Comic Book Mixtape #1, July 2023 (ft: Popscars, Spy Superb, Darkwing Duck, Know Your Station, Mr Easta & The Rocketeer)

As I sit here in May, after Free Comic Book Day, I really want to do something with comic books and reviews but I'm not sure what.  I don't have the time/energy to post a review of every single issue I read, but instead I'm going to collect a number of small reviews- blurbs if you will- into this big review which will be posted when I feel like it's ready.   By the time this goes up, I also hope to have a cool name for it.

    Edit 2: I didn't get everything complete until July and I'm not sure if the name is even cool but here we go.  

Popscars #1 (Pat O'Malley / Santi Guillen) (Sumerian Comics)

The first thing you need to know about Pop Scars is that the main character is out to kill their father.   This all centers around Hollywood and a movie franchise that was once great and is being rebooted.  On one hand, I think of something like "Sharknado" because of how many there have been, but then I also think of "Jaws" as well.  But this all centers around a shark movie which was really good but then had less good sequels.

One of the characters in here is the rightful creator of the shark movie and was sort of forced out of control of the project, so along with the character in the pink ski mask on the cover, others are seeking revenge and just don't want this movie being made.   I'm all for a good revenge story, but even more so I love a plot about people trying to come together to stop a terrible reboot.  


Spy Superb #1 (Matt Kindt / Sharlene Kindt) (Dark Horse Comics)

The story of Spy Superb is a mystery (as you could likely guess from the title) and what fascinates me about it is that right away it mentions that there is a Hitchcock theme to this all.  Spy Superb, as a plan, was created much like the Phantom in the sense that it can be continued as an idea so the person will never actually die.   So to keep the idea alive, someone has to pick up a phone and essentially become the new Spy Superb, the only problem is that phone has the list of all the best candidates on it.

When they refer to the new Spy Superb as a "useful idiot" it isn't fitting just because he's working on a novel only he seems to understand but because in Mr. Bean-like fashion he has already managed to thwart some bad guys out to get him.   This comic book spoke to me because the cover looks like a paper bag from Trader Joe's and the issues continue with this theme but the art in it is also unique.   The story also seems to have enough to keep me engaged for the next issue so this is going to be one of those spy-thrillers for someone who was never really into James Bond!


Darkwing Duck #1 (Amanda Deibert / Carlo Lauro) (Dynamite)

Growing up in a time when I watched Darkwing Duck on Disney afternoons, I'm particular to anything involving him, Ducktales, etc.   So when I saw this as a comic book I quickly had to pick it up because I knew it would be something that not only I could read but also Quentin can read it as well.   

This is the story of Megavolt using the cell phones of everyone to control them and have them go after our titular hero.  There is something to be said about the underlying meanings in this.  Between the addiction we have to screens to the idea that some form of social media can be used the way that Megavolt used electricity, there just seems to be a strong idea here of thinking for yourself.  


Know Your Station #1 (Sarah Gailey / Liana Kangas) (Boom! Studios)

Sometimes I'll pick up comic books not really knowing what they're about, but just thinking they look cool and then going into them hoping for the best.  Know Your Station is about a futuristic time when people live in space on a space station.  Trying to wrap my head around that (and the drug use) is one thing, but then a plot unfolds.  This becomes not only a murder mystery but it focuses on the main character being a suspect and not even knowing it (because of the drugs).

It feels like a lot of the comic books I read are along the same lines of someone trying to solve a murder or prevent it.   They all have that detective/spy way about them, but I've always liked those old gritty, pulp noir type of stories anyway.   Know Your Station is full of beautiful imagery and though it is somewhat of that detective story, it takes place in space so these added elements make it worth reading.  


Mr. Easta #1 (Kit Wallis) (Scout Comics)

I'm on some kind of theme, as many of the comics I've been reading lately center around the world of things such as being a hired killer.  Mr. Easta is a bunny-like creature who can travel through time and kill bad guys.  It seems to be a kill or be killed situation, where if he doesn't go and do these jobs then whoever his employer is will kill him.

This is comedic and somewhat like Deadpool but with more aliens and oddities.  As this already exists in a world of endless possibilities, I think with the time travel aspect it could open up even more doors and that just makes this that much more appealing.  While I enjoy the comedy and references to Elvis, I especially enjoy that Mr. Easta seems to be the shoot first ask questions later type as well.  


The Rocketeer "The Great Race" #1 (Stephen Mooney) (IDW Publishing)

One thing I have always been a fan of is The Rocketeer from back when all I knew him as was a movie which is now under the Disney umbrella.  Through comic books, action figures and even a cassette with 3D story that I picked up recently, I'm very much on board with all things related to this character.

The story of The Great Race deals with the main character giving up the backpack to live a safer and more stable life, but then he finds himself in a position to work for someone who wants him to enter the titular race.   This promises the potential of big bucks but also could mean more danger (even more so than the jetpack) and as such it makes the story that much more compelling.  I also feel like I really just like stories from this time period.