It’s been a few months since I covered the print scene.
For the last few weeks, I’ve been buried under a stack of DVDs I’m trying to work my way through before I go on vacation in August. Needing a change of pace, I picked up my trusty iPhone and purchased a few brand-spanking-new titles to thumb through electronically. I’m glad I did.
I made a few ‘shiny’ discoveries, one I thought you might want to know about. Here’s three new titles from IDW I happened across that I feel are worth your time and investment.
Let’s get started, shall we?
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been seriously missing The X Files. Well, maybe not Season 9 … maybe not much of Season 8 … yeah, maybe it shouldn’t ended after Season 5 … but I digress.
When X was on its game – meaning when series creator Chris Carter and his stable of writers including a laser-focused Frank Spotnitz and Vince Gilligan (who went on to create Breaking Bad, by the way) – nothing much came close to matching its quality hour-for-hour. Last I’d read, Carter still holds the rights after he and Fox settled some cash matters, so who wouldn’t welcome a return to the investigative careers of Mulder and Scully?
Like an unidentified light in the sky, IDW has answered the call.
They’ve resurrected X with no less than Carter contributing storytelling responsibilities (along with Joe Harris) to “The X Files: Season 10.” It picks up not long after the events of the franchise’s last movie – I Want To Believe – with our pair of former FBI agents sidelined and hiding out from the authorities. However, Deputy Director Skinner makes a house call to alert them to some alarming news: a mysterious force has hacked the Bureau’s mainframe seeking out the names and personal information of anyone involved with their former caseload.
Before the issue is over, two lives will be in jeopardy, with only Mulder escaping unharmed.
For my tastes, I thought it was a great beginning to what could be an interesting continuation of their legacy with all things ‘spooky.’ Granted, there are no solid indications as to which way it might head, but let’s just say that it might be in the FBI’s best interest to let bygones be bygones and put these two back on the payroll. The artwork is a bit plain, but that’s perfectly fine by me: with quality X File material, I’m always more concerned about the story than anything else, and I’ll hope this one develops into something quite sublime.
We’ve talked about it plenty ‘round these parts: some of the best sci-fi explores what life remains after mankind essentially collapses.
Inevitably, some men and women survive – one might argue it’s just in our very nature – but what does their day-to-day look like after they’ve destroyed the Earth with nuclear weapons? After they’ve plundered the last of its available resources?
Well, if creators Mike Raicht, Zach Howard, and Austin Harrison had their way, those of us who are left would take to the skies; that’s exactly the premise behind their new title, Wild Blue Yonder. Not only does it tap into some of the best apocalyptic notions of sci-fi, but also there’s meaty fantasy influences from such properties as Mad Max, Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, and the incomparable Star Wars at work, too.
Yonder posits that those left behind have no other means to survive except by taking to higher ground or (better yet) the skies – to establish some kind of residence high above toxic radiation and pollution. In the air up there, two opposing forces – airborne aircraft carriers commanded by enemy commanders – fight for survival and supremacy with decidedly different perspectives: Olivia captains the freighter ‘The Dawn’ as if she’s gathering together members for an extended family, while the Judge marshals ‘The Executioner’ demanding nothing less than total subservience of his crew.
The first issue is a bit ‘talky’ (like me!), but mostly that’s because there’s an awful lot of ground to cover in establishing this world, these scruffy characters, and some of what’s at stake. Still, there’s some awesome aerial combat squeezed in there … and that’s good enough to have me coming back in 30 days for part two.
Think what you might, but the best film nerds have an unflinching appreciation for films of the 1980’s.
For the rest of you, that isn’t to say that your eras aren’t significant. You can have your American Pie, but us? We tend to look back with greater nostalgia on titles like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Conan the Barbarian, and Aliens. Sure, they were popcorn flicks, but they were good popcorn flicks, ones with a focus on vivid characters, unique situations, and balls-to-the-wall action.
Last month, Stephen Mooney delivered up the first issue of his own homage to dames, dinosaurs, and deeds when he delivered Half Past Danger. In it, readers are introduced to Staff Sergeant Thomas Michael Flynn, Captain John Noble, and British Intelligence agent Elizabeth Huntington-Moss.
Set in 1943, the World War II actioner opens up on an island in the South Pacific where Flynn is leading his unit through some dark and twisted jungle when he senses something is amiss. To his surprise, he finds the island is occupied by not only the Japanese but also huge, skulking ‘lizards’ that take the shape of prehistoric dinosaurs! Needless to say, not everyone on his team makes it out alive, and that’s when the story jumps forward two months to New York City. Huntington-Moss and Noble join up with Flynn, and, thus, a new adventure with pulp-style heroes is born!
Despite covered some comfortable territory, everything about Danger feels fresh and inventive. This one premiered last month, but I hadn’t heard about it until recently. Issue #2 is available now, but I had so much fun with it I wanted to make you aware.