Monstro Mechanica #1
Aftershock Comic Writer Paul Allor, Artist Chris Evenhuis, Colorist Sean Weijers, Letterer Paul Allor
At first flipping though this first issue it seemed OK but didn’t jump out at me right away. My local comic shop had a sign with the synopsis of it an it sounded intriguing so I was willing to give the book a shot and am very glad I did. I love stories that take characters from history that we are familiar with and give them a new twist and Allor has given this one a nice one. He does a nice job here of balancing exposition while keeping the story moving along nicely here. While the script has a nice period feel Allor doesn’t slavishly keep to it that helps give the story a nice flow throughout. The one nice addition to the story is Isabel as Da Vinci’s assistant is a strong female character that was very nice to see in the period. Allor makes sure that she is smart and funny instead of the damsel in distress. Evenhuis’s artwork is a very nice complement to Allor’s script and while on the surface his line work has a simplicity to it he adds a lot of detail to it and is able to capture both the action scenes but the dramatic and dialog ones very nicely here. I also liked that he paid attention to the backgrounds and while there are times where there not there he makes sure that it matches the period and gives it a nice feel.
Is this book worth your time and money? This book got off to a nice start and while it wont blow you away it does however deliver a solid story with nice artwork and an interesting set up to the series. There are enough twist and turns and interesting characters that give more than enough reason to not only buy this first issue but come back again for the second one.
Dark Horse Comics Writers/Artist/Letterers Carlos and Miguel Valderrama
Every once in a while a comic comes out and gives you a real surprise and Giants is one that not only surprises but impressive too. I think the thing that is most impressive is that the story is pretty basic and has been told before but Carlos and Miguel have made sure that the story revolves around Gog and gives the reader someone to take them through the story. It’s one thing to have a comic about giant monsters and that is the easy part but you have to give the reader a reason to care beyond that and they have done that very well here in this first issue. They also make sure that there is more layers than the ones on the surface. There are many elements to the story that are subtle but seem to have a great reason to be there if you pay attention. Both the surface story and the underground story have their own stories to explore and it will be interesting to see where they take them in the story. It’s one thing to have a good story but you need to have good artwork to sell it and Carlos and Miguel have delivered on that quite beautifully. While there is an obvious anime influence there is a very nice European flavor to both the artwork and the story also. I love the detail that they put into the book and every panel explodes with visual excitement. They also complement the line work with some nice color work that gives the book a nice feel from the color that was very nice to see.
Is this book worth your time and money? While there are obvious themes from films such as Godzilla and Pacific Rim, Carlos and Miguel give the basic story a fresh approach and feel that you lose that familiar feeling quickly. They have crafted a fun and satisfying story with great visuals to match make this an easy comic to RECOMMEND this week.
Image Comics Writer John Arcudi, Artist David Rubin, Colorist Dave Stewart, Letterer Joe Sabino
I don’t remember the first series of this book but the good news is that Arcudi has delivered a story that works for both new and old readers. In a way this book is kind of reboot with new artist Rubin taking the reins on the artwork. Arcudi does a good job of setting the both the story and the mythology but is also sure to let the mystery of it unfold nicely here. There is a lot to take in with the story but Arcudi make sure that the reader is never lost or overwhelmed with the story. While this issue has quite a bit exposition going on Arcudi keeps things moving along and interesting so you don’t get board while reading it. The big win for this book is of course Rubin who has been doing some great comics lately with Black Hammer: Sherlock Frankenstein and Ether that made me a fan of his work. He is simply the perfect artist for this book and brings his great knack for being able to draw both great monsters but expressive human characters just as well. He is able to capture both the creepy and adorable with such ease that is very rare for a comic artist today. It’s one thing to have Arcudi’s great story here but to have Rubin to be able to bring it to life is where this book really shines. It’s both the scope and subtle moments that Rubin is able to perfectly bring to life.
Is this book worth your time and money? I really liked this first issue and while I will have to go back and read the first story arc, you certainly do not have to have read it to enjoy this first issue. Arcudi and Rubin are perfectly matched here and throw in Colorist extraordar Stewart and you have a truly winning book here. Great story and artwork make this a must read comic this week and is VERY RECOMMENDED!
