Archie: The Married Life – 10th Anniversary #1
Archie Comics Writer Michal Uslan, Penciller Dan Parent, Inker J. Bone, Colorist Glenn Whitmore, Letterer Jack Morelli
For those who are not fans of the new Archie comics or Riverdale will be thrilled to take a trip to the past with this book that features the classic look and feel of the old school Archie comics. Uslan spits the first issue into two parts of the what would happen after ten years of marriage first Veronica then Betty. While neither story is very deep there is a certain chase that Uslan brings to each of them and on that level they work well. The one thing that he does do that benefits the story is that he sets it in the modern world and not the perpetual 1950’s that the books were stuck in for years. He modernizes it but not overly done or obtrusive. Parent brings his classic Archie style to the book and complements the story perfectly.
Is this book worth your time and money? This book is certainly not going to blow you away but that is not what its trying to do. Uslan and Parent have captured the classic Archie formula but have tweaked it just enough to give it a fresh spin but stays true to its roots. If that sounds good to you then you will enjoy this book as I did as a fun comic that is sure to please.
Berserker Unbound #1
Dark Horse Comics Writer Jeff Lemire, Artist Mike Deodato Jr., Colorist Frank Martin, Letterer Steve Wands
This is one of those comics that the first issue sets up the concept of the story but your not totally sold on the story quite yet. The basic fish out of water concept meets Conan is pretty much what you get to start with here and it made for a decent read out of the gate. Lemire script didn’t quite deliver the depth of the character out of the gate as much as I would have liked but he does give you enough to care about him at least and that was a plus for the book. There was more emphasis on the visual aspects of the story such as the fighting a violence but when you have a strong artist such as Deodato Jr. that makes total sense that you use that to your advantage. Deodato Jr. certainly make the book pop visually and this is where the book is helped out with the thin story in this first chapter. While the action scenes are visually impressive, it was the more dramatic moments in the story where his artwork was really impressive.
Is this book worth your time and money? I’ll be really honest here and say that I was hoping for a much stronger first issue than what I read here. This is not to say that the book is bad but there is just not enough story that made it a hugely satisfying first issue. Knowing both creators there is easily enough reason to give the book a few more issues to see where they take the story but just know going in to this one is knowing that.
The Island of Dr. Moreau #1
IDW Writers Ted Adams & Gabriel Rodríguez, Artist Gabriel Rodríguez, Colorist Nelson Dániel, Letterer Robbie Robbins
Let’s be really honest here in that your going to buy this book for the gorgeous Rodríguez artwork on this comic and the question is if the story is going to match up to its level. The story follows the basic premiss of the H.G. Wells novel with the only major change of the shipwrecked on the island from male to female that didn’t seem to change it much. The biggest issue that I had with the script was that Montgomery keeps using the work ass that just comes off totally the wrong way after a few times of it. They follow the set up of the novel pretty well in this first issue and you will get the basic story pretty well here. Now we get to the main reason that we all bought this book and there is no doubt that Rodríguez brings his A game to this book. The level of detail that he puts into ever panel is truly impressive. His artwork here reminded me a bit of Joe Kubert Tarzan in the level of detail and scope that Rodríguez brings to this story is impressive.
Is this book worth your time and money? While I haven’t read the original novel so long ago that I honestly can’t say how faithful this adaptation is, but I can say that it’s better than the two films based on it are. The question is that if your not a fan of science fiction stories then this might not be the best comic for you but if your a fan of H.G. Wells then this is a visually delicious comic that will surely please.
Sinestro: Year of the Villain #1
DC Comics Writer Mark Russell, Artist Yidiray Cinar, Additional Inks Julio Ferreira, Colorist Hi-Fi, Letterer Steve Wands
Another year and another big event from DC and this round is Year of the Villain and while I usually steer clear of that majority of these overstuffed fiestas but this one I gave a chance to because of Russell’s writing and I must say that this is one of the most satisfying event special that I have read in quite a long time. First and foremost this story stands on its own and that is a very rare thing. The other is that the story doesn’t feel as if it was written by a committee but definitely feels like what you would expect Russell to write. The best elements of the script is how smart this story is and how it captures the not often seen side of a villain. While he is not necessarily being evil he is however following the plans of the villains. We also see that he has his own agenda that may or may not work to his advantage that really makes this story work so well. What Russell delivers in the script is great emotions that you rarely find in mainstream comics let alone event ones and that makes this that much more impressive. Cinar’s artwork is quite nice here and while not overly flashy that actually helps the story because he does a great job of capturing the drama of Russell’s script very nicely here while still delivering the big battle scenes.
Is this book worth your time and money? This is a really great read and a big surprise. While I’m a huge fan of Russell’s writing, I was still apprehensive about this one because I figures that he would not be able to tell his story and yet that is what exactly happened here and that is why it’s a big win this week. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Coffin Bound #1
Image Comics Writer Dan Watters, Artist Dani, Colorist Brad Simpson, Letterer Aditya Bidikar
I get when a concept is out there and tell a story is a more non linear way but you do need to have at least some character that you care for to walk you though it but sadly this comic is simply a mess and is all over the place. Watters basically just starts flinging crap at the wall and being if any of sticks and not only does nothing really land there is no reason to care about Izzy at all. The “story” is pretty much just random ideas that don’t connect well at all and by the time you get to the end of the issue you don’t have a clue of what you just read or for that matter even really care anymore. Dani’s artwork on the book is the only thing that book has going for it and even he was only able to do so much with it. Visually there are some interesting things but it can’t save this mess.
