Some new comics and returning books hit the review column this week.
Rocket Salvage #1
Archaia Writer Yehudi Mercado, Artist Bachan, Colorist Jeremy Lawson, Letterer Deron Bennett
Arcgaua continues to do more monthly books instead of the hardcovers that they had mostly done previously and this his month we are treated to Rocket Salvage. The plot from Archaia is, Primo Rocket used to be the fastest speederin the galaxy, but after a crash that sealed the fate of his spacehome, Rio Rojo, Primo has resigned himself to life as a lowly spaceship salvage yard owner. However, his two “kids”clone Beta, and Beta’s genius girl Zeta seem to not keep out of trouble. When the dysfunctional family suddenly becomes the target of an intergalactic manhunt, the family has to come together to save their home. Mercado story has a lot of exposition going on in the first issue and does jump around a bit. The good thing is that the characters get some good introductions for a first issue but the story did leave me a somewhat disjointed a bit. I did like what I read and I’m guessing that a lot of the blanks will be filled in the next few issues. I did enjoy the humor of the story and while there were a lot of basic story tropes it does show promise. Visually the book is wonderful and I was very impressed with Bachan’s style for the book. The style is just the right mix of cartoony and realistic that is a great blend of styles that fit the story quite well.
Is this book worth your time and money? The book is a little slow out of the gate but does show some real promise. The story is basic but there are enough newish elements that keep is interesting. The artwork is where the book really shines and hopefully the story starts to come together in the second issue. I would say it’s worth a throw to give it a spin.
Image Comics Writer John Arcudi, Artist James Harren, Colorist Dave Stewart, Letterer Chris Eliopoulos
Another week and another #1 from Image. I know I was shocked by this too. The plot from Image is, Okay, so a scarecrow walks into a bar…and proceeds to wreak havoc across two worlds! After a long absence, Rathraq, Scarecrow Warrior God, is back-and very unhappy. Bad news for his old enemies, yes, but worse news for everybody else! JOHN ARCUDI and JAMES HARREN bring you a modern-day action/adventure fantasy thriller where rundown dive bars, undead kitty cats, psycho skinheads, and giant mummies all play a part. It’s Louis C.K. meets Robert E. Howard in a David Fincher universe. Arcudi is a good writer but this first issue while interesting is a bit of a cold read because you have no idea who the main character is because he has no name and now background beyond that he is a bartender. This really gets the book off on shaky ground because there is nothing solid to ground the book for the reader. With that being said I will give Arcudi props for a very interesting read but beyond the visual aspect of the story there is not much there. Harren’s artwork is nice and he does a good job of keeping the story flowing visually. He does a terrific job at the action scenes that are really well paced.
Is this book worth your time and money. While there is some interesting ideas thrown out there in the book it really doesn’t add up to much because there is nothing to latch on to in the story. You are introduced to characters but you have no idea of who they are and what there point for being there is. In the end there is not enough to recommend the book. While it’s not bad it just doesn’t have any characters to drive it. I am willing to try the second issue because of the creators but they are treading on very thin ice.
The Multiversity: Thunderworld Adventures #1
DC Comics Writer Grant Morrison, Artist Cameron Stewart, Colorist Nathan Fairbairn, Letterer Steve Wands
Part 5 of Morrison’s Multiversity series brings what could be the most fun book DC has published in years. The plot from DC is, With a single word, Billy Batson transforms from boy reporter for Whiz Media into the world’s Mightiest Mortal – Captain Marvel! Along with the other members of the Marvel Family, Captain Marvel battles dastardly villains like Mr. Mind and the Monster Society of Evil! But now, his greatest foe has attacked the Rock of Eternity – the source of the Marvel Family’s power – and it could mean the end of reality as we know it! What impossible villains are Sivana teaming up with who could spell doom for the Multiverse? From where did Sivana’s children get their newfound super powers? And what does the appearance of one mysterious comic book mean for the heroes of Thunderworld? Where do I start with this? It’s like a dream where I thought the New 52 had never happened. The first thing is that thankfully Morrison brings back something that should have happened a long time ago in tow words, Captain Marvel. He is not Shazam he is Captain Marvel and this is the most fun I have had with the character sense Jeff Smith did the mini series a while back. Morrison story is a classic old fashion superhero story that makes no apologies that it tells a straight forward classic tale that hits every beat perfectly. Even if you have not been reading any of the previous chapters this book stands on its own and brings back the types of stories that have been sadly missing from recent DC books. If you have been reading the previous chapters you are able to see how he is weaving them all together with threads going throughout each book. Morrison doesn’t try to re invent the wheel here he just tells a really great superhero story that hits all of the elements that make Captain Marvel universe such a great place to visit. Stewart really goes to town on the art with this story. Very few people get the look of the Captain Marvel universe this right. It’s simple yet very detailed and gives the story a visually classic feel and look. Stewart channels C.C. Beck but make the book all his own. Very few artist could have pulled this story off like Stewart did.
Is this book worth your time and money? Shut up and take my money. This book is a bargain at $4.99 and is one of the best superhero books that I have read in years. This book is simply perfect on every level and while some would say that I fell for the nostalgia trip that they book brings. Well then bring back the nostalgia to DC because no current book in their line this month can hold a candle to this story and amazing art. Superhero books are rarely this good anymore so do yourself a favor and run out and buy this book. HIGEST RECOMMENDATION!
