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Review: Penultiman #1

Penultiman #1

There’s been numerous comic series that have launched that are deconstructions or explorations of the superhero. Many have gone on to be praised and considered modern classics. Some have fallen a bit flat. There’s also a point where you wonder if there’s anything new to explore. Penultiman #1 is a worthy entry in that genre taking a different angle exploring superheroes.

Written by Tom Peyer, Penultiman #1 explores a hero who has no confidence. He’s Superman who has been taken being cast out as a blow. Sent back in time from the future, he seems to be on a mission to prove himself worthy to return but taking it all a bit personal resulting in a bit of self-hatred.

Peyer gives us an interesting take on the concept. This is a hero who’s driven by a desire of approval from parents he thinks have rejected him. That lack of confidence extends to his alter-ego whose stumbling doesn’t come off as much as an attempt to protect his secret identity as it does an extension of his personal issues.

But, it feels like it wouldn’t be a comic from AHOY if it took itself too seriously. Peyer infuses the comic with a lot of humor. By the end of the issue it’s clear that this isn’t quite going to be a serious look at the superhero psyche but instead a humorous play on it all. We’ll find out more with the second issue of course.

That humorous tone is helped by the art of Alan Robinson who’s joined by Lee Loughridge on color and Rob Steen with lettering. The modern world of Penultiman is what you might expect with superheroes. It’s nice to look at and the designs are fun. But, there’s the future where things are… odd. That’s the point I realized the comic wasn’t as serious as it might be. The designs there are just weird and funny, and add a bit of quirk to the comic that helps drag it back into the world of fun and not so dour. The art “lifts” the comic in a way and adds enjoyment to the story.

As it’s an AHOY comic, the issue is packed with extras including three prose entries from Kek-W, Chris Lundy, and Philip Ellis, and art by Rob Steen, Joe Orsak, and Elliot Mattice. These are all entertaining and a bit all over in content but to me, it’s the bonus for a comic I’d buy otherwise. It “adds value” to something I’d already get and read.

Penultiman #1 is an interesting comic with what feels like a new take on the examination of the superhero. It does it as well without taking itself too seriously. The combination of something to say with some humor feels welcome in the space and where the series goes should be interesting. It’s definitely a comic to keep an eye on and might be one that gets folks buzzing.

Story: Tom Peyer, Kek-W, Chris Lundy, Philip Ellis Art: Alan Robinson, Rob Steen, Joe Orsak, Elliot Mattice
Color: Lee Loughridge Letterer: Rob Steen
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

AHOY Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyZeus Comics

Preview: Penultiman #1

PENULTIMAN #1

(W) Tom Peyer
(A) Alan Robinson
(C) A: Alan Robinson B: Jamal Igle
October 7, 2020
$3.99

Back from the future—again! Penultiman, The Next-To-Last-Stage In Human Evolution, is the greatest, best-looking, and most admired super-hero in the world! So how can he stop hating himself? His android understudy, Antepenultiman, thinks he knows the answer! Created by Tom Peyer (THE WRONG EARTH) and Alan Robinson (PLANET OF THE NERDS).

Featuring a variant cover by Jamal Igle (THE WRONG EARTH, Black). Resolicited from the Plague Times – all previous orders have been cancelled.

All AHOY books feature additional prose stores and art.

PENULTIMAN #1

AHOY Comics Announces New Comics and more Second Coming and Wrong Earth

AHOY Comics has announced its fifth wave of new titles to be published this fall and winter. The jam-packed line-up builds on AHOY’s tendency to tackle serious topics with their signature off-kilter humor. Readers will recoil from the brutal “Joy Police” in the brand new dystopian work Happy Hour from Peter Milligan and Michael Montenat; return to the world of Second Coming as Jesus and his roomie Sunstar deal with science denial and mass extinction; and pity Penultiman, the highly anticipated superhero title by Tom Peyer and Alan Robinson that questions what exactly humanity is evolving towards. Rounding out the list is a second season of smash hit The Wrong Earth, where sunny Dragonflyman and his dark reflection Dragonfly finally meet face to face, and a fresh season of boozy literary parodies under an all-new name—Edgar Allan Poe’s Snifter of Blood—which will now feature a different cover artist each month, starting with the legendary Jill Thompson.

