Eleanore & The Egret #1
Aftershock Comics Writer John Layman, Artist Sam Kieth, Colorist Ronda Pattison, Letterer John Layman
Aftershock has been on a good roll for a new company but I have to say that this book might be their best one yet. Honestly they had me at Keith’s artwork but I have to hand it to Layman delivered a great script with a solid first chapter. He does a great job of setting the series up with nice introductions to the characters and concept without having the story bogged down by exposition. While there are a lot of questions introduced I never felt lost with the story and the ending has you wanting to come back for more. Having Keith artwork on the book really elevates and delivers Layman’s script perfectly. His lush artwork captures the drama and the subtle humor of the story and savor every panel of artwork. Keith is a master artist and Layman script is up to the task that makes the book a winner.
Is this book worth your time and money? While the first issue is only 20 pages, it’s one of the few books that was money well spent this week. It’s hard to deliver a first issue of a comic that’s satisfying today but Layman and Keith has crafted a solid story with gorgeous artwork that was a very good read. I’m intrigued and impressed with this first issue and can’t wait to see where they take it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Rock Candy Mountain #1
Image Comics Writer and Artist Kyle Starks, Colorist Chris Schweizer
Lets face it there are a ton of comics that come out every week and it’s hard to get a footing on the shelf, but every once in a while a book comes along and makes you take notice. Rock Mountain Candy is one of those books. What makes the book work so well is that Starks doesn’t try to make the book bigger than it is. It’s not a book that immediately blows you away but actually charms you as you read it. He does a great job of setting the story up by letting it slowly unfold in this first issue that by the time you get to the end your hooked and I am excited to see where he takes it. The one thing that I really loved was the artwork that has a simple yet very detailed style that takes you to the time period. I have to give credit to Schweitzer’s color work that really complements Starks line art. Starks is able to not only capture the action in the story but where the art really shines is in the dramatic story elements.
Is this book worth your time and money? I’ll admit that I picked up the book because my local comic shop had it as a deal of the week and honestly I’m so glad that I did. I really enjoyed reading this book and Starks has set up a quite impressive story here and can’t wait to see where he takes it. He is equally as impressive with the artwork that makes this a great read this week. VERY RECOMMENDED!
Savage Things #2
Vertigo Comics Writer Justin Jordan, Artist Ibrahim Moustafa, Colorist Jordan Boyd, Letterer Josh Reed
The first issue of this series got off to a great start but this second issue really hits the ground running. Jordan builds quite nicely on the first issue and even ramps it up that was hard to believe considering what went down in the first issue. He certainly doesn’t pull any punches here but I didn’t find the story to try to shock the reader that so many comics try to fail at. While the book is a blood bath, I felt that there is so much more to it than the surface violence. The psychological undertone of the story is quite intriguing and where the book works so well. Moustafa continues to impress with his artwork and this issue really blew me away. Where he really shines is with the characters facial expressions that really sell the story with the amount of detail that he put in to each panel.
Is this book worth your time and money? I know that a lot of comic readers have written off Vertigo but they have been doing some strong comics lately and Savage Things is a winner. Solid story with great art and an intriguing concept is making this a great read and well worth buying.
Black Cloud #1
Image Comics Story Jason Latour and Ivan Brandon, Script Ivan Brandon, Artist Greg Hinkel, Colorist Matt Wilson & Dee Cunniffe, Letterer Aditya Bidikar
I have to admit I’m stumped with Black Cloud. The story by Latour and Brandon throws a lot at you in this first issue but unfortunately the story is so disjointed and convoluted that it simply doesn’t make much sense. The real flaw of this book is that it simply lack focus and that is a shame because there are a couple of story elements that are good but the story is such a mess that I simply didn’t care about anything or anyone at the end of the issue. Look I like a good story that doesn’t reveal things right away but Latour and Brandon simply don’t give you anything to grab onto. Having an interesting idea is one thing but not building a story around it or have characters that you care about will sink a book faster than a boat anchor. What made the book that much more disappointing was that I really liked Hinkel’s artwork who turned in an outstanding job on the recent Airboy mini series but he is all but wasted on this mess of a story. He tried his best to help visually help things along but with the messy story there is only so much he can save here.
