The science fiction graphic album Showman Killer: Heartless Hero begins on a prison planet, with an unofficial visit from a sperm collector. Continue reading A Review of SHOWMAN KILLER: HEARTLESS HERO
Caitlin R. Kiernan – Writer; Daniel Warren Johnson – Artist; Carlos Badilla – Colors; Greg Ruth – Cover
Its title might summon mental images of Clint Eastwood in a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western, but the first issue of Alabaster: The Good, the Bad, and the Bird is not set in the 19th Century American Southwest, but rather presently in the white void of Hell and a bleak, abandoned Southern truck stop.
Writer – Paul Tobin; Artist – Alberto Alburquerque; Colorist – Marissa Louise; Published by Dark Horse Comics
“PENNY POTTER, COMIC BOOK DETECTIVE” – the words were written in bright red ink on the manila envelope that was slid under Penny’s door.
Penny verified that no one was standing outside her office. The after-hours hallway was deserted so she closed the door, then picked up the envelope and walked to her desk. She shook the envelope, and with a hunch about its contents, opened it. Sure enough, it was a comic book, but not one she had seen before.
Hellboy in Hell #7 – Art and story by Mike Mignola, colors by Dave Stewart, and lettering by Clem Robins
This August, in Hellboy in Hell #7, Dark Horse Comics will publish the first chapter of a two-part story, “The Hounds of Pluto.” The story – written and illustrated by Mike Mignola, with colors by Dave Stewart – continues Hellboy’s infernal afterlife adventures. Although Hellboy in Hell #7 won’t be sold on Earth until late August, advance copies have made their way to Hell, and the comic is all the denizens of that bleak realm can talk about. Here is a sampling of the commentary from Hell:
“Hellboy in Hell #7 continues the posthumous fantasy adventures of Hellboy among the damned. The protagonist finds himself dangerously ill and in the company of kind doctors who – unable to help him – refer him to Dr. Hoffmann. Unfortunately, Dr. Hoffmann is threatened by a vengeful adversary, and Hellboy gets caught up in all the commotion.” – Stultus, Infernal Lord of Unsatisfying Summaries Continue reading Advance Review: Hell is Abuzz about HELLBOY IN HELL #7
OUR STORY THUS FAR: Over a month ago, Alan Moore traveled to Portland to discuss comics with his fellow comics creators. Today he’s having coffee with Brian Michael Bendis…
Writers – Ulises Farinas & Erick Freitas; Artist – Dan McDaid; Colorist – Ryan Hill; Letterer – Chris Mowry; Publisher – IDW
Since the character’s 1977 debut in the British weekly science fiction anthology comic 2000 AD, Judge Dredd has been the iconic lawman – given absolute authority to keep order – in the dystopian future setting of Mega-City One, a chaotic American East Coast city-state of 400 million people. Mega-City One is as much a character as Dredd – its streets provide the adventures and adversaries that challenge Dredd, and the city is a bountiful science fictional setting that talented creators have used to satirize contemporary society.
In past adventures, Dredd has sometimes left the city, traveling through the radioactive wasteland environs of the Cursed Earth, or journeying to other Mega-Cities. While creators could take Dredd out of the city, they could never take the city out of Dredd. Whether fighting mutants in the Cursed Earth or hunting down fugitive criminals in neighboring city-state Mega-City Two, Dredd carries the authority of his city with him wherever he goes and that authority is recognized by his allies and adversaries.
American publisher IDW has licensed the character from his British owners and selected a creative team for this Judge Dredd series that boldly throws out the status quo and does something different. Writers Ulises Farinas and Erick Freitas make Mega-City One disappear, stranding Dredd in a verdant world whose strange people know nothing of him or his city. Dredd’s attempts at law enforcement are mocked and ignored and the lawman finds himself aiding three youngsters hoping to get into a forbidden structure that may provide clues about where Dredd is stranded.
Artist Dan McDaid and colorist Ryan Hill render all of this in a cartoonish style that, along with the script, provides humor amid the plentiful action in the comic. With its light humor, big ideas, and bold action, Judge Dredd #1 reminds this reviewer of a Jack Kirby comic. Both new readers and veteran Judge Dredd fans should enjoy this interesting adventure.
Writers – Ming Doyle and James Tynion IV; Artists – Riley Rossmo and Brian Level; Colorist – Ivan Plascencia; Publisher – DC Comics
Perhaps some readers of this review have had sex in a public park. If so, I hope that none of these readers were attacked by flesh-rending tree creatures, as was the case for an unlucky couple in the opening pages of Constantine: The Hellblazer #7.
These attacks on young romantics in New York City’s Central Park bring plant elemental Swamp Thing to John Constantine’s home, seeking the anti-hero magician’s help. Constantine and Swamp Thing have a challenging relationship, but familiarity with the past history of these characters is unnecessary to enjoy the story.
The two work together to solve the mystery and stop the killings. But Constantine receives a warning – similar to others that he has received in previous issues – from an ally that magical forces are threatening New York, and that he should be wary of impending trouble.
The story by writers Ming Doyle and James Tynion IV establishes the horrific premise of this issue, but also provides some wonderful humor. The odd couple chemistry between Swamp Thing and Constantine creates some laughable moments, and Swamp Thing’s encounters with the people of New York are hilarious.
Artists Riley Rossmo and Brian Level, with colorist Ivan Plascenia, provide a shadowy, scratchy look for the comic, which is perfect for the horror elements, but the art team also neatly depicts the interesting character qualities and humor elements of the story.
Readers looking for a horror adventure comic with some great humor and art should check out this comic.
Writer – Garth Ennis; Artist – Keith Burns; Colorist – Jason Wordie; Letterer – Rob Steen; Published by Titan Comics.
I wasn’t planning to review the first issue of Johnny Red, but some comics you just have to write about.
I had some interest in the comic when I heard about it. I’m a fan of British comics; I have the largest collection of British comics in Kansas City (and so I’ll claim until somebody proves otherwise), and I knew a little about the character’s history. First published in the late 1970s, Johnny was an anti-hero in the weekly British war comic Battle – an accomplished British flyer with the Soviets during WWII, often distrusted as an outsider by the Russians he was fighting to protect. It’s an intriguing concept, and the series is written by one of my favorite writers – Garth Ennis – so the book piqued my curiosity and I bought it when I found it in the comic shop.
Ennis’ narrative starts in the present, with a young American billionaire investing in the restoration of a WWII Hawker Hurricane. Intrigued by the history of the British plane and its service with the Russians on the Eastern Front, the billionaire travels to Russia and meets an elderly mechanic who once worked on the plane. The mechanic tells the story of the plane’s service defending Stalingrad, and reveals that its pilot was a Englishman known as “Johnny Red.”
The mechanic’s story is brought to life in vivid detail by artist Keith Burns and colorist Jason Wordie. The comic has some of the best aerial dogfight scenes you’ll ever see, and your heart will race as you turn the pages.
Ennis and his creative partners present readers with an intriguing mystery – who is “Johnny Red” and what happened to him?
I can’t wait to find out the answers to those questions.
Also, the backmatter of the comic has some great articles on the history of the character and the use of the Hawker Hurricane on the Eastern Front.
Do yourself a favor and read this comic.