Mister Miracle #5
DC Comics Writer Tom King, Artist and Colorist Mitch Gerads, Letterer Clayton Cowles
Oh I give up at this point because how do you continue to be able to praise a book that is simply perfect with every issue so far. Well that is what King and Gerads continue to do here and each issue just keeps getting better and better. With only five issues in they continue to make this book both a surprise and satisfying every time. This issues story is both low-key and large at the same time with the lead up to Scott’s last day before his execution. What I love that King has done here is simply tell a day in the life type story that slowly washes over you and is both sweet and sour that will throw you through the emotional wringer. Rarely do you read such a poignant story in mainstream comics from the big two but King knows how to take all of those superhero tropes and give them a fresh and exciting take that is able to capture what comic books can and should be. He also shows that even gods can be human and both Scott and Barda are so emotionally grounded that is why this book is working so well. In a way they are an average couple that happen to be gods caught in the middle of a war but they also decide on their own terms of how they will be involved in it all. Gerads continues to push the envelope with his artwork on the book. There is so much than he squeezes into each panel that will have you taking you time to let the book wash over you visually and emotionally. It the little things that he subtlety puts into this book that simply blows you away every issue.
Is this book worth your time and money? Simply put comics don’t get better than this and rarely with superhero ones. King and Gerads are firing on all cylinders here and their loving tribute to Jack Kirby at the beginning of this issue shows that they not only know where this story came from but is lavishly taking his creations and delivering a book that he would have loved too. As Kirby one said “Kid…comics will break your heart.” And King and Gerads have done that here but in a very good way. I can not recommend this book highly enough and is truly a must read comic. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!
Royal City #8
Image Comics Writer and Artist Jeff Lemire, Letterer Steve Wands
Another stunning issue in the continuing story of Royal City and Lemire wonderful unfolding of this book is always a great treat every month. What makes this book so great is the way that it makes you feel after you read each issue. While you could say that this is a slice of life type story there is so many more layers to it than that and it’s the mystery of Tommy’s death that is intriguing. With this storyline taking place in the past opens up a whole new level to the story and getting to know Tommy has added so much to the overall book that takes you deeper into the story farther than I would have ever imagined. While you may breeze through the story its the weight of it that washes over you that is what makes this book so great. I simply love Lemire’s artwork and this is some of his best to date. It’s the way that he blends his line work with the watercolors that gives this book a unique and wonderful visual experience that is truly matched perfectly with it’s script that is bold and warm at the same time.
Is this book worth your time and money? There are few comics that I truly look forward to and Royal City is always on the top of the reading list. Lemire is one of the best writer and artists in the comic field currently and he always delivers a truly heartfelt and amazing reading experience every time. I simply love this book on so many levels that brings a smile to my face each issue and is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Bug! The Adventures of Forager #6
DC’s Young Animal Writers Lee and Michael Allred, Artist Michael Allred, Colorist Laura Allred, Letterer Nate Piekos
With a bit of a delay the final chapter of team Allred’s wild and fun Bug adventure comes to a nice satisfying conclusion that gives the story a nice happy ending that made for a great ride. This final story put all of the pieces of the puzzle together and reveals all of the mysteries that Lee and Michael have hinted at from the start. While the story was a bit bogged down with the exposition but they wrapped it up nicely and the “villain” of the story was a shocking surprise but in a very good way. What I loved about this book is that Lee and Michael really went for it with the story and took the book in very strange places and while the story at times was weird and overwhelming they would always pull it back to the characters to ground the story firmly in place. They took great chances with the story and that is where Michael’s artwork really came into play. He is alway able to capture the scope of the strange things in the story and could visually give the readers the path to follow it perfectly. No matter how strange things got you could always count on Michael to steer the visuals to Bug and he would always lead you through it with visual style and pop! As always I must never forget to mention Laura’s wonderful color work and she really outdid herself on this book with a great mix of her work with Michael but also giving a nod to the original Kirby books with her eye on the color of the original New Gods at the same time.
Is this book worth your time and money? While this book isn’t necessarily for everyone but if your willing to expand the scope of what a superhero comic can be then make sure you get this book now or the trade in a few months. It a comic that throws a lot at you but there is a lot here to love and a fitting tribute to the King of Comics Jack Kirby. VERY RECOMMENDED!
