Monday, December 17, 2018

This Week In Comics: 12/19

Another New Comic Book Day is upon us! It’s time to plan a trip to your local comic shop and take a look at this week’s new comics! Hit the jump to check out reviews of my favorite comics coming out this week.

Disclaimer: I received advance copies of all comics featured this week courtesy of their individual publishers.
Opinions are my own.

Middlewest #2 (Image Comics)
Skottie Young takes us deeper into his new world as Abel and his fox companion explore the world outside of their simple little farm town. Along the way, they are attacked by hungry bandits and rescued by a mysterious hobo-wizard named Jeb. And the mystery behind Abele’s apparent powers begins to unfold.

Going into this series, I assumed we were in for a more grounded, realistic story from Young - who is fresh off the bizarre fantasy world of I Hate Fairyland. But we’re not in Kansas, or any part of the American midwest, anymore.

You guys know I love worldbuilding and this book is everything I love about little details that slowly doles out information. No one is shocked by Abel’s talking fox friend, Jeb communes with giant blubbery bunnies, and bodies of destroyed robots line the fields across the Middlewest. This world is hiding a secret history and each panel unveils a new piece of the puzzle.

Middlewest will take you on a journey into a world that is familiar and unknown all at the same time. The series feels like a grown-up Over the Garden Wall that blurs the line between middle-grade and young adult.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #34 (BOOM! Studios)
This is the best issue from the Bennet run so far, but it still has a lot to do before it’s anywhere near what Higgins accomplished. The Random Rangers - which is what I’ve come to call this team - join Ellarien in an assault against the Praetor’s onslaught on the Promethea.

We finally get some characterization for the new team in this issue. As the Random Rangers head into battle, the Praetor is able to get into their head and draw out their greatest fears and self-doubts to manipulate them. It’s great to see what’s going on in each of their heads. We come to realize that they may have more in common than we realized when this Random group was announced.

As we come to learn more about Ellarien and the Solarix, we also get a kickass Zord fight unlike anything that has ever been seen in Power Rangers before and is certainly the most action-packed moment to come out of this story arc so far.

Bennet’s Beyond the Grid storyline may have fans split, but it’s far from a disaster. It’s great to see a group of former Rangers, however Random they may be, interacting with each other in a way that feels natural and not just fanservice. I truly do feel as if Bennet has a reason for assembling this team - I just haven’t quite seen it yet.

Midnight Task Force Vol. 1 (Mad Cave Studios)
In the year 2055, Detroit is a nightmarish city in need of salvation. A series of brutal murders have taken place and schizophrenic Det. Aiden McCormick has 72 hours to solve the case. Will Aiden be able to catch the killer and maintain his grip on reality?

The second comic series to come from the mad mind of Mark London kicks off with an explosion - one that takes out the titular Midnight Task Force in less than three pages. The lone survivor of the military squad is Aiden McCormick. Losing his comrades has broken him and left him with more than a little emotional baggage.

Midnight Task Force isn’t just another cyberpunk detective story. Aiden has three little voices in his head that seem to be the other three members of the Task Force. How exactly did that happen and what does it mean for Aiden? Like some of the best detective stories out there, Midnight Task Force’s most interesting mystery is happening within the detective himself and not on the crime-ridden streets of Detroit.

Aiden isn’t an ordinary detective. Schizophrenia aside, he’s something of a super detective. And kind of a dick. He’s just a “Who gives a shit?” kinda guy who does things his own way and even if it looks like he has no idea what he’s doing - he always succeeds.

In my favorite page from the second chapter, Aiden attends AA and announces that he had a drink last night and then flips off the room. It comes out of nowhere and isn’t brought up again, but it’s some great character development. I don’t even care if he catches the killer. I just want to see Aiden exist on the page. The mere presence of its main character is electrifying.

The art is top notch and the worldbuilding is impeccable, but the characters alone make it worth it. Aiden and his supporting cast of detectives, whether they’re real or not, help turn a trek through the dark night in Detroit to a colorful adventure across every page.

Click here to order your copy of Midnight Task Force Vol. 1 today.

What comics are you picking up this week? Let me know down in the comments below!