Sacred Creatures #1
Image Comics Writers Pablo Raimondi & Klaus Janson, Artist Pablo Raimondi, Colorist Chris Chuckry, Letterer Tom Orzechowski
This double sized debut from Raimondi and Janson has lots of twist and turns for a first issue that there is both good and not so good things with it. The script has a lot of interesting ideas thrown around but one of the things that the book suffers from is a lack of focus. One of the problems is that when you do time shifting around in a story you have to be very careful that you don’t lose the reader and unfortunately for Raimondi and Janson they simply jumped around way too much. There were a number of times where you simply are not sure what and when you are in the story that did make the reading experience confusing. Now that is not to say that the story is bad because I do think that there are a lot of very interesting ideas thrown around in the story but it probably would have come together better with a more linear approach to the story. There were also a few times where the dialog got pretty thick in places that slowed down the story that added to a little frustration while reading it. I will give them that there are some really great ideas in the story and even with the confusion at times there is a lot of promise to the book even with its flaws in the structure. Where the book does shine brightly is with Raimondi’s artwork that is simply gorgeous and does keep the story moving along visually that help try to prop up the story many times. One thing that was quite impressive with the art was the way that he visually captures the downward spiral of Josh where he subtlety drains him as the story goes along. The artwork alone give the book worth a look.
Is this book worth your time and money? Overall the book is a mixed bag and while the story is a bit disjointed and bogged down with exposition there are some good ideas to be had in the story if you look. There is enough here to give the book a shot for a second issue to see if the script will fall into place after it stumbled in this first outing. The artwork alone is almost worth the price of admission here but not enough to full save it. If your willing to forgive the structure of the first issue you might want to give the book a try to see if they can pull it all together in the next issue.
Green Hornet ’66 Meets The Spirit #1
Dynamite Entertainment Writer Fred Van Lente, Artist & Colorist Bob Q, Letterer Travis Lanham
There have been a ton of crossover events lately and Dynamite has had their fair share to the pile. While the Green Hornet comics from Dynamite have never really caught my fancy, The Spirit has had a good run of new books lately so I was intrigued to see where this team up would land. I have to give Van Lente props for coming up with a snappy little story that gets the series off to a fun start and wisely doesn’t waste time on going into their origins and just hits the ground running. As with most crossovers the story isn’t going to go super deep and Van Lente keeps it simple and sweet and doesn’t bog the story down with extraneous dialog or exposition but gets the story off to a strong start and sets things up nicely for the run. Bob Q does a very nice job with the artwork on the book and is a huge improvement over the usual so-so artwork that plagues a lot of Dynamite books. It has a bit of a cartoony style but that plays well into Van Lente’s script for the book. He also captures the noir mood when needed that gives a nice balance to the art.
Is this book worth your time and money? I had fun with the first issue and while this is not going to blow you away, the book doesn’t try to be more than it sets out to be. Van Lente gets the book off on solid footing and Bob Q’s artwork give the book a nice visual style that seals the deal. If you’re a fan of the Green Hornet or The Spirit this book is going to please you. If you’re not familiar with them then I still think that the book could be enjoyable but you might not fully know the characters but that should be to big of a problem. It’s well worth buying this week.
DC Comics Writer Tom King, Artist Mikel Janin, Colorist June Chung, Letterer Clayton Cowles
The first chapter of the War of Jokes & Riddles got off to a very strong start and the second chapter keeps the momentum going quite nicely. King takes a nice slow burn approach to the story that is building a lot of great tension with the coming war to Gotham. The most interesting aspect of the story is that Batman barley in the story and that is what is making this story so intriguing. King is allowing the story to breath without trying to shoehorn clichés and tired story tropes to try to please everyone and that usually satisfies no one. The question so far is if Batman can even stop the coming war and that is the question that the story asks and is the most intriguing one. The best asset to the story is his portrayal of the Riddle in the story that is a really refreshing take on the character. There is little that has been done with the character over the years and King is really giving him a strong story in this arc that is probably the best part of the story. The scene with him an Ivy is one of the best and subtle villain scenes that I have read in quite a while and it was very impressive. What is making this story work so well is the artwork of Janin who has crafted a brilliantly perfect look and style to this story that is making it work so well. The level of detail that he captures in every line is a marvel to look and take it all in. The emotions that the script calls for are perfectly captured by Janin and he pushes the layouts to build a look that is simply amazing.
