Frankenstein Alive, Alive #4
IDW Writer Steve Niles, Story, Layouts and Artist Bernie Wrightson, Artist Kelley Jones, Letterer Robbie Robbins
It was many years in the making to finish this final issue and it’s one of the most bittersweet comics that I have read in a long time. As we know now that Wrightson was unable to finish this final issue before he passed away last year and he hand-picked Jones to finish the pages that he was unable to fully finish. It’s also a very bittersweet ending for the last chapter of this story. Niles is one of the noblest writers in the business and is the king of modern horror comics. What I have loved about this story is the care that he and Wrightson have instilled Frankenstein with and has captured the heart and soul of him. They get that he is not the monster but actually the hero of the tale and they capture this perfectly in this final chapter. It also capture both life and death and how fragile and precious life is and we should be the best that we can be no matter what the circumstances you have. It also leaves you with a sense of hope at the end that is so beautiful and touching for both the story and the readers. This is the last artwork by Wrightson who had done rough layouts for this final chapter and was able to complete 5 full pages. There is simply no other artist that could come close to filling his shoes but there was one who understood both him and his art and that is Jones. While it’s very much his style you can see how he followed Wrightson’s intent and if you look close enough your able to see the blue line layouts to remain true to what he had planned. Jones fills in those blanks with such ease that you understand why he was chosen. Wrightson and Jones are cut from the same cloth and that is why this final story flows so well.
Is this book worth your time and money? There is no way that you can read this story without tearing up for good reason. First and foremost the story is full of heart that will fill you with hope and wonder while you’re reading it and of course knowing that there will be no more art from the master himself. Seeing the last work of Wrightson is very difficult to see and yet that is to Jones we are able to say goodbye to both him and the story that Wrightson wanted to be finished. It’s been a long ride but this final chapter is truly satisfying. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!
The Ballad Of Sang #1
One Press Writer Ed Brisson, Artist Alessandro Micelli, Colorist Shari Chankhamma, Letter Crank!
I was pleasantly surprised by this book because it has a great kinetic energy for a story that has been told a thousand times before but yet Brisson found a way to make it feel fresh and new. He gives the story a real snappy feel with a great flow while you read it. Sure there’s a lot of familiar story tropes that litter the script but he adds a nice dose of humor that gave this book a nice charm. I liked that he didn’t give Sang any real dialog and made it work with nods and gestures and that is where Micelli comes in and sets this book on fire. One of the big reasons that this book works so well is that Micelli brings this familiar tale a fresh look and really played around with the layouts and visual style that made this book really pop! His use of shadows is quite impressive and gives the book a real cinematic look and feel.
Is this book worth your time and money? I rather enjoyed this first issue of this book the only problem with it is where Brisson and Micelli take it. There are a lot of story elements that are not very original but the key is going to be if they can give it a different spin as it goes along. You can get away with a story being too familiar for only so long. I like what I read here and it’s well worth buying but the second issue is going to be the key to its long-term success.
Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows #1
Dark Horse Comics Writer Jeff Lemire, Artist Max Fiumara, Colorist Dave Stewart, Letterer Nate Piekos
While I dearly miss the regular Black Hammer series, I am absolutely in love with these side story mini series that are adding so many more rich layers to this universe. What Lemire does best with these stories is that the characters are so rich and well-rounded that make what could be a very mundane story full of excitement and depth on these side characters that are amazing. What I loved about this story is that Jimmy is an every man and that is very relatable to the reader and why you love when he becomes a superhero. We all wish to be superheroes but we read about and Lemire taps into that very well here. He also delivers a great mystery that unfolds very nicely here and gives the story great depth that leaves you both satisfied and wanting more in the next issue. I have never seen Fiumara’s artwork before but he really impressed me with it with this book. He has a great down to earth style that fits this story so well and the two page spread blew me away with the level of detail that he put into not only that but the rest of the book. Because the story takes place in the 1940’s and his art style is perfect look that really capture the feel and look of the period. Throw in Stewart’s always spot on color work that really complements Fiumara’s line art that is simply icing on this great cake.
Is this book worth your time and money? If you have yet to join the Black Hammer Universe yet this is a great jumping on point to see what I have known from day one that Lemire has crafted a unique and satisfying universe that is delivering one of the best superheroes line of books that just keeps getting better and better with each story. With Doctor Star Lemire and Fiumara have crafted a story that hits all the right notes perfectly. I cant wait to see where they take it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
The Spider King #1
IDW Writer Josh Vann, Artist Simone D’Armini, Colorist Adrian Bloch, Letterer Nic J Shaw
Who knew that Vikings and Aliens would make for a weird and wild comic book. Apparently Vann did and has done a unique take on an old tale. On the surface the story is pretty basic and you have definitely read it before but Vann has given it some neat twist and turns that made for a satisfying first outing. It’s basically War of the Worlds set in the Viking period and gets pretty wild as the issue goes along. This first issue is quite the blood bath but Vann doesn’t take it too far and it fits with the tone of the story that he is telling. He does have some nice subplots that should lead to some interesting story elements over the story arc. I will be the first to admit that a fair amount of the first half of the story is pretty basic but once he throws the alien invasion elements into the story it really changes things up quite nicely. I really enjoyed D’Armini’s artwork on the book that gave it a lot of depth and visual impact that enhanced the story greatly. He has a bit of a cartoony style that actually gives the book a great visual charm that makes it pleasant to look at.
Is this book worth your time and money? While I liked the first issue the big question with this book is where Vann and D’Armini is going to take it. There are a lot of basic story tropes here but if they are able to build upon this first issue then there is a good chance this book will work. It has some really good ideas and is well worth checking out if you’re looking for something different.
The Highest House #1
IDW Writer Mike Carey, Artist & Letterer Peter Gross, Colorist Fabien Alquier
The team that brought us The Unwritten and are back with their new comic The Highest House. As with their previous comics the book is very methodical with unfolding the story and while some would say that it’s a bit slow I found that it has a great feeling of washing over you. The subject matter of slave trade can be a very tricky story element in the hands of Carey he carefully makes sure that it doesn’t become careless gratuitous. You actually understand why people sell their kids for sometimes a better life than they would be able to have with their family who are mostly very poor.There is a lot to take in with this first issue and Carey lets the characters breath in the story and reveals many plot threads that will unfold with the story but it’s Moth that is the main character and there are many mysteries surrounding him. It’s one thing to have a great story but you need an artist to bring it to life and Gross not only does that here but delivers a lush and stunningly detailed world. He fills each panel with such great detail that really transports you to the time period. It also was wise to go with the magazine size comic that really shows off all of the big and small details that make this comic such a visually rich experience. I have to say that Alquier’s color work on this book is amazing and really complements Gross’s line work and makes this book is a visual feast.
Is this book worth your time and money? I really fell in love with this book and really enjoyed how this first issue washes over you. There is a lot to take in with both the story and they artwork that gives this book a richness and epic scope that you don’t see that often today. There are still many mysteries to unfold here and is well worth buying this week. RECOMMENDED!
Gedeon Falls #1
Image Comics Writer Jeff Lemire, Artist Andrea Sorrentino, Colorist Dave Stewart, Letterer Steve Wands.
I reviewed this book early and click the link HERE to read my review. By the way this is a must buy book and is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!