Is this book worth your time and money? There may be more to this book than this first issue but it’s such a train wreck of a story that it’s simply not worth wasting anymore time on this one. SKIP IT!
Sea of Stars #2
Image Comics Writers Jason Aaron & Dennis Hallum, Artist Stephen Green, Colorist Rico Renzi, Letter Jared K. Fletcher
I was really impressed by the first issue and glad to see that this second issue builds nicely on that. I like the slow burn approach that Aaron and Hallum are taking and it’s really allowing the story and the characters to breath and get to know them and this world. The other impressive thing is how they are keeping the dialogue simple and allowing Green to tell a lot o the story through the artwork. This is keeping the story both simple and focused and moving forward nicely. They also continue to give you a reason to care about the characters and that is the really strongest aspect of the story is that you feel all of the emotions with them as they are trying to not only survive but to find each other. Green does a great job on bringing this story to life because he is really capturing the emotions of the story perfectly with the artwork.
Is this book worth your time and money? I’m really enjoying this comic and this second outing gives a strong indication that there is much more to come with the story and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds. VERY RECOMMENDED!
Dick Tracy Forever #4
IDW Writer and Artist Michael Avon Oeming, Colorist Taki Soma, Letterer Shawn Lee
The final chapter in this wonderful mini series reveals the connections to the other chapters and I must say that Oeming has really impressed me with this story. It takes a lot of guts to not only try to capture such an iconic character but to be able to update him without losing any of the charm of the original but to deliver a story that is relevant today is simply amazing. While each chapter worked well on its’ own but once you read this issue all of the pieces of the puzzle fits perfectly into place and the flood of those stories comes back to you. Not only was the story great but his artwork that captured the comic strip/noir style is where this book really came together. It the perfect marriage of artwork and story that you don’t see often in comic and that it based on such a classic character is even more reason to be impressed. His clean line work and layouts are very impressive here.
Is this book worth your time and money? If you haven’t read this series yet I highly recommend picking up the trade of it when it comes out because your really in for a treat with this series. Oeming along with Soma and Lee have delivered one of the best comics of the year and you will savor every moment while your reading it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Lois Lane #2
DC Comics Writer Greg Rucka, Artist Mike Perkins, Colorist Paul Mounts, Letterer Simon Bowland
If you thought the first issue of this book was great then you’ll be happy to know that this second one is even better. Rucka is a great writer but he has such a knack for writing female characters and it really shines here. This story is a great mystery novel with lots of wonderful layering to the story that has great twist and turns but also delivers a deep and satisfying story that is even more impressive that were only in the second issue of twelve. I also love that he is using the Question that is such a great character and fits so well into this story. It’s amazing that the story is dense but flows so well that keeps you on the edge of your seat while your reading it that is very rare in mainstream comics today. The other big win for this comic is Perkins artwork that captures the moody noir of the story and where it really shines is with the characters facial expressions that captures all of the subtle story elements in Rucka’s script. It also helps having a strong colorist like Mounts to complement Perkins line work that adds greatly to the mood of the story.
Is this book worth your time and money? With only two issues in it possible that this might just be one of the best comics of the year. Rucka delivers a gripping drama story here and has such great strong female characters that is sorely missing from the mainstream that is making this book so great. This has become a truly must read comic every month! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Green Lantern #10
DC Comics Writer Grant Morrison, Artist Liam Sharp, Colorist Steve Oliff, Letterer Tom Orzechowski
How do you continue to praise a comic that you have loved so much and that is the dilemma that I have with every new issue of Green Lantern by Morrison and Sharp. This story is so much fun because they get to play with Green Lanterns from different Multiverses and each one has their own wit and charm that adds even more to this story. Morrison has crafted such a deep story here but is exceptionally accessible to the mainstream audience that has been very impressive and you rarely get both with superhero comics today. One of the great things that Morrison is able to do is juggle so many characters at once and yet the reader never feels overwhelmed or lost within the story. It’s one thing to have a great story but you need an artist to bring it to life and Sharp is simply firing on all cylinders with this book. One of the impressive things this issue is how he gives each of the Lanterns a distinctive look with the style of art that is simply genus and he carries that out throughout the entire issue that is very subtle and doesn’t draw attention to itself. The love and care that Sharp infuses into to every inch of each panel it’s hard to believe that he is able to do this on a monthly schedule and it really shows his commitment to this book.
Is this book worth your time and money? This first part of this story sets things up so well that by the time you get finished with the issue your going to be struggling with the fact that you have to wait 30 days to find out how it ends and that is what separates this comic from the rest. Each month Morrison and Sharp are delivering a comic that rises so far above the standard superhero fare that nearly takes the medium to another level. Comics don’t get much better than this! HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!