The Comic Fanatic: Week of 5/23: The Tick, FreakAngels, Astonishing X-Men

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Comic Fanatic. Picked up a couple comics this week, so let’s talk about them before I start ranting and raving about  FreakAngels.

Astonishing X-Men #50 is now available, and chances are you have been hearing about this one for a bit. In it, Northstar proposes to his boyfriend, with the wedding to come next month. The first gay wedding in Marvel history. Pretty big event. After asking people about it, most had to say “North-who?”. But seriously folk, this is a pretty cool event. Given what’s going on in real world, is was only time before Marvel addressed it, and given the focus on the X-Men lately I think this was a pretty good way to do it. Northstar has been dating his boyfriend for a while, so simply having them take it to the next level is a good idea. What wasn’t a good idea on Northstar’s part was asking Gambit and Iceman for advice. So stay tuned next month (June 20th to be exact) for the first gay marriage in Marvel history. Although knowing Marvel and weddings, Doctor Doom or Galactus is likely to crash it. So don’t leave you superpowers at the door.

Next, we have the 100th issue of The Tick. Now, I don’t normally read this book. I only kinda remember the cartoon from when I was a kid. However, for this exciting 100th outing, he teams up with Mark Grayson, the one, the only Invincible. And it is glorious. It’s funny, action-packed, funny, dramatic and funny. Also makes me want to read The Tick now. Fans of both The Tick and Invincible will want to pick this one up. It’s a little more expensive than most comics, but totally worth it. Trust me one this.

That brings us to the topic of today’s rant: FreakAngels, and why you should read it. It’s available both in print in six collected volumes, as well as on the web at www.freakangels.com. It follows 12 individuals in their early 20s who have psychic abilities, in a post-apocalyptic world. They live in the Whitechapel area of Britain, which is currently under 20 feet of water, just trying to get by and save as many people as they can. The story starts when Alice, a girl from outside Whitechapel, shows up with a shotgun and trying to kill the FreakAngels. A nice welcome to the comic, indeed.

The characters include KK, a bitter and brash genius with steam power who rides a flying bike, Caz, who is the group engineer and largely responsible for their continued existence, Luke, who is possibly the smartest one of the group and the most annoying, Miki, the group’s sarcastic doctor, just to name a few. All of the FreakAngels are very cool characters. They all have the basic physic abilities from the FreakAngel “package”, but they also the different specializations. Arkady is the spacey one of the group, but also the most advanced in use of their abilities. Karl and Kirk rotate as lookouts and generally ignore the rest of the group, while Connor tries to keep the peace and record their history.

The story starts off as a cool survival story, but around book 4 it (very) quickly escalates to something much more than that. Warren Ellis does a fantastic job writing, and Paul Duffield’s illustrations are beautiful. Occasionally a face looks off, but the general detail put into each panel is, if I may borrow a word, astonishing. The characters are fantastic, the story escalates quickly, and the art is beautiful. And best of all, it’s free! (unless you buy the books, like I did). Go read FreakAngels. It’s really great.

That’s it for this week! Now go read FreakAngels! www.freakangels.com

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