Archive | Comics

Fluorescent Black Graphic Novel Review

Posted on October 22, 2010 by

A visceral ride through a bio-punk future where life is cheap and death is the only way out. Welcome to 2085, the year of the rabbit. Fluorescent Black takes the reader into the hard-hitting dark future of South East Asia where gene-tech has divided humankind into two races: the rich, healthy Superiors and the sick, crazy Inferiors. These two races live in neighboring cities separated by a heavily fortified border. A superior named Nina is the test model for cutting edge genetic designs. She is a paragon of physical and mental health: her brain and body represent billions of dollars worth of corporate research and development. During a bio-terrorist attack, Nina is kidnapped by a street gang and taken across the border into a ghetto full of man-made splice animals, psychopathic hookers, drug addled freaks, deadly insects, poisonous ecosystems, and abandoned tenements. When the corporations tighten their dragnet, the gang quickly discovers that this is no ordinary captive… but she may be the key to solving all of their problems.

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Macabre Massachusetts No. 1 Comic Review

Posted on October 7, 2010 by

For the most part this is a nice looking black and white comic. I enjoyed how the dream sequences were not inked to set them apart it gave them a nice hazy feeling, a cool touch. The characters are very consistent from panel to panel and have a fun look to them. My only downside was that at times they seemed to be a little flat due to shading. However it doesn’t take away from the whole. A nice job overall and one creepy looking sea monster towards the end.

The tag line across the cover sums this one up “It’s a B movie in a comic book!” Cheesy dialogue on top of a descent storyline make this one interesting. What kind of got to me were the rushed scenes where I would have liked more explanation. I think the character for a first issue could have used a little more depth to them. What did work well here was a great idea overall that leads me to want to read more to find out what happens next.

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alanajoli

Angelus #3 Comic Review

Posted on October 1, 2010 by

When I last saw Danielle Baptiste, she’d just been chosen as the host of the Angelus — and rumor was that she was moving out west with friend (and potential lover), Finch. We’re now three issues in to her new story, told by Witchblade writer Marz and accompanied by Sejic’s usual amazing artwork, and a lot seems to have happened. Sabine, formerly determined to serve as host to the Angelus herself, is now Dani’s willing lieutenant. There’s a villain known so far only as the Conductor. And head of the Darkness, Jackie Estacato, has come to pay Dani his respects — however, that manages to work out.

As the issue opens, three of the Angelus warriors are in hell, stealing an artifact for Sabine (who must have her own agenda — no surprise here, as I didn’t trust her in Witchblade). They encounter another regular in the world — Tom Judge — who warns them about having two artifacts too close together and hints that a big event (probably a crossover event with all the splinter series that have started in 2010, but that may be my comics cynic talking) is coming. In one splash page, the Angelus warriors find out that their activities have not gone unnoticed — in a big (demonic) way. The posture of the Angelus warrior facing the legions of darkness is perfect — Sejic nails the image beautifully.

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Cthulhu Tales Issue 11 Review

Posted on September 24, 2010 by

Boom Studios started publishing Cthulhu Tales as a series in 2008. The first time I came across these comics, a little over a year ago, I was pleasantly surprised to find that each story within an issue (of the ones I’ve read so far, at least) is contained and delightfully bizarre.

Issue #11, which came out in February of 2009, features four tales that range from the insanely funny to the apocalyptic. The first story — written by Christopher Sequeira, artwork by W. Chewie Chan — tackles the corporate world. In “Incorporation,” money-hungry and power-hungry Glenda can’t wait to start pushing people off of the ladder as she climbs her way up the ranks at her new employer, Wilcox-Gammell. She soon finds that the job is tougher than she thought and the perks aren’t exactly as advertised. The artwork is good. Nothing that really stands out, but it delivers the story well. There’s some creative use of the panels, especially toward the end. It’s a good read and not exactly the cautionary tale that it appears to be at first glance.

