Tag Archives: image comics

Review: Southern Bastards #10

SouthernBastards10_CoverAJason Aaron and Jason Latour’s series, Southern Bastards, has been nothing but a revelation since its debut last year. The story reads more like what the South is really like, than the caricature that is portrayed on TV and movies. I can say that, as living in Virginia, has given me a first row view on what the South really means, as this was the state, whose capital, was the capital of the Confederacy. The South is filled with these characters, beliefs and settings that recently have been brought to the forefront in the news, due to the tragedy in South Carolina and the subsequent removal of the Confederate flag from the capitol building.

For those readers who have never read this series, it is a story about a small town in Alabama, where after 40 years, Earl Tubb returns home to Craw County to find it corrupted by the local crime boss/football coach, Boss. The story has sprinkles of Walking Tall and Justified throughout, but really is a story all its own. Within the first few arcs, there have been confrontations between Earl and Boss and a few bodies left in the wake. The story so far, is a slow burn of a melodrama; it confronts stereotypes, glorifies and condemns simultaneously all of what the South represents. This new arc, starting with the last issue, is set right before the most important game of the season, and a murder has occurred.

In the first few pages, Esaw Goings has to deal with both of his jobs, as Boss’s enforcer and the assistant football coach, during homecoming week. Coach Big, one of the assistant coaches has died, seemingly by his own hand. Esaw, comes off like Beavis and Butthead in the Rock’s body. The issue’s mostly about his daily tasks, like getting money from the bank, meeting with Boss, buying guns from dealers out of Mobile and coming up with a defensive game plan for the football team, while dragging along a bible thumper who works at the bank. The story is at time hilarious but eventually brutal arc, as there is only one way a character like Esaw will devolve to.

The story by Aaron only continues the excellent work he has done thus far with this marvelous series. Latour, is a *pun insert* ‘tour de force,’ as his illustrations feel right at home. Aaron and Latour were made to write this series and I am so glad that it will soon be a TV show on FX. Overall, a great story arc, and cannot wait for what this series will bring next.

Story: Jason Aaron Art: Jason Latour
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Sex Criminals #11

SexCriminals11_CoverAOkay. I’m pretty late in the game when it comes to reviewing and heaping praise upon Sex Criminals. I mean, you really can’t do one without the other. It isn’t helping that I’m starting my reviews right in the middle of a story arc, which meant that I had a lot of catching up to do. I have to resist the temptation to write about Sex Criminals as a whole, but honestly? What is there to say that hasn’t been said already? Sex Criminals is funny. Sex Criminals is raunchy. Sex Criminals is smart. Sex Criminals is, above all else, honest.

Good. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about #11 and how it differs from the other issues up to this point. Honestly? It’s not the best. But Sex Criminals not at it’s best is kind of like going into the Cheesecake Factory and ordering the Mango Key Lime cheesecake. Sure it’s tasty as hell, but, really, it wasn’t as good as half the other cheesecakes on the menu. (Dammit, now I want their Vanilla Bean Cheesecake.) Part of the reason why this isn’t quite as good as the others is that it steps back from character and plot development some, to introduce us to a new character.

It’s because of this we have four separate threads to keep track of, so it comes off a little less fluid than the other issues. You’ve got our new character, Suzie Jon, and Ms. “Kincaid,” Jon’s Psychiatrist and his lover, and Robert Rainbow and Rachelle (all in various stages of undress and coitus, natch.) It’s because of this that the comic kinds of bounces around all over the place so it’s a little less coherent than the previous issues.

For me the biggest things that drag this book down is how painstakingly New Guy tries to assert that he’s normal, despite being aware that he’s in a comic book that literally revolves around sex, as well as Rainbow and Rachelle’s post coital (kinda) conversation. While the first is necessary to the plot, the second I think would have been better off if more attention could have been paid to it, in a bit more relevant way. Having said that, it is still a good book. I mean, it’s cheesecake. Who’s going to turn down cheesecake? Chip Zdarsky’s artwork is, as always, detailed, nuanced, and filled with more visual humor than you can shake a stick at (save for a few panels.) Matt Fraction’s writing is good. The use of language is natural, believable and flows well. The plot, well, I’ve already talked about the weak points, but don’t let that deter you.

