Today, IDW’s Khan mini-series comes to a close. It has been an interesting ride thus far as the creators attempted to do a new spin on this classic character given that the current Star Trek movies have rebooted the entire universe and last year’s Star Trek: Into Darkness thus gave us a new Khan for this reboot. The first two issues of the series were quite decent, largely because it was all setup to lead into the meat of the story. The third and fourth issues however have proven to be not as good and the story has pretty much just dragged along.
And now we have the fifth and final issue, wrapping everything up. My complaints from the previous two reviews still exist. The art is off, the characterisation is… also off. I don’t know. I just couldn’t get into this at all. But, it was kind of nice that everything was wrapped up for the most part. But still, I get the feeling that there just hasn’t been enough room to explore the entire story in just five issues. It is simply too intricate!
So welcome to the first Comics Picks of The Week for 2014 where I list the comics that were actually to be the first ones released in the new year. Everything that has been revealed so far about 2014 promises an amazing year, I have to say. Well, for the most part at least. There are some things that I don’t quite understand, or like, but eh, it is still going to be a great year I feel.
This past week, Marvel finally launched its All-New Marvel NOW! line with Black Widow, All-New X-Factor and Revolutionary War: Alpha and they aren’t going to stop. New releases will continue throughout March at the least and we will even be getting some of these new titles double-shipped, such as Black Widow #2 which comes out next week. In other news, I had some fun reading DC titles this week, although Detective Comics #27 proved to be quite disappointing for most of the first half. And my disappointment is on several levels, not just with one particular aspect of it. But, more on that in the reviews.
My first graphic novel of the year happened to be the (unfinished) mini-series that Steve Gerber and Matthew Sturges wrote a few years ago, with the former writing the tale of a new Doctor Fate while the latter wrote about the supervillain Eclipse. Only eight issues of this double-sized series were released, but I have to say that I definitely enjoyed it and based on that, my graphic novel reading is off to a good start.
If I remember correctly, the last Star Trek novel I read, prior to James Swallow’s quite good Cast No Shadow last year in June, was some time in 2004 and it was one where the author focused on Spock and his relationship to a niece or some such character who was coming of age quite soon and was intended to be married off soon after in a bit of family politics. So its been a long time, to be generous. Cast No Shadow really got me in the mood for getting back to the setting however, and around the same time I rewatched The Undiscovered Country for like the umpteenth time. Soon after I heard that there was going to be a new series of Star Trek novels, part of a multi-author series and that the first book would be set in the DS9 continuity.
I could not have been more excited, to be honest. All the Star Trek shows, yes even Enterprise which I enjoyed quite highly and have rewatched multiple times, were good and the fact that DS9 was a very action-packed series was all the better. What I didn’t expect when I began reading Revelation and Dust however was all the changes. And there have been many of them. But at the same time, with an almost fresh cast of characters, I found that I did enjoy the novel quite a bit and that I’m really keen to read more. More, more, more.
The wind-up has now begun. In October IDW started this new tie-in series to this year’s Star Trek: Into Darkness and its been an interesting ride of sorts. The first two issues were quite decent and I kind of did enjoy them to a fair degree, but the third issue wasn’t so good. It was sort of expected I suppose, since this is an origin series, and there is a lot of ground for writer Mike Johnson to cover here. That was indeed one of the problems with issue #3 since it pretty much moved through the entire story at a very fast clip.
The new issue does thing slightly different. It tells a more focused story, for starters, but the art is still a bit off, largely in terms of how the characters are drawn, their faces particularly. This is the penultimate issue of this mini-series, since issue #5 next month is the end and we will, hopefully, get to the beginning of the movie itself and see how things were brought to that state with Khan, or rather, John Harrison as he was known in the first half of the movie.
Last year, I blogged over at The Founding Fields about 25 book series from various genres, science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, space opera, etc that I wanted to read in 2013. The intention behind that particular reading challenge was to read a broad variety of some of the most popular names in those genres as well as to try out several new authors and revisit some favourite classics. While I wasn’t as successful in the challenge as I might like, I’ve made it a new year resolution to make sure that I do indeed repeat the challenge in 2014 with new books, new authors, and finish it this time.
To that effect, here are the 25 book series I’ve picked for this reading challenge for this year. You can see the previous list for 2013 here.
Well, here we are. This will be the final CPoTW post of the year, even though today is the last new comic book day of 2013. Just the way these schedules all work out and all.
Moving on, this was a somewhat light week in some respects since I didn’t get around to as many comics as I wanted to. Quite a few titles slipped through the cracks, which is happening more and more given the sheer volume of how many comics are (generally) released each and every week. Still, one bright ray of sunshine in all of this was that I managed to read three entire graphic novels this week, all of them for Batgirl, with one featuring Cassandra Cain and the other two featuring Stephanie Brown, both characters who are much in demand among several outspoken communities of fans to be revived in the New 52. Having read these graphic novels, I certainly agree with that!
Another month, another Star Trek: Khan comic from IDW Publishing hits the shelves. Writer Mike Johnson has used the first two issues fairly well in most respects, adding to the entirely new continuity of films that Director J. J. Abrams established with his two blockbuster movies and showing off how Khan as he was in Star Trek: Into Darkness came to be. Its not something that I’ve particularly liked, since I’m a fan of the older established continuity, but I’ve been fairly interested in it all the same.
The third issue here goes into much more depth about Khan’s reign during the Eugenics Wars and gives a lot of information on the state of the world at the time. So far, we had only seen the private moments for the most part and with the new issue Johnson expands the scope of the story and the events so that he is properly contextualising Khan as a product of his times, more than anything. Nature AND nurture so to speak. So, as a character study, this issue definitely holds some weight. But its not all song and roses.
Being a fan of the character of Khan Noonien Singh from his original appearances in Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan, reading the first issue of Mike Johnson’s new series from IDW last month proved to be an interesting experience. It changed a few things, but kept others the same. The core of the character did not, thankfully, need any redefinition, but his backstory was indeed rebooted to fit what the recent Star Trek: Into Darkness did with him, and where the character is meant to go.
I read the second issue last night and I have to say that I am somewhat disappointed in that it is just not as strong a comic. We continue to get more on the character and the supporting cast, but there is something that is distinctly missing from this issue. Which is a shame since the series is quite promising otherwise.
Zero Year has finally kicked off for the non-Batman titles for DC and its been pretty good so far. Lots of interesting stories to say the least and this coming week promises to be even better with Batman #25 and Batgirl #25 hitting the stands as well, so good times to be had. Didn’t read too much outside of DC this time around, which is fine with me since I like my superheroes a particular way and other comics don’t interest me all that much really.
Read another graphic novel this week, mostly to catch up with a series I’m following right now, so that’s a bonus for the most part. I’d say I have a good thing going here if I can scrape in a graphic novel a week. Could be more, depending on certain things, but I’m fine I suppose.