If there is one thing that Ed Brubaker does really, really well it is Los Angeles based noir. He does good ole' fashion noir so well that he has effectively turned it into an ongoing monthly title which stretches through a variety of individual series like "Sleeper", "Criminal", "Incognito" and most recently the supernatural "Fatale". This week he launches yet another title into this magical little world of his own creation by way of Image Comics called "The Fade Out" and believe me friends if you aren't already a fan then it is time for you to board the Brubaker train.
"The Fade Out" is a return to realism for Brubaker and artist Sean Philiips as it tells the tale of an affable, if slightly introverted, screenwriter in LA in 1948 who has the poor luck of waking up after a night of drunken debauchery in a bathtub only feet away from a strangled starlet. filled to the brim with real life history including blacklisting, LA landmarks and cover-ups "The Fade Out" shows just how dark it can be under the bright lights of Hollywood.
If this one isn't on your pull list, it should be.
When Grant Morrison first presented his African American Superman/President of Earth 23 in "Action Comics" I thought "man that was really cool, but what exactly is the point?". Now Superman of Earth 23 returns in this new series which is sure to cause about as much glee as it will headaches as heroes of the 52 worlds are summoned to help save the last Monitor of the Multiverse!!!!!!
"The Multiverse" is a story within a story, within story, that may well end up being within yet another story and much like "Inception" it is sure to spark conversations a plenty. Unfortunately I found it to hectic and confusing and can't really recommend it, but it being Morrison perhaps the series may show strength in later issues.
It began with a TV show (and to be honest a rather silly one at that). A late 70's rip-off of "Star Wars" with just enough general Sci-Fi and "Star Trek" thrown in to avoid copy write infringement called "Battlestar Galactica" in which men with very long and beautiful hair and women with hair only slightly longer flew cool looking spaceships and fought off evil robots in order to save last vestige of humanity. Many, many years later the show was reinvented and became a character drama about the very nature of humanity itself and connected to a whole new (and much larger) audience. After that it seemed like "Battlestar Galactica" mania was everywhere along with all the merchandising and media tie-ins you would expect. But the show has been gone a LONG, LONG time now and it seems that Dynamite Comics has literally run out of ideas as their new "Battlestar Galactica" title mixes the Sci-Fi classic with the most recent (and frankly overused) nerd fad, steampunk.
So here's the verdict.
The words "piece of crap" come to mind, however using that phrase is being too kind. "Steampunk BattleStar Galactica 1880" is more like a hundred million pieces of excrement that lack even the internal consistency to form a single piece of crap. Writer Tony Lee seems to have decided to emulate the original TV show and just steal directly from "Star Wars" as the first 10 pages are given over to a battle scene in which Crown Prince Apollo fights giant super sized Cylons (much like Godzilla they wish to go hog wild on all of Tokyo which in this case is Caprica) which he is only able to destroy by shooting grappling hooks from his ship and tripping them. In addition the art by the single named Aneke has that special quality that brings to mind the worst of Marvel licensed comics like "Indian Jones" and "The Last Starfighter" from the 80's.
I wouldn't recommend this product for anyone.