B. P. R. D. The Dead Remembered #3 of 3

Dark Horse Comics
Written by Mike Mignola & Scott Allie
Art by Karl Moline

Hellboy is a fun character to read. But, to me, I think of the whole team over at the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense. Where would Hellboy be without Abe or Liz? Well I’m glad to see the other members of the team get their own recognition. In this little offering, it takes place a number of years back and Elizabeth is out looking for a ghost with a few others. As always, there’s a lot more but I don’t want to give too much away. Now to what I saw in the story, I see Elizabeth finding the strength to be what she is going to be in the future. Trust me, you want to know the whole story.

Reading through this story, I was drawn in by the storytelling and writing. You read the words and you can truly hear the voices coming off the page, you feel yourself falling into the story. Really, something I enjoy when it happens. The art is standard for any Hellboy comic but there’s an old saying that fits here, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Here, I couldn’t agree more. Paneling is simple and easy to follow, same thing, you don’t need to change something if it works for the characters and story (Sorry if I get technical, I write too). This was a really good read.

Now, this one is the third of three. Once again, I’m given a book in the middle or end of a series (I really need to talk to my editor about that). But I am going to find the first two of this series and read it. Elizabeth starts to come into her own and it’s done in a way that makes sense. It also fits into the character that we know now. In my humble opinion, this is one that you want to get the whole set, start at page one and don’t stop until you’ve reached the last page of book 3. I gave this 4.5 caps out of 5.

Omega Paradox #0

Moonstone Books
Written by Ian Ng
Art by Mark Sparacio

Here’s a #0 that is truly a teaser, if I ever read one. Moonstone pushed this at the last Comic Con with #1 scheduled to come out on September. Let me give you a brief rundown on what’s in this issue. It starts out in a university on another planet, in a library no less. When one character tells another that he is being requested, pretty much everyone starts shooting. From there, one group of individuals they are trying to keep alive and get what they need. That’s about as much I can tell you without giving the whole thing away (you all know I try to avoid spoilers).

Well, reading this and it left me wanting more, and not really in the good way. The art is bright and well done. The characters come off the page and you want to hide from the shooting. The paneling was done well and easy to follow. Now we get to the writing. I know they’re trying to tease us and want us to get the premier issue but, for me, I didn’t get the information I wanted. Most of the character’s names were not given and I don’t know why the situation is happening. Basic stuff I want to know to keep me going. It would have helped if there was a hint to the situation.

Now, I really can’t say if I would start reading this series or not. From what I could gather, I might like the story that’s going to occur. But I really can’t say. There’s more that I want to know beforehand. Then again, that could just be me. If you see this issue, the cover art will grab you but the story will probably have you leave it there. In my humble opinion, read it in the store. Then when #1 comes out, buy that one. I give this 3 caps out of 5.

Star wars Jedi: The Dark Side #1

Dark Horse Comics
Written by Scott Allie
Art by Mahmud Asrar

“A long, long time ago. In a galaxy far, far away . . .” If any of you out there doesn’t recognize this quote, turn in your geek card right now. We all know this starts every Star Wars movie ever made. The term is iconic as a lightsaber, X-wings, and droids. The movies have spawned multiple comics, books and just about everything else you can think of. So, when this was placed in my inbox, I really wanted to read it. This book didn’t fail to keep me entertained.

Let’s start with the art; the art was not the super-detailed that’s goes out sometimes but looking through this story, I don’t think it would have added to what they are trying to portray. Each character comes off the page, the colors fit to what we know of their universe and you can feel the flash of the sabers going by you as you read. I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed with the writers of Dark Horse and I wasn’t this time. Everything worked and the voices you know are there. Each panel flows into the next one so you don’t get lost. I really enjoyed this one.

Now, this is a typical first book of a series, so there’s not much as to know what’s going on. The foundation is being laid for the rest of the galaxy to be filled in. I don’t think you’ll want to skip out on this one. In my humble opinion, if you get this book, you’ll keep reading the rest as they come out, I know I will. I give this 4.5 caps out of 5.

