As we come to the end of DC’s Convergence and now the Marvel’s Secret Wars flooding of the shelves there are thankfully many other great books from other comic publishers that make up for the event fatigue.
Mad Max Fury Road: Nux & Immortal Joe #1
Vertigo Comics Story George Miller, Script Nico Lathouris & Mark Sexton, Artists Mark Sexton/Leandro Fernandez/Riccardo Burchielli/Andrea Mutti, Colorist Michael Spicer, Letterer Clem Robins
I didn’t review this last week because I had yet to see Mad Max Fury Road and I am so glad that I didn’t read it. To fully appreciate this and the other upcoming prequel comics I highly recommend that you see the film before you read the comics. This first issue is the back story on Nux and Immortal Joe and how they both ended up at the citadel. Director George Miller provides the story for the comic and keeps the tone of the film intact. The Nux story is pretty straight forward and nice but nothing amazing but a nice read and gives a little more insight to his character but in the bigger picture you could leave it and not miss anything. The real meat of the book is how Immortal Joe came to power at the citadel. Lathouris and Sexton really flesh out the story behind Immortal Joe and after reading the book is a very nice companion story to the movie. I am really impressed with the writing on the book because it is very difficult to capture the high bar that Miller has set with the film and they bring the same scope and tone to this story. The art is split up between the four artists and they all bring the world of Fury Road to life and visually they do a great job of taking you to the same feeling that you have watching the film. It’s very obvious that the writers and the artist had seen the film before they worked on the book and they really capture it better than most comic adaption.
Is this book worth your time and money? If you are a fan of Mad Max Fury Road then you will definitely want to pick this book up. It gives very good back story on the characters from the film and while the Nux story was not most amazing story, they are both very good. It’s a rare treat when you are able to expand a film into the comics medium and tell stories that are outside the film but are still part of the overall scope of the story. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have the Director and Writer of the film involved with the comic either. The book was very much worth the $4.99 cover price and I can not wait to read the other titles that are coming out soon. VERY RECOMMENDED!
Fight Club 2 #1
Dark Horse Comics Writer Chuck Palahniuk, Artist Cameron Stewart, Colorist Dave Stewart, Letterer Nate Piekos
Most people are going to be like me and have never read the original Fight Club novel but are fans of the film adaptation of it. I am a huge fan of the film and went to see it on opening day and got what they were going for right away and the film blew me away on many levels. Peoples reactions to the film are very extreme and this new story is going to be no different. The scripts narrative tends to jump around and is constantly throwing you off guard and your never quite sure what to think of it. Palahniuk does this very much on purpose and the first issue will leave you at times scratching you head and wondering what the hell just happened. But I actually liked that because you can see that he is going for the long haul with the script and things will become more clear or confusing as it goes along. While on the surface the characters have not evolved but they have in a subtle way. This is one of those stories that things are not always as they seem and what may seem to mean one thing they actually might lead to another. Stewart is a perfect choice for the artwork on the book. He is able to vary the artwork depending on the script. There are times where the art is very straight forward and tame and then he is able to smack you in the face in the next panel. I was very impressed with his use of mixed media and catching you off guard with the layouts and oddness of the story to his advantage.
Is this book worth your time and money? This book is really hard to review because the first issue is just the beginning of the story and you can tell that it will all come together as the story goes along. I did enjoy the first issue but might just wait to read the book in one sitting. I’m guessing that will serve the story better in the end. Some stories don’t work well as monthly comics and this might just be one of them. If you are willing to see the bigger picture of the story I think the book gets off to a very solid start. RECOMMENDED!
The Infinite Loop #2
IDW Writer & Letterer Pierrick Colinet, Artist & Colorist Elsa Charretier
The first issue of this title had some interesting ideas but was kind of all over the place story wise. I was hoping that the second issue would correct some of these problems but alas the book really went downhill with the second issue. The biggest problem with the book is that Colinet script lacks focus and narrative. Once again there are some interesting ideas but the book is so bogged down by extraneous dialog and exposition that it just drones on and on. Colinet seems to be trying too hard to get the point across and yet he spends panel after panel without adding too much more information to the story and pushing it forward. I like Charretier’s style but there are just too many times where there is a noticeable lack of backgrounds that it took me out of the story a few times. Overall I do like her artwork and there is some really striking visuals that help the story along more than it should have to.
Is this book worth your time and money? There is a lot of potential to this story but this second issue is so over stuffed with exposition and dialog that drown any of the good ideas. In the end I was just board reading the book. It’s not like the story is slow or hard to follow it just plods along and by the end I could have cared less about the characters or what was going on. SKIP IT!
Surface Tension #1
Titan Comics Writer and Artist Jay Gunn, Letter Jimmy Betancourt & Albert Deschesne
I almost didn’t pick this book up this week but I flipped through the book at my local comic shop and was impressed with the artwork. Boy am I glad that I did because this book really impressed me. Gunn’s story starts off rather simply and the basic plot is one you have read before. The key is that you just have to make your version interesting and he does a nice job on that. He mixes a number of genres here quite nicely and while some might find the environmental theme a bit preachy I think that he worked it into the story quite nicely. Some might say that there is not enough characterization of the towns people, but while I can see their point Gunn wisely centered on the situation of the story and folded in the characters that the story needed to move forward. He does a very nice job of blending both the science fiction and horror elements that never allows either to overwhelm the story. Gunn is quite the artist and visually the book is very impressive. The detail that he puts into the artwork is amazing. He is able to capture such subtle emotions on the characters and yet give the book a very large scope at the same time. This book is a real visual feast.
