EVERY WEDNESDAY BRINGS NEW COMICS FOR REVIEW!
It’s time to find out what’s new on your local comic book shelf!
ABSOLUTE CARNAGE – SEPARATION ANXIETY #1
Writers: Clay McCleod Chapman
Artist: Brian Level
Cover Price: $4.99
Okay. Marvel is getting much better at scaring people.
This tie-in to Marvel’s ongoing Spider-Man event is written with the kind of up-and-down pacing that horror movies often use. The character dialogue was very good, although the monsters’ dialogue is downright chilling. None of the characters in it are superheros or even known Marvel characters. However, this story is an incredible spotlight within the larger story. I hope this comic is used as a template for the larger event.
Meanwhile, Brian Level’s event is not a style I enjoy. His outer lines are good, although he prefers to use small scratch lines for details. In addition, he draws small irises, making character eyes appear beady. With that said, Level’s art matches the story exceptionally. The small lines give every panel a jittery feel that adds to the underlying tension. The character motion has the right amount of frantic fluidity to keep the horror vibe intact.
Take two parts Marvel history and add one part Stranger Things, and you have what you can expect from this comic.
THE WHITE TREES #1 (of 2)
Writers: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Kris Anka
Cover Price: $4.99
(Special Note: This comic is for Mature Readers)
None of this was what I expected.
Chip Zdarsky has built an interesting story here. The characters are fun and the dialogue plays well. However, it is hard to say how much depth the characters have. This is the first issue and, although it is over-sized, we appear to be moving from scene to scene rather quickly. The story isn’t new, but it is entertaining because of how well-told it is. It is a mature tale, though, so do not pick this up for your fantasy-loving kids.
Kris Anka has come a LONG way since helping launch the second era of Captain Marvel for Marvel Comics. His art has become much more detailed and nuanced. In fact, Anka has one of the characters as so stone-faced and unreadable, I’m comfortable calling them monolithic. Additionally, the action has great snap and impact. Actually, the designs of these characters are very non-typical and are likely to start many conversations about how characters should look in comics.
This comic is good enough to be the beginning of an ongoing story. For now, I’ll be satisfied with seeing how this two-part story concludes.
Writers: Ram V
Artist: Mirka Andolfo
Cover Price: $3.99
I was drawn in by the Artgerm variant cover and it has been a while since I read any Catwoman stories. Now feels good.
I am unfamiliar with Ram V and my first reading comes with positives and negatives. On the positive side, I like the independent streak he makes very apparent in Selina Kyle. Additionally, the scenario feels both specialized for Catwoman yet easy enough to understand as a jump in point. On the negative side, there’s a couple too many coincidences in this comic for my liking. Moreover, the pace of the story is too quick. If you stretched this comic into two issues, you would have a better chance to build tension.
Mirka Andolfo is a well known creator (especially for his original story Unnatural) and he is finding his path very quickly. His style hovers between Western comics and Korean manhwa. His body proportions are good. Meanwhile, the action has a great flow. With that said, I’m not sure Andolfo’s style is a good fit for this particular story. A lot of it is laid out like a fight scene in the Captain America: Winter Soldier movie. This issue could use a bit darker of an art style to match the story.
This is a decent comic with a couple of minor problems. I can’t say it makes me a Catwoman fan, although it is a better story than the character usually gets.
PICK OF THE WEEK
ONCE AND FUTURE #1
Writers: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Dan Mora
Cover Price: $3.99
How good does a comic have to be to sell out the first issue before comes out?
Keiron Gillen has been on fire with series like The Wicked & The Devine and DIE. He is continuing that hot streak with this story. Everything about the writing has been outstanding thus far. The pacing of this comic is great! I actually didn’t notice it is an over-sized 30 pages until I was done! The dialogue is hilarious without being a series of one-liners. Moreover, this comic shows a cinematic imagination and an unusual way of looking at the world. This is the kind of issue that drags you in for more!
Dan Mora handles the art here with style. He uses an update of classic comic book styles. Thick outer lines and smaller detail work. Mora excels in his use of detail lines. He uses just enough lines to imply is gradients and shapes. This gives the images have an extremely clean feel. In fact, Mora’s attention to detail extends to the backgrounds. This is one of the visually deepest comics I have ever read. Ever panel has a three-dimensional quality. Meanwhile, the character expressions are amazing and easy to read.
I have to give two special shout-outs on this issue. First is the colors. Because of Tamra Bonvillain’s colors, the visuals are very rich and organic. A lot of these scenes could fit as key panels in a good cartoon. Meanwhile, the second shout-out goes to the unusual interpretation of Britannic mythology. The off-beat version of it has created a story that is more intriguing by the minute. I cannot wait to see what’s next!
How good does a comic have to be to sell out the first issue before comes out? At least as good as Once & Future #1!
What is your favorite part of comic book history? Let us know in the comments below!