Comic Reviews from Ohio and New York

Written on Fri, Nov 14, 2014 by Kyle posted by kyle

Cincy Expo

-Opentree: Legends and Tall Tales. Branch One
Written by Chris Charlton with art by Brian Latimer and Vasco Sobral
I’ve read a number of series by Chris Charlton before and come to trust what he produces. His still going horror series ‘Black of Heart’ has been a must read for me for a few years and when he presented me with a Western mythology anthology series I was immediately interested.
This issue presents a story that includes a solitary frontier man and the strange circumstances in which he falls in love with a woman on the run. There’s bandits, animal transformation and a story that draws you in and keeps you interested for all 25 pages.
Recommended for anyone who enjoyed shows like ‘Amazing Stories’ or ‘Twilight Zone’ especially with a western/ frontier focus.

-Lady Mechanica No. 0
Written Created and Drawn by Joe Bentez
I try to stick to small publishers so Aspen was a little bigger than I prefer but the sleek art style and dark coloring drew me in and the story gave just enough to make me want to keep up given the chance. I’ve always wanted to read more Steampunk but never come across that much in the mainstream or even indy creators that grabbed me.
The 0 issue here gave us a few details of the character along with her unknown history and the world she lives in. If I were to complain about anything it would be that bounty hunters seem a little played out and the look is a little heavy on the cheesecake side.
Recommended for those who are already into steampunk or robot stories.

-Rock of Pages: Volume One
Written and Illustrated by Lee Xopher
This collection of short stories is a little disjointed at first but picks up in the second half. The first half of the book is a series of shorts that are either inspired by real life or thoughts on such. The second half is far more far fetched and interesting. The last few segments are about the most unlucky person in history traveling back on a time skateboard to stop his own conception.
The collection seems to be made up of multiple shorts that have little connection until the end. It may be a good step for someone on the indy side of things.
Recommended for fans of old school ashcan comics.

New York Comic Con
-Black River
Written by Ed Brisson and Illustrated by Jhomar Soriano
This comic flips the story on crime and vigilante stories like the Punisher and other anti heroes. The story focuses on a group of minor crooks who happen upon a big score of weapons. The simple plans to sell the weapons goes sour when a masked gun wielding vigilante crashes through the ceiling and dishes out his own deadly justice.
The relatable crooks who just see an opportunity they don’t think is hurting anyone combined with the psychotic seeming ‘hero’ make for a very different perspective on a story I’m usually a fan of.
Recommended for fans of crime stories by Garth Ennis. Fans of the movie ‘No County For Old Men’.

-Giant Robot Warrior Maintenance Crew #2 and #3
Written by Nate Hill and Illustrated by Mervyn McKoy
I may have forgotten to write about the first issue of this series when I read it a few months ago and that is a shame. This series takes a great satirical look at Voltron, Power Rangers and every other anime about color coded fighting teams piloting giant robots. From the perspective of the crew working to keep the giant robot ‘Herotron’ operational we get an up close look at the twisted and vile team that puts countless lives in danger and a society that enables them.
The three issues build on each other nicely even though they can be taken individually. With the series completed and the creators moving on to other series I highly recommend this series for all fans of the sentai genre.

-Action Johnson
Created by Nic J. Shaw with Art from Simone D’Armini, Luke Parker, Ryan Cody, Valentin Ramon Menendez and Artyom Trakhanov
This anthology of short stories definitely delivers on the promise in the name. Each story is only a few pages but gives a different form of action in each of them. Action Johnson faces giant monsters, gun fights and even prison breaks from each of the different stories and artists. The wide range of accessible stories that can be told is very reminiscent of Grimjack and Mundens Bar.
It’s something that has sort of been done before but with the infinite number of stories and adventures that can be available to this sort of story I see no reason someone else can’t play in the sandbox.
Recommended for fans of Samurai Jack, The Man with No Name.

-Beware… : Formula X
Written by Michael D. Perkins, Illustrated by Will Parkins
Anthology series or One-Shot stories seem to be capturing my attention a lot lately. While the others have been Western or Horror based this one takes a more scifi tone. There is a horror tone to it but the idea of a student with a rare plant that turns it sinister after an exotic chemical is introduced is enough of a pitch to get me one board. Throw in that this all happens during high school lock-in and I couldn’t pass it up.
Recommended for fans of Tales from the Crypt and dangerous scifi hijinks.

-Scam #1
Written and Illustrated by Joe Mulvey
This series opens up on the very familiar scene of a crew of criminals being betrayed by one of their own who takes the score and leaves everyone else to get screwed. Years later the groups gets back together to get justice on the betrayer and possibly the biggest score of their lives. This s all very familiar to more crime story fans but the biggest difference here is that the criminals all have special powers as well.
I typically shy away from superhero books in artist alley but I’m always up for a story that explores special powers without turning into costumed heroes. The idea of other applications for powers is always fun to see explored even if super cripminals are nothing new. I’ve purchased other books based on this premise before and been disapointed but Scam delivers on the promise such a story holds.
Recommended for fans of The Italian Job, Superior Foes of Spider-Man, Thief of Thieves

-The Accelerators Vol 1: Time Games
Written by R.F.I. Porto and Illustrated by Gavin P. Smith
Time travel is one of my favorite types of scifi but also the one that is most easily botched. Keeping track of cause and effect and the rules for how it all works can be tricky to keep track of. No matter how hard you work it’s also nearly impossible to avoid holes in the story somewhere.
With all of that I loved the opening arc for this series. The idea that someone stumbles upon a set of devices that allow forward only travel and it causes an immediate problem for those they encounter is almost as entertaining as an area populated by fighters from every era of our past. Our main characters are dropped into an incredibly complex and even believable under the circumstances backdrop and seeing how they try and deal with it a lot of fun.
I’m unsure if we will get the same adventure in future volumes but this first one has definitely gotten me interested enough to find out.
Recommended for fans of Time Cop and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

-Silver Vol. 1
by Stephan Franck
Another first volume I picked up at New York centering on a planned heist. This one incorporates more horror than super hero themes. This story starts out with a master thief hiding from the authorities after a daring heist at an auction for the Harker (yes as in Mina Harker) Estate. He happens upon a secret room with a bar of pure silver and a note book with stories that are too incredible to be believed.
This first volume gets us familiar with the cast we will be following for the rest of the story but the way its done in a way that draws you in and keeps you wanting more. The dark shadows and use of blacks makes for a lot of creepy panels but all of them are expertly done. I’m unsure how long it will be until the next volume is ready but I will be anxiously awaiting it.
Recommended for fans of Hellboy and Lupin the Third.

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