Jason’s Comic in Review – Half Past Danger #4 and East of West #5


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Half Past Danger #4
Half Past Danger #4

Half Past Danger #4
Writer: Stephen Mooney
Artist: Stephen Mooney
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Published by IDW
On Sale Date: August 14, 2003

Thus far we’ve had Nazis, dinosaurs, and ninjas. Add to the list of awesomeness, fighting on an armored train full of dinosaurs and Nazis. If Sterling Archer wasn’t already a fan of Half Past Danger, I can hear him yelling “Danger Zone!” now. Pun intended.

In issue four, we find Captain Noble, Ishikawa, and Flynn leaping onto the armored train. This series continues in its homage to action-adventure as Ishikawa uses his sword as a can-opener, guillotine, and shish kabob, Noble impersonates a rhino, and Flynn just sort of holds on for dear life in between blasting a few Nazis. Plus this issue has a fairly dramatic development that I don’t want to spoil for you.

Some might think that this series is just cliché. You have pretty typical characters thus far and a fairly linear plot. However, the reader should realize that it’s an homage to action/adventure serials and pulp fiction much like Indian Jones and Hot Fuzz. Decapitation? Check. Impaling on a Nazi flag? Check. Cringingly bad villainous puns? Check. Being saved out of nowhere at the last minute? 3X check. I’m out of bullets right when I need them most? Check.

In no way should this series be considered ground-breaking comic book writing. In every way it should be considered action-packed, joyous fun comparable to when you dumped all your toys out of the toy box and just started playing. (For some of thus this was yesterday).

4 out of 5 Nerdskulls.

East of West #5
East of West #5

East of West #5
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Nick Dragotta
Colors: Frank Martin
Published by Image Comics
On Sale Date: August 14, 2003

East of West is one of my favorite new titles. The combination of Wild West and science fiction is a perfect marriage, just like we saw in  the television series, Firefly. But East of West is more Unforgiven than Serenity. In fact, I’m pretty sure Hickman has patterned Death after The Man with No Name in Clint Eastwood’s spaghetti Westerns. In issue five, we find that Chamberlain is not the only member of the Council who wishes to defy the Chosen. However, Solomon seems to have more righteous motives than the selfish Chamberlain. This aspect of the plot continues to be an intriguing one and serves as another example of how Hickman brilliantly teases his audience by revealing motivations, plot developments, and backstory a little bit at a time. So many other writers would feel the need to reveal too much, while Hickman trusts the intelligence of his audience to figure things out for themselves.

The revelation of Death and Xiaolian’s backstory is a great example of this. In issue five, we learn how their forbidden romance began, bloomed, and eventually ended in feelings of betrayal and great loss. Again, I don’t want to give too much away, but Xiaolian has lost more than just her hands when Death failed to rescue her from Pestilence, War, and Famine. Hickman’s writing is compelling and Dragotta’s art is just as bold and dramatic.

5 out of 5 Nerdskulls.


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Jason

I've been a comic nerd since Spider-man and his Amazing Friends and the Super Friends. So someone please explain to me, when did Aquaman become so cool? Also, why isn't She-Hulk in more media?