The debut issue of Low is an interesting, fun and engaging story that does well in both building it’s world, introducing it’s actors and conveying it’s ideology in a compelling and entertaining fashion. In it we are introduced to an earth that has already been swallowed up by the sun and humanity has retreated into the sea for survival. Remender does a fantastic job of introducing and building his character’s as soon as they are introduced with a married couple and their children setting off on a new adventure filled with hope and excitement for the family that quickly turns sideways after some they stumble upon the bad guys. The main cast feels fully formed, real and three dimensional from the moment we meet them as a credit to Remender’s gift for dialogue and even though the villain’s can get a little too mustache twirling expositiony towards the end. His work with artist Tocchini on creating the setting is both majestic and awe inspiring as we are given page after page of lush, detailed and expansive views of the underwater city that humanity now inhabits. Tocchini has a rough pencil but it’s just sharp enough here to convey the scope and intricacies of the underwater civilization and it’s population. Rick Remender has another great book from Image and while that coming from the writer and publisher is starting to become old news it’s still pretty astonishing at the rate at which all parties involved manage to churn out such high quality product. What’s been most interesting is watching Remender mature as a writer within the last year with his work on Captain America, Deadly Class, Black Science and now Low where he still does a lot of the same stuff that made his runs on Uncanny X-Force & Secret Avengers great but also expands on that by exploring new themes, idea’s and styles. Low is another example of the writer firmly establishing his voice while expanding on that and with Tocchini doing art this well; it is a thing of beauty to behold. Remender and Image have another great comic, you should know that but you should also enjoy that because it doesn’t get much better.
After a long hiatus Faction and Aja’s Hawkeye finally returns to begin closure to the story that started two years ago in an issue that is as strong, heartfelt and uplifting as it’s predecessors and refreshing to see again after having spent so much time away. In it we are shown a Clint Barton who is dealing with a loss of hearing after a close range gun shot. It’s being labeled the “sign language issue” much like others had the distinction of being “the Christmas issue”, “the hurricane issue” or the most recent award winning “dog issue”. Much like those past ones Fraction and Aja manage to transcend the concept by opening the parameters of it’s established narrative by giving insight into the cast and the larger world they inhabit. It’s not really about sign language as much as it’s about learning to accept one’s own limitations instead of fighting them and taking responsibility for those things in your life whether they are your fault or not. Basically it’s like the entire Hawkeye series but that is a series that is fantastic so it’s really good. Watching the parallel narrative of Clint and Barney as children and now is both heartening and inspiring as it points to the way we spend life living, repeating and learning from our own mistakes but moreover shows that what matters is that we act on what we learned. It also gives insight on the perspective of an individual with no hearing as we get mumbled images of Clint’s attempt at lip reading or refusal to acknowledge Barney’s attempts at sign language further exploring the theme of communication that’s run through the entire series, made more of an emphasis here as it was in the “dog issue”. Aja’s art is gorgeous as ever but it’s his design and layout that is as important as his line work. The way he shows what Clint reacting to is as important as Clint’s reaction and that’s conveyed in a smooth and natural visual narrative. It’s been awhile since we last saw it but Hawkeye remains as great now as it’s always been. It’s a special issue in the way that most of it’s single issues are special being that’s really because it’s just a special series and to experience that unfolding piece by piece in single issues is something to behold.
Deep Gravity #1 is the debut issue of a space sci fi series that does it’s job without doing much else and feels familiar to similar stories that we’ve seen in the past. In Deep Gravity we get a story about a space ship that’s been traveling for three years to a colony on a distant planet featuring an engineer/technician that is taking the trip partially to see and get closure from his ex-girlfriend who left him out of the blue three years ago to travel to said space colony. If you think this sounds like another story you’ve heard before that’s because it is. Deep Gravity is part Prometheus part 500 Days Of Summer part 2001: A Space Odyssey without actually hitting on any of the points that made those films interesting. More then anything this feels like a modern studio film that tries to hit on all the genre tropes you’d expect from one of these stories without actually doing anything with them. I suspect that this is possibly going to be optioned to film as the concept came from Dark Horse owner Mike Richardson, no stranger to Hollywood as his company was one of the first to capitalize their intellectual property on the big screen, and they are simply getting the comic out first to capitalize on fan interest once the film goes into production. The writing and dialogue itself is solid in that it feels true and real but at the same time you don’t get any distinction from the character’s that engages them to the reader. On art Fenando Baldo is just fine at creating the wide open space aspects as he is with doing on planet or indoor scenes although the former lacks the wonder and imagination that you get from something like Prophet, Trillium, Thor God Of Thunder, Superman Unchained or Yu and Opena’s work on Avengers. This is all to say that everything here is ok which I guess is fine on some level but at the same time this is comics where the only limits you have are on the artistic ability and imagination of the creators. There is a celling here and it holds back something that has a lot of potential in the first issue. It’s good but these days good isn’t good enough.
