Posts Tagged "jonah chuang"
A comiXologist Recommends:
Jonah Chuang recommends God Hates Astronauts #1

You know when you’re watching or reading something, and the plot is ridiculously absurd but all the characters seem to react casually so you, as the reader, don’t really notice until one of the characters says something like, “I never thought I’d say those words together in a sentence”? The only way I can describe God Hates Astronauts is that it’s that idea, but literally everything you’re reading is so crazy and exciting that you have to just have to go along for the ride, and when you’ve finished you think: “what the hell did I just read?” It’s a rare and exciting experience that few writers and artists can pull off, and I’m so glad that Ryan Browne does it so well.

Now, the hard part: describing the plot of this book. At its core, this series is about a sad group of astronaut superheroes who work for NASA and fight against farmer astronauts who are trying to go into space, but to focus on this aspect of the story would be doing the story a disservice. The charm of God Hates Astronauts is in how boldly unapologetic it is about its exploration of ludicrous side characters and their struggles with love and/or anthropomorphic antagonists. Just read it and you’ll know what I mean.

When word came in that we were getting this book, I did a quick search and found that tons of reviewers were calling it the craziest comic book ever made, and it did not disappoint. If you’re familiar with Browne’s work on The Manhattan Projects, you’d know that drawing this subject matter is right in his wheelhouse. I also think fans of Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonen’s Nextwave: Agents of HATE will also appreciate this book, because it’s kind of like that, but crazier and with no visible signs of censorship.

[Pick up God Hates Astronauts #1 here!]

Jonah Chuang is a Production Coordinator Assistant at comiXology. He’s probably hungry right now… 

A comiXologist Recommends:
Jonah Chuang recommends Multiversity #1

If you’ve been reading any of DC’s monthly titles over the past few weeks, you’ve likely seen the teasers for this book in the back of your comics. There are captions that say things like read, “I’m Real?”, “I see you! I know what’s coming!”, and “I am not ad copy! DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK! The fate of the Multiverse rests in your hands!” 

It turns out that this meta-awareness is a big theme in this book, and the effect is a more immersive experience. In the opening scene, an unnamed comic book reader sitting in a room full of long boxes dissects a DC comic book while participating in a forum on his tablet (none of us can relate to that, right?). Then his monkey comes to life and he turns into a comic book character and they jump into the comic book! It’s not often that you’ll find a superhero book that discusses superhero books so casually in the midst of a life or death crisis. Morrison then continues to use captions to speak directly to the audience, which is eerie and kind of cool in that it’s like having the author standing next to you and making remarks as you read.

I also really appreciate the diversity of this group. This team does seem to represent a bunch of different people from different walks of life and Morrison does seem to acknowledge that he’s doing it on purpose so maybe he’ll expand on it in the next few issues.

Finally, I absolutely love the inclusion of Captain Carrot, an anthropomorphic superhero rabbit. With the success and popularity of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy’s Rocket Raccoon, it was only a matter of time before DC stepped up and presented a wacky but dangerous furry superhero of their own. All I can say is they made a great choice with Captain Carrot.

[Read Multiversity #1]

Jonah Chuang is a Production Coordinator Assistant at Comixology. He hopes to be Jabba the Hutt for Halloween this year.

A comiXologist Recommends:
Jonah Chuang recommends The Sandman: Overture #3

Neil Gaiman and J.H. Williams III’s The Sandman: Overture is the kind of series that you have to sit down and absorb in order to appreciate it fully. The art is mind-blowingly detailed and expansive, and the content of the story is cerebral and rich.

This series is the prequel to the acclaimed original Sandman series from way back in 1991.  In the beginning of that story, the protagonist, Dream of the Endless (the lord, master and literal embodiment of dreams), is returning to Earth, exhausted from a long battle when he is caught in a trap by a mediocre human sorcerer and kept prisoner for a long time, causing all kinds of problems. This story is the story of the epic battle and it so far it has been exactly that: epic.

In the first two issues, Dream encounters his alternate selves and learns of his death and the existence of a “mad star” (like the Sun, but crazy) that’s poised to destroy the universe. As a result, Dream must go stop this star, as, apparently, it is his fault that it’s mad to begin with.