AHOY’s Wave 5 includes:

PENULTIMAN #1

Ship date: 7 October 2020
Author(s): Tom Peyer  
Artist(s): Alan Robinson
Cover Artist(s): Alan Robinson, Jamal Igle

Back from the future—again! Penultiman, The Next-To-Last-Stage In Human Evolution, is the greatest, best-looking, and most admired super-hero in the world! So how can he stop hating himself? His android understudy, Antepenultiman, thinks he knows the answer! Created by Tom Peyer (THE WRONG EARTH) and Alan Robinson (PLANET OF THE NERDS). Featuring a variant cover by Jamal Igle (THE WRONG EARTH, Black). Resolicited from the Plague Times – all previous orders have been cancelled.

EDGAR ALLAN POE’S SNIFTER OF BLOOD #1

Ship Date: 21 October 2020
Authors: Paul Cornell, Dean Motter
Artists: Russ Braun, Dean Motter
Cover Artist: Jill Thompson

The SNIFTER OF TERROR returns with an all-star snark-fest under a bloody new title! Paul Cornell (Doctor Who) and Russell Braun (The Boys) reimagine Poe’s “Black Cat”––as a dog! In “Atlas Shrugged” (no relation), Mr. X creator Dean Motter settles science vs. religion once and for all! Plus: prose, pix, and a cover by Scary Godmother’s Jill Thompson!

EDGAR ALLAN POE'S SNIFTER OF BLOOD #1

HAPPY HOUR #1

Ship date: 4 November 2020
Author: Peter Milligan 
Artist: Michael Montenat
Cover Artist: Michael Montenat

In future America, being happy isn’t just a right—it’s the law. While the Joy Police brutally enforce the cheery code, two young people go on the run, searching for a haven of melancholy where they can safely bask in the blues.

HAPPY HOUR #1

SECOND COMING: ONLY BEGOTTEN SON #1

Ship date: 16 December 2020
Author: Mark Russell
Artists: Richard Pace, Leonard Kirk
Cover artist: Richard Pace

The savior and the superhero return for a new round of shared adventures­­––but first we turn back time to witness the interplanetary origin of Sunstar! Warning: portrays science denial, mass extinction, and real estate sales!

SECOND COMING: ONLY BEGOTTEN SON #1

THE WRONG EARTH: NIGHT & DAY #1

Ship date: 6 January 2021
Author(s): Tom Peyer  
Artist(s): Jamal Igle, Juan Castro
Cover Artist(s): Jamal Igle

The stars of THE WRONG EARTH and DRAGONFLY & DRAGONFLYMAN return! Racing to prevent identical catastrophes that threaten the separate earths they inhabit, gritty Dragonfly and his campy doppelganger Dragonflyman follow the clues to a third earth, where they at last come face-to-face!

THE WRONG EARTH: NIGHT & DAY #1

AHOY Comics’ Fourth Wave of Releases Has Been Revealed!

Comic book creators Mark Russell and Steve Pugh, Mariah McCourt and Soo Lee, and Tom Peyer and Alan Robinson are launching three all new series for the fourth wave of AHOY comic book magazines. The three series all tackle 21st century fears and anxieties with a heavy dose of humor. The new wave of titles from the Syracuse-based company will launch next spring.  

AHOY Comics’ fourth wave includes three all-new titles:

  • BILLIONAIRE ISLAND, a 6 issue mini-series by acclaimed writer Mark Russell (Second Coming) and artist Steve Pugh (Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass), and colorist Chris Chuckry, with lettering by Rob Steen. Issue 1 features a cover by series artist and co-creator Steve Pugh and a variant cover by bestselling artist Pia Guerra (Y The Last Man).

