Saturday, January 2, 2010

Issues #1: "Psylocke", "Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love", "Cowboy, Ninja, Viking"

Before I start with the official mini-series and ongoing series for the event, I decided to take on some lonely issues that mark the beginning of stories that definitely click with my reader preferences.

Writer Chris Yost [of X-Men fame and the one responsible for the introduction of character X-23] and Harvey Tolibao [with a varied carrier with imprints such as Marvel, Topcow and Boom Studio] have teamed up on Psylocke a Betsy Braddock aka Psylocke tale.

I have to admit that one must be into Marvel and the X-Men to be able to put the pieces together. For instance one needs to have read the M-Day events [aka when the Scarlet Witch depowered the whole lot of mutants] and the Young X-Men to recognize the teen X-Men fighting in the first few pages. I still haven’t read the Utopia series and the arc, which explains what happened to Betsy prior this issue. I transitioned with relative breeze, but I would recommend this one to be read by Marvel geeks.

The story line follows Betsy as she returns to Japan to bury her original dead body, but when Hand assassins appear and destroy the corpse, all mercy is forgotten and Psylocke is on the hunt for Matsu’O, the man who transplanted her mind from her original body to the body of the Japanese assassin Kwannon. There are X-Men trademarks all over this issue with fast jets, Japan as a go-to place, acidic commentary on Emma Stone’s behalf and mutant fights.

This promises to be a tale of vengeance and murder. Yost is definitely building up for a power house story and Tolibao is the right artist for the challenge for his work is dynamic, his panel arrangement classic and yet with slight innovations and I am mind blown by the level of details that have been layered upon each other.

Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love is a spin-off mini-series from the popular and ongoing series Fabletown. Issue #1 has hit the shelves and I couldn’t just ignore the calling that this would be more than good. Fairytales run in my blood and to see them reworked and fitted into our own world is a thrill for this geek. The writer on board Chris Roberson, who by the way is also an Angry Robot writer [Book of Secrets, anyone?] and with him we see the established Shawn McManus [The Sandamn, anyone?].

I was anxious to see how they re-imagined Cinderella and yes, she is a kick ass off-the-books spy and field agent for Fabletown under the management of the Beast [as in the Beauty and the Beast]. Cindy Centrillon is an airheaded socialite with a spender’s fetish for shoes, who owns a shoe store, but is also a skilled hand-to-hand martial artist with a spy web of her own. This new spin-off will see Cindy travel to Dubai in order to hunt down smugglers, who are trafficking magic items from the fables’ home world. If the first issue is a taste of what is to come I expect a full-blown modern fairytale epic [as far as the series allow this] in

Cowboy Ninja Viking is probably the weirdest sounding title I have come across in ages and I do mean weird in the good sense. AJ Lieberman [DC writer] and Riley Rossmo [penciller for IDW Publishing and Image] team up on perhaps the coolest story encountered in comic book history as far as my own reading has led me. Issue one introduces the readers to the idea that the American military has found a new way to win the War of Terror and their secret weapon is the people with Multiple Personality Disorder. Here comes Duncan, the man with a Viking, a Ninja and a Cowboy inside his head.

However the issue itself apart from the idea and the secret dirty games that happen in the high levels of American society, I had a few issues, which could complicate further grasping of the details and appreciating the quality of the idea. For starters Lieberman has gone wild with the jumps back and forth through time lines, enough to have an editor straighten a possible time twister. I appreciate the Tarantino vibe, but overdoing it, doesn’t help that much. Then comes the art, which both delighted me, because it’s distinct and you won’t mistake this series with any other and both irritated my eye with the use of tones for setting the story. There is much promise in this one and I am curious about how cast and especially Duncan is developed in the upcoming issues.


Lisa Lane said...

I've always loved the creativity behind Psylock/Revanche characters, although I have not read a whole lot of comics involving their complicated plots. Looks interesting!

Mark David said...

Ok you're probably not gonna forgive me for this but I never knew psylocke looked cool! I only knew a few x-men characters from childhood because I never really got into comics. But I have to say, she does look like quite a cool heroine with those swords in the pic above, and especially now that you mentioned that shes been transported into the body of an assassin. Is that the original story is that a new twist?

Harry Markov said...

@ Lisa: I haven't read that much Psylocke either, although she sure does rock.

@ Mark David: Betsy is a British mutant with high ranked telepathy and what makes her special in the Marvel universe is how her mind was transported into another body. It's her origin story as a super hero so to say. This is somewhat a story about old wounds.

Hagelrat said...

I'm with Lisa on this, Psylock and Revanche was my fave ultimate x-men story line and i'm delighted to see Psylocke getting her own comic.

Harry Markov said...

I know, Adele, it's why I was so ecstatic about it as well.

Mark David said...

Oh so this is like Wolverine Origins for Psylocke. Nice. It always makes the plot more interesting when they try to enrich our understanding of a character by revealing things bout her past.

Harry Markov said...

More or less, but so far no flash backs, so on this base I can say that it's more or less a re-visit her past and ties loose ends rather than an exploration in detail of how she is the way she is, but I failed to read enough about the project so I am in the dark about what it plans to achieve in its entirety.

Mark David said...

I think I'm gonna look for this at the bookstore. I see a lot of Marvel comics there. Thanks Harry!

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