So if I was smart I would brew a pot of coffee and have some Pop-Tarts and then set to work. But I'm not smart. I got up, made sure the house was secure, came online, read today's SINFEST, checked e-mail to see that I got a nice response from Vito Delsante over at Comic Kings, and then set to work. No food. No coffee. Not yet.
Writing is best done hungry and surly.
Snagged an early look at STAN LEE'S STARBORN #1 from BOOM! Studios by Chris Roberson and Khary Randolf. The comic revolves around an office worker, Benjamin Martin, who is an aspiring science fiction novelist. He seems like a nice enough fellow. We know this because this issue gives us his life in full detail. Its tough for books like this to start off and let you get to know these new characters and still have something interesting going on. There's plenty of interesting stuff here, but the only problem is that its all pretty predictable. We get so much detail as to the science fiction story Benjamin creates that I knew that it had to be real. Once I knew that, all the pieces quickly fell into place. So there were no real surprises for me.
Having said that, this book does succeed in doing a lot of really good world building and layering that in seamlessly with character introduction. That's two very tough things to do, much less do them both in the same issue. So, I wasn't terribly surprised by things, but I'm willing to trade that in because there's enough stuff going on here that it warrants further attention.
In all this comic wasn't really blowing my doors off. Still, there's a ton of potential for this book, and I think now that we've got a awkward parts over with we could be in for a great ride.
Try not to look horribly shocked that I read something that wasn't a comic. I can see you through my computer. That said, put some pants on. Freak.
Just finished up reading Greg Rucka's THE LAST RUN. This novel marks the long awaited return of his award winning and best selling QUEEN AND COUNTRY series. It series debuted as a comic from Oni press and spawned a slew of comics and a few novels. The comics have been collected into four awesome definitive editions which are just awesome.
The only problem with reviewing this book is that I can't do it objectively. I can't even imagine coming into this as a new reader. Tara Chase and I are well acquainted by now. I live to see what Paul Crocker will do next. I can taste how horrible the coffee is in the Pit. I can smell Ron's cigarettes in the Ops Room at Vauxhall Cross. I have a big crush on Kate Cooke, and would completely read an entire 12 issue series all about her even if the only thing she did in it is go shopping. That is the extent of awesome that is Kate Cooke. So this book was me visiting very familiar territory, but everything is not exactly as I left it. Some people had been promoted. There's been a few other changes, but most importantly the feel of the book is the same.
This is spy-fi the way it should be: smart and surprising. These are people who leap right off the page as if Rucka was writing a biography of their amazingly insane lives. The attention to detail is remarkable, and as always Rucka doesn't beat us over the head with it. This book moves. Once it gets going it demands to be read.
Our dear Tara Chase is nearing the end of her stint as head of the SIS's Special Section. She's got a daughter now. She been doing this job for so long and done so much that the majority of the other intelligence organizations around the world either know who she is or must be limited to goat counting. So the "last run" in the title is hers. One last job before she resigns and moves on to a different position. Of course it isn't a milk run. This mission will take her straight into the heart of Iran to extradite a target too good to pass up no matter how much everything around this whole mission stinks on ice.
This book is an absolute page turner. The action is sparse, but the tension is high. The little scenes such as Paul debating over lunch who he wished to murder with his little plastic fork are classic. I now have a completely different view of the city of Tehran. Rucka writes that city as if he'd been living there for years.
Rucka only has one problem. Every time I finish a chapter of his book I am left with a burning need to keep reading to see what happens next. Sure enough he did the exact same thing with this book. Rucka has left me with my brain humming demanding more QUEEN AND COUNTRY. Last I heard the comic was supposed to return. I am, as you read this, actively resisting the urge to drive into Rucka's Twitter account and beg for details as to when it could possibly come out. I'm hoping soonish.
Bounced back to the 80s last time around, might as well hang out in the past a bit longer.
Alright, I'm going to go have some coffee now. See y'all Wednesday.