Note from the author: As this was originally presented on April's Fools day, here's the original "joke" (which some people didn't find funny at all).
Anyway, Welcome to Three-Words-Only Free Comics Review.
Box 13 Vol. 2 # 13 (ComiXology App)
Written by David Gallager
Art by Steve Ellis
Three words review: Psychodelic yet intriguing.
Daredevil: Yellow #1 (Marvel App)
Written by Jeph Loeb
Art by Tim Sale
Three words review: Nostalgic and depressing.
Daredevil: Yellow is one of the famed collaborations by the Sale and Loeb team for Marvel, collectively known as the "Color" books. In each of them, an old facet of a modern hero is revisited by the team.
In Daredevil's case, we get a good look at the beginning of his career as a costumed vigilante. What drove him to wear a yellow costume and hunt criminals.
As everyone knows already, Matt Murdock is the son of an old boxing legend Battlin' Jack Murdock. Jack is suffering a resurgence late in his career, which we learn is because his new manager is fixing the fights.
Because Jack refuses to throw a fight, the (appropriately named) Fixer has him killed. Because the cops can't do anything about it, Matt is forced to take justice into his own hands.
One interesting thing is that the origin of Matt's super powers are never really shown on page. I don't remember if it's shown on later issues, but it struck me as a bit odd. However, this does not affect the reading of the book one bit, as it stands on its own without it.
As a whole, this book (and all the other color ones) are very nostalgic, calling back to an earlier era. In that aspect, Sale's artwork is phenomenal. His art is delight to see in projects like this, and this one is probably one of his best looking books (and that's saying something).
Elephantmen #1, Elephantmen #4.5 & Elephantmen: War Toys #1 (Image/ComiXology App)
Written by Richard Starkings, Joe Casey
Art by Moritat, Ladronn
Three words review: Good, crazy sci-fi.
Eternals #1 (Marvel App)
Written by Neil Gaiman
Art by John Romita Jr.
Three words review: Beautiful all around.
Global Frequency #1 (DC/ComiXology App)
Written by Warren Ellis
Art by Gary Leach
Three words review: Really good ideas.
Gotham City Sirens #1 (DC/ComiXology App)
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Guillem March
Three words review: Pass the cheesecake.
Gotham City Sirens was a book that started shortly after the events of Batman R.I.P., which saw Gotham in disarray and the three leading ladies start working together.
Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn make for an entertaining ensemble, as their personalities are quite different from each other.
We see them come together to stand against the latest wave of craziness that is washing over Gotham. Considering their formidable abilities, it's hard to imagine anyone that could stand against them as they decide to live together.
Of course, they don't really fully trust each other, and the issue ends in two of them, Ivy and Harley, trying to find out something from Catwoman: Who is Batman?
Dini has a pretty good handle on these characters, having previously handled them in Batman: The Animated Series. He also brings in another of his pet characters, Zatanna, for a cameo.
While I honestly like and appreciate the art by Guillem March, his art is too cheesecakey at times. There are random butt shots, character in strange poses. With such a female heavy cast, this quickly becomes an issue. Nonetheless, his design and storytelling, are quite good for the most part.
Gravity #1 (Marvel App)
Written by Sean McKeever
Art by Mike Norton, Jonathan Glapion and Guru eFX
Three words review: 21st Century Spider-Man.
Gravity was a five issue mini series released some five years ago. In it, we are introduced to the titular character, his powers, and his personality.
Greg Willis used to be a random teenager just like any other, but after receiving mysterious gravity-based superpowers, he decides to move to the big city and become a superhero.
He soon finds out that being a superhero ain't easy. On his very first day, he accidentally knocks out former New Warrior and Avenger, Rage, thinking he was a bad guy, and letting a criminal escape in the process.
To make matters worse, Greg has to deal with his civilian life, as he navigates a new university and a strange roommate. For a Wisconsin boy like Greg, life in the Big Apple is turning out to be not quite what he expected.
Gravity is honestly a very good series, and the themes it deals with, of adult-but-still-a-teenager uncertainty are surely bound to resonate with many readers in the same way that Spider-Man did when he first appeared.
The fact that this series did not become a huge hit is a big surprise for me. Sean McKeever and Mike Norton just work perfectly together to create a new Spider-Man for this new generation, while still being unique on his own right.
Jack of Fables #1 (ComiXology App)
Written by Matt Sturges and Bill Willingham
Art by Peter Akins
Three words review: Fun and sexy.
The original Fables spin-off, Jack of Fables features the solo stories of Jack Horner (the same guy with the beanstalks and giant slaying). This series recently came to a close at 50 issues long.
The story picks up with Jack, having been recently forced to leave Hollywood with nothing but a suitcase of money and his marching orders of staying off radar.
We get a bit of flashback to how Jack got into this position, which is needed to understand how having a suitcase full of money is a bad thing.
As he hitchhikes across America, he gets taken in by a mysterious group who kidnaps him and takes him to a strange reservation. Capturing him is easier said than done, as Jack is resourceful and nearly immortal. He tries to escape in a very stupid and dangerous fashion.
However, once he gets there, he finds an old and familiar face: Goldilocks. Her appearance is both unexpected and sensual. A Fable-terrorist had probably never looked this sexy, I would think.
Jack of Fables is a far more laid back and funny series than its sister title. Though not without humor, Fables was far more melodramatic, while Jack pokes fun at everything and anything.
Savage Dragon #0 (Image/ComiXology App)
Written by Erik Larsen
Art by Erik Larsen
Three words review: What the f$%k?
Savage Dragon is a long running series over at Image by creator Erik Larsen. This zero issue is an origin of the character, which had previously been veiled in mystery.
Here we learn that Savage Dragon is a former leader of an advanced alien race, traveling the cosmos looking for a suitable place to live described in some religious prophecies.
This prophecy has lead them to the planet Earth, which he feels is the perfect place for them to live. The only problem? Those pesky humans living in it.
He proposes to completely eradicate human life in it so that they may live there. However, some high standing members of his council see his actions as unscrupulous and against their religious beliefs. Because of this, they plan a coup, attacking and wounding Savage Dragon and dropping him in Earth with no recollection of his former life.
Savage Dragon is not a very likable character in this comic, something that Larsen comments on in the back matter. Asides from wanting to wipe out humanity, he also destroys and dismembers a woman (of his species) while having sex with her. While it was consensual encounter, his immense strength caused the woman's death. This is a profoundly strange scene.
Then there's also the vasectomy. Before dropping Dragon into Earth, the people that attacked him perform a vasectomy on him so that he may not produce any offspring. I can only imagine this played a bigger role somewhere down the line.
I did like that Larsen provided the logic, inspiration, and rationalization for this issue in the back matter. I think more authors (particularly creator owned titles) should do this kind of thing.
That's it for this final column! I know no one really reads this because it's in italic, so I can write whatever I want and no one will notice. Remember that you can always read the comics in the ComiXology web reader (with the exception of the Marvel ones) or you can just pirate them off the Internet (even the Marvel ones). You can consider this my resignation letter, so feel free to comment how much this column sucked. I won't really care. Goodbye.
Signed: Matt Duarte. April 1st, 2011. Valencia, Spain.