Comic Book Reviews 10/15/2014

Oct 14, 2014

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DeadlyClass_08-1Deadly Class #8 (Image Comics)

Written by: Rick Remender
Art by: Wes Craig
Color by: Lee Loughridge

Deadly Class is a truly unique series that is both gripping, violent and retro. In this latest issue we finally get a lot more background on Marcus as we get to see more of his violent and extremely troubled past. Rick Remender is telling a story that is slow, methodical and not to be missed. This issue was extremely satisfying yet horrific as we finally gain insight into Marcus’ connection to the series villain Chester Wilson. Remender’s storytelling is unprecedented in Deadly Class and this issue especially as we finally begin to understand why Chester and Marcus hate each other so much. Remender is a master of brutality and this issue maybe one of his best examples as we watch Marcus try to do the right thing but in true Remender fashion doesn’t work out as he expected.

The art of this issue is also a fantastic feat as it perfectly expresses the ugliness of Marcus’ world and the era in which it’s set. While Craig’s art has always been on point during the run of Deadly Class it is Lee Loughridge’s colors that really stand out as his pallet choices change from page to page and expertly express the mood of each scene. Deadly Class has been a fantastic ride that is well worth starting from the beginning. That being said this maybe my favorite issue to date as it was horrifying yet gave us a little more of a peak behind the dark curtain that is Marcus’ past. Deadly Class is may not be for everyone but it is quickly becoming one of my favorite books of the year.

*Review by Casey Walsh


StorytellerWitches02-cover-54853Jim Henson’s Storyteller: Witches #2 (of 4) (Archaia/Boom! Studios)

Writer and Artist: Kyla Vanderklugt

All you need to know about this mini-series’ is in the title; Storyteller. Just as issue one of this mini-series did, issue two weaves a wonderful tale complete with a fantastic setting. Most tales that involve some important life lesson take place in some remote village settled at the base of a mountain, mainly because these are such ancient teachings and ideas that they have been told and retold throughout history to the point where this particular comic’s tale probably originated in the same ageless village that we are reading about. The ideas behind the Storyteller Witch series, takes the name and stereotyping associated with Witches, and breaks down that prejudice way of thinking.

StorytellerWitches02-PRESS-5-2c723This issue’s witch was an evil snow demon who was as wicked as she was beautiful, at least that is what the town’s people had come to believe. Keeping up with the rich and soft artistry that illustrated and colored the first issue, Vanderklugt retells this old story of not judging someone based on what other people say, using the oriental landscape to capture your attention. The snow covered trees and woods helps to cool the scenes down, so that the comic doesn’t feel rushed. Each scene and piece of script has a purpose in the overall story. It is important to not only slow down and read each bubble and block to gain a complete understanding of the life lesson being told, but to also slow down and enjoy the story as it is a great tale taking place in an iconic and peaceful setting.

With each passing issue of this Storyteller series, my appreciation for a story with a deeper meaning grows. I feel like this issue (as well as the first) were so well done, I could definitely see myself reading this and every issue in the series just to pass along these incredible stories to my future children (just as the main character promises to do to his son). The panels are captivating and really keep the tale enjoyable, as there is a fair amount of reading (though worth it).

*Review by Cory Anderson


Lumberjanes-007-coverA-20221Lumberjanes #7 (BOOM! Studios)

Written by: Grace Ellis & Noelle Stevenson
Art by: Brooke Allen

As the Lumberjanes continue on their adventures with a newly stolen crystal and the secretly hidden golden eye, friendship is questioned in issue 7 of Lumberjanes.

We learn that Diane, the newest girl to the group, has been hiding her true identity from everyone. She has covertly gotten the Lumberjanes to work together to defeat her brother in an ultimate test set by her mythical father. The girls learn that they have to continue their quest through the cave of doom, again, to help Diane. Friendship among the girls is tested when Jo has to make a tough decision at the end of the issue.

As with previous issues, the artwork in this comic is fantastic because it is colorful and quirky. I continue to be impressed with the story line and development of each character. Throughout the story, we learn more about each girl and her strengths within the group. I also enjoyed the Greek mythology references and how they intertwined with one of the characters and how it tied into the mystical creatures the Lumberjanes continually come across. This issue was particularly heartwarming to see that even through lies, pain, and secrets, true friends are there for one another, always – or “friendship to the max” as the Lumberjanes would say.