There’s a huge payoff at the end (double entendre intended) that was unexpected, and is certainly makes the book worth getting, since it isn’t something that I was expecting, though to be fair it is a logical extension of some of the events in last issue. It is, however, potentially problematic for me for personal reasons. I can’t really say more about it without giving it away in a huge spoiler, but it is something that is going to be worth talking about regardless of how it’s handled, so it’s something I’ll address when I cover #12.

Or undress it as the case may be.

Story: Matt Fraction Art: Chip Zdarsky
Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Image provided a Graphic Policy a FREE copy for review

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Rasputin07_CoverWednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Brett

Southern Bastards #10 (Image Comics) – One of the, if not the, best comic out there right now. It’s usually a slow burn, but each issue has more character insights than many comics have in a year. This Southern noir is fantastic on every level.

Captain Canuck #3 (Chapter House Publishing) – Some times you want your heroes to lose the gritty aspect, and just be heroes. This series gets back to that courtesy of some talented Canadian creators. Fun action, that’s entertaining and loses the cynicism of today’s superhero comics.

Invisible Republic #5 (Image Comics) – An amazing series that definitely doesn’t get the attention it deserves. It involves a reporter digging into the revolutionaries that took over a planet, and digs up a bit of dirt. An amazing focus on history being used as propaganda.

Princeless: Be Yourself #2 (Action Lab Entertainment) – The new series hasn’t missed a beat and continues the fun fantasy adventure with a bit of girl power mixed in.

Rasputin #7 (Image Comics) – The first arc focusing on the historical figure was interesting. Flash forward 100 years, and not only is he alive, he’s also advising a Presidential candidate. Now you have my undivided attention.

 

Edward

Top Pick: Hacktivist Vol. 2 #1 (BOOM! Studios) –  The second series dealing with the group of hackers follows on the plot from the first series, and tries to answer some unresolved questions.

Batgirl Annual #3 (DC Comics) – Kind of a catch-all for Batgirl, as she faces off against Helena Bertinelli, a former Batgirl (from No Man’s Land) and Dick Grayson (her pre-new 52 romantic interest).  Throw in a visit to Gotham Academy and this sounds pretty fun.

He-Man: Eternity War #8 (DC Comics) – There has been no missteps in this entire series as the creative team has pushed the envelope of what defines the core group of characters.  This is not your childhood’s He-Man.

Jem and the Holograms #5 (IDW Publishing) – This series has been nothing but fun since its launch.  It doesn’t look likely to stop any time soon either.  One can only hope that the suggested food fight from the cover gets realized inside.

Lazarus #18 (Image Comics) – Lazarus goes to Duluth to win the war, as different plot lines begin to intersect.

 

Elana

Top Pick: Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight: Trade Paperback Vol 3: Slay Ride and Blood Lagoon (Dark Horse) – “Books like ‘Grindhouse’ were the reason the Comics Code was invented.” – creator Alex De Campi.

That’s a promise and a warning. De Campi absolutely delivers on grindhouse cinema gratification in comic book form– even better, it comes from a frankly female perspective on the genre. This series is messed up in all the RIGHT ways.

Each trade contains self-contained story arcs so you can pick up volume 3 even if you’ve never read the series before. In Volume 3 my entirely fictional girlfriend, Deputy Garcia is back with her motorcycle and eyepatch. I can’t wait!

Series creator Alex de Campi is our podcast guest next week!

Batgirl Annual #3 (DC Comics) – Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher art by Bengal, David Lafuente, Mingjue Helen Chen, Ming Doyle…. Look at that list of awesome writers and artists! Not only do we get Babs catching up with Dick Grayson but we also see her meet with Batwoman and the Gotham Academy kids! These are all of my favorite things in one place! It is a standalone story you can read even if you aren’t reading the new Batgirl series. But after reading this I’m sure you’ll want to.

