Written by Brett Reistroffer
Welcome to this week’s edition of the Weekly Random Round-Up. This time around, we have ladies of fantasy, some guts spilled, other guts traded, a familiar bird, and a little sister who likes…little sisters.
Damsels #1 (Dynamite) – Set in a fantasy fairy-tale based world, we are introduced to a mystery woman who doesn’t quite seem to know where she is or what she should be doing. Some of the world is introduced as she fumbles her way around, eventually finding the need to flee once a visiting Queen recognizes her in a crowd. We don’t get too much information on what is occurring, but there is definitely some magical plotting towards events to come. So far an interesting title, if you are one for fairy-tale settings, a la the Fable or Grimm’s comics, and hopefully it refrains from straying too far into the territory already explored in those books.
Epic Kill #5 (Image) – The first arc of the maxed-out body count title from one-man creator Raffaele Ienco comes to a close with the fifth issue. If you’ve been following along so far, you’ll already be used to suspending your belief by a couple miles as we watch teenage ultra-assassin Song chop down another mountain of gun-toting goons. Here, we get a resolution of one plot, and a better explanation of another as the two are tied together in an almost interesting way. While you’ll have to get passed the shallow story, comically clichéd story elements (like an elderly sensei training a kid to be a bullet dodging killer), and fight scenes that sometimes goes too far into the realm of cheesy to be entertaining, Epic Kill is still a title that will scratch an itch for a quick and easy action title.
Harvest #2 (Image) – Former surgeon, Dr. Dane is working in full swing now at his new, not-so-legitimate career of black market organ harvesting. Here, we get to see him, drug and alcohol habits included, dealing with but not quite coming to terms with his situation. A lot of this is illustrated in his interactions with his conscience, personified as the little boy who’s mother died on the operating table by Dr. Dane’s negligence, the death that triggered his downward spiral into the dark underworld of illegal surgery. The story is gritty, and the art just as much so, both complimenting each other perfectly. If you like your comics dark, sexy, and seedy, then you should be picking up this title. The first issue should still be on the shelves, so pick them up!
The Crow #3 (IDW) – It’s not Eric Draven, and I really wish it was because this Crow isn’t quite cutting it. That’s not to say the character is completely to blame, it’s mostly the story and script. This title’s first three issues have been a study on bad pacing in comic books, and the whole deal seems a bit rushed. The saving grace is the art though, which is appropriately dark and shadowy, although it does suffer at times trying to follow a hurried story and therefore has trouble maintaining an even flow. The violence does look good, and the Crow’s snarky lines, while a tad corny, are entertaining. If you’re a fan of the Crow mythos, this might be good for a quick distraction, but don’t expect the rich, dark world that James O’barr created.
Oreimo vol. 1 (Dark Horse) – For the most part this is a cutsey manga with mature humor about a high school student being entrusted to help protect his little sister’s secret. The secret, you ask? Hidden superpowers, an alternate life as an assassin? Nope, she just really, really likes adult oriented little sister anime. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that they don’t actually get along in their day-to-day lives and their father is a no nonsense conservative who would bring down an iron fist if he found out about his little girl’s obsession. The book’s humor mostly comes from a suggested sexual tension between the brother and sister, which thankfully isn’t actually present, but makes for some good awkward humor when it’s hinted at.