Best Comics in August Part 1: Hollywood Murders and Herobear
Once a month the staff at 8th Dimension Comics picks out the best books to review. There were a fair few, so enjoy this and stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow!
Angel & Faith #25: I'd just about given up on Buffy comics after I started to get the nagging suspicion that Joss Whedon was using them to stage elaborate sex fantasies about his former cast. That and, well, they got kind of stupid.
I tuned back into Angel & Faith for the "What You Want, Not What You Need" storyline because it reintroduced the mysterious Whistler into the mythos. Whistler was an incredibly fascinating one shot character who was initially responsible for charging Angel with watching out for Buffy, and hinted that he was sent by higher powers. It was a character lots of people wanted a better look at, which never happened while the show was on the air.
I'm not sure how well they pulled him off in the comics. Whistler is basically portrayed as a magic junkie and the offspring of an angel and a demon who seeks to destroy about 2 billion people to restore balance. It's not great writing, even for this series, but it's odd how well it actually plays like one of the better Angel episodes. There's a nice look at the nature of what is right and what is fair, even if it is a little melodramatically overdone. It's a good place to drop back into the series if you haven't been following it.
Rating: 6 of 10
Satellite Sam #2: It's the golden age of television, and Satellite Sam is the hit space cadet show that is keeping a new network in business. That is, until its lead actor is found dead surrounded by the trappings of an orgy. Now the whole thing threatens to unravel as his alcoholic son seeks answers to his father's mysteries.
Big Doctor Who fan that I am, I love seeing what the early days of cheesy science fiction television was like, and Matt Fraction offers us that in spades. It's a gripping noir sort of work that both mocks the act of creation while also celebrating it. There is some really heavy stuff going on behind the scenes, but all the while is still a tremendous love of a silly show.
That light-hearted focus is needed to give extra depth to the petty callousness of overworked executives, pompous artists, and strange lusts. It's a dark, hard book, but an engaging one at that.
Rating: 7 of 10