In this issue, Dream goes over to the place where none of the Endless can go and then goes in anyway. Partnered with a giant cat version of yourself, Dream walks through a lawless land of dangerous criminals and murderers looking for answers. The story takes on a fantasy space western feel, which is actually pretty big right now.

J.H. Williams III’s art is nuts, and perfect for this book. There’s no other way to describe it except imagination made physical. There are also a bunch of little familiar nuggets in this story that make you want to go back and read the original series again and rediscover the magic all over again.

[Read The Sandman: Overture #3 on comiXology]

For fans of: fantasy, supernatural, mature content

Jonah Chuang is a Production Coordinator Assistant. He is very much looking forward to seeing the footage from Avengers: Age of Ultron.

A comiXologist Recommends:
Jonah Chuang recommends Robin Rises: Omega #1

Robin Rises is an event that builds off of stories from the stories we loved from the pre-Flashpoint DC Universe while mixing in the most exciting elements of the New 52. The recent Batman/Superman and Batman and Robin books have been setting up the stakes for this crossover so that they seem higher than ever. There’s a reality-bending gem involved that can end the world if it falls into the wrong hands on top of the chance that Batman might be able to get his son back. However, there’s also the risk that Robin might be manipulated by his grandfather, Ra’s Al Ghul, into becoming something that would go against everything Batman stands for.

This issue is a really well executed starting point. There’s a detailed recap at the top of the story to refresh old readers’ minds and orient new readers to what’s going on. It also shows a side of Batman we’re not used to seeing. He’s angry and desperate, violently lashing out at friends.

The most exciting aspect of this story is the implications it will have on the Bat family. In the past, Robins have experienced dramatic deaths (both literal and figurative) and then enjoyed profound, long-lasting rebirths into new identities— whether it’s Dick Grayson into Nightwing (and more recently into an Agent of Spyral), Jason Todd to the Red Hood, or Steph Brown to the new Batgirl. As dear as the old guard has been to Bruce Wayne, none of them have ever been his flesh and blood so one can only imagine how Batman will be affected by all of this. Additionally, Damian is one of the most complex and tumultuous characters to date, and I can’t wait to see what kind of transformation he goes through, or who he’ll be when he comes out the other side.

[Read Robin Rises: Omega #1 on comiXology]

For fans of: action, superheroes

Jonah Chuang is a Production Coordinator Assistant. His spirit animal is Karl Pilkington.

A comiXologist Recommends:
Jonah Chuang recommends Grayson #1

Dick Grayson is dead to the world but alive in our hearts and in this book. As evidenced by the title, Dick has dropped his bird-themed moniker and ventured out on his own. Following the events of Forever Evil, the former Robin/former Nightwing has had his secret identity revealed to the world and as a result, has been forced to be reborn as a secret agent for the mysterious group, Spyral.

When I first heard about this switch, I was disappointed. I thought Nightwing had the second coolest costume of the Bat-family (next to Batwoman) and Dick Grayson was one of the most interesting characters both in and out of costume. However, I’ll admit that this new direction does feel fresh, and proves that Dick’s strong enough to step out of Batman’s shadow.

Grayson is also an excellent title for this book. Sometimes I forget that Nightwing’s “powers” come from him being an amazing physical specimen. For the most part, we only ever see him doing incredible maneuvers in costume, and his acrobatic and martial arts abilities seem like a factor of his suit and gadgets, but seeing Dick channel his inner James Bond really reminds you of the human factor in Gotham’s heroes.

Perhaps my favorite aspect of this book is the supporting cast. Without ruining too much, in this first issue, we’re treated to some pretty spectacular appearances. We get to meet Spyral, one of the trippiest characters I’ve encountered in recent history, then see our hero face off against one very deadly hero from one of DC’s other titles, and finally we see the New 52 debut of a fan favorite pre-Flashpoint heroine.

Grayson #1’s not to be missed!

[Read Grayson #1 on comiXology]

is a Production Coordinator Assistant at comiXology. His favorite Mikaelson brother is Elijah.

For fans of: action, superheroes, espionage

Jonah Chuang is a Production Coordinator Assistant at comiXology. His favorite Mikaelson brother is Elijah.

