Wednesday, March 6, 2013

New Release Reviews For Image Comics, for 6 March, 2013

This was a big week from Image Comics and New Release Reviews.  Six issues reviewed and a seventh would have happened had Sex Issue 1 been made available in time. Probably reviewed for next week. 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.

Snapshot - Issue 2

There is a great deal of style to this comic. Unfortunately, there isn't much in the way of substance. The cover is hip and moody, adding a little splash of color to make it stand out a bit. The interior art is black and white, though, artist "Jock" has skill even if there is a chaotic quality to it. The story is where this comic stumbled.

The biggest knock is that the protagonist isn't worth caring about. From the first issue, he really comes across like an ass. This kills any sympathy he might have garnered had he been more likeable. Even if the lead is enjoyable, the rest of the characters are weak, as well. The friend was a one-note joke. the villain is simplistic in his unstoppable quality. The crime is bizarrely convoluted.  The creators aimed high but missed the mark.

Score: 6 out of 10

Savage Dragon - Issue 185

This issue is wildly uneven. The interior artwork is typical Erik Larsen but the cover looks like he only got half-way through it before he decided to just use it as is. The dialogue is bizarre at parts and forget meaningful relationships. You're looking in the wrong comic for depictions of seemingly real people. The trial only focused on the prosecution and it was wild and unusual. The story itself had no real flow and just jumped around a lot.

Score: 6 out of 10

Glory - Issue 33

This is the second to last issue of this series and it seems to be going out in a blaze of ... well, it going to end big, that's for sure. And it's a shame that this is ending as the story has been remarkably excellent sans Rob Liefeld. Ahh, one less comic to kick Rob around for. The creative teams explains that they are happy that they get to tell the story the wanted to but it doesn't ring completely true. Earlier issues in their run hint at bigger things, that seemed to be retconned in this issue. Hopefully, they just got better offers on other projects.

What this issue does, like their prior ones, is mix beautiful little intimate moments with massive conflict. The intimate moments help escalate the feeling of dread for what's coming. And what came was out of control. The scale of the battle is almost impossible to describe, though the cover does a fairly good job. For this issue, fans will require tissues as the casualties are high. A great visual-style and story are the proper precursor to the final issue of this excellent series.

Score: 9 out of 10

Mara - Issue 3

This series has the look of something cool. The sixties design to the package is very appealing up until the moment you realize this is all it has going for it. The characters are so unbelievably flat, it's impossible to care about them one way or another. The story has a choppy pace, almost abstract, that kills all momentum. Interior artwork is alright but the coloring is so flat, it kills the energy.

Score: 6.5 out of 10

Great Pacific - Issue 5

The big critique about this series is the untapped potential. Similarly themed The Massive, by Dark Horse, actually delved into the social and ecological impact of a massive catastrophe. Great Pacific uses it as a setting and not much more. Even if there are little factoids in the front cover. The rest is some random series of events that drive the plot forward. What little plot there is.

The lead's motives are pretty limited to STEP 1 assume control of a floating pile of garbage. STEP 2 ______. STEP 3 profit. And he's rather dull doing that. The antagonists are dull, as well, though they all seem to be willing to kill whatever gets in their way. It's not even slightly clear what their goals are. Everyone just sort of bounces around. Instead of discussing the damage to the planet and presenting solutions to deal with it. Artwork and cover are adequate.

Score: 5 out of 10

Bedlam - issue 5

We all know the analogies here. Mr. Press was the equivalent of The Joker. This story is kind of a What If? story. What If the Joker was "cured?"More importantly, is do we really believe he's cured. Like, permanently cured and won't turn back into the insane mass-murderer he started as. Somehow, the creative team still manages to make us care about the title character. Somehow they've managed to make us connect to this earnest, mad man.

The flash-back make you think the cure was as crazy as the patient. Perhaps crazier up until simple greed becomes a motive. It's still very disturbing, as is the antagonist. The dialogue is kind of soft at points and there is an awful lot of it. The cover is sort of great and sort of average. The interior art is appropriate for the story, given its jerky quality.

Score: 9 out of 10

What a great week! Bedlam and Glory should both be taken home by comic fans. Everything else is OK, but not worth the time. Stop back next week for more New Release Reviews.