Is this book worth your time and money? King and Janin are crafting a unique and exciting Batman story that continues to impress. The natural unfolding of the story and the new take on Riddler make this one of the best Batman stories to hit the regular Batman series in a while. The gorgeous artwork of Janin is one reason that this story arc is working so well and is a perfect balance of story and art coming together for a perfect match. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Unholy Grail #1
Aftershock Comics Writer Cullen Bunn, Artist Mirko Colak, Colorist Maria Santaolalla, Letterer Simon Bowland
Retelling the King Arthur tail can be very tricky and not turn out well as we saw with the big budget bomb from Warner Bros. recently. The good news of this comic book take is a better idea and takes so nice twists and turns to the well-known legend. Bunn sets up the story nicely in this first issue and lays the groundwork for the overall story. He wisely puts focus on the Merlin angle of the story and turns it into a bit of a horror story that gives the book a fresh feel to a story that has been redone so many times. This first issue is pretty much exposition and Bunn tries to keep things moving along as best you can with a set up story. What really helps the book is the great artwork by Colak that delivers great detail to the story and while there is a heavy George Perez influence he does a very nice job on the facial expression of the characters that help sell the story.
Is this book worth your time and money? The book is off to a good start and it will be interesting where Bunn takes the story from here. I’m a sucker for King Arthur stories and this one is at least a fresh take on the tale. Colak delivers some very nice artwork and can’t wait to see when he gets some bigger action scenes because he does a nice job on the dramatic ones so far. I enjoyed the first issue and will give the book a shot to see where they take it but so far so good.
Rock Candy Mountain #4
Image Comics Writer and Artist Kyle Starks, Colorist Chris Schweizer
Rarely does a book continue to be solid and surprising as it goes along but Starks Rock Candy Mountain continues to not only impress but surprises me with the way the story is unfolding in ways that I never expected and that is why this book is such a great read. Each issue of this book just keeps getting better than the last one and this might be my favorite story so far. The humor that Starks weaves into the story is what I love about this book. The way that he is able to weave the story is directions that you never expect but fall so perfectly into place makes reading each story sheer joy. With all of the adventures so far the thing that the book does so well is having it’s heart in the right place. Jackson is a complex and mysterious characters and yet you know that deep down he really cares about Slim and is the only person that he has ever really let into his life and that is really where the heart of the story lies. The story just flows so well and you really get absorbed into it. I love Starks artwork on the book that is simple and charming and yet has a level of detail that subtly seeps into you while your reading the book and takes you perfectly into this world. I have to mention the great color work by Schweizer that really brings Starks line work a perfect balance and tone to the book. A great example is the color work on the prison attack on Jackson that captures the mood wonderfully.
Is this book worth your time and money. I have been really enjoying this book but this issue really seals the deal and made me simply fall in love with it. The story is so well done that you wonder how hard it’s going to be to wait a month for the next issue. This is a story that continues to surprise and impress with great artwork that is a must read comic each issue. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Savage Things #5
Vertigo Comics Writer Justin Jordan, Artist Ibrahim Moustafa, Colorist Jordan Boyd, Letterer Josh Reed
The first book that I reviewed this week struggled with the time shifting with the story but in Savage Things Jordan shows how not only to time shift well but make it work in the stories favor. Each issue of the book moves at a very brisk pace and jumps you right back into the action and intrigue of the story. Jordan is doing a great job with unfolding the story with both the past and present and how it’s all blending together so well. While each issue has been a quick read there is so much to digest after your done that really sticks with you and makes you think about the story that is not something that happens in many comics today. Moustafa continues to deliver great artwork on the book and always does a great job on capturing the emotions of the story. It’s the drama of the story that he brings to life in every panel is another strong plus for this book.
Is this book worth your time and money? While the book may not be flashy on the surface what is making it so good is that it doesn’t try to overplay itself. Jordan is keeping the story close to the vest and unfolding it nicely each issue. Moustafa is bringing it to life with great visual emotion that gives it the reason that it’s working so well. This book is a well oiled machine and continues to be a great read each month and is still RECOMMENDED!