Two Paper Cuts in two weeks?! This has got to be some sort of personal record for me. If I’m not careful you guys might start expecting me to do one of these every week from now on which, for a “Weekly Comic Pull List” just seems… strange. Anyways, this week we’re taking a look at titles that span the gamut between time-traveling douchebags to ill-trained Power Ranger parodies.
Legacy of Luther Strode #1
It’s been awhile since we last saw Justin Jordan (Spread) and Tradd Moore’s Luther Strode and man has he grown. Not just in terms of physicality, though he totally has a vein-busting Ultimate Warrior-esque physique thanks to “The Hercules Method,” but also mentally. Luther is now a man at peace with his new powers and the responsibility that seems to come with them (ie. busting up bad guys who enjoy committing mass murder).
After a series of flashbacks that lay the groundwork for the threat to come (Samson) as well as catch us up on the fallout from the last series (Legacy of Luther Strode), we learn that Luther and his bullet-loving gal pal (Petra) have been living in the woods and training all Remo Williams like. In no time, however, Luther and Petra are back in “the city” fighting murderous, musclebound members of “The Hercules Method” club. Forty action-packed pages later it would seem like everything is back to “status quo” when a mysterious benefactor makes herself known. Who this person is and how Luther/Petra know her remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: she’s bound to be trouble.
As fun as they are, time travel stories are remarkably hard to pull off. Put too much thought into the science behind it and you risk losing readers (like me)—not enough thought and the story starts to unravel pretty quickly. Luckily, author Mark Millar deftly handles this balance by skimming over the technical mojo (think: Timecop) of how the “chrono-suits” work and focusing instead on his two main characters: Corbin Quinn, an overachieving temporal physicist; and Danny Reilly, Corbin’s flamboyant science pal and fashion stud.
The story seems pretty straight-forward until Corbin’s inaugural time trip goes haywire and Danny stumbles headlong after him. Landing in Samarkand, circa 1504, Danny finds himself in a topsy-turvy world where Corbin has gone rogue. That’s right, instead of simply returning to his timeline the straight-laced Dr. Corbin decided to play “catch me if you can” and has been hopping through time—for four years!—mucking things up. Not only that, he convinces Danny to join him and the two embark on a criss-cross campaign of chaos through the timestream. If the ending of issue #2 is any indication, however, Corbin and Danny are about to land in a whole lot of trouble!
Task Force Rad Squad #1
A truly independent title, I stumbled upon the self-published Task Force Rad Squad after seeing Buster Moody’s artwork in the SPREAD TPB last week. The promise of a Megas XLR-style Power Rangers parody featuring hippie wizards, crusty-lipped warlords, crazy monsters and slacker superheroes really clicked. While all the elements are accounted for, however, they never quite stack up in the way I had hoped. Part of this is due to the rapid-fire pacing of the script which, while a solid effort, aims to take on too much story for a single issue and the humor suffers for it.
The book wastes no time in introducing readers to the members of Task Force Rad Squad (TFRS) while simultaneously having them take down the vile Mistress Flagitiox and her entire crew of party-themed cronies. Exciting stuff, but the final battle between TFRS and Flagitiox seems rushed as a result and while I haven’t read the proceeding issues I’d imagine that this confrontation could have stretched out at least three installments. That said, everything being ridiculously overblown is part of the joke here so perhaps I’m overthinking things. If this sounds like you’re kind of comedy you can get a taste of TFRS for as little as $1 in digital format.