Singles Going Steady is Comics Bulletin’s weekly review roundup. After an extended hiatus, we’re bringing it back with a look at 3 of last week’s releases.
(w) Scott Snyder (a) Tony S. Daniel (c) Tomeu Morey
From the world of crowdfunding comes Nocterra. While the duo of Scott Snyder and Tony S. Daniel would be an all-star team for a Batman book, their joining of forces for a creator-owned book is a welcome change of pace from the cape comics they’re known for. This reprieve from superheroes seems to be just what the doctor ordered, as Snyder’s script is his best since Wytches (unsurprisingly, another non-superhero title). The story itself has the familiar post-apocalyptic tropes, the relative genre familiarity makes for a more engaging read. The story is lean and tightly paced, allowing the artwork to breathe while providing a peppering of well-timed dialogue for character development.
Speaking of artwork, Tony Daniel’s work is fantastic. Like Snyder, Daniel delivers his best work in years. Though the main cover is a touch underwhelming, the interior pages are wonderful. Daniel’s lines are crisp, his characters are expressive, and the action is dynamic. Also, his layouts give a sense of scope and spatial awareness, whether it’s a cityscape or a cramped tractor trailer. With two veteran cape creators working outside the confines of the Big Two structure, Nocterra #1 is a promising start to a series worth keeping an eye on.
(w) Keanu Reeves, Matt Kindt (a) Ron Garney (c) Bill Crabtree
Kickstarter is a great tool for new comic creators to realize their dreams. So it’s heartwarming to see unknown, upstart new Keanu Reeves get his big break co-writing a book with veteran scribe Matt Kindt. All joking aside, BRZRKR #1 has just as much story as its ridiculous title has vowels in exchange for an all out action extravaganza.
BRZRKR is not a bad comic by any means, it just needs more than one issue to be fully judged. The art from Ron Garney and Bill Crabtree fills each page with blood, bullets, and machismo as the titular character (who bears an uncanny resemblance to Mr. Reeves) mows down foe after foe while taking on immeasurable physical punishment – after a surprise recreation of the “Sad Keanu” meme. Yes, the Berzerker has similar abilities to another hairy comic protagonist with healing ability, but he is also impossibly old – linked back to the origins of humanity. That there is the spark of mystery that should bring readers back for issue #2.
INFINITE FRONTIER #0
(w) Joshua Williamson, Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Brian Michael Bendis, Becky Cloonan, Joelle Jones, Geoff Johns, et al (a) John Timms, David Marquez, Joelle Jones, Jorge Jimenez, Stephen Byrne, Rafa Sandoval, Jamal Ingle, Todd Nauck, Howard Porter, Alex Maleev, et al
There was a time when DC Comics was unfairly criticized for frequently rebooting its comic universe. Throughout the 2000s, it was a common criticism even though it had only happened once – in 1986 – and it spawned arguably the publisher’s strongest storytelling period ever. Then came Flashpoint. That was soon followed up with the Rebirth era. Now, DC is going to party like it’s 1985, as within the pages of Infinite Frontier #0, the idea of an infinite multiverse with infinite earths is reborn. Considering that and the sheer number of creators on this title, it’s an impressive feat that Infinite Frontier #0 is not a total mess.
Every story within this issue is at the very least okay, but none rise above “good” save for the one about the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott. While that one tale is ripe with character-driven dialogue, the rest of the issue is concerned with setting up the new status quo of the DC Universe, providing snippets of the publisher’s main players and what to expect of them. The framing story featuring Wonder Woman among the Quintessence – all-powerful beings in the DC cosmos – ends up being the real selling point at the issue’s end. And that’s truly what Infinite Frontier #0 is truly all about. As a comic, it’s okay. But as a marketing tool, it’s fantastic.