Welcome back to this weeks new comic book reviews. It’s a bit of a smaller week but as usual there are still lots of comics to choose from. I also do a bit of catch up reviews that I have been wantingSo let’s get started shall we.
Aftershock Comics Writer Ryan Parrott, Artist Omar Francia, Letterer Marshall Dillon
On the surface the concept of this book is pretty familiar but Parrott gives it an interesting spin and twists that gets the book off to an interesting start. What made this first issue interesting is that he sets up the whole robots are going to take over the world from the humans and then that is where he throws that theory out the window and where the story really starts. While I can’t say that even the twist is super original and that does keep this first issue from being a surprise but Parrott does give it enough to get things off well and sets up things nicely for the second issue. While I wasn’t quite able to totally shake the familiar story tropes that are littered in the story there is enough here to at lest see if he is able to take the book in a more original way from here. It’s not to say that this first issue was not enjoyable because it was but it’s going to hinge on how he builds it out from here. The one thing that the book does very well is the artwork from Francia that really makes this book pop and gives it a great push. Whats most impressive is the level of detail that he put into every panel that gives the world such a rich and detailed look that is amazing and is an artist to watch for sure.
Is this book worth your time and money? I liked this book but didn’t love it but it certainly shows promise. Parrott may have used a fair amount of familiar tropes with the script but he did give it enough twist to get it off to a good start. The key is going to be the second issue and where it goes from here. The big win for this book is Francia’s gorgeous artwork that really helps this book stand out from the crowd of comics on the shelves. I would say give this book a shot if you’re looking for something in the science fiction vein.
DC Comics/Jinxworld Writer Brian Michael Bendis, Artist Michael Gaydos, Letterer Joshua Reed
The first of the creator owned comics that Bendis brings to the DC Comics fold gets off to an interesting start. One thing that Bendis does with a lot of his stories is more of long-term story meaning that single issues sometimes are tough to read a single chapter and not be able to read it as a whole. Pearl is one of those types of stories that has a lot going on in this first issue but you’re not totally sure as to what the heck is going on. In this case this first chapter does set a lot up but you only see the puzzle pieces but not the full picture yet. With that being said there is a lot to like here and the big win for the book is the way that he writes Pearl is quite impressive conceding that there is not a lot of dialogue in this first issue. The story has more of an etherial quality to it and that has a lot to do with Gaydos artwork that gives the book a unique look and feel that is hard to describe. What gives it such great visuals is the way that he is able to capture the realistic look of the characters but also his use of the color schemes that he used to capture the mood of the scenes is exceptionally impressive. It has a photorealistic look but at the same time a great comic book feel that all blends together so well. As an added bonus the first issue reprints Bendis and Gaydos first DC work of a Batman Elseworlds story Citizen Wayne that is a very nice addition to the book.
Is this book worth your time and money? There is a lot going on here but at the same time you’re not quite sure what it all means so far. With that being said there is a lot to like here and some interesting story ideas but be forewarned that this first outing has more questions than answers. I like this book and looking forward to see where they take it from here. Worth checking out for sure.
Image Comics Writer Christopher Sebela, Penciller Ro Stein, Inker Ted Brandt, Colorist Triona Farrell
Crowded is one of those comics that has a great idea but somewhere in the execution the book never quite comes together and Crowded is one of them. The problem with Sebela script is that the premise isn’t fully fleshed out and that makes for a very disjointed read. The other problem is that you never really connect with the main characters and therefore kind of don’t end up caring what happens to them. While Sebela might have a great idea here with only this first issue in front of me to judge I have to say that there is not enough here to for me to go forward. It’s one thing to not reveal the entire story up front but to not even really explain your main concept is not the most optimum way to start your story off with. The other issue is that there was nothing that I hadn’t quite seen before with the whole I don’t know why somebody would want me dead trope that really never gets flesh out beyond the basics here. I did like Stein and Brandt’s artwork on the book and while there were a few inconsistencies and some minor perspective issues the art did have a neat look and feel that tried to help the story along but was only able to do so much here. I wish that they had put a bit more of an effort into the backgrounds on the book also.
Is this book worth your time and money? I can forgive the basic story tropes that one would use to inspire a comic but sadly Sebela misses the mark here with a disjointed and lacking character development that made for a confusing read that gives you little reason to come back for more. This sadly was a disappoint read this week. SKIP IT!
Archie Meets Batman ’66 #2
Archie Comics/DC Comics Writers Jeff Parker and Michael Moreci, Penciller Dan Parent, Inker J. Bone, Colorist Kelly Fitzpatrick, Letterer Jack Morelli
The first issue of this crossover was a nice little fun romp that is simply fun. What makes this crossover so charming is that it doesn’t try to be more than it is meaning, that it’s a very simple story that has fun with both of the worlds but is firmly planted in the Archie Universe. Parker and Moreci keeps the story moving along at a nice pace and keep adding characters to the mix that adds to the joy and charm of the book. What is making is work so well is that the two universes are so different and yet Parker and Moreci have found a way that makes them blend together so well that is really surprising but impressive at the same time. Parent and Bone are the perfect choices for the artwork on this book because the are able to capture the Archie world easily but are able to make the Batman ’66 characters resemble the actor counterparts but in the Archie style that is very impressive even down to the Cesar Romero mustache.
Is this book worth your time and money? If you’re looking for a deep story here then you have come to the wrong place but what you do get is a simple and fun story that loads of charm and is perfect for both young and old. If you’re a fan of both then its well worth getting. RECOMMENDED!