Is this book worth your time and money? Let me be straight the book is not terrible by any means but with the story being the way that it is there is simply nothing compelling to recommend about the book. A few ideas here and there are just not enough to make me recommend or bother buying the second issue. SKIP IT!
The Flintstones #10
DC Comics Writer Mark Russell, Artist Steve Pugh, Colorist Chris Chuckry, Letterer Dave Sharpe
The best DC Comic continues to impress and this issue delivers on some great plot threads that have been running though the series. Russell has peppered the series with a lot of subplots that are starting to come into focus with this issue. What made this issue so great is that they were stories that you had thought were finished and yet lo and behold the come back and surprise you and take them in a direction you never expected. That is why this book is such a joy to read is that you never know quite what to expect and yet Russell’s intent is not to shock you or catch you off guard. He is simply telling well thought out stories that are relevant as they are fun. This issue also has a tragic tale that I won’t spoil here but I can say that it really made my heart sink and was very touching. Pugh really delivers some of his best work on the book yet and captures all of the sly humor and the panel with the Mayor riding the dinosaur is one of the most spectacular panels of the entire series and that is truly saying a lot.
Is this book worth your time and money? If you’re not buying this comic then there is little I can say to you at this point but that your missing one of the best comics being published today. Each issue continues to impress and entertain. This is possible the best comic book of the year and hope that your excuse is that your waiting for the collected editions. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!
Harley Quinn #17
DC Comics Writers Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti, Artist John Timms, Inker Marc Deering, Colorist Alex Sinclair, Letterer Dave Sharpe Back-Up Story Writers Paul Dini & Jimmy Palmiotti, Penciller Bret Blevins, Inker Jay Bone, Colorist Alex Sinclair, Letterer Dave Sharpe
Normally I don’t buy Harley Quinn not because the book is not good but I prefer her in smaller doses like in the Little Black Book series. But with the classic non hooker Harley backup story co-written by her creator Paul Dini made this a must check out book this week. While the main story was fine, it was however a par for the corse story that hits all of the plot points well but was an OK read for me. Timms does a nice job on the main story artwork with a nice visual flair. For me the real meat of this issue is the Dini Harley story. Dini along with Palmiotti bring Harley back to basics and deliver a story that is not only fun but really refreshing. It really puts the fun back into Harley and seeing her in the original outfit in the animated style was well worth the price of admission. Belvins and Bone do a fantastic job here on the story. They not only capture the original animated style but give it a nice refreshing look at the same time. They really have fun with it and that made it all that much more enjoyable.
Is this book worth your time and money? Honestly if DC were really smart they would do the Harley Quinn book just like Wonder Woman have the current version of Harley in one issue then rotate the classic Harley in the other issue and have the best of both worlds. But sadly we have to settle for 6 pages of the Harley that we really love. While I get that there are a lot of fans of the Hooker Harley but I guess that I’m just old fashion and love me some classic Harley and Dini, Palmiotti, Blevins and Bone have answered my prayers. Yes for three bucks its soooo worth it for the backup story and the main story is OK.
World War Tank Girl #1
Titan Comics Writer Alan Martin, Artist & Letterer Brett Parson
While I haven’t been following the current Tank Girl mini series, I was attracted to this new one because of the throwback visuals of this one. Martin really has a lot of fun throwing her into WWII and all of the kick ass that she brings to the war. Does it get better with Tank Girl kicking Nazi ass, nope! Wisely Martin doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel here. With tongue firmly planted in cheek he delivers a fun and on point Tank Girl story that takes the best of old school war comics and throws T&A into the mix and yes all hell breaks loose but in a good way. There are two things that really make this one work so well first Parson’s captures the classic WWII comic style perfectly but in a much funnier way. Then the distressed and yellowed paper stock that they use on the book is a stroke of genus. Parson’s art does a great job of balancing both humor and classic war style that is very impressive. This is a really nice looking book.
Is this book worth your time and money? While on the surface this is typical Tank Girl but I have to give huge props to Martin and Parson for capturing the classic war comics and then throwing a naked Tank Girl into the mix to create a great new spin on the mythology. If you’re a fan of Tank Girl then you should really check this one out. If you’re a casual fan this might be a good one to try to get back into the Tank.
