Snow Blind by Ollie Masters is the kind of under the radar graphic novel that ends up being made into a seriously kick ass movie. Crime Noir that would be getting raved about if it came in another art form. But for those of you that haven’t realized that comic books are literature and have some of the best crime noir stories in the marketplace, then here is one to introduce you to.
Teddy Ruffins doesn’t really fit in. Not at home, not at school, not with the crowd of guys his dad wishes he was like. After all, who breaks into a library just to sit and read? But one day, as his dad is passed out drunk, Teddy snaps a picture and shares it with the guys. It helps him fit in, only someone takes the picture and posts it on the internet. Teddy’s dad was mad but only not just for the embarrassment the picture caused. Soon afterward, someone tries to break into their home. Someone with a gun and Teddy begins to find out that maybe his parents, aren’t who he always thought they were.
What Teddy learns is that his family left Louisiana and moved to Alaska because they had to. Because that is where the Witness Protection Program moved them to and that there were people that were looking for Teddy’s parents. People who wanted them dead.
But the further Teddy digs, the more the truth gets worse and worse. His parents weren’t innocent witnesses and maybe the man with the gun, the man out there waiting, maybe he has good reason to want to kill.
Snowblind, because being a teenage outcast is not enough.
Good, gritty, crime noire in the fashion that would have made Raymond Chandler proud. But think something a little darker and bloodier and with twists and turns that would leaving you knowing that sometimes, there really is no good guy.
A terrific comic and even better story.
Catwoman #1 by Joelle Jones came out last week and amid the chaos and wounded feelings of comicdom, this new adventure begins. Selina, just off the wedding that didn’t come to pass, is in her own recovery period from the love and life she walked away from. Trying to keep a low profile, she is drawn back into the limelight when an impostor takes the Catwoman garb and begins to do more than just steal. She kills and she kills cops.
It’s been a week since Selina fled Gotham and the Bat she left at the altar. She is now in Villa Hermosa and laying low. Gambling in the casinos and trying to occupy her time and mind. But when another Catwoman begins her crime spree, the police start to hunt down Selina Kyle. She has no choice but to put aside her own pain and don the Cat suit once more. There’s a copycat out there and its up to Selina to stop her before more people die.
Is it fair? Seriously is it even fair? Joelle Jones writes and draws and basically can do everything in the comic book world but run the printers. Which by the way, she probably can. I came across Joelle Jones in her own comic, Lady Killer, which if you have never read it; you have to. You really really do. No she has Selina Kyle? Catwoman? Expect big things comic book world. Big beautiful, creative and mind blowing things.
Joelle is allowing us a peek behind the Cat mask and humanizing Selina Kyle. The pain from the break up. Her sacrifice in leaving Batman. Her desire to retire from all things superhero or supervillain. But peace doesn’t come to Selina Kyle, it never does and the one thing she has is being the Cat. Now someone is using her suit and her name and is doing it all wrong. Selina Kyle has given up enough, she won’t let them take this.
If this first issue is any indicator than yes, we are in for a wild and terrific run!
Okay, I waited until the day after to review Batman #50 and if you have not read the comic book that was marketed as the wedding event of the year, stop now. There are Spoilers ahead!
Tom King has taken a pretty intimate portrayal over the last 50 books with the Dark Knight and has done some serious soul searching with this character. From self destruction, to suicidal tendencies, to inadequacies, to love. Like it or not, this has been a comic book run that centers a bit more around Bruce Wayne then Batman. A run that would culminate in issue #50 with the marriage of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle.
Only it didn’t, and as the Joker would say, “…everybody loses their mind…”. Which, if you check out Tom King’s twitter feed, everybody did. Disappointment. Anger. Betrayal. Those were some off the nicer terms thrown at King. But what needs to be kept in mind is the simple fact of the question that the impending marriage brought to the surface. So let’s recap several of the key thoughts about Batman #50.
Selina was never really ready to get married. No I am not throwing the mess on her shoulders, but she did leave him standing on the rooftop/altar. Selina did in fact run off. But if you look back a few issues when she was having her girl talk moment with Lois Lane, Selina does make the comment that she is too young for this. That moment and the fact that for much of this run, Bruce has been unloading about himself while she quietly listens, shows that the Cat is keeping a great deal of her feelings to herself.
Is a happy Batman, a bad Batman? Let’s just take a step (or issue) back or two and really look at how the Joker got the drop on Batman at the church. There was the Bat, paralyzed and completely at the Joker’s mercy. Had the Cat not arrived, the Joker could have finally killed the Batman. Which of course was never the Joker’s plan to begin with. No that would never have happened to such a degree before. A happy Batman is a distracted Batman. This was the question raised in #50 to Selina as she was headed to the altar. Does the Batman need his misery to be effective? Can Bruce Wayne be happy and still be the Batman?
Bane is not all brawn and no brains. Bane is a character that, in some respects, has mirrored Doomsday too much. His overwhelming strength keeps us from appreciating his brilliance. Bane knows that it takes more then brute strength to break the Batman. It takes cunning and guile and more sanity than insanity. Bane did not set out to break the Batman this time. No this time he set out to break Bruce Wayne. The forthcoming issues of Batman will be a testament to his success or failure. Will losing Selina be more of a blow than the death of Jason. How will this change how the Batman deals with the dregs of Gotham. For those who have, in anger and spite, sworn off the series because of the wedding not happening, this is the hook. This is why we need to keep following this series. King has said that this will be a 100 issue run. He is only half way there.
And finally, for the ladies in the house, stop taking relationship advice from your girlfriends!!!! Read the book and you will see what I mean.
Batman #50 was good. A disappointment to many but in the long run, it may be a momentous turning point in the Batman mythos.
I plan on following this run!