Wednesday, August 14, 2019

New Comic Review - House of X #2

Name - House of X #2
Published by - Marvel Comics
Written by - Jonathan Hickman
Art by - Pepe Larraz   
Coloring by - Marte Gracia
Letters by - Clayton Cowles
Release Date: August 7, 2019

Well, that was something epic. To be honest, I wasn't expecting much from the new X-men event as the X-men titles have been really lackluster for some years now. But the name of 'Jonathan Hickman' gave me some hope and being a fan of these characters since childhood, I decided to give it a try, I loved the first issues of the two new series', was quite hopeful for the overall event. The, 'House of X #2' came out and made me realize I just might have read the best single issue (unarguably the most impact-full) of this year.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Comics This Week - JULY 17, 2019

[ This post is entirely based on the comics that I read from the current week, not a best of or highlights of the week list. The rest of the stuff I didn't read was either me not being interested in them or not being able to get my hands on them. ]

BATMAN #75
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Tony Daniel & Mitch Gerads

Synopsis:
"City of Bane" begins! Bane's minions have moved into Gotham City, taken control and are ruling with an iron fist-including rounding up any villain who refuses to sign onto Bane's program-and Batman is nowhere to be found. At least not the Batman anyone knows. It's like someone has replaced the real Gotham City with a twisted funhouse-mirror version of it. Meanwhile, the real Bruce Wayne is on a spiritual quest to regain his fighting spirit after his showdown with his father in the desert. Can the people of Gotham hold on until their protector is strong enough to come to their rescue? Plus, what does Lex Luthor's scheming mean for Gotham City when Bane and the villains are already in control? This extra-sized anniversary issue kicks off a new multi-part storyline that ties together all the threads of the first 74 issues of Tom King's epic BATMAN run!

My thoughts:
Well, it's finally here. And it is, as we all expected. King tells yet another viewpoint jumping story, as we see the story unfold through the eyes of two separate Batman's. 
The fact that the various villains of Gotham serving as part of the authority on Bane's regime is a fun fact and also is the overall atmosphere all throughout. But, the tale was a bit confusing at times, but that is to be expected as it is coming as a closer to a long run by the author.
The art does satisfyingly convey the mood and is a joy to behold.

Rating:
8.5 out of 10.

AQUAMAN #50
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Artist: Robson Rocha

Synopsis:
As Aquaman settles the Old Gods of Unspoken Water into their new lives in Amnesty Bay, Jackson Hyde, a.k.a. Aqua-lad, seeks out Aquaman to be his new mentor! Back in Atlantis, Mera makes a move that shocks the Widowhood. Meanwhile, Black Manta, recently kicked out of the Legion of Doom, prepares to make his next move against his greatest nemesis...but Lex Luthor is about to make him an offer he can't refuse. Don't miss our landmark 50th issue and the start of a brand-new story!

My thoughts:
This was a joy to read. Loved the humanity of Arthur, as well as the reveal of the simplicity of his life in the Amnesty Bay in the past. Mera has been another strong character all through the series and her portrayal as the queen in the issue is another fun fact.
This seemed much new reader friendly in a way, while also continuing the story told so far.
Hoping for great things from this series in the future as Black Manta returns again at the end.

Rating:
9.5 out of 10.

COLLAPSER #1
Publisher: DC's Young Animal
Writer: Mikey Way, Shaun Simon
Artist: Ilias Kyriazis

Synopsis:
There's a voice in the head of Liam James questioning everything he does-from his job at the nursing home to keeping his relationship with his girlfriend afloat. Liam suffers from anxiety, and the only thing that quiets it is music, which makes a weekly DJ gig his one saving grace. But Liam's life changes forever when he receives a black hole in the mail (yes, you read that right), one that takes up residence in his chest, grants him insane superpowers, turns him into a celebrity and draws him into a cosmic conflict beyond his wildest imagination. Where did this black hole come from? Why Liam? Is power the cure? Or will superstardom turn Liam into a black hole himself? Find out in COLLAPSER, a superhero story that could only come from DC's Young Animal!

My thoughts:
This one has so much going for it. Original concept; truly realistic protagonist with anxiety issues and emotional instability; wacky yet cool art style and an unexpected story that could really go anywhere.
I loved the main character of Liam James, he is so normal and unlike typical superheroes it was quite refreshing reading his story.
Clearly one of the best new ongoing by DC right now. Hoping for something great in the future. 

