From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays, No. 90: Woo-hoo, hoo-hoo-hoo!
So after I read Bravoman on ShiftyLook.com, I did something that I usually don’t do, which is I went and bought the video game on the Nintendo Wii store, and I have been enjoying it in all its coolness. This is probably the thing Bandai-Namco is hoping to do with these new comics: regain interest in their mountain of games, both new and old, and sell some other products based off them. And you know what? It worked with me. My fondness for the strip made me curious what the original was all about, and unlike Xevious or Sky Kid, I wasn’t sure and wanted to experience it first hand. For those who missed our column on what this new wave of coolness is, click here or go right to ShiftyLook.com by clicking here.
So for those of you who don’t know, what was Bravoman? Bravoman was an arcade game created by Namco back in 1988 and later ported to TurboGrafx-16, where it was released here in North America. Although it never received a direct sequel itself, over the years the characters have popped up in a handful of Namco video games, and so the cult-fondness for them doesn’t make it surprising that it was one of the choices for a new lease on life with a comic.
The Bravoman comic is a ton of fun; basically it’s the comedy version of Megaman and every Japanese Tokusatsu TV show out there. Bravoman, whose robot body extends its limbs or turns into a submarine to fight the minions of the evil Dr. Bomb, is a cool character. The strip thus far introduces the main characters we need to know about and has Bravoman learning how to use his powers so he can go save the world, with us laughing all the way. Matt Moylan does a great job telling the Bravoman story and keeping us laughing within the limited panel space he’s given. The art by Gordline is slick feeling, great, and everything we’ve come to expect from quality video game comics.
Bravoman is updated a few times a week and can be found at ShiftyLook.com.
Another fantastic issue of Super Dinosaur has hit the stands, and like other all-ages comic Reed Gunther, since it hit the stands last year, there has just been one great issue after another. It has the right amount of heart and almost every issue, this one included, has page after page of action.
Issue #9 is mostly an action issue. We do get introduced to Minimus, another creation of the doctor’s, but this time man is slowly turning into a dinosaur-like monster, and there’s even a bit of subplot injected with him right away: he has a woman frozen in ice, but why? What for? Only the future will tell, because the issue goes right into some great battling with Derek and Super Dinosaur against the Exile, with General Casey and Squidious joining the battle. I have a soft spot for the character Squidious; he’s a hybrid monster-man, but of the aquatic kind, yet fits right alongside the army of dinosaurs Kirkman and Howard have created, plus he looks great in these battle scenes. The issue ends with, finally, the unmasking of Exile, something Super Dinosaur readers have been waiting for.
Once again, tip of the hat to Kirkman and Howard (and wag of the finger that no one has given them a toy line yet). Kirkman’s writing is sci-fi action fun at its best, and he is starting to develop Super Dinosaur beyond its great set-up and into its own cool mythos. Howard still rocks out the art, as mentioned above Squidious is just so cool and almost steals the issue, and proves the combination of his art with Kirkman’s writing is still gold on this book. Issue 9 of Super Dinosaur continues to be an exciting read for everyone, on stands now.
So after giving a glowing review to the first issue, I thought I’d take a breath, step back, and come revisit Peanuts just a little pinch, not too much, further in. After all, usually like a TV show, the first issue you put your best foot forward and sometimes these things quickly fall apart. Happily enough, the quality on this book has remained strong, and it is packed with laughs and smiles that any Peanuts fan will enjoy.
Issue #3 gives us a handful of stuff to enjoy. We get some classic colorized Charles Schulz stuff, but we get new stories as well that hold up to the standard Schulz put forward himself. “Spring Training” is a hysterical tale of Charlie Brown trying to put some organization into his team so they don’t lose again this season, with art by Whitlock and writing by Houghton. “Fast n’ Furious” is a great pantomime comic, with Linus on skates being dragged around by Snoopy on rip roaring adventures, with writing by Vicki Scott and art by Bob Scott. Lastly we get “How To Draw Lucy Van Pelt,” written and drawn by Vicki Scott, in which our boy Linus narrates how to draw his sister, while saying a ton of funny stuff about her, with a nice little punch line at the end.
Peanuts #3 is another great book for Peanuts fans on all fronts, as already mentioned. The new adventures of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and friends doesn’t feel forced but at home with the existing body of work with the same charm and spirit. Special shout out goes to Matt Whitlock’s art on “Spring Training”; the guy just captures the right stuff with Peanuts. Out on stands now.
That’s it for this week, until next when we are back with more all-age comics fun, get your kaiju-game on!