Sunday, April 23, 2023

Rant-Reviews: I Read Some Random First Issues of New Series

Debut Issues

I had the chance to sit down and read the debut issues of some new series. The titles varied from more mainstream releases to some really weird indie stuff. I thought I'd share my thoughts in a new Rant-Reviews post! Shall we?

Don't Spit in the Wind #1

Written and illustrated by Stefano Cardoselli, this weird little sci-fi comic imagines an Earth that is mostly ruined and serves as more of a trash heap than anything else while different classes of people live on a spaceship. A depressing and all-too-feasible concept for sure as we continue to mistreat our planet, but the comic is more satirical than sad. Cardoselli's artwork has always been surreal and striking, so seeing their take on Earth as a massive pile of garbage is strangely beautiful. The mix of humor and great art makes this comic one I'd recommend.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Katie Black Dragon #1

A humorous comic from the folks at Bad Kids Press. Here we've got Roel Torres and Sean Von Gorman presenting the story of a space bounty hunter as she takes on some rich jerks. A group of wealthy morons has tricked a bunch of aliens into viewing them as Gods and been awful to them. The comic clearly takes its plot from a variety of stories you've maybe seen before but brings enough storytelling and visual charm that I liked reading it. It's worth checking out.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

Indigo Children #1

This Image series from Curt Pires and Rockwell White has gotten some buzz due to apparently already being optioned as an Amazon Prime show. It involves a journalist trying to get to the bottom of a story about a kid some years ago who seemed to exhibit immense intelligence as well as extraordinary powers. This is less of a superhero story than a sci-fi thriller, however. The debut issue is extra chunky which I appreciated as it gives the story time to breathe and build up to some interesting little twists. I'm quite curious about where things will be going, so it is a promising start.

4 out of 5 stars.

The Giant Kokju #1

Another Image title. This one is about a giant Kaiju but it is most definitely different than those you've seen before. It has the usual giant monster trampling through a city due to our mistreatment of Earth awakening it. However, this Kaiju also likes to take acidic dumps in the middle of the city and has a very intricate phallus that is surprisingly drawn in its full penile glory when the creature gets so horny it humps a skyscraper. Writer Gerry Duggan clearly isn't taking Kaiju's too seriously and artist  Scott Koblish is obviously having a blast drawing some pretty gross bodily functions. The whole comic is nasty but fun. I dug it.

4 out of 5 stars.

Planet of the Apes #1

David F. Walker is a fantastic writer but I feel like he tries to cover so much ground in this first issue of, "Planet of the Apes," it gave me narrative whiplash. We jump around in time so much that it gets confusing and right as the issue finished I was just starting to grasp everything. This is a debut that would've benefited from being double-sized or such. Artist David Wachter is superb, though, giving us some amazing-looking apes as they engage in fights with humankind. As the comic continues and gets more time to flesh out the story of the apes taking over Earth I imagine more stuff will make sense, but taken on its own terms, I was a little disappointed in this first issue.

2.5 out of 5 stars.

The Neighbors #1

This comic absolutely nails its tone as being immensely creepy as we witness a new family in a subdivision starting to realize something is seriously wrong with all their neighbors. Creators Jude Ellison S. Doyle and Letizia Cadonici waste no time in having all kinds of eerie stuff happen and I actually might have a rare complaint in wishing the story moved a bit slower. Usually, I get upset when a comic really drags before anything interesting happens, but with, "The Neighbors," all kinds of scary events seem to occur right off the bat and we have very little time to get to know the main characters. That quibble aside it's an effectively scary debut.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

Popscars #1

Here's a weird one. A long-lost daughter of a movie maker finds herself teaming up with a colleague he metaphorically stabbed in the back to extract some very literal bloody revenge. This comic by Pat O'Malley and Santi Guillen strikes a good balance between dark humor as it parodies the entertainment industry and being an interesting tale in its own right. Plus the eye-catching weird character design of the daughter having a pink ski mask and a strange boudoir-style outfit is the chef's kiss of weirdness in this book. Is this more of a crime story or a funny Hollywood spoof? Well, placing this in an exact genre is tricky but at least it is easy to say this is a good read.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

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