Thursday, April 12, 2012

Comics of the Week - Tears from a Stone

I enjoyed Paul Cornell and Ryan Kelly's Saucer Country #1 last month, enough to buy #2 this month. The premise of the book is basically that the governor of New Mexico, who is running for president, has been abducted by aliens sometime in the recent past, and has now realized there's a looming invasion. Along the way there's a whole lot of weirdness, including a guy who sees a tiny naked couple that talk to him. Where issue #1 intrigued me, #2 totally hooked me in. Rather than announce to the world that aliens are among us, Arcadia Alvarado confides in her campaign managers and sets out to become president so that she is in a better position to fight the aliens. She is not stupid enough to just tell the world she's been abducted by little green men. So the series seems to be setting up various elements into play. It's X-Files with some West Wing and some extra weirdness thrown in for good measure. This is going to be a fun series.

Although he wrapped up his epic story in Fantastic Four, Jonathan Hickman continues to deliver on these characters. This issue wasn't so much a wrap up as it was a checkpoint. The events of the past couple of years have altered the future timeline and here we see a part of what that means. Reed and his father travel forward 1000 years at a time, checking to see what the future holds for the First Family. What starts off as a cool view of the future, with flying cars and future versions of favorite characters, quickly turns into a tale of the life of Ben Grimm. It turns out that Ben is nearly immortal because he ages so much slower. By the time we last check in with him, this book uses a gimmick called "making you cry" that works really well. Hickman is known for big concepts, but time and time again he's demonstrated his mastery of character and emotion in this series. This issue was very moving and was ultimately about the friendship between Reed and Ben. I was never a big fan of these characters before I started reading Hickman's run, but now, they are probably my favorite characters in comics. At least the way he writes them. As much as I hate nostalgia, I think in 20 years, I'll be that old man talking about how great this run was. (I kind of am already, actually) And I don't think I'll be alone.

No comments:

Post a Comment