Twilight Children #4
Vertigo Comics Writer Gilbert Hernandez, Artist & Letterer Darwyn Cooke, Colorist Dave Stewart
The final chapter of this wonderful mini series comes to a somewhat somber conclusion that is going to divide a lot of readers on this. Readers who are not familiar with Hernandez Love & Rockets work are might be disappointed in this final issue. While I was a bit taken back by the conclusion of it, I did appreciate how he didn’t tie everything up in a nice little bow. Ultimately there is not an explanation of the mysterious going on in the town but sometimes not revealing everything can be a natural conclusion. I wont disagree that I was a bit letdown by this issue compared to the previous three and it did feel a little rushed and compressed. Overall the story is satisfying but not in a typical mainstream comic sort of way. Hernandez allows the reader to come to their own conclusion of the events in The Twilight Children and while I’m not entirely sure what to think of the story it does keep me thinking about it and that maybe the point. As always Cooke’s gorgeous art is beyond compare and give the story a great visual punch to help the reader navigate the story of this issue. There is a lot of no dialog in this issue and Cooke has to deliver the story with the visuals alone and he simply nails it perfectly. Along with Stewart’s great color work this is a visual feast. Is this book worth your time and money? A lot of reader are really going to be disappointed in this final chapter and while I’m still on the fence about the ending, it did make me think what it was all about. In today’s market of spoon fed comic stories, I found this series to be refreshing and bold by asking the reader to think for themselves and draw their own conclusions on the story, and for that I truly applaud Hernandez and Cooke for delivering a very unique comic.
Cry Havoc #1
Image Comics Writer Simon Spurrier, Artist Ryan Kelly, Colorists Nick Filardi, Lee Loughridge, & Matt Wilson, Letterer Simon Bowland
Cry Havoc is an interesting concept that follows Louise in three different periods in her life as sort of both flashbacks or flash forward but were not sure what period each one is set in yet. I have to hand it to Spurrier that juggling three stories at one time could have been a real disaster but he found a way that makes the story flow together quite nicely. He actually gets a lot of information across in this first issue and yet it never feels too bogged down with exposition. Kelly does a nice job on the art for the three stories but wisely doesn’t try to make them look different that not only helps with the flow of the story but give the book a stronger visual impact. This is where the three separate colorist come in and give each of the three stories a different feel and tone with the color palettes. This was a pretty brilliant idea. Is this book worth your time and money? I liked a lot of the ideas here but will wait and see to where the story goes in the next issue. While I like the book I didn’t quite love it but that’s not to say that the next few issues could change my mind. Spurrier and Kelly have set up a good idea here and I hope that they can make it all gel together.
Valiant Entertainment Writer Jody Houser, Artist Francis Portela with Marguerite Sauvage (Fantasy Art Sequence), Colorist Andrew Dalhouse, Letterer Dave Sharpe
I have a friend who is a die-hard Valiant reader but I have really struggled with the company and the huge continuity universe that is really unfriendly to new readers. They tried to change that with The Valiant mini series that was a good start but the problem was that most of their regular line did not have a good jumping on point so it didn’t bring in too many new readers. Faith is another mini series that is a good jumping on point for new readers and I have to admit that I was very impressed with the first issue. Houser does a nice job of balancing the story for both regular readers and new ones. The funny thing about the story is that it’s not one of the most original stories told but Houser gives the book an honest charm that is hard to resist. The script has a very nice natural flow that keeps you intrigued in this first issue and leaves you wanting more at the end of the issue. What makes the book work so well is the beautiful artwork by Portela that brings this book to life with the art. His style really gives this story a great matching charming look that the script delivered. He put a lot of great detail into the artwork and wonderfully captures the fine details of the emotions in the story. This is a really great looking book. Is this book worth your time and money? I really enjoyed this book and hope that Valiant tries harder in the future to make their regular book this accessible. One of the best assets that Houser and Portela deliver is keeping the book simple and fun and that is why it works so well. I can’t wait to see where the next three issues take the story with this very strong start. RECOMMENDED!
