Reading Pile: 2/13/16

Reading Pile: 2/13/16

Replica, Kennel Block Blues, & Street Fighter Unlimited

Replica #2- This second issue to Paul Jenkins and Andy Clarke’s comedy sci-fi police mystery following a frustrated human and his police force comprised mostly of clones of himself is really hitting its stride, offering a funny, engaging, and entertaining read. I like the world of interstellar bureaucracy and incompetent aliens they are developing, and the fun range of sub-plots available with the clones. And that’s something in itself worth mentioning; I really, really hate clones. As a plot device, as a cliché, and any type of fiction, I learned to hate clones immensely over the years. This book? It’s proof that almost any idea can be good as long as it’s handled well, and Paul Jenkins is no slouch. So I’m looking forward to the next issue, and hopefully they will keep the momentum strong on the series. A-

Kennel Block Blues #1- I had trouble really caring about this first issue. It might not be fair, but I had to compare it against Oni’s Kaijumax, another prison drama series with unlikely stars. Kaijumax hit hard and hit fast, developing its world and characters deftly while maintaining space for heart ripping emotion. This book…..not so much. It’s not bad by any means, it was just mostly boring to me. I didn’t care about any of the characters, the art didn’t engage me, and its mixture of psychedelic mental breakdowns and inferred reality twists for future issues was just a little underwhelming. In an industry drowning with too many choices, it didn’t give me much of a reason to continue with the next issue. B-

Streetfighter Unlimited #2- I enjoyed the first issue for what it was, a nostalgic trip back to my 90’s video game habits and a general liking for the SF aesthetic of characters. This issue is very much the same, but the downside of that is that we are dealing with a huuuuuge cast, and I’m not going to care about them all. Partially because I never did, and partially because there have been dozens of new characters added to the mythology that I’ve never heard of. So I don’t want to hold any of that against it really, because that would be hypocritical considering my love of another franchise with untold thousands of characters. I will say though that the sprawling sub-plots don’t do much for me, so I will find it difficult to continue reading the series as single issues. B