Wednesday, March 20, 2013

New Release Reviews for IDW Publishing, for 20 March, 2013

Welcome back to another New Release Reviews for IDW Publishing. Fun week from the light-bulb with plenty of licensed properties as well as something odd from the creator of 30 Days Of Night. As always … 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.

Judge Dredd : Year One - Issue 1

There is a certain charm to Judge Dredd in that he's almost a machine. Think Robocop but with less skin exposed, and less personality. Which is not to say he is charmless. You just have to look beyond the exterior to see someone utterly dedicated to his task. Why this has worked so well over the years is that we only see what he does, and not why he does it. Mostly this is done through lots of action, minimal dialogue and nearly zero thought balloons.

This new series is unusual as it shows Dredd early in his law-enforcement career. It isn't clear if this is a pivotal series of events but it's an interesting way of expanding on the myth. Much of the tale focuses on the psychic characters in that world and how Dredd not only in not comfortable dealing with them but is actually out of his depth. He admits he needs help. Logic says him asking for help is going to back-fire. Maybe, in the long run, this might not be the best approach. Part of his charm is his direct approach works best.

There is a certain tragedy behind the psychic issues affecting children. Even he seems slowed by this though not enough to stop him from shooting some. The conflict at the beginning seemed anti-climatic and the ending was more confusing than satisfying. The covers were very cool and the interior was alright. It's atmospheric but soft on some details.

Score: 7.5 out of 10

Star Trek 2 : Prequel - Issue 3

With a revamped universe, a few things are changed and some are for the better. This universe's version of Mudd is fantastic and hopefully she'll pop up again. There is, also, some self-referential issues between the red shirts and the gold ones. It's nice that they give Hendorff a fair amount of page time. There is about to be some major upheaval which hints at what the next movie will be about. Alright interior art. The covers are of mixed quality.

Score: 8 out of 10

G.I. Joe - Issue 2

A great deal of note about this issue and series is the difference between where the Joes are at and where they came from. This is evident with the cartoonish historical recap of the franchise, back to pre-Kung-Fu grip days. Attention is given to the in-story recap of the prior issue before jumping into the festivities. Props should be given to the editorial teams at IDW Publishing for keeping new readers in mind.

The present day stuff is a lot of fun and deals seriously with current technology and topical issues. There's a very funny moment where Hashtag tweets their situation to get help, not thinking that COBRA might be following her. Inspired. The best stuff was the commentary on economic conditions. To quote the band Faithless "greed is a weapon of mass destruction." Far more poignant than would be expected.

The action is classic. Weapons and physics come into play, as does tactics and strategy. Classic and fun. There is a lot of violence and the part involving Hashtag is particularly harrowing. The interior art is useful as it helps keep track of the characters and manages the chaos of war. The covers are stylish, even if they may be lacking in some skill.

Score: 8 out of 10

My Little Pony Micro-Series : Rainbow Dash - Issue 2

Brohoofs. That's about all that needs to be said about this. However, if that's not enough, just know that this is a sweet and clever tale about the high-flying pony who never seems to give up. Rainbow Dash has spunk and it (we're not clear if it's male or female) faces a doom and gloom sort of enemy. And it shines through in the humorous and reverential aspects of this story that's geared for all audiences.

The best thing are the pop culture riffs. The Frank Frazetta homage should have been the top thing but the Radioactive Man quote was quite amusing. Who can forget Rainier Wolfcastle's classic line? We didn't count the number of covers but it seemed to number in the millions. The artwork is very simple and clean and perfect for this kind of story. The coloring, in particular, just pops off the pages.

Score: 7.5 out of 10

Mystery Society : 2013 - One-Shot

This is a strange and amusing little one-shot about a strange and amusing team of supernatural adventurers. The banter is great as it seems to take little seriously. Even the actual threats are pretty minor, though menace was present. It has an odd pace to things. The artwork is deliberately older and faded in look. The covers are trippy and bizarre.

Score: 8 out of 10

Pretty solid week from IDW. Seriously, all the releases are worth a peek. Mystery Society is the high point and the others are worth consideration. Even the pony book is worth a chance. Stop back next week for more New Release Reviews.