World Comic Book Review

A Deep Six’d Publication

8th August 2022

Injection Vol 1 (Review)

“Injection” Vol 1 (review)
Image Comics, July 2016
Writer: Warren Ellis

British writer Warren Ellis has been intensely prolific over the past year, penning the following titles:

a. “Trees“, another Image Comics publication;
b. James Bond – Vargr;
c. a title for Marvel Comics, “Moon Knight”;
d. another title for Marvel Comics, “Karnak”;
d. a novel entitled “Normal”.

“Injection” is the latest from Mr Ellis, and it consists of his trade mark dense concepts and dry wit. But Mr Ellis is treading on old ground in other ways, too.

If you were to squint long enough, “Injection” is a blurred, fuzzy, contemporary and bleaker version of Mr Ellis’ wondrous title, “Planetary” (1998-2009, Wildstorm Comics). In “Planetary”, three (and sometimes four) archeologists explore mysteries each of which have a core in popular culture. These range from pulp heroes from the 1930s to Japanese monster movies to American and English superheroes.

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Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens #1 (review)

Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens #1
IDW Publishing, July 2016
Writer: John Layman

“Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens” is a crossover comic book from American publisher IDW Publishing. As the title suggest, it features three extremely popular science fiction franchises. The central figures of each go head-to-head against each other in a story that is expected to favor flashy action over narrative depth. (“Predator” began its life as a motion picture starring action actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and features a monstrous alien which hunts humans. “Alien” is a series of motion pictures involving a terrifying “xenomorph” species with acid for blood, retractable jaws and a penchant for laying eggs inside its human victims.)

Do not envy the task of a writer who needs to craft a solid, coherent and believable inter-franchise crossover, especially if the characters exist on completely separate and incompatible universes or timelines.

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Joyride” #1 (of 4) (review)

“Joyride” #1 (of 4) (review)
Boom! Studios, April 2016
Writer: Jackson Lanzig and Collin Kelly

On the face of it, this title is an adolescent science fiction story, a heist, a youthful expression of defiance. It is almost shallow. But there are some shadows amidst the stardust.

A young girl named Uma convinces a boy named Dewydd to get her past the fascist gatekeepers manning a weapon on the moon which is aimed at the world. All citizens of the planet are in an Orwellian yoke where happiness and calm are mandated. Uma has made contact with an alien who has agreed to collect her and her friend from the dark side of the moon. The alien turns out to be a slaver. But she has subverted the alien’s enforcer, a black shapeshifting robot called D.Bot. The evil alien is jettisoned into space, presumably to his death, and Uma is left with the universe to explore and the means to do it. The three are actually a foursome, for there is also a fascist soldier, named Catrin, who has inadvertently joined the crew and is in the early stages of Stockholm Syndrome as a consequence of exposure to free-thinking.

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Project Nemesis #1-6 (review)

Project Nemesis #1-6 (review)
(American Gothic Press, October 2015 – June 2016)
Writer: Jeremy Robinson

American Gothic Press’ “Project Nemesis” is a comic book adaptation of the same-titled novel. “Project Nemesis” starts with two plot springboards:

a. the murder of a young Japanese girl named Maigo; and
b. the discovery of what seems like the fossilized remains of an ancient giant reptile (fans of the Japanese “kaiju” genre, discussed further below, will recognize the fossil as being similar to Hollywood’s first attempt to adapt the “Godzilla” franchise) by a character named General Lance Gordon and two accomplices, one of which is killed onsite in order to keep the whole thing under wraps.

The comic then segues to introducing the protagonist, Jon Hudson. Hudson is a lead investigator for the United States Department of Homeland Security’s “Fusion Center-P”. This unit is considered by other agents as a joke because it handles paranormal threats to national security (recalling shades of the television series “The X-Files”). The story finds Hudson and a sheriff named Collins reluctantly hunting down a sasquatch.

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