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Blood In The Gutters: Week’s New Crime Comics – Jennifer Blood, RoboCop, Marksmen, Devil’s Island
This week’s new comic book day will feature the following selections: To buy a non-Ennis Ennis title?; on the road with Officer Murphy; America’s shootin’-est city; no Gilligan on this island.
Jennifer Blood #8–Technically, the title was Garth Ennis’ Jennifer Blood, but it would appear that since Garth Ennis is no longer pulling down script duties, they took his name off the top. Which is nice of Dynamite (remember how Avatar would do that with Alan Moore and Frank Miller?), this puts me in a position. I will buy just about anything Ennis puts his name on, that’s just how much I’ve enjoyed the guy’s work since I was a lad. This book, though, is handily my least favorite of his since…hell, since ever. I can’t think of a book Ennis has written that I was hoping he’d stop writing so I could quit buying it (I know how dumb that sounds; welcome to the world of the comic-book nerd). So, now then. Al Ewing has taken over scripting duties, and the last issue was his first, and it wasn’t bad. I just dunno if I wanna continue to invest myself in this book. There’s nothing wrong with it, exactly, it’s just kinda…there. Maybe I’ll finish out this arc, depending on how heavy my week is, but I’m not optimistic, really.
RoboCop: Road Trip #2–Another Dynamite book that’s got me on the fence. As much as I love the original film RoboCop, very little done with that franchise since has been worth it, especially the next two films. I still have this thing, though, where I am compelled to buy the comics, even the not-very-good Marvel ones from the ’90s (which I got rid of back then, but am certain I’ll buy again. It’s a sickness!). Dark Horse’s RoboCop vs. Terminator was pretty incredible, but that was Frank Miller and Walt Simonson. Hard to fuck that up. Which brings me to Rob Williams. I’ve been digging his work on Marvel’s Daken, not so much on Ghost Rider. Both those books are ending, for what that’s worth. Williams did the recent Terminator/RoboCop: Kill Human mini for Dynamite, which had a keen eye for the continuity of both films, but was kind of a rehash of the aforementioned Miller/Simonson book and the art was terrible. Issue one of this book was good, but it claims to take place after the first film. Yet a lot of stuff seems to me to have happened between the end credits of that flick and page one of this series. Please don’t make me watch RoboCop 3 here, Williams, I’m begging you.
Marksmen #5 (of 6)–Normally, with a mini this close to ending, I’d have waited for the trade to even discuss it here. But then I saw that it takes place in my home-base of San Diego, CA. So I figure it’s worth mentioning here. In fact, I’m likely to dig around in the back-issue bins for the previous four (creators, take note: I will buy your comic if it takes place here, no matter how lousy it might be). Better still, it’s a post-apocalyptic San Diego. Generally, the post-apocalypse is post-interesting, but further to digging books set in my hometown, I dig more books that destroy my hometown (cf. the “Sub Diego” storyline in Aquaman). So there promises to be lots of sci-fi shoot-’em-ups herein in what used to be America’s finest city. Though I’m wholly unfamiliar with the previous works of writer David Baxter or artist Javier Aranda, I’m giving this a whirl.
Devil’s Island graphic novel--The setting for the 1973 Steve McQueen/Dustin Hoffman flick Papillon, Devil’s Island is a territory fraught with premise for crime fiction. You just don’t see much of it, which is weird. The island in French Guiana first became a penal colony under the rule of one of the later Napoleons, and was by all accounts, a hell on Earth right up until the early 1950s. This stand-alone graphic novel by writer Nikola Jajic and artist Josef Cage is about a small group of prisoners used to hunt down escapees, and certainly sounds interesting, but at twenty bucks, it might be a bit of gamble. Get your taxes filed ASAP and roll the bones.