Phoebe Gloeckner: Diary of a Teenage Girl (North Atlantic Books) – Considered one of the best graphic novels of last decade it’s probably time that you (and I) finally read it! Plus there’s a movie of it coming out soon and you don’t want to be called a “poser”, right? The book is a combination of prose and illustration reads like autobiography. The press release calls it “a dark story of sex and drugs in the life of a 1970s teenage girl.” You should read Sean T Collins review because I can’t do it justice till I read the book.

1602 Witch Hunter Angela #2 (Marvel) – This is the funniest series in Secret Wars and the prettiest too. Last issue we met Shakespeare, Marlowe and King James (Logan Howlett aka Wolverine) and other Faustians (aka people with superpowers). This issue Angela and Sera will meet “Ye Olde Guardians of the Galaxy.”

 

Mr. H

Top Pick: Thors #2 (Marvel Comics) – The case is heating up as the murder mystery of the Gods continues. Blood, Hammers, and Justice shalt be served!

Daredevil #17 (Marvel Comics) – The last days of The Man Without Fear? Could be. This creative team has been white hot so I know Matt is in good hands, but I want to see the payoff.

Red Sonja Vol.2 #17 (Dynamite Entertainment) – Red hot chick swinging a sword, as usual all over this one. The 1973 one shot gave me a rejuvenation for this title. Hope the momentum doesn’t wane.

Superman #42 (DC Comics) – I am actually enjoying the prelude to the “Truth” storyline a lot more than the actual crossover. I’m interested to see just what it was that made Lois out Clark’s ID to the world? This intrepid reporter needs some answers. By Rao, I need them now!

TMNT Ongoing #48 (IDW Publishing) – The Stockman Swarm, The Shredder and Karai all move in for the kill. How could this not be good?

 

Paul

Top Pick: Thors #2 (Marvel) – the first issue of this story was fantastic; a crime story following the ‘police’ of Battleworld, the Thors.  Law and Order meets Asgardian officers, working on the orders of Lord Doom to keep the peace, and the foundation of Battleworld, in one piece.  Excited for what happens next.

Top Pick: X-Men ’92 #2 (Marvel) – the first issue totally brought me back to Saturday mornings, watching Marvel’s merry mutants as most of us remember them, complete with colourful costumes and Wolverine and Cyclops sniping at each other.  I am looking forward to see more from Cassandra Nova and what her rehabilitation facility for mutants is really all about.

1602 Witch Hunter Angela #2 (Marvel) – This was a very interesting first issue, following Angela hunting ‘witchbreed’, which turns out to be mutants.  The second issue puts Angela on the path to see dire omens not come to pass, and also introduces use to “Ye olde Guardians of the Galaxy”.  Looking forward to this.

S.H.I.E.L.D. #8 (Marvel) – I am a huge fan of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. tv show, and just as big a fan of the comic book treatment of the show.  It’s fun to see the tv agents paired up with various heroes from the Marvel universe an work together to solve the problem of the issue.  This issue has Agent May and Mockingbird setting out to kick some ass….sign me up!

 

Steven Attewell

Batgirl #42 (DC Comics) – despite not being remotely in the target demographic for this book, I’ve been enjoying the hell out of this series’ exploration of fame and identity.

Conan the Avenger #16 (Dark Horse) – Dark Horse’s Conan run has been one of the most consistently enjoyable comics for me in recent years (with the exception of that odd bit where Belit went to Cimmeria), so if given an option I’ll always pick one up.

Copperhead #9 (Image Comics) – Read the first trade of this unusual space-western/single-mom comic and really enjoyed the strange little world that Jay Faerber and Scott Godlewski have thrown together, so I’ll keep following this story.

Rasputin #7 (Image Comics) – A really strange little gem, this series posits a revisionist history of the infamous Russian mystic in which Grigori Rasputin’s powers not only are quite real and extend to genuine resurrection and clairvoyancy, but he’s also secretly a prince in communion with the forces of Russian folklore.