Rating:
9 out of 10.

USAGI YOJIMBO #2
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer & Artist : Stan Sakai

Synopsis:
"Bunraku," Part 2. Strange circumstances continue to surround a travelling puppet show as Usagi becomes embroiled in one of his most eerie adventures yet! Will the aid of a supernatural ally be enough for Usagi to prevent more death? Stan Sakai's long-running epic continues its first thrilling storyline at IDW Publishing! Exciting samurai action, now in color!

My thoughts:
I am really amazed by this. How can a story that is so predictable and so simplistic, can be so enjoyable. I loved every panel of this.
These anthropomorphic characters somehow create a sense of nostalgia reminding me of the days of the classic cartoons/comics of the 90's, when I was a kid.
The drawing, the expressions and the dialogue all create a sense that makes me feel like I am a kid again enjoying the tales of honorable warriors battling evil spirits.
Full marks for bringing back the child in me.

Rating:
9 out of 10.

DAREDEVIL #8
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Lalit Kumar Sharma

Synopsis:
With Daredevil still missing, his shadow looms large over Hell's Kitchen...and ordinary citizens are starting to feel his absence. Detective Cole North may think he's stopped Daredevil, but there are bigger problems coming his way!

My thoughts:
'Daredevil' is seriously one of the best things Marvel is currently publishing.
While this issue might not be as good as the previous ones, I really loved Matt's banter with the mafia family as they each tried to assert their views on justice (although it dragged a bit too much).
But, frankly, the best thing about this issue was the bit with Kingpin, as we get to see yet another aspect of the psychology of this amazing character.
This still keeps me guessing where the story would be going next.

Rating:
8 out of 10.

[PS: I really have so less time to read comics currently, and I tried to review mostly the stuff I really liked this week. ]

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Promising Manga & Light Novels This Week - JULY 16, 2019

[ This post is entirely based on the stuff that I find to be promising from the current week, not a best of or highlights of the week list. The rest of the stuff I didn't find interesting due to preferences based on my taste and so this is solely my view. ]

Series : Dead Dead Demon's Dededede Destruction Vol. 6
Story & Art : Inio Asano
Publisher : Viz Media LLC

Synopsis :
The collaboration between S.E.S. and the Self-Defense Forces is going beautifully. Fujin Type 9s patrol the streets of Tokyo, and the slaughter of the Invaders is at an all-time high. It’s almost enough to distract the populace from the ominous smoke coming from the mother ship!
Meanwhile, Kadode is getting used to having an Invader living in her apartment. His delicious cooking almost makes up for the stress of dealing with the constant threat of vigilante exterminators taking him down right in front of her eyes!

[ Another seinen from the creator of 'Solanin' and 'Oyasumi Punpun'. Worth checking out for sure. ]

Series : Fire Punch Vol. 7
Story & Art : Tatsuki Fujimoto
Publisher : Viz Media LLC

Synopsis :
In a frozen dystopia where inhabitants eat flesh to survive, can the destructive powers of fire bring salvation?
In the not-too-distant past, the Ice Witch blankets the world in snow, starvation, and madness, leading the inhabitants to seek their salvation in fire. With that, an unusual destiny unfolds for two young orphans, Agni and Luna, blessed with the ability to regenerate. But will this ability prove to be more of a curse than a blessing?
With his promise to Tena imprinted on his mind, Agni can only enjoy an inauthentic peace coated thickly with lies. His existence blames, tortures and undermines him, becoming an affliction worse than the anger, pain and madness he’d experienced as Fire Punch. As Agni searches desperately for an escape from this hell, an old friend suddenly appears.

[ I have been quite interested in this series since I first heard about it. Now it's almost finished being translated, time to start on reading. ]

Series : Terra Formars Vol. 21
Story : Yu Sasuga
Art : Ken-ichi Tachibana
Publisher : Viz Media LLC

Synopsis :
Humanity’s attempt to terraform and colonize Mars goes horribly wrong.
In the late 26th century, overpopulation on Earth is reaching the breaking point, and humanity must find new frontiers. The terraforming of Mars has taken centuries but is now complete. The colonization of Mars by humanity is an epoch-making event, but an unintended side effect of the terraforming process unleashes a horror no one could ever have imagined…
The Terraformars have infested Japan and the war for Earth is on! The aliens have evolved and so have Earth’s warriors, striking back against the invaders in new and powerful ways. As Japanese and American fighters and soldiers face the onslaught, Michelle sets out on a mission to take Shokichi away from General Kai…

