Todays reviews are going to be on the quick side due to time constraints this week. So lets get to it.
Escape From New York #1
Boom! Studios Writer Christopher Sebela, Artist Diego Barreto, Colorist Marissa Louise, Letterer Ed Dukeshire
With the success of the Big Trouble in Little China book from Boom does the lightning strike twice for them. The plot from Boom! is, The crime rate in the United States has risen 400 percent. After humiliating the President in front of the world and destroying America’s one chance to end World War III, Snake Plissken has become America’s Most Wanted man in a land of criminals and the insane. Everyone wants Snake dead. Luckily, Snake knows the feeling all too well. War hero. Outlaw. Renegade. Snake’s back! Well this is one sequel that you can pass on. It takes place right after the events of the first film and ends up feeling like a low-budget Roger Corman sequel that they spent 12¢ on. The script by Sebela is riddled with clichés and the dialog is bad and the book never felt like the film at anytime I was reading it. The story is over written and under baked. The art by Barreto is honestly not that great. The layouts are basic and the characters are stiff and flat. The overall feel of the art is average and nothing special.
Is this book worth your time and money? This book was a real disappointment. The story is basic and never felt like the source material that it’s based on. This is really low rent work on really good source material. The art is mediocre and doesn’t add much to the overall book. It’s a real shame that compared to the very well done Big Trouble In Little China this book is pretty embarrassing. Don’t waste your money.
Wolf Moon #1
Vertigo Comics Writer Cullen Bunn, Artist Jeremy Haun, Colorist Lee Loughrdige, Letterer Travis Lanham
I’m a sucker for good horror books and werewolves has not represented lately. Well Vertigo has filled the void with this new mini series. The plot from Vertigo is, WOLF MOON is a horrific werewolf hunt unlike any other. When Dillon Chase’s family was slaughtered by the wolf, his life was forever changed. Dillon sets out to destroy the creature, but he soon learns that lycanthropy is far more insidious than the legends ever said. With each full moon, he draws closer to the monster – and with each full moon, he becomes more aware that in order to stop the wolf, he must kill a human being and become a fearful monster himself. I really have to give props to Bunn for having a great new spin on the werewolf mythology. First the book is a blood bath and pull absolutely no punches with that. Bunn tweaks the idea of werewolves infecting others to it passing to a different person every full moon. That idea is really genus and I was very impressed with his take on the idea. The first issue is a fair amount of exposition but there is a lot of action that keeps the pace of the first issue from being to dragged down. I was really impressed by Haun’s artwork on the book. While the backgrounds were a tad sparse the characters and the werewolf itself were very nice. He really did a great job with both the action and the dialog scenes that really brought you into the story.
Is this book worth your time and money? This book really gets off to a solid start and was really surprised and impressed with the story and the artwork. Bunn and Haun don’t try to reinvent the wheel here they just tell the story very well. This book really caught me off guard and I was really won over by it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Dynamite Writer & Letterer David F. Walker, Artist Bilquis Evely, Colorist Danila Miwa
Based on the 1970’s novel and feature film Shaft is brought back to life as a comic. The plot from Dynamite is, Who’s the black private dick that’s a sex machine with all the chicks? Shaft! Created by author Ernest Tidyman, and made famous in a series of novels and films, iconic hero Shaft makes his comic book debut in an all-new adventure. He’s gone toe-to-toe with organized crime bosses, stood up to the cops, squared off against kidnappers, and foiled assassination attempts. But who was John Shaft before he became the hardboiled investigator with a reputation as big as New York City itself? Walker is very familiar with the source material and it shows but the first issue does a nice job of setting up the series but the issue ends up being a bit underwhelming. The story is a lot of exposition and seems a bit formulaic at times. Evely’s art is better than average for a Dynamite book but the characters look good but a few times there is a bit of stiffness to the artwork. It does have an overall pleasing look.
Is this book worth your time and money? If you are a fan of the original novel or movie then you are probably going to like this book. That leave a lot of other readers in the never heard of it category. That is the dilemma with this book. I just don’t know if the first issue is going to convince a person who has never seen the source material. I thought the book was an OK read and am willing to check out the second issue but I am a bit hesitant on the book. It’s a tough call on recommendation but if the idea of the book sounds good I thing it’s worth a try to see if you like it.
