Welcome to the first comic book reviews for 2015. 2014 had both good and bad comics and so we will see where 2015 lands. So let get to them.
Lady Killer #1
Dark Horse Comics Writers Joelle Jones & Jamie S. Rich, Artist Joelle Jones, Colorist Laura Allred, Letterer Crank!
A new book billed as “The perfect solution to those problem stains!” The plot from Dark Horse is, Josie Schuller is a picture-perfect homemaker, wife, and mother-but she’s also a ruthless, efficient killer for hire! A brand-new original comedy series that combines the wholesome imagery of early 1960s domestic bliss with a tightening web of murder, paranoia, and cold-blooded survival. I didn’t know what to expect from this book but I was pleasantly surprised by it. The story by Jones and Rich is certainly not the most original idea but they do give it a fresh spin by setting it in the 1960’s and having a female agent. They wisely don’t spend the first issue on long exposition they hit the ground running with Josie doing her job. The pacing on this first issue is brisk and there is a lot of visual dialog. The art was really impressive for me. Jones’s style fits the book like a glove and really does a wonderful job of capturing the period. The art really reminded me of classic draftsmen from the 1960’s & 1970’s comic period. She really brings the story to life with both the action scenes and the homemaker part that really impressed me.
Is this book worth your time and money? I was pretty impressed with the first issue of the book. While the story is not original it does have a nice spin of the idea and that is why it works so well. They are not trying to re-invent the wheel here. They just tell the story well and back it up with really great artwork. I will be back for more and hope that they keep the momentum up. It’s well worth the $3.50 cover price.
Marvel Comics Writer Nick Spencer, Artist Ramon Rosanas, Colorist Jordan Boyd, Letterer Travis Lanham
The well oiled Marvel publicity machine kicks into high gear to get the ball rolling on the Ant-Man movie and starting off a new series to get people familiar with the character. The plot is, Scott Lang has never exactly been the world’s best super hero. Heck, most people don’t even think he’s been the best ANT-MAN — and the last guy invented Ultron and joined the Masters of Evil, so that’s saying something. But when the SUPERIOR IRON MAN calls with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Scott’s going to get a chance to turn it all around and be the hero he’s always dreamed of being. Sure he’s been to prison! Sure he’s been through a messy divorce! Sure he’s been, um… dead. But this time is different! This time nothing is gonna stop the astonishing ANT-MAN! I will give Spencer huge props for making this first issue very new reader friendly. He explains the past and the events that lead up to the current Scott Lang Ant-Man. The only thing he forgot to include was an interesting story to go with it. The main problem is that the story is just OK. It hits all of the points that it needs to and mixes in some decent humor to it. But in the end I wasn’t really compelled to read the second issue. The one thing that does work well is the very snappy dialog of the story and does a nice job with the pace of the book. Visually I did like Rosanas’s artwork on the book. It’s a nice and clean style that fits the story well. There are some times where the art really excels in both the small and large worlds. Overall I did like the look of the book.
Is this book worth your time and money? The book is pleasant but in the end it wasn’t very memorable or gripping. There are some nice ideas presented but it doesn’t really make me very excited to continue the book. The book is not bad or terrible but it just ends in being an average read. The art on the book is a plus but might give it one more issue to see if something actually happens in the book.
Archaia Writer and Artist Jorge Corona, Colorist Jen Hickman, Letterer Deron Bennett
A new all ages book from Archaia from new comer Corona. The plot from Archaia is, A recluse boy born covered in feathers must help his first ever friend, a girl named Bianca, as she tries to return to her home beyond the slums of the Maze. They must dodge street gangs and child snatchers along the way, and perhaps together will learn the secrets to his mysterious past. This is one of those books that I want to like and did some of it but was left a little lost after reading the first issue. The idea that Corona presents in the story have some real promise. The problem is that the script is really unfocused and jumps around a bit too much. The other problem is that the reader is not introduced to the characters very well. While I understand that there is a bit of mystery to them, I never felt much connection to any of them. While the story is a bit of a bust the artwork is where the book really shines. The look of the world is a nice mix of animation style along with Grimm fairy tales darkness that mixes together very well.
Is this book worth your time and money? I was a little disappointed with the book. The story does have some really good ideas but the concept didn’t seem to be fleshed out very well. I will give the book a second issue because of some of the story elements are interesting. The artwork while good can only earn so many brownie points in the end.
Wolf Moon #2
Vertigo Comics Writer Cullen Bunn, Artist Jeremy Haun, Colorist Lee Loughrdige, Letterer Travis Lanham
I was very impressed with the first issue of this book and does the second issue continue it? The plot from Vertigo is, How do you hunt a werewolf if a different person becomes the monster with every cycle of the moon? The Wolf continues to elude Dillon, and now the trail is going cold. Hoping to uncover some clues, Dillon turns to a reclusive expert on werewolf legends, and what he learns crushes any hope of ever destroying the creature. This book is knocking my socks off. Benn’s playing with the mythology of the werewolf cannon is simply amazing. He is really crafting a tight and well thought out story that is really keeping me on the edge of my seat. What I love about the story is the characters that inhabit the story. While there is the awesome werewolf blood bath scenes, it’s Dillon’s character that is really driving the story. He really nails the heart of the story emotionally and that is what is blowing me away with this book. Haun’s artwork continues to impress me. It’s the subtle story moments in the book that he really captures so well. While the action scenes are top-notch, it’s the small intimate scenes that he does so well.
Is this book worth your time and money? This probably be one of the best horror books of this year. Solid story with great art make this book a real winner. I can not emphasize enough what a great read this book is. I’m hooked and you should be too. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1
Marvel Comics Writer Ryan North, Artist Erica Henderson, Colorist Rico Renzi, Letterer Clayton Cowles
I really have to give Marvel for throwing out some really odd books recently, and it doesn’t get more outside the box than this book. The plot from Marvel is, Wolverine, Deadpool, Doctor Doom, Thanos: There’s one hero that’s beaten them all-and now she’s got her own ongoing series! (Not that she’s bragging.) That’s right, you asked for it, you got it, it’s SQUIRREL GIRL! (She’s also starting college this semester.) It’s the start of a brand-new series of adventures starring the nuttiest and most upbeat super hero in the world! North brings his great humor to the Marvel Universe and it may never survive and that’s what I love about the book. First huge props to North in giving Squirrel Girl her own theme song (Ok so it’s to the Spider-Man 1960’s cartoon but who could blame him). And instead of having a big name villain show up he uses Kraven the Hunter to crash her first day of college and that is simply brilliant. The humor and the goofiness of the story is what makes the book so charming. North wisely never treats her as stupid she just sees the world in the way I think that we all wish we could see it, simple and as a matter of fact. The book reminds me of other recent books like Ms. Marvel and the new creative team on Batgirl that is redefining the “all-ages” comics and really making reading comics fun and exciting again. While having a great script is one thing you need a really talented artist to bring the book to life. Erica Henderson simply nails it! I can’t imagine any other artist that could visually do a better job than her. On the surface her style may look simple but she really brings the subtle human emotions that is done so well and captures it all so effortlessly that add a real charm to the book
Is this book worth your time and money? I fell in love with this book and have to really give Marvel for doing this book. I hope that the book find a huge audience because this book needs to be on everyone’s must buy list. North and Henderson have created both a unique and exciting book that is for everyone. It is a great mix of humor, action, super heroics, and talking squirrels. And let’s be honest that the one huge thing missing in comics now is talking squirrels. This is the book to beat for 2015 and is a HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!