Monday, June 3, 2013

Graphic Novels Read in May 2013

Things were quite hectic in May, so I didn’t get much read and you didn’t see many posts. Hopefully that will change this month. From the looks of things, it seems I was having quite a Brian Wood fest here at Graphic Novel Universe. 

The Massive: Black Pacific (2012/2013) - Brian Wood, Kristan Donaldson, Garry Brown * * * * *

X-9: Secret Agent Corrigan, Vol. 1 (1967-69/2010) - Archie Goodwin, Al Williamson * * * *

DMZ, Vol. 1: On the Ground (2005/2006) - Brian Wood, Riccardo Burchielli 

Northlanders Vol. 1: Sven the Returned (2007/2008) - Brian Wood, Davide Gianfelice

As mentioned before, May was clearly Brian Wood month. I’d never read any of his work before (Don’t ask me how that happened...), but after reading The Massive early in the month, I knew I couldn’t stop there. 

Touching very briefly on each of these books, I had a similar feeling with DMZ to the one I had with The Massive: with both tales, Wood managed to drop me into a world that was already fully developed and built, but not fully revealed. In DMZ, a second American civil war has turned Manhattan into a demilitarized zone. A mostly clueless reporter named Matthew Roth stumbles into an assignment that literally opens his eyes to the ways of life and death in the DMZ. 

Northlanders, a Viking saga of betrayal and revenge, is just as effective in its storytelling and, oddly enough, far more graphic than DMZ. One element that takes you somewhat out of the story is the use of words/phrases/vernacular that don’t seem fitting to the era Wood’s writing about. But I wasn’t there, and there’s so much we don’t know about the Vikings, so who cares? It’s a great story. 

In each of Wood’s books, he’s showing us worlds that are completely messed up,  especially with The Massive and DMZ. I hope to explore more about the spiritual nature of these books as I work my way through both series. But for now, I am astounded with Wood’s writing. 

DMZ 5/5

Northlanders 4.5/5

Marvel Masterworks: The Fantastic Four, Vol. 4 (1964-65/2003) - Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, et. al

What can I say? These comics are a product of their time. Lee and Kirby are very close in this volume to the ground-breaking issues that would change the comics landscape forever. But they’re not there yet. Even this early in the series, readers are treated to some pretty cool comics, but Lee & Kirby are primarily caught in a vicious cycle, rehashing the same character conflicts among the group. At least we get plenty of Doctor Doom thrown into the mix and I’ve always been fond of #39 and #40 with Doctor Doom and Daredevil. 


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