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Review – Top Cow First Look

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Top Cow First LookI’ll just cut to the chase when it comes to Top Cow First Look, this is a must buy.  Six fantastic stories for $4.99.  Less than $1 an issue, this is a no brainer.  So, where do I begin with each tale, I guess it’s easiest to take them one at a time and just praise each of them in their own little way with a modified review.

Genius is written by Marc Bernardin and Adam Freeman with art by Troy Peteri.  Someone’s united all of the gangs in Los Angeles.  One cop believes this person exists and the LAPD is dealing with a very bright individual.  But would anyone believe that leader is a woman?  The story is original, the art is great and I wanted more and more.  This kick ass story starts off this steal.  Rating: 9

Sunset, takes on a man who has a mysterious past.  Written by Christos Gage and the art by Jorge Lucas, this is a mix of Dirty Harry or Gran Torino.  A revenge tale with a lot of ass kicking.  The entire issue is a build, and ends just as it’s getting good.  Great story, and great art.  Rating: 9

Mysterious Ways is the weakest of the bunch, but still really good.  Written by Jason Rubin with pencils by Tyler Kirkham and inks by Sal Regla is the story of a gruesome murder and some spiritual things behind it.  My biggest issue with this story is it’s a bit choppy and part just don’t make sense.  Still the art is tight, and it’s entertaining.  Rating: 8

Black Vault is something I didn’t see coming.  To say why it’s so good is to reveal the twist at the end.  This story written by B. Clay Moore and art by Nelson Blake II takes place on the International Space Station and involves a very mysterious crew who arrive with a cargo that’s not quite what it seems.  This has tons of potential and I want to see where it goes.  Rating: 9.5

The final two entries are from Minotaur Press who are being picked up by Top Cow.

Echoes by the brilliant Joshua Hale Fialkov with art by Rashan Ekedal is so beyond twisted and so freaking good.  This a psycological thriller along with the likes of Silence of the Lambs.  You know where this is going, and the pacing and build up are perfect.  I love the black and white art (it’s a perfect fit) and can’t imagine what comes next.  This is so good I hope folks are seriously taking a look at it for the big or small screen.  Rating: 10

The final story of the bunch is Last Mortal, written by John Mahoney and Filip Sablik with art by Thomas Nachlik.  A very interesting tale that doesn’t reveal what’s going on until the very last panel.  It’s one story that crosses over into something totally different.  Again this is a black and white comic, which works for it.  A very creative and engaging beginning that sucks you right in.  Rating: 9

Check out our extended thoughts below.

Plot: Six stories all of them top notch and only one of them we had any issues with.  Five of them could easily be long running series on their own, but this package together highlights writers that are currently or will be producing some amazing stuff for years to come.  Rating: 9

Art: The art is top notch.  Two of the stories are in black and white which actually enhances them.  I’d say, this is worth it alone just for the art.  Some great stuff and each artist show off their chops.  Rating: 9.5

Overall: This is a case of the parts creating a greater sum.  It’s six great stories, all of which I want to see more of.  But, event better it’s six stories for $4.99.  Less than $1 per story.  This is a steal on so many levels.  My only issue, I want second issues!  This is a crack dealer giving the first taste for cheap hoping to hook you.  And it works.  I want to see more of this, or at least some second issues.  Overall rating: 9.25

Recommendation: Buy

Page count: 160 pages    Price: $4.99    Release Date: 10/6/2010

Top Cow provided Graphic Policy with an advance copy of this issue for FREE for review.

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