Max Fiumara

Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows #3 (May 2018)

Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows #3I suppose this issue–where Doctor Star discovers he’s inadvertently inspired the creation of the Green Lantern Corps (different name, same exact idea)–is the best so far in the series. There’s a lot of dramatics and a lot of interstellar stuff.

The dramatics are more flashbacks with Doctor Star coming home. He argues with his wife, goes to Vietnam looking for his son, then finds his son in the hospital (presumably stateside). These scenes have a lot more dramatic fodder than the present day, where Doctor Star is trying to save his son from cancer. Why Lemire skipped out on the more dramatic stuff for the melodramatic tropes… just another of Doctor Star’s mysteries.

The space stuff is at least cool looking, thanks to Fiumara. It’s all a knock-off of Green Lantern now, but whatever, it does look good.

One more issue to go. There’s nowhere for Lemire to go at this point. But at least the book has stopped being as disappointing, though only because it’s a moot point now.

CREDITS

Writer, Jeff Lemire; artist, Max Fiumara; colorist, Dave Stewart; letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Brett Israel and Daniel Chabon; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows #2 (April 2018)

Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows #2What’s really bad is I barely have any memory of Doctor Star #1 other than it not being particularly good and a Starman homage, certainly not for a Black Hammer brand title.

The second issue isn’t much better but it’s at least got space aliens.

Doctor Star is a terrible father. Well, not exactly. Not intentionally. But his dying son wants nothing to do with him; the issue’s got some flashbacks to the early fifties to explain it all. I suppose it gives Fiumara some cool stuff to draw, but then Lemire pulls him back to the mundane. Fiumara does better with the fantastic. His mundane is boring.

Outside being a crappy (but not exactly) dad, Doctor Star doesn’t have much character. He’s sad and he’s sorry. Nothing else. The flashback scenes showing him being busy dad to his son (as a kid) and loving his wife doesn’t make him into a character. It fleshes out the caricature with more caricature.

I suppose the book’s in a better place than it was after the first issue, but it’s a long way from solid.

CREDITS

Writer, Jeff Lemire; artist, Max Fiumara; colorist, Dave Stewart; letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Brett Israel and Daniel Chabon; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows #1 (March 2018)

Ds1Doctor Star and The Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows is a Black Hammer tie-in book–more a sidequel, with the WWII setting showing Abraham Slam and Golden Gail in their respective youths. It starts out a Starman homage (I assume, I’ve never read it but the protagonist’s name is James Robinson and his outfit is similar so… it’s pretty obvious).

Robinson narrates. Writer Jeff Lemire lays on the melancholy, which artist Max Fiumara visualizes quite well. Doctor Star never looks better than when it’s about some intense sadness and desperation. Not even when there are superhero things going on.

So the intense sadness should be the best part. And it’s not. It’s just intense and sad, something Lemire does exceedingly well with on Black Hammer and exceedingly poorly with Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows. Just think about that title. It’s so sad. Everything is so sad.

Other than being sad, being Starman homage, and having minor Black Hammer tie-in… there’s nothing to Doctor Star #1. Not good when there are only four issues.

CREDITS

Star Child; writer, Jeff Lemire; artist, Max Fiumara; colorist, Dave Stewart; letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Brett Israel and Daniel Chabon; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Rawbone (2009) #2

The second issue barely resembles the first. Between the change in artists (from Fiumara to Waterhouse) and Delano’s change in protagonists (still the pirate La Sirena, but this time with her sidekick being Billy Blue, an indentured soldier–it isn’t even until the end the girlfriend comes up; by that time, Delano and Waterhouse have made serious romantic implications between Sirena and Billy), it doesn’t feel connected. There isn’t a disconnect, since it does directly follow the last issue, but it feels different.

Except the futility, man’s brutality toward women, those remain. Rawbone‘s one of those angry, experienced comic books–it’s kind of like Promethea in this sense. You can feel, reading it, Delano’s distain for the standard characterization of female characters. Here, in Rawbone, he takes that standard comic book standard (the lesbos fascination, that sturdy link between porn and comics–even more than Greg Land), and goes wild.

CREDITS

Port of Dreams; writer, Jamie Delano; artists, Ryan Waterhouse and Max Fiumara; colorist, Digikore Studios; publisher, Avatar Press.

Rawbone (2009) #1

Why does Delano spell pirates “pyrates”? It’s kind of annoying. Actually, it’s really annoying, because it’s about the only thing I don’t like about Rawbone #1. The comic’s not up to Avatar’s usual graphic extremes, which raises the question–as always–why Delano didn’t try selling Rawbone to Vertigo. It’s a period piece about a star-crossed lesbian romance. There isn’t a single male character who isn’t something of a monster in the issue.

I’m not complaining, mind you. Rawbone‘s a fine comic so far (and at four bucks for twenty-four pages of story, I’m picky) it just seems like it could reach a wider audience (even with the heavy anti-Catholic sentiment of the story).

Fiumara’s art is good–he nicely makes the ample nudity uncomfortable, like there’s something ominous about it. We never get to see the two not in some kind of danger.

A fine start.

CREDITS

Writer, Jamie Delano; artist, Max Fiumara; colorist, Digikore Studios; publisher, Avatar Press.

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