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Preview: Aberrant Season 2 #5

ABERRANT SEASON 2 #5

Writer(s): Rylend Grant
Artist Name(s): Davi Leon Dias (Artist), Iwan Joko Triyono (Colorist), HdE (Letterer)
Cover Artist(s): Davi Leon Dias (Artist), Iwan Joko Triyono (Colorist)
***Same artists for both the regular and the Live or Die?/Karate Kid 2 variant covers.
32 pgs./ M / FC
$3.99

CHAPTER 5: END OF THE ROAD. The whole twisted 10-issue symphony comes to a rousing, cacophonous crescendo. David races to stop Cordrey from making a deal that would gravely affect the balance of power in the world. Garret takes an ugly ride on CON AIR. Rook has a teary-eyed reunion with his beloved parrot, acquires a cracking new pet fish, and then he leaps from a C-130 without a parachute. Although we’ve come… to the end of the road… still I can’t let go…

ABERRANT SEASON 2 #5

Review: Banjax #2

Banjax #2

Banjax is a wholly original and delightfully twisted deconstruction of the superhero genre. That continues in Banjax #2.

Cancer-ridden former superhero Laird Mason launches a violent and misguided Death Wish-like campaign to purge the city of supervillains before he dies. His straight-laced protégé, Abel Raines, is tasked with bringing him in. The problem? Raines isn’t remotely up to the task. It’s a story presented exclusively from the maniacally twisted point of view of a man who hasn’t slept in over seven days.

Much like the first issue, there’s a lot to unpack in Banjax #2. Rylend Grant gives us a more thorough introduction to Laird Mason’s protege Abel Raines. He’s a man who has capitalized on his career as a hero with some pretty impressive financial gain. We get to see Gaines’ story through his own eyes. He’s building up for a big launch in the upcoming days that will, we’re reminded constantly, make him even richer. The one, unexpected snag? Laird Mason has returned and is waging a one-man war on crime. The public needs his former protege to stop him.

Once again, Grant doesn’t try to make you believe that Gaines is an altruistic hero. He never quite gets to villain status, either. This is a character who lives in the ethical grey areas. He’s a fallible man. He seems to struggle with his choices. The weight of responsibility and his past catch up to him.

As Laird Mason, the eponymous Banjax, is shown tearing his way through the criminal underworld on video screens, Gaines gives us a bit more context to what we’re seeing; it’s just enough to make you question who you should be rooting for after two issues – which is exactly the position I want to be in with a comic that thrives when you’re left questioning who you agree with.

Fabio Alves and Edson Ferreira are once again impressive on art duties. There’s a dark and gritty colour scheme that blends remarkably well with the tone of the story – but the art is never once too dark or muddled to see what’s happening on the page. Raines gradual descent into his sleep deprived state is shown with deft subtly between the background colours and his increasingly more strained facial expressions. The comic seems focused on the downward spiral of two men who are now but shadows of their former selves.

On the whole I was impressed with the first issue, and the second issue has built on the promise of the first. Grant, Alves and Ferreira have created a deeply intriguing series, one that’s well worth adding to your pull list if you’re interested in a unique take on a hero’s end of days, and the train wreck he’s causing as he goes out in a blaze of glory

Writer: Rylend Grant Art: Fabio Alves
Colors: Edson Ferreira Letters: HdE
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.7 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Action Lab: Danger Zone provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Banjax #2

BANJAX #2

Writer(s): Rylend Grant
Artist Name(s): Fábio Alves (Artist), Edson Ferreira (Colorist), HdE (Letterer)
Cover Artist(s): Fábio Alves (Artist), Edson Ferreira (Colorist)
***Same artists for both the regular and variant covers.
32 pgs./ M / FC
$3.99

CHAPTER 2: WHERE’S OUR HERO? When cancer-ridden former superhero Laird Mason launches a violent and misguided Death Wish-like campaign to purge the city of supervillains before he dies, his straight-laced protégé, Abel Raines, is tasked with bringing him in. The problem? Raines isn’t remotely up to the task. A story presented exclusively from the maniacally twisted point of view of a man who hasn’t slept in over seven days.

