Wednesday, March 13, 2013

New Release Reviews For Image Comics, for 13 March, 2013

Welcome back to another edition of New Release Reviews for Image Comics. This is a fun week, with two great comics from Image. Though, you may have to buy them at the comic shop as ComiXology had some trouble this week.

I'm sure they'll fix things shortly. 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.

Hoax Hunters - Issue 8

This is an incomplete comic book. It strives to be something deep and meaningful, a la an X-Files type story, but it was removed from the oven a bit too soon. It's wild and dynamic and kind of spooky in it's own way. But it's also soft on the dialogue and drama side of things. The dialogue is in desperate need of some editorial guidance. Much seems cliched and/or flat.

There is enormous conflict but most of it seems to be amongst the Hoax Hunters. The betrayal by their demon-possessed handler/producer seemed sudden and arbitrary. It came out of nowhere. And then there are seeds of doubt planted that seemed odd and rushed.  Utterly terrible team dynamics. Additionally, there seems to be some sort of conspiracy involving the people behind the scenes that was boring, and confusing.

The cover was very cool. The art was excellent and the Angry Gnome thing was just hysterical. Especially given what happens. The interior artwork  is alright. It is satisfactory in how it moves the story along but characters aren't always clearly presented. And there is nothing memorable about the work of the artists.

Score: 6 out of 10

Manhattan Projects - Issue 10

This issue was all about Robert Oppenheimer. Lots and lots of Oppenheimers. It's a wildly imaginative and disturbing piece on one of the many complex characters in this crazy-ass series. Everything in the main body of this issue takes place inside the brain of Oppenheimer. That doesn't just mean memories and thoughts but almost literally. Those thoughts and memories seems to have degenerative effects.

It's sort of understandable as they're cannibalistic and homicidal. And clever and oddly sexual, The story is muddled, and dream-like, all the while being violent and disconcerting. The artwork continues to be so radically different than almost anything else on the stands. Not super quality but it just makes sense. And the coloring is this mixture of intense primary colors. The covers continue to be fantastic. Amazing in their simplicity and utterly noticeable on the shelves.

Score: 9 out of 10

Where Is Jake Ellis? - Issue 3 (of 5)

This is an average book being published by Image. The artwork is alright. It's good enough to keep the story moving but it's not very sophisticated and details aren't spectacular. The story is hard for new readers to pick up. The dialogue tries to be hip and cool but just rings hollow. Conflict is vague, as are the characters. The cover is alright.

Score: 6 out of 10

Peter Panzerfaust - Issue 10

A hallmark of quality story-telling is the ability to, in a short time,  make the reader feel emotions for fictional characters. This issue does this quite well but it does it in the least expected. One would assume all the best drama was found in the military campaign but that would be incorrect. The best aspects involve the tender and real love between Julien and Lily. It's passionate and seemingly timeless, making the reader further invested in their fates.

The rest of the issue still had drama, but it wasn't as mature and thoughtful as that aspect. There was still a great deal of consequences for the Lost Boys in the war including the hints that many will meet awful fates. But it's still hopeful as some are hinted at having wonderful lives ahead. This is a subtle book and it deserves more attention.

It's, also, in a new arc with a new narrator and the tone has changed which is good. It's indicative of maturing characters. The pacing of this series has been excellent. The only knock is on the artwork which isn't overly sophisticated but it moves the story forward. The down-side is that many of the characters appear similar making it hard to tell them apart. The cover is similar.

Score: 8.5 out of 10

This was a great week. Manhattan Projects just continues to be one of the best comics on the stand and Peter Panzerfaust took a huge step up. Everything else was just OK. Stop back next week for more New Release Reviews.