Is this book worth your time and money? I really enjoyed this book and has me very much looking forward to where Gunn is going to take the story. I was impressed with the story elements and genres that he blends into the book. He took a very tried and true story and adds a very nice new spin on it. The artwork is gorgeous and is worth buying the book for along. Thankfully there is a really solid story to make this a great read. VERY RECOMMENDED!
Sons of the Devil #1
Image Comics Writer Brian Buccellato, Artist & Colorist Toni Infante, Letterer Troy Peteri
Buccellato has made a very nice transition from artist to writer and his new book gets off to a solid start. The first issue does suffer a bit from the exposition blues, but with that being said there is a lot of nice elements that are set up in the first issue. I would have like a bit more going on in this first issue because I like the issue but didn’t quite fall in love with it. I can see the direction that he is heading in and the next couple of issue are going to be the make it or break it for the series. He did do a nice job of setting up Travis as a character and while I had some reservations about the book I will give Buccellato that he spent the time letting the readers get to know him that is sometimes forgotten in a lot of books today. Infante’s art brings the story to life with some very nice artwork. I like the feel of the art and really brings a great visual tone that the book needed. I really liked his color work and how he used color to get subtle emotions across to the reader that some may only get subconsciously.
Is this book worth your time and money? The book got off to a bit slower start than I would have liked there is a lot of promise to the book. Buccellato does some nice set up to the concepts for the series in the first issue but it didn’t quite grab me. Infante’s art pushes the book along very nicely and overall there is more good than bad. If Buccellato can deliver the promise that he starts in this first issue in the next few issues this could be a really strong book. It’s worth checking out if you like the horror/thriller genre.
Where Monsters Dwell #1
Marvel Comics Writer Garth Ennis, Artist Russ Braun, Colorist Dono Sanchez Almara, Letterer Rob Steen
I have no idea how this fits into the whole Secret Wars thing but I don’t really care because this book makes up for have to try to read the first two issues of the Secret Wars train wreck. The best thing about this book is that it seems to have absolutely nothing to do with Secret Wars and is probably why it’s so good. This is a good old fashion lost in time with dinosaurs set in a 194oish era that is an absolute blast to read. Ennis has a lot of fun with the story here and mixes in just the right amount of adventure/humor/action to make this a really solid read. Ennis sets up Karl as the lovable goofball that is a nice mix of snake oil salesman and buffoon that is a formula that make his character work so well in the story. Braun is the perfect artist for this book and blend just the right amount of old school art style that is nice to see in a modern comic. His clean style is one of the reasons that the book works so well. It’s very impressive that he is able to handle so many things so well. From the characters, plane, and of course beautiful dinosaurs is not an easy feat for an artist let alone make is all work so seamlessly. This is a great looking book.
Is this worth your time and money? If there is only one good thing that has come out of Secret Wars and that is this book. This was a really fun and solid read this week and add in Braun’s wonderful and beautiful artwork makes this book stand far and above all of the other Secret Wars tie in book. One of the best book I read this week. VERY RECOMMENDED!
DC Comics Writer Jeff Parker, Artist Evan “Doc” Shaner, Colorist Jordie Bellaire, Letterer Saida Temofonte
I have saved the best for last and is one of only 2 Convergence books that were the cream of the crop of the Convergence books (the other being Swamp Thing). Parker and Shaner should be applauded for bringing back the “real” Captain Marvel (no disrespect to Grant Morrison who also did a great job on the Big Red Cheese). Not only did they get what Shazam is all about they also weaved in the Gotham by Gaslight Batman into a truly satisfying superhero tale that shows what happens when you let creators be creative. Parker blends together the two very different worlds that most other writers would not take the time and effort to make sure that it all works perfectly. The thing that really impressed me was that he was able to keep both tones of each universe and still make the story work is a real testament to Parker’s writing skills. Not only is this a great trip down memory lane but just shows what a great character Captain Marvel is and if given the proper talent could be one of DC strongest books. In the end a great script will only get you so far with a comic book and you need a great artist to bring the script to life. I can not say enough about Shaner’s artwork on this book. The first issue was impressive but this second issue simply blew me away because he was able to draw two different styles in one book. He gave the Fawcett characters and their universe the classic C.C. Beck style and yet sometimes in the same panel have the Gotham By Gaslight universe in its own style. I have rarely seen an artist do this and to be able to keep track of it with in a story is simply breath-taking. Simply put DC needs to give Parker and Shaner any book they want to do now. Although having them do a Shazam ongoing book would be a gift from the comic book gods themselves.
Is this book worth your time and money? There are few superhero books anymore that truly impress me. This book simply knocked my socks off and along with Swamp Thing Convergence book were some of the most impressive books that I have read from DC in years. This is the kind of book that DC needs to do. Give a book to creators who care about creating a great book and this is what you can get. This is the book of the week and my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!