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Skullkickers #1 Comic Review

Posted on September 20, 2010 by

“No one knows where these two warriors came from. The only thing that’s clear is that they’re two of most ornery, trouble-making $%@# that have ever lived. SKULLKICKERS is a fantasy action-comedy: Two mercenaries are entangled in a high-class assassination plot and nothing—werewolves, skeletons or black magic—will stop them from getting paid. If you love tabletop fantasy RPGs or movies like Army of Darkness, SKULLKICKERS is waiting for you!“

Nice looking book! I love the color work, it makes every panel pop off the page with style. I gotta say that the fat werewolf rocks! Can I get a shirt of that! I love the character designs, very cartoon/anime but that is what I tend to like. Like I said the colors rock and it really works well with the tone of the story.

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Descent of the Dead Comic Review

Posted on September 13, 2010 by

If I were to just flip through this issue and not take in the story and how the art relates to it I can honestly say I might have passed on it. What a mistake that would have been. I will admit that the art style is jagged and can seem choppy at times, but when taken into how it relates to the storyline I couldn’t be more satisfied with it. A Heavy Metal style of artwork lends itself to the overall enjoyability of this book through the designs of the dead, and of a world that has never been seen by human eyes.

So I mentioned that the art really played off the story. What I meant by that was we are presented with a future that is not our own. In the reality here there are many things to be left explored. In this issue alone were treated to a new futuristic approach to skydiving which was really cool. Of course were talking the future so anything could be possible, but the way that it was taken into context here works.

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alanajoli

Magdalena #1 Comic Review

Posted on September 9, 2010 by

In theory, Magdalena #1 starts a new series, but the story of Patience, the current heir to the Spear of Destiny and the bloodline of Christ, began in the Darkness series. We start here with Patience already split off from the church — in the first pages, it’s clear that the people who were once her benefactors (and bosses) are now very, very close to being her enemies. This is, of course, problematic, as the world is about to end: Satan’s son is on earth, and only the Magdalena can stop him.

The writing here is tight, and the art is good, if a bit in the standard-comic-book-style. The biggest problem with Magdalena #1 is the feel: cross Buffy the Vampire Slayer with The Da Vinci Code, and this is pretty much what you might expect. The Magdalena is effectively a demon slayer from the bloodline of Christ.

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alanajoli

Witchblade 135-136 Comic Review

Posted on September 3, 2010 by

When we last left off (back in March, embarrassingly enough), Sara Pezzini — aka, the bearer of the re-united witchblade — was facing off against cyborg assassin Aphrodite IV, who has previously tried to kill her. Twice. But being surrounded by enemy robots does a lot to make you rethink your position on being enemies, so as Witchblade 135 opens, the two team up. It’s clear that something is not right here at robots ‘r us — I mean, assassin robots should clue a person in on laws being broken — but while Aphrodite’s mission is about killing the traitor to her programmers, Sara’s determined to bring the law down hard instead. Surprisingly, the cyborg assassin agrees. But, of course, it’s not that easy — there are more robots to face, and, in the final panel, a whole lot more sexy cyborgs than anyone knew existed.

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Dracula: The Company of Monsters 1 Comic Review

Posted on August 30, 2010 by

“He’s back from the dead and starring in a new ongoing horror series from the mind of Kurt Busiek. A powerful, predatory corporation acquires a valuable asset – Dracula! They think they own him, but no one can own the Son of the Dragon. There’s a monster in their midst that puts Hannibal Lecter to shame – and he plans to gain his freedom in blood. It’s bloodsuckers vs. bloodsucker, as Busiek brings an incredibly modern spin to the Dracula mythos.“

I can’t really say that this is a bad-looking issue, because it isn’t. However nothing really stood out to me to move it up higher on my scale. The pages early on stood out a bit more as they were focused on Vlad Dracul, with some back story, but then it just seemed to dull down as we moved into present day. The cast is good from panel to panel, nice and consistent, but it all just seems to mimic the slow story. So it didn’t really grab me.

