The Further Adventures of Nick Wilson #1
Image Comics Writers Eddie Gorodetsky & Marc Andreyko, Artist Stephen Sadowski, Colorist Hi-Fi, Letterer A Larger World Studio
It’s hard in todays comic book market to come up with something that is both familiar and fresh and Gorodetsky and Andreyko have simply done that here. There have been a lot of comics over the years with the whole superheroes in the real world. What I liked about this first issue is that they didn’t try and oversell the story or concept and they also didn’t let it get bogged down with exposition. The script has a nice little flow while your reading it and that made for a very enjoyable read. They also didn’t reveal a lot in this first outing but did hit the major points needed to keep you intrigued. Probably the strongest element is the way that they portrayed Nick. They could have taken the whole asshole route or washed up superhero wallowing but they made the smart decision to have him be pretty much Joe Average that really helped the reader get to know him that much better. Another strong win for the book is Sadowski’s artwork that helped pull off the script very nicely. His strength lies in the facial expressions of the characters that is one big reason the book works so well.
Is this book worth your time and money? This is a comic that wont blow you but what it does do is charge you and that is why I really fell in love with this book. Often writers try to oversell or over blow a concept but Gorodetsky and Andreyko keep it pretty low-key with this first issue and that really makes it work so well. With strong artwork from Sadowski makes this a comic that you really need to check out and it VERY RECOMMENDED!
DC Comics Writers Tony S. Daniel & Robert Venditti, Penciller Tony S. Daniel, Inker Danny Miki, Colorist Tomeu Morey, Letterer Tom Napolitano
The first series in the DC New Age of Heroes gets off to a so-so start with Damage. The biggest problem with the book is that it’s pretty boring and while there is a lot of action going on there is very little story to go with it. Daniel and Venditti throw a lot of thing into the mix here but sadly not much of it really sticks. I get that they don’t want to give too much away in this first issue but there is not much to care about because of it. It really ends up being a Hulk Smash story and not much else. By the time at the end of the issue rolls around with the Suicide Squad showing up was simply where I checked out. When you start a series you need to give the reader a character that they can latch onto and the writers really dropped the ball on that one here. You simply have no reason to care about any of the characters or what is going on because your dropped into the middle of a story with nothing to center the story. The only real thing that works is Daniel and Miki’s artwork that is really great to look at but that’s about it for this book.
Is this book worth your time and money? This is not a very good first foot forward for the New Age of Heroes line. Sure the book is real pretty but with the paper-thin story that goes nowhere there is just not much here to even bother with. There is not only little reason to read this but I felt no reason to bother coming back for more. SKIP IT!
Ice Cream Man #1
Image Comics Writer W. Maxwell Prince, Artist Martin Morazzo, Colorist Chris O’Halloran, Letterer Good Old Neon
This was an odd little book that reminded me of a Twilight Zone episode. It kind of starts off as a simple story then turns dark pretty quickly. Prince does keep the story flowing nicely here and even with the weird story elements he keep the story focused and it all falls into place as it goes along. The other thing that works well for the book is that the story is self-contained and that the Ice Cream Man is the Rod Sterling of the book. Prince mixes lots of genres here and keeps it all in check so that it never strays to far in any direction. The one thing that works really well here is the pacing of the story that makes it a fun little read. The artwork my Morazzo is really good-looking and adds a great crappy feel and look for the book and one of the reasons that it works so well. His nice clean style brings Prince’s script perfectly to life.
Is this book worth your time and money? I like that the book seems to be a done in one with the Ice Cream Man being the connecting element to each story. Horror comics are hard to pull off but Prince and Morazzo do a nice job here of giving you a creepy feeling that serves the story perfectly. I like that they didn’t go the gore route with the book because that is so easy and by playing up on the creepy factor makes this book a fun read. If you like horror comics then you should give this book a shot. I will be sticking around for a few issue to see where they take it.
Strangers in Paradise XXV #1
Abstract Studios Writer and Artist Terry Moore
It’s been quite a while without the ground breaking Strangers in Paradise finished and while Moore has been busy with other great series like Rachel Rising and Motor Girl they were sadly not well received as this book was (NOTE: If you haven’t read either of those two books I highly recommend picking them up). This issue takes place years later after the first series and this new story is pretty new reader friendly. If you have never read any Strangers in Paradise then I would say that this is not the best starting point. The story does stand on it’s own with some story threads from the original series but Moore gives readers enough background as the story goes on so that you’re not lost in them. I liked that he starts the story off without Francine and Katchoo that throws you off a bit at first but as the story goes along you understand why he started it off that way. The one thing I have always liked about Moore’s work is as a writer and artist he is able to use visuals to tell story without words and he is able to capture so much visually that gives it a great natural flow that is a staple of his work and it really shines here. The level of detail that he fills each panel with is simply amazing and gives the reader so much to take in with the book that it demands that you take your time to let it all seep into you.
Is this book worth your time and money? When comics com back after a long absence they usually go two ways either works out well or a real train wreck. The good news is that Moore has brought the book back at a time when we need this book now. It’s like a fine wine that has aged perfectly and now we get to enjoy it. This first issue gets off to a great start and I can’t wait to see where the story goes from here. VERY RECOMMENDED!
