Here’s my list of things to read this week: Harrow Country, Mythic, Space Riders, RunLoveKill, Injection, Lady Killer, The Mantle, Chrononauts, Rebels, Five Ghosts, D4VE, Miami Vice Remix, Saga, Southern Cross, Giant Days, Lantern City, Ms. Marvel, and Silk. With this cornucopia of comic goodness coming out, I decided to only focus on comics I haven’t covered before, although everything I read this week was fantastic. Take the time to pick up some new titles tomorrow, you won’t regret it!
Writer: Phil Hester
Artist/Cover Artist: John McCrea
Image released a lot of #1s this week, but Mythic really stood out amongst them. Mythic takes the classic idea that religion and fantasy are just ways of making the public feel better about things they don’t understand and turns it on its head, saying that science is the “opiate for the masses” and mythology is the true reality. This book is so clever and well written. Plus one of the main characters looks like a Jimmy John’s bike delivery man and it’s very enduring. The colors and art in Mythic are crisp in a fantastical way, while the dialogue is witty, thoughtful, and fun. I know it seems like I’m excited about most things I read, but for the first time in a long time, Mythic felt right in a way that goes beyond the good art and good writing. All the parts come together to form a cohesive whole that just works. So well. And it ends with, “Next: More than one character tries to sex a mountain!” So there’s that. Mythic is on my ultimate must read list. Don’t miss it tomorrow!
Space Riders #2
Publisher: Black Mask Comics
Writer: Fabian Rangel
Artist/Cover Artist: Alexis Ziritt
Wow wow wow, the art in this book. Wow. If you’ve seen a preview page or even just the cover, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. It’s a color explosion!! Here we have a ‘capitan’ with one eye, a baboon-headed soldier (literally), and a practical robot flying around in a ship that looks like a Dia de los Muertos sugar skull. Yes, it is as amazing as it sounds. I’ve been trying to think of something to compare it to and I’m sure there are thousands of better examples, but for some reason all that comes to mind at the moment is a love child of Yellow Submarine and my brother’s sci-fi museum t-shirt. This book is so classic, I love everything about it. There’s a religious character that the gruff, yet softhearted character gets annoyed with and of course the robot who ruins everything with logic. Space Riders has it all. It’s aesthetically pleasing in a unique way and full of beautiful nostalgia. Don’t hesitate to pick up Space Riders #2! The first one sold out super quickly and with good reason. You don’t want to miss the boat on this series!
Harrow County #1
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist/Cover Artist: Tyler Crooks
Mike Mignola’s praise of Harrow County, “A rare thing-both wonderfully charming and genuinely disturbing,” on the front cover of Harrow County #1 could not be more on point. Harrow County is deeply frightening and truly terrifying, while establishing believable and loveable characters. As a girl who spent much of her childhood nights trying to block out the sounds of the tree branches scraping across the windows or the floor boards creaking in the hallway, I have so much sympathy for the main character, Emmy, who is plagued with the thought that haints (which are ghosts, as I found out from the ever wonderful Wikipedia) surround her and something is wrong with the old tree on the hill. My favorite thing about horror stories is the slow, subtle build to chaos. When a horror piece too quickly gets really crazy without a well-established world, my fear often fades when the story is no longer realistic and I don’t have a strong connection to the people involved. Harrow County is so far providing the perfect build up. Immediate gruesome terror that’s sure to stick in my mind forever is followed by a seeping eeriness that underlies solid character development. This is the best kind of horror – it makes you fall in love with the characters first so everything that follows will have much greater impact. I was very impressed with Harrow County #1 and I’m eager to read more.
The Mantle #1
Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist/Cover Artist: Brian Level
When I started reading The Mantle I was not disappointed by it, but I was also not super thrilled by it. It was a pretty decent story about a punk-ass kid who got super powers and was too cocky about it. He of course did not listen to the elder and more knowledgeable people in his life, much to his detriment. I was entertained by the story, but everything felt relatively generic. Until the end. I was not expecting The Mantle #1 to end the way it did and I can tell you it made the whole series so much more intriguing. ‘The Mantle’ as a character provides an interesting take on the idea of arch nemeses (nemesi?) and the lengths that superheroes will go to to fight their ultimate enemy. I’m interested to see how this idea plays out and I’m hoping for some more origin story stuff in issue #2, which I will definitely be reading.
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artists/Cover Artists: Declan Shalvey, Jordie Bellaire
I think I’m starting to figure out why sometimes I’m bothered by the first issue of a comic, but end up loving the second issue. I don’t like being confused. I understand the appeal of suspense and get the idea of revealing important aspects of a story bit by bit, but gosh, I hate not having at least a general idea of what’s going on! This is not to say that comics that do this are necessarily bad, it’s just one of those things that gets my goat! I can see Injection being one of these comics. After the first issue, I want to say ‘poo poo’ (to the tiger at the zoo), but I know I’m just annoyed because I don’t have all of the details of this world. It happened with Past Aways, it happened with Chrononauts, it happened with Dead Drop, but now that I see the pattern I’m going to fight it and make sure to read all second issues unless I have an actual reason not to. There was one thing about Injection that I liked very much and that gives me hope for the series. The narrative parts that appear in yellow in the upper left hand corner of several panels are interesting and make me want to read more (though I maybe would have chosen a different font). These tidbits have an Edward Gorey-esque feel that I am a big fan of. I’m looking forward to more as the series continues.
Lantern City #1
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Writers: Paul Jenkins and Matthew Daley
Artist: Carlos Magno
Cover Artists: Benjamin Carre and Various
This was my first foray into steampunk inspired comics and I very much enjoyed it! I’m always impressed when a title takes a very common idea and makes it interesting. While Lantern City feels a lot like 1984, to the point where there are propaganda posters on every corner and “The actions of one are the actions of all,” is the government’s slogan, this comic builds intriguing characters and a fascinating universe. It’s one of those books that makes me want things to be okay for the sake of the kids, who range from innocent and naïve to sassy and confident. A revolution is brewing and I’ll be waiting to see how it turns out.