Awesome writer and fan Imogen Binnie got us all geektastic when she pointed out this genius match-up. And it’s basically undeniable. Not only does Mr. Heist, Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan’s subversive revolution-inciting novelist, bear an uncanny resemblance to the legendary Sam Delany, but also…
Both Mr. Heist and our (cyclops-deprived) universe’s own Sam Delany are masters of ideas, using the “low brow” genres to examines big ideas about social justice. And…
Okay, so, maybe besides the awesome beard, the resemblances stop there (as far as we know, Mr. Delany has never had an alcohol problem or threw up on babies)… but, bad first impressions aside, if Mr. Heist is in anyway inspired by the one and only Sam Delany, the Saga-verse just got that much doper. And just when you thought it was impossible to fan-crush on Saga any harder. Oh yeah, did we mention issue #15 is out this week?
May and the official Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month are coming to a close, but we can continue celebrating Asian American culture year-round and we can do it all geeky like with some on-going comics featuring Asian American & Pacific Islander heroes!
Non-stereotyped or side-kick-ed Asian/ Asian American heroes are a rare thing in comics history and present, but right now there are two major ongoing series with leading AA heroes – the slicing and dicing Japanese transplant Katana in her own self-titled series Katana(DC Comics) by Ann Nocenti and Alex Sanchez and the crime-fighting cibopath Tony Chu in Chew (Image) by John Layman and Rob Guillory.
Tony Chu – Chew
If you’re not already reading Chew, go pick up volume 1 now. It’s amazing. The storytelling, the art, Tony Chu… Often disgusting, usually hilarious, always incredibly imaginative, Chewis one of my favorite comics four years running. John Laymanhas created a world where birdflu ran rampant killing millions of Americans and turning the FDA into one of the most powerful agencies in the country. And that’s where Philadelphia police detective Tony Chu’s story starts off. A scrawny sickly looking guy, Tony Chu is a cibopath, meaning he can get psychic visions from anything he eats. Anything. Yep, just imagine all the potential for gross. But beyond the disgusting, Chu is stone-cold cop with a wacky ability in an absurd world, and he isn’t the only one with “special” talents…
I’ve been putting off reading the final issue of Glory; I just wasn’t ready for it to be over. Joe Keatinge and Ross Campbell revived the 90’s Image character roughly a year ago, starting where Alan Moore left off back in 1999 with issue #23. And last week’s issue #34 sees the end of their bold revival.
I was sold on the Keatinge and Campbell relaunch instantly. No, seriously. The moment I saw the cover art with a seriously beastly, battle-scarred Gloriana Demeter standing triumphantly on a pile of monstrous corpses. It was a far faaar (battle) cry from the shiny naked seductress of the 90’s.
But, though they made her (often literally) a beast, that didn’t mean the demon lady wasn’t still a sexy beast. And being the halfie spawn of an Amazonian princess and a demon lord of the underworld, how could she not be? A. Sexy. Beast.
cover of Keatinge & Campbell’s Glory #23 (2012)
Alan Moore’s 1999 Glory
By the time we meet Glory in Keatinge’s relaunch she’s lived a good long time. She’s fought tons of battles, and she’s got the scars to show it. She’s also lost a lot of people – lovers, friends, family – and it’s all taken its toll twice over.
She’s a jaded Glory, a resigned Glory, as she preps for the ultimate battle and worries more than she ever has about controlling the savagery of her demon side, because not controlling it might be the key to victory.
This struggle with her demon heritage has always been her personal battle, and it’s been the fragile human loves (platonic and very decidedly otherwise…) that have helped her fight it.
That’s what Keatinge and Campbell show us in the final issue.
They take us back, back to a sweeter Glory, shyly in love with a sweet young woman, wearing pink dresses and sipping wine with the Fitzgeralds (yes, the Fitzgeralds).
And we see how she found home somewhere between Amazonia and The Underworld – here on Earth with us regular folk whom she could break with her pinkie (even the ones like her beloved Emilie who have a bit of meat on their bones).
And yet it was the scrawny Earthlings that both saved her and broke her.
She might have literally punched her arm off in a grisly battle with her little sister Nanaja (my favorite and one of the most epic uses of Ross Campbells pen in this series!), but a broken heart not a smashed-to-bloody-smitherines arm is what ultimately sent her to the dark side.
Though her human friends and lovers might look pretty ridiculous next to Glory’s gargantuan stature, they were hardly there as filling or feel-good foils. Keatinge and Campbell gave each of these characters their fair share of ink and dimension too.
The young, in-over-her-head Riley, which was original to this run, was arguably the story’s staple, the story’s dimension-maker really. She’s what rounded out Glory’s character and drove the story forward.
To see a comic where a woman is not just a bad ass, but a huge beastly monstrous bad ass, punching off heads and wearing gruesome scars like jewelry, but still knows how to flirt seductively with her octogenarian lover, hobnob with Golden Era elites, and throw back a few dozen bottles of wine… it’s a rare pleasure.
It’s been good to get to know her and her motley crew and it’s been a thrill to follow this gem among comics stories.
Thanks, Joe Keatinge for an incredible character and incredible story. Thanks Ross Campbell for every single scar and every bloody detail. Looking forward to whatever you both do next. Keep being sexy beasts.
I’m gonna go have 15 bottles of wine now to mourn/toast properly the end of an amazing story.