Tsu’tey, proud warrior of the Omatikaya clan, betrothed to Neytiri, has his life turned upside down by the arrival of Jake Sully of the Sky People.
Honestly, I don’t know why I read this book. I find Avatar to be perhaps the most overrated and over hyped four hour nap I have ever watched. A CGI version of Pocahontas or Fern Gully at best, and an utter waste of time at worst. Blah, blah, great visuals in theaters, yeah, I get that it may have been. But it’s not in theaters anymore. I tell you this to disclose my bias to the movie up front so you can take my following comments with the grain of salt if you feel it’s needed.
Look, this comic hasn’t changed my feelings toward the movie, but I did enjoy it. A lot more than I expected. Which is to say it didn’t absolutely suck. The target audience to this comic is, I believe, somebody who is a fan of James Cameron’s verdantly luscious world, and not your jaded former movie rental store employee who now writes about comics.
That said this comic does hold up the visual element of the world. Ian Duursema, Dan Parsons and Wes Dzioba deliver a visually appealing comic that successfully evokes James Cameron’s visually renown film. Speaking of the movie, the comic takes place at the same time as the events in Avatar and so it’s assumed that you’ve seen the movie (and have retained a little about the story line beyond a general disdain), which means that this isn’t an ideal place to begin your journey into James Cameron’s world. Sherri Smith does bring an engaging story to the fore from the perspective of a character that isn’t the central focus in the movie, adding an additional layer to the world.
Whilst I doubt this book will be read by those who haven’t seen the movie, if you fit into that category then you’ll still be able to enjoy the book. Obviously, having seen the movie will allow you to really dive in and enjoy the comic (especially if you liked the movie).
Story: Sherri Smith Art: Ian Duursema Inks: Dan Parsons Colours: Wes Dzioba Letters: Michael Hiesler Story: 7.2 Art: 7.8 Overall: 7.4 Recommendation
Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
(W) Michael Lent
(A) Dan Parsons, Marc Rene
$2.99, 24 pgs, Full Color, Young Adult, Thriller
Everyone has a secret. Her secret can get her killed, and she doesn’t even know what it is.
Fighting to survive in a world of danger and intrigue is nothing new to I Rose, but after discovering that she’s the great granddaughter of world famous detective Sherlock Holmes, I realizes that life is about to become anything but elementary.
The Inkwell Awards, a non-profit organization devoted to the art of inking, will be revealing the unique results of its fifth annual Joe Sinnott Inking Challenge in a series of fund-raising online auctions beginning Saturday, April 11. This is the ‘main event’ to the recently announced Sinnott Spring Celebration of auctions running from March through May containing Joe Sinnott donations.
To best exhibit what inkers do, industry legend Joe Sinnott pencilled a drawing of Marvel’s Amazing Spider-Man, as well as a “breakdown”, or rough sketch, of its most popular X-Man, Wolverine. His art was scanned and sent in blue-line form to various inkers around the globe. The ink artists were invited to embellish the Silver Age great, whether staying faithful to his original lines or reinterpreting them. All resulted in unique pieces of comic art.. Most also sport a classic, hand-lettered logo to resemble a cover.
The list of ink artists contributing their skills is the longest ever and includes: Andy Smith, Dan Parsons, Mark Pennington, Jack Purcell, John Dell, Keith Williams, Mark McKenna, Neil Vokes, Bob Wiacek and many other professionals as well as eager and skilled amateurs. (The list changes each year.)
All submitted art, from last year’s to the current pieces, can be viewed at The Inkwell’s ComicArtFans gallery. All pieces for this challenge are personally signed by the generous Mr. Sinnott and include a certificate of authenticity. The first wave of inked blue-line original art from this Challenge will be on the auction block beginning Saturday, April 11 at the Inkwells’ eBay store. Subsequent waves will begin each week thereafter. The art will later be collected into book form.
The Inkwell Awards also offers Sinnott Inking Challenge book collections of previous art with various editions available for donations to the organization. Prices and availability of these and other merchandise can be found at the Inkwells’ Web Store.
The Inkwell Awards is an official 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to educate and promote the art form of comic-book inking, as well as annually recognize and award the best ink artists and their work. Now in its seventh year, the organization is overseen by a committee of industry professionals and assisted by various professional ambassadors and numerous contributors. They sponsor the Dave Simons Inkwell Memorial Scholarship Fund for the Kubert School and host the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Award.
