Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Rant-Reviews: A Smorgasbord of First (and one Zero) Issues!

You Know The Routine By Now...
Seriously, you know how this goes at this point. I do all kinds of capsule/rant-reviews but keep going back to that well of discussing debut issues of titles because while many comics may not even get to a tenth issue, they all have a first (or a zero issue, which is the case with one book I'm going to discuss). I've got a veritable ton of first/zero issues I've been able to sample lately so it is time to dive-in...

Many New Books
Redlands #1
I talked about how this title was getting very hot in The Hot Comics Revue and it is nice to see when a book is both popular and very, very good. Written and colored by Jordie Bellaire (whom I've recognized as a stellar colorist before but haven't seen as a writer previously) with art by Vanessa Del Rey, this is a first issue that is clearly setting-up a lot without revealing too much at the same time. We see how it is about a corrupt town being overtaken by supernatural forces that also have a moral agenda of giving power to the disenfranchised--so horror with a social message, which is my favorite kind of horror. It's grim, violent, and I really enjoyed reading it. Redlands will have a second printing soon but until then your best bet for getting a copy is eBay or MyComicShop.
4.5 out of 5 stars.

Mister Miracle #1
Another title featured in my first Hot Comics Revue, this book is written by the talented Tom King with Mitch Gerards providing the artwork. People are absolutely fawning over this book and I thought it was pretty good but don't quite see why people are going crazy about it. It's weird and off-kilter, has a real ominous feel, and Gerards artwork is amazing, but I don't really feel myself hooked-in yet. I'm willing to be patient however because while, "The Vision," grabbed me right away King's, "Omega Men," took a bit to really get going, but once it did that was a stellar book. As this puppy is so hot until there is a new printing you're going to need to do eBay or MyComicShop to get any copies, or find a shop that inexplicably isn't sold out.
3.5 out of 5 stars.

Galaktikon #1
I am a fan of Brendon Small's work from Adult Swim's shows, "Home Movies, " and, "Metalocalypse," so when I heard he had a comic coming out I was excited to read it! I then learned the comic is actually an adaptation of sorts of a music album which has a sequel album coming-out soon as well--so that's interesting! Having read this first issue I now am actually a bit interested in checking-out the music as this was a oddly enjoyable title. Equal parts funny and depressing, watching a once-beloved hero of space deal with the difficulties of life via a ton of alcohol is sad, but the book's dark sense of humor carries it through pretty nicely. I liked it a lot and look forward to the next issue as well as giving Small's album a listen whilst I wait in the meantime. You can currently grab copies of the first issue of, "Galaktikon," on eBay or at MyComicShop.
4 out of 5 stars.

Danger Doll Squad #0
I've read the, "Dollface," comic before and this title brings her, the cult-hit Zombie Tramp, and another solo-character known as Vampblade together to form a team/squad. As is the trend with any comics featuring these characters there is a lot of humor, a lot of violence, and a whole lot of variant covers (with some featuring plenty of nudity). I was honestly a little disappointed in this zero issue as it does introduce us to all the characters and makes us aware of who they are, but does little else. After one big prologue we basically jump right into the action briefly before being told to pick-up the official #1 issue in October as well as future issues of, "Vampblade," for more set-up. It's a decent primer on all the characters, but that's about it. You can still find some of the zero-issue covers at Things From Another World and eBay is of course a great resource as well should you want to grab all the assorted covers!
2.5 out of 5 stars.

Ghost Money #1
I've enjoyed speaking with publisher Lion Forge before and they always put out an interesting assortment of books. This new series continues that trend with a yarn about terrorism, money, and politics. Starting in the past before moving about ten-ish years into a potential future, the book imagines a world full of hateful Neo-Cons, rampant Global Warming, and abject poverty...so basically what the world is like now but with slightly more advanced cars and even more drones clogging-up the sky. It's a dark and ominous book, and I quite liked it although the first issue just seems to kind of suddenly-stop as opposed to ending on a solid cliff-hanger or making it clear what the next issue might hold. It's a solid read though and as the story is further fleshed-out I bet things will only get more fascinating and depressing. You can find the first issue of, "Ghost Money," on eBay or at MyComicShop.
3.5 out of 5 stars.

Dead of Winter #1
The third book in this review-segment which also was mentioned in The Hot Comics Revue with this discussed as a title that might get pretty steamy/popular if fans of the game are into it. Based on the tabletop game of the same name, the first issue of, "Dead of Winter," is a fine read. For a comic set in a winter-filled zombie apocalypse there is actually a good deal of humor, but I found most of the characters were pretty paper-thin in terms of personality outside of the start of the comic, a dog named Sparky. It feels like he get the most character development of anyone and he can't even talk! I still enjoyed reading the comic however and imagine if I were well-versed in the game I might have gotten a bunch of references and enjoyed it even more. You can still buy copies at Things From Another World as of this posting should you desire!
3 out of 5 stars.

Tales of Science Fiction: Vault #1
Published by a comic-company--Storm King--that seems to release titles related-to or supervised by John Carpenter, their latest mini-series, "Vault," is a horror-influenced sci-fi tale with a first issue that frankly is a bit of a mess. The back of the comic explains the plot more clearly than the inside of the comic as the plot jumps all around in time, too many characters pop-up only to be easily confused with other characters in bland space-suits, and random stuff about space-fungus or monsters occurs...or something? It's really quite bad besides some decent artwork and I can't exactly recommend it, but should you want a copy MyComicShop or eBay are as always good places to buy from.
1 out of 5 stars.

Grumpy Cat/Garfield #1
I of course have a soft-spot for Grumpy Cat ever since it was the first book to, "Blurb," me on the back-cover as a reviewer. I also enjoyed reading old Garfield newspaper comic-strips when growing-up and have at times perused his comic-book. Considering how both cats are full of attitude, it makes sense for them to meet--and why not have them meet in a format they both excel in, comics? It is a little disappointing that our two stars don't meet until the end of the first issue (so the second issue will be fun for sure), but plenty of plot and funny jokes occur in this issue to make it well worth picking-up. Basically an evil CEO has a way to make cats behave more like dogs and needs some of the most difficult cats in the World to test his program before he sells it to the general populace in the hopes of making major moolah. Therefore, we witness in this issue Garfield and Grumpy being stolen through some clever methods. It's great silly fun and I would recommend it if you want to have a good laugh! Copies of one cover can still be bought at Things From Another World and eBay is a great site if you're after the assortment of variants.
5 out of 5 stars.

I Need a Break!
After reviewing eight new books I need to sit-down and take a breather. I hope you enjoyed reading my meandering thoughts on these assorted new comics and were inspired to check at least one or two of them out (or now know what to avoid if it isn't for you). I'd get up and shake your hand to thank-you for reading all this, but I'm a little winded so, let's just nod and I'll lie down here for a moment till the hurting stops.

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