Monday, September 12, 2016

Rant-Reviews--More Recent First Issues To Read and Criticize

Another Day, Another Batch of Debuts
There are always first issues of comics coming out. Many books sometimes won't even make it to double-digits, but countless titles at least gave us a #1 (or if the publisher wanted to be cheeky, a #0 issue). I feel like discussing some new comics from an assortment of publishers and in addition to my normal review, this time I'll also include a comment about the likelihood I'll pick-up the 2nd issue of a book.

We're #1! I Mean, We Literally Are #1!
Cyborg: Rebirth #1
Ah, and there you go. What was I just talking about? Publishers trying various, "Cute," numbering-schemes. Sure enough with these new DC books we've been getting a, "Rebirth #1," issue and then a title's real first issue. This doubtlessly will allow DC to put out some big Hardcover collecting all the Rebirth-specific issues and lets them milk an extra #1 out of the proceedings--but I digress.

I said I wasn't reading any DC books besides, "Deathstroke," and I honestly wasn't until this came out. I read it pulled a bit of an, "Anatomy Lesson," in the same way the old and famous, "Swamp Thing," issue under Alan Moore did, so I thought that sounded clever enough I would check it out. I'm always a sucker for a good, "Where does the man end and the machine begin?"-styled story, but it is admittedly something that DC has already discussed in-depth with Cyborg (and which many other books have tackled as a subject too), much to the annoyance of some reviewers I  enjoy reading the thoughts of. It was a perfectly fine book however, and the subplot of a mystery involving some kind of evil master-plan for all the Cyborgs in the DC-Universe caught my attention too. There wasn't anything too incredible in here, but I liked it.
3 out of 5 stars
Will I check-out the 2nd issue? Yes, I think it is worth trying at least one more issue to see where the story chooses to go.

Glitterbomb #1
I'm torn with this book. The first opening pages are just astonishing in their dark humor, brutal violence, and otherwise shocking moments as the main character--an aging actress--reaches her breaking point in an industry that no longer values her. There's a, "But," coming here though, because that opening is stupendous but then the rest of the issue takes us back some hours earlier and leads-up to the start of the book. Yes, this is an issue that reaches its climax within the first 5 pages and then has to spend the rest of the time flashing-back and prepping. It is annoying because while establishing a setting, plot, and so forth is very important, a lot of what I need to know about this book is at that amazing start.

At least there also is some heart-breaking nonfiction back-matter where a young woman who worked in Hollywood as a producer talks about just how horrific it can be in that field--giving us a bit more context as to why the protagonist of this comic does the violent things she does. A jaw-dropping start followed by too many pages of boredom results in a review of...
2.5 out of 5 stars
Will I check-out the 2nd issue? I'm really on the fence with this one. The best part of the actual comic was the opening before all the drab set-up to the story, and then the written back-matter was more interesting than mostly anything else. However, now that much of the set-up is done I bet things can probably get even more wild. I'll have to think about if I want to try issue #2 really hard.

Dark: Werewolves VS Dinoaurs #1
I talk some in these reviews today about plot and the importance it can play in a story. This comic is a case where I actually wish there could be less plot. We a have a mysterious town full of shady Government agents and blah, blah, blah, I picked this book up to see Werewolves and Dinosaurs fighting, so why won't you give me more of that? Seriously though, the far-too-rare scenes full of Dinosaurs and Werewolves ripping into each other are absolutely gorgeous, but way too much of the book is full of a drab plot about mad scientists and the ol' evil Government. I first read this book was the debut of a series, then I read it was a one-shot, but the last page has a, "To be continued," on it, so I think more issues will be coming. I just hope they are filled with awesomely-illustrated fighting and less of an attempt to tell a boring conspiracy-story.
2 out of 5 stars.
Will I check-out the 2nd issue? Unless it has a lot more brawling between Werewolves and Dinosaurs I may have to pass, even if the book continues to look gorgeous during the dull moments as well as the awesome fights.

Alters #1
Published by Aftershock Comics, this story has elements of other comics that are very familiar mixed with some new ideas that result in an above-average concept with a lot of potential. We've got a world where a small number of people manifest powers (called, "Alters,") much to the fear of the populace and two super-powered leaders with very differing views of what the Alters should be doing with their abilities exist as well--so this stuff is reminiscent of X-Men. We also have a young hero named Chalice who is also a bit of a nerd and hiding her powers from her family (so a dash of Spider-Man). The unique thing is that our hero is in fact a transgender individual born as, "Charlie," and is also hiding the fact he wants to transition into a woman.

Note that this is not a case of a hero cross-dressing as a woman, Charlie makes it abundantly clear that, "Chalice," is the preferred name, and that he has been taking hormones already so as to transition into a woman. This introduces the unique element of our hero living a triple-life. Charlie/Chalice is hiding that they want to transition, and is a super-hero. In this issue we get a lot of the setting established of this world where Alters are emerging, and spend a chunk of time with Charlie, but we only get to witness Chalice in action some, with it being clear if he want to see her being a super-hero further we need to pick-up the next issue where she starts choosing sides in this big super-powered war. Writer Paul Jenkins is someone I consider quite talented (he managed to get me to care about the Inhumans in that one comic he did about them years ago, and I never care about the Inhumans), and the artwork by Leila Leiz is solid and enjoyable as well. It is a great debut for Chalice I look forward to what comes her way next!
4 out of 5 stars.
Will I check-out the 2nd issue? While much of the the comic may seem to draw from various sources for inspiration, there is enough unique and intriguing material that I would happily read issue #2.

Eclipse #1
This was a really good comic. In a world where one day the sun changed and its light became fatal, people now have become much more nocturnal, only walking in the open at night and otherwise living underground (unless they have special suits to block the sun's deadly rays). The most clever aspect to this is how there isn't actually heat to the light necessarily so buildings and other construction is fine during the day, the very light of the sun is just deadly and can even be used as a weapon, such as a clever scene in the book where a truck decked-out with mirrors tries to cast light into the shadows to burn people.

Now then, you can of course have a killer concept but if you don't have a good story to hang it on your tale is going to flop. Thankfully, Writer Zack Kaplan gives readers of,"Eclipse," a hero to root for named David, "Bax," Baxter, one of the people who maintain buildings during the day via his, "Iceman," suit and an eerie plot to follow. Bax finds himself drawn into a murder mystery (which generally is the most interesting kind of mystery) when it becomes apparent someone is melting people in the sun and leaving weird biblical messages behind. A powerful businessman's daughter has been threatened and it falls to Bax to try and keep her safe and possibly figure-out what could be going on. Between this good plot and stellar artwork I really loved this first issue. Seriously, artist Giovanni Timpano is amazing, whether he's illustrating busy night-scenes or eerily-empty days, a congested underground or wide-open city, it all looks so good. This is definitely a book to keep your eye on.
5 out of 5 stars.
Will I check-out the 2nd issue? I'm hooked on this title after just one issue and I shall be following this book with much enthusiasm!

#1 and Now We Are Done
I read some first issues I really loved and others that disappointed me. That's how it goes when you try a new comic, however, and I'm pleased I that I found some stuff I definitely am into. Now I just have to try and be patient while I wait for the next issues!

No comments:

Post a Comment