Friday, July 3, 2015

Two new comic books worth reading

I have been really disappointed in DC's Convergence and Marvel's Secret Wars, mostly because both of them have been fairly random and confusing and have that sense of mining previous era's successes in hopes of reminding old readers why they used to like comic books (but maybe don't so much anymore).  I'm also fairly convinced that I can just wait out both summers and both "universes" will reset to whatever closely resembles their respective movie franchises.

So what's a comic book reader to do?  Two comic books series have come out this week, both worth a look, especially if you're a fan of sci-fi comics.

The first is Onyx, a space alien wearing a suit of starfaring armor that comes to Earth to protect them from a parasitic alien race that has already infected the planet.  If it sounds like Rom the Spaceknight, it is because the creators made Onyx as a sort of "love note" to that series.  There are some differences.  First, Onyx is female, and refreshingly is not depicted in a "lift and separate" suit of armor.  Second, it takes place in the dystopic future of an ecologically-challenged Earth.  Third, you don't have to worry about weaving in an established Comic Book Mythos into the story.

We Stand On Guard is another dystopian future story, only this time with more of a political slant.  The White House is hit by a drone strike, and correctly or incorrectly blames...Canada.  They respond with a massive missile strike that devastates Canada, leaving only a handful of resistance fighters to hold off the American invasion that (according to one of the characters in the story) is actually a ruse to claim one of Canada's most precious resources: water.

Issue one revolves around Amber, a young woman whose parents were killed in the initial strike and whose brother is a prisoner of the United States.  She meets a rag-tag group of partisans that look like the Canadian version of Red Dawn (including the Canadian shibboleth "If you are really one of us, who took home the Cup in '11?)

If you were comfortable with the US as the villains, you could easily run this as a roleplaying game, using any number of RPG's featuring near-future hi-tech weapons and giant walking robots.  Did I mention the giant walking robots?  No?  Oh they have them too.

So go check them out.  And hope to God the Big Two settle down and figure their stuff out.

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