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alanajoli

Tracker 4 Comic Review

Posted on August 27, 2010 by

You may recall that I reviewed Tracker: First Look back in April. And I thought it was great, that the series would be awesome, and that I was looking forward to reading it, right? Here’s where I give my little sob story: I missed issues 1 through 3. Top Cow very kindly sent issue 4 for review… and gosh darn it, I missed a lot of awesome build up between that preview issue and now!

By the time we’ve hit issue 4, Alex O’Roarke has figured out some of his werewolf abilities. His relationship with Tory is on the outs — she’s making a last ditch attempt to bring back their romance, but he’s too dedicated to the case. Of course, now that he and serial killer Herod are viewing each other as rivals (Alex needs Herod’s blood for a cure to being a werewolf; Herod enjoys defeating — and eating, presumably — other werewolves), any time Alex isn’t with Tory, he’s putting her at risk. But the case is the most important thing for him — and it looks like that decision, that part of who he is, will cost him.

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Billzilla

Cthulhu Week: Cthulhu Tales Comic Review

Posted on August 20, 2010 by

The works of H.P. Lovecraft have inspired hundreds of other writers; in the 1970s, his stories became popular material for the growing underground comics movement, and that popularity, though it waxes and wanes, has yet to vanish completely. Currently enjoying an upsurge in interest, one of the latest offerings, Boom Studios’ Cthulhu Tales, brings brand new Lovecraft-inspired material to the graphic novel format. I was excited to see these when I attended C2E2 in Chicago, and purchased volume one of the series with great anticipation.

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Cthulhu Week: The Calling: Cthulhu Chronicles 1 Comic Review

Posted on August 17, 2010 by

This is a great looking issue. While it’s not rich in detail, the character designs have a great look and feel to them. They are nice and consistent from panel to panel, and there are even some great details in the backgrounds. The colors work well to showcase the mood and even help get the fear flowing with the gruesome images. Overall a great looking issue.

The story is by far the selling point on this issue. I can’t go too deep into it, but how freaking scary is that ending! So the start of the story had me a little confused, but as it went on I start to get a good feel for it. Nice character building throughout, you get a good sense of most of the cast. But all of that is just on hold when you reach that final page.

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Berserker Issues 1 – 4 Comic Review

Posted on August 6, 2010 by

The BERSERKER comic series is a violent thrill-ride. It sets up a world where power is found only in destruction, and the conclusion is not likely to be a “pretty” one. Heroes get slaughtered and there are numerous super-villains and secret societies vying for control of the future. Through it all, ordinary people with extraordinary abilities are trapped in the middle and used as pawns. (Sound familiar? The BERSERKER comic does things a bit differently. One major super-human ability [so far], more blood, more guts, and more chaos – all with a base in Norse history and mythology.)

The cover art for each issue is, once again, amazing. Dale Keown, Jeremy Haun and Dave McCaig really bring their A-games to the various covers with just a few choice images and colors. Violent, of course, but with careful details that seem to convey more than just a gorefest.

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alanajoli

Artifacts Issue 1 Comic Review

Posted on August 3, 2010 by

Here is is, folks, Artifacts #1, the first issue of the big cross-over event of the Top Cow universe, just now out at your local comic shop. And is it ever off to a bang. In several of the Top Cow series, we’ve been hearing about the 13 artifacts and how dangerous it would be to bring them all together. (Potentially, you know, the end of the world.) Some of the artifact holders are actively working toward that. Others are, of course, working against it, not wanting to be a party to Armageddon. But when Tom Judge is released from Hell bearing the Rapture, one of the 13, it begins to look like fate (or some power like it) is at work, bringing them together.

We open in New York with Sara Pezzini, the bearer of the Witchblade, fighting a minion of hell who is killing priests, looking for one in specific, the aforementioned Tom Judge.