Last week DC Comics revealed the cover to their big event next year Convergence. Now, They’ve revealed even more details about what we can expect during the event including plot details, creative teams, and teaser images. Check out below for what you can expect.
Superman and Lois deal with the impending birth of their child as he is called in to protect the city. Dan Jurgens (W), Lee Weeks, Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund (A).
Ray Palmer finds that Ryan Choi is still alive. Together, they meet and confront Deathstroke, the man responsible for “killing” Choi, before fighting the invading Extremists. Tom Peyer (W), Steve Yeowell and Andy Owens (A).
After a year in the dome, Stephanie Brown is not sure she wants to be Batgirl again. But when Flashpoint Catman attacks, Red Robin and Black Bat call her back into service.Alisa Kwitney (W), Rick Leonardi and Mark Pennington (A).
Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon reevaluate their relationship under the dome (wedding!), but Flashpoint Hawkman & Hawkwoman attack, and everything changes. Gail Simone (W), Jan Duursema and Dan Parsons (A).
Wally West and his kids are separated from Linda, which was bad enough, but when the dome falls, Flashpoint Wonder Woman comes for them. Tony Bedard (W), Tom Grummett and Sean Parsons (A).
Starfire and Donna Troy come to get Roy Harper who has gone into seclusion since the death of his child and loss of his arm, but then Arsenal has to choose between his team and resurrecting his dead daughter. Fabian Nicieza (W), Ron Wagner and Jose Marzan (A).
When Supergirl, Zatanna, and Jade went to Jessie Quick’s baby shower, they didn’t expect to be taken to another planet for a year, or to be attacked by Flashpoint Aquaman. Frank Tieri (W), Vicente Cifuentes (A).
Two-Face is fighting another world’s Harvey Dent, and it’s up to Renee Montoya as the Question to help him beat the odds. Greg Rucka (W), Cully Hamner (A).
BATMAN & ROBIN
Bruce Wayne and Damian have friction with Red Hood before the Extremists attack. Ron Marz (W), Denys Cowan and Klaus Janson (A).
Harley Quinn is enjoying her normal life under the dome until Catwoman and Poison Ivy draft her to fight Captain Carrot. Steve Pugh (W), Phil Winslade and John Dell (A).
A young Rebel meets one of the Alliance’s best for his first mission. But the young man’s hero worship is crushed by the reality of Han Solo. A botched escape, a ship that doesn’t work—could it be that Solo is just a lucky bumbler whose luck has run out?
When I heard writer Matt Kindt was penning a Star Wars series, I immediately got excited. Even with recent news that stories like these are no longer official Star Wars cannon, what Kindt has created is an exciting action comic that focuses on who Han Solo is through the eyes of a Rebel recruit. That perspective is fun and interesting, and sucks in the reader in, making the story east to relate to. Star Wars: Rebel Heist #1 isn’t about crazy galactic battles, or the Rebel’s ongoing battle with the Empire. The story is about how batshit insane Han Solo must look to the average person. And the funniest thing is, until this comic brought it up, I never thought about it. That realization evolves for that Rebel recruit, much like it did for me as a reader. As things go off the rails, and opinions change, I found mine doing the same. That’s part of the fun of the comic.
Working with Kindt is artist Marco Castiello, whose pencils are enhanced through Dan Parsons‘ inking and Gabe Eltaeb‘s coloring. The look of the comic is solid, with characters, designs, and elements that are identifiable in a world most reading this will be familiar with. Characters look like they should, vehicles fit known designs, and the mood and color matches the world this story takes place on. It’s good work, that has the action smoothly flowing on the comic page.
Star Wars: Rebel Heist #1 throws you into familiar territory with characters you know, and a world you know. The perspective though is new, and voice interesting. Mixing action and humor, I found myself getting to the end with a smile on my face, having wrapped up the first issue of an entertaining adventure. One that got me to laugh, and took me for a ride. Even if you’re not a Star Wars fan, this first issue is a fantastic start and a great read. I figured Kindt would deliver something special, and it looks like he has.
Story: Matt Kindt Art: Marco Castiello Story: 8.5 Art: 7.75 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Dark Horse Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Brian Wood’s Original Trilogy era Star Wars comic continues with Star Wars #7, the start of a whole new arc for the heroes of the Rebellion, with pencils by Ryan Kelly, inks by Dan Parsons, and solid color work by Gabe Eltaeb, a Star Wars comics regular. I once read a review of the first issue of this series which said that this series is exactly what Star Wars is supposed to be (can’t remember where I saw that…), and I have to say that reviewer nailed it square on the head. It’s a complex but easy-going, multi-plot comic with the atmosphere of the first three films and their space fantasy ingenuity. Star Wars #7 does not disappoint.
