The Umbrella Academy 2. I liked this issue quite a bit more than the last one, and I liked the last one pretty good. The colors, which I failed to talk about last time are great -- the washed out fall present, particularly the sky, the red and rich browns of the apocalyptic future, the hot pink for the carnival under laser blast, the single bit of primary red for the inside lining of our villain's opera cape. Spaceboy, the evil floating bots (with that wonderfully updated clunky old look), the little kid having fun in the future -- all rendered with a lot of joy. The story's whimsicality feels less forced now: the villain and his plan I like a lot, seeing these wacky different people all together (so much more fun than the matching little kids -- we should have started with this and seen the kids in a flashback at some point later), even the understated "The Umbrella Academy" title I thought were all really charming. Not my favorite book ever -- the Grant Morrison blurb on the cover overstates I think but that is what blurbs and Grant Morrison are supposed to do -- but a nice one. I think it is every bit as good as Hellboy for example. Way to go Dark Horse.
One little overlap -- there is a visual chime between Ba's shot of the villain and his crew and the last page of Casanova 10 which Ba used to draw and which is not out yet but will be shortly -- you will see what I mean. Coincidence? Or a little wish on Ba's part to be back at his old job? Or just me over reading? I am willing to admit I over-read occasionally (occasionally).
Marvel Zombies 2 #1. I was not going to get this. I liked the original Marvel Zombies pretty well -- the idea is inspired as is the basic way the story continues (The Silver Surfer! Of Course!) and I liked the art. But exposition was clunky, and the hype was annoying. But I got a kick out of the first splash page of the new issue, which suggested this was going to go a new direction, and sure enough there seems to be some life still kicking in this concept. Exposition still rattles like an old car on a hot day: there is 0% imagination in how they reestablish that the zombies cannot eat each other for example, and Kirkman loves to set a scene with the worn out "Earth...", "New Wakanda...", "Meanwhile, out in deep space..." (where the fuck did he think I would think they were without the caption? Near space?), "Back on Earth...", "Elsewhere in New Wakanda...". The absolute worst moment was a panel of Black Panther and his wife sleeping. The caption reads "Later that night. Aboard Asteroid M, the quarters of Black Panther and his wife." The very next panel is captioned "Elsewhere" and off we go. Why is Kirkman prepping this for audiobook? Is this comics for blind people? Phillips is great because this feels like the book he was born to draw, but even he is far too addicted to that big posed tee-shirt ready shot of Marvel heroes in Zombie form -- four times in the issue. Do I look like a whack-a-mole? I get it. I know it is superheroes in zombie form but stop treating me like I am an idiot.
I had wanted to talk about Captain America's new costume here, but I am currently talking to a guest blogger about covering it and I have decided to save all my comments for that.