I guess “supply chain issues” is just going to be the new standard for how we live our lives. No broccoli at QFC? Supply chain issues. Missed the all-staff Zoom call? Sorry, I was having supply chain issues. Stubbed your toe? Damn that supply chain.
The latest victim of the broken chain is comics, as one of the major print-book distributors has been hit by closures along cargo routes. This week’s new releases may be on the shelves, or they may be someplace between here and the midwest, so please be patient with your local comic shop and call ahead to make sure issues are in stock. (Better yet, get a subscription through your retailer so you don’t have to sweat it.)
When comics DO arrive — whenever that might be — there’s some great stuff to pick up this week, from a murder-comedy-stunt spectacular to a warzone adventure to a youngster’s book about the science of surfing. They’re all worth waiting for, and once you can get them into your hands they’ll be a fine way to pass the time while you wait for the next supply chain issue to resolve.
SIX SIDEKICKS OF TRIGGER KEATON VOLUME #1
The first six issues of a goofy comedy-action adventure are collected here in a very satisfying buddy-whodunnit. A universally loathed film star has been found dead, and though the police believe that the cause of death is suicide, a few of his disgruntled co-stars suspect foul play. That puts them in the awkward position of investigating the murder of a man they hated — and all have reasons for wanting dead — while also chafing against each other like a crowd of bitter exes. Big bold characters (none of whom is qualified to investigate a murder, but why should that stop them?) dive into the world of stunt performers, with beautifully rendered action scenes that have better fight choreography than most movies. Agatha Christie would be proud of the twisty plot, which is smoothly blended with never-too-serious fistfights, an obvious love of lowbrow Chuck-Norris-style schlock, and a touch of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? for good measure. Great fun. More, please.
Rating: 🎥🎥🎥🎥🎥 (5/5)
Writer: Kyle Starks. Art: Chris Schewizer, Liz Trice Schweizer. Editor: Jon Moisan. Logo: Andres Juarez. Designer: Carina Taylor.
APACHE DELIVERY SERVICE ISSUE #1
Catching up on a release from last week: Apache Delivery Service kicks off an intriguing adventure, starring a Navajo soldier (misidentified by racist colleagues as Apache) embroiled in a treasure hunt in the middle of the Vietnam War. Our unnamed hero is quiet, thoughtful, an island of composure amidst a warzone. The panels of his solitary scouting missions though the jungle are a visual highlight — a green maze depicted with wild variety, as atmospheric as some of the best cinematography in Apocalypse Now. Out alone in the forest, he stumbles past mutilated human bodies, an eccentric hunter with a plan to find Nazi gold, and some mysterious symbols that hint at something supernatural at work. The war zone is a place of outright insanity, and in this first installment we can see hints of various responses to the madness: Giving in to it, standing apart, or taking advantage. An intriguing start to a story.
Writer: Matt Kindt. Art: Tyler Jenkins, Hilary Jenkins. Covers: Lawrence Campbell, Dave Stewart.
RAIN ISSUE #1
Honeysuckle and Yolanda have a perfect love, and are certain that nothing could possibly come between them, which means that something will, of course, come between them. And that something is … it’s raining nails in Colorado. Or maybe they’re shards of crystal? Well, something sharp and deadly falls from the sky in this gory opening issue of a five-part horror-romance, adapted from a novella by Joe Hill. Inconveniently — and totally unforeseeably! — this inclement weather strikes just as a blissfully happy young lesbian couple are moving in together. Perhaps there is someone out there who is not exhausted by the sight of contented queer women being placed in mortal danger; other readers will likely respond with “oh, this trope again.” On the bright side, there is, momentarily, a thoughtful aside about treasuring the people you love because you never know when they’ll be gone; and another about wondering how a person can go on after a tragedy that destroys the life they thought they’d have. Maybe issue #2 will do the work of exploring those ideas.
Rating: 🌧️🌧️🌧️ (3/5)
Writers: Joe Hill, David M. Booher. Art: Zoe Thorogood, Chris O’Halloran. Lettering: Shawn Lee. Designer: Ashley Wood. Editor: Chris Ryall.
ALSO: TOO MANY BATMEN, THE SCIENCE OF SURFING, and INDIGENOUS HEROES
I don’t know why but there are approximately eight billion different Batman books out this week, and not a SINGLE ONE features the Batusi so I’m not interested. God Adam West really was the greatest. Anyway, there’s also a Daredevil and an X of Swords to pique your superhero interest, but it’s Marvel Voices: Heritage that looks truly interesting, an anthology of stories involving indigenous heroes. I can’t wait to read We Ride Titans, a new giant-monsters versus giant-robots series set against a bunch of family drama. And The Science of Surfing looks lovely — an edutaining book for youngsters about “what makes the ocean so cool.”