In this week’s comic roundup, sci-fi conquers all. Aliens punch each other in space, humans go on the hunt for paranormal truth on Earth, paper girls get zapped to and from 1988, and Mickey Mouse is shrunk down to microscopic size. Science fiction and comic books have gone together since nearly the beginning of the medium. The first alien appearance in comics seems to be a strip about a Martian trying to make it on Earth called Mr. Skygack, from Mars, which ran in a Chicago paper in 1907. From there, sci-fi comics boomed in the 1930s with characters like Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon, and only continued to grow in popularity through the space-fascinated 1950s and 60s. By the 70s, readers got a coarser view of the future, with comics like 2000 AD—giving birth to anti-heroes like Judge Dredd. This week, take stock of where the genre’s currently at, and where it's headed, with four sci-fi-centric comics.
For readers unfamiliar with the superhero team that spawned one of the most interesting movies in the Marvel cinematic universe, Guardians of the Galaxy follows a group of misfit sci-fi heroes on their adventures in space. In this issue, Spider-Man’s been captured by evil shape-shifting Skrulls as a lure for a member of the Guardians, and the team comes to blows with their would-be tormentors in high-flying fashion. Recommended as a good sci-fi comic with plenty of action.
In terms of sheer quality, the X-Files comics from IDW Publishing far surpass the ill-conceived mini-series that re-ramped on FOX last year. Both aim to take the story of Fox Mulder and Dana Scully beyond the finale of the original series, but while the mini-series felt awkward and stumbling, the comics have, for years, been a fresh and lively update to the franchise. This issue (no need to backtrack and read older ones) features Fox as a captive to a group of people possessed by the dirt beneath their feet. Scully flies in on a plane to save him. Straightforward, fun, good storytelling, and Jordie Bellaire’s colors, as usual, elevate the entire comic.
If readers haven’t caught up with Paper Girls yet, then it’s highly recommended they snatch up Paper Girls Vol. 1 and get up to speed before diving into this new trade paperback collection of comics. This incredibly told, illustrated, and colored comic follows a group of paper girls from 1988 as their life is interrupted by supernatural forces from another time. Saying more would give away plenty of wonderful surprises. If the cover of this comic intrigues the reader, they should run out and pick up the collections. The aesthetic speaks to the attitude within, and it’s an incredible read.
Mickey’s Craziest Adventures is one of the most intriguing uses of the Disney license we've seen in a long time. Originally published in France, the conceit of Mickey’s Craziest Adventures is that it's a reprint of “lost” comics from the late 1960s starring Mickey and his pals in adventures deemed too “wild” to reprint or even be catalogued. The comic includes stained and ripped pages, as well as many missing chapters. In reality, it’s the brand new creation of French comic masters Lewis Trondheim and Nicolas Keramidas, designed to look and feel retro. And it works well, transporting the reader to a more lax era of licensing and character use through the wild adventures and hot temper of the Disney heroes on display.