Wednesday, June 12, 2013

New Release Reviews For Image Comics, for 12 June, 2013

Welcome back to another edition of New Release Reviews for Image Comics. We've got a very talent heavy week from Image including one of my favorites being published. As well as the series that spawned the most successful cable series of all time. Four releases, four reviews. 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.

Invincible Universe - Issue 3

As someone who is not strong in his knowledge of the Invincible "Universe," this series has been fairly approachable. Each issue has focused on one character and how that person moves through life as a human and a hero. Though, there is a fair amount of back-story interwoven in the tale, it's all pretty manageable as it is a solid story about characters that are very human. When the tale focused on those things, it was great. This could be found in the lead attempting to make amends for his behavior in the past, and as he tries to deal with his addictions. Additionally, his traveling and interacting with locals and discussing language was refreshing.

Where the story looses steam is in the super-hero part. This was a dark and violent story. The people he tries to find closure with are just villains and he's way outclassed. That is until he starts using his brain. The family portion of the story was kind of strange and it became better once he remembered he has friends. The animal deaths were terrible and pointless. It matched the violence in the cover and in the inside artwork. Overall, the art was solid.

Score: 7 out of 10

The Manhattan Projects - Issue 12

Aggression. Everything in this story was about aggression. Whether it's a group of determined geniuses or one sleeper agent alien hell bent on destroying humanity. It was fun to see this group of brilliant weirdos work together. It was kind of sad, as well. The jumping back and forth in story killed momentum. And who would ever imagine Albert Einstein being vicious killing machine? The issueh had an interesting looking cover. It certainly pops and it hints at what's to come inside. And it has such strange and lovely interior art, with very precise coloring.

Score: 9 out of 10

The Walking Dead - Issue 111

There's a war coming. And I'd side with group that has the tiger. There's a great deal of internal conflict in this issue. Everyone is preparing the assault on Negan and he deserves it. For Glen. Even for crappy Spencer, in this issue, who showed us what kind of guts he has. I think everyone will be glad when the Negan story plays out. The cover was generally unpleasant and bloody, but it definitely sets the stage for what's about to happen.

Score: 8 out of 10

A Distant Soil - Issue 40

This continues to be something that only long-time readers will enjoy or comprehend. As a long-time reader, I'm liking that progress is being made and the story is moving to its conclusion. It's a violent issue. Seriously, this may be the most violent of the series, but it's not without its human moments.The interaction between Jason and Lliana are excellent, albeit slightly childish. Though, it's important to remember that this series has been going for nearly thirty years but the story has only gone for a few months? Maybe a year.

It's unfortunate that creator Colleen Doran doesn't include some kind of recap at the beginning of the issue. Something that explains what's happened before and who all the characters are. Even for me it wasn't easy to keep this is all in mind. There was a weird sequence that seemed like a torture scene involving Jason that was more confusing than terrifying.

The real joy of this series is the artwork. Doran's style is lovely, and very uncommon for comic books. Most of the characters are very beautiful but not all. And the layouts and environments are equally attractive. Her skill is impressive, though it's not always clear that it's the best style for sequential story-telling as the layouts tend to be kind of trippy. The issue has-very pretty cover, with an interesting layout and coloring. Imaginative. Possibly the most tragic and fascinating aspect of the issue is the interesting update from Doran about why the series was so heavily delayed. Much involved art files that were lost by the printer and how she had to recreate almost everything.

Score: 7.5 out of 10

You know what? We'll take a week like this. A gem, mostly dogs, and no fleas. !Muy caliente! Seriously, The Manhattan Projects is just a fantastic comic book. Very strange and not for kids but excellent. I hope Image does a big reprint launch for A Distant Soil because it's worth going back and experiencing this from the beginning. Everything else this week is alright. Stop on back next week for more New Release Reviews.