Wood’s story takes an interesting turn in this issue, including Darth Vader revealing a side of him that hasn’t been seen often, a side that has him plotting his own means to gain power within the Empire under Palpatine’s nose (at the expense of Colonel Bircher). Meanwhile, Luke points out something that, as fans of his heroic exploits, I think many of us forgot: to the Empire, Luke is completely anonymous, absolutely no one knows who he is. Well, duh! Why didn’t I think of that? We also see a more emotional side of Luke and Leia, bonding over the death of Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen on a return to Tatooine, and Leia’s loss of Alderaan, which we’ve never seen her grieve for. On the Core Worlds, Han and Chewie continue their attempt to escape Coruscant in a classically unusual and garbage-related manner.
While Wood’s writing is not spectacular, his narrative continues to be a great addition to the Star Wars universe’s great galactic history. Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of the transition that’s been made to artist Ryan Kelly; I much preferred Carlos D’Anda, who drew the first six issues. Kelly is great with the long-shots and capturing the Star Wars menagerie of ships and galactic background—however, there are perhaps too many half-page and full-page panels—but his illustrations of faces suffer from awkwardness, and the one image of Chewbacca looks like a photograph of someone wearing a Chewbacca costume, including the costume lines and all (I’m not sure if that’s misplaced skill or just failure to capture Chewie for comics). This is the difficult thing about franchise art: either you get the character’s faces to a T, or you make it abstract so as to be beyond reproach (e.g. the Buffy comics). Despite these shortcomings, Eltaeb wraps everything neatly in his colors, making the transition to the new artist almost unnoticeable. Almost.
On the whole, Star Wars #7 is an intriguing comic that continues the post-Battle of Yavin saga of the Rebellion and Darth Vader’s attempt to rebuild his standing in the eyes of the Emperor, despite the issue suffering slightly from awkward illustrations.
Story: Brian Wood Art: Ryan Kelly, Dan Parsons, Gabe Eltaeb Story: 7.5 Art: 6.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read
Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem #2
Writer Steve Niles’ and talented illustrator Dave Wachter’s Dark Horse mini-series about a boy and his golem continues in Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem #2. I found myself moved by the story, and was so caught up in the suspense of a coming German invasion that I didn’t realize I’d already reached the last page! That’s a pretty strong indication that this comic is worth the buy, and overall a solid and well-orchestrated follow-up to the premiere issue.
Niles’ writing is once again eloquent, telling a story that is both new and old on many levels. Content wise, it’s a story about Ashkenazim (Eastern European Jews) using faith and community to stand up to moral and political wrongs. In a way, it’s sort of timeless—the protagonists aren’t ever labeled ‘Jews,’ and the enemies aren’t called ‘Nazis,’ just “Germans.” But the iconography is unmistakable, replete with iron crosses, starched stormtrooper uniforms, the garb and donnings of poor Eastern European villagers, and, most importantly, the golem. Perhaps it’s the silent presentation of place and time that make the narrative seem timeless, allowing the reader to put her own thoughts and emotions into the story, creating a much more personal reading experience.
Wachter’s artistry helps build the nostalgic milieu of this bleak landscape: a community faced with destruction, a dying grandfather, and a child learning what it means to trust in faith. Emotions come to life on character’s faces, and Wachter truly captures the terror of grayed Nazi uniforms and all that the traumatic historical baggage therewith. Last but not least, we get to see the communal construction of the golem—truly a wonder of artistry—and Wachter brings animates the mythological monster in the last, full-page panel.
“The goodhearted need never fear failure. It is only the wicked who can fail at this task.” Niles and Wachter have created a future classic, one that tells a tale of psychological and faith-borne maturity and resistance in the face of impending doom. Niles has told a Jewish tale of WWII in which the Jews might not be victims, but their own heroes, and Wachter has brought this complex scenario to life, expressing the emotional spectrum and gravity of the situation through his black and white pencils.
Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem #2 has a little bit of something for everybody, and is in general a saga to find yourself happily lost in.
Story: Steve Niles Art: Dave Wachter Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy
Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review