“PawPrints” – Furry Senpai’s Comic Pickups for May 16, 2012
Here’s a recap of my pickups for this week: Glory #26, Hardcore #1, and Birds of Prey #7. Remember, my rating does not necessarily reflect the comic’s quality (although that is taken into consideration) but rather it’s a gauge of my overall interest in the story being told.
5 = Excellent thus far, and will definitely pick up the next issue if/when available.
4 = Pretty good, the series has got my complete interest. Recommend staying with this series.
3 = If I see the next issue on shelves, I might give it thumb-through. I’m Mildly interested.
2 = Has some good points but I didn’t find the story too interesting/I feel nothing for the characters.
1 = I wasted my money!
0 = I will BURN every copy I find!!!
Let me be clear, I fell in love with Glory as soon as I picked up issue 23. This is exactly how a hulking amazon warrior princess from outer space should appear and act. In fact, more heroes in general should look like this. She has been through hell, and looks like it, complete with scars (which have stayed a consistent character trait thus far) and combat-toned muscles that’d make the Hulk cower.
There is a lot that Glory has that keeps me coming back for more, and why I consider it one of the better re-launched “extreme” comics from Image. However there were a few flaws, and things I didn’t quite understand with the characters. I was hoping the more I read, that those problems would eventually be answered.
It’s been four issues, and I am still not entirely clear on Riley’s connection to Glory. For that matter, I’m not even clear on Gloria’s link to Glory either.
Granted, Gloria’s subconscious link to Glory was highlighted in greater detail through exposition in issue 23 but, to my knowledge, it has yet to be truly SHOWN how Glory lived/lives through Gloria.
So in this issue, stuff gets real as Gloria’s father begins invading Earth in search of his daughter. There are actually a few very tense moments, and the dialogue flows nicely between characters. I also adore the amount of attention and grotesque detail put into the monsters of Glory’s world. In fact the art here (and over the past few issues) is fantastic in general. The only real flaw so far is how Riley is drawn. She is written to be about 20-25 I’d guess, but is drawn as if she’s twelve. Also the fact that she’s usually at Glory’s side, whom towers over pretty much everyone else in the comic, doesn’t do her any favors in this regard.
I started off pretty hot for this series, but have cooled down since. Still, I am more than likely going to stick around for the next few issues. When it comes to picking up a comic about a woman in armor kicking alien ass, you could do so much worse.
Glory #26: 4 out of 5
It’s no secret that I am a sucker for some good cyberpunk storytelling. One of the tropes associated with the cyberpunk genre is “hacking” the minds of individuals to force your will on them. This has been used in depth in cyberpunk styled games like Syndicate (both in the original and the underrated 2012 game) and Mindjack (if this game wasn’t a broken mess, I’d love it.)
In “Hardcore,” the government uses a top-secret form of “mind control” to force individuals to carry out their dirty work for them. While ethically questionable to say the least, this strategy is very clean and convenient in its execution. The missions typically end with both the target and mind-controlled individual dead, with no traceable link back to the government. Ideally, the person selected for this is as guilty as the one that’s being targeted for assassination, however there are occasions where exceptions need to be made. The agent remotely doing the mind and body manipulation has up to 72 hours to complete their mission, or abort and unplug. If they keep the Hardcore active for too long, they can die, but that has never been a problem… until now.
In this issue, the “Hardcore” program is infiltrated and everything goes terribly wrong. It ends with many characters (we hardly knew) being gunned down, and agent Drake, our protagonist, stuck in his latest Hardcore subject. If he unplugs, the capsule around him will open and he will be murdered like his coworkers. If he doesn’t, then he dies anyway.
Don’t get me wrong, that is an excellent hook to keep people interested and wanting to buy #2, however my biggest gripe is that everything happens much too fast. The premise alone of the government using people for covert ops missions is sufficient material for a few good stories in which we could get to know all the characters. Once readers are given more of a reason to care about the characters, and have seen the program in action in a variety of circumstances, then events such as what happens in this issue will be more significant.
The Hardcore program is infiltrated by the the one who created the technology to make it possible, Marcus Price. He feels justified in his actions since he was booted off the project after he allowed the government to take it over. All of this is quickly explained in two and a half pages of exposition, instead of SHOWN over time in a few issues.
For that reason, “Hardcore #1” is pretty darned good, but not great. I am more than likely going to grab #2 when I see it, and see where this story goes.
Oh and one more thing, I absolutely HATE it when people use human bodies as shields against automatic gunfire. Unless the human-shield is wearing some kind of protection, it it is just dumb. While most bullets are designed to hit their target without exiting, exit wounds do happen. The Punisher knows this, but sadly not many other comic gunslingers do.
Hardcore #1: 3 out of 5
Birds of Prey #7
And speaking of mind control…
Batgirl, Katana (no, not from Mortal Kombat, that’s “Kitana”… and no, not the badguy from Highlander 2, this one actually wields a katana), Black Canary, Starling and Poison Ivy (yes, you read right, Poison Ivy the infamous ecoterrorist is now flying The Birds of Prey) are have finally killed Choke… or have they?
For those new to the series, the myserious Choke has been planting neural bombs in the minds of Gotham’s citizens (and some heroes). When these bombs are triggered by a seemingly innocuous phrase/rhyme, the subject becomes the puppet of Choke’s whims.
Meanwhile, the Birds of Prey are about as disfunctional as one would assume, and the in-fighting comes to a head here. Both Katana and Poison Ivy kill someone in this issue, much to the shock of the more goody-two-shoes heroines, especially Black Canary.
There is plenty of action in this book, but what will keep me reading is the opportunity to see some of Gotham’s lesser-known heroines in action, specifically the incredibly bad-ass Starling. While the team spends much of the issue bickering and not trusting each other, the dialogue never gets grating. It is actually pretty well-written, and is used to gradually reveal more about the characters personalities and back stories.
Birds of Prey #7: 3 out of 5
Wow, this was actually a pretty solid week for me. Will my luck with picking up good comics continue? Well let’s see, next week I got Youngblood #71 on my pull list. …Yeah, I don’t like my chances either.