Comic Bastards Review for September 3, 2014

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Death of Wolverine #1 by Charles Soule and Steve McNiven

I’m gonna bypass the debate about whether deaths mean anything in contemporary comic books. Like it or not, they’ll happen and eventually the character will return, often with a trendy costume and a different perspective on life. Not having read the lead up to the Death of Wolverine, I was happy to see how accessible this comic was. I really liked how the two page conversation between Reed Richards and Wolverine worked to not only establish Logan’s current health status, but also to show just how much of an impact he has had on the superhero community even to those who aren’t an Avenger or X-men.(See complete group review here)

 

Cloaks #1 by Caleb Monroe and Mariano Navarro

I have this not-so-secret desire to learn close up magic and anytime I read a story or watch a movie about magic I consider purchasing one of those starter kits and learning a couple of coin manipulation and card passes. That’s pretty much the only reason I decided to check outCloaks #1 by Caleb Monroe and Mariano Navarro with David Henrie (the geeky older brother from Wizards of Waverly Place) credited as its creator. I thought it’d be able to scratch my magic itch until the last of Lev Grossman’s Magicians series arrives at my local library. For the most part, Cloaks doesn’t cut it in the manner I hoped it would, at least not yet.

Cloaks follows Adam D’Aquino, a young street illusionist who performs as the masked The Kid at random NYC locales and has a huge social media following and persona akin to street artist Banksy. When not making bull statues disappear in front of large audiences, Adam steals from the corrupt and wealthy to help fund the orphanage he formerly stayed at ala Robin Hood.

The premiere issue starts at the funeral of Adam’s magic instructor and father figure John Blackstone where we’re also introduced to his adoptive brother Will who returns later in the issue. From there on, the issue sees a day in the life of Adam four years later (he looks about 16, but he’s probably at least 18) going to a performance in the street where he meets a tourist named Evy hoping to catch one of the Kid’s shows only to be surprised when Adam puts on his The Kid disguise. The last few pages of this issue setup the rest of the series as Adam is captured by the titular Cloaks organization, facing either jail time or the option of aiding them. (Read the complete review here)

 

Masumi: Blades of Sin #2 by Joe Tyler and Sergio Osuna

Every week I read at least one comic that reaffirms why I love the medium, which makes it bearable to occasion across crap like the second issue of Masumi: Blades of Sin. Like its titular character, Masumi feels like a comic displaced in time, hailing from the 90’s when Rob Liefield and his acolytes drew every woman with gravity-defying breasts and spent little to no time in crafting an interesting story while investing hours into creating a slew of variant covers.

Masumi: Blades of Sin catches up with Masumi back in Tokyo following her defeat of the demon Legion and its consequent absorption into her samurai swords. On vacation to see her descendent, Masumi uncovers a Yakuza plot to align themselves with ancient Japanese demons in order to expand their power. This issue is mostly one extended fight sequence where Masumi fights against five Yakuza members possessed by dragon demons. As Masumi hacks her way through them, she talks to her possessed blades, which shine like toy lightsabers, altering their color for no discernible reason. At the fight’s end, Masumi returns to her cousin before the issue ends on what’s meant to be a tragic note. (See complete review here)

 

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