After asking our Moms to review comics last month for Mother’s Day, Paste debated: was it still a good idea to merge the world of parents with sequential art? We found our Moms volleying out some harsh language in their pitiless reviews, with at least one contributing Mom getting an offer from Vice in the aftermath. Whatever, Moms. You push boundaries like you pushed us into existence some 20-and-a-halfish years ago.
In honor of Father’s Day, we gave our Dads the benefit of the doubt. After all, many of these gentlemen were devouring comics decades before we did the same. And it’s also an interesting sociological experiment: if these guys were used to Archie and pals eating fast food at the drive-in movies during the ‘50s, how are they going to cope with the Riverdale crew eating one another in a zombie apocalypse? Or Batman evolution Midnighter getting freaky and gleefully busting heads (double entendre intended)? Or a Wonder Woman returned to her bondage roots? Read on to see whether our cultures clashed or we ended up bonding over domestic beers during a canoe sunrise on Lake Michigan surrounded by fishing poles and awkward silence. In this reverse bring-your-kids-to-work exercise, editing was kept to a startling minimum. Also: we love you, Dads.
Neal Reviews Midnighter Vol. 1: Out by Steve Orlando, ACO, Stephen Mooney and Alec Morgan
Whose Dad is He? Sean Edgar’s, Editor
Occupation: Retired Social Worker
Likes: Bill Murray, Bourbon, Dogs, The ‘60s, Taking His Son’s Comics
Dislikes: Litterers, Cheap Wine, Crowds, That Time Richard Donner Was Kicked Off a Superman Movie
By the third panel of Midnighter Vol. 1, you know this is an adult comic. On the floor lie condoms (four) and underwear. One wonders… those four condoms, still unused, and obviously at least one has been used already. Rock and Roll for the gay super sex machines.
Midnighter is a gay superhero. Much of his origin seems to be presented in this comic. My first reaction: I have a fair amount of gay friends and acquaintances, none of them is violent or ragey. Though, like Batman, this character exerts a controlled rage. Midnighter, unlike Batman, is OK with killing and seems to thrill in it. He makes it kind of fun.
I’m likely stereotyping, but my friends who are gay are social, gentle and most certainly non-violent, so the image of a violent, tough, gay superhero took some getting used to. Not that there aren’t tough gay people. Not that there shouldn’t be tough gay people. Some past comics came through my mind as I read it: Mike Baron’s The Badger from the ‘80s, as does The Punisher, though Midnighter is certainly funnier.
I recall when Marvel outed Northstar. A bit over-the-top and benign, though maybe not for the time. Midnighter hits you pretty full-on. The book was mostly (a few times I found myself wondering “what’s happening?”) well-paced and entertaining. The dialogue is compelling, witty. We suspend belief in comics anyway, like characters having dialogue while punching each other out. Given that, I found myself waiting for him to get in another conflict to hear his taunts.
Some creative stuff: he deliberately, and violently, defends himself in a physical conflict by literally deafening himself. Well-plotted, a twist now and then. The crossover with Dick Grayson was fun, what a crossover should be. And more “fun-to-read” dialogue. A touch of science fiction, but you can still relate to our current time. It’s more than eye candy. It took a bit for me to get into it, like a good song. Recommended, unless you’re homophobic. A-/B+
Mark Reviews Afterlife With Archie Vol. 1: Escape from Riverdale by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa & Francesco Francavilla
Whose Dad is He? Tini Howard’s, Writer
Occupation: Owner of a small I.T. business
Likes: World War II History, The Simpsons, Playing MMOs, His In-Progress “Manifesto”
Dislikes: Whining, People, Plot Holes in Movies
Wow, that is an awesome storyline. Growing up and reading Archie, I always thought that the issues were way too wholesome. It’s understandable if it’s Richie Rich or Casper, but the teenagers of Riverdale were just the biggest dweebs. In Afterlife With Archie, we actually get to enjoy them being FUBAR’d. I was a bit disappointed that some survived. Seriously, having Jughead pick through Betty and/or Veronica’s brain while Archie watched would have been more satisfying. In a perverse way, I was anticipating the next page hoping to see who died next. Overall, I really enjoyed the comic, and I read all of the issues. And considering I know for sure where your love of the “strange and unusual” comes from, and what odd media as a child you were subjected to, I felt this was very fun and light-hearted. Thanks for letting me check it out.
Ernie Reviews Wonder Woman: Earth One Vol. 1 by Grant Morrison & Yanick Paquette
Whose Step-Dad is He? Steve Foxe’s, Assistant Editor
Occupation: Part-Time Overnight Security Guard/ Retired Ford Motor Company Factory Worker
Likes: NASCAR, Cornbread, Kentucky, Lawnmowers
Dislikes: Vegan Food, The GOP
Where do I begin with this one? To me this is a mother/daughter story. In the beginning the mother was controlled by Hercules in bondage in a man’s world. She escaped and created an island of paradise for women only. She had a daughter who was told she was made from clay, but in the story she admits she was actually made with Hercules through anger and not love. Her daughter Diana was free-spirited and liked the man’s world, but she returned to the island of Paradise where there are only women. Her mother is upset with her because she is not the fighter she had hoped she would be. She was kind and a healer. She healed a deer with a Purple Ray projector and tried to help a man named who had crashed on the island, and if he had been found by anyone he would be killed since no men were allowed on the island. So Diana fought with her sister and won and was awarded her robot plane and took Steve Trevor to the hospital in the man’s world. In the end Diana’s mother told her the truth, that she was made to be her weapon against the man’s world.
This was a good story, seemed a little sexist. Just not what I thought Wonder Woman was all about. Great art, quite colorful. With this being my first Wonder Woman comic, I was surprised Wonder Woman seemed a little soft and not the super hero I thought she was. Probably would not choose to read another Wonder Woman comic. The art was great, great colors and expressions on faces were right with the story line. Paradise Island was beautiful and the women seemed just a little too perfect for the real world.