Wednesday, June 19, 2013

New Release Reviews for Image Comics, for 19 June, 2013

Welcome back to another edition of New Release Reviews for Image Comics. Only two reviews this week due to pet tragedy. Next week we should be back and running. 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 - Issue 103

Past slights are the theme of this issue. Some are fairly minor like not sharing information between friends and serious like near genocide. There is scale, here. It's just complicated. That may be the trickiest aspect of this series as it's clearly passed one-hundred issues and there is a lot of back-story. Much of the conflict erupts from past stories and it's very helpful to be familiar with them because the creative team does very little to clue in new readers. There are three major story-lines in this issue. One involves this very strange character, who is found on the cover. His head is, essentially, a giant brain. I'm guessing he's smart. He has a beef with Invincible, and takes it out on his girlfriend.

The second point is the girlfriend, who is pregnant. She has powers but using them too much could hurt the baby. And given Brain Guy's action, that's pretty serious. The other involves Invincible's father being the ruler of his species and all the back-stabbing that entails. There are less damaging moments including Robot possibly dealing with his ego and some old friends downloading. Otherwise, this is a rather violent issue. The interior artwork handles this fairly well. There's plenty of detail and the team manages to convey the action fairly well. The cover is kind of weird and rather gross with all the brainy stuff.

Score: 7 out of 10

Mara - Issue 5 (of 6)

It wasn't clear, up until this point, that this was a finite series. It seemed like the beginnings of a potentially long running adventure series with a Wonder Woman type character. This issue, completely turned that idea on it's head. Honestly, the way this issue ended it seemed like this would be the last one in the story but, apparently, there is one more. It's not clear if Mara is going to be the queen of some post-apocalyptic wasteland or this will all be the fever dreams of someone who did too many performance enhancing drugs and is now suffering the effects of a stroke.

There is a dream-like quality to the narrative. Most of the story is very much internal narration for Mara. She's isolated and spending most of her time in thought in exotic locales. The problem is that her brother is in danger and she's unaware. And, apparently, the world is trying to claw at her with less than noble motives. Her evolution is jarring at how rapid it is. And she's so passive and bland through most of the story, it seems even more jarring. The interior artwork is interesting. There's style and some skill but some moments are just odd. The coloring is very limited but it matches the story's flatness. The cover is alright with nice simple coloring. I like the volley ball icon given her background.

Score: 7 out of 10

Well this is one of those weeks where nothing is bad but nothing is must-have. Both issues brings something to the table but they're both missing things, as well. Plus, Mara won't have enough time to reach its potential as it's almost done. Stop on back next week for more New Release Reviews for Image Comics.