Published on June 22nd, 2013 | by Mike Harding0
SONIC BOOM Part One
Welcome to another round of Boom Studios Reviews, in this instalment I will be looking at the stuff from the end of May and beginning of June. The first book to reviewed is Mike Carey’s Suicide Risk issue two.
In the last issue our protagonist Leo went looking for the people who were supplying the local villains with their deadly superpowers. Unfortunately he took things too far, and ended up getting powers himself and surrounded by the very police department he works for.
As the issue progresses, we discover exactly what Leo’s powers are (he repels water!). Initially this seems a really daft power, and Leo sees the potential downside of dying, as he can no longer drink water (he probably does a great Moses impression though).
Leo decides to carry out his own investigation after basically being thrown out of the police station due to him being on sick leave. Needless to say things quickly develop and he is able to track down one of the villains responsible for the attack in the first issue, things go bad and we get a great cliffhanger ending.
Once more Carey is on top form with this book, when I heard about him writing this, I thought it would be interesting to see how he wrote a character without powers, but clearly that isn’t going to happen in this book. What he does do though is write a very good non-powered supporting cast.
The end of May also so the release of “Deathmatch” issue six, in which Paul Jenkins and Carlos Magno deliver devastating battles as our characters edge ever closer to eliminating their opponents, and inadvertantly themselves.
In the battle between Melody and Mink, which could easily have been yet another boring superhero slugfest, Melody gets creative in the use of her powers and kills Mink in a devastatingly personal move. The scene is made all the more intense because as readers, we’re rooting for Mink. She is not only killed, but killed in this way that readers can predict just before it happens. While you hate knowing, you’re also stunned by the concept’s brilliant simplicity.
Jenkins also keeps readers on their toes by killing a character that felt a certain amount of safety. As readers, we’re closer to Mink than Melody, and in this issue she even gets the emotional page time with Benny that would normally signal a “safe central character.”
Similarly, the second battle in this issue pits Sol against Rat. If you believe these characters have any hope of escaping, you simply have to root for Rat, but it’s still hard to root against either of them, especially when the death scene is so simple and brutal with nothing heroic about it.
In six issues, Jenkins and Magno have made me care about such a vast tapestry of formerly unknown characters battling it out gladiator style, that I now don’t want any more of them to die. The focus on the battles is enjoyable and emotionally resonant, but the larger issue is still being meted out slowly.
In a book that is literally about characters battling to the death in a “match,” it’s nice that Jenkins is taking the time to really think about what might make these pair ups interesting. As always there is a twist at the end of the issue, and always Jenkins has picked the perfect ending to draw people back for more
The next book to be reviewed is Max Bemis’ Polarity, this issue three of four, and things take a very strange turn as we get a new character introduced. The book starts off with a back story of a child watching as his mother threatens to kill herself, we then flash forward to Tim’s psychiatrist (who looks like the child), who is counselling a tramp about his schizophrenia.
We then skip to Tim doing his attempt at being a hero, before being summoned to see his psychiatrist for a dressing down.
Things then turn weird, when as Tim is on a date, with his new girl, and his mate Adam, Adam is brutally killed by a head with arms coming from its eyes and ears. Whilst running away from the scene, they encounter Tim’s psychiatrist, who lets Tim know that he had Adam killed to punish Tim. We then see our tramp from the beginning of the issue, who leads to one of the more unusual final pages I have seen in a while.
Not a bad issue at all, there are some really clever moments in the book, and personally I feel that it is a shame that this series ends with the next issue, as they could have developed Tim’s character further with a slightly longer series.
The final book in this review is Herobear and the Kid, written, and illustrated by Mike Kunkel. The first time I encountered Herobear was in Boom’s Free Comic Book Day special, and from the moment I read that short story I was hooked.
This time around Mike Kunkel has written a longer story, which features the two characters in a much longer adventure. The artwork in this book is really fun, it’s very cartoon-ish, and Mike fills loads of stuff onto each page, the book is mainly black and white, with the only colour being the red of Herobear’s cloak.
This book was a special one-shot, and if boom want to keep putting out more of Mr Kunkel’s work, then I will happily read it.