Conan #1 Island of No Return

Dark Horse Comics
Written by Ron Marz
Art by Bart Sears

There’s something about the character Conan that is timeless. He’s from a time long ago; he’s a thief, outcast but is destined to be king (but that is another story). This story tells of how he’s hired to help retrieve a treasure from a dead king. Now most people and fans may say that’s typical for him (I may have too) but this story has more to offer and to add to his mythology. I think this series is going to take Conan to a new level, introduce him to new fans and take him to new heights.

First, I have to say this is the first time I can think of that I’ve read anything from Ron Marz. This is very well written and shows that Conan has wit, power in his voice and is not just a rouge or a brute. That was something I really enjoyed. The other characters had their own voices and their voices rolled off the page. The art had a gritty feel to it, but not like other things I’ve described in the same way. It gave this piece a unique feel that worked well with the writing and you as comic book fan know you need. Lastly, the paneling was relatively easy to follow.

As usual, I’m given the first book to review; at times this is good thing. For this number one, it did what it needed to. I was given enough of the back-story to know Conan, even if I wasn’t already a fan and I knew the back-story of the situation he’s in (by the way, there’s a lesson to be learned in the first chase scene, one I already know thankfully). I wouldn’t use the word fun to describe this but it was enjoyable. I felt like I was in his land and time. In my humble opinion, this is worth getting and reading; I want to know what happens next. I give this 4 caps out of 5.

Snarked #0: Looking for a Snark

Written by Roger LanGridge
Art by Roger LanGridge

Is there anyone out there that hasn’t read The Walrus and the Carpenter by Lewis Carroll? Me neither, but I was aware of the story (Thanks to a certain cartoon movie and The Muppets). But, here’s a comic that basically takes that story and expands it into a whole new direction. It creates a world for the two of them and allows them to have greater personalities beyond what was in the poem. This is one that will go for Carroll fans and poetry fans as well. Personally, I’m a Jabberwocky fan myself.

The first thing that jumped out at me was the color of the art. It was bright and cheerful, something I would expect considering the subject matter. Another thing that I liked is that the art that was on the cover matches the art in the book (I’m not a fan of it where they don’t match). The writing works again because it has the same feel from the poem and Carroll’s work. I could see him writing this himself. Each panel is easy to follow and the flow is really good. Everything matches up for a basic #0 book; oh it gives enough information to make you want to see what happens in the #1 book. You know my feelings on that.

Now, as I said, I’m a Jabberwocky fan. This didn’t grab me. I enjoyed reading it but not as much as I think I could have. It was missing something, that one thing that grabs you when you read a comic. We all know what it is but can never explain it. Maybe it’s for people younger than me to introduce them to Lewis Carroll; maybe my sense of humor doesn’t blend to the poem, I don’t know. In my humble opinion, this is not one for me to tell you about, it didn’t catch me but it may work for you. I give this 3 caps out of 5.

Rage #1 Part 1 of 3

Dark Horse Comics
Written by Arvid Nelson
Art by Andrea Mutti

Most of us out there have either played or know of the video games Quake and Doom. I have to say, these people do not have a happy future planned for the human race. As evidence, beyond the games, is this comic, not only do we have to deal with something between a zombie and a genetically engineered monster, but also a military body that has assumed control, letting almost all of the population get wiped out. All together now, fun times! Enter a scientist who sees the world (or what’s left of it) and knows that there’s more going on.

Now, I like happy endings but this book really works. It gives you enough of a story to know the back story, know what’s going on and want to know what happens next, in other words, really good writing. The art fits into what is being told. It has light and yet, has this dark overtone, it’s detailed but not fully, I liked that. The paneling works too. The frames don’t fill up the page, like snapshots from a memory. This adds to the feel of the story.

This book is very well done and drew me into the story. I was intrigued and wanted to see what happened to the main character, which’s the focus of this story. What happens to them as they realize that things are not right an almost all levels. It told a full story but left a good amount untold for the next issue. Those of you who play the games will probably recognize the world and will get more out of the story; that works for me. In my humble opinion, whether you played the game or not, this book and series will register with you and you’ll want more. I give this 4.5 out of 5 caps.

