Harley and Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica #1
DC Comics/Archie Comics Writers Paul Dini and Marc Andreyko, Artist Laura Braga, Colorist Tony Avina and Arif Prianto, Letterer Deron Bennett
In one of the more wild crossover events with the Archie universe that may not be as out there as the crossover with Predator that is still one of my favorites, but this one you could actually believe that they could all meet. Dini and Andreyko has done a great job here of coming up with a well thought out idea to blend the two worlds together. While this first issue is a bit on the exposition side they keep things moving along nicely with the set up. One of the reasons that the story works so well here is that they make sure that each of the universes feel like themselves and true to their cannon. The other thing that is smart is that they set up the Archie universe as the crux of the story and that allows Harley and Ivy to blend into the story nicely. The key to the story working so well is that everyone feels right and not out-of-place. Braga’s artwork on the book is quite nice and captures both universes very well here. She captures the visual spirit of the characters perfectly in their charm and quirks in-tacked that gives the book a great pop. Is this book worth your time and money? The first issue is pure setup but Dini and Andreyko take great lengths to make sure that everything and everyone fits perfectly into place that make this a solid first outing. Now that the exposition is out-of-the-way they set things up nicely for the second issue and the story going forward. The big key to the book working is that it’s simply fun to read and Dini and Andreyko make sure that is a big part of the script. I liked this first issue and can’t wait to see where they take it. RECOMMENDED!
Boom! Studios Writer James Tynion IV, Artist Eryk Donovan, Colorist Dee Cunniffe, Letterer Jim Campbell
I honestly don’t see where Tynion has time to write all of the comics that he does and is also able to deliver a quality with them all. This is in the same vein as his previous Boom books Memetic and Cognetic and could be seen as a trilogy but they don’t technically connect. Eugenic is a bit rocky for the first few pages because of the dense set up to the story but once it gets going it turns into quite a unique and compelling story that is not only topical but thought-provoking at the same time. One of the things that I like about his writing is that his stories could be political or lean towards one side but he has a great knack for simply presenting a story that allows the reader to find their own feelings about the story. I love how he sets up this story that on the surface is a basic good overcoming evil but he gives the story a great grey area that gives is a great twist that you never see coming and quite frankly changes the whole set up to the story. He also gives a nice twist to the “evil” scientist trope that he plays nicely here. He also plays well here with the Apocalyptic scenario that could have come off cliché here but avoids the pitfalls of this. Donovan simply nails the artwork here with his spot on character expressions that is the key to the books drama that unfolds. There is a lot of subtle elements that he delivers with the artwork that gives the book a great foundation that complements the script. One of the nice additions to the book is the behind the scenes with Donovan that he goes through his process with the artwork on the book and gives a great supplement to the inner workings of how he comes to the design of the book. Is this book worth your time and money? This book really gets you thinking about a lot of things and while the book is timely it’s not actually depressing but quite intriguing. Sure it’s not a happy-go-lucky kind of story but is thought-provoking in a good way with both a solid story and artwork this book is a real winner.
Batman: White Knight #1
DC Comics Writer and Artist Sean Murphy, Colorist Matt Hollingsworth, Letterer Todd Klein
Batman is one of greatest comic book characters of all time because there have been so many stories told about him and yet creator seem to be able to come up with new stories that feels fresh and new and that is exactly what Murphy has done here. He has crafted a unique take on the Batman/Joker dichotomy with this story and delivers a great setup in this first issue. While Murphy is best known for his gorgeous artwork he is a very accomplished writer and if you have never read his Punk Rock Jesus graphic novel then you really need to check it out too. I loved how he hits the ground running right from the start here with the story and dispensing with the exposition. It helps that everyone knows the players to the story and so that allows him to get right to it. What makes this story great is that he plays a lot against type here and that makes for some great twists and turns in the story. It’s also a story about extremes and how far will the characters go to get what they want or need. This is one of those rare comics that is a writer/artist driven mainstream book and that is one of the biggest reasons it works so well. Murphy being both writer and artist he knows what needs to be done in the dialog and what can be done with the artwork and this is one of the main reasons this book is so good. Every panel is so well thought out that the book just has a great flow when you read it and that is why it works so well. Then you throw in Hollingsworth’s gorgeous color work and Klein’s spot on lettering you have a book that simply fires perfectly on all cylinders. Is this book worth your time and money? This could be this generations Dark Knight or The Killing Joke. While that is saying a lot just from a first issue but the book is really that good. I had high expectations going into this book but Murphy, Hollingsworth and Klein have delivered one of the best Batman stories that simply blew me away. Superhero books rarely are this good out of the gate and Murphy has not only set up a great story here but gives you more than enough reason to come back for more. This is a must read comic and gets my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!
