Comic Sense with Julia: March 4th Edition

This week is all about sci-fi, space, and imagination, so grab your moon boots and let’s go! No time to waste, we’ve got to save the planet!

descender good

Descender #1

Publisher: Image Comics

Writer: Jeff Lemire

Artist/ Cover Artist: Dustin Nguyen

Price: $2.99

Holy moly, I loved Descender #1. It was so great I ended up going on a Twitter rant about how much I love sci-fi comics directly after reading it. Both the art and storyline of this comic truly showcase the beauty and intensity that exist in sci-fi when the imagination does not have the physical limitations of sets or makeup. I was completely immersed in the world of robotics, space colonies, heartfelt moments, surprises, and engaging storylines. The art is so tangibly gorgeous I may or may not have pressed my face against my computer screen just so I could be closer to its majesty. (And I may or may not have a nose print on my screen to show for it.) As our world becomes more and more technologically advanced, a story that so expertly tackles the balance between machines and humanity is a welcome addition to any pull list. At the end of the comic there is a list of all the planets in the United Galactic Council that make up this comic’s setting and the descriptions that accompany this list made me so excited for the future of Descender. I cannot wait to see how the world is developed. Do yourself a favor and read Descender #1 tomorrow!

neverboy good

Neverboy #1

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Writer: Shaun Simon

Artist: Tyler Jenkins

Cover Artist: Conor Nolan

Price: $3.99

As a person who had upwards of a dozen imaginary friends as a child, I was particularly interested in Neverboy #1. Imagine if your imaginary friend was real and had a life just like any of your other friends. I mean, I guess that’s kind of what you’re already doing when you have an imaginary friend, but imagine if it actually happened. Okay . . . that’s still kind of what you’re already doing, but you get my point! All of this imagining is confusing. And that’s what makes Neverboy so great! It brings our imaginations to life and follows the struggles of a young boy’s imaginary friend who just wants to be part of reality and has somehow found a way of doing just that. The most intriguing part of this comic for me was the way it portrayed feeling like you don’t exist and as if no one even sees you. While the characters in this comic actually can’t be seen many times, the sinking feeling of invisibility is achingly familiar. Read Neverboy #1 tomorrow for an interesting re-imagining of your childhood imagination.

halogen good

HaloGen #1

Publisher: Boom! Studios

Writer: Josh Tierney

Artist/ Cover Artist: Afu Chan

Price: $3.99

I want so so badly to love HaloGen. It has a lot of potential and I haven’t given up on it yet, it just wasn’t quite as engaging as I hoped it would be. However, I’m crossing my fingers that this is like one of those TV shows where the first episode is not 100% awesome, but it still airs because of the hints of wonderful things to come. Afu Chan’s illustrations are lovely and some of my favorite art this week. The dialogue however feels a little stinted and the story jumped around instead of flowing. I honestly am still a bit confused about the plot and why the main character, Rell, has a halo, even though this is a major part of the story. When I first opened up HaloGen, I said to my friend, “I’m in love with the first page of this comic, so that’s a good sign, right?” and I’m still hoping I wasn’t wrong. While I was slightly underwhelmed by HaloGen #1, I believe it has the potential to grow into something great.

citizen of the galaxy good

Robert Heinlein’s Citizen of the Galaxy #1

Publisher: IDW Publishing

Writers: Robert Lazaro and Eric Gignac

Artist: Steve Erwin

Cover Artist: Eric Gignac

Price: $3.99

Okay, this one I don’t have much to say about, but I decided to include it in my article because I felt like I was reading one of those comic retellings of classics like the Odyssey or Hamlet that teachers would get so mad about and I found it super entertaining. It was very clearly a comic book version of a novel and didn’t do much to innovate or change to fit the medium, but I still found it enduring. It appealed to my rebellious middle school self who was sure that reading the comic version of any required reading would definitely be enough to get me an A on the paper and you know what? I often wasn’t wrong.

nameless good

Nameless #2

Publisher: Image Comics

Writer: Grant Morrison

Artist/ Cover Artist: Chris Burnham

Price: $2.99

So this week I found out I have a type and that type is well drawn, well written comics that take place in space. They also either have robots or grotesque horror mysteries (or both for a double-plus good time). I was already super excited about Nameless #1 last week and Nameless #2 made me positively giddy. A lot of people I know were not as impressed with Nameless #1 because they felt like Grant Morrison is a bit too big for his britches and that is apparent in his writing. Now I’m not going to say that’s a blatant lie (cause it’s actually totes true), but the thing is, I don’t mind it at all. For me the slightly pompous vocabulary and philosophy of the voiceovers/narration make the comic that much more epic and intense. It just seems to fit with the storyline. If I was saving the world from some crazy occult asteroid while stationed on the moon, I’d probably get rather pontifical too. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Nameless #2 and I think this is a series worth following.

cluster 2 good

Cluster #2

Publisher: Boom! Studios

Writer: Ed Brisson

Artist: Damian Couceiro

Cover Artists: Damian Couceiro and Declan Shalvey

Price: $3.99

Oh hey look! Another sci-fi comic! Told y’all I had a type. But here’s the thing, this one is really good too!! It takes a lot for a comic to make enough of an impression that I decide to take a look at the second issue as well and both Nameless and Cluster cut the mustard for me. Cluster continues to be a fascinating comic about a group of prisoners who have shorter sentences because they have agreed to fight in a war for the government. However, in this issue we find out that things may not be exactly how they seem (yay!). I’ve been enjoying the flashbacks in this comic because they show that the main character, Samara, has made some really questionable choices in the past. She is not a misunderstood, falsely accused heroine, she’s in jail for a reason. This makes her character development much more interesting because who knows how she’ll act in the future. Pick up Cluster #2 tomorrow! And if you missed Cluster #1, pick that up too!


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