Kieron Gillen and Jamie Mckelvie struck creative gold when they launched their series Phonogram for Image Comics. The first Series Rue Britania focused on the idea that Music is magic and introduced us to the world of phonomancers. It was highly acclaimed and led to both creators creating a follow-up book titled The Singles Club . Matt Wilson came on to do colors for the series which was a limited run focusing on a wide group of characters some phonomancers, others not who all went to the same club.
Gillen and Mckelvie have since went on to work for Marvel . Gillen working on Journey Into Mystery and Uncanny X-Men while Mckelvie is wrapping up art duties for the X-Men season 1 Hardcover. The creators had always wanted to continue working on their Phonogram series but it was cut short . Now just before the Image Expo this awesome and simple message has been released giving fans of Phonogram something to smile about.
Obviously there is a direct reference to the title Track from Daft Punk . Gillen has said that the track itself had a lot to do with the inspiration for the series . What does it all mean ? Maybe its a reference to another Phonogram series, it could be focusing on dance music and electronica . Or are they creating a Daft Punk comic book? At this point what I’m most happy about is that Image is giving these two amazing creators the freedom to blow my mind again. What are your thoughts ?
Part 1 – Everything that was right about Fear Itself #7 and the event in general (Kinda spoiler free, maybe?)
1. It totally made sense and was pretty cool when Captain America picked up [that one thing.] Right?
2. I dug how Hawkeye looked kinda pissed because he WANTED missing a shot to be a possibility.
3. [amazon_link id=”B005CWOQ1K” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Fear Itself: Deadpool[/amazon_link] ruled the roost. BIG UPS to Christopher Hastings (W), Bong [!] Dazo (Pcls), Joe Pimentel (Inks), Matt Milla (Clrs), and Simon Bowland (Ltrs).
4. [amazon_link id=”078514840X” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Journey Into Mystery[/amazon_link] was the big winner among the non-limited series (in theory) tying into FI. I’ll be talking about last week’s issue at length NEXT week, since the next issue drops Wednesday, but Kieron Gillen womped like a MUTHA in Loki’s adventures. My quick take: This series killed the ass off Superman Beyond 3D, Grant Morrison’s shorter but similarly-themed adjunct to [amazon_link id=”140122282X” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Final Crisis[/amazon_link]. Really.
5. [amazon_link id=”0785163891″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Fear Itself: The Home Front[/amazon_link] had a lot of good stuff. I’m a fan of Mike Mayhew’s particular brand of painted photo-realism, so I’m glad to have seen a bunch of that. BUT, his stuff really pops for me when he has garish colors to work with, so it was a li’l bit sucky that Christos Gage had him (and colorista Rain Beredo) draw so many normal schmucks and baddies whose costumes were just black. Anyhow, the series still had plenty of good stuff, with the standout pieces being most of Howard Chaykin’s pages, the awesome American Eagle piece in #5 by Si Spurrier & Jason Latour, and the always-welcome Great Lakes Avengers/Defenders/X-Men/JLI, by Elliott Kalan, Ty Templeton, and David Curiel.
6. [amazon_link id=”0785157018″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Fear Itself: Youth In Revolt[/amazon_link] (W,A,C,L: McKeever, Norton, Gandini, and Cowles) was a worthwhile read, and it has this:
7. [amazon_link id=”B005PHT6G2″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Fear Itself: The Monkey King[/amazon_link] (a Fialkov-Doe-Quintana-Lanphear joint) was more fun than watching Joyce Carol Oates foolin’ around with a monkey. Which I have imagined many times.
That’s the good stuff. Any parts of the Marvel [Publishing] Universe that tied into Fear Itself and were good – the best F.I. moments from Invincible Iron Man or Thunderbolts or New Avengers or whatever – do NOT get especial credit, because they would have been just fine WITHOUT the big event. Well, maybe the MODOK thing from Hulk needed a suitably big world threat to help Ole’ Big-Head learn to love. Hard to say.
Part 2 – The BAD things about Fear Itself #7 and the event in general
1. Odin’s plan was absolutely moronic, unrealistic, cowardly, contemptible, poor strategy, and generally asinine. Nobody anywhere doesn’t think this.
