Reading Pile: 1/30/13

Injustice & Mara

Injustice: Gods Among Us #1- I am completely and utterly surprised by how not bad this comic was. First strike is that it’s a video game prequel, and while that’s not an instant sanction for crappiness it is a warning. Strike number two is that it’s a darker reimaging of the Justice League, and considering that’s sort of what everything is today in the DCU I thought this was just going to be redundant. So midway in I decided to just view this as an Elseworlds, and with that in mind it was actually forming pretty well. By the time the third strike should have been hitting, we were instead welcomed with Green Lantern saying one of possibly the best lines in a DC comic for the entire year to come; “Gunter is a terrible name for a submarine.” Tom Taylor sprinkled little bits of humor throughout the issue, making this an amusing read that felt a bit more balanced instead of just a gritty video game prequel. While I’m still bracing for the book to take a Mortal Kombat like turn, it takes a concept from Kingdom Come and brutally twist it enough to match a different tone. I’m not going to say that is good, but I am going to say it works for the set-up. I’m interested enough to keep going, so here’s to hoping the storytelling can stand on its own merit for a few more issues. $3.99 is a little high, but thirty pages is much better than the usual twenty we’ve been getting.  B+

Mara #1- It’s going to take a crowbar to separate Brian Wood from quasi-futuristic semi-dystopian stories, but at least the industry knows who it can turn to if it needs them. There’s a part of me that’s kind of interested by the socio-political material nested in this story, and the concept of the media and powers-that-be pushing an athlete/celebrity onto the global public to support the economy and military complex is intriguing. It’s just…..volleyball. No insult towards volleyball and the athletes that play it. I just don’t really care for it to be the center of my quasi-futuristic semi-dystopian stories. I’m not sure I can think of any sport that would have been better but…, I totally can. Death Polo. I would totally read a book about Death Polo. I should probably just invent the sport. But I digress. I still need to read the next issue which just came out this week, so hopefully the volleyball takes a back seat. I want to give this book a better chance, but it lost a bit of momentum for me and I’m probably going to have to force myself to read the next one sooner rather than later. B-