May Have Missed: April

May Have Missed is a monthly post in which I talk about a handful of standout comics that were published during the previous month.

Oh what’s this? Another month has passed us by, full of wonderful comics, stories that delighted us, and although our bank account may be a little more empty, deep down we all know it’s worth it. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. The month of April was an insane month for comics. Not once, but twice, my purchase was over twenty books deep, which of course I proudly boasted on Twitter. We’ve covered quite a few of the books that stood out to in our regular feature New Comic Book Day, however, with a month like this there were just far too many to chose from. So, with that, here’s April’s list of comics that I just can’t pass up the chance to write about. Let’s get into it…

Huck-6-CoverHuck #6

Written By: Mark Millar
Art By: Rafael Alburquerque
Published: April 20, 2016 by Image Comics

Starting us off this month is one of my favorite books to come along in awhile. Huck, for me, came out of nothingness. I had no prior knowledge that Millar was working on anything like this and after the first read through I was simply floored. Huck is a superhero story done with a not-so-typical twist. Huck has super strength and some form of homing senses that allow him to always find, or hit, what he’s aiming at. Yet, throughout the story, regardless of Huck’s tremendous power, his innocence never ceases. That’s what drew the line in the sand for me. Millar presented so many opportunities for Huck to become something he wasn’t, but never felt the need to push the character in that direction. Huck remains loyal, loving, kind, and somewhat innocent through all six books, and in this final issue of the arc we see the resolution of all that he’s been building.

This was honestly a great read from beginning to end. I hope the series keeps on plugging along because I’m definitely a Huck fan now. I’d love to see where Millar can take a character like this, and if the series keeps going, I’ll be buying.

Black-Eyed-Kids-1-CoverBlack Eyed Kids #1

Written By:Joe Pruett
Art By: Szymon Kundranski
Published: April 20, 2016 by Aftershock Comics

Well, who wants to sleep, I know I sure don’t but even if I did this book is so damn freaky I couldn’t sleep now, even if I tried. Seriously, I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been reading comics for most of my life, or exactly what the cause, but my tastes in comics have changed over the last couple years. Normally, a book like Black Eyed Kids would’ve never made it into my hands, and forget about me writing about how much I enjoyed it, but here I am. To call this a horror book isn’t really fair, although, I’m not sure what “genre” you could classify it otherwise. It’s scary, and freaky, and oddly intriguing which is the hook that gets me. There’s weird things happening but no explanation given, and for me that’s how you keep me coming back. I always want to know why the weird things are happening and I’ll go long distance to find out.

What we have in Black Eyed Kids, are kids with solid black pupils murdering people, however, there appears to be a force driving them to do so. In fact, in more of the more freaky scenes, a sleep walking kid actually predicts the “coming” of these murder children. (SPOILER) He does this right before his eye go pitch black and murders his whole family (END SPOILER). So, beyond the dark nature of whatever is going on, there’s another force at work. Some sort of connection to all that’s happening, and as for this writer, I’m now forced into reading this because there’s no way I can read a book this freaky without knowing what happens next.

Lobster-Johnson-CoverLobster Johnson: The Forgotten Man

Written By: Mike Mignola & John Arcudi
Art By: Peter Snejbjerg
Published: April 6, 2016, by Dark Horse Comics

If you’re a fan of Mignola then Lobster Johnson isn’t new to you. However, if you’ve never heard of either Mike Mignola or Lobster Johnson then you have a good time ahead of you. I say that because Mignola has been creating amazing characters and stories for as long as I can remember. His most popular character being Hellboy, which is exactly where our boy Lobster Johnson first appeared, back in the late 90’s.

Lobster Johnson is a vigilante of sorts that exists within the world of Hellboy, around the 1930’s. The premise of the character is that he was a pulp hero, featured on comics, but it turned out he was in fact a real man fighting mobsters and monsters alike. There are plenty of resources online to go find out about the character however, if you’re interested in a great book, with a great character, and enjoy the pulp feel and tone in comics, Lobster Johnson is a spectacular read. Even better, with this issue being a one-shot single story you can simply grab this book and find out, rather easily, if this character is for you.