2. Captain America using shotguns to easily blow Nazi red-shirts robots out of the sky. Look at all the piled-up wiped-out robot-VolksWagen things:
Golly, if only they had this amazing “shotgun” technology available in Washington, D.C., which those things supposedly totally destroyed. Instead, all they had available in Washington were tanks, fighter jets, bazookas, grenades, and EVERY PIECE OF WEAPON TECHNOLOGY THAT COULD BE BOUGHT WITH 50% OF EVERY FUCKING AMERICAN TAX DOLLAR FOR THE LAST 40 YEARS.
3. Humanity all simultaneously Not Being Afraid was predictable from roughly one second after we found out that the big bad, The Sears Pants, is powered by human fear.
4. The “death” of Thor while he has a current ongoing series has about as much dramatic heft as the death of Kenny in episode #29 of [amazon_link id=”B00023P49M” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]South Park[/amazon_link]. Also, what did he die of, exactly? Anvilitis? The only question on anybody’s mind is how long Marvel will pay lip service to the idea of Thor being dead. But Thor is immortal – not because he’s a “god,” but because he is a corporate property. A corporate property will not and cannot be made to stay in the grave as long as it can be monetized.
5. Just, in general: Fuck prophecy. Don’t like it. Crap story device, except when Loki wields it.
6. BTW also, Heimdal can suck it. What a tool. He just basically does nothing ever except watch Odin act like the king of all assholes, followed by blindly obeying whatever whack shit Odin demands of him.
7. The dialogue in the main series was bad. All of it.
8. If I gave a shit about continuity, I would point out sloppy errors like Captain America’s un-scarred shield in his new series (or the OBVIOUS problems with aerodynamics this would create), or Cap’s WAY continuity-sloppy appearance in Daredevil. Suffice to say, there’s no clear idea what happened when ANYWHERE. (Can you order Fear Itself, Spider Island, Schism, FF’s War of Four Cities, etc? I sure as shit can’t.)
9. I regard Fear Itself (Main Series), Book of the Skull, Hulk vs Dracula, The Deep, FF, and The Fearless (Issue #1 only, not buying the rest) as a fucking waste of sixty bucks. I spent money on all of this, I don’t get review copies (and probably never will with an attitude like this!)
10. So, here is Sin at the end of the big Fear Itself battle.
Let’s ignore the fact that her face is a red skull because of horrible burn scars that are suddenly smooth. Instead, I want to know if she was jailed in any of the prisons that held Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, or Mohamar Ghaddaffi. Oh, wait a sec, it slipped my mind, those guys – who ADDED TOGETHER killed about 5% of Sin’s headcount as the cause of Fear Itself – got killed the fuck dead as soon as ANYBODY laid eyes on them. Seriously, did Captain America fistfight the entire population of Asgard to keep them from chopping off her head? In what silly-assed world is she alive, other than as an act of a god who has a product to move?
As dental models.
Are event comics ALWAYS money-grabs by desperate companies who hope the jump in sales makes up for the rotten aftertaste that never, ever goes away? Hey Marvel, keep searching for the new Jim Shooter, okay?
Part 3 – And now, a word from the medium of comics
And from me. Me and comics, both at once somehow.
The above is my favorite scene from Invincible Iron Man #509, which I have profaned by replacing Matt Fraction’s words with MY OWN treatise on What Is Good, which differs shamefully from that of Conan the Barbarian. End of column, thanks!
Marvel Comics released this image Friday morning promoting the new story arc in Journey Into Mystery, starting with issue 633.
You can see Loki and Son of Satan in the picture. The title of the arc is, “The Terrorism Myth.” Kieron Gillen posted on his twitter account (@kierongillen) that both 632 and 633 are fine jumping on points for those who wish to join us post Fear Itself.
Kieron Gillen has had quite a run thus far with Marvel . Doing amazing work on Uncanny X-Men seeing the series to its conclusion with #544 ( which was reviewed by our own Ryan Duelfer and can be read HERE), and ultimately its rebirth next month at #1 . He also writes Journey Into Mystery starring Young Loki. Which just so happens to be the superior Thor Book ,an amazing feat considering the fact there is little mention of Thor anywhere in it. After a couple of issues of decent work at Marvel , Kieron got his Big Break writing a Loki One Shot during the events of Siege that would ultimately prove to show how strong he is at balancing multiple character arcs , creating crazy out of this world concepts and leaning heavily on Mysticism to tell an original tale.
