Thursday, January 24, 2013

Image Comics - New Release Reviews For January 23, 2013

Editor's note. This column normally appears on the website, first, and then is reprinted on this blog. Unfortunately, Technorati's editorial focus has shifted and they're no longer interested in publishing these columns.

So, until a new home is found, they're going to be exclusive to The Previous Title Was Capriciously Censored. Which is still pretty cool. However, we do like the dual exposure so don't get too comfortable.


The December 2012 comic books sales numbers are in and Image Comics had a great month for a non-Big Two publisher. Three of the top 100 titles were published by Image including The Walking Dead, Happy, and Saga. The top selling comic book was issue 700 of Amazing Spider-Man which sold over two-hundred thousand copies.

The Walking Dead Vol. 1 was the top selling collected edition. Image Comics has six new releases and many are deserving of better sales numbers. Titles are scored on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the very best possible. We take the time to read these books so your time isn't wasted.

Bedlam - Issue 3

Oh, to be a cat in this issue is not a good thing. The only other people having such a hard time are the police who seem to be missing the point of the story's "hero." It's understandable as he is rather ill-equipped to help out.

The creative team does an excellent job showing the dichotomy of the characters, even if this is an extremely contained conversation of an issue. The cover is brilliant and the interior artwork is cool and low-fi.

Score: 8 out of 10

Chew - Issue 31

This issue, and series, deftly handles both humor and drama effortlessly and it blends them seamlessly. This may be the funniest and most meaningful funeral in comic book history.

Then, the creative team takes the story back to strange cases which are a lot of fun. The tone shifts seem natural and reasonable. The interior artwork is stylish and filled with detail. The cover dynamic.

Score: 9 out of 10

Revival - Issue 6

This is a very interesting concept that is executed in a very flat way. The drama is almost incomprehensible and the conflict seems arbitrary. Characters are reacting to situations that are very hard for the readers to care about.  At least there is an excellent recap to start the issue. This is marred by the grammar/editing mistakes. Artwork is OK, and the cover is solid.

Score: 4.5 out of 10

Witch Doctor Mal Practice - Issue 3 (of 6)

This is an unfortunate example of telling, not showing. The conflict, which takes the entire issue, is mostly discussed instead of playing out. The Doctor makes a big deal of the trouble he's in, even though it never seems real.

He's the type of character that seems to have contingency plans and this seems like another instance where he'll come out on top. At least he's entertaining while doing this. The artwork is excellent, seeming to spring from the hands of the master, Bernie Wrightson. The cover is just messed up.

Score: 7 out of 10

Hell Yeah - Issue 6

This is an interesting comic filled with strange conflict and even less clear resolution. The lead character is extremely unhappy and it makes him hard to care about. Objectives are vague and unclear on both sides of the conflict. Still, the interior art is excellent and creates excitement.  The cover is outstanding and conveys attitude.

Score: 7 out of 10

Prophet - Issue 33

You do not read this is comic. Instead, you let it wash over you. You let this strange, alien story hit you like a tsunami of oddness. It's cosmic in scope yet the best moments are the little character bits. In particular, the Scatalogical moments don't seem sophomoric.

It's challenging to grasp all the things going on but it still is a lot of fun. The initial recap was very helpful. The cover, and interior artwork, are beautiful and weird.

Score: 8 out of 10

Congratulations to Image Comics for having three of the top 100 selling comics in December. And for having three comics worth your attention in Prophet, Chew, and Bedlam. Stop by next week for more New Release Reviews.