You think you know a writer by the works they produce. And oftentimes, this is spot on. However, in this case, I was sadly mistaken. Becoming Superman: My Journey From Poverty to Hollywood is a harrowing tale that will break your heart and uplift your spirit, all at the same time. I have never met J. Michael Straczynski, but I hope to meet this amazing man one day. But before I give you an overview of his autobiography, let me just say I will not be able to do this book justice. But I will try my best.
Ten Grand #1 Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Illustrated by Ben Templesmith
Lettered by Troy Peteri
Covers by Ben Templesmith, Bill Sienkiewicz, Jae Lee, and Ryan Sook Image Comics / Joe’s Comics
Release Date: May 1, 2013
Cover Price: $2.99
J. Michael Straczynski returns to Joe’s Comics “” a Top Cow imprint that Straczynski created to helm Rising Stars, which is now at Image Comics. His first new venture under the imprint with illustrations by Ben Templesmith comes in the form of Ten Grand, a thriller that integrates mystery and suspense with the celestial and supernatural. This one had me biting my already short nails.
Ten Grand #1 takes us on a journey through the eyes of Joe Fitzgerald “” a man who takes a lot of things very personally “” from our world to the otherworldly confines of a seedy city; a dark, urban area where nothing is as it seems. Having once been a top enforcer for an underground crime-lord, Joe had everything stripped away when his lover, Laura, was murdered. Now a bitter and cynical man, Joe will take any job for the right price: ten grand. Such is the case when Debbie, a streetwise gothic girl comes to Joe for help. It turns out that Debbie’s sister, Sarah, had involved herself with a religious cult called Divine Will and is now missing. Debbie reveals an image to Joe of Divine Will’s leader, James. Confusion and anger set in as it is revealed that Joe has a violent past with James. It turns out that their first encounter was what drove Joe down his current path in life. He gives Debbie her money back and agrees to take the case for free as it has now become a personal matter.
Every now and then a story comes along that makes you think and wonder where the writer comes up with things, these ideas that make a story what it is, and what it is to become. J. Michael Straczynski has become one of my favorite writers over the last three years since I got back into comics, and what he does with this story is pretty cool.
Midnight Nation, is the story of a man named David Grey. A Lieutenant for the Los Angeles police department, who is dispatched to the scene of a murder. Following a couple of kids, he comes across some strange men. To me they almost resemble The Gentlemen from the season four episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer titled “Hush.” When he is attacked by these creatures he is knocked unconscious and awakes in the hospital. While everybody looks as almost a shadow passing in the night, it is discovered that they cannot see him at all. A mysterious woman shows up and explains to him that the creatures, otherwise known as “The Men,” have taken his soul and he is trapped in a different realm so to speak that runs right beside our own.