Comic Book Reviews (Week April 7, 2021): Nocterra Issue 2, Project Patron Issue 1 & More!

Nocterra issue 2 review
Nocterra issue 2 (Image: Image Comics)

Welcome to my comic book reviews for this week (April 7, 2021). I will be covering Nocterra issue 2, Project Patron issue 1, Youth Season 2 issue 1, and more!

Even though I’m taking a break from the Batman comic book series, I have to begin by talking about Batman issue 107 by writer James Tynion IV. If you have read my reviews of the previous issues, especially the ones where Ghost-Maker showed up, you already know I joked about how his relationship with Bruce didn’t feel “straight”. Well, my highly refined gaydar has yet to fail me! Yes, I’m patting myself on the back because lo and behold Batman issue 107 confirmed that Ghost-Maker is indeed a queer character.

Batman issue 107 Ghost-Maker queer
Ghost-Maker in Batman issue 107 (Image: DC Comics)

Now that we have such confirmation, I can’t wait to see what Catwoman thinks of Ghost-Maker’s “feelings” for Bruce. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if she suggests a threesome. And you know what? I’ll be okay with that. Bruce doesn’t have to accept, of course. I just want such a dialogue to occur so I can read all of the messy fun.

As for what happened in the main story, apparently, Scarecrow is back to spreading fear in Gotham (what’s new? Ha!) and I just don’t care.

Does it have obvious queer characters? Yes.

Recommendation: Meh.

Nocterra issue 2 review
Nocterra issue 2 (Image: Image Comics)

Nocterra issue 2

I was provided a digital copy of Nocterra issue 2 for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

From writer Scott Snyder and artist Tony S. Daniel, Nocterra issue 2 gave us a lot of worldbuilding and interesting character moments. I liked seeing more of Val and Emory as kids and what Val thought of adults acting as if the darkness was a sign from above. It’s understandable that many considered the darkness to be a harbinger of something wonderful (due to the religious beliefs they shared). However, while having hope is important, it shouldn’t come at the cost of refusing to accept reality and doing what’s possible to survive.

As for the backstory we got about Earth’s current status, from what I could understand, it was humankind’s quest to access heavenly light that led to the planet being covered in darkness and monsters killing people. Certain ambitious scientists always mess things up for the rest of us. Sigh!

With Val getting to meet the dangerous person wanting to steal her new passengers (an old man and his granddaughter), I’m looking forward to seeing how far she’s willing to go to ensure she delivers her clients to the sanctuary in return for her brother’s life.

Due to the type of world this story is being told in, the color palette really stands out. Kudos to colorist Tomeu Morey for making every panel look quite real by masterfully depicting the visual impact of various light sources present in the interesting locations our characters find themselves in. 

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up.   

Project Patron issue 1 review
Project Patron issue 1 (Image: Aftershock Comics)

Project Patron issue 1

I was provided a free digital copy of Project Patron issue 1 for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

Project Patron is a new series by writer Steve Orlando. It’s basically a story about what might happen if Superman dies and the world still needs him as a heroic symbol. Comic book readers or superhero fans, in general, are definitely going to think of The Death of Superman story arc when presented with such a premise. However, the debut issue offers an interestingly different narrative, in my opinion.

Turns out, after the death of the iconic superhero named Patron, the government decided to create a robot version of him, the Patron Reploid. The robotic version is piloted by a team of human soldiers who bring their unique skills and perspective depending on what’s required during missions. The downside is that piloting the robot takes years off your natural lifespan. 

Along with getting to know the team of soldiers, we also have new hire More Ignatz, who has psychology-centric skills and is supposed to be the compassionate part of the Reploid. Along with piloting the Reploid (when needed), he’s also tasked with keeping an eye on his team. And while everything seems to be going fine, you can’t help but dread an incoming threat as you go through the pages. And sure enough, something bad does happen. With the team having to address a major loss, I’m looking forward to reading more about what Orlando has planned.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

YOUTH Season two cover
YOUTH Season 2 (Image: comiXology)

Youth Season 2 issue 1

I was provided a free digital copy of Youth Season 2 issue 1 for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

From writer Curt Pires and artist Alex Diotto, Youth season 2 issue 1 brings us back into the world the creative team introduced us to during the first season (which debuted last year). While the first season was incredibly messy (do read my review), I appreciated Pires giving the world a superhero story with young queer leads. We don’t get a lot of those in media, especially queer comic book stories that don’t have to fit in the kid-friendly standards over at Marvel, DC, and certain other publishers.  

The first issue of the second season focuses on two new characters who, following the pattern shown in the first season, are also trying to find their place in the world. Six months have passed since what transpired in the previous season. We already know that teens with superpowers exist and this time it’s Adam’s turn to have his life changed.

I liked Adam as the main character. He’s been through a lot ever since he was a kid. The way he acted in high school made sense considering his childhood. The scene where his father finally showed up due to a family tragedy and the two sat silently on the floor was quite powerful. Adam’s got a tough exterior (understandably), but he’s not a bad dude (I think).

As for his relationship with Madison, it felt realistic. However, the duo deciding to hook up after what they did to the boyfriend of Madison’s mother… l mean, read the room! They both seem to have a crazy side to them and now that they have superpowers, I’m looking forward to seeing what type of trouble they will get themselves into. And, of course, similar to the first season, music continues to play an important role in the narrative.

Does it have obvious queer characters? No.

Recommendation: Pick it up.

You can read Jessica’s review of the Dear DC Super-Villains graphic novel here.

Which comic book did you read this week? Did you enjoy Nocterra issue 2?

Let us know.   

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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