Shade the Changing Girl #7
DC’s Young Animal Writer Cecil Castellucci, Artist Marguerite Sauvage, Letterer Saida Temofonte, Back-Up story Artist Dan Parent, Colorist Saida Temofonte
Catellucci has been doing a bang up job on this re-imagined version of Shade and this issue with fill in artist Sauvage is a nice stand alone story that is a decent jumping on point for new readers (but be warned that there are plot threads that will be confusing). Castellucci tells the origin of Loma and gives some more details about Meta. She does a great job of mixing both the past with her trying to fit into earth culture and how both have their challenges. I love that she fits this story in-between story arcs that gives the reader a nice breather story before the next story arc. This really allows the story to tell elements that might drag a story arc out but it add so much to the overall story that made it a solid read. The real win here is getting Sauvage to deliver truly brilliant artwork that she was perfect for. I love that she takes chances with the layouts, story and color that really delivers the story is a way that is both unique and very satisfying and was a perfect choice for this story. As an added bonus Parent delivers a fun little back-up story that is an homage to I Love Lucy/Archie that is a television show from earth that Loma loves to watch. It’s a cute little joke story that fits perfectly with the main story and is icing on the cake.
Is this book worth your time and money? Usually with “fill-in stories” don’t add that much to the overall story in a regular series but Castellucci has crafted a unique and well thought out story that actually adds quite a bit to the momentum of the series. Throw in gorgeous artwork by Sauvage and Parent makes this much more than a fill in issue. This is a great way to bridge the first two story arcs and is a solid read and well worth buying.
The Sovereigns #0
Dynamite Entertainment Writers Ray Fawkes, Kyle Higgins, Chuck Wendig, & Aubrey Sitterson, Artists Johnny Desjardins, Jorge Fornes, Alvaro Sarraseca, Dylan Burnett, Colorists Mona, Chris O’Halloran, & Triona Farrell, Letterer Taylor Esposito
As a fan of the original Gold Key Hero comics from the 1960’s there have been many attempts at reviving them over the years with varied success. Dynamite is taking another stab at them and they kick it off with this preview story that is decent but not sure where it’s going to land. Fawkes writes the prelude story and Desjardins does a nice job with the art that is quite surprising considering Dynamite’s past with so-so artists. Fawkes does a nice job with the set up and what was there was at least interesting and I’m willing to give the first issue a shot. The art is very nice and hopefully Desjardins stays with the book because he brought a lot to the story. All of the other stories are short four page stories that we decent but did give you a little taste of what they are going to look like. The Doctor Spektor was probably my favorite one of the bunch. The Magnus one left me a little cold and being a huge Magnus fan they are really going to have to impress me with the regular series. The rest of the issue is rounded out with interviews with the writers and artwork preview of Sovereigns #1.
Is this book worth your time and money? Well it’s only a buck so while it’s not going to blow you away or anything, it does give you a chance to get a feel of the books that will start next month. None of them are train wrecks but with only four pages it’s hard to make a real judgement at this time. I will at least give the first issues of the books a chance but for this you really can’t go wrong for a buck.
Image Comics Writer and Artist Daniel Warren Johnson, Colorist Mike Spicer, Letterer Rus Wooton
The first issue of this series got off to a solid start and gave you a reason to come back. So how does the book stack up with the second issue? The good news is that Johnson continues things fairly well in this second issue. While there was a little treading water with some of the story he did keep the overall momentum of the story going well. He does do a nice job of filling in the cast for the series and we get to meet some new faces here that add nicely to the story. Where the book continues to shine is with Johnson’s lush and detailed artwork that is really bringing this world to life. He does a great job of balancing the epic scope of this world and yet put just as much into the smaller dramatic elements that is making this book worth reading. While the story is not super original, he is giving it a nice spin that is making feel fresh.
Is this book worth your time and money? There are not a lot of fantasy stories being done right now but Johnson is doing a nice job of creating a fun and unique world that is telling a story that has some nice weight to it. With his gorgeous artwork that complements the story nicely and is moving along at a nice pace. I’m still enjoying it so far and he is giving me good reasons to stick around for more.