First up, what inspired me to buy anything new was some favorable comments on the Back Issue Magazine Facebook page about this IDW series, Star Trek/Planet of the Apes Prime Directive. I picked up issues 1 and 2 and read them back to back. They're written and drawn by people I don't recognize (Scott and David Tipton, Rachael Stott) but since they feature two of my favorite franchises I decided to give them a shot. It's pretty amusing stuff. Kirk and crew (from the time of the original TV series) are on the trail of a Klingon plot that leads them through an interdimensional portal that leads to -the planet of the apes! They run into George Taylor, fresh from the shock of seeing the Statue of Liberty sticking out of the surf and he tries to convince them to help him wrest control of the planet from the gorillas (who are being supplied arms by the Klingons) but there's that darn Prime Directive in the way. It's a fun story. The characterization is pretty good. The art has that super-slick look that puts me off of most modern comics but the characters do look like their cinematic versions. I might even try to get the next issue -and that's saying a lot for me.
I also decided to try a DC book I had been hearing a lot about, American Vampire #6. Admittedly, I came into this on-going series knowing nothing about it. It's written by Scott Snyder and drawn by Rafael Albuquerque. I'm just about convinced that 90% of all comics are now manga-fied; the influence seems undeniable, with the big eyes, pointy noses, and overall sketchiness. It's not a style to my liking. This book takes place in 1965 but it didn't feel that way at all. Right off the bat there's some dialog where a character says "shut up" the way we now use it, to mean "You're joking" but I'm fairly certain that expression didn't come along til the 80s or later. Nit picky? Maybe. But there's nothing to give it a 60s feel. Maybe I came in at the wrong time. Anyway, what I did enjoy was the obvious effort put into developing background for the bad guy in the story (not seen in this issue), a vampire called the Gray Trader. A villain of mythological proportions, tied into modern events (nuclear testing in the American desert) -all stuff I can appreciate. I definitely felt I was jumping into the middle of a story and had no idea whatsoever who the characters were or what their reason for being was. I suppose one can't expect to just pick up a book today and roll with it. This seems interesting although I don't know if I could get past the art enough to pursue it further.
Finally, I picked up an issue of Avengers. But which Avengers -after all, there are so many of them. I grabbed Uncanny Avengers #1 -it had the Vision, Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver on the cover, so I figured what the heck? It's written by Rick Remender and drawn by Daniel Acuna -now those are two names I do recognize, if only dimly. Besides those three Avengers previously named, this line-up also includes the new Sam Wilson Captain America, Rogue, Doctor Voodoo, and for some reason, Sabretooth. Yeah. Sabretooth.
This was a 'set-up' issue, to get the ball rolling, and it might be an interesting story. It's hard to say at this point. I've seen Acuna's art before and generally I like it -although again, it's awfully slick. I think the modern coloring just throws me. But it is not at all cute or sketchy. If I really wanted to get back into comics I might buy the next issue -but what with this Secret Wars coming up and the Marvel Universe being reborn or whatever, it seems like there's little point!