Dynamite/Vertigo Comics Writers Quentin Tarantino and Matt Wagner, Artist Esteve Polls, Colorist Brennan Wagner, Letterer Simon Bowland
I really enjoyed the first issue of this book and was looking forward to the next chapter. The plot from Dynamite/Vertigo is, In anticipation of the Transcontinental Railroad, Archduke of Arizona Gürko Langdon has enslaved the natives for labor on a state-wide railway, while he waits for the United States to honor his claim as sovereign of the territory, per the Treaty of Hidalgo-Guadalupe. Learning of the archduke’s injustice to the people of Arizona, Don Diego de la Vega enlists the bounty hunter Django as his personal bodyguard as he sets off to undo Langdon’s schemes. All too familiar with the cruelties of slavery, Django is eager to assist Diego on this mission, though it is more political than the gunslinger prefers… even so, there seems to be more to the old fox than his fussy millionaire persona lets on. At first I was a little lost as to what Tarantino and Wagner were doing in this second issue but was really intrigued by the story. Trust me is all comes together as the issue goes along and I was very impressed with telling of back story that will lead into the overall story line. There is a lot to take in this issue but the payoff was not what I expected but came away very satisfied. Polls art continues to bring the story to a whole new level with the feel that the story evokes. His style really suits the book perfectly.
Is this book worth your tie and money? I am really liking this book and the overall story that the book is heading is still looking good. The book is a bit of a slow burn for some but don’t let that deter you from it. This book is mixing a lot of different genres and story tropes into a wild and different mix that you might expect. If you like the idea behind the book then this book is well worth reading so far. RECOMMENDED.
The Kitchen #2
Vertigo Comics Writer Ollie Masters, Artist Ming Doyle, Colorist Jordie Bellaire, Letterer Clem Robins
The first issue was a good start to this mini series and looked forward to see if the momentum would continue. The plot from Vertigo is, In part two of the all-new crime drama THE KITCHEN, the girls find their newly claimed criminal empire under threat when a sleazy hustler blackmail’s them for more money than they have. Can they get it together in time and keep control of the Hell’s Kitchen underworld? Or will they have to take more drastic measures to protect their turf? Masters takes the good set up from the first issue and really hits the ground running with this issue. It really hits a great stride with this issue and improves upon the set up. We really start to get a sense of what the women are willing to do to keep this thing on track. I love that they are starting to relies that they need to take it to the next level because they have started and they can’t stop it. Masters weaves in new characters to the story that will obviously throw some wrenches into the girls plans. Doyle artwork continues to do a great job of giving the feeling of the period and is very reminiscent of the artist that drew comics of that time frame. He really puts a lot of detail into the panels and the subtle expressions are very striking.
Is this book worth your time and money? This issue really builds upon the set up from the first issue and I was really impressed with the direction that the story is taking. Period stories are a very tricky proposition and if not done well they can turn into a real disaster. Thankfully Masters and Doyle are keeping this book well on track and at the end of this issue really set up some interesting story elements. This book is a really good read. RECOMMENDED.
Alex + Ada #11
Image Comics Writers Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn, Artist/Colorist/Letterer Jonathan Luna
This book is one of the best books of the year and still continues to surprise me. The plot from Image is, Ada needs to find a balance between freedom and safety. Alex’s friends have opinions on his relationship with Ada. Luna and Vaughn continue to take the story into areas that I would have never imagined. The way that they are able to still pull off such strong characters in every person in the story still is amazing to me. Every little touch in the story continues to capture both your heart and imagination. Luna’s art is simply beautiful and perfect and is a strong compliment to the story.
Is this book worth your time and money? I have praised this book from day one and Luna and Vaughn still surprise me every month with story twist and an emotional roller coaster ride that keeps me on the edge of my seat. The ending of this issue is really shocking and left me breathless. This is truly one of the best books of the year. Solid on every count. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!
Image Comics Writer Scott Snyder, Artist Jock, Colorist Matt Hollingsworth, Letterer Clem Robins
Snyder and Jock’s new horror book continues to move along nicely. The plot from Image is, A parent’s worst nightmare: a beloved child lost in the woods. Behind the trees lurk horrors, and the brush conceals atrocity. No matter how desperate the search, understand that your prayers will fall on deaf ears. There is no escape from the Wytches. Snyder’s story is one that sadly is not necessarily suited as a monthly book. I’m not saying that the book is bad but the story is more of a long-term and will be better in one sitting than in little chunks. Snyder is really playing with story structure with this book and for some readers it’s going to be a tough road. I do like that he is willing to change the direction and pacing of the story to fit an overall arc that he is creating. The book does feel jumpy but once again because it’s not lending it’s self to being a monthly story. Jock’s art evokes some really good mood and feel that does give you a great uneasiness that hard to pull off well.
Is this book worth your time and money? I still am enjoying the book but I think from this point for me I will wait for the trade to come out and read the story in larger arcs. Snyder has taken a really interesting approach to this book and I do like it but not in the small bites of a monthly. So I do recommend the book but I would wait for the trade at this point.