[ Another series I have known about for a long time. Should be action-packed and fun.  ]

Series : Altair: A Record of Battles Vol. 11
Story & Art : Kotono Kato
Publisher : Kodansha Comics

Synopsis :
In a fevered effort to rally allies and thwart the Empire’s advance, Mahmut continues his campaign south to the mercenary metropolis of Tauro! The city’s seasoned soldiers would bolster the Tripartite’s force tremendously. However, if Mahmut is to win over Tauro’s twin mayors, he must first defeat them in a perilous mock battle! Wielding his wit and military finesse, can the Golden Eagle break the Bull?!

[ A shounen with a very unique and interesting setting, the reviews are very positive as well. ]

Monday, July 15, 2019

Comics This Week - JULY 10, 2019

[ This post is entirely based on the comics that I read from the current week, not a best of or highlights of the week list. The rest of the stuff I didn't read was either me not being interested in them or not being able to get my hands on them. ]

SECOND COMING #1
Publisher: Ahoy Comics
Writer: Mark Russel
Artist: Richard Pace

Synopsis:
AHOY is proud to present-for the first time anywhere-the series everyone's talking about, by award-winning writer Mark Russell (Snagglepuss, The Flintstones) and artist Richard Pace (Pitt, New Warriors)! God commands Earth's mightiest super-hero, Sunstar, to accept Jesus as his roommate and teach him how to use power in a... more powerful way. Jesus, shocked at the way humans have twisted his message over two millennia, vows to straighten them out. This deluxe first issue features 30 pages of story!

My thoughts:
Well, that was unexpectedly fun. I was conflicted whether to pick this up, but decided I would do it anyway and glad I did.
The hilarious depiction of the creation myth and life of Jesus according to Christianity was an enjoyable tale. And add to it the superhero character of Sunstar, and it all goes off the rail.
The story was mixed with some serious bits and the author seems to have a clear message regarding what he is trying to achieve with his story. And the innocence of Jesus in the modern day world had me laughing hard.
The drawing could have been a bit better, in my opinion, though.
An unusual new series that I will surely follow.

Rating:
9 out of 10.

BLACK HAMMER/JUSTICE LEAGUE: HAMMER OF JUSTICE! #1
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Michael Walsh

Synopsis:
DC Comics and Dark Horse Comics present the ultimate superhero crossover event of 2019!
A strange man arrives simultaneously on Black Hammer Farm and in Metropolis, and both worlds are warped as Starro attacks! Batman, Green Lantern, Flash, Wonder Woman, Superman, and more crossover with Golden Gail, Colonel Weird, and the rest of the Black Hammer gang!

My thoughts:
Well, this was expected. 'Black Hammer' universe has been a breath of fresh air, and Jeff Lemire writing a crossover of these characters with the 'Justice League' was bound to be a blast.
Jeff introduces his characters quite brilliantly, setting the stage for something quite extraordinary. He has the ability to really flesh out emotions in his characters and Walsh does a marvelous job of highlighting everything interesting about the world of 'Black Hammer'.
My only gripe is that the villain seems rather underdeveloped so far. But I know Jeff has something exciting up his sleeve.

Rating:
9 out of 10.

BATMAN #74
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Tom King
Artist:  Mikel Janin

Synopsis:
"The Fall and the Fallen" concludes with a father-and-son showdown. Flashpoint Batman reveals his fiendish reasoning for dragging Batman into the desert, and who is in the coffin they've been dragging along with them. But is this a step too far? It's Bruce Wayne versus Thomas Wayne for the right to wear the cowl, and all of Gotham City hangs in the balance!

My thoughts:
Finally King pulls off what he was aiming for. This issue is an emotionally charged gritty tale of the stubbornness of Bruce, his testament to Batman's never giving up attitude.
The banter between father and son and how their confrontation makes Bruce take a hold of his broken psyche once again rising to the occasion like he has done multiple times in the past.
The drawing by 'Mikel Janin' and the coloring by 'Jordie Bellaire' does a tremendous job of strengthening the conflict, as the slight difference between the two Batman's really does add to the atmosphere.
Hoping the 'City of Bane' will be able to ride on with the strength of this triumphant return to form by Tom King.

Rating:
9 out of 10.

