Tag Archives: ether

Matt Kindt and David Rubin’s Ether Returns with Ether: The Disappearance of Violet Bell

From New York Times–bestselling Mind MGMT creator Matt Kindt and Black Hammer’s David Rubín comes the third volume of this fantasy adventure that’s Sherlock Holmes meets Dr. Seuss. Welcome back to the wonderful world of magic, science, and interdimensional adventure in Ether: The Disappearance of Violet Bell.

In this new volume, The Faerie King’s daughter is missing and only portal jumper Boone Dias can track her down. Jumping from one magical crime scene to another, he uncovers a bizarre plot featuring assassin eggs, rancid pirates, ice deserts, and room of immortal gods, desperate to finally be able to die.

Ether: The Disappearance of Violet Bell #1 (of five) goes on sale September 18, 2019, and features a standard cover by David Rubín and a variant by Paul Azaceta!

Ether: The Disappearance of Violet Bell #1
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An Early Look at Ether: Copper Golems #1 Out this May

Ether: Copper Golems #1

Matt Kindt (Writer), David Rubín (Artist, Cover Artist), Paul Pope (Variant Cover Artist)

Matt Kindt! David Rubín!

From New York Times bestselling Mind MGMT creator Matt Kindt and Black Hammer‘s David Rubín comes this fantasy adventure about a science-minded hero intent on keeping the balance between Earth and a magic world!

Portals between Earth and the Ether begin to crack open unleashing devastating magical fury on our planet and only adventurer Boone Dias can seal the breaches. In order to put an end to this chaos, Boone recruits a powerful team of mystical beings including a grumpy, spell-writing fairy; a bickering, lavender gorilla; and a bull-headed, motorcycling spell-hacker. These heroes set off on a journey taking the reader through the center of volcanoes, deserts full of living mummies and sphinxes, and a bizarre fairy forest in an effort to save both worlds from complete destruction!

Underrated: Ether Vol. 1: Death Of The Last Golden Blaze

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Ether Vol. 1: Death Of The Last Golden Blaze.



ether vol 1.jpgSomehow Ether slipped through my radar back when the first issue was released in November of 2016. It wasn’t until the comic shop I frequent had a copy of the trade paperback on the counter that I noticed it. I asked the clerk what the book was about, and he spent a good twenty minutes selling me on it. He could have saved himself nineteen minutes a forty odd seconds with the words “Matt Kindt wrote it.”

It’s usually a safe bet that anything written by Matt Kindt (and Jeff Lemire, honestly) I am going to try. So what’s Ether about?

Taken from Dark Horse’s website, the blurb for issue one reads: “A science-minded adventurer gets mixed up in the mysteries of a fantasy world in this charming new adventure from an award-winning creative team. Boone Dias is an interdimensional explorer, a scientist from Earth who has stumbled into great responsibility. He’s got an explanation for everything, so of course the Ether’s magical residents turn to him to solve their toughest crimes. But maybe keeping the real and the abstract separate is too big a job for just one man.”

If that sounds cool, well, that’s because it is. Using modern science to explain magic provides a wonderful story idea, but it is the human story beneath the fantastical exterior that will pull you in. Boone Dias is a man who has devoted his life and professional career to the magical place known as Ether, but his scientific background gives him an almost godlike reputation among the less scientifically inclined denizens of the Ether. The driving factor of the plot in the first volume is a murder mystery within the Ether that only Boone seems capable of solving – despite the fantastical elements of the world, there’s a relatablility to the detective work and the process that’s followed. This gives the book a wonderful dichotomy that is further enhanced by David Rubin’s near psychedelic mindfucking attack on your eyes.

Ether is the rare book that exemplifies the comic book medium. It is a murder mystery story, a genre that could, and has been told in a multitude of mediums,  and adds a special dash of comic book magic that makes this ideally suited to the sequential art style of story telling.

