Comics of the week reviewed for 3 July (Wired UK)

Having taken over movies, television and
animation, comics have never been cooler. Now, picks
out the best and worst of the week’s titles for your reading

This week, Marvel goes galactic with two new ongoing series,
Legendary Star-Lord #1  and Rocket Raccoon
, spinning out of Guardians of the Galaxy, while
Image’s horror satire Hack/Slash kicks off its latest

Legendary Star-Lord #1,

Star-Lord #1
Star-Lord #1

Peter Quill gets a solo focus before
leading the Guardians of the Galaxy onto cinema screens

2014 Marvel Characters, Inc

With an almost self-effacing title playing off the now-iconic Guardians
movie trailer
(“I’m Star-Lord!”, “Who?” — far from
“legendary”), Marvel’s latest addition to its cosmic line shows
what the team leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy does during his
down time.

The answer, it seems, is get caught up in interplanetary scams.
This debut issue opens on a not-so-friendly altercation between
Peter Quill, the Star-Lord in question, and a group of alien Badoon
thieves, with one or both parties looking to shill a rare gym from
an orphanage. The setting isn’t just to evoke “think of the
children!” concern, but rather skilfully used to juxtapose with
Quill’s own upbringing, left orphaned after aliens killed his

Series writer Sam Humphries presents Quill as a roguish, Han
Solo type, always slightly out of his depth, but endlessly cocky.
He also picks up character elements established by
Guardians writer Brian Michael Bendis over in the team
book, such as the burgeoning relationship between Star-Lord and the
X-Men’s Kitty Pryde.

If the comic were just a microscope turned on developments in
the core Guardians book, this issue wouldn’t inspire much
confidence beyond perhaps launching a mini-series. However,
Humphries introduces a last page twist, one that affects his entire
history and the fractious relationship with his father, and demands
Star-Lord have a solo title to focus on the ramifications.

Artist Paco Medina takes the brisk and eye-catching superhero
style he’s known for from work on the likes of X-Men and
Spider-Man, and applies it to the space-bound setting of
the characters with charm and skill. Most impressively, he gives
individuality and personality to the Badoon criminals, too often
drawn as generic green skinned lizard people with no distinguishing
features. Humphries’ killer twist and Medina’s brilliant art prove
reason enough for this title to exist for now — we just hope
there’s enough momentum to keep it going in the longer term.

Rocket Raccoon #1,

Raccoon #1
Raccoon #1

The gun-fancying critter takes centre

© 2014 Marvel Characters, Inc

The other Guardians of the Galaxy spin-off launching
this week, and unlike Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon
feels much more connected with the whole team. Rocket’s best bud
Groot — the talking tree — is a prominent fixture throughout, and
the other Guardians show up via a particularly hilarious phone
call/multi-world chase scene.

Humour is to be the hallmark of this book it seems, with creator
Skottie Young (writing, pencilling, and inking, with Jean-Francois
Beaulieu on colours) fusing Rocket’s inherent “funny animal” visual
with the gun-toting persona readers have come to love, all to great
effect. From fourth-wall breaking sound effects to the occasional
bit of slapstick violence, the jokes come thick and fast.
Thankfully, the gags land, with Young’s combination of sharp
dialogue and expressive, exaggerated artwork making the comic
frequently laugh-out-loud funny.

There’s some serious plot work going on too. In the midst of a
misunderstanding at an interplanetary wrestling match, Young digs
up a seemingly abandoned thread from the prequel digital comic from last year, positing that Rocket may
not actually be the last of his kind. One slightly troubling aspect
is a cabal of Rocket’s dumped ex-girlfriends gathering to exact
revenge. Presenting Rocket as a ladies’ man via a horde of vengeful
women fixated on his undoing is such a hokey, borderline insulting
concept that we can’t help but hope the plot point is dealt with
swiftly and forgotten, so that the comedy, action and more
appealing mysteries can take centre stage.

Like the reveal in Legendary Star-Lord, there’s enough
promise in the big twist to grab readers for at least the opening
arc, though Rocket Raccoon has more energy to it and will
likely keep people’s attention longer as a result.

Hack/Slash — Son of Samhain #1,

Hack/Slash -
Son of Samhain #1
Hack/Slash -
Son of Samhain #1

Monster-killer Cassie Hack returns,
kicking off an arc suited to newcomers and long time fans

© Hack/Slash, Inc

Cassie Hack kills monsters. Or rather, she used to. Daughter of
a notorious serial killer referred to as the Lunch Lady, Cassie
grew up fast when she had to kill her own mother, resurrected as a
murderous demon. After too much tragedy and violence in her life,
she’s now working as a bounty hunter, bringing in regular
criminals. Of course, a protracted campaign by subterranean
monsters to bring back an ancient god of darkness known as
Attan-Soolu is enough to end that side career. Tracked down and
drawn back into the monster hunting life by Delroy, an older cowboy
type who knows more about Cassie than she’d like, she’s soon
reluctantly back out fighting the creatures that go bump in the

Despite the first issue, this is just the latest chapter in
Cassie’s adventures. However, writers Michael Moreci and Steve
Seeley present new readers with enough information to understand
the hero’s mental state and how she got there, making it easy to
jump into the Hack/Slash world. The forces of Attan-Soolu
are present as a suitably creepy threat, with a world-ending sense
of doom surrounding them that warrants Cassie’s abandoning of her
quiet(er) life. Similarly, the new character of Delroy proves a
hit, coming across as an ornery Wolverine type — gruff but lovable
— and a feral child hunted by both sides is a compelling

Emilio Laiso’s art fits well, with aeons-past scenes and
underground caverns both appropriately Lovecraftian, while modern
dangers are satisfyingly grotesque for a horror comic. Insectoid
parasites crawling through flesh and pulsating hulks of demon meat
are just two of the “delights” on offer.

Think of Hack/Slash as Buffy without the superpowers
and you’ll have a good idea of what to expect. Snappy, sarcastic,
Whedon-esque dialogue from Moreci and Seeley make the comparison
that much tighter, but this stands on its own both as an
introduction to Cassie and an exciting next instalment for existing

If the article suppose to have a video or a photo gallery and it does not appear on your screen, please Click Here


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.