EVENT LEVIATHAN #2
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Alex Maleev

Synopsis:
"The Detectives"! EVENT LEVIATHAN, the new miniseries by the award-winning team of writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Alex Maleev, continues! As the mystery of Leviathan continues to rock the very foundations of the DC Universe, the world's greatest detectives gather for the first time anywhere to solve the mystery before it's too late! Lois Lane leads Batman, Green Arrow, Plastic Man, Manhunter, the Question and a couple of genuine guest sleuths in the search for who Leviathan is and how their plans have already unfolded. This issue also guest-stars Red Hood, Batgirl and more!

My thoughts:
Despite Bendis's attempt at creating a tense and mysterious issue, I never really felt the huge implications he was aiming for.
The series is lacking many of the big hitters and main heroes of the DC universe, which is just unrealistic regarding the impact and scope of the event that their authors are trying to establish. The lack of action also does nothing to add to the experience also.
The drawing of 'Alex Maleev' is gorgeous though, with its dark and moody undertone.
I do hope that Bendis will get his game together in the future issues.

Rating:
6 out of 10.

REAVER #1
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Justin Jordan
Artist: Rebekah Isaacs, Alex Guimaraes

Synopsis:
SERIES PREMIERE! The continent of Madaras once promised a new start for settlers, but 200 years after its discovery, the war rages on. Deep within this savage and untamed land, a darkness builds at that must be stopped at all costs. To do so, the Imperials assemble six of its most despicable prisoners-a turncoat, a skin eater, a sorcerer and his bodyguard, a serial killer, and the Devil's Son-the only ones who can stop the end of the new world. They are Hell's Half-Dozen. Join JUSTIN JORDAN (LUTHER STRODE) and REBEKAH ISAACS (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) for REAVER-a dark, grim fantasy for a post-Game of Thrones world.

My thoughts:
I love grimdark, and comics can be a good medium for it if done right.
'Reaver' has almost all the essentials required to make a grimdark fantasy; questionable characters, violence and gore and an impossible and doomed task ahead of our protagonists. The antagonists do lack a real voice and motive yet, but that might be redeemed in the future.
The author seemed to cram a lot of plot into this first issue, while that made the storytelling a bit clumsy, it really made the world-building quite strong.
But the story does need something unique to make it stand out among all other similar stories out there though.

Rating:
8 out of 10.

UNEARTH #1
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Cullen Bunn, Kyle Strahm
Artist: Baldemar Rivas

Synopsis:
SERIES PREMIERE! When a flesh-warping disease ravages a remote village in Mexico, a scientific task force travels to the inhospitable area to investigate the contamination. Tracing the source of the disease to a nearby cave system, the team discovers a bizarre, hostile ecosystem and a supernatural revelation from which they may never escape. This new subterranean nightmare is brought to you by writers CULLEN BUNN (REGRESSION) and KYLE STRAHM (SPREAD), and rising-star artist BALDEMAR RIVAS!

My thoughts:
While the idea isn't actually anything original, the execution was well enough to make me like it.
This horror/sci-fi debut issue is packed with strong art. There is a sense impending doom all over the story and any reader will be quite interested to know what will happen next.
Although I would have liked it if the characters were not so generic, but there is room for improvement in the future.

Rating:
8 out of 10.

THOR #15
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Michael Del Mundo

Synopsis:
WAR OF THE REALMS EPILOGUE! NEW STATUS QUO FOR THE GOD OF THUNDER! To end the War of the Realms, Thor made a sacrifice that will leave him forever changed. Now he must face the choices he's made. What lies ahead for the God of Thunder? Jason Aaron's legendary run draws to a close - don't miss the start of his final arc!

My thoughts:
A fitting epilogue to one of the better events from Marvel in recent years.
We get to read about the future of Thor and other major players of the 'War of the Realms'. There is a distinct sense of closure for a change here, even for the antagonist.
The drawing of 'Del Mundo' has the epic feeling required of such an epic issue.
I am really optimistic about the future of the God of Thunder.

Rating:
8.5 out of 10.

AVENGERS #21
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Jason Masters

Synopsis:
The war is over, and Earth's Mightiest Heroes are looking to celebrate. That's right, there's a party at Avengers Mountain! But who invited the Squadron Supreme of America?

My thoughts:
Another follow-up to 'War of the Realms'. I really liked the hot tub stuff, earths greatest heroes just having some time off after a great battle while having idle chatter was rather fun to imagine.
The sub plots on the other hand, are a bit convoluted for new readers. I didn't feel much interest in them either, despite some newer villains and the return of an old one.
Just a fun little comic book issue dealing with superheroes just having some fun.