There’s a reason Matt Kindt got nominated for an Eisner this year. It wasn’t for this book, but you can get a great feeling for his talent with Ether. It doesn’t hurt that David Rubin is also fantastic.


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Review: Ether Vol. 1 TP

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MINOR SPOILERS BELOW

Ether Vol. 1: Death of the Last Golden Blaze is the first collected volume of a fantastic comic book from Dark Horse. The book is penned by the multi-talented writer/artist, Matt Kindt whom you may know from MIND MGMT, Dept. H, or so much more, and pencilled by David Rubin who draws the hell out of this book, balancing the feeling of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? with Steamboat Willie.

The world of Ether is fun, weird, vibrant, and sometimes scary. It is full of rich characters like the primate guide, Glum, the evil creepy old man, Ubel, as well as a large cast of oddities like a bird who sings that will make you sick, screaming bullets, giant metal golems, and so much more. Their world is not like our own. A minute in their world is a lot longer in ours, so the longer you stay there as an Earthling, the older you get in a short time. We learn that by following the goofy, yet brilliant, Boone Dias who visits the Ether in search of who killed The Golden Blaze. The plot unfolds over time, and while we learn things as Boone does, we also get glimpses into his and other characters pasts that explain the world, and the context of everything much better.

About halfway through this book, or maybe a bit more, we get to see more of Hazel, Boone’s former lover and partner. Here is where the story turns on its axis a bit, and delivers us a lot more information about the world, Boone, and their relationship. We see Boone as a loner, aside from his working with Glum in Ether, but here we can see a man so obsessed with this world and it’s secrets, it changes him in the process. Kindt does an excellent job at storytelling through flashbacks, as well as bits dropped by some of the other characters about what happened in the past.

20170718_171118031_iOSRubin really shines on the artwork, and gives this book so much personality. From Glum, the fairies, Ubel, Hazel, Boone, and the other ridiculous things we see, everything looks like stills from a cartoon. Now I know that sounds like any comic book can be, but I can’t help but imagine this book in motion, and wanting it immediately. Give me an Ether animated film, and I will be a happy man. Either way, this book is enough of that to make me smile with each page turn. I tip my hat to Rubin, especially when Kindt is such a good artist himself. That shows the confidence in Rubin that Kindt has. I mean it, this book is absolutely beautiful.

20160705_155406000_iOSI read the comics as they came out each month, but I would highly recommend this book in this collected volume. This is an exciting page-turner that is truly so much fun. It’s light hearted, but can also be touching at times when you least expect it. The creators have crafted a rich deep world with interesting characters, and mysteries. I always want to read more Matt Kindt, and now I want to see more David Rubin, and honestly, I want to see more of them on this book. Sometimes, it is best to leave something when it is good, and not deliver too much of a product, but I think the world of the Ether still has a few stories left to tell.

Story: Matt Kindt Art: David Rubin

Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays 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.

Joe

Top Pick: Ether Vol 1 Trade Paperback (Dark Horse) – The very funny and out there story that is part Doctor Strange and part detective whodunit story has collected the first arc. The world in Ether reminds me of Roger Rabbit, while the art style channels a style long forgotten like Steamboat Willie. I highly recommend this, and I think most everyone will find something to enjoy, smile, and laugh at.

Curse Words Vol 1 Trade Paperback (Image) – This book is a collected volume of the hilarious first arc of the adventures of a Wizard named Wizord who was sent to do something terrible, is trying to do something good, but also keeps doing something terrible. He becomes a hipster and realizes he loves our planet. You also have a talking koala sidekick, and so much more.

Peter Parker: Spectacular Spider-Man #2 (Marvel) – This book penned by the jokester writer/artist extraordinaire Chip Zdarsky is a return to the down on his luck Spidey we all knew and loved. It’s a sister book to ASM, and will focus on the comedic side of things, and a more lighthearted jumping on point for old and new readers.

