Weekend Shorts: All the Single Issues

Well, okay, obviously not all of them, because I have just too many for the fact that I “only buy in trades.” Except for cool mini-series, and intriguing #1s, and shiny things… whatever. If you’re a single issue reader, here are some you should check out!

Back to the Future, Issues 1 and 2, by Bob Gale and various artists
Back to the Future 1Cool mini-series, check. I want to say issue 1 came out in time for Back to the Future day back in October, and as soon as I heard about it I was like, yes, please, stick that on my pull list. It looks like there will be five total of these, and I’m guessing I’ll be left wanting more!

Back to the Future 2The best part about this series is that the issues contain two standalone stories (just like the best Saturday morning cartoon shows), so if you just find one lying around you won’t have missed anything. In issue 1 we have “The Doc Who Never Was”, which details the time the US government came to recruit Doc Brown and his prototype time machine (no Delorean yet!) and “Science Project”, a cute little thing in which Marty’s got a science project due and Doc Brown offers up all the doodads in his shop. Issue 2 brings “When Marty Met Emmet”, which, well, I think you know what that’s about, and “Looking for a Few Good Scientists”, in which Doc Brown as college professor tries to get in on the Manhattan Project.

Also cool is that each issue is illustrated by a different artist. Seeing so many different takes on Doc and Marty is super neat and it gives the stories a completely different feel even though they share the same author. If you’re a fan of Back to the Future, this is definitely a series to look for.

Paper Girls, Issue 1, by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang
Paper Girls 1I didn’t really know much about this book going in besides “Brian K. Vaughan” and “paper delivery girls”, but if you know me you know that’s enough to shell out three bucks for. If nothing else, the packaging is great — high-quality paper for the bright yellow cover, fantastic art and colors on the inside, yes please!

But it’s Brian K. Vaughan, so the story’s high-quality, too. We meet our paper girls the morning after Hallowe’en as they navigate the very very dark streets of “Stony Stream”, Ohio (I get that reference!) and fend off jerky teenagers and equally jerky cops. I would have been perfectly happy if that were the whole story, honestly, but it gets even better with the addition of ALIENS. I am very intrigued and will definitely be picking up the trade to read the rest.

Rocket Girl, Issue 6, by Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder
Rocket Girl 6And… shinies. I bought a couple of issues of this when it first came out, before I gave up and went to trades, but the first trade volume is one of my favorite things. I hadn’t seen any issues of this in ages, so when I spotted #6 hanging out on the shelves of my comic shop I bought it immediately to make sure they’d make more for a volume 2. Fingers crossed!

This issue doesn’t have terribly much to do with what I think is the cool part of the story, with the time travel and the Quintum Mechanics intrigue and the weird world of the future that is our past that is… oh, time travel. Mostly this issue is about Rocket Girl’s personal issues, including apparently some mommy issues that I am very intrigued to see play out.

That’s all for this round of comics… what great things are you reading this week?

Weekend Shorts: Rocket Girl and FBP

Woo comics! I had some spare time last week where I needed something to read but didn’t particularly want to start a new book, so I picked up a couple of trades that I had lying around and had a nice time catching up. I’ve actually already read the first three issues of Rocket Girl, so I’m very glad it’s easy to distinguish issues in the trades! Let me know what y’all are reading this weekend in the comments!

Rocket Girl #4, “Nowhere Fast” and #5, “Time Will Tell”
Rocket Girl #4Issue 4 is basically a giant action sequence, as Dayoung tries to outmaneuver the Future Cops who are following her for les-than-well explained reasons. She zooms left and right and up and finally down into the subway, where she and the FCs evade riders and trains until they… can’t, I guess?… and then there’s a big explosion. Meanwhile, the present Quintum Mechanics gang tries to rebuild the machine that Dayoung broke way back at the beginning of all this, though one of the scientists is not thrilled with the idea.

Rocket Girl 5Issue 5 is better, because paradoxes! Certain doubles meet again, for the first time, for the last time, and the future version is like, huh, that’s weird that I don’t remember this. DUN DUN! Meanwhile in the future, the Teen Police Department is disbanded due to time travel antics, and Protocol Joshua (or “J0$#UA_” but seriously, I know what’s up here) is initiated and things are getting curiouser and curiouser. Meanwhile in the present, Dayoung and her new scientist friend are BAMFs and you can’t stop them.