Debuting in March 2020.

Welcome to Billionaire Island, where anything goes…if you can afford it. But the island’s ultra-rich inhabitants are about to learn that their ill-gotten gains come at a VERY high price. BILLIONAIRE ISLAND is a savage satire that reunites the creative team behind DC’s The Flintstones.

BILLIONAIRE ISLAND tells the story of Freedom Unlimited (FU Island), a private island created and populated by billionaires hoping to wait out the end of the world,” said writer and co-creator Mark Russell. “But because they are in international waters and not subject to any law, their haven is a nightmarish police state for anyone on the island who crosses them. In a broader sense, it’s a series that asks the question: how do we save the world when all its resources are partying offshore?”

BILLIONAIRE ISLAND
  • ASH & THORN, a 5 issue mini-series by bestselling writer Mariah McCourt (True Blood, Stitched), artist Soo Lee (Mine!, Charlie’s Angels vs. the Bionic Woman), and colorist Pippa Bowland, with lettering by Rob Steen and covers by legendary artist Jill Thompson (Scary Godmother, Wonder Woman: True Amazon).

Debuting in April 2020.

The apocalypse is nigh! The world needs a Champion, and the only heir to a sacred mystical lineage is…a little old lady? Meet Lottie Thorn, reluctant savior of the world, and her also-elderly trainer Lady Peruvia Ashlington-Voss. They might not look it, but these women are prepared to take on any Big Bad that comes along. But first, perhaps a nice cup of tea?

“Everyone knows Chosen Ones are supposed to be young and extremely expendable, but even the Universe makes mistakes sometimes,” explained McCourt. “And sometimes the mistakes are big ones. Like when it taps an 80+ year old retired art teacher to be the Champion who fights the next Apocalypse. Can an octogenarian overcome age and arthritis to save the world from cosmic monsters, world eaters, and gross creepy crawlies?”

ASH & THORN
  • PENULTIMAN, a 5 issue mini-series by writer Tom Peyer (The Wrong Earth), artist Alan Robinson (Planet of the Nerds), and colorist Lee Loughridge, with lettering by Rob Steen and covers by Robinson.

Debuting in May 2020.

Penultiman is the greatest, best-looking, and most admired superhero in the world. Penultiman is The Next-To-Last-Stage In Human Evolution. So how can he stop hating himself? Only Penultiman’s android understudy, Antepenultiman, knows the answer. Or, at least, he thinks he does!

“Penultiman, The Next-To-Last Stage in Human Evolution, is hailed as the godlike epitome of beauty, power, and compassion in the year 2020,” said Peyer. “In the far-future century he came from, however, his more advanced contemporaries saw him as a brutish evolutionary throwback and exiled him to our era. Paragon or primitive? His one chance for peace is to deny the haters and admirers alike, and discover who he really is–if he only knew how to begin.”

PENULTIMAN

AHOY Comics’ fourth wave also includes 2 trade paperback collections:

  • SECOND COMING: Volume One trade paperback by Mark Russell, artists Richard Pace and Leonard Kirk, and colorist Andy Troy, with lettering by Rob Steen and a cover by Richard Pace. The book will be released timed to Lent and will be on sale in comic shops on February 26th and in bookstores on March 10, 2020.
SECOND COMING: Volume One
  • DRAGONFLY & DRAGONFLYMAN: NIGHT & DAY trade paperback by Tom Peyer, artist Peter Krause, and colorist Andy Troy, with lettering by Rob Steen. The book will be released timed to dragonfly season on the east coast and will be on sale in comic shops on May 27th and in bookstores on June 9th, 2020.
DRAGONFLY & DRAGONFLYMAN: NIGHT & DAY

Since its debut in September of 2018, AHOY Comics has pledged for readers to “expect more” from its line of comic book magazines and graphic novels with full length comic book stories, accompanied by “extras” including short prose fiction, the occasional recipes, and even a crossword puzzle.