Armory Wars: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3

Boom Comics
Written by Claudio Sanchez with Peter David
Art by Aaron Kuder

This was one of those books that’s given to me that I would liked to have the first two. For me, the story didn’t flow and that may have been due to the fact that I just started reading it on issue #3. Essentially, Earth is toast and there is a bunch of people trying to take over what’s left. Plus one or two minor stories as well. I’m not sure how I feel about this one (but I’ll have everything together by the end of the review). Most likely there’s a lesson to be learned I this book, I might get it if I read it again.

The main thing for me on this book is the art; it’s done in a style that doesn’t work for me. It looks kind of amateurish, I know the artist wanted that look but for me, it didn’t work. The writing kept the story going but with everything that was going on I kind of got a little lost on who’s where and what’s going on (one character disappeared after being introduced until the end). Once I found the main point to follow in the story, I was able to go along and enjoyed it.

This one is a tough one because it took me a bit of time to get past those points I brought up. The story didn’t fit with what I look for when I pick up a comic. It was just missing that something we all know but can rarely describe to someone else. As always, it could be the fact that this caught me on a bad day (or it could just be me). In my humble opinion, I’d say look through this at the store. If that something catches you, get it. If not, leave it there. I give this 2 caps out of 5.

The Goon #34

Dark Horse Comics
Written by Eric Powell
Art by Eric Powell

Ok, first of all, I’ve not been a fan of The Goon. I just never had a strong desire to read it, no reason. It’s been one of those books you look at on the rack and you don’t have an opinion of it. This was the first one I’ve read and if the rest are like this, I might start reading them regularly. There are two stories in this issue and each one is funny (if you’re a fan of certain vampires, you’ll either love or hate the first story). As always, this could just be for the fact that this book caught me at the right time.

There so many things I could point out about this book. The writing fits the art and vice versa. The Goon and the other characters have unique voices that fit their look, you can’t ask for more. Looking at the art, it has the hazy feel to it, which from some of the others I’ve seen the art for is their style; it really works. The paneling is very basic but for the story, you can’t go wrong. This is also a comeback issue for The Goon, so you fans will be very happy.

As I said, this book may just have caught me at the right time and just hit that right spot. I really liked it and was laughing through the entire two stories. There are times that I thought, this is wrong for me to laugh at but it’s too funny. I think almost all of you out there will have the same feeling with this. In my humble opinion, this is one to get and keep going when the next issue comes out. If they’re all this funny, The Goon is going to be coming back strong, like a right hook to the jaw. I give this 4.5 caps out of 5.

Cubicles: The Graphic Novel

Cubicles: The Graphic Novel
Red 5 Comics
Written by Walter Ostlie
Art by Walter Ostlie

How many of us out there work in a cubicle farm? Basically, a bunch of small cubes spread out over a large area or on a bunch of different floors. Well, this Novel is for us. Imagine if you will, you go to your cube, day-in, day-out and do the mundane work (ok, that fits me a bit), your best friend is a slacker (now, it’s hitting close to home), your office supplies attack everyone in the office (I’ve kind of seen that) and the two of you get sent off to escort supplies to the other side of the galaxy (good, I’m out) and things roll from there. This starts up what happens to Wally and Ost.

This was a fun book that just fit if you’ve ever worked in a call center or some other type of office environment. Being in black and white with exaggerated features works for this story, almost like it’s a dream or someone thinking it up on the fly. Each character has their own voice and is unique; you can feel yourself being drawn into the tail they are telling. The humor is appropriate and, if you work in that kind of place, you get all the in-jokes, if you don’t, it’s still funny. Each frame leads you to the next easily and the story flows very well. You want to know what happens on the next frame.

I really had a lot of fun reading this novel. The story was just close enough to be relevant and distant enough to be a fantasy. Each generation, we get something that calls to that one job. There was a couple of Kevin Smith movies, John Hughes movies and the beloved Office Space. This could rank up there with them. The heroes bumble their way along and do the right things because either they fall into it or luck out. In my humble opinion, as soon as you see this on the shelves, buy it. I give it a 5 caps out of 5.

