Below is part 2 of 2: a Supanova cosplay photo collection featuring skilful costumes from the Gold Coast 2014 festival.
A pair of first issues this week: Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Mike Norton bring back the Young Avengers: with Kate Bishop and Noh-varr hooking up, and Loki, Miss America, Wicccan, and Hulkling fighting and sniping at each other.
Meanwhile, Natasha Allegri writes and illustrates the exceedingly popular Adventure Time gender-swapped world of Fiona and Cake: the Princesses and Princes, dogs are cats, and the villains are scarier.
Young Avengers #1
According to Noh-Varr, there are no close harmony girl groups in dimensions with transcendental peace and enlightenment – his homeworld is such a place. He talks to Kate bishop the morning after their hookup, as she enjoys the view from his ship in orbit around Earth while listening to retro music from his Earth record collection: The Ronettes sing Be My Baby moments before Skrulls attack. The page where they escape the attack has panels featuring point to point action of Noh-Varr and Kate running and shooting, and has lettering displaying Kate’s thoughts in bold text. Her statement about her current status as a hero boils down to “I have no powers and I am in danger, but I regret nothing”.
This is the opening to Young Avengers #1
This first story arc is titled Style is greater that Substance. Appearance and how it relates to style certainly are a key theme here. Teddy, the shape shifting Hulkling, changes his appearance, and clashes with his partner Billy, the magical Wiccan, about how he enjoys taking on the role of a young avenger – the appearance of truly heroic characters like Spider-man – since he has little else he values in his life. The panel composition of Billy and Teddy’s fight is effective – two pages of uniform squares creates tension as Teddy jabs at Billy.
Loki, who appears as a kid, is called “cosplay boy” by an impatient waiter. His appearance is deceiving, as is Miss America’s, who dresses casually in shorts and a red, white, and blue hoody, but can toss tanks to the moon. Billy’s parents could be in trouble as a new/old character also deceives everyone with their appearance. This issue has great art choices and consistent themes – I highly recommend Young Avengers.
Adventure Time: Fiona and Cake #1
Where do Volcano’s come from? Cake has a good story about it, and tells it to Fiona as dramatic bedtime tale about a passionate woman made of fire. The shape shifting cat tell Fiona that volcanoes are a prison, and come from love, life, and loneliness. The serious tones are dissuaded with humor, and then the Ice Queen appears. She is chasing baby fire lions into the rain to test out a shard of black crystal she carries. An athletic Fire Prince – based on the Fire Princess – pounces, and tries to stop her.
There are some great character moments here: the prince is powerful – and has a type advantage over the Ice Queen – but the Queen plays on his mercy, attacking him with her black ice crystal, and proving herself to be a brute.
The lettering is suitably majestic and flowing for the fairy tale, while the font and colour captures character voice. Once the story arrives at Cake and Fiona’s tree house, however, it feels as though more needs to be done on character facial expressions and anatomy, as character proportions and eyebrows move around inconsistently.
There is a back up feature – Noelle Stevenson writes a short story about sweaters. Prince Gumball has made sweaters for all the main characters, and Marshall Lee’s sweater has a great bat design. unfortunately, neither story shows Fiona’s fighting ability, which is somewhat of a let down. The mini-series is building up Fiona and Cake’s world, however, which is great to read.
Brian Azzarello writes about old and new gods and demigods in Wonder Woman at DC comics: The current story sees Wonder Woman fighting against the plans of Apollo and Hermes as she tries to find lost members of her family.
Wonder Woman #14
in Greek Mythology, Zeus had a reputation for being unfaithful to his wife Hera. As a result of his infidelity, demigod children with unusual talents would appear in the ancient world. Azzarello extends this idea to the the twentieth centuary – children born with unusual talents after 1901. We know Wonder Woman is one of those children. Lennox, a man with skin as hard as stone, was revealed as another child of Zeus. In Wonder Woman #13, Siracca appeared – a new sister for Wonder Woman – who can control the winds, and is perfectly at home in the harsh dessert.
Also a part of Greek Mythology was Hera’s notorious desire for vengeance – both on the woman Zeus romanced and their children. While this issue is violent – Siracca and Wonder Woman clash, with hundreds of scimitars, axes, and various weapons flying around a room – Wonder Woman and Siracca find a common bond as victims of Hera’s wrath, and daughters of Zeus. They have a brief moment to get to know each other before Wonder Woman’s quest continues, and in that moment, they connect as a family.
Considering all the violence Wonder Woman has been through with her various immortal uncles, aunts (and step mother), this is a a great scene to read. The art here is clever, and feels like a fairy tale: Siracca drifts gracefully in the air, saying “I am the wind”. Jarred K. Fletcher’s lettering in this page is extraordinary.
Several other plot threads woven into this story are welcome, and are building a strong, miniature universe for Wonder Woman within the wider DC universe. Some of the ideas here have the sound of myths and legends to them: Zeus and Hera’s firstborn son arrives on Earth’s surface after digging upward from the molten core for 7,000 years, ready to usurp Apollo, who has recently taken control of Mount Olympus. Ares tells Apollo how little he thinks of his new Olympus, and makes a dramatic exit. Dionysus, the god of wine and parties, is tasked with following him.
And meanwhile – on a distant star – two gods from a separate pantheon, far removed from human affairs, believe they have found the place where the end of the world will begin. Fans of Jack Kirby’s New Gods would definitely enjoy this issue. It’s clear that these plot threads are the start of new directions for Wonder Woman next year.