Rating:
7 out of 10.

[PS: Yet another month with a big list. Believe me, I did cut some stuff out. ]

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Comics This Week - JULY 3, 2019

[ This post is entirely based on the comics that I read from the current week, not a best of or highlights of the week list. The rest of the stuff I didn't read was either me not being interested in them or not being able to get my hands on them. ]

DESCENDENT #3
Publisher: Aftershock Comics
Writer: Stephanie Phillips
Artist: Evgeny Bornyakov

Synopsis:
What do the Salem witch trials and a missing Senator's son have in common? The third installment of DESCENDENT from Stephanie Phillips (Devil Within, Kicking Ice) and Evgeniy Bornyakov (Meteora, Ziggy) investigates the missing link between a mysterious cult and disappearing children. But, as David gets closer to finding out the truth, the cult gets closer to David. Oh, and someone dies. #sorrynotsorry

My thoughts:
The mystery starts to unravel in this issue. While I do like the tempo and the characters, I surely would have loved a richer mystery or plot.
Things start to get a bit predicable specially with the deaths and the action of certain characters.
The twist at the end about the real villain behind the conspiracy does give a satisfying jerk though, and the issue does enough to make readers want to move further with the story.
Nothing spectacular, yet no real lack of substance either.

Rating:
7 out of 10.

NO ONE LEFT TO FIGHT #1
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Aubrey Sitterson
Artist: Fico Ossio

Synopsis:
They've saved the planet countless times, but what happens after the final battle has been won? Creators Aubrey Sitterson (The Comic Book Story of Professional Wrestling, G.I. Joe) & Fico Ossio (Spider-Man, Revolution) take inspiration from the legendary Dragon Ball to tell a story of regret, resentment, and growing older, one that asks, "What does a fighter do when there's no one left to fight?"

My thoughts:
The drawing is the star here, Fico Ossio uses vibrant colors to create a world of heroes and epic battles where the heroes have finally achieved world piece but don't really know what to do now.
The comparison with classic fighting mangas like 'Dragon Ball' or 'One Piece' are a given here. And that should be a good thing as we always need more of those.
The characters are just introduced and are not really fleshed out yet and the action is also something to appear in the future, but that is expected because this is just the beginning. But the cast does seem a bit too generic and emotional aspects don't actually seem to work so far.
All in all, a promising start that could go either way. But once again, the art is beyond gorgeous.

Rating:
8 out of 10.

DCEASED #3
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist:  Trevor Hairsine

Synopsis:
Heroes, villains and gods have fallen. Cities have collapsed. The virus threatens to reach below the waves and even to the island of Themyscira. The race to save planet Earth is on! The surviving members of the Justice League have learned the secret to the spread of the virus, but is it already too late to stop it?

My thoughts:
This one is a Superman story, although we get a glimpse of the fate of Atlantis. While we did get an emotionally charged story into the psyche of Superman and his family at the time of this techno apocalypse, the overall progression of the plot of this Elseworlds universe takes a back stage this time. And the rest of the crew seems to just sit and do nothing which is a bit unrealistic for me.
But the last few pages alone gives enough emotional punch to keep any fan of the DC comics hooked in for the future.
This issue has its strengths, but is is a bit weak compared to what has come before. 

Rating:
8.5 out of 10.

THE GREEN LANTERN #9
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Liam Sharp

Synopsis:
On the medieval fantasy planet of Athmoora, Sir Hal of the Lantern-a.k.a. Hal Jordan-must do battle with the evil wizard Ah-Bah-Nazzur, scourge of the Four Kingdoms! What is Ah-Bah-Nazzur's secret? And what does it have to do with the looming extinction-level Multiversal threat that leaves countless dead super-beings in its wake?

My thoughts:
You just never know where this creative team will take you next, do you? Yet another obscure cameo filled story with the hectic pace and unpredictable twists make yet another winning issue of the new Green Lantern ongoing.
And the best part about this issue is it has kept me thinking about it and what is to come next, lingering like an aftertaste in my mind.
The art of 'Liam Sharp' is as old school, unorthodox and charismatic as usual, especially his facial expressions.
Blissfully wondering where this exotic journey will take this reader next.