Aquaman #26 (DC Comics) – This has been a great run, but #25 cranked the volume (unintentional water reference) up to 11! The art is some of the best you will find in a comic, and the story is setting up something massively epic.

Batman #27 (DC Comics) – We return to Batman’s past again for the War of Jokes and Riddles. King has crafted an interesting (if somewhat polarizing) run that I’ve enjoyed. I cannot wait to see where this goes, as it’s been a blast so far.

 

Alex

Top Pick: Secret Weapons #2 (Valiant) – A team made up of people with useless powers? Check. A writer who is incredibly talented? Check. An artist whose layouts are beautifully simple yet packed full of details? Check. A genuinely exciting comic? Oh yeah.

Rapture #3 (Valiant) – What do you get when a man who refuses to believe in magic has to travel to a land where magic is incredibly prevalent? You get Ninjak in Rapture, and reading his fish out of water among the other, more comfortable, characters. The story is another example of Valiant delivering a solid miniseries that reads very well as an introduction to their characters and the universe as a whole.

Review: Ether #2

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Boone Dias believes that there’s a scientific explanation for everything—even the impossible murder of the Blaze, protector of the magical realm known as the Ether. But as he gets closer to solving the mystery, he’s realizing just how much he doesn’t understand about the Ether. And the more time he spends in another dimension, the more his life on Earth falls apart.

Writer Matt Kindt manages to make the world of Ether even stranger in the second issue. Thankfully, this issue delves a little more into the make character Boone Dias’ backstory. Based off of what is shown, I imagine there is much more to be revealed. Kindt delivers and reveals just enough to keep me intrigued to find out more in the next issue.

Like the previous issue, the artwork by David Rubin is colorful and psychedelic. Everything artwise works together as this issue introduces us to and showcases another place in the Ether, Cockaigne. That location change is a massive shift from the cityscape seen in the first issue. Rubin ties everything together with a solid small black and white flashback.

A solid issue that mixes magic and science into an exciting world that begs for more.

Story: Matt Kindt Art: David Rubin
Story: 8.5 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.75 Overall: Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Ether #4

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Twelve-year-old Hazel loves spending summers at her grandmother’s house. Granny’s magical stories of adventure in the Ether are unlike the stories and fairy tales Hazel finds at the library. And then, one summer, Hazel gets a little too curious and discovers the source of those stories. When she falls through a well into a magical dimension, she learns that there’s a dark side to the Ether that her Granny never told her about.

In Ether #4 the tale of Boone’s wife is finally revealed. The issue manages to connect it in a surprising manner given the cliffhanger style ending of the last issue. Yet, her tale does explain some things and at the same time, writer Matt Kindt leaves some questions unanswered for now.

The art by David Rubin manages to convey a unique view of the Ether through a young child. That view helps contrasts how Boone sees the Ether. It helps reveal a few unseen aspects of a person’s first trip into the Ether.

Four issues in and the series continues to build a magical world that sucks you in more and more.

Story: Matt Kindt Art: David Rubin
Story: 8.5 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Ether #3

unnamed.jpgI have not been disappointed by an issue of Ether yet, and I doubt that is going to happen, especially when it’s a miniseries. The excellent storytelling by Matt Kindt is complimented by some fantastic art by David Rubin. It is a great thing when creators click like these two do. Matt Kindt is no slouch as an artist, but it is nice to see his writing paired with another artist who gives a very different style and perspective to the story. Ether marries cartoons with the psychedelic and creates something that is beautiful. There is also the hint that there is something dark to this world of faeries, screaming bullets, and magic, The credit belongs to Rubin as much as Kindt for that. It feels like the world of Ether is like a Disney movie that time forgot. It reminds me of Roger Rabbit, and it is a very cool concept for a comic book, especially one steeped in mystery, featuring a lovable and clumsy detective like Boone Dias.

