All-New Wolverine #1
Written By Tom Taylor, Art By David Lopez & David Navarrot
I’ve been waiting for this book for some time. Being a fan of Tom Taylor’s and an eager Wolverine/X2 fanboy, I was curious to see where Taylor was going to take this book.
Before we get into the meat and potatoes, here is a quick brief on X-23. Laura is the clone of Wolverine. She has two claws on either hand, one in each foot and her bones are covered in adamantium.
The series picks up after the death of Wolverine. Laura has donned the persona of her adoptive father figure, and has continued on in his name. Laura is a little different to the Wolverine. She is a little more honest and maybe even better adjusted than Wolverine. This allowed Taylor to sneak in a few more heart-warming moments that you don’t typically get from a Wolverine book.
I’m curious as to how Laura went from Wolverine’s sidekick to a more fully formed character. She’s made a great deal of mental growth from her X-Force days, so I am curious to see when Taylor will address the change between killing machine to legitimate hero. But when he does, I’m sure Taylor will do it well.
As for the art, does a female wolverine look badass? YES! Does the art keep the action of the Wolverine fast paced and awesome? YES YES. Did they bring back the classic blue and yellow suit? Oh, Hell Yes. I’ll stop fanboying for a moment and also posit that the art is a little soft around the edges, which dosen’t really appeal to me much. I like more hard-edged detailed art. But by no means is this book drawn terribly, and I would encourage you to drop some dollars on it this week.
Constantine the Hellblazer #6
Written By James Tynion IV & Ming Doyle, Art by Riley Rossmo
Since last issue, Constantine is hiding from human interaction, trying to cut himself off as a result of getting a past lover killed. So he does what I assume anyone in his position would do: he throws himself into his work.
I really liked these pages in the book. Every one of them was a little adventure in and of itself. Not particularly gory or horrifying, even fun in some cases. I’m not sure if long-time Constantine fans will like that Angel or not. But I appreciated a look into his day-to-day and a little less doom and gloom.
Tynion is now starting to build to a new story arch, and you get hints as to what is coming for Constantine, which makes this book a great jumping on point. It’s also worth noting that Tynion can make you feel that Constantine’s life might get better, while still making you feel like terror is only a step away.
Because of the way the book was written, Rossmo really got to have a lot of fun with the creature designs in this book. His artwork is just so engaging to look at and Plascencia’s colours make the art dance on the page. It really is a beautiful book considering the subject matter.
Written by Scott Snyder, Art by Greg Capullo
This week’s issue was less heavy on the Bruce Wayne aspects and gave the new Batman something to sink his teeth into, but the real star of this week’s issue was the villainous Bloom. When I read Bloom’s dialogue, I read him as soft-spoken yet confident, and that all comes from this week’s issue. See, it’s typically hard to create a new Batman villain without him feeling like a “monster of the week”. Snyder has really put the menace into this character. The odds were already stacked against Jim Gordon but because Bloom is a new player, it does make the situation feel completely hopeless for Jim. This is a good thing. We don’t want Jim Gordon to be the best Batman ever, he’s brand new to this life and we need to feel like he can fail. When he doesn’t, we will feel elated for the character. Snyder is setting this end game up beautifully.
The artwork is just startling in this week’s issue. Bloom’s powers allow him to turn his fingers into sharp, spear-like objects. The way in which Capullo draws these attacks is horrifying to behold. For example, Bloom pushes his spear-like finger through a dollar bill and placed it in front of the new commissioner’s eye. You see the tip of the finger just millimetres from the eyeball. Makes me cringe every time I look at it.
Slash and Burn #1
Written by Si Spencer, Art by Max Dumbar
I think the best way to describe this book to you would be to simply describe it as a mystery/crime thriller. But that would be doing a disservice to the comic. There’s a lot for a reader to work through and I’m not sure if it will be everyone’s cup of tea because of that.
Rosheen is a firefighter, possibly an arsonist, maybe a killer—or none of those things. That’s the real strength of this book. It’s a bit Silence of the Lambs meets True Detective. The real enjoyment for this comic will come from unravelling the mystery. I think Spencer does well in sprinkling enough plot points throughout this issue to get the reader interested, and he does it without making it cheap or stereotypical.
Bumbar’s art is more than passable and, although I can’t see a distinct voice in it just yet, I think as the story moves forward, he will have more opportunity to stretch his legs as an artists. Especially when it comes to the fire and maybe…magic?
Written by Dan Watters, Art by Casper Wijngaard
Limbo is a detective story, first and foremost. I’m sure somewhere along the line you’ve seen something where a beautiful woman walks into an office. She tells the private detective that she’s scared for her life. She needs his help.
