In, Kings Quest #1, writers Ben Acker and Heath Corson craft a relatable POV character in the “other Phantom” Karen, keep a winking sense of humor throughout the story, and let Dan McDaid and Omi Remalante draw and color plenty of punching, kicking, sword slicing, and mysticism from the various members of Team Supreme. It’s a fun introduction to these classic characters for the summer superhero blockbuster generation. (Which includes me.)
James Bond #5 gets the adrenaline pumping in the leadup to the concluding issue of the VARGR storyline. What could have been a meandering 24 pages of explanations, revelations, and set-up is really an action-packed, brisk read with critical tidbits communicated so the reader knows where Bond will be heading for the final lap of his mission, and why.
Everyone knows that Bond survives his missions. He isn’t the sort of character franchises kill off only to resurrect a few months or years down the road. 007 is, essentially, immortal, but without the cheap shock value of ‘deaths’ that will clearly be reversed shortly thereafter by fantastical means. Part of the fun is witnessing how he remains alive despite the odds, with special joy provided in discovering how he flees traps laid out by his enemies.
Red Sonja #1 has anything a fan of female fronted sword and sorcery comics could want from political intrigue and commentary to sweeping landscapes from Aneke and colorist Jorge Sutil, who gives Hyrkania the bluest skies and greenest woods as a facade for the corruption that infects this land that seems semi-utopian on the surface. (Namely, random settlers give Red Sonja sass when she offers to protect them for food, drink, and shelter.) And there also plenty of earthy humor and wit in writer Marguerite Bennett’s script, who continues to keep Red Sonja stinky from the moment she pulls the heart out of a bull monster. Bennett also explores Sonja’s approach to romance and relationships as well as her need to always be fighting or protecting someone and balances it nicely with the political intrigue.
To say that the level of anticipation surrounding this book in the Bond fan community was high would be an understatement. Warren Ellis, a celebrated writer who has co-created fantastic original works as well as thrown his hat into the Marvel ring a few times, was a huge coup for Ian Fleming Publications. What would Fleming’s Bond transported to modern day be like?
This week’s NonCompliant was unintentionally retro as we discuss the 80s indie superhero mixtape comic We Can Never Go Home, disco fabulous Wonder Woman ’77 from DC, and the time travel/sci-fi set in the 80s book Rocket Girl. We also chat about the first chapter of the Gail Simone penned Swords of Sorrow crossover featuring a variety of characters from different eras, including sword and sorcery, jungle adventure, and modern crime noir.