Image Comics Writer and Artist Dan Panosian, Letterer Pat Brosseau
Slots is one of those books that doesn’t necessarily blows you away but wins you over with a charm that is irresistible. What he wisely does here is set up Stanley’s story and lets you get to know the character by easing you into the story without revealing too much but laying a great foundation to let it unfold. The other thing that works well in the books favor is that you either know a person like Stanley and can relate to him at the same time because we all have a bit of him in us. He’s the lovable loser that is imperfect as we all are. Panosian does a great job of capturing the off the strip version of Las Vegas that a lot of people are not aware of. Vegas is an odd town and he captures the more seedy side of it very well here. The other thing that works well in the books favor is that he lets the story unfold at a nice pace that allows the story to breath and let the characters flow into the story even though we don’t know their whole story yet. The other big plus for this book is Panosian’s artwork that gives the book a gritty charm that brings not only Las Vegas to life but the quirky nature of both the city and the characters that live there. What impressed me the most is the facial expressions that really deliver the drama of the story perfectly and gives it a nice natural feel to the book. Is this book worth your time and money? There is a lot to like here and while Panosian keeps a lot of the plot elements close to the vest here in this first issue, there is more than enough charm and intrigue that will satisfy you here. The book is off to a solid start and I will defiantly pick up the second issue to see where he is going to take the story. It’s well worth buying this week.
The Tick #1
New England Comics Press, Writers Cullen Bunn and Jimmy Z, Artist Douglas Paszkiewicz, Colorist Erika Rolbiecki, Back-up story Writer Jeff McClelland, Artist Duane Redhead
It’s been quite a while since we have had a new Tick comic and now with the new television series on Amazon Prime this is probably a great time for a new comic. The good news is that it goes back to the original creator Ben Edlund’s era of the comic instead of a television adaptation that was a very smart move. The story didn’t overwhelm me but wasn’t bad either. It did however have the charm of the original series and has potential. The script by Bunn and Z have some good ideas here but seemed to drag a bit in this first issue. I think the problem was that it wasn’t as focused as it should have been. On the plus side the humor of the story worked well and overall it felt like the Tick. There are some good elements here and there but I never really fell in love with the book and I’m a big Tick comic fan so it was a little disappointing read. I did enjoy Paszkiewicz’s artwork that has a nice cartoony style that fits perfectly in the work of The Tick and added great charm and fun to the story. He actually helped move the story along visually that tried to prop things up where the script struggled a bit. There is a short back up story by McClelland and Redhead that is short and sweet story that is a fun and nice addition to the book. Is this book worth your time and money? The book is not terrible but it never quite took off for me. The story was a bit so-so and lacked a strong story for the books first issue. There were moments that shined through but didn’t work overall. Paszkiewicz’s artwork was strong and he really tried to help the story but he could only do so much. I can’t really recommend the book but it’s not a total wipeout either.
Dastardly & Muttley #2
DC Comics Writer Garth Ennis, Artist Mauricet, Colorist John Kalisz, Letterer Rob Steen I like the first issue of this book and this second issue really seals the deal. Ennis has basically taken the characters Dastardly and Muttley and is telling a Sixpack story with Hanna-Barbera characters and in a very weird way it all works. Ennis wild and wicked sense of humor is one of the reasons that the book works so well here. He blends both the real world and the cartoon world into one here and makes for a very wild ride. For some readers might struggle with the pacing of the book but if you’re a regular Ennis reader then you know that he takes his time with telling a story and the same applies here. Where the book is really strong is the relationship between the main characters that makes this book work so well. It’s like a good buddy cop movie but with a more cartoony angle to the story. The other big plus for the book is the wonderful artwork by Mauricet that is able to capture all of the strangeness of Ennis’s script and brings is all to perfect life. He is able to capture that fine line visually that the book needs to do and he delivers it perfectly here. This book is a visual feast that is making this book super enjoyable. Is this book worth your time and money? Ennis and Mauricet are delivering a fun and unique spin on the classic Hanna-Barbera characters in this book and this second issue really seals the deal on mini series. It’s fun, weird, and silly and that is why it works so well. I can’t wait to see where they take the book next. RECOMMENDED!