By Mark Kidwell, Jeff Zornow & Jay Fotos In a doom-shadowed Cambodia infested with the living dead, CIA Special Agent Declan Rule and his canine companion Nero stalk a human monster, a neurosurgeon bent on carrying out grisly experiments that turn P.O.W.s into vicious instruments of war. In Vietnam, Private Kuen Yam and his ragtag band of survivors battle their way across a murderous no-man’s-land in a desperate search for a ticket to the skies. The war is over, but the battle for humanity’s survival has just begun. Courage will be tested, sanity will be pushed to the breaking point and the rules of war… will be broken. APOCALYPSE AI #3 (of 4)
By J. Michael Straczynski, Sid Kotian & Bill Farmer
The life of private investigator Allison Carter is complicated enough just preventing the end of the world on a regular basis. But in the midst of her latest case she gets an unexpected call from her mostly-dead ex-boyfriend, who has a tip that may prove helpful or push the world further toward its destruction. Along the way, she encounters a closet troll with a stun-gun fetish, a theme park filled with demonic creatures in happy costumes, and unravels a secret that will change her life forever.
By Dan Wickline & ROM
Tom Judge and Tilly track down students who used a math equation to open up a portal to the Ancient Ones (featured in the Darkness Rebirth). Former Angelus and Witchblade bearer Daniel Baptiste investigates related murders.BLACK SCIENCE #5
By Rick Remender, Matteo Scalera & Dean White Grant discovers the truth about the Pillar’s sabotage, tearing his team apart just as they are launched into a dimension of mad gravity and violent monkey ghosts! How do you survive insanity when you can’t trust anyone around you? ELEPHANTMEN #55
By Richard Starkings & Axel Medellin
PICKING UP THE PIECES,’ Part Five – THE CONCLUSION!FIELD #1 (of 4)
By Ed Brisson & Simon Roy
A man wakes in a field wearing nothing but his underwear. He’s got no idea who he is or how he got there. His only connection to the outside world is a cell phone that receives mysterious texts warning him of impending danger. Danger like Christian, an ex-Bible salesman in the middle of a crime spree fueled by Christian Rock, dirty sex, meth, murder, and keeping this underwear-clad, nameless, and past-less man close by his side.INVINCIBLE UNIVERSE #12
By Phil Hester, Todd Nauck & Gabe Eltaeb
King Lizard’s plan has been unleashed and split the Guardians in two! When the smoke clears, will anyone be left to save the day? PRETTY DEADLY #5
By Kelly Sue DeConnick, Emma Rios & Jordie Bellaire
It’s the ultimate father-daughter showdown as Ginny faces off against Death himself in the bloody conclusion to PRETTY DEADLY’s opening arc. REAL HEROES #1
By Bryan Hitch They are the six most famous actors in the world and together they play The Olympians, the biggest superhero movie franchise in history. Would you ask them to save the world? They may be our only hope… REVIVAL #19 By Tim Seeley & Mike Norton Edmund Holt is up to something. Dana and her son Coop are having issues about the thing in the woods. Lester is having issues WITH the thing in the woods. And Em, left alone, is looking for new ways to feel something … anything…. SECRET #7
By Jonathan Hickman, Ryan Bodenheim & Michael Garland
ENDGAME’It’s taken fifteen years of couples counseling. Forty barrels of ink. Six billion dollars and a time machine to get to the epic conclusion of SECRET and HERE IT IS! The death and resurrection of Steadfast. Someone lives. Someone dies. And, of course, someone loses a finger. Check out the final chapter of this modern spy thriller, SECRET #7: ENDGAME! SELF-OBSESSED (One-Shot)
By Sina Grace
For fans of his gothic-tinged retail hell graphic novel NOT MY BAG, SINA GRACE (LI’L DEPRESSED BOY, BURN THE ORPHANAGE) presents a collection of rare and never-before-seen autobiographical strips! Packed with new stories for this edition, SELF-OBSESSED is packed with quirky and humorous insights about comics, love, dreams, and, of course, frenemies. SHOTGUN WEDDING #1 (of 4) By William Harms & Edward Pun Mike Stone wants nothing more than to marry the woman of his dreams. Denise is smart, sexy, teaches the second grade, and loves Mike more than anything in the world. What she doesn’t know is that Mike is one of the world’s top assassins and was once engaged to a fellow assassin named Chloe. And when Mike abandoned Chloe on their wedding day, she vowed revenge… This April, treat yourself to an issue of SHOTGUN WEDDING each Wednesday! All FOUR issues of Minotaur Press’s latest miniseries will be released in April, and the covers for all four issues connect to form one larger image. SIDEKICK #6 By J. Michael Straczynski, Tom Mandrake & HiFi