A comiXologist Recommends:
Jonah Chuang recommends Deadly Class #6

I’ve been really enjoying Rick Remender (rickremender) , Wesley Craig (wescraigcomics​) and Lee Loughridge’s new series, Deadly Class. It feels like a cross between X-Men, Harry Potter, the Breakfast Club, and Game of Thrones in that it’s a school for exceptional teenage misfits to learn a special set of skills, but everyone’s either brutally killing or having sex with each other.

Deadly Class takes place in 1987 at a school for assassins. The students are the children of the most over-the-top caricatures of the world’s most violent archetypes— Neo Nazis, Cartel leaders, drug dealers, gangsters of all kinds— and they takes classes like Beheading, Poison and AP Black Arts. The main character, Marcus Lopez, is a crazy wreck that you can’t help but love, despite the terrible things he sometimes does. He’s a struggling, lost kid in a hostile world who’s in love with a girl who’s way out of his league. If twenty years of reading comics and watching TV and movies has taught me anything it’s that you can’t go wrong with this formula.

“But if it’s been done before, why should you care?” That’s a good point, reader. My response would be because it hasn’t been done exactly like this before. Marcus is no Peter Parker or Aladdin, he’s a desperate homeless kid with a horrifying past who gets high and kills people. Also, when you pick up early issues of Amazing Spider-Man you never get the sense that Flash Thompson will kill Peter Parker in the course of his bullying, but you don’t get that sense of security with Deadly Class. In this closing chapter of the first story arc, students are shot, stabbed, beaten and slashed on almost every page, so the stakes are noticeably higher.

Deadly Class is one of the most exciting, gripping and dynamic stories on the shelves today. Don’t let it slip through the cracks!

[Read Deadly Class #6 on comiXology]

For fans of: action

Jonah Chuang is a production coordinator assistant at comiXology. He lives in Queens with his two rescue dogs, Baby J and Li’l Sebastian.

A comiXologist Recommends:
Jonah Chuang recommends Thor: God of Thunder #23

Thor: God of Thunder is one of the most worthwhile series of the Marvel.NOW line. Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic are absolutely killing it with their brutal but relatable portrayals of Thor and the cultures of the Nine Realms.

If you haven’t been following along, this series follows two different Thors— King Thor, the All-Father, from the far future and present-day Thor. Both are fighting for the fate of the planet, but in very different ways. All-Father Thor battles against Galactus for the shriveled up husk of Earth, while Thor-of-today struggles against the Roxxon Energy Corp for the future of Broxxton, Oklahoma, the town where the Asgardians have settled after the destruction of Asgard.

The present-day Thor’s story is full of intrigue. There’s a good amount of environmental and corporate commentary. It’s interesting to see Thor, the Avenger, with all his power, stand helpless against corporate lawyers. In this issue, Thor’s adversaries are given physical form in the form of Ulik the Troll and the Minotaur so that Thor can finally bash corporate greed in the face with his hammer.

King Thor’s story is my favorite of the two, mostly because of the involvement of his granddaughters. Atli, Ellisiv, and Frigg first appeared in the Godbomb arc and embody everything you love about the young, brash, brutal Thor from days past. This storyline also shows has the most epic fight scenes, with All-Father Thor just wailing on the massive Galactus. Thor fans might remember being disappointed by the theoretical nature of the Odin vs. Galactus fight back in Mighty Thor as it mostly took place on higher planes. This is not that. It’s the knock-down, drag-out fight you’ve always wanted to see the God of Thunder take part in.

[Read Thor: God of Thunder #23 on comiXology]

For fans of: Superheroes, Mythology

Jonah Chuang is a production coordinator assistant at comiXology. He owns four Mjolnir replicas and was Loki for Halloween in 2011.

A comiXologist Recommends - MANGA EDITION:
Jonah Chuang recommends Dragon Ball Z

Think of these volumes as a straight up no-nonsense version of what was already, despite its minor flaws, one of the greatest action series of all time. The sequel to Dragon Ball is about the now-adult Son Goku, alien from another planet who is sent to Earth as a baby to conquer it, but after falling in love with its people, becomes its greatest hero. Together with his friends and family, he defends the planet from overwhelming alien threats with the help of the magical Dragon Balls. 