Paramount Options Planet of the Nerds

Paramount Players, a division of Paramount Pictures, has acquired the film rights to adapt the acclaimed graphic novel Planet of the Nerds written by Paul Constant and illustrated by Alan Robinson, Randy Elliott and colorist Felipe Sobreiro. In Planet of the Nerds, three high school jocks in the 1980s are accidentally frozen by an experimental cryogenics device, only to be revived almost 40 years later. They awake in today’s computer-driven, superhero movie-loving world— in an era ruled by nerds.

Planet of the Nerds is on sale in comic shops now and will be available at bookstores on Tuesday, October 29 from AHOY Comics, featuring a cover by David Nakayama and an introduction by Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings.

The deal was brokered by Angela Cheng Caplan of Cheng Caplan Company, Inc.

Planet of the Nerds Vol. 1

Three Comics Enter, One Comic Leaves in AHOY’s Steel Cage Match. The Winner is…

AHOY Comics has been shaking the comic industry up by having fans “expecting more” and getting it in lots of content in a single issue. Recently, the publisher released Steel Cage, a comic featuring three stories from three creative teams. Fans were then encouraged to vote as to their favorite who would then get its own series.

And now we know who the winner is…. Tom Peyer, AHOY Comics Editor-in-Chief, released the below statement:

AHOY Comics’ election to determine which STEEL CAGE feature is to be awarded its own series has ended. The deadline for online voting has passed. The ballots have been counted.

Three deserving candidates vied for this important honor: Noah Zark by Mark Waid & Lanna Souvanny; Bright Boy by Stuart Moore and Peter Gross; and True Identity by artist Alan Robinson and myself.

As editor-in-chief of AHOY Comics I must now inform you, with deep regret, that evidence exists of serious voting irregularities. The total number of ballots cast bears no discernible relation to STEEL CAGE’s circulation figures. One feature, which trailed significantly over the first week, gained a huge majority in one day, perhaps in minutes–an insurmountable lead it maintained to the end.

Our technicians inform me that this could have been the work of a few quick keystrokes, perpetrated by almost anyone–from the despicable agent of a rogue government to a lonely, misguided teenager.

Make no mistake. No one at AHOY is accusing any STEEL CAGE creators of wrongdoing. Every one of our writers, artists, colorists, letterers, designers, and production staff comported themselves honorably and with dignity throughout this process. We respectfully salute one and all.

Nevertheless, due to the alarming evidence of tampering–I do not, I will not, I cannot certify this election.

Instead, in fairness to the creators and to the readers who voted for them, all three candidates will be awarded their own series. Beginning next year, watch for the announcements of NOAH ZARK #1, BRIGHT BOY #1, and TRUE IDENTITY #1, worthy comics all.

We launched this effort with every intention of carrying out the will of the majority. It is the precious right of all comic book fans to go about their work, pursue their studies, and tuck their children in at night secure in the knowledge that their votes have been counted. AHOY’s commitment to the democratic system of comics remains unshakable. With the support of our publisher, Hart Seely, and our entire staff, I call upon all relevant authorities to investigate this unspeakable outrage and bring the offenders to justice.

Thank you, and God bless comics.

–Tom Peyer, AHOY Comics Editor-in-Chief

Three Comics Enter the Steel Cage and You Can Vote Who Wins with AHOY Comics

AHOY Comics is inviting readers to vote on what comic should receive its own series. On Wednesday, June 26 AHOY Comics will publish Steel Cage #1, a one-shot comic book anthology featuring three dazzling short “pilot” stories from all-star creative teams. Fans can vote on which story continues at the AHOY Comics website and the outcome of the vote will determine what comic book series is published.

Steel Cage just might be the greatest moment of fan participation since fans called a 1-900 number and voted for a teenage sidekick to die.