BANJAX #2

Review: Banjax #1

Banjax #1

Banjax #1 is a wholly original and delightfully twisted deconstruction of the superhero genre.

Laird Mason, a disgraced former superhero, is diagnosed with terminal cancer, brought on by years of using his powers. Defending what he has deemed an ungrateful and ultimately unworthy city is literally killing him. With just months to live and a legacy hanging in the balance, Mason launches a violent and misguided Death Wish-like campaign to purge the city of supervillains before he dies.

There’s a lot to unpack in this issue. Rylend Grant spends the better part of the comic establishing his lead character through flashbacks. Laird Mason provides the narration that doubles as an intricate history over the superhero’s active years. It also provides a window into his current state of mind.

Grant doesn’t try to make you believe that Mason is an altruistic hero. He’s as fallible as all of us. The cracks to his psyche are just beneath the surface even at an early age as he suffers through an abusive childhood. The catalyst to his becoming a hero is the sexual assault of a woman who Mason doesn’t know. It’s a classic example of her abuse being used to kickstart his heroic tendencies. A dip into bad tropes that are dragged out too often. It’s the straw that broke the camel’s back. Due to the attack, he finally decided to stop being an observer.

Though it is possible, given a remark on one of the following pages and some art that doesn’t convey explicit force, that it isn’t a sexual assault but rather a willing participant desperate for a hit. I’ll leave that to you to decide if you read the comic. Regardless of the nature of the scene, there’s more than enough of a grey area regarding the participant’s consent to make you feel a touch uncomfortable with the way that it’s visually portrayed. Mason’s reaction leaves no doubt as to how he views the scene. That begs the question of whether he’s right or if he jumped to conclusions.

Beyond that scene, the comic is a very engaging read – we see Mason’s life through glimpses that give you such an understanding of the character that you honestly feel as though you’ve been reading the series for 20-30 issues already – by the end of the comic you’re left feeling somewhat astonished by the amount of content packed into the twenty odd pages, It never once feels crammed, or forced, instead having a very natural flow to the story as you experience a whirlwind tale encapsulating Mason’s life.

Visually the comic is impressive; the dark color scheme mirrors Mason’s state of mind as we see him hit the highs and lows of life. Despite being a less than savory character Mason never tries to justify his actions. This isn’t exactly a man who is a hero in all aspects of his life. His acceptance of the kind of man he has been gives him an oddly understandable air. Not that he’s a likable person, but you’re able to understand his reactions to certain things in his life. In a single issue, we watch the beginnings and the fall of a hero, only to really start his story as it comes to a close.

Although there is a scene in the comic that may make some less than inclined to read this book, and I totally understand that, Banjax #1 is a comic packed with backstory that sets up a story with a lot of promise going forward. This is a hero with a finite shelf life, and so we’re going to get to find out just how far a hero is willing to go to ensure the safety of his city in his last few months.

It’s a comic that’s worth reading if you’re interested in a unique take on a hero’s end of days.

Writer: Rylend Grant Art: Fabio Alves
Colors: Edson Ferreira Letters: HdE
Story: 8.4 Art: 8.7 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Action Lab: Danger Zone provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Aberrant Season 2 is Out in Trade this July

Whether you’re familiar now with Action Lab: Danger Zone‘s comic series Aberrant or not, you’ll be hearing a lot more about it as the military/political action thriller was also picked up for television by 24 and Felicity executive producer. Get an advance look at the show when you get this original comic!

In Aberrant season 2, a U.S. Army Special Operations Commander teams up with a former superhero to go up against a renegade General. That is, if they don’t kill each other first. The series has a paranoid thriller feel that fans of ’70s films like The Conversation, Marathon Man, and Three Days of the Condor can appreciate.

Written by Rylend Grant, with art by Davi Leon Dias, color by Iwan Joo Triyono, and lettering by Hde, you can pre-order Aberrant Season 2, which collects Season 2 issues #1-5, with the Diamond item code MAY191285. It will be available in a comic book store near you on July 2019.

