WEEKLY RANDOM ROUND-UP: 09/04/2013

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dangercvrDanger Girl: The Chase (IDW) – The Indiana Jones meets James Bond team of espionage vixens makes its return this week in Andy Hartnell and Harvey Toliboa’s Danger Girl: The Chase. This chapter in the team’s never ending adventure in cleavage-land finds the gals in Shanghai on the heels of a sword slinging Chinese femme fatale in possession of a mysterious and dangerous artifact. The problem is, their showrunner and intel mastermind Deuce isn’t spilling the beans on exactly what is inside the suspiciously evil looking briefcase being chased after, which makes for some unexpected consequences once the girls make their move. What follows is fast paced action sequence typical of the series, repleat with swords, thighs, and bullets. If you have been a reader of the on and off again title, then you will know exactly what to expect here; high octane chases, snarky banter, and cup sizes that defy both gravity and logic. Which is not to say Danger Girl is a mere breastploitation comic, it does have its merit as a fun action/adventure comic, and the focus is never aimed solely at the copious lady bits to be found on the sleek pages. The stories, like the one found in The Chase are never going to fall too far outside of the box; there is going to be some knick-knack or double to be found, and there is always going to be an evil (but oh so sexy) villain to snatch it from. But the formula works for what the comic is and does the job if you are looking for a simple, light-hearted action adventure story with some complimentary eye candy. An added benefit to the series is that it is quite friendly to newcomers, in that each mini series is mostly self-contained and does not require a great deal of (or any) backstory, so if you are coming into it for the first time, go ahead and check it out.

 

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Baltimore: The Infernal Train #1 (Dark Horse) – Anytime I review a new Baltimore book, which is just about every time one comes out, I always air my ever present grievance which is that they just don’t come around often enough. Thankfully, it has not been all that long at all since the last entry of the series, The Inquisition, and it seems that we will actually be getting a fairly regular release for the time being with a three issue mini series rather than the one-shots we have been seeing lately. The Infernal Train is the direct follow-up to the previous chapter, finding the vampire hunting Lord Baltimore trekking to Budapest in order meet the rabid priest of the New Inquisition, Duvic, who is hunting him out of fanatical zealousy. Settling accounts with the self-righteous hunter on his heels is not the only thing that finds Baltimore’s attention in the once grand city however; there is a train that has also come to town that seems oddly familiar to the slayer and only adds to his interest once there seems to be a connection to it and the infected dead of the city. Unlike the few one-shots we have been treated to recently, The Infernal Train seems to be setting up an integral aspect of the Baltimore story, especially with the revelation made towards the end of the first issue, and it’s nice to finally get something with a little more meat on its bones. Which is certainly not to say the self contained single issues are unwanted or unwelcome by any means, they are always great reads and add a great deal of dimension and flavor to the story’s world, but we have been needing a serious continuation and development for some time now, and this new mini series seems like it will be doing just that. As usual, the art team of Ben Stenbeck on pencils and inks with Dave Stewart on colors fits the bill perfectly; the world is dark and ominous, capturing the mood of the story perfectly and giving a true-to-form representation of it. If you have been a reader of the series thus far, this will be a must-read three issues; if you are just coming into it, do yourself a big favor and pick up the first three volumes of the Baltimore series, and for that matter Christopher Golden and Mike Mignola’s original novel to catch up on the vampire hunting goodness.

 

lovestoriescvrLove Stories (To Die For) #1 (Image) – “Women; you can’t live with ‘em, and you can’t kill ‘em”. That quote has always summed up my view on the whole love thing, and while it may seem defeatist or perhaps even morbid to some, you do have to admit that when it comes to comic books the subject tends to bring along with it a rather high body count. Which is exactly what brings me to Dirk Manning’s Love Stories (To die for), a double sided flipbook issue out from Image’s Shadowline imprint this week. The book contains two stories dealing with the tragic and often fatal devotion that often comes along with the L word, each handled by a different artist. Bloodlust: Deceiver of the Gods, a medieval hack ‘n slasher illustrated by Rich Bonk and colored by Sean Burres tells the story of a band of Norsemen that have come to a small monastery beset by vampire creatures, which the warriors agree to exterminate in return for food and shelter. Of course, all is not quite what it seems and the truth of the situation soon calls for the Viking leader to reassess where he directs his honor-bound blade. The second story, which occupies the ‘flipside’ of the issue is Symptom of the Universe, illustrated by Owen Gieni is quite the opposite to its sister story, at least aesthetically speaking, as it is a science fiction piece about a man fighting his way through an infestation of space critters to be reunited with his wife. The woman on the other hand is in a conflicted situation between where her heart lies, and must make a decision between love and loyalty. The two shorts are very well written and executed, both in story and presentation; Manning’s scripts draw the reader into the stories enough that you almost feel involved in the decisions being made, and the two artists capture the right look and feel in their respective stories. All together, Love Stories is well worth the read, and anyone should find something to attach to in either offering. To get an outside-the box dose of lovey stuff, with a bit of bloodshed on the side, pick this one up.

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