The Walking Dead
Volume 10, What We Become
I collect The Walking Dead in it's trade paperback collections. I balance the painful wait between volumes with getting more story at a time. Volume 10 collects issues 55 to 60 of the savagely brilliant ongoing series that is one of the most bleak but compulsively readable epics in comics.
The premise, for the uninitiated, is that at the end of the zombie movie the story just keeps going. We follow the hunted survivors of the roaming bands of zombies that have over run the Earth. Different hunted groups merge, characters join the group, form relationships, get eaten, new people arrive, but distressingly, less all the time.
People transform. As the book advertises. 'No government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV. In a world ruled by the dead we are forced to finally start living.' In this volume we learn that can also mean becoming monsters no less terrifying than the hungry dead.
Let's call this the 'Welcome back Mary Jane' cover shall we?
So, a few decades ago in real time, a few years in comics time Peter Parker found out that Mary Jane Watson knew he was Spiderman, had in fact always known since they were both teenagers but had kept that knowledge a secret even from him.
After years of playing the field Peter Parker zeroed in Mary Jane Watson, they were a steady item for a few years and then in a time of event driven comics they got married.
And the writers just couldn't figure out how to do Peter Parker, put upon young everyman if he was married to a super model/actress. They were split up by Mary Jane's move to Hollywood but stayed married. You can't give a heavily licensed trademark comic book character a divorce. Just can't happen.
So after the Marvel Comics Civil War event when Spiderman revealed his identity as Peter Parker to the world and Aunt May got shot by a sniper, the powers that be specifically editor in Chief Joe Quesada, decided that they needed a full continuity reset.
Spiderman couldn't get a divorce, so he sold his marriage to the devil in return for Aunt May's life and the secret of his identity back.
After a year away, after everyone on Earth's memory is wiped of the knowledge that he's actually Spiderman Mary Jane returns to establish the current continuity line that almost everything happened the way it originally did except that they didn't get married. They had a longstanding relationship, she seems to still know he's Spiderman, maybe they even lived together, but they didn't get married.
Oh, plus, J. Jonah. Jameson is Mayor of New York and Peter's back to working for him and a creepy serial killer super villain coats Peter's face in plastic and drops him into a pit of acid.
Yes, this review was an excuse to run that cover.
The Chronicles of Wormwood The Last Battle
Garth Ennis and Oscar Jimenez
Like the novel Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, Wormwood is a play on The Omen, the story of a sympathetic Antichrist. Instead of a likable 12 year old boy, Wormwood is a mostly likable grown up TV executive. He has a perverse intelligent rabbit, a forgiving girlfriend and he likes to hang out at the bar with his brain damaged buddy Jesus Christ.
In the first volume Wormwood's girlfriend dumps him after finding out about his steamy afternoons of anal sex with Joan of Arc. She's taken him back now, but he's still keeping the whole Antichrist thing a secret. Volume 2, The Last Enemy was really only memorabe for the line "Suck my cockectomy spawn of the Dark One!"
Now after defeating both his father Satan and God in Volume One to get them to leave humanity alone, somebody even worse has taken over Hell. This is just a brief preview of the coming miniseries Volume 3, The Last Battle, with an affordable $1.99 price tag.
It's a sacrilicious treat!
Dominic Fortune #1 of 4
Howard Chaykin and Edgar Delgado
Chaykin resurrects his 30's era pulp adventurer created in the 70's. He was originally published by Atlas Comics and called the Scorpion and then in Marvel magazines and comics as Dominic Fortune. It was always a stylish and sexy book. Now, in the new miniseries for Marvel Max, Marvel's explicit content line there are a lot more naked people and blowjobs.
A cross between Indiana Jones and Alexander Portnoy, as the story begins Dominic Fortune is demonstrating what an amoral swashbuckling mercenary he is by selling his fighter pilot skills back and forth to both sides of the just ended war between Bolivia and Paraguay, (which would make this June of 1935.) and falling from the sky into a naked starlet's swimming pool.
The war over he drifts to Hollywood and a job babysitting a trio of drunken actors. A racist conspiracy and some rather brutal whore shooting hint at the larger story.
It's got my attention and I'll be coming back for issue #2.
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