The only complaint I have is that this book will soon be finished. I hope there will be a second season, or an ongoing, because this world is far too cool to leave with just five issues. I want to know more about Glum the talking primate, the technology behind the steampunk mechs, and more about Boone’s past. Heck, after this issue, I would settle for a prequel showing the mess Boone caused in the Faerie kingdom that he and Violet alluded to. What I am saying is, Ether is too good to end, but I will try to focus on the positive. We still get two more issues, and in those I expect things will ramp up, and we will learn more about Boone’s past, Hazel, and what is really happening here.  I want to see the other places on the map, like the Abandoned City of the Lost Souls, or The Enchanted Farmland, or the Monsters Sea. You get the idea, the fantastical world of the Ether is awesome, and I would love to spend more time in it.

unnamedKindt is really proving he can write almost anything at this point. Ether #3 is just more proof that there is a reason his name is attached to books from different publishers, and the list keeps growing. The comedy in Ether is sharp, and the mystery is interesting. The world is so much fun, and while we haven’t gone that far into the lore or species, it feels like there is something very deep there. I would absolutely recommend this book in single issue or trade form when the issues are collected. If you do not want to wait, see if your local comic shop has the first two issues, grab this, and then the final two as they come out. As I have said before, if you like Dr. Strange, or a fun lighthearted book with a charming and sometimes goofy hero, then this is the book for you. It’s about magic and science, but it never takes itself too seriously.

Story: Matt Kindt Art: David Rubin
Story: 9.5 Art: 10 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

4-kids-walk-3-6Wednesdays 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.

Joe

Top Pick: 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank #3 (Black Mask Studios) – You know you’re onto something when you wrote two issues and people are begging you for the next issue. Rosenberg has taken 2016 by storm and it shows. After the success of this awesome comic, and Civil War II: Kingpin, he will now be writing ongoing titles at Marvel for Rocket Raccoon, Secret Warriors, and Kingpin. Find this comic, with the first two issues if you can. It is one of the top books of the year, from one of the best writers of the year.

Ether #2 (Dark Horse) – After a fantastic first issue, I cannot wait to continue the adventures of Boone and the crazy world of Ether. Fans of Doctor Strange and even Sherlock Holmes will love this quirky original book.

Batman #13 (DC Comics) – The last issue was controversial, and I loved it. Now that Tom King has let us know what “I Am Suicide” is about, I want to see where he takes us to end this arc. I love what he has been doing with the character. Will he break Bane’s back this time around?Black Hammer #6 (Dark Horse) – It feels like it has been forever since I’ve read this book, but maybe it’s because I want it to come out every week. This comic has such an original and refreshing way to tell super hero stories and turn the tropes on their head.

Black Hammer #6 (Dark Horse) – It feels like it has been forever since I’ve read this book, but maybe it’s because I want it to come out every week. This comic has such an original and refreshing way to tell super hero stories and turn the tropes on their head.

Dept. H #9 (Dark Horse) – Will we get some answers on who’s sabotaging the base? I love this slow burn of a book that builds its slow tension with each issue. So far so good from the Kindt duo. One of the best books of the year!

 

Alex

Top Pick: Divinity III: Stalinverse #1 (Valiant) – When this year started I hadn’t read Divinity. Then I went on vacation and had time to read the first trade, and after scraping my jaw from the floor I realized that Divinity II was just about to drop in stores, which meant I had to scrape my jaw up again. Needless to say, I have my jaw scraper ready as we head into the Stalinverse.

Black Hammer #6 (Dark Horse) – Narrowly missing out on my top spot this week is this underrated gem from Jeff Lemire. There has been a lot of scene setting over the last five issues as Lemire takes his time to really delve into the story of the missing heroes turned civilians. It’s such a fantastic journey that I’m not at all concerned we haven’t really done too much more than set the stage right now. Miss this at your peril.

Bloodshot USA #3 (Valiant) –  While there may be some debate over whether or not this should have been a separate miniseries or a continuation of Bloodshot Reborn, the end result is pretty fantastic. I’m stoked for this issue (or I would be had I not already read it – review spoiler: it’s good).