Southern Bastards #10 (Image Comics) – having really enjoyed Scalped, I eagerly anticipated Jason Aaron’s new series. Took me a while to get into the first trade – something about the way Jason Latour draws mouths threw me off until I got used to it – but the second trade’s revelation of Coach Boss’ backstory was mesmerizing and made this a must-read for me.

Head Lopper—The critically-acclaimed indie comes to Image

Head LopperCartoonist Andrew MacLean brings the critically-acclaimed indie hit Head Lopper to Image Comics.

In Head Lopper #1, mighty swordsman Norgal and his unlikely companion, the severed head of the blue witch Agatha, have been summoned to the Scottish Isle of Barra to rid the town of the sea monster plaguing its shores. But what the duo did not intend is to find a much more sinister and ancient evil.

The two now face a series of trials that will test both their strength and their faith. Even if they survive the island, can they survive each other’s company?

The dark humored quarterly adventure begins with a double-sized first issue, with 80 pages of story and a premium pin-up gallery for the regular price of just $5.99.

Head Lopper #1 (Diamond Code: JUL150559) will be available on Wednesday, September 9th. Cover B by Rafael Grampá will be available with Diamond Code JUL150560.

Sunstone, Vol. 3—The bestselling Erotica series continues

Sunstone Vol. 3

The critically-acclaimed, #1 Amazon.com bestselling Erotica graphic novel series by Stjepan Sejic continues with Sunstone, Vol. 3, set to hit stores the end of August.

Sunstone, Vol. 3 is a classy, sexy, fun, and emotional look at two women and the alternative lifestyle they live. Ally and Lisa are happy, well-adjusted young women, but they’re both a little lonely. Ally loves the creativity of being a “domme” in her sex life, but hasn’t found the right person to share it with. And Lisa… well, Lisa loves to be tied up! When they find each other online, they know they have to meet.

But bondage is all about trust, and even after they’ve explored every facet of their sexuality together, Ally and Lisa will find the ultimate test of this trust lies in three simple words. The webcomic and graphic novel sensation continues to heat up in this third volume as Ally strives to keep things creative in the playroom and Lisa gets tied up and tattooed. But will they keep on avoiding the whole falling in love thing? It’s all fun and games until someone falls in love! But the fun and games do carry on…

Sunstone, Vol. 3 (ISBN: 978-1-63215-399-9) hits comic book stores on August 26th and bookstores on September 8th. It can be ordered by retailers from Diamond Book Distributors with Diamond Code JUN150583.

Invisible Republic, Vol. 1 gritty science fiction lands in August

Fan-favorite comic book writer and film storyboard artist Gabriel Hardman teams up with artist Corinna Bechko for an all-new science fiction series in Invisible Republic, Vol. 1. This collects issues #1-5 into trade paperback and will be available in August.

In Invisible Republic, Vol. 1, when a reporter unearths the secret history of the recently deposed dictator of a remote colonized moon, he discovers that exposing secrets can be deadly.

Invisible Republic, Vol. 1 (ISBN: 978-1-63215-408-8) hits comic book stores on August 19th and bookstores on September 1st, and will be available for $9.99. It can be ordered by retailers from Diamond Book Distributors with Diamond Code JUN150545.

INVISIBLE REPUBLIC VOL. 1

Oeming fans rejoice, Oemnibus arrives

Perfect for fans of Michael Avon Oeming, Oemnibus trade paperback, by Michael Avon Oeming, Neil Vokes, Bryan J.L. Glass, Daniel Berman, and Ethan Beavers, is slated to hit stores this August.

Collecting seven one-shots and short stories published by Image Comics over the past 15 years, Oemnibus includes out-of-print and rarely-seen stories by Powers co-creator Michael Avon Oeming.

Oemnibus collects such stories as: 86 Voltz, Parliament of Justice, God Complex, Six, and more.

Oemnibus (ISBN: 978-1632154811) hits comic book stores on August 5th and bookstores on August 18th, and will be available for $24.99. It can be ordered by retailers from Diamond Book Distributors with Diamond Code JUN150509.

OEMNIBUS

The Last Days of American Crime hits stores

The critically-acclaimed, smutty, sci-fi noir—the first collaboration between Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini — The Last Days of American Crime returns to print. The remastered edition will be available in an oversized, hardcover format this August.

