Review: Limbo #1, Magic, Murder and Mystery In The South

Sunday, November 15th, 2015

Released this week from Image comes Limbo #1 from pretty much unknown writer Dan Watters and artist Caspar Wijngaard. The series takes place (so far) in Delande City — something that resembles New Orleans — in the deep South. But like the city it takes inspiration from, Delande City has something dark and sinister hiding in the shadows. There is magic, murder and mystery lurking there.

We are introduced to Clay, an amnesic private investigator whom only has memories from the last nine months. He doesn’t know who he is or how he got there. While he tries to solve that mystery, he helps others in need as an investigator.

The rest of the supporting cast in this first issue are: Sandy, a voodoo spirit vanquisher; Bridgette, a beautiful club singer who hires Clay; The Thumb, a crime boss whom everyone fears; and the Fishmen, swamp residents that have a dark secret.

This first issue delivers the three M’s (magic, murder and mystery) in spades. It lays out the questions and plenty of them too. You are immediately drawn into this work that all though familiar brings a new approach to it.

The Good: Interesting story that makes for a great alternative to the spandex world of superheroes. Wijngaard’s art is simple yet detailed enough that you spend time examining it for the little details. It at times reminds me of Paul Pope’s work. The coloring — which I’m assuming Wijngaard does as well — sets a mood perfect for this dark world.

The Bad: For now, waiting a month until the next issue!

Overall Limbo #1 was an excellent debut for Watters and Wijngaard. They delivered something that many creators strive to do these days in comics, an interesting story that makes you want to return for more.

Review: Pacific Rim: Tales From the Drift #1, Fans Will Enjoy More Story of Jaegers and Kaiju

Sunday, November 8th, 2015

In 2013 the Pacific Rim film was not the only story told from that universe, there was also a graphic novel prequel story, Pacific Rim: Tales From Year Zero. Since then fans have wanting more. More stories with the Jaegers and Kaiju and Legendary has been listening.

This past week through their comic book imprint, Legendary released Pacific Rim: Tales From the Drift #1. The new official series is from writer Joshua Fialkov (The Bunker, I, Vampire, Doctor Who) and featuring artwork by Marcos Marz (Batman Confidential, Blackest Night: JSA). The story goes back to the start of it all, when the Kaiju first started to come through the breach.

In the first issue we join the pilots — husband and wife, Duc and Kaori — of the Mark-1 Jaeger known as Tacit Ronin who are in the middle of a fight with Kaiju. Throughout the issue we go back and forth between present time and the past when the two pilots first meet, giving us a little history on them as they struggle to put down the Kaiju.

The Good: It’s more Pacific Rim. If the movie sequel never happens then this is a decent consolation. It features the really cool design of the Japanese Jaeger, Tacit Ronin. Great looking art, that looks gorgeous in the Jaeger and Kaiju fight scenes.

The Bad: Nothing stands out as bad yet, still too early. The art in a few panels feels stiff.

Overall, if you are a fan of the Pacific Rim movie and are eager for more while we wait for the on and off again Pacific Rim 2, then you might want to check out Pacific Rim: Tales From the Drift #1.

Review: Paper Girls #2, The Adventure Continues To Hook You With More Mystery

Sunday, November 8th, 2015

I reviewed the first issue of Paper Girls, the creator owned series from Brian K. Vaughn (Saga) and Cliff Chiang (Wonder Woman), and instantly fell in love with it. It kicked things off with the right amount of mystery and nostalgia. By the end of the issue we were left with so many questions and no answers.

Things picked it right where that issue left off and the Paper Girls are not sure what they saw, other than it being a “monster”. They soon learn that there is something worse than the mysterious creature that took their walkie-talkie. But what is going on here?

We have monsters, or aliens; flying creatures, or dinosaurs; time travel; and people disappearing. So what exactly is going on here? Vaughn definitely has me hooked as I feel like this could easily be a Spielberg movie.

The Good: A fun read with mystery and great elements of decades past.

The Bad: Only 22 pages of story. I know this is the standard, but I could easily read more, much more, of this story.

Overall, Paper Girls #2 is another great issue with the right amount of mystery to keep you wanting more. Though I do hope they start giving some answers, or some idea of what is going on by the end of next issue.

Review: Puppet Master Halloween Special #1, A Great Tribute To Those Murdering Puppets!

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

Normally this isn’t a book I get, maybe it was because Halloween was upon us, but I’m glad I picked up Puppet Master Halloween Special #1 from Action Lab this week. They have an ongoing series right now as well, but I have yet to pick up an issue of that. So I figured why not check this out. It looked fun.

This will probably be short review because let’s be honest there isn’t a lot here, but that isn’t saying it’s not worth your time. Quite the opposite. Like the movies that his comic is based on, there is a level of entertainment that you will enjoy. If you are a fan of the horror genre, and just love to watch the movies from ‘80s, then this needs to be something pick up.

Puppet Master Halloween Special #1 felt like a condensed movie. It starts off with a sorority house filled with those scantily dressed co-eds that always seem to be an invite for serial killers. And as each girl in the sorority house is murdered in typical horror movie fashion, you feel as though you are watching a movie with the turn of the page.. The team of writer Shawn Gabborin and artist Antonio Ontiveros tell a great story of horror featuring those creepy puppets.

At the end of the book it says to follow the story in original cult-classic Puppet Master movie. So apparently this we meant as a prequel story of sorts.

The Good: It is ‘80s horror goodness!

The Bad: Too short, but to be fair it is a special and there is a regular series.