*Review by Melissa Myers


trinity-of-sin-1Trinity of Sin #1 (DC Comics)

Written by: J.M. Dematteis
Art by: Yvel Guichet, Jason Gorder & Gabe Eltaeb

So I picked up this book on a whim, just because I am trying to get more into DC comics, and this was their only #1 this week. The Trinity of Sin is made up of three sinners from the DC universe who I know nothing about. The Question, The Phantom Stranger and Pandora. Apparently all three of these characters have (or maybe haven’t) committed some of the worst sins in the Multiverse and are now trying to redirect their lives towards something healthier for their damned souls. Well no matter how hard they tried to live a quiet peaceful existence, some (almost Aztec god looking) demons attack them from out of nowhere, kill the ones they care about and basically send the three sinners into a rage that sets them back in their progress towards mending their souls.

The book is written by J.M. Dematteis and he does an okay job showing us a glimpse at who each of these characters are, what they can do and what they had (or maybe haven’t) done in their past. He sets up that these three heroes are linked in a weird way and that something evil is coming to destroy all of existence, but I finished the comic still having little clue about who these three main characters really are. I feel like for a #1 it lacks a little bit of character history that was really needed for someone new like me. The art by Yvel Guichet, Jason Gorder and Gabe Eltaeb is what drew me to this book and made me pick it up. The art is pretty great and colorful. It’s got some creatures/demons in this book that really took some imagination to draw (like a demon made of ocean water) and the coloring finished it off beautifully. Overall this book intrigued me. Which I guess is the aim for #1 books. I was curious enough to Google the three main characters to find out about them, but I feel like I shouldn’t have needed to do that. Hopefully #2 will shed a bit more light on the three mains in this series, because I’ll probably pick it up as well.

*Review by Everett Harn


SonsofAnarchy14-cover-75405Sons of Anarchy # 14 (BOOM! Studios)

Written by: Ed Brisson
Illustrated by: Damian Couceiro

SAMCRO is back, but the boys are far away from Charming, California. They find themselves in Arizona helping another chapter. Seems that another club wants them gone. The Slaughter have been selling Meth on the Sons turf. Well Jax and the boys are not going to stand it anymore. Let the chaos and insanity begin. What can happen when you have Meth houses, two rival clubs, and plenty of guns to make an army proud? Well head to your local comic shop to find out.

If you are a fan of the hit television show on the FX channel, then you need to get on board with this comic. Most of the stories take place between past episodes of the show. Plus some story lines take place between past seasons. I absolutely love the show but this comic is letting other stories come out that they don’t have time for in one hour. The art by Damian really brings out the grittiness of the club. He really makes the characters stand out and shows a lot of detail. Even down to the crazy tattoos on the bikers. He does such a great job that you will feel like you are on a Harley Davidson cruising along with the club. So if you are looking to fill the void between every Tuesday night this comic will do it.

*Review by Chris Pirri
Dr. Who coverDoctor Who: The Twelfth Doctor #1 (Ttitan Comics)
Written by: Robbie Morrison
Art by: Dave Taylor

Anyone who’s a fan of Doctor Who is well acquainted with the new 12th Doctor at this point played by Peter Capaldi. These days though, Dr.Who is hardly confined to television alone, so along with toys, games, and audio disks, there’s also a brand new comic book to chronicle the Doctor’s adventures which are totally separate from the television series. I read through issue 1 which centers around the Doctor and Clara flying to an arctic planet only to find it’s now tropical due to terraforming. This terraforming has awakened some sort of terrible force locked away by the Gallifreyans eons ago…

I walked away from issue 1 with mixed feelings. Writer Robbie Wilson has done a good job of capturing the way Clara speaks but the Doctor is all over the place swinging wildly from vain to pompous, snarky, arrogant, heroic, and everything in between. Overall he doesn’t come off terribly likeable but perhaps that will change over the course of the comic. I enjoyed the art of Dave Taylor. He does an excellent job of capturing Capaldi’s eyes although he shines most when he’s not drawing the Doctor and Clara. The flora and fauna of the alien world are very detailed and beautiful to look at. The story itself has potential (I love anything to do with the ancient Gallifreyans!) and is setup similarly to the show but isn’t self contained like a regular episode, it’s staged to span a number of issues before any story arc is completed.