For years, Barry ‘FLYBOY’ Chase has carried the grief and belief that his mentor The Red Cowl was dead, and the guilt that he could have prevented it. Now Julia Moonglow provides all the proof he needs to know that the Red Cowl is alive and well… somewhere. Now comes the task of finding him, and more important still… exacting their revenge.STARLIGHT #2 By Mark Millar & Goran Parlov
Duke McQueen once saved an alien world from destruction – but it happened in a place nobody believes in, during a time nobody remembers. Surrounded by memories of his late wife and his happier past, Duke’s days as a hero are long gone… or so he thinks! Now, a young visitor from the world Duke once saved is coming to him with a desperate plea for help. It’s one last chance at adventure for Duke, and another chapter to unfold in the ever-expanding Millarworld Universe!
Archer & Armstrong #19
by Fred Van Lente, Pere Perez, Lewis LaRosa
‘MISSION IMPROBABLE’ – PART 3 (of 4)! Archer & Armstrong elbow in on Bloodshot’s home turf! Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps have captured Obadiah Archer and jailed him within their secret compound – but have they trapped Archer or has Archer trapped them? Attacked from within, and with a fighting-mad Armstrong ready to break down the doors, Project Rising Spirit is learning the hard way that breaking up Valiant’s premier team of conspiracy busters is tough to do!
Bloodshot Deluxe Ed HC Vol. 01
by Duane Swierczynski, Manuel Garcia, Esad Ribic
An oversized, deluxe hardcover collecting Bloodshot’s brutal first year in the Valiant Universe! From his first no-holds-barred suicide run to the heated firefights of the Harbinger Wars, Valiant’s indestructible, nanite-enhanced commando begins the quest for the long-lost answers behind his origin in this prestige-sized collection by acclaimed writer Duane Swierczynski (Birds of Prey) and all-star artists Manuel Garcia (Black Widow), Barry Kitson (Amazing Spider-Man) and Arturo Lozzi (Immortal Weapons). Your name is Angelo Mortalli. Your brother is trapped behind enemy lines and on the verge of – no. That’s not right. Your name is Raymond Garrison. You’ve retired from the dangers of the field, but a desperate plea from your oldest friend plunges you into a vicious firefight that – no. That’s not right, either. You are Bloodshot. You are the shade of gray that freedom requires. The perfect confluence of military necessity and cutting-edge technology. A walking WikiLeaks. A reservoir of dirty secrets that could set the world on fire. And you’ve just been captured. Collecting BLOODSHOT #1-13 (2012), the Bloodshot Deluxe Edition Book One hardcover also comes jam-packed with more than 20 pages of never-before-seen art and extras, direct from the Valiant vaults.
Quantum & Woody #9
by James Asmus, Kano, Tom Fowler
ALL-NEW ARC! START READING HERE!
The world’s worst superhero team welcomes fan favorite artist Kano (Swamp Thing, Gotham Central) aboard to stop the latest scourge on the streets–ROBOTS!
Eric needs to know he can trust Woody–and that means Woody needs to get a job, open a bank account, sign up for a library card, and do all the things a responsible adult does. But when a new gang of rogue mad-scientist super-criminals launch a wave of ROBO-CRIME, will Woody stop them . . . or join them?
Plus–the return of EDISON’S RADICAL ACQUISITIONS?!
Robert Venditti, Billy Tan
Hal Jordan is surrounded on the homeworld of the Khund, the bloodthirsty military wing of a cosmic alliance that’s determined to crush the Green Lanterns! So why has he volunteered to fight without his ring?
Marv Wolfman, Walter Carzon
Daffy Duck is sure he’d give the best-ever rendition of his pal Porky’s famous ‘Th-th-that’s all, folks!’ Could he be too good at it, though? We’ll find out when the director gives him his big break!
