December 13, 2011

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Single Minded: Boom! Studios Titles for 12-14-11

Another week, another set of single issues from Boom!  Let's see what looked interesting to me this week, as we check in with two issue #2s and the third from Roger Langridge....

 Seven Warriors #2.  Written by Michael Le Galli.  Illustrated by Francis Manapul.  The crack team of warriors charged with getting the prince out of the besieged city may be stopped before they can begin!  If they can escape the deadly labyrinth, there's drama to be had on the high seas.  As their number dwindles and the task increases in difficulty, can one new member make the difference?

After a really intriguing start, this one bogged down a bit here in the second issue.  There's less political intrigue and more straight-up fighting, which gives it a bit less to distinguish itself from other comics with similar themes.  I'm also a bit iffy on the idea of seeing the warriors die every time there's a fight.  It would have been nice to change that up a bit.  I do like that getting out of the city was only one of the problems, and I'm still curious to see where this goes.  Manapul's art is a big draw here, as he really knocks the period feel out of the park.  Hopefully next issue will have a bit more depth and some less predictable deaths.

 Operation Broken Wings, 1936 #2.  Written by Herik Hanna.  Illustrated by Trevor Hairsine.  Our imprisoned narrator continues telling his story, as clues to his treachery are discovered but the motive behind them remain unrevealed.  What trips him up?  Why does he want to stop working for the Nazis?  What the heck is going on?

None of those questions are answered just yet in this second issue.  The Major moves through his world, which he know he distrusts, trying to get enough time to do something--but what?  And was he stopped before getting to do it?  Hanna really has readers guessing, which is a good thing when writing a story like this one.  It's a tale of espionage and one man's change of heart and the only problem I have is that the pacing is a bit on the slow side for a story like this.  I expect to be leaping from page to page, but instead, I was needing to linger to read every dialog heavy panel.

It's a minor complaint in a story that interests me despite being set in an era I don't have a strong desire to read about, but I think its audience is limited.  This is best for people who like reading Tom Clancy novels or are heavily into war comics.  I'll keep reading to see what the finish is, though, which is definitely a good sign when it comes to any comic.

Snarked #3.  Written and Illustrated by Roger Langridge.  This continues to be a highlight of the Boom! titles currently on the shelves. Reminding me pleasantly of Mark Evanier and Sergio Aragones' Groo, the characters are preparing to set off for a voyage to save the King--but first they need a map.  And a crew.  And a prayer.  Can this oddball collection of misfits, who gain only more misfits, get to sea before the evil powers behind the throne can stop them?

As much as I loved Langridge's Muppet Show, and as much as I could easily see this story with Jim Henson's creations dotting the characters (the Griffon reminds me of Sam cosplaying Nick Fury), I am rather tempted to say that this is even better than his work on the Muppet Show.  The plotting and pacing are perfect, the dialog is exactly the combination of sarcasm and dumb jokes that seem to be Langridge's stock in trade, and the characters are either decidedly evil or decidedly good, in a way we rarely see these days.  The art follows the story gleefully, with little gags in the background (a beaver's weapon of choice is a wooden plank) that are just as entertaining as the action in the foreground.  I am so happy we are getting more work from Langridge and I hope this series (or ones like it) have a long life at Boom!  While I encourage you to get the first two issues, Langridge nicely provides a witty "story so far" intro, so you can jump right in.  Go do it!

Thanks as always to Boom! for providing review copies.  If you are interested in having me review your comic, please get in touch with me at trebro@gmail.com.  Have fun at the comic shops tomorrow!