I was a little disappointed with Endgame, the final book of The Losers. Not because it lost the big A-Team style action from the previous books, but because Max (the big shadowy bad guy through the story) had such a Lex Luthorish grand plan. It involved creating a new rogue nuclear-armed country on a brand new island in the Persian Gulf who would do what America didn’t have the stomach for any more. Actually, putting it that way it doesn’t sound as silly. I just get stuck on the “brand new island” bit, especially since it was so reminiscent of Superman Returns.
But there was a good amount of exploding and not all of the Losers died. It was a much bigger story than the movie version, and I’m glad I finally read it. Definitely recommended if you like actiony comics without capes and tights.
As I noted in my last review of The Losers, I read this series all out of order, but still enjoyed it. Double Down is book 2 in the five book series and it has big action-movie sequences and good A-Team type hijinks, as one would expect. This volume deals with the immediate aftermath of the huge oil refinery bust-up and the betrayal by Roque at the end of the first volume.
Close Quarters is the fourth book in Andy Diggle and Jock’s The Losers series. While the previous volume was side trips and flashbacks, this book is straight up Cayman bank heists (in England), motorcycle chases and stealing helicopters in the process of high-seas plutonium piracy. Have I mentioned what a fun book this is? It’s like the A-Team but not nearly so dumb. I have nothing more to add.
It’s one of those weird gaps in my comics reading that though I loved Andy Diggle and Jock’s The Losers, I only read the first volume. Trifecta is the third volume and includes the backstory of how the team got disavowed (it’s similar to the movie version except more complicated and in Afghanistan instead of Central America). There’s also a great little story of Aisha playing her former handler in Turkmenistan.
I maintain that this book is pretty much exactly what I wish more action movies were. There’s dialogue there to be awesome and twisty plots and double-crossing and revenge. [the sound of me kissing the tips of three fingers and a thumb together and having them blossom all lotus-like]
The Last Musketeer is a Jason book about a Musketeer who doesn’t really have much to do, until aliens invade. Then he goes off to Mars and buckles some serious swash. Like a lot of Jason’s work there are unexplained assumptions (like why Athos is still alive, and that Mars is okay for walking around on) but the story is a pulp action tale with this detachment and loneliness to it. It’s great.
Scott Chantler’s The Northwest Passage is a comic about fur traders and family and lots of action in Rupert’s Land back in 1755. Charles Lord, the governor, is heading back to England but before the supply ship arrives, one of his old Cree friends ends up shot and brought into camp, with tales of a vision of death. Then the French show up and take over the Company’s fort, Lord escapes into the wilderness, family relations are strained, and he gets the old gang back together again to retake what’s his. This is historical fiction with a very action-movie bent to it. The characters are all made up and there is a bit of Die Hard-ishness, especially in the final big set piece. The dialogue wasn’t great (very pulpy), but the clean cartoony style almost makes you overlook the amount of violence going on in the story. It was a fun read, but nothing earth-shattering.
Doug TenNapel writes great zany science fiction actiony kinds of comics (as one would expect from the creator of Earthworm Jim and Ratfist). Ghostopolis is about a guy whose job is to send ghosts back to the afterlife, but he fucks up an operation and banishes a living boy (with a terminal disease) as well. His boss doesn’t trust him to be part of the official expedition to get the boy back, so he goes through unofficial channels. Meanwhile the boy is meeting his dead grandfather and they’re getting into wild exciting adventures.
There’s romance and jokes and kings and eloquent speeches and at one point the city of Ghostopolis is animated by two rivals who are punching the heck out of each other. It’s pretty awesome. (I also like his Creature Tech and love Iron West.)
It’s no secret that I love Brian Wood’s DMZ. Hearts and Minds is part 8 of the series and I enjoyed it more than the previous volume. The main reason for that is when we get to the Matty Roth part of the story (after an excellent story about a suicide bomber) he’s being questioned by other characters the same way that I’ve been questioning him, about how he’s changed and isn’t what he used to be. It’s turning the whole story into one of observing and talking versus taking action. At one point Matty says something like “The last thing we need around here is another idiot running around with a blog.” An issue near and dear to my heart. The book remains great and one of my no hesitation recommendation comics.