Wednesday, May 8, 2013

New Release Reviews For IDW Publishing, for 8 May, 2013

Welcome back to another New Release Reviews for IDW Publishing. Several new releases of solid quality including the new issue of Star Trek, just in time for the new movie. Speaking of movies, Iron Man 3 did kind of alright. It's funny because comic books have been having record sales of late. Though, it's not clear what the rationale is. Does this mean there are more readers than ever? The pricing certainly must have some impact.

Publishing, in general, seems to be changing and at least comics seem to be embracing digital delivery methods. And, as long as there will be a Free Comic Book Day, people will look for retail stores. Stop on by your local store and support some of these titles. 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.

Star Trek - Issue 20

We're only a few weeks away from the new Star Trek movie and if you can't get enough, IDW has a new issue from the series "produced" by the team who brought you the new movies. After I wrote that, even I got kind of confused. One of the consultants on the comic is Roberto Orci, who co-wrote and produced the feature films. So, I guess this is designed to keep things within continuity. Which is great because these stories feel like natural off-shoots of the films. Even the characters are drawn to look like the new actors.

The last few issues have been little tales about what pushed various characters into the current situation and their careers in Starfleet. This issue combined both Pavel Chekov and Hikaru Sulu. It focused mostly on their time at the Academy but it touches nicely upon themes introduced in this comic series, which will probably play out in the next movie. Both stories show the character confronted with a moral issue and, after making the right decision, are rewarded for their actions. It even gives some excellent insight into Kirk. The interior art fine. It's clear and detailed and you can tell characters apart, even in the uniforms. The covers are varied. The painted cover is stunningly beautiful. The photo cover is alright.

Score: 9 out of 10

Rocketeer : Haunted Hollywood - Issue 4 (of 4)

There was a certain simplicity to one aspect of this story that made the whole thing entertaining, even if maybe the story could have been told in less issues. The real owner of the rocket, Howard Hughes, sends some of his henchmen to borrow the rocket. Cliff thinks they're trying to take it away from him for good so he keeps fleeing. Of course, Hughes just really wanted to borrow it so he could run tests on it. This seemed like a much more reasonable explanation and if everyone would have just communicated better, most of the death and destruction wouldn't have happened.

However, there wouldn't have been this fun miniseries. And fun it was with a nod towards H. P. Lovecraft and a robot monster. Plus there was some classic Betty cheese-cake to be found. Not really clear is just how the narrator fit into things. That didn't hurt things but it really didn't help either. Both of the covers are borderline stunning. Walt Simonson's cover is fantastic, as would be expected from the master. James White's cover was an unexpected joy. The interior artwork is fun, silly, and light. Detail is present and there is a cartoony aspect that compliments and contrasts the story.

Score: 7 out of 10

The High Ways - Issue 4 (of 4)

For the prior three issues of this series, one of the biggest mysteries about this comic has been its title. Some connections were made between the idea of freight transport and that the characters in the story were hauling cargo. Additionally,  there was the obvious metaphor of them being high in the sky or higher in space. In the end, what this story revealed to be was a police procedural of sorts focusing on drug traffic and possible bio-ethic concerns. Truly, this was a "high" way. That, when revealed, seemed to make this a little more interesting.

The earlier parts of this mini-series seemed to get bogged down in mystery like what was Eddie's story? And why did the crew end up going where they went even though there was no clear reason for them going? It wasn't a great mystery ... or, perhaps, they weren't great answers but it it still was fun. And, this smart universe has lots of room for potential given how much upheaval there was. The issue had an mazing cover with great detail and adventure. The title treatment is a blast. And the interior contained classic John Byrne interior art with lots of  detail and expression,

Score: 7 out of 10

Not a bad week, at all, from IDW Publishing. In particular, the new Star Trek comic is pretty great with an amazing cover. The other releases are solid, if unspectacular. Nothing is awful in this week's column. Stop on back next week for more New Release Reviews.