Rating:
9 out of 10.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #27
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Javi Fernandez

Synopsis:
Eons ago, the Monitor, the Anti-Monitor and the World Forger stopped the rise of Perpetua-but can they overcome billions of years of mistrust to work together and do it again? Plus, Lex Luthor's offers across the DC Universe haven't gone unnoticed-Martian Manhunter is aware of "the Offer." And J'onn J'onnz will pay the price.

My thoughts:
This issue of 'Justice League' was once again a bit confusing and the weirdness (or clumsiness, dare I say?!) just added to the fact.
Martian Manhunter gets a lot more face time, which should be fun for his fans, we are introduced rather casually with another big name, the Monitor and the build up to the upcoming 'Year of the Villain' event continues.
I wasn't much impressed with this issue, despite some bad-ass dialogue between Martian Manhunter and Hawkgirl. I am quite certain 'James Tynion Iv' will pick up the pieces on the future issues.

Rating:
6.5 out of 10.

LOIS LANE #1
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Mike Perkins

Synopsis:
On the road and out of Metropolis-and carrying a secret that could disrupt Superman's life-Lois Lane embarks on a harrowing journey to uncover a threat to her husband and a plot that reaches the highest levels of international power brokers and world leaders. Critically acclaimed and best-selling author Greg Rucka and master storyteller Mike Perkins team up for a tale of conspiracy, intrigue and murder that pushes even Lois to her limits.

My thoughts:
I get why this gets so much praise. Greg Rucka has a distinctive voice, and she expertly uses her talent to paint a detailed picture of the daily life of one of DC's most important non-superhero characters. Her incorporation of real life political issues and gritty noir inspired picture of journalism is another fun element.
The drawing by Mike Perkins is as gorgeous as ever, and the coloring adds much to the overall feeling of a dark and bleak world.
A promising beginning for sure.

Rating:
9 out of 10.

SEA OF STARS #1
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Jason Aaron, Dennis Hallum
Artist: Stephen Green

Synopsis:
"LOST IN THE WILDS OF HEAVEN," Part One: Being a space trucker sounds like a cool job, but in reality, it can be boring as hell. So when recently widowed Gil gets a long-haul gig across the universe, he figures it's safe enough to bring his young son Kadyn along for the ride-that is, until their "big rig" gets bitten in half by a gigantic Space Leviathan! Now separated from his son-with a breached suit that's venting oxygen at an alarming rate-Gil must defy the odds and stay alive long enough to rescue Kadyn. But meanwhile, Kadyn seems to be getting all the help he needs from a talking Space Monkey riding a Space Dolphin... or maybe it's the strange powers he's suddenly manifesting?! From the writing duo of JASON AARON (SOUTHERN BASTARDS, Thor) and DENNIS HALLUM (Cloak & Dagger, Vader: Dark Visions), with dazzling art by STEPHEN GREEN (Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.) and cosmic colors by RICO RENZI (Spider-Gwen), comes a brand-new science fiction series with all the scope and heart of the The Neverending Story crossed with the imaginative weirdness of Miyazaki-an intense, galaxy-spanning adventure that's suitable for fans of all ages!

My thoughts:
This one has a bit of 'Finding Nemo' vibe, which frankly is something that interests me a lot.
I really love a bit of family drama in my fantasy/sci-fi, and this one seems to be going in the right direction. It has the vastness of space for the readers to explore while getting emotionally challenged by an estranged father and son duo. What more can you ask for in an all ages sci-fi comics?
The drawing also deserves a mention due to its handling the intricacies of space quite extraordinarily.
Hoping for a fun ride in the future.

Rating:
9 out of 10.

AERO #1
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Zhou Liefen, Greg Pak
Artist: Keng

Synopsis:
CATCH THE WAVE! ALL NEW ONGOING SERIES! The breakout stars of WAR OF THE REALMS: AGENTS OF ATLAS debut in an oversized team-up book! Get ready for the English language debut of the first appearance of AERO, the high-flying Shanghaiese superheroine created for Marvel by Zhou Liefen and Keng! And in a brand new story written by PLANET HULK writer Greg Pak, Aero teams up with WAVE, Marvel's newest Filipina superheroine! What strange forces have turned the buildings of Shanghai into monstrous golems? And what is the SECRET ORIGIN OF WAVE?

My thoughts:
This felt like a manga from start to finish. There was too little plot in my opinion and despite the art being gorgeous it couldn't really convey how 'Aero's power works.
The second story has a bit more substance in the plot, but still not enough bone on the story to hook a new reader.
Hopefully the upcoming issues picks up the pace and gives the readers a bit more action. 