Aftershock Comics Writer Justin Jordan, Artist Juan Gedeon, Colorist Tamra Bonvillain, Letterer Rachel Deering
Strayer is one of those books that is nice while your reading it but pretty forgettable after your done. Jordan script is pretty basic here and doesn’t really give you a lot to latch on to in the first issue. It’s a mix of Conan and the Man With No Name rolled into an average first issue that goes through the motions of set up and action. There are a few interesting ideas but never really develop into anything that would bring you back for the next issue. Gedion’s artwork is nice and lots of bold line work but there are noticeable times where there is very little background work. He does a nice job on the action scenes and overall is good. Is this book worth your time and money? While Strayer is not a bad book but in the end it’s not very compelling either. Jordan tells a pretty basic story and doesn’t really add any new twist or new elements that would have greatly helped the story. SKIP IT!
Hellboy Winter Special 2016
Dark Horse Comics Writers Mike Mignola, Scott Allie, Chris Roberson, Chelsea Cain, & Dean Rankine, Artists Tim Sale, Michael Walsh, Michael Avon Oeming, & Dean Rankine, Colorist Dave Stewart, Letterer Clem Robins
What makes Hellboy such a great character is that Mike Mignola invites a lot of other great talent to come and play in the Hellboy sandbox. This new one shot has four separate stories that are really well done and great for new and old readers. The thing that I really love about books like this is that because the stories are short they have little time to waste and it keeps them short, simple and sweet. My favorite one had to be Mood Swing by Cain and Oeming that was certainly the most humorous one of the four. I also really enjoyed Wandering Souls by Mignola, Roberson, & Walsh that was a nice sentimental horror story that is one of the reason that Hellboy works so well in the genre. All of the stories are solid and smart and the artwork was outstanding in all four stories and a real treat to see new Sale work that is sadly missing lately. Is this book worth your time and money? Four great stories for a mere $3.99 is a steal in today’s comics. Solid story and artwork make this a no brainer. VERY RECOMMENDED!
Suicide Squad Most Wanted: Deadshot and Katana #1
DC Comics Deadshot Writers Brian Buccellato, Artists Viktor Bogdanovic & Richard Friend, Colorist Micheal Spicer, Letterer Clem Robins, Katana Writer Mike Barr, Artist Diogenes Neves, Colorist Carrie Strachan, Letterer Saida Temofonte
With the Suicide Squad Movie coming this summer DC is starting to get readers familiar with the cast of rouges with this first mini series with two of the main characters. Unfortunately neither of the stories are compelling or for that matter worth reading. I am a fan of Buccellato’s writing but he really seems to be on auto pilot on this one. The story here is so basic and you have read it a million times before and by the time your done you could really care less about what you just read. The art on the story by Bogdanovic and Friend is OK but nothing special. They do a serviceable job and the action scenes are some of the better work but just average stuff here. The Katana story I expect so much more out of Barr who co-created her with legendary artist Jim Aparo in Batman and the Outsiders and this story is not that good and a pale shadow of his once great work on her. Barr’s story is a very by the numbers affair here and by the end of the story you could care less about anyone or anything. The art by Neves is again basic stuff and while not bad it’s just average in the end. Is this book worth your time and money? This book is a sad mess. Both stories are basic mission set ups that are very forgettable after you have read the book and honestly neither has a compelling reason to continue beyond this first issue and there are five more issue of this that I find shocking that these stories could be drug out that long. With mediocre stories and bland artwork this is not the best book to get people excited about the Suicide Squad. SKIP THIS FOR SURE!
Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat! #2
Marvel Comics Writer Kate Leth, Artist Brittney L. WIlliams, Colorist Megan Wilson, Letterer Clayton Cowles
I kind of liked the first issue of this book but was very disappointed in this second issue. I’m a fan of all ages books but this one has already sadly fallen into a mess in the second issue. The first issue had some promise going for it but in this issue the big excitement for Patsy is folding clothes at her new day job, whoopee! Leth script really treads water here and didn’t advance the story that much. There is little character development here and frankly I was pretty board while reading it. She also missed the fun part of the concept in this issue that really came off half-hearted and not well. Williams art is pretty inconsistent in the book and while I think her style is right for the book it just never quite geled the way it should. There is some really good stuff and there are times where the artwork is pretty bad. Is this book worth your time and money? I really wish I could like this book more but the fact is that it’s not going anywhere and the quality of the story and art are just to inconsistent and that is sad because the idea is there but the execution is not. SKIP IT!