Irredeemable #27

Irredeemable #27
Boom Studios
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Peter Krause & Diego Barreto
Here’s another book that was just dropped onto my desk to read. I haven’t followed the story but I picked up the #0 on the FREE COMIC BOOK DAY when it first came out. The basic idea is that Earth’s greatest hero losses it and goes on a killing spree. In turn switching sides. Again, it’s not that I didn’t like it; I just never picked one up. So, this is where this one picks up: Tony, the Plutonian has been sent to an intergalactic psych ward, he escapes with a few others and is planning on going back to earth to conquer it. The hero that taught Tony how to be a hero is trying to save him and Qubit is trying to stop him. Guess the fun that ensues.

For me, the story seemed a bit choppy. Not just because it cuts from where the one character is at to the others, but for me, the dialog didn’t flow that well. I found myself going back and re-reading to make sure I didn’t miss anything or to try and understand what was written. The art, on the other hand, was really well done and easy to catch every detail in the frame. Very clean, detailed and each character stood out on their own. Even the cover art will draw you in.

Now I’ll say that I may have understood the writing better if I follow the series more. That could have been the writing style and because of the action in this one, it was hard to follow. So, I’m not going to say that this is not something worth picking up, I’m going to say to check a few other earlier issues to get caught up in the story, if you’re not a current fan. If you are a fan, well, I have to be honest. In my h

Spaced Warped #2 of 6: Far Away, In a Land Long Ago . . .

Spaced Warped #2 of 6: Far Away, In a Land Long Ago…
Kaboom Studios
Written by Herve Bourhis
Art by Rudy Spiessert
First of all, if you love Star Wars and don’t have a sense of humor about it, don’t read this book or this series; it will be too painful for you. For those of us who can appreciate a good joke about the beloved icon, you’ll enjoy this. Let me put it to you this way, take Star Wars, take away all the technology and science fiction, put it back around the renaissance time, and add in constant puns and jokes, you might get this. I would give spoilers but there’s no need. Just watch the movie from about the 45-minute mark in and you’ll have where this picks up.

The art was drawn in a very basic way; it looks like it was done on a computer with a basic program. Normally, I’d be done right there but for the story they’re telling it fit and worked. The paneling is also very basic; if you can’t follow it, you need help. As I said, each page has at least one solid joke that works. Herve Bourhis is definitely a fan because all the right in-jokes are there and really add to the story. This would also be a good book for any of you out there with kids; they’d enjoy it, just remember, if they some of the jokes, it’s not the writer’s fault.

Overall, I liked this one. I’ve seen a lot of things that have been based off of the best movie saga of all time. This book, and most likely the series, could hold it’s own in that area. I’ve done a dare with one of my other reviews but here’s another one: see how close they follow the movie. You’ll be shocked. As I said, the writer and artist had to be fans. In my humble opinion, get the first one, then this one and continue on through the whole series, I doubt this will fail to please. I give it 4 caps out of 5 (I still hold the movie sacred).

The Rinse #1

The Rinse #1
Boom Studios
Written by Gary Phillips
Art by Marc Laming

Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to introduce you to Jeff Sinclair, money launderer extraordinaire and the newest character to Boom Studios. He knows all the ways to take a large amount of money, run it through the best ways to clean it in San Francisco and make it untouchable to those pesky “authoritive” figures. Jeff is one of the best in the business and is an avid baseball fan. This opener story shows him getting a job and before he can even start, he’s up to his neck with people willing to do anything to get the money back or the person that stole the money and the feds. Just remember, money laundering, it’s not just a job; it’s a way to get the snot kicked out of you and killed.

A majority of the writing in this story is Jeff talking to you telling you how he does his business with some dialog to move the story along. I doubt this will be a recurring theme but in this issue, it worked and made sense for an issue #1. The art added to the story, it looks standard style to Boom, for the most part, helped move the story. Though I will admit, I think in some areas, they could have made it feel darker, but that’s just me. There wasn’t much to the paneling but there are times that you don’t want to overdo something. And the cover art will definitely catch you.

To me, this first issue is formulistic in a good way. It introduced the main character, showed what he can and can’t do (he’s no superhero but knows how to get out of a bind) and showed the situation he’s stuck in. I liked the fact the he is explaining to the reader how he does his job so you know what to expect in the future. You feel adrenalin start to pump when he’s being chased. You want to see how he gets out of the situation and how he’s going to finish his job. In my humble opinion, get this book and I doubt it will be the last you buy. I give this 4 caps out of 5.