Gail Simone, Freddie Willams
Virtue’s mysterious past is revealed! Plus, The Movement travels outside of Coral City for the first time to rescue their teammate Burden from his demonic brother!
Charles Soule, Jesus Saiz
Alec Holland contemplates the Sureen’s offer to turn him humanÖ but if he does accept, what happens to his almost all-powerful body? He and his warrior companion Capucine must travel to India to find the answersÖ and to get there, they’ll need help from Vandal Savage!
What is Nika’s ultimate destiny? And what role will William play in the survival of humankind? Can they finally be reunited before the universe unravels all around them? Vertigo’s sci-fi epic reaches its mindbending conclusion.
Jim Starlin, Jeremy P. Roberts
FINAL ISSUE A ‘FUTURES END’ prelude! The original Stormwatch team returns, as this story sets up the organization’s role in the future of the DC Universe!
J. M. DeMatteis, Fernando Blanco, Guillem March
The Crack in Creation’ begins! Sin Eater and his new master, the mysterious Non, are marshaling an army of these in-between souls! Their goal? To invade the world of the living and set up a new order! Guest-starring Superman and Dr. Light, who is still dead!
Sean Williams, Xermanico, Alan Quah
Don’t miss this special Bennett Witch issue! In ‘1969,’ Grams reveals the story behind her first meeting with Stefan Salvatore – and her awakening as a force in the antiwar movement in Mystic Falls. Then, when Bonnie wasn’t visiting her boyfriend in Mystic Falls, she was learning more about her family’s powers…with devastating results!
Cap trapped in the twisted mindscape of Dr. Mindbubble!
Jet Black and Falcon must make a horrible choice!Deadpool vs Carnage #1 Cullen Bunn, Salva Espin Two red-suited madmen for the price of one!That’s right-good crazy vs. bad crazy, once and for all!
And you can bet it’s gonna be a bloody one!Inhuman #1 Charles Soule, Joe Madureira The newest super heroes of the Marvel Universe are born! A cloud of Terrigen mist is moving around the world turning regular people into Inhumans with amazing powers. But not everyone thinks this is a good thing. Discover the secret history of the Marvel Universe and get in at the ground floor of the next big Marvel franchise! Loki Agent of Asgard Al Ewing, Lee Garbett Loki heads back to the dawn of Asgard to join its greatest heroes on a quest for an otter-skin of gold, the heart’s-blood of a dragon . . . and a certain magical sword.Meanwhile, Loki does not appear in this issue.
Both these statements are, for once, true.Magneto #2 Cullen Bunn, Gabriel Hernandez Walto Horrors from Magneto’s past inform his decisions in the present as he hunts down the source of the newest threat to mutantkind.Meanwhile, S.H.I.E.L.D. catches a glimpse of Magneto’s new band of followers . . .
Marvel Guardians of The Galaxy Prelude #1
Dan Abnett, Wellington Alvens
GET READY FOR MARVEL’S GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY WITH AN ALL-NEW COMIC BOOK PRELUDE-WRITTEN BY COSMIC LEGENDS DAN ABNETT AND ANDY LANNING! ï Who is Nebula? What tragic events forged her unbreakable allegiance to her dark lord? Find out here! ï Plus: Gamora! Korath! And more from the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey
The best new comic of 2014 continues with a story that has to be experienced to be believed!New Warriors #3 Christopher Yost, Marcus Tu THE KIDS ARE ALL FIGHT!The all-new NOVA has tea with the High Evolutionary as a world-wide genocide approaches.
Why does the High Evolutionary want to kill anything that’s not human? Is he a hero or villain? The answers are here!
PLUS! As the New Warriors gather in New York, a captured SCARLET SPIDER meets Nova, and one of them REALLY annoys the other. Guess.
Nathan Edmondson, Mitch Gerads
The Punisher, captured by the Dos Sols gang, is caught in the metaphorical lion’s den. Tough luck, metaphorical lions.
The 131 get the call: Take down the Punisher with extreme prejudice.
A new player tosses her hat in the ring, and Frank’s gotta ask himself a question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well . . . do ya, Frank?
Charles Soule, Javier Pudillo
We the people find you DOOM!
When the son of Victor Von Doom seeks extradition, Jen Walters will go to the ends of the earth for Justice!