Harbinger Renegade #2 (Valiant) – After I read the first issue of Harbinger Renegade I went back and read the first Harbinger series. I still haven’t read Imperium yet, but I will. I have the issues and some time off over the holidays, so I’ll be making a dent in the next chapter of the Toyo Harada and Peter Stanchek story. As for this issue? I’ll add it to the pile to reread once I finish Imperium.

Klaus And The Witch Of Winter (BOOM! Studios) – I loved the Klaus miniseries released last year, and somehow I missed the announcement that this was coming out. Needless to say, I’m excited about it.

 

Elana

4 Kids Walk Into a Bank #3 (Black Mask Studios)4 Kids Walk Into A Bank is back! 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank is back! It’s like a Coen Bros movie meets The Goonies but with a female protagonist and more diversity. Which means it’s actually better than The Goonies. Yes I SAID IT. It’s charming and funny and insightful caper comic and I’m going to make everyone read it goddamnit.

 

Shay

Top Pick: Harley Quinn #10 (DC Comics) – It’s Harley! It’s holiday short stories! It’s going to be awesome, dark and deranged! If you’re looking for a gateway comic for your non-comic book friend this holiday season, this might be the one!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 11 #2 (Dark Horse) – Buffy and her teams are trying to put San Fricisco back in one piece and that might be harder to do with the start of a magical powered “human” registration act. This season should be interesting because we all know how well registration of people with powers works in the other comic book universes.

Dead Inside #1 ( Dark Horse) – A new comic with a female lead, murder, and corrupt county jails. It’s like all of those murder shows and docs you love in comic book form.

Justice League vs Suicide Squad #1 (DC Comics) – The Justice League has found out about our fave group of bad guys and are out to shut them down. This is going to be the best damn six-episode series ever and I can’t wait to see how it all shakes out. Time to root for the bad guys!!!

The Punisher Vol. 1: On Road TP (Marvel) – Frank hits the road after a bad raid and Condor and Face are waiting to scoop in and take him out . Time to cheer on one of your favorite bad good guys! Let the battle royal begin!

Honorable Mention: Throwaways TP Vol. 1 (Image Comics) – It’s the fist collection of this new comic book. It’s had some bumpy clunky issues but, overall it’s been an interesting reads I think that being able to have all of the early ones in one package might bring it all together.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Divinity III: Stalinverse #1 (Valiant) – The second volume ended with an interesting hint as to what was to come (but we already got the announcement of this series) but who knows how it’d all shake out. The first two volumes of this series have been amazing and this third which has a Russian take on the Valiant universe has me beyond excited.

4 Kids Walk Into a Bank #3 (Black Mask Studios) – The first two issues we damn near perfection and I’ve been waiting for this third one. Hopefully, the wait pays off, but this series is one of the best things to come out this year in comics.

Justice League vs. Suicide Squad #1 (DC Comics) – The exact silly fun I’d expect it to be.

Warhammer 40,000: Will of Iron #3 (Titan Comics) – It’s been a while since I was regularly paying 40K, but this series has got me wanting to dive back in. Fans of the Games Workshop game should absolutely check this out.

Hook Jaw #1 (Titan Comics) – It’s a story about a giant shark… and some scientists… and the CIA… As a fan of Jaws, sign me up.

Around the Tubes

ether-1-1It’s a new comic book day tomorrow! We’ll have our picks in a few hours, but until then, what are you all looking forward to? Sound off in the comments below!

While you decide on that, here’s some comic book news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

Kotaku – Former Conan Rep Calls Out Hit Board Game’s Depiction Of Women – Very interesting. A game we looked at while at conventions, but not very closely.

New Brunswick Today – Highland Park Hosts Live Readings of Comic Books by Local Creators – This is pretty cool.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – Ether #1

Talking Comics – Slam #1

Talking Comics – Yakuza: Demon Killers #1

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