We’re going to totally ignore the fact that my last Paper Cuts entry was over a month ago because… well, bacon. No, not Kevin Bacon. The kind of bacon that you eat… okay, so I guess “technically” you could eat Kevin Bacon but that brings up all sorts of legal issues and really I don’t think he’d be that tasty. So, anyway, what were we talking about again? Right, COMICS!
Oh, KILLSTRIKE #1-2
From the creative team of Max Bemis (writer) and Logan Faerber (artist) comes KILLSTRIKE—an action hero equipped with more pouches than the mind can possibly conceive of reasons to use, oddly shaped guns and a thirst for vengeance. Sound familiar? It should. Oh, KILLSTRIKE is totally a tongue-in-cheek throwback to the 90s era of comics and, more specifically, comic creator Rob Liefeld (X-Force, Youngblood). The twist here is that KILLSTRIKE literally leaps out from the comic page and into the “real world” thanks to everyday schmuck, Jared Hollyweather.
Like a grown-up imaginary friend, KILLSTRIKE convinces Jared to confront his estranged father in order to claim “VENGEANCE!” Jared begrudgingly agrees and takes off to Manhattan, leaving his wife and newborn behind (sorta how his father left him as a kid). You would think the clash between these two personalities would ignite some interesting action-fueling sparks… but you would be only half right. While there are bits of action here scattered throughout, Oh, KILLSTRIKE comes across as remarkably tame. In fact, the titular antihero is far more like a giant puppy than a wrecking ball of bloodthirsty vengeance. A disappointing debut, but there’s still two issues left to turn things around. Perhaps the mystery of Jared’s missing father will be the pin that’s sets off this powder keg of 90s nostalgia.
All Star Section Eight #1
It’s been awhile since we’ve hit up the hellhole of Gotham City known as the Cauldron. While it’s most infamous resident is superpowered hitman Tommy Monaghan, the Cauldron is also home to Sixpack, Dogwelder, Bueno Excellente, Flemgem and a host of other, equally eclectic, “heroes” collectively known as Section Eight. Reuniting co-creators Garth Ennis (writer) and John McCrea (artist), All Star Section Eight opens with the death of destruction of the entire team with the exception of Six Pack in what I assume is a flashback (it’s kind of hard to tell since our unreliable narrator is Six Pack himself). Anyway, fast-forward to the present and Six Pack is called back into action (by what exactly, it’s unclear) and sets off to assemble a new team.
A few phone calls later and Six Pack has his new team—Powertool, Bueno Excellente, Guts, The Grapplah, a new Dogwelder (?), Baytor (demon lord of criminal insanity) and Batman—who are ready to reign down justice on… wait, what now? Batman?! Well, okay, he doesn’t officially join the team. Instead he gets all pissed off over a parking ticket that takes place across a series of vignettes paying homage to artists Neal Adams, Kelley Jones and Jim Aparo. It’s weird and a bit disturbing, but what do you expect from a comic who’s lead hero is an alcoholic with a spastic colon?
This title just keeps getting more bizarre and I love it. A cosmic mish-mash of Masters of the Universe and Wizard of Oz, KAPTARA continues to surprise me at every turn. Whether it’s giant-sized cat tanks, human-faced dog horses or racist, hedonistic garbage trolls—Chris Zdarsky and Kagan McLeod pile on one absurd concept after another to create a truly unique world “full of weirdos.”
These two issues find surviving Earth astronaut, Keith Kanga, adjusting quite nicely to his new life on planet Kaptara. So well adjusted, actually, that he flat out refuses to search for any other possible survivors from his ship! Eventually he’s guilted into joining the rescue party with the heroes of Endom (Manton, Dartor and Orb) only to be captured by the Glomps, fat, ugly, angry trolls who force Keith and Manton to hunt down a wizard named Melvon (“We’re off the see the wizard..!). Meanwhile Keith convinces Melvon, a stark-naked shape-changing old man whose only bits of clothes include his extraordinary long beard and wizard’s hat, to join their cause—but not before getting some payback on those tiny green turds (Glomps)!