Our detective, in this case, is Clay. He can only remember nine months of his life, and while he works on his own case, he takes on others to pay the bills.
There’s a lot of worldbuilding going on here by Watters. But he writes it in a way that I find intriguing. Similar to Slash and Burn, Watters knows when and where to drop his mysteries. I like the little twist on the detective tale was well, the amnesia bit is interesting. Clay himself says that is easy not to pre-judge a case with so little memory in his head.
The art has a very distinct style, almost cartoony in a way. The colouring is electric and vibrant. It’s used to draw the reader to a particular action or character. But it’s never comforting, just high energy or hints of the darkness that inhabits the world our characters live in. I can see most readers getting something out of this book.
Super Ready Battle Armor #1
Written by Bradley Adan, Art by Michael Milham
First up, I really do like the concept. Our main character Fector can see how much life a person has left. The side effect of this ability is that he can also bring back someone from death. This ability of life over death is used to great effect at the end of the book, and I have to give the writer credit for the ending, even if it was a little implausible.
The real influence for this book came from anime, as far as I can tell. The way the characters interact with each other is typical of the anime genre. If you’re into that then you’re going to like the book. If you’re not, then maybe you’re going to have a harder time reading this. The art style is also drawn very similar to manga. To the artist’s credit, it’s a pretty capable manga style and the artist does stretch his legs for a few panels.
The writing is generally okay, but it does suffer a little from exposition overload, which I found distracting at times.
The book finishes in an interesting place, one that could prove to make the story very interesting, depending on how it’s handled. The concept is interesting and with a little more work, this could be a great series.
Written and Storyboarded by Darren Gallagher, Art by Heru Jalal
Ignition-8 knows what it wants to be, Tarantino meets Mad Max. It’s a lofty goal and may be the reason that this book has not gotten off to the best start. The characters are highly influenced by Tarantino’s writing style and the journey that our protagonist goes through also harkens back to a Tarantino.
And it is the storyline that will get me to the next issue, because there are some interesting plot points that are worth investigating further.
The characters, however, don’t really have enough development for me to care and I can’t understand the machinations behind their decisions. It would be fair to say that I will need to continue reading the following issue to enjoy the characters more, but shouldn’t I at least get a feel for them in this issue?
The other issue I have with the writing is the unnecessary use of exposition. Our narrator offers “While backed into a corner, Josh still had the gun,” which is fine, but I can see Josh still has the gun in the panel. Eventually, these problems will go away when the writer has more experience, but it is a problem that detracted from my overall enjoyment of the book.
The artwork is solid and it has it’s own voice, managing to tap into the Australian aesthetic, which can sometimes be portrayed in a very stereotypical way. So the book does stand strong, as does the action sequences.
Ignition-8 may be better served as an exploitation film rather than a comic. But I can forgive a few problems if the mystery of the story pays off.
Decay #12: Cthulhu Remastered Edition
Written by Darren Koziol, Art by Various
Originally published in parts, Decay has brought all of the Cthulhu stories together for one issue. So if you’re a fan of HP Lovecraft’s most popular creation, then you’ll find something to like here. But as with any compilation, you’re going to take the good with the bad.
They have included some Cthulhu artwork in this book that is just beautiful, the cover especially. The rest of the artwork is okay but some is just awful with few redeeming qualities.
Luckily, the book is well written enough that each story is engaging and, in some cases, quite horrific which is important, as it’s the main selling point of this issue.
My personal pick would be the story set during World War II when a bomber squadron fights to return a released Cthulhu back to his mountain tomb.
Cthulhu seems to be the current darling of Lovecraft’s creations, and if you want your fix, then this will be the book for you—as long as you can see past some of the artwork.
Falling Star #1
Written by and Art by Cristian Roux
Falling star poses more questions than answers, which is indicative of a good issue one. The world is falling apart, changing weather patterns, mass destruction and it all appears to be cause by superpowered people fighting a war that the world is swept up in.
It’s interesting to think about what would happen to the real world if we had people with superpowers flying around everywhere. What would happen to society and how would government handle that crisis?
Roux starts to explore those ideas through the news media which punctuates his characters’ storylines in a way reminiscent of the Dark Knight Returns.
The artwork is bleak with disasters punctuating throughout. Roux employs a very realistic art style which works well for the book. That fact that it’s black and white also helps to build on the aesthetic. I’m sure Roux would have loved colour, but I’m glad it’s black and white.
For a book to be so intriguing straight out of the gate is an accomplishment in and of itself. I look forward to seeing some of those mysteries being solved in further issues.
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