– Publisher Hart Seely
Steel Cage #1

The competing stories in the Steel Cage One Shot are:

  • Noah Zark” by writer Mark Waid and artist Lanna Souvanny, in which an alien boy is kidnapped into an interplanetary zoo—and becomes the protector of the animals;
  • True Identity” by writer Tom Peyer and artist Alan Robinson, in which we learn what secret anguish drives the most beloved superhero on Earth;
  • Writer Stuart Moore and artist Peter Gross’s “Bright Boy” in which we discover the grim tale of the world’s smartest human—and the havoc he leaves in his wake.

Competition between the comic book veterans is fierce. The creators are making their case, talking crap, and want your vote.

Stuart Moore:

I mean, let’s get real, the writer and co-creator of Captain Ginger and Bronze Age Boogie. When you come home from a hard day at the Soylent Green plant and rip open your comics bundle, what do you want to read about? A kid in a zoo? A SUPERHERO? No—you want to read about the smartest guy in the world! Bright Boy for the win!

Tom Peyer, AHOY Comics’ Editor-in-Chief and the writer of its acclaimed comics The Wrong Earth, Hashtag Danger, and High Heaven, said:

When I read Bright Boy or Noah Zark—and I’ve been reading both stories obsessively—my head is tilted as if to say, ‘what an adorable, childlike attempt to prevent the inevitable victory of Alan’s and my True Identity.’ And then I shed a tear, because there’s something deeply sad about their efforts.

Mark Waid, the New York Times bestselling writer of beloved comics including Kingdom Come and Irredeemable, is contributing his first story for AHOY Comics in Steel Cage. Waid said:

As I look down from high above the Mount Olympus of legendary comic book writers, it amuses me to see the flailing True Identity and Bright Boy teams wander aimlessly in search of some sort, any sort. of ladder with which to ascend by standing on the backs of their adorable ‘creations.’ Perhaps there will come a day when they find themselves privileged enough to sit before Lanna and I and bask in our boundless glory. Until then, we shall simply nibble on our ambrosia and laugh.

Voting is live now and will end the Friday before San Diego Comic-Con International. The winner will be officially announced during San Diego Comic-Con International.

Preview: V-Wars: The Graphic Novel Collection

V-Wars: The Graphic Novel Collection

Jonathan Maberry (w) • Alan Robinson, Marco Turini (a) • Photo (c)

V-Wars is set in a world transformed by a global pandemic caused by a millenia-old virus that, once triggered, affects individuals differently depending on their DNA, resulting in vampires as unique as their cultures. But the response from unaffected humans is like never before, leading to all-out war.

New York Times best-selling author Jonathan Maberry takes you on a non-stop thrill ride of action, horror, and suspense! These all-new tales chronicling the early days of the Vampire Wars offer the first salvo in the battle between humans and hundreds of new species of vampires! No matter how it ends, the world is going to bleed. Collects all 11 issues.

TPB • FC • $29.99 • 256 pages • ISBN: 978-1-68405-536-4

V-Wars: The Graphic Novel Collection

Exclusive Preview: Planet of the Nerds #2

Out this Wednesday, May 15th, is AHOY ComicsPlanet of the Nerds #2 with a main story by Paul Constant, artist Alan Robinson, colorist Felipe Sobreiro, and letterer Rob Steen.

After the thawed-out 1980s jocks start a riot at a comic convention, they learn to their horror that everyone in 2019 uses computers like a bunch of poindexters.

But, AHOY Comics is packed with entertainment and we have an exclusive preview of the back-up story “Drew Johnson – Testing Week” by writer Paul Constant, artist Randy Elliott, colorist Felipe Sobreiro, and letterer Rob Steen.

This back-up story features Dragonflyman and Stinger, the stars of the breakout AHOY Comics series The Wrong Earth which you can get in trade in comic shops and book stores now.

Check out the exclusive preview of some of what you’ll find in Planet of the Nerds #2 below.

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