All this, and Matt Murdock too as Charles Soule (THUNDERBOLTS) and Javier Pulido (HAWKEYE) continue 2014’s sleeper hit!
Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Bagley, David Marquez
The world mourns on the anniversary of Peter Parker’s death
A gathering of Spidey’s friends and foes reveal some shocking truths about Peter and his world
One of the biggest surprise endings of the year!
Joe Keatinge, Raffaele Ienco, Chris Stevens
THE ENDLESS AGE OF ULTRON!
In Age of Ultron, a time-travelling Wolverine killed Hank Pym before he could create the world-conquering Ultron.
What would the Marvel Universe look like if another founding Avenger had been killed instead?
A world without the Wasp brings a world where Hank Pym created an Ultron even more heinous than the one we know!
Dynamite Entertainment’s The Shadow Over Innsmouth puts Lamont Cranston (AKA the pulp avenger The Shadow) and his companion Margo Lane in the strange community of Innsmouth, which should be a familiar locale to fans of horror writer H. P. Lovecraft. Cranston and Lane are stranded in the town due to a thick fog, and it’s not long before The Shadow is confronted by some strange creatures that may have been spawned by dark, ancient gods.
Writer Ron Marz crafts an eerie, entertaining adventure story that allows The Shadow to take on the horrible creatures of Cthulu fantasy. Artist Ivan Rodriguez conjures the action, the supernatural monstrosities, and the human moments that the story demands. The comic has some great “Easter egg” surprises for Lovecraft fans, although it is accessible to both new and veteran readers, so put away your copy of the Necronomicon and check this comic out.
The first issue of Bodies features a mystery… or is it mysteries? Four detectives (Edmond Hillinghead, Charles Whiteman, Shahara Hassan, and Maplewood) each discover a dead, mutilated body (and it does a appear to be the same dead, mutilated body) in the same location (in London’s East End) in their respective time periods (1890, 1940, 2014, and 2050, respectively). Hillinghead is a detective in Victorian London trying to bring science and professionalism to a police force that doesn’t seem to care for either. Whiteman is a corrupt cop during the London Blitz. Hassan is a smart, professional Muslim policewoman in modern-day London. And Maplewood is a strange, confused female detective in a future London.
Although the story is written by Si Spencer, the individual detective stories are illustrated by four different artists: Dean Ormston (Hillinghead), Phil Winslade (Whiteman), Meghan Hetrick (Hassan), and Tula Lotay (Maplewood), with colors by Lee Loughridge. Bodies #1 is an intriguing first issue, with its connecting mystery of a dead man appearing in multiple centuries, as well as a sinister secret society in Victorian London that might have a connection to the dead body and something called “the long harvest”. All the characters and their respective time periods are well-rendered and engaging, and the shift between time periods and artistic styles is done in a deft, non-distracting manner. This comic is worth investigating.
Boom! Studios’ Evil Empire is a political thriller that explores the devolution of the United States into an “evil empire”. Splitting its focus between two time periods – the chaotic present and the dystopian future – a provocative rap singer named Reese gets caught up in the political manipulations of presidential candidate Kenneth Laramy, who unleashes a wave of violence across America with the confession that he killed his wife, who apparently – according to Laramy – had it coming for abusing their daughter; Laramy’s violent philosophy of “do what you want” apparently has a mass appeal.
Writer Max Bemis attempts to do some ambitious things with this comics series. Bemis is trying to make some points about the collusion of media and politics. Bemis is trying to warn readers about the danger of a society that loses its sense of community in order to embrace selfish personal gratification. Bemis is trying to write a compelling political thriller.
Unfortunately, with issue three, Bemis’ story destroys the ability of readers to suspend their disbelief; the plot becomes absurd. In the present, Reese – a controversial but popular rap star – decides to keep crucial information that she gets from a fan regarding Laramy’s whereabouts from the FBI in order to track Laramy down on her own. Also, the paparazzi discover that Reese is having a romantic affair with Laramy’s political opponent, a man likely to become the next President of the United States. Laramy, it turns out, may not be the big bad villain readers thought he was. And there is a lot of distracting, gratuitous cussing that adds nothing to the plot. While in the future, the revolution comes to Los Angeles, whatever that means.
Evil Empire is an ambitious comics series that has something to say, but it suffers from a confusing story that shifts between two time periods in a very inelegant manner. The art provided by artists Ransom Getty and Andrea Mutti is great. Evil Empire #3 is a nice looking book, even though its plot is confusing to both new and veteran readers.