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Death of Dracula No. 1 Comic Review

Posted on July 29, 2010 by

“He is the legendary Lord of the Vampires. Dracula. Who would dare attempt to overthrow him? Only Dracula’s son Xarus, a ruthless and clever upstart with the bold ambition to unite all the world’s vampire sects under one flag. But Xarus’s older brother Janus isn’t sure he likes the idea of a new regime and seeks allies to oppose Xarus. The ultimate battle to control Earth’s Creatures of the Night unfolds, with the future of the vampire race and possibly the Marvel Universe at stake.“

I wasn’t super blown away by the artwork in this story. However it was strong enough for me not to hate it. When it came to character designs, I don’t know why Dracula was changed at all. Hell he looked like he was one of the Voltron bad guys. Sure it would have been strange to see all these other cool vampires and then some dude in a cape, so I will give them that, but why not just update him to look like he is the most intriguing looking man in the room. Almost like a president.

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Rombies Issue 0 Comic Review

Posted on July 19, 2010 by

“Rome wasn’t built in a day… but it may crumble in one. Titans battle in the arena. A thumb turns down. A sword comes down. A dead man… stands up? Racing through dark, narrow tunnels beneath the Colosseum, two heroes and a child join together to escape their pursuers. Pursuers who were once men. Hungry men. Undead men. Rombies. Friends, Romans, Countrymen… Lend me your brains!“

Have you ever picked up a book where you knew the tone of the story just from the art? Well that is what you have here. A beautifully done issue, that the art really depicts what is going on in the story. Gore-geous looking zombies and nice crisp panels page after page.

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Berserker 0 Comic Review

Posted on July 5, 2010 by

With Norse history and mythology as a base, BERSERKER explores the idea of seemingly normal, modern day human beings transforming into merciless killing machines, unable to stop themselves from destroying anyone in their vicinity. They have no knowledge of what’s happening as it occurs, but they are left to deal with the aftermath. Milo Ventimiglia of HEROES is attached to the project.

This was a very short preview (13 pages) but it’s also a good starting point for the series. In BERSERKER’s first panels we’re introduced to Farris, a soldier that was stationed in Afghanistan and is suffering from PTSD.

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Flames

Storm Front (Dresden Files) Graphic Novel Review

Posted on June 30, 2010 by

Adapting a beloved book series into another format is brimming with challenges. What goes into your head is rarely what you see and/or hear in the adaptation. Even a movie winning the Oscar is decried by patrons of the source material. The Dresden Files is no different. In spite of the pitfalls, Jim Butcher has not shrunk from putting his work in as many different formats as possible. The Dresden Files received the TV treatment. This was met with condemnation from many fans, but I must admit that though I didn’t enjoy the show, it was what first made me notice Butcher’s work. A new roleplaying game is out, something that fans of Jim Butcher know he would certainly have taken particular joy in seeing. And a limited series of comics entitled Welcome to the Jungle has been out and received positive reviews from this site and others. But Welcome was an original story. Storm Front is a true adaption of the first Dresden Files novel.

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Monica Valentinelli

Grimm Fairy Tales Graphic Novel Review

Posted on June 17, 2010 by

The way that publishers and authors present a fairy tale has always been somewhat interesting to me, because the tales I’ve read are often a mixture of advice, local customs and fantasy. Characters either live happily ever after or they wind up in the midst of a tragic situation they cannot find their way out of. GRIMM FAIRY TALES, published by Zenescope Entertainment, takes a much more traditional view of the fairy tale. (You may recall that Zenescope Entertainment is the same comic publisher that will be producing the CHARMED comic based on the television series.) Zenescope encourage their readers to “enter a world where morality is constantly tested and the shocking repercussions of one’s choices must always be faced.” In this first collection of full color comics, there are six fairy tales to explore: Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Hansel & Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin, Sleeping Beauty and Robber Bridegroom.

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Okko: Cycle of Air, Book One Review

Posted on June 10, 2010 by

OKKO: THE CYCLE OF AIR, BOOK ONE is the third cycle in the OKKO series from Guy Delcourt Productions and Archaia Entertainment, LLC. It stands well on its own, though reading the other cycles in the series (Water and Earth) and knowing some of the background of the setting will no doubt lend more fluidity to the events of the story.

The plot focuses on Samurai Okko, his entourage, and their attempts to help a girl that is seemingly haunted by spirits.

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