Mini Reviews: Paper Girls #2, Karnak #1, Rowan’s Run #1

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It has been hard keeping up with all the new books to review the last couple months!  With the entire Marvel relaunch, the twelve new comics from Vertigo, and the first issues coming from DC and Image, it seems impossible for readers to stay up with everything that is happening.  We have wrestled down a few prominent books to review to keep you informed, grabbing one from the massive march of Marvel books and a second issue from one of our favorite new Image titles.  We finish off with a new horror comic from Boom that represents a common horror trend.

Paper Girls #2: Brian K. Vaughn, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson (Image Comics)

This is the second issue of the new series, following Brian K Vaughn’s amazing first issue.  The series is following bicycle wielding paper girls in 1988 during what appears to be an alien invasion, or something equally sinister.  This second issue sees our main characters more in a place of unease as they slowly start to see that something is happening, and people are missing.  This culminates in the return to one of the characters home to see just how their home is falling apart, which also reveals the deep family wounds that were there before.  What is nice here is that we have kept the same pacing as the first issue while taking us into deeper layers of both the catastrophe and of the character’s lives.  This is marking a stellar move up into this new series, but it is unclear whether this is going to be a short-run miniseries or if it is going to be an ongoing series.  Let’s hope it sticks around for a while.

Karnak #1: Warren Ellis, David Aja (Marvel Comics)

The word is that Warren Ellis has been piling deep into nihilist philosophy to find the driving core of his new character project, Karnak.  While he may seem new, Karnak was actually first introduced int he 1970s, yet is seeing a sharp push because of his InHumans position.  Here he heads out on a mission with Shield, but we are going to see this as a vessel for an incredible take on character and a view of the world from within a superhero vein.  The strength of this book is really the strength of Ellis, but there is not quite enough here yet to say what this will look like in the long-term.  His opening discussions sets the stage for who this is going to be and that it comes from a place of strong deconstruction.  Ellis is known for taking on a series in the beginning and dropping it off the first arc, which is certainly what happened with Moon Knight.  We hope that we get a little bit longer to see this idea through.

Rowan’s Run #1: Mike Carey, Mike Perkins, Any Troy (Boom Studios)

Rowans Run follows a woman who decides to trade her tiny New York apartment for a few months with a British woman with a massive old home.  The deal sounds amazing, but it becomes clear that there are some ghostly travelers that may not want to share the space with the new tenant.  This parallels her relationship with a police officer, and it grows as does her fear of the location.  The story and art, while completely capable, are not entirely remarkable.  The book itself marks a modern trend towards horror miniseries that are competent versions of the “Netflix horro movie,” a comic that is entertaining and effectively hits the “horror points,” but doesn’t stay with you long after the book ends.  We will stick around for the second issue, but we are not expecting a stand out effort.

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