Review: Scalped: Vol. 4 – The Gravel in Your Guts; by Jason Aaron

Scalped, Vol. 4: The Gravel in Your GutsScalped, Vol. 4: The Gravel in Your Guts by Jason Aaron
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well shit got even darker than it already was pretty fast…

Intro by the great Ed Brubaker rightly points out: This is Noir. Noir is when you know shit gonna go bad, but you can’t help but watch, you just know things aren’t getting better.

There’s some beautiful work being done in the Noir world, and Jason Aaron makes it raw, unflinching, and downright sad.

He also writes characters that are some crazy shades of grey. Red Crow was an asshole at the start, but now we get a glimpse into who he thinks he is, why he’s done what he’s done, and who he thinks is evil. Dash was going to be our unconventional hero, but he’s getting tainted with darkness all over his white hat too.

It’s like this is the Graphic Novel version of Alice in Chains beautifully miserable “Down in a Hole”.

Down in a hole, feelin so small
Down in a hole, losin my soul
I’d like to fly but my
Wings have been so denied

Red Crow is becoming a Shakespearean villain (ie. multiple layers of evil/bad on top of what used to be a pure/decent soul; or simply one bad decision that led down the road to years and years of them).

The “romance” between Dash and Carol Red Crow is agonizing and makes you feel like shit, because you know it’s based on something so real. Neither of them has anyone else they can come close to trusting, so they join together for the downward spiral.

(This really is an early 90s Alternative Music video adaptation I swear.)

Bravo to Mr. Aaron, it’s so authentic, so real, I’m amazed this hasn’t been made into an HBO series yet. It’s right up there with those ideas.

If you’re not already reading this series, what is wrong with you? Wake up! Get it!

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Review: Even More Bad Parenting Advice, by Guy Delisle

Even More Bad Parenting AdviceEven More Bad Parenting Advice by Guy Delisle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Randomly reserved at library due to funny title.

Turns out it was quite a laugh. This guy’s dad character seems like a cross between me and Calvin’s dad from Calvin & Hobbes. Some of the things are right on, to the point my wife was laughing hard and saying “did you read that? That’s so you!” Well yes. The section where the dad buys comics for the kid instead of real books, and then promises a new PS3 (with Mario Kart??? oops!) to be the cool dad. Telling the son he’s going to have a homeless man move into their house, or fooling mom into thinking the son actually knew his speech.

But the best is when the bully gets smacked in the head during pinata time. Priceless.

Well worth a read, very quick and easy.

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Review: Fantastic Four Vol. 6 (Foundation) by Jonathan Hickman

Fantastic Four, Volume 6Fantastic Four, Volume 6 by Jonathan Hickman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think the best way to describe the final volume of this collection would be disjointed. It’s all over the place, trying to do way too many things at once, and none of the stories flow. It really is a bunch of individual issues tied together because they were all published in the same 6 months.

There’s good stories, boring ones, some interesting ideas, and some very touching ones.

Feels like this just got thrown together, or Hickman just had a bunch of ideas he wasn’t done with.

1)Reed and Nathaniel go forward in time to see what becomes of the FF, and it actually leads to a rather touching moment.

2)Parallel Universe Reed works for Hitler, who won WWII, ends up becoming all-powerful a-la Doom, and leads into the Council of Reeds…

3)Parallel Doom creates his own universe, and it isn’t quite what he bargained for; is saved by unlikely child.

4)FF performs brain surgery on Willy Lumpkin. (Marvel has now had 3 different instances of shrinking to do brain surgery in less than 2yrs: Hank Pym on Daredevil; Hank McCoy on Broo; Reed and FF on Willy…are they trying to suggest something?)

5) Tie-up of the parallel universe Reed saved being moved to the future or something so they never have to worry about not having somewhere to be…

All in all some interesting ideas but just so much going on…

I do like Hickman’s attempts to make things cosmic large, and I do like that each member becomes stronger as individual characters.

Not the place to start with FF though, and I do feel like Fraction’s Marvel Now stuff isn’t quite as good.

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