The Weather Man #3
Image Comics Writer Jody Leheup, Artist Nathan Fox, Colorist Dave Stewart, Letterer Steve Wands
This book has been a wild ride with each issue taking it into a new direction but staying the course with the story. This third outing continues to take risks with the story and Leheup has a way of keeping the readers on their toes with the zig and zag that he takes with it. One of the more interesting story ideas is are we who we are because of our past or can it be actually taken away and replaced with something new. The way that he plays Nathan is were not sure of who or what he is and is Ian still inside him or just in his removed memories. There are a lot of moral questions that this story brings up and that is where it’s working so well. He is blending both the past and the present and mixes it all together into something were not quite sure of what it is. The other interesting aspect of the story is Cross and how she has pre conceived notions of who Nathan/Ian is but at this point she is unwilling to see either side and is making for some great friction between them while their on the run. This issue has a really spectacular car chase scene that will keep you on the edge of your seat to see how it all ends. The artwork by Fox is really great and this issues action shows that he is able to handle the big story elements with ease but for me its the more subdued moments of drama where artistic skills really come into play. He also has a great knack for humor and those moments are quite enjoyable.
Is this book worth your time and money? Rarely does a book that throws a lot out at the reader tends to be a bit on the overwhelming side and sometimes The Weather Man gets a little too close to that but Leheup has a way of holding it all together even when it should be falling apart but it’s the strong characters that keep the story anchored and on track and with Fox’s great artwork this is becoming quite the wild ride. RECOMMENDED!
Gideon Falls #5 and #6
Image Comics Writer Jeff Lemire, Artist Andrea Sorrentino, Colorist Dave Stewart, Letterer Steve Wands
I’m playing a bit of catch up with both the new and previous issue of this amazing series that culminates in the end of the first storyline that make this book better each issue. While Lemire is still keeping some story elements hidden for now, we do start to see a lot of the plot elements come into clearer focus in these two issue. I have a theory of where and who Clara’s brother is but wont spoil it for you. What I love about this book is the way that Lemire is unfolding it and how it washes over you and yet leaves you thinking about it long after you have read the issue. It’s the characters that really ground this story so that when all hell is breaking loose you are able to feel for them and what is going on. The other element that is making the book so damn good is the parallel story of Norton and Angie and how they now have the mythology of the Barn in common and trying to figure out what it all means. Sorrentino really outdoes himself with these two issue with some brilliant layouts and mood that just seeps off of the page into your brain and no matter how wild the visuals get he makes sure that the characters never get lost in it. It’s the visual emotions of the characters that is driving this story and Sorrentino is hitting the bullseye with every panel and is making this book a real visual treat with each passing issue.
Is this book worth your time and money? This first chapter of the story might be over but there is certainly much more to come and its both satisfying and frustrating because we have to wait till October for the next issue. This is a comic that is a must read and is creepy in an unnerving way that a good horror comic should do. Lemire and Sorrentino are crafting a really solid comic here that just keeps getting better and better. I simply cant wait to see where they take us with the next chapter. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Death or Glory #4
Image Comics Writer Rick Remender, Artist Bengal, Letterer Rus Wooton
This issue of the story may not reveal a lot of plot to the overall story but it certainly was one hell of a ride with a great action that will blow you away. There are a few story elements that Remender sneaks into the action but it was nice to get back to a full throttle ride with this issue. What has been working so well for this book is that no matter how crazy things get it’s the heart and soul of Glory that keeps this book on track. It’s the nice subtle moments in the script that made this issue work and not just the action that is certainly impressive but its the underlying emotions that make this book a real charmer. The real win in this issue is Bengal that shows how action in a comic can and should be done. This is one of those rare times where you can nearly smell the exhaust and burnt rubber of the car chase because he captures it so amazingly well that makes you feel it. He is really making this book special and each panel is filled with detail with every line is carefully crafted to be perfect.
Is this book worth your time and money? This book continues to impress and this issue is one hell of a ride. There is a lot of subtle plot elements peppered into the action and Remender and Bengal are delivering a solid reading experience that will keep you coming back for more. VERY RECOMMENDED!
Royal City #12 and #13
Image Comics Writer and Artist Jeff Lemire, Letterer Steve Wands
Were in the final leg of this story and these two issues not only reveal a lot of where the story has been leading up to but the end of issue #13 is not what you expect and we find out what happens to Tommy and yet there are still questions to be answered. There is so much richness to this story that Lemire has crafted and all of those elements are coming together and the flood of memories from the story leading up to this point start to filter back into you and things that didn’t seem important at the time now reveal just how key to the overall story they were. I know that Lemire doesn’t think of this story as a “slice of life” type of story but as much as it is, it’s also not at the same time. I think what I have loved so much about this story is how relatable the characters are and how there are little pieces of each one of them in you. It shows how imperfect that we are and yet we still need family whether you like it or not. It also shows that those who are not longer with us in this world can still have a strong influence on us in life and they can sometimes be that voice inside our head. Where this book really comes together for me is with Lemire’s artwork that has a great emotional core that captures all of the raw emotions of the story perfectly. Not only with his line work but with his choices of water-color that make the story that much more impactful.
Is this book worth your time and money? This has been a comic that has been a real pleasure to read each month and I cant wait to see where it finally land with the final issue. It’s been a real emotional feel that has washed over you with each issue and it’s not only a book that is working each issue but it’s one that you will want to go back and re-read again once it’s finished. It’s the subtle and touching elements that is making this a truly must read comic. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!