Black Crown/IDW Writer Tini Howard, Artist Gilbert Hernandez, Colorist Rob Davis, Letterer Aditya Bidikar
The first issue of this book got off to a solid start and thankfully Howard and Hernandez keep the momentum of the book going nicely here. Howard is doing a great job of unfolding the story with both back story and moving the current one along well together. She gives it a nice natural flow that works quite well here. She doesn’t shy away from the obvious connections to Charlie’s Angels and other period references and actually weaves them into the story to add to the fun of it all. This second outing has a very nice pace to the story that could have been dragged down with exposition but she keeps it moving along nice and smooth while not revealing too much too soon. Where the book really works it’s magic is with the gorgeous artwork from Hernandez who is perfectly suited for this book. He gives the book a great visual charm and depth that brings Howard’s script perfectly to life. He brings a visual emotion to the characters that is making this such a fun book to read and savor.
Is this book worth your time and money? I’m really enjoying this book and this second issue shows that the first issue was no fluke. Howard and Hernandez are perfectly matched here and they play on each other’s strengths perfectly. While the book has a nice edge to it, it’s the fun that they infuse into that gives it a wonderful charm and well worth sticking around for. RECOMMENDED!
Jupiter Jet #2
Action Lab Writers Jason Inman & Ashley Victoria Robinson, Artist Ben Matsuya, Colorist Mara Jayne Carpenter, Letterer Tori Ridley Backup Story Artist Jorge Corona
Jupiter Jet got off to a blast off first issue and while this second issue a bit more exposition heavy I still had a lot of fun with this book. Inman and Robinson’s script is a bit more nuts and bolts this issue with fleshing out the trying to get all of her gadgets working and that is still a bit touch and go in this issue. We also get to see more depth with the villain of the story that really added a lot to this issue. The one important thing that they still infused into the book is heart and charm that is why the book works so well. Matsuya continues to deliver some really nice artwork for the book and captures the retro look and feel of the period that the story is set in. He really captures the charm of the script and always make sure that the characters look and feel right to the story. There is also another great chapter of the Origin back up story that again I wish was longer than two pages because it’s so good.
Is this book worth your time and money? This book is still a winner and a great all ages book that really delivers to all ages. In fact I imagine that adults might like this book a bit more than the younger audience but it’s definitely a great read for them. Strong story and artwork make this a book that is an easy RECOMMENDATION!
DC Comics Writer Tom King, Artist Joelle Jones, Colorist Jordie Bellaire, Letterer Clayton Cowles
There is going to be a lot of controversy about this story with Batman and Wonder Woman and I would say before everyone gets their panties in a bunch wait till King finishes the story before you make a final judgement. I have loved that King is telling these smaller story arcs but is continuing the overall story development of the series. This story of Bruce and Diana giving a hero from another world basically the day off is an interesting story because of the time gap between the two worlds and how it affects both sides of the story. And while they are holding back the Hordes Selena is chaperoning the Gentle Man for his day off. What King delivers in this issue is the ongoing relationships with both Selena and his closest friends who happen to be superheroes. These stories are telling a whole new side of Bruce that we have never really seen and adds a great deal of depth to both him and these stories. Where people are freaking out with this issue is the final page and I will not spoil it here but lets just say that it’s a simple cliffhanger and we don’ know the outcome. I have a lot of faith in King and that he has thought this story out very carefully because of the way that he unfolds the story to the cliffhanger. This issue is the great return of Jones with her gorgeous artwork and her visual take on Wonder Woman is simply stunning and she fits King’s script like a glove. It’s the ease that she is able to capture both the action and dramatic moments of the story with such ease is what is very impressive about her artwork. Along with Bellaire’s stunning color work that complements Jones’s line work make this a visual feast to match King’s script.
Is this book worth your time and money? At this point King has been telling some of the most amazing stories in this book from day one but this current story line with the mini arcs has simply blown me away. As with most shocking cliffhangers in comics I know that King has a plan that will respect the characters. He is not a writer that takes this book lightly so I for one cant wait to read the rest of the story because when it’s done then and only then will I make a final decision on the story. But with just this issue I can very much HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!
Will Eisner’s The Spirit: The Corpse-Makers #5
Dynamite Entertainment Writer/Artist/Letterer Francesco Francavilla
This final chapter has been a long time coming (four months late to be exact) but sometime great stories take a bit longer to finish and that is the case here. While a late book is alway a problem in this case with Francavilla doing every aspect of the book I will certainly cut him some slack with the tardiness. This final chapter ties everything up very nicely here but Francavilla wisely leaves things open if he decides to do another series. Taking on Eisner’s Spirit is a challenge for any creator because of the huge shoes that they have to fill and only two creators have done it with such ease. One is Darwyn Cooke and now Francavilla can be added to that rare club. What he brings to this book is a true understanding of how Eisner told Spirit stories but he made it all his own without trying to imitate him. So many comic creators when they try to mimic a legend they fall flat because they need to understand how they did it but make it their own and that is what Francavilla does here perfectly. He simply tells a solid mystery story here and he makes sure that the Spirit remains true to original characters. Where this book really shines is with his stunningly brilliant artwork that simply oozes with noir that pulls you into the world of The Spirit and takes you for a visual rollercoaster ride.
Is this book worth your time and money? This was so worth the wait and he brings this story to a very satisfying close. Not only is it a loving tribute to WIll Eisner but show a whole new generation what a great character The Spirit is. I’m glad that Francavilla rose to the challenge of tackling a masters creation because it pushed him to a whole new level with this book. The care and love that he put into this comic is why it’s so great and it’s a tribute and a gift to us all. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!