Welcome back to another edition of New Release Reviews For Image Comics. This is an interesting week from one of the premiere indy publishers. 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.
Skullkickers - Issue 24
There's been a bit of a gap since the last issue even if it wasn't really the last issue. Even though it was. There was a series of one-shots that were really just more issues in this series. The creative team takes some times at the start of this issue explaining why things were all mixed up like that. Essentially, their extensive market research found that most people want many first issues for collecting purposes. And this issue was a continuation of that theme by giving fans prequel stories. We would question the validity of their research but we concede the issues have been highly entertaining. This month's issue featured guest creative teams and the results were varies.
All the shorts were entertaining. The third one had kind of weak art. Each focused on a different "character." There were quotes there because one was about the human's gun. And the last one was about Thool, the antagonist from the last arc who doesn't appear to be done with things. It, also, gave a fairly entertaining lecture on multiple-timelines. Generally the talent involved was solid. It's still funny and violent. The cover homage to Before Watchmen was a hoot.
Score: 7 out of 10
Great Pacific - Issue 9
I don't think we reviewed the last issue or two as things were extremely different. Not too long ago, there was one building on that pile of floating trash and the characters were running around with no clear sense of direction. Now they have some as politics have come into play. They have community and they need allies from other countries so they can (literally) get on the map. Security is a big issue. The recap helps a bit but not enough. The art is solid and the cover is clever.
Score: 5.5 out of 10
Think Tank - Issue 9
This is a very clever and topical concept that plays a lot smarter than it shows on the surface. As this new arc begins, the protagonist is being pressed into service to help recover a bio-weapon he created. This is heady on so many levels. First, you have a protagonist developing WMDs. I suppose that was Iron Man's deal but for someone who doesn't fly around saving people the rest of the time, it's pretty wild. The next thing is you have characters actually looking backward. So little in comic book is spent looking at consequences. Instead, everything is just about moving forward. And lastly there is real emotion in this process.
Much of this issue is about emotions. The lead has a wide range of feelings. Fear for his well-being. Regret for many of the weapons he created that he never saw them implemented. Longing for a loved one. Sadness that he has more kills than the SEAL Team he was travelling with because of drone-strikes. Even the SEAL Team had brief glimpses of humanity but they had very little page time. Even the hardest of the hard can still find faith in the middle of a fire-fight. The interior artwork continues to be excellent though it does seem to miss the color that is present in the cover.
Score: 8.5 out of 10
This was a fun week. Two of the releases were solid. Skullkickers was a hoot, even if the guest teams made it a bit uneven. And Think Tank was just great. I'm digging that series. Great Pacific, on the other hand, seems to be getting a bit better but is still missing some heart and coherent secondary stories. Overall, a pretty pleasing week. Stop on back next week for more New Release Reviews for Image Comics.