Monday, November 17, 2014

recent reads; digital graphic novels

I read through a lot of digital comics this weekend. Much easier than reading prose when multitasking, a.k.a. minding kids.

Gotham by Gaslight (A Tale of the Batman)

Not steampunk, but a Victorian take on a late 19th century Gotham with a prowling Batman, Jack the Ripper and art by Mike Mignola. Who could say no? It was good, though I guessed who was the Ripper fairly early on. Good twist with Bruce Wayne nearly at the gallows for the crimes, which did make for a suspenseful moment - perhaps in this alternate world Bruce/Batman would turn out to be a mad murderer? You'll need to read this one to see for yourself.

The Tower Chronicles: (Volume1) Geisthawk

John Tower, investigator/mercenary for hire when you have a supernatural problem. The art by Simon Bisley is excellent. All manners of creatures pop up along the way; vengeful ghosts, vampires, kobolds, demons. Tower also has a history with a secret society, The Brotherhood of the Rose, who weave their unwelcome threads along his immortal history. I am looking forward to reading the second series.

Buck Rogers, Volume 1 Future Shock

This was fun. This Buck Rogers ends up in a future where men are meat and intelligent animals, "The Pack, threaten mankind. All the while he must also discover who he is and what to make of himself in the new world. Lots of pulpy fun here. Flight suits, spaceships, atomzier pistols., etc.

Buck Rogers, Volume 2 Brave New World

The fact that I kept going onto Volume 2 immediately should tell you that I did indeed enjoy Volume 1.

This followup had even more space opera derring-do. Instead of one enemy, Buck goes from breathless adventure to breathless adventure. He saves the world from underground mutants, air pirates, and rogue robots on the moon.

I don't know what became of this series. Volume 2 ends on a cliffhanger with the promise Rogers will be back. Of course, that was back in 2010. I can't even find these listed at Comixology for sale anymore. I don't know if something fell through with the rights. (There is a new, retro Buck Rogers now from Hermes Press with art by Howard Chaykin.) Too bad. I would have continued with the Dynamite storyline it if it kept going.

Trinity (Superman / Batman / Wonder Woman)

A stand-alone tale of the famous trio's first team-up. In this story, Batman and Superman know each other, but Wonder Woman is a new arrival. A mystery villain recruits a rogue amazon and frees Bizarro from the Antarctic ice (where Luthor put his failed experiment for safekeeping.) The hand is soon revealed to be Ra's al Ghul. He is on yet another mission to purge the world of the evil elements of mankind.

In addition to a decent villainous plot and heroes interplay, I appreciated that there wasn't a cliche "battle of heroes over a misunderstanding." When Wonder Woman first confronts Superman, thinking he is guilty of a crime committed by Bizarro, she uses diplomacy (appropriately enough) before any fisticuffs. Wonder Woman and Batman almost come to blows, but Superman keeps the peace. In other words, this is indeed a team, no "versus" here.

The one negative here was implication of Ra's al Ghul as a rapist. He threatens such on Wonder Woman and invades Themyscira making comments about Amazon "breeding stock." It seemed a bit ignoble of the character - but I'm not well-versed in the character's comic history, either.

Again, my highest compliment would be to see this one animated as a movie by DC/WB. I think it would be a fun one.

Overall, a good batch of stuff, I am happy to report.


  1. Gotham by Gaslight is one of my all-time favorite Elseworlds stories. I would love to see someone do an animated movie based on that one.

  2. These sound good. I've been watching Gotham with my son, which has put me in the mood for more Batman.

  3. These still show up as such small print on my kindle. I don't know what I'm doing wrong.

    1. Yeah, I've only tried one Kindle graphic novel, and I used the iPad KindleApp. It still seemed a little small. I try to stick with Comixology and DarkHorse on the iPad. (The only reason I had that one, Slaine, on the Kindle was it was only available through Amazon. Not a real selling point.)

  4. I loved the DC Elsewhere's series, especially Gotham by Gaslight. A great tale of what could have been.