With one week until the end of all crime in the United States, can the last heist in American history be pulled off? The Last Days of American Crime is set in the not-too-distant future and as a final response to terrorism and crime, the US government plans in secret to broadcast a signal making it impossible for anyone to knowingly commit unlawful acts. To keep this from the public, the government creates a distraction, installing a new currency system using digital charge cards.

Enter: Graham Bricke. A career criminal never quite able to hit the big score, Graham intends to steal one of the charging stations, skip the country, and live off unlimited funds for the rest of his life. But the media has leaked news of the anti-crime signal one week before it was to go live, and now Graham and his team have just a few days to turn the crime of the century into the last crime in American history.

The Last Days of American Crime (ISBN: 978-1-63215-431-6) hits comic book stores on August 19th and bookstores on September 1st, and will be available for $24.99.

THE LAST DAYS OF AMERICAN CRIME

Review: Wolf #1

Wolf01_CoverCrime procedurals are commonplace on TV as shows such as Law and order, CSI, NCIS, the Wire, Homicide and True Detective has had audiences engrossed for more than quarter century. Before these shows captured the public’s attention, the only crime procedural that, came close, was Dragnet. Along with the rise of the this type of show, came the hero worship of the anti-hero, guys/girls who came across difficult people , battling demons, and fighting the battle of good and evil while on the fringe of morality. Characters like Vic Mackey and Ray Donovan, are perfect examples of the anti–hero.

Ales Kot is one writer, who is not afraid of pushing boundaries, as his work on Bucky Barnes and Change, prove that not only he understands story structure, but aim to provide something that has never been seen before. Matt Taylor is an illustrator, whose work is so atmospheric and mind blowing, that one can get lost in what he creates. When I heard these two were getting together, to create Wolf, I must admit, that I had my doubts, as it seems as though they would not match up well. This is one of the few times, that I am glad I was wrong, so very wrong.

These guys hit it out of the park, within the first few pages, as Wolf, tells the story of Antoine Wolfe, a detective, who deals with all thing paranormal, and with just about all detectives, paranormal or not, he has his own personal demons, he is constantly fed up and where doing the right thing, is almost like a chore, and not what he is getting paid to do, my kind of (anti) hero. Needless to say, there is a lot going on in this 64 page 1st issue, as the reader gets to meet landlords who just so happens to be vampires to the classic baby being left at the door step example, but instead of a baby, it is an orphaned teenage girl, who as it seems to be, might be the key to apocalypse. I see where the comparisons to True Detective come from, as many procedural elements and long drawn out scenes are in play, and actually serve the story in a fine expositional style. I can definitely tell there is an overarching arc in play here, and one that I cannot wait to read in the next issue as Kot and Taylor, have created a new definition of “hard boiled detective”.

The best way I can explain how this story feels to me, it is as if it is a cross between Crime Story and American Horror Story, as it has some very familiar looking characters from both genre’s tropes but places these characters within this world, where both exist. The story by Kot shines, stumbles, and then soars, as the he provides a ride that will make any reader, a true believer. The art by Matt Taylor is a godsend, as I can looks at his drawings for hours, and the illustrations he provides for this comic, is magnificent. The teaming up of these talents to tell this story is what readers like me who love both genres, dream of. Overall, a great comic with an excellent premise, that will only get better, with the talents of Kot and Taylor lighting the way.

Story: Ales Kot Art: Matt Taylor
Story: 10 Art: 9 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Dark Corridor—A crime-adventure that will keep readers guessing

Writer and artist Rich Tommaso brings readers an all-new crime-adventure that will keep readers tuning in for more month after month.

Dark Corridor is set in the fictional coastal city of Red Circle, a town totally controlled by mobsters. But after decades of wielding power, the mobster’s stronghold is slipping and some unidentified female assassins are picking them off one-by-one.

Dark Corridor #1 (Diamond Code: JUN150499) will be available on Wednesday, August 5th.

DARK CORRIDOR

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