For those of you who know the watered down animated Toonami versions from TV, these books have all of the stuff and none of the fluff. You do lose the dazzling animated fights with the manga version, but the story and character development are streamlined, and we’re treated to a better paced telling which makes the relationships feel more familiar and authentic. The manga version also includes more banter, quirkiness, and small, personal jokes that make you feel closer to the DBZ family than ever before.

Dragon Ball Z is father to many of the tropes that we love in action movies and animation today. Its treatment of flying/fighting, impact cratering, power levels, getting suped up, and the idea of taking enemies and making them regular heroes carry forward into pop culture today. It’s a classic series that feels just as fresh and interesting today as when it was first released 25 years ago.

[Read Dragon Ball Z on comiXology]

For fans of: ActionMartial ArtsHumor

Jonah Chuang is a production coordinator assistant at comixology. He has attended both The Office conventions in Scranton, PA and met Ricky Gervais last week.

A comiXologist Recommends:
Jonah Chuang recommends Moon Knight #4

In the latest Moon Knight,  Warren Ellis does the most Warren Ellis-iest thing in recent memory and writes a tale filled with mad pseudo-science and abstract psychic ideas that makes you feel like you’re going on an acid trip with a genuinely psychotic Moon Knight.  It’s absurd, but so casually referenced that it produces a growing sense of dread for the reader as each chapter of the story progresses.

I don’t know what it is about Ellis/dshalv's Moon Knight— maybe it's the fact that he wears an immaculately clean white suit with matching blank mask and rides around in a limo fighting nightmarish things like it's a totally legitimate thing to do, or maybe it's his calm and collected body language in the midst of the extraordinary and horrifying circumstances that he always finds himself in, but this Moon Knight gives off an aura of stillness while simultaneously leaving you with the sense that he could transition into a fit of sudden and brutal violence at any moment.

As with the rest of the issues in this run, issue four doesn’t tie in with any of its preceding issues, so don’t worry if you haven’t read any of the others (though really, what the hell are you doing with your time that’s so important you can’t spend a few minutes looking at this crazy title),.  Still, it is very much in the vein of the series’ apparent mission statement, which is, “watch this formerly crazy superhero scare the crap out of you more than any villain ever has.”

[Read Moon Knight #4]

For fans of: actionsuperheroes

Jonah Chuang is a production coordinator assistant at Comixology. He was born and raised in Queens, NY under the light of a yellow sun but has no remarkable powers aside from minor lactose intolerance.

A comiXologist Recommends:
Jonah Chuang recommends United States of Murder, Inc. #1

I don’t want to sound hyperbolic, but almost everything I believe about what makes a hero comes from Brian Michael Bendis (brianmichaelbendis). His portrayal of Peter Parker in Ultimate Spider-Man helped shape my views on what a hero should be, and, indirectly, what kind of person I want to be. And it’s not because he writes the most powerful or the slyest heroes but because he writes some of the most real and complex characters who struggle with the mundane problems we all struggle with. (He also knows how to milk the hell out of dramatic moments to really make you feel those emotional highs and lows.)

In Powers (if you don’t know Powers and its fourteen year run with its original creative team, you should), Bendis and artist Michael Avon Oeming (oeming) bring that same relatability to the grittier, edgier, and more ethically ambiguous characters, Detective Christian Walker and his partner Deena Pilgrim. Their stories have less to do with super heroics than with the crappy personal issues that adults have to deal with as they schlep their way through bureaucracies as small, seemingly-powerless cogs caught up in the intricate and burdensome machine known as society (but yes, there are also a lot of super heroics). 

With United States of Murder, Inc., Bendis teams up with Oeming again to tell the story of an America run by gangsters. The story follows one mobster as he attempts to uncover the secrets of the organization he works for. Though this sounds like quite a departure from the superhero stories I just praised Bendis for, it still possesses the same complexity, intrigue, and dynamic/relatable characters for which Bendis has come to be known, with even more shades of gray. If all that’s not enough to sway you, then just know it’s twice the amount of comic from two of today’s greatest talents for regular price.

 [Pick up United States of Murder, Inc. #1 here!]

For fans of: actioncrimemystery

Jonah Chuang is a Production Coordinator Assistant and 1:1 time traveler. He’s just trying to get to 88 MPH.