for our latest round up of indie comics we look at news issues from some familiar names: we start with an exclusive look at the new issue Andy W. Clift’s sensational space adventure The Adventures of Captain Cosmic, which has just gone intergalactic on Kickstarter; we follow that up with the final issue of the first arc of Matt Garvey’s supernatural superhero book The Devil In Disguise; before pouring ourselves a drink at Mahoney’s the new book from The Guys’ Rich Carrington.
Captain Cosmic #2
Andy Clift’s superb silver-age inspired sci-fi spectacular is back for a new, out of this world adventure. This time the Captain and his sidekick Kid Cosmic are dispatched to the planet of Devron VII to investigate an alien invasion and discover a planet that has been taken over by a purple alien parasite that is turning the residents into zombies. After the shiny and bright debut, this sophomore effort has a slightly darker tone to it, and reminded us a bit of a 60s Dr Who episode, with the sinister Globulus taking over the planet’s residents. It’s still a long way off his work on 32 Kills or Red Rocket Comet in terms of violence though, and this issue is also packed full of some psychedelic Kirby inspired intergalactic craziness which helps make this second issue feel a bit less light and frothy, but without straying too far from being a piece of fun all ages sci-fi. In short, it continues to be an exceptionally good comic and the recent phenomenal success it has had on Kickstarter is testament to the quality Clift puts into every issue. The Adventures of Captain Cosmic looks set to be a new high watermark for Clift and is a phenomenal showcase of his talent which is really coming to the fore this year. But most important off all it is a really fun and enjoyable read that captures that sense of adventure and fun that imbued those classic pulp adventure comics of the silver age.
Devil in Disguise 4
After a debut issue which felt more like a lost Hammer horror short, Matt Garvey’s The Devil in Disguise has evolved into a really enjoyable demonic superhero adventure which is like a mix of Moon Knight, Spawn and 1970s Marvel horror. Our hero has changed from an ordinary dude on a train into a devilish anti hero who is possessed by a demon with whom he has constant dialogue with, while attempting to send a more powerful demon back to hell. It this sparkling dialogue and internal banter which has become one of the stars of the book, and is a hallmark of Garvey’s writing. Meanwhile, Robert Ahmad’s orange and black artwork continues to give the book a really fresh feel for a book of this type. His design for Lou has gone from being a poor man’s Moon Knight to being a more demonic character in this final issue, with a hint of Morbius to him and the colours continue to evoke Franco Francavilla’s work on Afterlife with Archie, but with more of a Marvel style to the characters. In these final issue his demons have begun to feel very McFarlane-esque too, which is no bad thing either. The Marvel tone is further evoked by the pace of the story, which really zips along and is aided by a pretty pacy production schedule, that has seen the entire first arc appear in the space of a year. All of which gives this first arc a very satisfying conclusion as we wait for Garvey to finish off his myriad of other books!
Take a shot of Powers and add it to a dash of Cheers with a generous measure of Superior Foes of Spider-man and you’ve got Mahoney’s, the new book from The Guys’ Richard Carrington. After focusing on the world of heroes in his previous book, Carrington has turned his attention to villains this time, and in particular Mike Mahoney, aka The Brawler, who has turned his back on being a bad guy and set up a bar for villains. It’s your usual den of inequity and sees an eclectic roster of characters come in as patrons or as staff (this first issue focuses on an induction for The Blender who is joining the team). Mahoney’s is a really fun read that mixes a love for classic superheroes with a smart post-modern angle. Although it is nothing ground-breaking in terms of concept, it is done really well and so makes for a really fun read. The banter between the cast is fun and Carrington and artist Brian Dawson are clearly enjoying creating their rogues gallery of characters. They have also created a really solid main character with Mahoney around whom they can build the world. He has that every-man quality that made Sam from Cheers so relatable. He is world-weary without being broken, but also has that honourable thief character trope which makes him a great foil to the troublesome clientele (as well as interfering heroes). He has also not strayed completely from his villainous roots, as we discover in a subplot involving his relationship with Captain Superior, and so his place at the centre of this world makes total sense. After just one round, consider us a regular for future nights at Mahoney’s!