Rating:
6 out of 10.

[PS: I haven't caught up with stuff like 'Giant Days', 'Black Hammer: Age of Doom', 'Immortal Hulk' or 'The Dreaming' yet. This week had a variety of good stuff from many publishers, as a matter of fact. I know my list is somewhat on the bigger side, still I had to control my enthusiasm a bit. ]

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Promising Manga & Light Novels This Week - JULY 2, 2019

[ This post is entirely based on the stuff that I find to be promising from the current week, not a best of or highlights of the week list. The rest of the stuff I didn't find interesting due to preferences based on my taste and so this is solely my view. ]

Series : Dr. Stone Vol. 6
Story : Riichiro Inagaki
Art : Boichi
Publisher : Viz Media LLC

Synopsis :
Imagine waking to a world where every last human has been mysteriously turned to stone...
One fateful day, all of humanity turned to stone. Many millennia later, Taiju frees himself from the petrification and finds himself surrounded by statues. The situation looks grim—until he runs into his science-loving friend Senku! Together they plan to restart civilization with the power of science!
Senku’s father, the astronaut Byakuya, returned to Earth shortly after humanity turned to stone. What did he leave behind for his son to discover thousands of years later?
In the meantime, Senku and the villagers have to contend with attackers from the Tsukasa Empire. The dire situation calls for drastic measures, so they start work on their strongest weapon yet...

[ A shounen with a lot of hype and an upcoming anime. Should be worth checking out.  ]

Series : I Am a Hero Omnibus Vol. 10
Story & Art : Kengo Hanazawa
Publisher : Dark Horse Manga

Synopsis :
Revelations, new mutations, and new motivations abound in this penultimate collection!
An odd observer in Barcelona pieces together the puzzle of the ZQN infestation before creator Kengo Hanazawa takes readers back to Japan and our remaining human survivors. Hideo and Hiromi discover something else that connects the two of them, as they head to Tokyo with a new ally. Murderous groups of human survivors are forced to band together, and the ZQN virus continues to evolve in massive ways. Go way further and get way stranger than the I Am a Hero film adaptation!
Collects I Am a Hero original Japanese volumes 19 and 20.

[ A zombie apocalypse manga that I have been interested for a long time coming closer to its end. High time to read it, I guess. ]

Series : Platinum End Vol. 9
Story : Tsugumi Ohba
Art : Takeshi Obata
Publisher : Viz Media LLC

Synopsis :
With Kanade Uryu now dead, Mirai and Saki are able to rest for the first time in a while and mourn the death of their partner, Mukaido. But then a new god candidate appears on television and begins revealing all of their secrets. Is this the start of a new battle, or is there a peaceful way out of their plight?

[ I got the physical copy of the first volume. A series from the creators of 'Death Note' and 'Bakuman', need I say more? ]

Series : Full Metal Panic! Vol. 2
Story : Shouji Gatou
Art : Shikidouji
Publisher : J-Novel Club

Synopsis :
Popular, very pretty, and telepathic teenager Kaname is off on her school outing to Okinawa with her schoolmates. As they say, vacations never go according to plan, and when terrorists hijack their plane, they find themselves held as hostages in North Korea. A deadly terrorist organization has been tracking Kaname carefully, wanting to study her gift of "the Whispered," her telepathic skill, and they are willing to sacrifice everyone on the plane to capture her. Unfortunately for the terrorists, Sosuke Sagara, agent of the hyper-secret government commando agency, "Mithril," is undercover as one of the students. Mission: protect Kaname without her knowledge.

[ I liked the first volume of this series a lot more than I expected. New translation of an old school legendary light novel by J-Novel Club, I will read this as soon as I get my hands on it. ]

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Comics This Week - JUNE 26, 2019

[ This post is entirely based on the comics that I read from the current week, not a best of or highlights of the week list. The rest of the stuff I didn't read was either me not being interested in them or not being able to get my hands on them. ]


DIAL H FOR HERO #4
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist: Joe Quinones

Synopsis:
With the Dial finally secured, and on the run from those who want to control the powerful device that can give anyone the powers of a random superhero, Miguel and Summer head to the old Justice League Detroit headquarters with the hope of finding some help in contacting Superman.

