Papercuts: March 22, 2017
By Ryan “HB” Mount
This week, we take a look at the reintroduction of two fan-favorite characters, Vampirella and Marvel’s Man-Thing with new jumping on points and big departures from status quo of the characters long histories.
Vampirella #1 (Dynamite)
After reviewing the #0 issue, there was a ton of mystery of where this series was heading. I never would have thought from #0 that we were getting Vampirella in dystopian future Los Angles. Perhaps as comic readers, we should welcome drastic changes and see where the story leads before rushing to conclusion.
This should not come as a surprise, but it felt like Paul Cornell was writing another episode of Doctor Who and not Vampirella. There was a huge world presented with a lot of mystery and not a lot of explanation. There was also some future speak dialogue which was alright for an opening issue, but hopefully does not bog down the story for the long term.
The art in this issue was fantastic. While I appreciate the mood that the zero issue had set up, this set up a much different landscape. There are remnants of Kirby and Moebius in the design work and spoke to my sensibilities.
There is also something to be said about a book taking a lot of chances. There appears to be another narrative happening outside the panels on the page and certainly not conventional, I again think that a book taking some risks, should be something given some praise.
While this book is anything but traditional Vampirella, there are so many interesting things happening that this new launch deserves several issues before making a full judgement.
Ratings: 4 out of 5
Man-Thing #1 (Marvel)
If you were a child of the 1990’s and you saw that teen horror writer, R.L. Stine was writing a comic book, you would naturally be excited.
While for a long time, Man-Thing has been a lumbering and haunting character with oddly defined powers of portal jumping and instilling total fear into people, Stine decided to take the character in a completely new and different direction and is bound to rub some longtime fans the wrong way.
After reading this issue, you are left wondering if Stine had recently watched the 2005 film, Man-Thing which wanted to tell a funny story of how that film came to be made. There were certain references from character designs to statements from characters in the book that leads us to that conclusion. I was unsure if Stine was going for a Howard the Duck type of story for this book, but there the writing was not clever enough to hook readers. The departure was so far removed from the original character that many old-time fans will have nothing to grab onto and new readers won’t have enough either.
The art was fine and seeing Man-Thing on the page was a real treat, when it came to everything else, it seemed clunky and rushed.
Ratings: 2.5 out of 5
Zombie Camp #1 – This is a book has its issues, but it is intended for kids. Enjoy the simplicity. Ratings: 2.5 out of 5
The Darkness Visible #2 – Mike Carey continues to tell a compelling story of a society where demons and humans struggle to co-exist. A couple more layers added on in this issue. Ratings: 3 out of 5
Eclipse #5 – New Arc. Go back and pick up the trade, then jump in. Ratings: 3.5 out of 5
Grim Tales of Terror (Vol. 3) #2 – Teen horror meets idle hands. Ratings: 2 out of 5
Grim Tales of Terror (Vol. 3) #3 – New art style for the book. Typical fare. Ratings: 2 out of 5
Richard Corben’s Shadows of the Grave #3 – The art alone is enough to add this to your monthly reading, but the creeps and scares keep it essential for any fans of the genre. Ratings: 3.5 out of 5
Lady Killer 2 #4 – Dexter meets Mad Men. Beautiful art. Ratings: 3.5 out of 5
Spook House #3 – Horror Anthology for kids! Ratings: 3.5 out of 5
When not writing about horror comics, Ryan enjoys long walks on shark infested beaches or at least watching them on the screen. If you like what you read, tweet out the link to the column and use the #papercuts. If you want to read more, follow Ryan @hebruise and look his other comic columns and interviews over at Two-Headed Nerd.com.