Overall, Puppet Master Halloween Special #1 is an entertaining book, if you enjoy the genre and are a fan of the films, then this needs to be checked out.

Review: Black Magick #1, A Solid Start To A Modern Day Tale Of Witches

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

My weekly picks for comics this week were apparently heavily influenced by the time of the year. Greg Rucka’s (Lazarus, Batman, Daredevil, Cyclops, American Vampire) and Nicola Scott’s (Earth 2, Red Sonja, Secret Six, Teen Titans), Black Magick #1, features a look at witches in a modern-day tale of mystery and the occult.

The book starts off with a séance that at first you think is in the past, but ends up being interrupted by a cell phone ringing when Detective Rowan Black is called in on a case. That is correct, this officer of the law is a witch. We then follow Black to the scene of a hostage taker who has one request, to talk to her, but she doesn’t know why. Once inside the fast food restaurant to talk to the hostage taker, she quickly learns that there is a lot more to this situation and us as the readers learn there is as well.

In this first issue, Rucka and Scott deliver on the mystery and suspense. Rucka’s words masterfully introduce us to this world of the occult that lies behind the thin veil of society that pretends that it doesn’t exist. Scott delivers some fantastic art that tells the story with skill.

The issue is in grayscale, but there are hints of color in a few panels. Now I’m not sure on the reasons for this. Maybe it will be come clear in the future issues.

The Good: First and foremost, Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott. Two creators at the top of their game. In a world of superhero overload, a story about mystery, crime and the occult is a nice change of pace. Rucka has already proven he can tell a story with a strong female lead (Lazarus), Black Magick looks like it could be the next one.

The Bad: Too early to say.

Overall Black Magick #1 is a solid read. If you want something different in your monthly floppies, then check it out.

Review: Tokyo Ghost #1 & 2, Sci-Fi That Takes A Look At Digital Addiction

Sunday, October 25th, 2015

The irony is not lost on me as I sit here and write this review of Rick Remender‘s (All-New Captain America, Uncanny Avengers, Black Science, Deadly Class, Low, Fear Agent) and Sean Murphy‘s (Chrononauts, The Wake, Punk Rock Jesus) new creator-owned project, Tokyo Ghost. The backdrop of the story is a similar theme from the Mike Judge’s 2006 Idiocracy movie, but told in a more serious way in a very sci-fi world. Remender describes the series as a love letter to Road Warrior, Judge Dredd and 13 Assassins, which I can definitely see. Throw in the theme of Idiocracy and you have a pretty good idea of what to expect here.

So why is the irony not lost on me? Well as I sit here on my laptop, writing a review of a digital comic book, connected to the Internet while streaming digital music, would be why. See in Tokyo Ghost, the world has become addicted to technology and pretty much ignores everything else around them. Society has become desensitized and disconnected from itself. This is something we see almost daily in our lives. I am guilty of it as well. We can’t put down the tech, we are constantly checking out phones, at restaurants, in our cars, sitting in our living rooms, it is constant. The social interaction of face to face, the intimacy, is becoming lost. I could go on, but that is a discussion for another time (and probably another place).

As someone who spent this year trying to detach a little, getting outside and enjoy the great place that I now live in, this story really resonated with me. A lot.

Not only did it really get me thinking about the current state of things, I was absolutely in love with the first issue, and the second issues as well by the time I was done. I should note that I’m a huge fan of Remender, I have read many of his projects, including most of his creator-owned works. For me, he just nails it every time with whatever he is working on and can tell a really engaging story.

I’m also a big fan of Sean Murphy’s work as well. I think he is an incredible artist and I am always amazed at how much detail the guy does. Don’t know how he gets a monthly book done, but he does. There are always great Easter Eggs in his work and that is part of the fun in seeing his work. Even when you are done reading Tokyo Ghost, you can go back and go over the panels one-by-one and still find little things you didn’t notice the first (or possibly even the second) time around.

As far as the story goes, it takes place in the year 2089 on the Isles of Los Angeles. And as I before mentioned people are ignorant to the decaying world around them as they borrow, steal and kill to get that next digital/technological fix. Gangsters rule the city and Constables do their enforcing. Starting off in Tokyo Ghost #1, we are following two Constables that are childhood friends and now lovers, Debby Decay (aka Debbie Jacobs) and the most feared Constable of them all, Led Dent (aka Teddy Dennis). One of them wants to be free of the tech dependency and the other is completely lost in it. Kind of an yin and yang that mirrors the story itself.

The first two issues set things up wonderfully. We are thrust into the decaying world immediately and we learn about the two heroes(?) of this story as they are in pursuit of Davey Trauma throughout Los Angeles leaving a path of destruction behind them. By the end of the second issue we are left wanting more, ironically. With Debbie and Led now in Tokyo on one last mission for Mr. Flak, things are completely different from the dying world of Los Angeles, in Tokyo, Nature has taken over.

The Good: A great sci-fi story with commentary on today’s society and its digital addiction. Sean Murphy’s art is truly amazing and pulls you into the world he and Remender have created.

The Bad: It might make you feel bad about the way you live. The “techno speak” in the beginning is a little confusing, but after a while becomes easier to understand. There is swearing and nudity, so this could be off-putting for some.

Overall, Tokyo Ghost #1 and issue #2 are worthy purchases. If you are a sci-fi fan, then I suggest picking them up. If you are a fan of great stories, then I suggest this as well. Same goes if you are a fan of gorgeous art. You can pick up Tokyo Ghost #1 and #2 from you local comic shops, or digitally through comiXology.