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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Peach the Destroyer: Issue 051

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Good morning, Destroyer fans!

So with this comic, Peach the Destroyer is a whole year old (if you’re wondering why this happened on comic #51 and not comic #52, it’s because I skipped the numbering on the Thanksgiving comic). Because of this momentous occasion, I think two things are in order:
  1. We need to cue up some victory music (apologies to Linkara, I’m stealing this bit from’s okay, though. My wife’s convinced he and I are the same person).
  2. I’d like to take a look back on the year that was and discuss what worked, what didn’t work, and what the future holds for Peach the Destroyer.

  • One of the biggest mistakes I think I made with this comic was the rotating art style idea. Basically what this turned into was everyone looking kinda wonky for a few comics while I adjusted to the re-design. There will be another re-design when the comic comes back, but that should do it for a nice, long while.
  • Another shortcoming this comic has had basically amounts to laziness on my part. When I started the comic, I think I had the first two week’s comics drawn and, going from week-to-week I don’t think I was ever more than one week ahead. This evolved into a weird experiment of spontaneous storytelling on my part. Basically stories would start with one comic and I didn’t know where I was going with it until I started working on next week’s comic. I think I got better at this as the year went on, but clearly I need more structure and planning moving forward.
  • Fun fact: this was not the one-year anniversary story arc I had initially planned almost a year ago. The original plan was that Peach would get captured and, in a fit of desperation, Dr. Felis recruits my wife and I to rescue her (I didn’t get too far beyond that in planning, but I do know that this moment was going to be used somehow). Sounds like a cool enough idea, right? The problem is...frankly, the anniversary started to sneak up on me. I also had the Year Two storyline roughly sketched out in my head (more on that in a bit), but knew it had been a while since anyone had actually seen the mysterious archer cat, who was a key figure in the Year Two plan. Having him show up as a Cattus ex Machina (oh yes, Latin humor...I went there) felt more natural and he helped inform where we’re headed with the new arc.
  • Hey, know who totally wasn’t a part of the Year Two plan? Dark Peach. When I was writing the script, I had the alarms go off in C.A.T.FORCE and I basically got to learn what was going on as the characters did. As soon as I wrote the words “DARK PEACH,” I realized this was actually better than the original plan (fair warning: the original plan for Year Two involved threatening my mom to explain string theory to me. I think we all dodged a bullet on that one).
Anyway, I think I’ve rambled on (and on) enough. It’s time for my weekly comic reviews! Standard warning applies, spoilers ahead.

  • Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist #4
    • All right, so we start the issue off with some rebels aiming to assassinate Klyltus (Ming’s right-hand man, who’s getting all buddy-buddy with Hitler) and Flash (AA-AAH! [sorry]) fighting a huge dragon thing with a catman. SERIOUSLY, THIS BOOK COULDN’T BE MORE AWESOME IF IT TRIED!
    • As Klytus outlines the global assault Hitler’s army is enacting, we cut to Africa where there’s a SURPRISE CAMEO by The Phantom! Dude, comics are awesome! Although I do have to question the apparent retconning of Hitler as a sympathetic pawn in Ming’s machine. I’m sorry, I like my Hitlers as the equivalency of a Saturday morning cartoon villain, thank you.
    • Aargh...right when Flash was gonna do something really cool and unite a prison ship into an army...Dynamite had to go and screw up the lettering by recycling  the entire page’s dialogue onto another page. Really distracting.
    • So...I guess Flash got his army together. Meanwhile, back on Earth, the rebels seem to have caused a huge explosion. Fun.
  • Snarked! #6
    • Things start off at “crazy” with The Gryphon meeting up with his own version of Q, Professor Cube, who outfits him with a flying machine called the Twinkleba--err, Gryph-O-Plane.
    • Team Snarked! (as I’m now officially calling Queen Scarlett, her brother, Wilburforce J. Walrus, all them crazy folk on the ship) get attacked by another pirate ship helmed by the Mad Hatter (the Mad Hatter’s entire crew is a hoot, by the way, with dialogue like “don’t tell me about the Snark Wars, man. You weren’t there, man. You weren’t there!”).
    • In the midst of the battle, Scarlett and the carpenter get caught. Walrus thinks fast and manages a rescue, but Team Snarked! wind up booted off the ship and reduced to a lifeboat for their troubles. All in all, an excellent issue.
  • Aquaman #7
    • This issue kicks off with the reveal of NEW 52 BLACK MANTA! He looks...y’know what? He looks like Black Manta. That’s really not a costume you can mess up. Anyway, he kills a lady in the jungle. This will be important.
    • Aquaman and Mera (or, as the press is quick to name her, Aquawoman) take an Atlantian artifact to Dr. Shin for answers on who/what sunk Atlantis, but they’re interrupted by a jungle lady (Ya’Wara) with her pet cat, who tells Aquaman that “the Seer is dead.” She also wants to kill Dr. Shin because she thinks he was involved somehow.
    • The issue ends with a cracked photo of what looks like a teenaged Aquaman with younger versions of the Seer and Ya’Wara, along with a bunch of other folks we haven’t seen yet.
  • The Savage Hawkman #7
    • Oh, soak this in, everyone...Rob Liefeld joins the creative team next month.
    • Freaking Static shows up in this issue! It’s a weird team-up, but it works. Especially when Static’s able to disrupt the electronic impulses in the bodies of the zombie hordes looking to engulf New York thanks to Gentleman Ghost’s ritual with the Mortis Orb (by the way, I love that sentence).
    • Gentleman Ghost gets defeated/dragged back to Hell by...the friggin’ warlock who the Mortis Orb was buried with. I’ll be honest, I did not see that one coming.
    • Hawkman drops the Orb in a crevice in Antarctica, where I’m sure we’ll never hear from it again (alternatively, this may all be one elaborate prequel to The Thing).
  • Justice League Dark #7
    • Okay, first off, this is a crossover with I, Vampire, which I don’t read (go ahead, double-check the archives. I get more pageviews that way). I’d take issue with it, but vampires seem to make John Constantine cranky (what doesn’t?), and a cranky John Constantine is a funny John Constantine, so I’m going to allow it.
    • Shade the Changing Man loses a few points in my book for reacting to vampires thusly: “...I mean, I kn-knew [vampires] existed as a cultural phenomenon on Earth. Bram Stoker. Twilight. But--”
    • Seriously?! Batgirl shows up?! Okay, it makes sense since Vampire Armageddon is going down in Gotham (what doesn’t these days?), but it still feels...I don’t know. Forced? Random? Somewhere along those lines.
    • Constantine and Deadman head into a gateway to the afterlife...I smell sitcom pilot!
  • Teen Titans #7
    • Hey, so...Danny the Street is part of the DCnU!
    • The Titans break into N.O.W.H.E.R.E. to free Superboy and...yeah, things basically go from bad to worse for them as they battle through the nightmarish hordes of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. culminating in getting captured by some creepy creepy person in a cloak who claims to be the creator of N.O.W.H.E.R.E. and calls him(?)self Harvest.
  • Superman #7
    • Superman kicks off the issue fighting some...mech...thing? You can tell this is a seasoned, older Superman because his inner monologue mentions that this “stinks of a ‘call out.’ Kick up enough ruckus and see if Superman shows up.” Later he mentions that he should set up a web page so would-be villains could set up a fight in private. Gotta say, I can’t fault him for that kind of logic.
    • We get to see S.T.A.R. Labs’ superhero clean-up crew, who take the mech thing in for study. I love these guys and would really like to see an issue from their perspective, because they lend a great “blue collar” sensibility to help ground a fantastic world with stuff like having one of them staring at a tablet and muttering “aww, fer th’’m I supposed to describe this thing in ten words or less?”
    • We meet our new villain, Helspont, in his Himalayan hideaway as he monologues to absolutely nobody that he “[dispatches] a seeker to evaluate thralls [he] can cull from this world’s metahuman population.” This is a really specific monologue you’re giving to an audience of none, dude.
    • Helspont (I’m going to have a really hard time taking that name seriously) has his mech thing attack Superman again and teleports Superman to him. He prattles on about how awesome he and his flaming-skull-for-a-head are before saying Superman should totally become his new intern to conquer the Earth, etc. Y’know, standard-issue supervillain stuff.
  • Avenging Spider-Man #5
    • We start in Avengers Mansion, where a bunch of the Avengers are reading one of Captain America’s old comics he drew during his scrawny Steve Rogers days in art school. To say it wasn’t his calling is...a bit of an understatement.
    • I like Spider-Man’s take on the whole thing: “Do you know what this means? Cap’s a nerd” and “This is huge. I’ve got something in common with Captain America.” Totally the right way to handle this.
    • Spider-Man turns an important Avengers mission into a misguided attempt to bond with Captain America’s inner geek. This results in Captain America...kinda-sorta blowing up at him, claiming he was saved from a life of being someone who could only draw adventures by being a soldier and having them instead.
    • I really loved the ending, which had Steve and Peter mending fences, sitting in the...I guess Avengers rec room(?) and trying to develop a new comic book character. It’s a cute, soft character-driven ending that I really love this book for.
  • The New Deadwardians #1 (of 8) - Suggested for Mature Readers
    • This book takes place in an alternate-universe 2010 London where the population consists of vampires (the upper class) and zombies (the lower class). Our comic begins in the home of Mr. George Suttle, a vampire who hates the night because he keeps expecting sleep to come. A ruckus jostles him from his...lack of sleep and OH NOES! Zombies are...eating the maid. Yeah, this book earns its “mature” label pretty fast.
    • The book ends on a crazy cliffhanger with the first murder in quite some time hitting the city. Mr. Suttle, the only homicide detective left, is at the scene and discovers that, not only is this a murder, it’s a murder of a vampire with “none of the three causes present: impalement of the heart, decapitation, [or] incineration.”
Well, that’s all for this week, kids. Thank you for sticking with me for a whole year of adventures. I’ll see you in a few weeks with the all-new Peach the Destroyer: Year Two!


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