I am Jack’s above-average comic.
Fight Club 2 is one of the most awaited series of the year, especially for Dark Horse after their sales have floundered with the lost of the Star Wars franchise. Just the fact that Fight Club is seeing a sequel would be news, but it is a testament to the place where comics are at in 2015 that Chuck Palahnuik chose to have the sequel done as a 10-part comic miniseries. The storyline and audience are built for the comics medium, and you see all the way through the first issue how well they are working with the medium. Bringing us back to the main characters, where our narrator, now going by the name Sebastian, is living a medicated existence in the suburbs. He left behind his life as a revolutionary and started a family with Marla, who is now desperately depressed and attending support groups again. Their son seems to be having the same creeping inclinations as his father, and there is a violent urge happening from the personality long repressed. While the story is not quite as cutting edge as we would have hoped for something like the sequel to one of the most groundbreaking books of the 90s, it is still a very solid effort that fits the tone and ideas perfectly. It flows all the way through, with art and design that are stellar and a clear voice and characters. It is not much of a leap forward from the first Fight Club, but there is so much there to leave us hopeful for the series and to really enjoy on more than one read. This should prove to be one of the best series of the year, and one of the most stellar first issues.
So this has been long billed as the Watchmen of Horror from Alan Moore, which is more just a continuation of Avatar’s trend to milk their all-star writers’ names as much as possible. The story here is one that is quiet, slightly off kilter, and definitely strange. Beginning in the 1920s with a newspaper reporter looking for a story to cover he begins a conversation with an elderly man about a French book that inspired suicide in the readers. What is most striking about this first issue is that there is very little striking, which instead of creating meandering boredom actually creates a strong undercurrent of tension. As our main character reflects on his life and the choices, both good and bad, that have lead him here, we begin to get lost in the high-brow dialogue and interesting personalities that are circling around each other. I should remain clear: while I really enjoyed this issue, there is little indication yet what this maxi-series will be or how it will live up to its advertised promise. That being said, I will be sticking around until the end, and not just for the big name.
This is the final issue in the four-issue miniseries from the little-publisher-that-could: Valiant. Building even further on the idea of superheroes as modern pagan gods, Divinity followed a Soviet astronaut as he came back with the literal powers of a divine creature. Most of the Valiant universe’s superheroes overreacted to the eco-utopia that this character was building in Australia, and came to bust up his party. In this final issue, the mind control that Divinity had over the line-up of heroes was finally broken, but it becomes clear that the citizenry wanted their new leader and that the heroes really jumped the gun. This final issue wrapped things up fairly, but it did not quite live up to the possibility of the premise. There is a lot here in terms of pop-metaphysics, but it essentially leads to a silly conversation between the characters about the ethics of intervention. This has still been a great series from Valiant, who seems to be really using superheroes as a way of telling fascinating new stories. I will be sticking with the coming second Divinity miniseries, and it is still a great one for Matt Kindt’s wall.