Kid Lobotomy #3
Black Crown/IDW Writer Peter Milligan, Artist Tess Fowler, Colorist Lee Loughridge, Letterer Aditya Bidikar
I really struggled with the last issue of this book and while I’m still a bit on the fence with it, I did feel that this issue did move the story forward better and gives me hope for it. Milligan is a very good writer but sometimes every writer struggles to get the first story arc to solidify and I think that is what I’m struggling with the book. The concept is quite good but the delivery has been a bit uneven. This issues story got back to the heart of the character Kid and the story was more linear but still has a lot of the great oddball elements that gives the story a good punch. The second issue strayed from Kid and that started to lose me but Milligan really focused this issue on getting back to him while nicely developing the Rosebud storyline of the hotel and its mystery. There are some great seeds that he throws in this issue that should give the story arc a nice punch but we will have to see in the next issue where he goes with them. Fowler continues to deliver very nice artwork on the book that gives it a nice moody feel that Milligan’s story needs. I like that it’s not super polished and gives the book a nice rough edge that gives the book a unique look and feel. Loughridge give her line art a nice color job that adds immensely to the look of the book that helps things out greatly.
Is this book worth your time and money? This issue did get the book back on track, it still is hanging a bit on a thread for me. If Milligan can keep the book on track as with this issue I will hang on but great ideas will only keep readers so long. I want to like the book but it’s just not quite there. Fowler and Loughridge are doing a nice job and helping me stay with the book. I will give it a few more issues because this one got the book back on better footing.
Jughead: The Hunger #2
Archie Comics Writer Frank Tieri, Artist Pat & Tim Kennedy (with Bob Smith Inker) and Joe Eisma, Colorist Matt Herms, Letterer Jack Morelli
The first issue got the book off to a decent start but the art was disappointing. Well the good news here is that Tieri does a nice job of building the story from the first issue and gives this second issue some great twist and turns that I didn’t expect. While the first issue was pretty standard Tieri builds that out here and really devolves the characters and delivers a solid story that sets things up very nicely for the overall story. What is making this a good read is that he doesn’t go for the typical horror elements in the story and while the basics are still in play he is adding some great humor that is a nice touch to the story. While I’m still not that impressed with Pat and Tim’s artwork on this second issue, the good news is that Eisma comes on board in the second half of the book and really saves the day on it. Don’t get me wrong it’s not that the Kennedy’s artwork is awful but it just has an inconsistency and lack of real detail that just rubbed me the wrong way. Eisma’s artwork is simple yet he delivers the detail and makes for a much more pleasant reading experience on the book.
Is this book worth your time and money? While this is no replacement for Afterlife with Archie, I will give Tieri that he is delivering an interesting story here and this second issue does lay some very nice groundwork for the future issues and the addition of Eisma’s artwork was a huge plus for the book. The book has potential so it will be interesting to see where it goes in the next issue.
Rock Candy Mountain #6
Image Comics Writer/Artist/Letterer Kyle Starks Colorist Chris Schweizer
The last chapter of this book took a twist that you did not see coming but changed the way that you look at the story for that point forward and head toward the finish line of the story. This issue goes between Jackson’s fight with and Babs gang of hired thugs and Slim and the devil makes for quite an exciting issue. Starks does a great job of balancing the action side with Jackson and the drama of Slims conversation with the devil and gives it a flow that is very satisfying to read. He picks the right moments to switch between the two and ties them together seamlessly. The fight on the train is one of the best action scenes in a non superhero comic I have seen in a long time and adding the humor elements in was the real icing on the cake for that one. I love his take on the devil and how it follows the classic tropes of the character but adds a sly sense of humor that was very refreshing to see and added a lot to those moments in the story. As always Starks artwork on the book gives it such a fresh look that adds so much to the overall enjoyment of the story. His line work on the surface may seem simple but there is so much depth an emotional impact to it that make this comic such a wonderful read each issue. His layouts of the train fight are simply spectacular and put you right into the middle of the action that is one of the most exciting visuals to date. But he also nails the conversation between Slim and the Devil with a subtle visual look that sets the scene up dramatically so perfect.
Is this book worth your time and money? I have been a fan of this book from day one and Starks is delivering some of the best work of his career here. Not only does the book have a great story but his artwork makes this book such a heartfelt wonder that makes it a must read each issue. This book is simply wonderful and a truly must read and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!