Highs And Lows

Now, no one can deny it has been a big news week for comics. From the announcement that Valiant is relaunching itself, even without the properties of Solar, Turok and Magnus; to the ‘it’s not a reboot, honest’ promotions of the new DCU titles in September. Or rather the DCnU, as it will be called for about five minutes.

The relaunch of the Valiant stock is one I eagerly await, as there are some really strong characters in that universe, such as the Eternal Warrior, or Rai. Yet Solar, Man Of The Atom and Magnus, Robot Fighter did rather form the spine of the universe; so it will be interesting to see just what the company comes up with. Does this mean that the Eternal Warrior will become lynchpin character? Or maybe the Harbingers, knock-off X-Men as they are?

Yet I would not want to see Dark Horse end their excellent Solar title prematurely. If you haven’t picked it up yet, I highly recommend it, it remains true to the character we got to know in the Nineties, yet very much carries its own identity. Magnus I can take or leave, but with Solar, Dark Horse is doing good things.

Meanwhile, Flashpoint carries on apace, and the more of the tie-in titles I read, the more I am enjoying it. Cases in point, this week’s Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown. I enjoyed the Morrison rendition of our favourite patchwork zombie in Seven Soldiers, and have long since wanted to see more of him.

This week has been buzzing with promotions of the new September titles, a lot of which look very promising. Except maybe Teen Titans – what on Earth have they done to Wonder Girl? Now I must have the attention span and commitment of a goldfish. Remember how critical I was regarding the not-reboot? How betrayed I felt? Now I find myself drooling over the titles they are announcing, and I want to read them. Although like everyone else, I also want to know – WHERE ARE THE JUSTICE SOCIETY?

Like the Crusaders, and Milestone and the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents before them, the Wild Storm cast of characters are integrated into this new Earth. I have seen many ask if we want a world where Apollo and Superman co-exist; but my thoughts go to Majestic and Zealot. How will the cosmic DCU be affected by the presence of the Kherubim Empire? Or the Daemonites for that matter? It’s not easy just to slip in a new intergalactic empire with such an important history.

Of course, I haven’t seen mention of these characters yet, but we know it’s coming.

Under the barrage of publicity and interviews however, titles from the smaller labels may have gone unnoticed. My ‘must-have’ recommendation for the week is Fly from Zenescope, where the writer Raven Gregory uses the allegory of super-powers to explore the complex issues around addiction.

Aside from Eric J’s wonderful art, very much in the Zenescope style, this is a tale of three people whose lives have been controlled by a drug called ‘Fly’ since their teenage years; a drug that gives the user the ability to do exactly what it says on the tin.

The story is told in two eras; the present, where two of the three characters are adults and we have yet to see the third; fleshed out by flashbacks to their adolescent years, and their first experimentations with the drug.

In the editorial, Raven Gregory is brutally honest about his past, and what led him to create this story. The influence of Meth-Amphetamine disrupted the lives of himself and his family, so much so that although this script was initially penned two years ago, Raven was forced to let it sit until he had the distance to look at it again.

Although the first issue is purely framing, slowly revealing the back story without an overpowering cliff-hanger, I want to read more. There are hints of sensitivity that leads me to believe that such a storyline is in very capable hands indeed. If you pick nothing else up this week, give ‘Fly’ a go.


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Darren Burr

A devoted follower of the comics industry and their characters since a child, Darren now plays in many media but always returns to characters in skin-tight costumes beating each other up on the page. Radio host, blogger, fanfic author and producer of You Tube content, Darren idles away his days until his digital conquest of the world is complete.

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