Damaged #1

Damaged #1
Radical Comics
Written by David Lapham
Art by Leonardo Manco

Here’s an interesting person to put yourself into. Imagine this, you are a soon to be retired police officer named Frank Cassidy. You’ve been getting pressure to solve a growing organized crime problem in your city and it seems you haven’t been doing that good of a job. You’ve met your replacement, a young upstart, who shows how inexperienced he is. Just when you think it can’t get more fun for you, you come up on a crime scene where almost all of a Russian crime family is murdered and burned and it looks too familiar to you. All I have to say is, fun times.

This offering from Radical was really well done. The paneling was easy to follow and allowed the story to flow. Looking at the art, it has the same style as most books from this company, yet they gave it just enough of a different look and a different feel. It still had a city, gritty feel, almost like Cassidy’s life is put on display. Now we come to the writing, the characters jump off the stage. Their voices resonate with you, as if they’re talking to you directly, and I don’t mean because of the thought bubbles.

This is going to be a series of six books (at the moment, you know how comic book companies change that). Reading this, I was able to gather all the important information that I’m going to need in the other books. This was a good read and what could be a good start. I want to know what happens to the new guy coming in, what’s going to happen to Cassidy, where is this story going and all the grittyness of the story that we like. In my humble opinion, this is one you want to get. I give this 4.5 caps out of 5.

Red Spike

Red Spike #3 of 5
Image Comics
Written by Jeff Cahn
Art by Salvador Navarro & Mark Texeria

I just finished reading Red Spike from Image. The story follows a soldier who joined a secret research project to make him a better soldier. He joins others and begins training and has an operation done that boosts all of his natural responses to situations. It increases his strengths and senses and just about everything you can think of is better. In the meantime, One of his teammates goes rogue the former soldier is sent out to capture him and bring him back to base. Then, all the fun happens because more information comes out about what’s going on.

Let me start with the art and go from there. The art was really well done. The characters have their own looks and feel to them but there are times that you can get a little mixed up on who’s who; the background and tones really come through. The paneling is not overdone and don’t clutter a page and move the story along. Now, we get to the writing. To me, everything jumped around and not because they are doing flashbacks. It was a little difficult to follow the story at times. Some points, I felt lost. Of course, this could be due to me getting the third book, first.

The story has been done but I did like where everything was going. I interested in seeing what happened in the first two issues. As I said, this could change my opinion on the writing. Reading through this, you can see what’s happening in this series, happening in real life (giving it more debth). In my humble opinion, get the first two of this issue before getting this one; you’ll most likely have a better idea of what’s going on. I give this 3.0 caps out of 5.

Samurai’s Blood

Samurai’s Blood #2 of 6
Image Comics
Written by Owen Wiseman
Art by Nam Kim

Here’s another situation to put yourself into. It’s Futile Japan, you just witnessed your clan slaughtered and there are only three of you left, a fellow Samurai, his sister who is the love of your life and you. Your blood boils and you want vengeance because you know who carried out the order and who gave the order. Here comes the issue, do you take your time, plan, follow the rules of the samurai or do you go in swords flashing, slashing through anyone and anything in the way of your target? This is the situation in the second offering in Samurai’s Blood from Image.

Reading through this, I felt myself taken away to that time with the paneling and the writing. Each frame gives you a feel that you are in that time and you can almost smell the cherry blossoms in the air. You can feel the weather change as the days pass (I can hint on that since this is the second book) and truly be taken away. The paneling is still simple and doesn’t just let the story flow. Now this could have been in the copy that was given to me but I did catch a few typos. I rarely seen them in a comic but they didn’t take away from the comic.

This looks to be a solid series. If you like those old wire-fu films, big time movies staring Jackie, Bruce, Samo or Jet Lee, or even if you like those great shoot-em-ups with Chao, this book and most likely the series will be great to read. If you’re not into those movies, this book and most likely the series will take you off to this other time and you may not want to come back. In my humble opinion, this one is a keeper. I give it 4 caps out of 5.