Hellboy And The B.R.P.D. 1952
Dark Horse Story Mike Mignola and John Arcudi, Artist Alex Maleev, Colorist Dave Stewart, Letterer Clem Robins
The first adventure of Hellboy with the B.R.P.D. The plot from Dark Horse is, A bizarre series of murders and rumors of something worse lead Professor Bruttenholm to send a young Hellboy to a Brazilian village on his first mission. Hellboy and a small group of agents uncover something terrible in the shadows of a sixteenth-century Portuguese fortress. This is a really interesting book because of the time that the book takes place in the Hellboy timeline make it a really great idea. Mignola and Arcudi story is a great set up to this mini series. The idea of telling the first outing of Hellboy with the B.R.P.D. is like visiting an old friend but very different. They are using the readers knowledge of Hellboy mythology but telling the story that we don’t know but we think that we might. It really looks as if they are going to play with that in this series very nicely. Getting Maleev to do the artwork for the book is a real treat. He really knows how to set the mood of the scenes with the art and really delivers the goods. As always Stewarts color work really compliments Maleev’s artwork and the two of them make this book look stunning.
Is this book worth your time and money? Shut up and take my money! This is a great set up to a part of the Hellboy mythology that looks to be well worth the wait. I can’t wait to see where and what the younger Hellboy is capable of doing. Solid story and great artwork make this a must buy book this week. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Secret Six #1
DC Comics Writer Gail Simone, Penciller Ken Lashley, Inkers Ken Lashley and Drew Geraci, Colorist Jason Wright, Letterer Carlos M. Mangual
Gail Simone fan favorite book is back and will it live up to the first series? The plot from DC is, Gail Simone is back with the NEW 52 debut of the fan-favorite team – THE SECRET SIX! Six strangers are brought together under mysterious circumstances for an explosive first issue that will leave everyone asking, “What is the Secret?” I was a big fan of the original series that was a lot of fun with the mixing of villains from the DC universe. While this new group is not a familiar as the previous incarnation it did seem to get off to a bit of a rocky start. While Simone’s story is good I think that the first issue just didn’t have the hook that I was hoping for. The story is a bit muddled and some of the dialog is strange at times. The bigger problem is that the first issue suffers from not giving the readers much to go on. The real problem with the first issue is that the story is really unoriginal and brings nothing new to the idea. Lashley and Geraci’s artwork is one of the high points of the book. They do a very good job on the characters and their expressions. The backgrounds are pretty minimal at times and at least Wright tries to help out with the coloring to make it less noticeable.
Is this book worth your time and money? This first issue was pretty disappointing for me. It just didn’t have the magic that Simone’s previous series had. While the book is not terrible the first issue makes the next couple of issues a real make or break to keep on the pull list. Let hope that she turns it around quickly.
Thanos Vs. The Hulk #1
Marvel Comics Writer and Penciler Jim Starlin, Inker Andy Smith, Colorist Frank D’Armata, Letterer Travis Lanham
Jim Starlin returns to his most famous Marvel creation Thanos. The plot from Marvel is, The Hulk is kidnapped by Pip the Troll and traded to Annihilus! Then Thanos of Titan gets thrown into the mix. I am a huge fan of Starlin but the story on this book is all over the place. It seems as if he had two different stories and mixed them both into this book and what is left is a bit head scratching most of the book. The story could have been a fun romp like his Thing and the Hulk book that he did with Bernie Wrightson back in 1987 but he tried to go serious on this story and it ends up pretty disappointing. The saving grace of the book is Starlin’s artwork that is still the big draw of the book for most fans. While the story is not the worst thing that I have read I don’t hold much hope for the rest of the mini series. But who knows he might turn the book around with the next issue. At the very least Starlin’s artwork is as good as ever and a real treat for both new and old readers.
Is this book worth your time and money? For me seeing Starlin’s artwork is worth the cover price but I will be honest the story really drags the book down to not recommend it to most everyone else. If you are a Starlin fan then you might want to wait until the mini series is collected. If you are not a Starlin fan then there is not much there for you.
Gotham Academy #3
DC Comics Writer Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher, Artist Karl Kerschl, Colorist Geyser Msassyk, and Serge Lapointe, Letterer Steve Wands
This book is still one of the best books that DC is putting out now. The story that Cloonan and Fletcher are weaving is really wonderful and they are making sure that both the characters are developing along with the mysteries of the academy. Kerschl continues to really knock the ball out of the park with the artwork along with Msassyk and Lapointe’s color work on the book is just gorgeous to look at and really bring the story to the next level. This book continues to be the must buy book from DC. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!