, so you’ll want to catch up, especially so you can keep up with the intriguing twist on the last two pages.
The book’s violence and gore are brief, yet fairly graphic, and the premise of a high school massacre is particularly distressing given the constant flow of such events in real life. Alas, the frame torn from the headlines is the only innovation in the book; the rest of the plot and dialogue is written in the book and on the nose: one of the students is a silent nerd hiding from his bullies in the bathroom, obviously preparing for a hero trick once. let the killer arrive. When someone calls for help, they find themselves directed to a voicemail system – a cynical joke The simpsons did thirty years ago. (“You picked… regicide.”) A high school killer is a fascinating anxiety to explore, because it is so real; but the book’s tropes are rusty and dull, rather than sharp enough to cut.
Evaluation: 🗡️🗡️ (2/5)
Writer: Elliott Kalan. Artist and colorist: Andrea Mutti. Writer: Taylor Esposito. Alternative coverage: Jonathan Luna.
QUEER LIKE ALL GO OUT
Thanks to this book for solving the puzzle of what to give to queer people between the ages of twelve and one hundred. A delicious, adorable and educational meander through LGBTQ + history, Queer as all go out is an exploration of ten historical pioneers, told through accessible and generally light-hearted storytelling. Part memory and part history lesson, the author’s personal impressions are woven throughout, giving an effective touch to the first person. The choice of subjects is surprising; I’d only heard of one of the characters, and the focus is mostly on people and populations that are generally under-represented when examining our vast queer past. (Mary Jones, We’wha, Magnus Hirschfeld, Dr Pauli Murray, etc.) This is certainly not a full account of all the people and cultures that brought us to the present day, but it does not aspire to l ‘to be. Ten more books like this would still leave a lot to discover and would be welcome.
Evaluation: ?? (5/5)
Written and illustrated by Shelby Criswell.
READ MORE: DANNY DEVITO WRITE A COMIC ABOUT THE PENGUIN
Professional nerds will be busy this week, starting with Magic: Master of Metal, number 1, based on Magic: The Gathering. From the world of Hellboy comes Sir Edward Gray: Acheron, and from DC come a whole host of annuals that are a great entry point into the stories of various spandex wearers. Avengers # 50 is a must-see for fans; is also vital Villains of Gotham City, featuring a penguin story written by Danny DeVito. You will be completely enchanted by the art of Wonder woman historia, which looks like one of those “costumes from” books but is actually a beautiful, richly illustrated story. Also note The story of the Hentai manga, which is exactly what it looks like; and Golden hour, an intriguing graphic novel by Niki Smith about a young man recovering from a violent incident at school.