This comic is probably not the best way to introduce someone to Doctor Who. It provides virtually no background information or context except for a short paragraph on the first page. As such, I can’t recommend it to anyone who isn’t already a fan of the show. Otherwise you’re just reading a comic about some jackass guy acting all high and mighty for the entirety of the comic for no apparent reason. Oh and compulsive collectors stay away, there’s 32 variants for issue 1! There no excuse for that other than an obvious ploy to get our money. When it’s all said an done this issue maybe a nice treat if your already a fan but a hard pill to swallow if your just getting into the good Doctor.

*Review by Mikhail Shlyuger


CM  #2Criminal Macabre: The Third Child #2 (Dark Horse)

Written by: Steve Niles
Arty by: Christopher Mitten
Colors by: Michelle Madsen

Criminal Macabre #2: The Third Child is an exciting bloodfest with dire consequences for some. Steve Niles is moving the story along quite briskly and with an ease of a master. Cal McDonald is the not-so-reluctant anti-hero bringing the heat to demons everywhere. It’s a pretty straight-forward butt-kicking of an issue with virtually wall-to-wall action.

Amid the turmoil and violence in Los Angeles as monsters and demons rampage the city Cal is in the middle of it gleefully taking them out in the most gruesome of ways. It’s a wonder for the eyes thanks to the brilliant art of Christopher Mitten and lush colors of Michelle Madsen. Cal uses every bit of himself, including his wings, to deliver maximum carnage to the monsters that surround him. Mo and Adam can only watch as Cal lays waste to every supernatural creature known to man.

The story pivots into an uncharacteristically tender moment for Cal as he visits his families cemetery plot. He pleads for help from them. He’s surprisingly vulnerable and bare in the scene but his dad’s a hoot though providing some levity. The usually confident and brazen Cal is brought to human levels of emotion and this is Niles’ adding more depth and dimensions than we’ve seen before.

The return of Hemlock has some dire consequences. Demon babies are running rampant on their path of destruction preparing for the return of the Third Child. Without giving away too much prepare to be shocked and saddened by the end. Issue three can’t come soon enough.

*Review by Enrique Rea


SleepyHollow01-coverA-6cbcbSleepy Hollow #1 (of 4) (BOOM! Studios)

Written by: Marguerite Bennett
Art by: Jorge Coelho
Colors by: Tamra Bonvillain

Sleepy Hollow #1 arrives to no one’s surprise as the popular supernatural time traveling fantasy “dramedy” was bound to serve it’s growing fandom in comic book form thanks to BOOM Studios. The limited series written by Marguerite Bennett retains its humor, historical references and most of all the wonderful chemistry between leads, Ichabod Crane and Det. Abbie Mills.

Bennett has captured the witty back and forth between our Witnesses and after a funny trip to a bakery they’re in the middle of some supernatural shenanigans. An old woman and young girl become possessed with the spirit of long murdered witches. Some miraculous consequences become of it but soon turn deadly.

SleepyHollow01-PRESS-9-c7845Jorge Coelho is a talented artist with a style that takes some getting used to. His thin compressed lines can often make characters look dehydrated with little life in their expressions of demeanor. Ichabod and Abbie become caricatures and detracts from the photogenic duo we see on television every week. The page layouts are well organized but backgrounds are minimal and mostly washed out with colors provided by Tamra Bonvillain.

There’s also a cute short drawn and written by Noelle Stevenson included.

It could be that the show has so many avid fans that they demand some proper adaptations and while the story could be ripped from the TV the art leaves something to be desired. Also, the plot is resolved swiftly and conveniently  but perhaps too neatly and quickly to create much impact. It’s still fun and if you can’t get enough of the show this is a nice way to supplement your Sleepy Hollow-hunger.

*Review by Enrique Rea


(This page will be continuously updated with comics until Friday 10/17! Check back for more reviews!)