This is one of those series that just asks question after question and never answers a darn one, but I’m just so in love with it (for now, I guess) that it doesn’t matter. I am sooooo intrigued by this story and its paradoxes and and its awesome protagonist. Why did Dayoung have to go back? What would it take to change the future? What would it take to keep it the same? When will we know which one happens? How many more of these 80s outfits am I going to see on people coming into my library in 2014?

Federal Bureau of Physics, Vol. 1
Federal Bureau of PhysicsI had stopped into my comic shop a while back to pick up other comics, but there was a long line so I spent a few minutes wandering the store. This bright pink cover caught my eye, and then the title — yay physics! Sold.

Except that in this book, the conceit is that the physics of the world is broken, to the point of setting up a Federal Bureau of Physics that is similar enough to a fire department as to be available by calling 911. When school kids start playing in an zero-gravity area and your TV show is over before it even started, the FBP is on the case!

I would totally read just that book, but if you’re not quite so nerdy, there’s some intrigue and subterfuge that you might be interested in. Early on in this volume an FBP operation goes wrong due to some unprovable subterfuge, and they end up with huge funding cuts and new competition in the form of private physics insurers, so there’s that to contend with, and also our protagonist has a dead (although my money’s on disappeared) dad whose work has gone missing and also also there’s another agent whose sense of time is… questionable. Intriguing! I will definitely be checking out the second volume in the future.

Weekend Shorts: X-Men, Rocket Girl, and Lemony Snicket

Well, it happened. My pile of single-issue comics got so overwhelming that I begged my comic shop to sell me the trades instead. It was a good experiment, but clearly I need a giant paperback book staring me in the face rather than a pile of itty-bitty issues.

I’ve still got that pile, though, so I’ll see if the potential for giant stacks of trades gives me more incentive to read the single issues?

And, because I only managed to read two issues since last time, I’ll throw in a recently-read kids book that was delightful but not really meant for discussing at length. Let’s go!

X-Men #2
X-Men 2I read the first issue of this new series almost ten months ago (criminy) and I liked it a lot — lady X-Men kicking butt? I’m in! In this issue, there’s a lot of butt-kicking but unfortunately for the X-Men it’s mostly by this chick (chicks?) called Arkea who is the sister of the creepy dude from last time and is also inhabiting the body of an X-lady I don’t know and using it to take over the school. As you do. There’s some exposition about how she inhabits technology and downloads information to herself, and there’s lots of fighting and the school gets locked down and then at the very end there’s a timer that is like three seconds from going off and that is probably not good. Apparently this storyline is going to be wrapped up nice and neat after the next issue, which seems… unlikely… but then again I’m used to The Unwritten and its disdain for closure.

Rocket Girl #1: “Times Squared”
Rocket Girl 1While I’m liking X-Men and its gang of heroes saving the world against… things… I have to say that Rocket Girl may be more of what I am looking for in a new comic. For one, I don’t feel like I’m missing something every time I don’t know a character. For two, the story is nice and specific from the beginning: our hero, 15-year-old Dayoung Johansson, is a cop from the future 2013 sent back to the present 1986 to stop a company from inventing time-travel and becoming a Goliath-like corporation in the future world of flying cars and stuff. Wait, is this girl the reason I don’t have a flying car? Maybe I’m not rooting for her anymore… Anyway, in this issue she comes back in time and blows up the time machine thing and goes off to be a cop to the consternation of actual 1986 cops who do not have rocket boots and are therefore just jealous, and I am really excited to see what she does next. Preeeeetty sure I’ve got the next issue around here somewhere…

When Did You See Her Last?, by Lemony Snicket
When Did You See Her Last?I read the first book in this series about four months ago and loved it, so of course I had another branch send over the second practically right away, and also of course it languished on my desk until I realized that I couldn’t tell other people to read it if I continued to have it checked out. This book continues the story of young Mr. Snicket, working with a terrible chaperone to solve strange mysteries. This time the mystery is the disappearance of an ink heiress, and it involves stolen notes, impersonation, forced labor, a creepy hospital, and all of the awesome (and differently awesome) townspeople from the first book. I loved the characters and I thought the story was delightful and if you’re a Snicket fan this series is a must-read. If you’re not a Snicket fan, I don’t understand.

What quick reads have you been reading quickly lately?