New Comic Book Reviews Week Of 3/4/15 New Comic Book Reviews Week Of 3/4/15
Another week and another truckload of new comic books that hit the shelves. So I will try to squeeze in as many as I... New Comic Book Reviews Week Of 3/4/15

Another week and another truckload of new comic books that hit the shelves. So I will try to squeeze in as many as I can this week.

Nailbiter Hack/Slash #1

nailbiter-&-hack_slash

Image Comics Writers Joshua Williams/Tim Seeley, Artists Mike Henderson/Emilio Laiso, Colorists Adam Guzowski/K. Michael Russell, Letterers John J. Hill/Chris Crank

Image Comics has another team-up book and this time it’s a Nailbiter and Hack/Slash one. When doing a book like this it can be rather tricky because you want to have books that you feel could live in the same universe. The previous Revival/Chew crossover was perfect but this one not so much. Each creative team does their characters and uses the others within the story. Of the two stories I felt the Nailbiter & Hack/Slash story was my favorite of the two. Williams and Henderson was able to put Hack/Slash into their universe and it felt more natural and plausible. Seeley and Lasiso story was decent it didn’t seem to feel as if they gelled together as well. The bigger issue with both stories is that they not very compelling to either new or current readers of the books. I have been reading Nailbiter but the regular book is far better than this. I have never read Hack/Slash but neither story made me want to pick up the book. The art on both stories is good but I would have to give an edge to Henderson artwork that has a bit better tone to it but they are both well done. While I get that for Image it’s a chance to get new readers to sample the two books but if you are going to do a book like this it needs to really make a new reader want to pick up the books. This book is not that good in doing that.

Is this book worth your time and money? At $4.99 for two very average stories is a big disappointment. I picked up this book because I enjoyed the Chew/Revival crossover book a while back. This is a very sad comparison to that crossover. Even if you are a fan of either or both books I still can’t recommend this book. SKIP IT!

The Big Con #1

big-con-job

Boom! Studios Writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Matt Brady, Artist Dominike Stanton, Colorist Paul Little, Letterer Jim Campbell

Palmiotti knows how to write fun comics and this one is a nice mix of fun and sets up an interesting heist story. If you have ever been to a comic book convention then you will right at home with the set up of the story. Palmiotti and Brady do a nice job of setting up the story and it isn’t until the end of the first issue that you find out what it all has been leading up to. That is what makes this book all that more impressive. They really take their time in setting up the characters and the situation but you never feel the story being dragged down by exposition. This is a snappy script that is a really fun read. Stanton’s art had me a bit worried in the flashback to the television series but when it gets to the real story it has a very nice look and complements the story very nicely. While it’s a bit on the cartoony side it did feel very natural along the story. There were a few times where I noticed a lack of backgrounds but overall the art is quite nice.

Is this book worth your time and money? I was very impressed with the first issue of the book and will definitely pick up the entire four issues to find out how it will all end up. This book is really charming and hits every beat perfectly. A very solid story with a great set up and good-looking art make this a book that is well worth checking out. RECOMMENDED!

Descender #1

Descender_1

Image Comics Writer Jeff Lemire, Artist Dustin Nguyen, Letterer Steve Wands

I have been looking forward to this book when it was announced at last years San Diego Comic Con. So does the book live up to my expectations? Yes it does. Lemire’s story does a nice job of setting the worlds that we will be visiting in the series. While there were a few obvious tropes to the story (A.I. comes to mind), but while there are very familiar themes to the story there is enough fresh spin on it that hopefully will take it on its own path. The first issue is an exposition story that sets up the series and while it didn’t knock my socks off, it was a very solid first outing for the series. The last panel is was intrigued me of the direction that I didn’t see coming. The real story is Nguyen’s artwork. Lavishly painted artwork really brings this book to life. I have been a fan of Nguyen for a long time and this is some of his best artwork to date. He is able to capture both the vast worlds but also the very small a subtle details of the emotions of the characters. This is a great looking comic.

Is this book worth your time and money? While I am a bit disappointed in the story being in a bit too familiar story territory I know that Lemire is a very good storyteller and hope that the second issue will hit the ground running. There are some good ideas within the story that should pay off down the road. With Nguyen beautiful artwork that graces the book will defiantly bring me back for more. In the end the book gets off to a good start with the promise of something special. RECOMMENDED! 

Blackcross #1

blackcross-1

Dynamite Writer Warren Ellis, Artist Colton Worley, Colorist Morgan Hickman, Letterer Simon Bowland

Dynamite books have been more miss than hit lately and I had reservation about this book because I was not a huge fan of the Project Superpowers book that this comes from.  Ellis story is heavily X-Files influenced and while you are not sure on what the heck is going on the story does a nice job of drawing you into the mystery. The good news is that if you never read the Project Superpowers books that is no problem with picking up this book. The only reservation that I have with the script is that I wasn’t entirely sold on the characters in this set up. They are not bad but they did not lave a huge impression that does hamper it a bit. The artwork by Worley is a huge step up from the very average Dynamite art fiesta. He does a nice job of evoking the mood of the story. There was some noticeable inconstancy with the art but it was not that it got bad or anything just the shifting in style was a little distracting. Overall the book does look nice.