Black-Widow-2-CoverBlack Widow #2

Written By: Chris Samnee & Mark Waid
Art By: Chris Samnee
Published: April 6, 2016, by Marvel Comics

I can’t sing the praises of this book any more than I already am. Every single person I talk to about comics, every single person I meet that might be interested in comics, I’m telling all of everybody to read this book. It’s unbelievable in every possible great way, with one draw back specifically for me. For some reason, this book constantly reminds me of the waste of space Black Widow is in the cinematic universe. Seriously, Scarlet Johansson does a great job with what very little they give her, which isn’t a shot at her. Yet, the Black Widow of this book would be amaze-balls on the screen and ScarJo (I’m so sorry for calling her ScarJo) would dominate the screen with it. With that said, and my little complaining session over, what Waid and Samnee are giving us within these pages is comic gold. These two guys are the dynamic-duo of the Marvel world.

With this book we just go further down the rabbit hole as to what’s happening to our girl Black Widow. She’s not one to be exposed or found to be weak, or even trapped, so what better way to create conflict than to have someone get the upper hand on her. In that Samnee and Waid create a wonderful tension by taking the “skills” of our hero and pitting them against someone who’s overcome those skills. Another example of this would be an unsolvable crime for Batman. It’s pitting the professional against an adversary that challenges their greatness, and in Black Widow, somehow Samnee and Waid have created this delightful tension, and did so only using two stunning books. Seriously, everyone, do yourselves a favor and go pick these up because they’re unbelievable.

The-Fix-1-CoverThe Fix #1

Written By: Nick Spencer
Art By: Steve Lieber
Published: April 6, 2016 by Image Comics

So, if you missed my write-up on Silver by Stephen Franck, go check it out here first, because it’ll explain why I’m about to lose my crap over this book. Oh. My. Flipping. Goodness. This book was amazing. Seriously, I don’t know what I’ve done, or who I’ve pleased, but whoever you are, keeping bringing these crime/heist comics to life. Seriously folks, I don’t think I can capture the sheer delight and joy I get from comics like this. I want to rub these stories on my face before I go to bed, or physically eat them for my daily nutrition. I know, I know, these books provide no daily dietary nutrition…I’ve been down that road, but still.

The basic premise of the story is wrapped around two guys who realized that being police officers is the best way to be a criminal. However, these two guys aren’t winning any awards for thinking, or even well thought out plans. The two fellas this book follows are kind of like criminal versions of Dumb and Dumber, but with way more sarcasm. Imagine if Oceans Eleven wasn’t about a group of people robbing a casino, but instead, it’s about two guys who nearly fumble robbing a senior center Bingo night. At one point however, a character named Donovan is introduced, and let me tell you, I had to step away from the book because I was laughing so hard. Seriously, the sequence in which we’re introduced to Donovan might be the funniest dialogue I’ve ever read in a comic…ever.

At the end of the day, our cop/criminal boys find themselves stuck in a rather precarious situation, and their options to alleviate themselves of this predicament aren’t the best. One option involves a rather rudimentary removal of certain body parts, typically found in the southern regions of the body. Their other option is to face down one of the toughest, most feared officers on the force…no spoilers, but if you don’t laugh at the last page of this book, you’re dead inside.

Power-Rangers-2-CoverPower Rangers #2

Written By: Kyle Higgins
Art By: Hendry Prasetya
Published: April 6, 2016 by BOOM! Studios

Oh no! Rita has escaped, after ten thousand years she’s free. It’s probably time for her to conquer the Earth. Alpha…recruit a team of teenagers…with attitude. *queue guitar solo* Go, go, Power Rangers! Mighty Morphin Power Rangers…sorry, I just felt the need to break into the Power Ranger theme song.

As goofy as I’m being right now, mostly because I love the Power Ranger, and partly because I am terribly goofy, this comic is anything but goofy. I’m not sure how Higgins is taking the source material and transforming into this amazing comic, but whatever mystical powers he has, keep it coming because I can’t get enough. Thus far, from issue zero to two, Higgins has built the Power Rangers into today’s culture seamlessly, without actually forgoing all the things the Power Rangers were. On top of all that goodness, there’s a downright wonderful comic at play here. You could take away all the nostalgia and pre-built character development, and what you’d have is nothing short of a great comic.

Issue two is pushing us further into the Tommy story, which I’m super happy with because there was always a tension in the show between Green and the rest. At some point they just stopped writing it into the show, but never really resolved it. However, here we have Higgins addressing that very thing in a wonderful way. As for this writer, Power Rangers has easily made it into my regular reading list, and I don’t foresee that ceasing anytime soon.

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