The Humans #1
It’s amazing how a second reading can change your opinion on a text. I recall reading Tom Sawyer in high school, and intensely despising it before coming back years later and realizing how genius and hilarious it was. Similarly, and Twain might spin in his white suit for this, the first time around The Humans read like nothing more than an escapist fantasy of misplaced nostalgia for a time and place that were not all that great, and to boot it just felt like sexist drivel thanks to one page early on.
Therefore when I got around to reading it a second time in preparation for this review, I was surprised by how much my opinion had changed. I still thought of it as lewd and intensely vulgar however I recognized that this issue isn’t even the beginning of the story of the Humans (confirmed in the issue’s stellar backmatter by creators, Keenan Marshall Keller and Tom Neely), serving only as the prologue before shit goes haywire for them, and the fantasy of their unrestricted life starts to fall apart (Read the complete review here).
Penny Dora and The Wishing Box #1
Funny how a comparison between two texts can be enough to compel you to read something. Such was the case with Penny Dora, which I had read somewhere that it’d appeal to fans of Coraline. While this first issue lacks the same level darkness that tinges all of Gaiman’s stories, it does merit the comparison thanks to its focus on telling a story about a kid that appeals to both kids and adults.
Winner in the category of most self-explanatory comic title this week, Penny Dora and the Wishing Box is about the titular Penny, and the Wishing Box that comes into her life on Christmas Day. Living in a cookie-cutter suburban neighborhood who’s only individualistic quality are the mailboxes that dot the streets, Penny lives with her mother in what appears to be a content household other than the absence of Penny’s dad due to her parent’s divorce.
When they open a present that reveals the faded old box, Penny’s mom takes it as a joke played on them by her ex, and tells Penny to throw it away. Penny sneaks it back in though and with the box open, wishes for Christmas to not be over, a wish the box grants, providing Penny with another round of presents. Soon after, Penny discovers the box’s magical nature, and is terrified due its lust to fulfill her demands, repeating ‘What do you wish for?” while having changed appearance. Penny tosses the box away, and forgets about it until a playdate the next day, things wrapping up with the box granting another individual a wish (Read the complete review here).
I’m having a bit of a rough time remembering when this comic used to be about a young illusionist that’s wrangled into the eponymous secret organization. In its latter half, Cloaks more resemble a crime procedural in the TNT vein with a wunderkind detective who may or may not be way over his head in giving the save-the-world thing a try.
This issue packs a lot of story in trying to move us along to its climax. Things start out with Adam trying to discern Evy’s first target following her acquisition of the Cloaks case files. Once Adam figures it out, we’re privy to some interesting fight scenes between Adam and his Cloaks’ colleagues, and Evy’s tricked out buddies, one a pain-resistant dude and the other an acrobat. Despite Adam’s best efforts, the team ends up playing right into Evy’s hands, leaving things open for a neat wrapup next issue that doesn’t seem to promise much in the way of grand surprises (My money is on resurrected parents in the final pages) (Read the complete review here).