Is this book worth your time and money? There is some really interesting ideas presented in this first issue. The key is going to be the second issue will need to start pulling together the story. I did like what I read but hope that the mystery of the story will become much clearer with the next issue. I can’t say that the book is a huge recommendation but if you are a fan of Ellis or looking for something a bit offbeat you might give the book a throw. Time will tell on this one.

Guardians Team-Up #1

guardians-team-up-1

Marvel Comics Writer Brian M. Bendis, Penciller Art Adams, Colorist Paul Mounts, Letterer Cory Petit

Art Adams, you had me at ART ADAMS! Now that’s out-of-the-way we can get on with it. So marvel has created another spinoff book that seems to be a series of mini-series. The story is what you would expect from a standard Marvel superhero outing, big, loud and more superheroes that you can shake a stick at. Lets be honest that the story is not the reason that people are really going to buy the book. This is pretty standard stuff story wise and I love how on the cover none of the main Avengers show up in the book. It’s pretty much Hawkeye and the New Mutants that make up the Avengers team on the inside. The Guardians are the same as their movie counterparts (surprised aren’t you) and the “story” is one big cliché that you have read a million times before and in the end you could care less what happens to the not very shocking ending of the issue that you could see on page one. Bendis is considered one of Marvels best writers but you wouldn’t know it from this book. It’s hard to believe that this is the same writer of the excellent Powers series. This leaves you to wonder why the hell would I pick up this book. ART ADAMS is the only reason to buy this book. The man could draw the phone book and I would be first in line. The only gripe that I have with the artwork is that there is no inker on the book and the pencils are colored over. So there are some times where the art loses a fair amount of detail because of this. Mounts is a good colorist but you would be hard pressed to tell on this book. It looks like he spilled his paint on the artwork and then decided to just blend it all in at once. The colors are garish and loud but then so is the story so maybe that’s the point.

Is this book worth your time and money? If the term Art Adams means anything to you then it’s worth the $3.99 cover price. While not his best work it certainly the most work he has done in quite a while so I guess I will take it when I can. The story is loud, stupid and a whole lot of been there and done that. So if you love Art Adams then go for it but, if you are looking for a good book this is not the comic you are looking for.

Nameless #2

nameless-2

Image Comics Writer Grant Morrison, Artist Chris Burnham, Colorist Nathan Fairbairn, Letterer Simon Bowland

The first issue of the book was a wild start even for Morrison standards but the second issue a lot of the strange things start to come together. It might have been wiser to combine the first and second issue to be read in one setting. It would have worked a bit better for some readers. I have been reading Morrison for a long time so I saw a lot of what was going to be from the first issue. Morrison’s story is shaping up quite nicely with this issue. He starts to reveal things but still keeps things close to the vest. Morrison’s writing is a lot of the time like putting a puzzle together. At first you are not sure what the whole picture looks like but as you add more pieces the picture becomes more clear. Burnham continues to bring stunning artwork to the story. The detail that he puts into the artwork is truly breathtaking. He easily matches Morrison’s script details with ease that very few artist would be able to handle and Burnham does it so effortlessly. This is a great marriage of writer and artist.

Is this book worth your time and money? If you are looking for straightforward storytelling then you have bought the wrong book. This is one of Morrison’s bigger picture books and for some you might want to wait until it’s completed in trade form. But it does flow well as a monthly book and is keeping you on the edge of your seat with the mystery surrounding the story. There are great twist and turns in the story and I am glad the second issue grabbed me a bit better than the first issue. If you are in the market for a deep mystery then you have come to the right place. RECOMMENDED!

Princess Leia #1

princess-leia-1

Marvel Comics Writer Mark Waid, Penciler Terry Dodson, Inker Rachel Dodson, Colorist Jordie Bellaire, Letterer Joe Caramagna

The third new Star Wars series from Marvel is one of the more intriguing ones. It’s nice to see Leia get here own book and just like the Star Wars and Darth Vader it takes place after the events of the first movie. Waid does a nice job of giving Leia both strong and naive characterization. While she is strong-willed she is unsure of her place after the destruction of Alderaan and the dissolving of the senate. She must find her own way to help the alliance even though she is a target of the Empire. The key to the story working so well is the introduction of Evaan who becomes her partner in the quest to save the remaining survivors of the planet. She is a very strong-willed pilot and in a way becomes a teacher of Leia. Waid does a nice job of setting up the story and keeping the pacing of the issue well in hand. I also like that he choose to tell an original story and not a side story from the main Star Wars series that I felt hampered the Darth Vader book. The art by Terry and Rachel is good but seems not quite as good as I would have expected from them. It seems like it’s not their A game. The art is quite good but for me had some inconsistency issues. There were times where is was really good and then times it felt a bit flat. There were noticeable times of limited or no backgrounds also. The one thing that does help save the art is the great coloring work by Bellaire who really breaths life into the book and helps with the backgrounds as much as she can.

Is this book worth your time and money? I did like the story that Waid has com up with and while some fans might gripe about it standing out from the other two books, that is the thing I like about it. What is the point of doing a book if it just feels like a side story from a main Star Wars book like Darth Vader was.  I like the fact that he has written Leia as an unsure character that can give her growth potential. There is a lot of good momentum that the book has in the first issue and while I a bit disappointed in the artwork the book does get off to a good start. I’m looking forward to the series and hope that the second issue will add even more interesting elements to the story.

Steven Howearth

Steven Howearth

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