Comic Book Reviews (7/16/2014)

Jul 15, 2014

BorderlandsFoF-coverSUB-03381 (422x640)Borderlands Fall of Fyrestone #1 (IDW Publishing)

Written By: Mikey Neumann
Art By: Agustin Padilla
Colors By: Neil Uyetake

Based on the 2009 video game of the same name, this comic starts right where video game does. After a bus slams into a marauder in the same dark humor vain as the source material, the four different character types (siren and her secret magic, gun blazing soldier, meat mountain of a brawler and the booze and bird loving sniper) exit the bus and begin to display their various characteristics (and video game play styles). Of course the comedic relief can be found in the famous Claptrap robot, which keeps the comic book from just being a book about treasure hunters who have a knack for killing.

The story of the comic follows directly along with the video game’s story and quickly offers the four vault hunters their first objective; freeing a town from a crazy-cannibalistic-villain colorfully named Nine Toes. Of course these hunters are on their own individual mission to find the rumored vault (a treasure trove of alien technology and mystery) and cash in. Seeing as none of them have any money to their names, as it cost them everything to get to this dog eat dog world of a planet. They are going to need to make so cash by doing odd jobs along the way, in order to buy weapons, ammo and BorderlandsFoF01-01-555f4 (422x640)suplies to protect themselves and hunt down the vault.

What sets this comic apart from the video game’s art style (a mixture of cell shading and comical 3D) is the combination of well detailed illustrations and vibrant but gritty colors. While keeping with the dark humor and wasteland approach, this comic is written in a more serious tone (and looks it visually as well) as these complete lone wolf types learn to work as a team (which rarely happened in the game version, unless you were with friends). I thoroughly enjoyed being brought back to the world of Pandora and shown a different view of a story I am personally very fond and familiar with.

*Review by Cory Anderson

 

24041Eye of Newt #2 (Dark Horse Comics)

Written by: Michael Hague
Art and Cover by: Michael Hague

The second chapter to this amazing fantasy world coninues, as we finally learn the identity of the witch apprentice; no -other than Morgan Le Fay. We also learn the name of our young wizard Arthur Pendragon. Issue 1 of this four part journey was the back-story and introduction to this fantasy realm. This issue is the acutal beginning of the quest that sends our two apprentices searching for elements to complete their magical weapons.

It is clear Morgan Le Fay is of an opposite personality and the two young apprentices butt heads several times as she wants to show she is the better apprentice. We get to see this rich fantasy world explored over the beginning days of their shared quest, while these opposites learn to work together. The art is as good as it was the first issue, with its highly detailed characters and beautiful EONewt2p1background scenery that helps complete this fantasy world setting. The well narrated adventure could be eased up on some as the art work wonderfully paints the scene, but then again the writing does such a good job of linguistically describing the events.

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The quest itself is simple, but it is obvious these two apprentices will learn much more valuable lessons. The entire read, up until the last page is full of new locations and new friends from unexpected places. While Morgan learns to slow down and trust people (creatures and monsters too), Arthur learns to trust his skills and abilities. I know this is only a four issue story, but I hope this world and “campaign” doesn’t end.

*Review by Cory Anderson

 

tmntTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #36 (IDW Publishing)

Story: Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow & Tom Waltz
Script: Tom Waltz
Art: Mateus Santolouco, Mark Torres (pages 1, 12 & 13) & Cory Smith (page 22)
Colors: Ronda Pattison

The pieces are still being picked up after the teenage brothers had been ambushed, mind wiped and ambushed again. The turtles and their allies are back in the city now, April and Casey are trying to put their lives (as well as their parents’ lives) back in order while trying to keep the ninja war a secret from April’s parents. Meanwhile the turtles begin to plan their counter attack against Shredder and the Foot. There is a lot of drama being played out throughout this issue, which also allows for deeper character development making them seem more than just ninja-kicking-bat-swinging vigilantes.

From the start of this new run bank in 2011 the colors and illustrations have been “totally awesome” to use the turtle vernacular and this issue is no different. The world they live in is dark and full of shady characters, which the coloring does a good job of portraying. The look of the turtles themselves has mutated itself over the course of TMNT-36_Cover-RE-KE_front (422x640)their existence many times, while still keeping the brothers with their own individual personalities. This incarnation has the turtles looking slightly like their current animated cartoon selves, but with more serious edge and less adolescents.

With the appearance of an old favorite from the cartoon, the Rat King (but again taking on a much more serious and horror-filled visage), this issue dealt a lot more with the lives that are affected by this ninja clan war (dating back to when Splinter was still Hamato Yoshi) and giving closure to the entire brainwashing episode. Which in their world, was only a few short days ago. This issue wasn’t the most action packed of the current arc, but there were a lot of emotions and feelings that were waging war instead.

*Review by Cory Anderson

 

dobermanDoberman #1 (IDW Publishing)

Written by: Scott Marder, Rob Rosell, & Jack Lambert
Art by: Brandon McKinney
Colors by: Zac Atkinson

As a fan of almost every 80’s action movie and by “fan” I mean if one comes on cable and I happen to catch it I’m devoted till the end. I knew Doberman from creators Scott Marder, Rob Roseel, & Jack Lambert was a book I needed to give a read. It also didn’t hurt that it’s written and created by the guys that brought you the outrageously funny It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Like every good 80’s movie Doberman takes place in L.A and our hero Frank Doberano is a no non-sense detective who doesn’t play by the rules. I won’t go to much into the plot because it is an amalgam of 80’s action movie clichés, archetypes and tropes but that’s exactly what it’s suppose to be and I loved every second of it.dober 2 (550x583)

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Doberman is so enjoyable I had to read it twice. Our main character invokes the swagger, charm, and hair of the greats; Douglas, Gibson, Stallone, Swazye. He appears to be all of them in one glorious human being. This book just drips 80’s action nostalgia from the cop who doesn’t agree with Doberman’s policing style to the homoerotic locker room interactions and the life changing moment that “forever” haunts our character. Doberman is a hilarious love letter to every movie that floods basic cable channels on Sunday afternoons.

McKinney’s art only seems to enhance the 80’s charm as characters, locations, and scenes seem to be pulled straight from the era. This is even more evident in the way he lays out and frames sequences as he does his best job to copy the pace, mood, and visual style. Doberman succeeds by blending everything we love from movies like Cobra and Lethal Weapon and placing them in a self aware and hilarious package that is a must read for any child of the 80’s.

*Review by Casey Walsh

 

24767Star Wars: Darth Maul Son of Dathomir #3 (Dark Horse Comics)

Written by: Jeremy Barlow
Art by: Juan Frigeri
Color by: Wes Dzioba

With the Republic hot on their tails, Darth Maul and Count Dooku join forces to keep Master Kenobi and his troops at bay. Despite capturing Dooku and General Grievous, Maul must fight against mutual enemies in Star Wars - Darth Maul: Son of Darthomir #3. It continues to be the most exciting of the Star Wars comic book titles.

Three issues in and there has not been a drop off in action or great storytelling. Since its beginning, writer Jeremy Barlow placed the reader in the middle of the action and provided exposition that was not too heavy handed. Maul’s motivations are clear and surprising considering his status as a “villain.” The issues have a fluidity and pace that appears effortless but enthralling nonetheless.

The art team of Juan Frigeri (pencils), Mauro Vargas (inks), and Wes Dzioba (colors) bring a cinematic quality to the page with well-designed layouts, brilliant use of bright colors and a kinetic energy to battle scenes. They are basically laying out a storyboard that could be filmed right now and it would be awesome. This is one of the most exciting periods during the Clone Wars.

 

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