However this Article is going to focus on one of his first series. One that I thoroughly enjoyed and have a soft spot for in the same vain that I do for Scott Pilgrim. Gillen’s creator owned Image title Phonogram was where I first discovered his amazing storytelling at work. The mantra of Phonogram’s first limited series run was “Music is Magic”. You see Musicians have the ability to effect normal folks like you and I in deep and impactful ways. They tap into something other worldly to create songs that we play on Repeat , listen to after a break up , and lose our shit when we hear our favorite song in a bar.What if the musicians we speak of are tapping into something supernatural to create the music we know and love?
This is the basic story to Phonogram . Kieron introduces us to our Jaded Protagonists David Khol who is a Phonomancer who hasn’t been interested with any music scene that has existed after the early Brit Rok Invasion of the 90’s. What unfolds for six issues is a love letter to Brit Rock , New Wave and Pop Music . Also one hell of a fun , witty and well written comic book. Everything you would want in a comic is here Huge concepts , great characters , creepy moments , action , well written relationships . You buy into this world immediately due to Gillen’s passionate writing. You can tell this series is a labor of Love and it shows. His Artist for this series is Jamie Mckelvie and he knocks this book out of the park . The issues are all Black and White and each cover is in color representing a unique twist of a famous album cover . He makes references to bands you may or may not have heard but takes the time to give you information on every single song and Artist at the end of the book. If you enjoy Music and Comics as much as I do , you must seek out this first series .
Gillen’s second run in the world of Phonogram is a series of single issues that stars separate characters all converging at the same Night Club. Each issue allows us as readers to view the night through their eyes . It’s a cool plot for the series and Gillen’s grasp of both Male and Female characters is very strong . While this series isn’t as cohesive , the story is still enjoyable and beautiful to look at. The art in this book is again handled by Jamie McKelvie , this time with full color pages. Once again his character designs are simple yet capture every facial expression and emotion perfectly which is important for a book with so many characters.
So if you love Gillen’s work on Uncanny X-Men and Journey Into Mystery give this series a try. You will be pleasantly surprised at how well crafted it is and you will find yourself seeking out the music Gillen constantly references page after page. Kieron Gillen’s original work set the building blocks for a very successful career in comics. You owe it to yourself to jump into this unique and colorful world and experience something different. After All isn’t that why we enjoy reading comic books in the first place?
This week’s picks are more about books that make me angry more than about they are the best books to read.
Green Lantern (2011) #2
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Christian Alamy, Doug Mahnke.
Renegade Green Lantern Sinestro sets a course for Korugar with one purpose: To free his homeworld from the scourge of… The Sinestro Corps?!
Why would I be interested in this book? WHY WOULD I CARE ABOUT THIS BOOK??!! My love of Geoff Johns is slowly fading as each issue of Green Lantern goes by with Sinstero as the main character. Nothing against Sinestro but I’m didn’t start reading this book because of him. Also, the story about the Guardians acting like idiots is very over played.
We all know that Green lantern is Johns’ baby and he made the book a best seller but maybe he is out of stories…. It could be time for a change or a break. John’s could be doing too much now. This is why it’s very hard in the NFL to be the head coach and the general manager at the same time.
I have been down this road before with Spider-Man and it isn’t pretty. I will continue to read Green Lantern because I love the universe. This is just a dry period in story telling.
X-Men: Regenesis #1
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Billy Tan.
When the dust settles from the X-Men’s Schism, a line has been drawn, and every mutant must choose. Who will they follow – Cyclops or Wolverine? Either way, with mutantkind cut in two, things will never be the same. Setting the stage for this month’s WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN #1 and November’s all-new UNCANNY X-MEN #1, Kieron Gillen (UNCANNY X-MEN, JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY) and Billy Tan (UNCANNY X-FORCE, NEW AVENGERS) take us through the ranks of the X-Men as they choose their destiny.
This book is purely printed to sucker you into buying it!!!! Why couldn’t this story have taken place in a different book (X-Men, Uncanny) that is already published? Schism has me really excited about the X-Men universe but have the story-line is to make you buy more books. Write one book really well and stop giving me five okay or shitty books.
Just like Green Lantern, I will buy this book because this might be important to the story-line but the odds of Re-genesis just being a filer book is high.