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Blood In The Gutters: Week’s Crime Comics – The Spider, Red Light, Marksmen, Fury MAX
This week at your neighborhood comic-book pusher’s: I’m a cult hero; I like traffic lights, but not when they are red (He likes traffic lights, but not when they are red); Meet the New San Diego, same as the old San Diego; George Clooney’s least favorite comic.
The Spider #1–Despite my deep and abiding love for all things crime fiction, the pulp hero has been my own red-headed stepchild. Perhaps not that reviled, but I certainly don’t give this field in the genre all that much recognition. This is only made more odd by my distinct pleasure in reading the essays on the old pulps that Jess Nevins wrote for the backs of several issues of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillps’s Criminal. I can’t remember if The Spider ever made it into any of those essays, but I’m sure he will be in the pulp-hero encyclopedia Nevins is surely compiling. Anyways, I digress. My own luke-warm enthusiasm for the source material aside, I did really enjoy writer David Liss’s recent run on Marvel’s Black Panther–in fact, his was the only Black Panther run I have ever followed, now that I think about it. So I might just have to give this one a go. It certainly couldn’t be worse than the original.
Red Light graphic novel–This book sounds interesting, but I wish there was more info out there than just the vague product description. From what I can gather, though, it’s a sci-fi sorta detective story, in a future where memory implants are readily available. A cop whose family’s been murdered is exposed to the memories of their killer, and thus begins his downward spiral. Sounds interesting, like I say, but it could be not very good for all I know, and writer Devin Hylton and artist Breno Girafa don’t have a whole lot of work under their belts (though what I’ve found of Girafa’s art looks good). So this will have to be an unknown quantity til I can get my hands on a copy, or at least a review. I know Arcana isn’t the biggest publisher ever, but you’d think there’d be a little more pre-press publicity.
Marksmen trade paperback–So I chatted up the penultimate issue of this mini earlier this year, mostly on the basis of its setting, the not-too-distant future of America’s Finest City, New San Diego. I’ve had an intense love/hate relationship with my base of operations since I moved here as a surly adolescent, and therefore I love seeing it destroyed in the pages of funny-books. Actually, the premise is that the 619 is the last livable section of the country, protected from the rest of America’s wasteland by an elite group of Navy SEALs, its west-coast HQ being right here in Coronado. When the Texans amass an army to attack and conquer New San Diego, marksman Drake McCoy and his crew may not be enough to keep them out of Sea World. I was unable to put my hand to the single back-issues, and I’ve heard only fair to middling reviews. Still and all, I doubt I’ll be able to resist.
Fury MAX #1–Well, let’s just run down the checklist: Garth Ennis script, check. Art by Goran Parlov, who has collaborated with Ennis in the past on such classics as Barracuda, check. Cover by Dave Johnson, cover artist of 100 Bullets and one of the few artists for whom I’ll judge a book by its cover, check. Marvel’s “mature readers” MAX imprint, check. The story is set in Vietnam, check. Add that all up, and you’ve got the version of Nick Fury that even George Clooney thought was too vile for the American public, and a very happy Jimmy for the week. And a new issue of The Boys too! My cup, it truly runneth over.