Saturday, October 16, 2010

Strange Tales II #1

by various creators

I'm pleased to see that the first run of this title was successful enough for Marvel to do a second series of this anthology comic that showcases a wide variety of "indie" and comix artists playing in the Marvel sandbox.

Like the first run, there are a lot of stories in here that did absolutely nothing for me, but the stuff I liked made purchasing the comic worthwhile and rewarding none the less.

This issue has a number of strengths.  To begin with, Rafael Grampá's cover is phenomenal.  I love that Thor's hammer has a handle shaped like a bread knife, and that he's wearing lace-up high tops.  The first story is also by Grampá, and it's a gritty and nasty tale about Wolverine involving the extreme fighting circuit and very kinky sex.  It's also one of two stories in here that have Wolverine whining about how he can't heal a broken heart - it's cool in this story, and cheesy in the other.

Gene Luen Yang brings back the Frog-Man, a character I had forgotten about, but who seems to have been made for Yang.   I thought that Shannon Wheeler's story about a "gone native" Red Skull was pretty funny, and while I didn't enjoy the stories, I found Frank Santoro's Silver Surfer tale, Dash Shaw's Spider-Man story, and Nicholas Gurewitch's Galacatus piece to be very pretty.  I also liked Jeff Lemire's story of the RCMP, the Wendigo, and the Man-Thing.  That's a winning combination I'd read a twelve-issue maxi-series about.

This is by no means a perfect compilation, but it is pretty cool that Marvel is doing it.  I look forward to seeing who contributes to issue number two.

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