I’ve never considered myself to be an expert on history. I know the general things you need to know but there’s no era I can really say I’m super knowledgeable. European history especially is something that I’ve never learned beyond the basics so the era of piracy is generally a mystery to me. I know some things but I couldn’t really go into detail about it. That actually made me excited to check out the debut of the Image Comics and Top Cow Productions series A Man Among Ye #1. The comic focuses on the real-world pirate Anne Bonny. It weaves a fictional narrative about a non-fictional person. Bonny, like a lot about the pirates, is a bit of a mystery as there are counter-narratives and weaving of the fantastical along with the truth.
Written by Stephanie Phillips, A Man Among Ye #1 takes us to the high seas introducing us to Bonny and Captain “Calico Jack” Rackham as they do what pirates do best, attack other ships and steal their gold. It’s some solid adventure and excitement throwing the reader right into the action.
Phillips though makes sure to deliver the details about this time and world. Anne Bonny isn’t liked by the crew as women on ships weren’t really a thing. There’s also a tinge of jealously in how Rackham treats Bonny. She’s a world class pirate but some of the crew only see her as a woman and the woman Rackham is sleeping with.
Phillips delivers a really subtle set up in the series and world. Bonny is liberated having become a pirate. It’s not only an act of rebellion but also something just didn’t do at the time. She’s bucked the systems both the Crown and society as a whole. Where the series takes all of this will be interesting to see.
The art by Craig Cermak is solid. Along with colorist Brittany Pezzillo and letterer Troy Peteri, there’s just enough detail to really set us into this time period. It also doesn’t go over the top in detail to distract. I don’t know the time period well, so no idea who accurate clothing and the ships are but what’s presented is believable and “feels right.” The action for the comic has that swashbuckling visual down. It’s hard to really create that flow of sword battles, so instead we get the excitement of those key moments and near misses.
The issue is a good one blending fact and fiction and taking us to a world we don’t see too often in comics. A Man Among Ye #1 is a fun debut that feels like it’s having fun with historical individuals we don’t know much about but who probably had many lifetimes of stories to tell.
(W) Stephanie Phillips (A/CA) Craig Cermak, (Colorist) Brittany Pezzillo, (L) Troy Peteri (Cover B) Stjepan Sejic
High adventure on the high seas in the waning days of piracy, when men were men, and the best pirates were…women?
Writer STEPHANIE PHILLIPS (Butcher of Paris, Descendent) and artist CRAIG CERMAK (Red Team, Voltron) bring to life the tale of Anne Bonny and Mary Read as they hoist the skull and crossbones, draw cutlasses, and seek a treasure that will make them legends. In an era when sailing with women was thought to be bad luck, Anne and Mary might just be the only people capable of saving the pirate way of life.
The Nemesis of Crime is back in a new limited series by writer Max Bemis this October!
In this series, Bob Benton aka the Black Terror, is living in the 1970s and contending with his post-war mental health as well as the rapidly evolving social landscape around him. Say Anything band frontman and acclaimed comics writer Bemis is joined by artists Matt Gaudio and Ruairí Coleman. Rounding out the team on colors and letters are Brittany Pezzillo and Taylor Esposito.
Each issue of the series acts as both the next chapter and a standalone deep dive into the Black Terror’s life and the chaotic 1970s setting. Fans can expect to see Black Terror’s infamous plain-named sidekick Tim, cult leaders, mobsters, experimental drugs and more. Bemis has described the title as a bit of an Alan Moore take, but less depressing and with some 70s Batman DNA.
Dating back to the Golden Age, the Black Terror was created in 1941 by Richard E. Hughes and Don Gabrielson. Under the hero’s stark costume is pharmacist Bob Benton, who developed a formula which granted him powers. Often joined by his sidekick Tim, the pair vowed to stamp out evil during the war. Such legendary creators as Batman artist and Joker creator Jerry Robinson and world-renowned novelist Patricia Highsmith contributed to his original stories. His tales continue today in series published by Dynamite.
This terrific tale is wrapped in terrifying covers by some of the best artists in comics. Actually, they aren’t too scary. Francesco Francavilla contributes the most haunting of the bunch. While Jorge Fornés has some fun with the skull & crossbones emblem for some pirate-themed fun. David Nakayama inspires some terror with his cover. Erica Henderson has Mr. Benton flying high. Adam Gorham rounds out the superpowered squad with a brooding rooftop Terror.
writer: Fernando Ruiz, Dan Parent, Scott Bryan Wilson artist: Fernando Ruiz, Dan Parent, Valentina Pinto, Brittany Pezzillo cover: Reilly Brown $4.99
Everyone’s favorite Mistress of the Macabre, Elvira is spinning her wheels hostessing horror film festivals at the local drive-in when she discovers the opportunity to get in good with George Rottmero, producer of the greatest, grittiest, most realistic horror movies ever. The Dark Damsel uses all of her charms to impress the mysterious movie mogul and she is immediately cast in his latest scream-inducing spectacles, his masterpieces of murder and mayhem featuring the most realistic zombies anyone ever saw this side of an open casket! When she discovers the grave secret behind Rottmero’s success, her dreams of super stardom might become deader than her undead co-stars! Will all of her efforts just be one big bust… because Elvira knows all about big busts!