My thoughts:
I came to this series expecting wackiness, and thankfully I did get a lot of it. the latest issue carries on with the wacky new hero designs, the fast paced struggle to reach real superheroes for help and some more cameos from past little known characters. Miguel and Summer are still as fun and youthful, fresh antagonists as before with their charm still intact.
The art by 'Joe Quinones' is a star in this issue as well, as he keeps drawing different panels in different style in unique tandem, adding palpable layers to the experience.
I am still quite unsure where the author is headed with his story, and that is the main positive of this wonderful ride.
 
Rating:
8.5 out of 10.

WAR OF THE REALMS #6
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Russell Dauterman

Synopsis:
THE WORLD'S SHATTERING CONCLUSION OF WAR OF THE REALMS!
The tides begin to turn as unexpected allies appear in a twist that will shake the heavens! Malekith's allies are faltering at last before the might of all Earth's heroes, but the Dark Elf King has one final trick - and it's got a VENOMOUS bite! Out of options, the God of Thunder makes a sacrifice that will leave him forever changed. But will it be enough? And what heroes may fall in his wake? Midgard's fate is sealed as Jason Aaron's years-long saga comes to its epic conclusion!

My thoughts:
I haven't read such well crafted finale of a major event in many years. But, despite the awesome finish with epic battles and magnificent gods, this series, in its core is a Thor story. A damn good Thor story which seems like Marvel trying to run the show with Jason Aaron's triumphant saga.
The drawing is once again quite brilliant by Dauterman with Matthew Wilson's dazzling coloring to boost the grandness and the overall dramatic nature of the action.
I really loved the different Thor's and the family drama of the Asgardian gods. But, in the end, nothing much changed at the end of the event compared to when it began. But, that didn't take much out of the enjoyment for me, although I am not much interested in the repercussions after the satisfying finish.

Rating:
9 out of 10.

CONAN THE BARBARIAN #7
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Mahmud A. Asrar

Synopsis:
THE MANY LOVES OF CONAN!
•  There have been many loves of Conan's life beyond ale and battle.
•  But nothing is sacred as the CRIMSON WITCH twists what is truly best in life!
•  PLUS: The next chapter in the all-new CONAN novella "BLACK STARLIGHT"!

My thoughts:
Jason Aaron And Mahmud Asrar carry on with their method, telling standalone stories while moving the larger plot forward ever so slowly. But this story is not as strong as some on the previous issues, as Conan is mostly silent and his attitude was a bit too emotional to be believable. It's not that the issue bad, not at all, but rather a bit pale compared to what has come before.
The lack of action did give Asrar less room to draw his brutal sequences, but the different characters and their facial expression (specially Conan, as always) were as brilliant as ever.
Hoping the main storyline would move forward a bit faster though.   

Rating:
7 out of 10.

STEEL CAGE #1
Publisher: Ahoy Comics
Writer: Mark Waid, Tom Peyer, Stuart Moore, Alan Robinson
Artist: Lanna Souvanny, Peter Gross

Synopsis:
Three dazzling short "pilot" stories from AHOY's finest - and you get to vote on which series continues! In "Noah Zark" by Mark Waid and Lanna Souvanny, an alien boy is kidnapped into an interplanetary zoo-and becomes the protector of the animals. In "True Identity" by Tom Peyer and Alan Robinson, we learn what secret anguish drives the most beloved superhero on Earth! And Stuart Moore and Peter Gross's "Bright Boy" tells the grim tale of the world's smartest human and the havoc he leaves in his wake.

My thoughts:
An unusual type of anthology, featuring three shorts, and the reader gets a chance to vote for one of them, which would get an ongoing series. A rather nice concept, in my opinion.
'True Identity' tells the tragic origin story of a superhero from the future, who can be an interesting one, if further explored upon. The authors poked a bit of fun at the generic otherworldly superhero troupe.
'Bright Boy' is a rather different and ambitious tale of a different kind of hero, who works in secret to avert various crisis's. The unorthodox drawing and twist ending, while might be a bit too much for some casual readers, it does add to the overall enjoyment.
'Noah Zark' is an all ages story featuring a space fairing kid going to different planets to return different aliens to their homes. The drawing is gorgeous, and the story has so much potential to eventually turn into an enjoyable ride in longer form.
While it's difficult to choose which is the best among these three, this small anthology was definitely one of the highlights for me this week. 

Rating:
9 out of 10.

[ PS: This was a rather bleak week when I think about it and nothing else much interest me at all. ]