January 31, 2016

The Pull List: 27 January 2016, Part II

From the outset ODY-C has been a bit of a hard sell: a gender-flipped science fiction retelling of The Odyssey, blended together with The Thousand and One Nights and Moby Dick, told in a sexualised, Metal Hurlant-style fashion with verse narration replacing dialogue. I'm pretty sure that, with all those elements mashed together, ODY-C could be the most love-it-or-hate-it comic on the market right now.

I am firmly on the side of loving it. Christian Ward's artwork and panel layouts are tremendously imaginative, and beautifully coloured. It uses a tremendously rich palette, and regularly experiments with the panels themselves. Gods and monsters regularly shatter them. Rare moments of dialogue get rendered as sound effects. The scale of the action varies wonderfully from page to page.

Each issue also comes with a fascinating essay at the end, written by Dani Coleman and adding a great amount of insight and value in terms of unpacking and analysing the story Matt Fraction is telling. As for Fraction himself, the verse in this issue is sensational. It's well worth reading it aloud just to feel how rhythmically in falls off the tongue, and how evocative the descriptions are.

If you're ever looking for a book to break your comfort bubble of DC and Marvel superhero titles, then ODY-C should absolutely be on your radar. Nine issues in, and it's close to faultless. (5/5)

Under the cut: reviews of Black Canary, Daredevil and Revival.

Black Canary #7
DC Comics. Written by Brenden Fletcher. Art by Annie Wu. Colours by Lee Loughridge.
Black Canary faces the Quietus as the first arc of the comic hits its climax. This is a great comic book, primarily because the panel layouts and artwork are exceptionally good. There's a lot going on, and the fight that's fought is mainly based on sound. Fletcher and Wu do a remarkable job of translating that into entirely visual terms. This book has been one of the better DC titles in recent months, and issues like this prove it should be getting a lot more attention and sales than it is. (4/5)

Daredevil #3
Marvel. Written by Charles Soule. Art by Ron Garney. Colours by Matt Milla.
Daredevil fights to stop the Hand from killing Tenfingers and his followers, before finding unwanted repercussions in his day job as city prosecutor. Charles Soule is a decent writer, and Ron Garney is a great artist, and I really like the subtle, near-monochromatic colouring Matt Milla is doing with this book. In the end though, this just feels like a generic and boring Daredevil comic. All of the ingredients are fine, but the end result simply isn't very interesting. (2/5)

Revival #36
Image. Written by Tim Seeley. Art by Mike Norton. Colours by Mark Englert.
Dana and Em have broken out of the secure hospital where all of the revived had been imprisoned. Now they're on the run, and entirely absent from this issue. In their place we follow General Cale as she takes measures to find and recapture them. It's a little frustrating: the last issue felt as if Revival was finally moving towards some answers to what has been going on, and this issue it feels like a weird jump to focus on Cale recruiting a sword-wielding Amish assassin (no really) and a ninety-something fitness guru having a personal crisis. It's well written, well illustrated, but a bit frustrating and odd in the wrong sort of a way. (3/5)

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