Aberrant Season 2

Preview: Banjax #1

BANJAX #1

Writer(s): Rylend Grant
Artist Name(s): Fábio Alves (Artist), Edson Ferreira (Colorist), HdE (Letterer)
Cover Artist(s): Fábio Alves (Artist), Edson Ferreira (Colorist)
***Same artists for both the regular and variant covers.
32 pgs./ M / FC
$3.99

CHAPTER 1: THE CURE. A wholly original and delightfully twisted deconstruction of the superhero genre by Hollywood screenwriter/Aberrant-scribe Rylend Grant. Liard Mason, a disgraced former superhero, is diagnosed with terminal cancer, brought on by years of using his powers. Defending what he has deemed an ungrateful and ultimately unworthy city is literally killing him. With just months to live and a legacy hanging in the balance, Mason launches a violent and misguided Death Wish-like campaign to purge the city of supervillains before he dies.

BANJAX #1

Preview: Aberrant Season 2 #3

ABERRANT SEASON 2 #3

Writer(s): Rylend Grant
Artist Name(s): Davi Leon Dias (Artist), Iwan Joko Triyono (Colorist), HdE (Letterer)
Cover Artist(s): Davi Leon Dias (Artist), Iwan Joko Triyono (Colorist)
***Same artists for both the regular and the Playing with the Boys/TOP GUN variant covers.
32 pgs./ M / FC
$3.99

CHAPTER 3: FINAL JEOPARDY. A crisis of conscience, a snake in the grass, and a Jacob’s Ladder scenario… As Nelson Little makes a bold political play to pull David and Cordrey from both literal and proverbial fires, his closest confidant moves to usurp him. A dying Rook imagines himself as a contestant on a delightfully twisted autobiographical proxy for a popular TV quiz show. Oh, yeah… and we finally meet the guy behind the guy behind the Article 13 guy…

ABERRANT SEASON 2 #3

Preview: Aberrant Volume 1

ABERRANT VOLUME 1

Writer(s): Rylend Grant
Artist Name(s): Davi Leon Dias (Artist), Iwan Joko Triyono (Colorist), HdE (Letterer)
Cover Artist(s): Davi Leon Dias (Artist), Iwan Joko Triyono (Colorist)
160 pgs./ M / FC
$14.99

David, a U.S. Army Special Operations Commander, distraught after losing his entire unit to a superhuman attack, wages an absolutely brutal one-man war on the eccentric billionaire and former superhero, Lance Cordrey, whom he believes is ultimately responsible. That is until Nelson Little, the head of a clandestine paramilitary outfit called Article 13, presents David with evidence that Cordrey may be a patsy, and David’s men were killed as part of a vast and twisted government/military conspiracy. Armed with this new information, David must dismantle the machine of said conspiracy piece by human piece while coming to terms with his own mysteriously emerging superpowers and wrestling with sincere doubts about Little’s trustworthiness.

Preview: Aberrant Season 2 #2

ABERRANT SEASON 2 #2

Writer(s): Rylend Grant
Artist Name(s): Davi Leon Dias (Artist), Iwan Joko Triyono (Colorist), HdE (Letterer)
Cover Artist(s): Davi Leon Dias (Artist), Iwan Joko Triyono (Colorist)
***Same artists for both the regular/Point Break and “Fuckface” variant covers.
32 pgs./ M / FC
$3.99

CHAPTER 2: THE BALLAD OF COLBRENNER AND CORDREY.
As the freshly-chummy David and Cordrey drink, fight, and fornicate their way through South America in search of a top secret NORCO base, we get a fascinatingly twisted peek at Rook’s home life. And if you’re all good little boys and girls, we may just finally give you a peek behind the whole wicked conspiracy curtain…

ABERRANT SEASON 2 #2

Preview: Aberrant Season 2 #1

ABERRANT SEASON 2 #1

Writer(s): Rylend Grant
Artist Name(s): Davi Leon Dias (Artist), Iwan Joko Triyono (Colorist), HdE (Letterer)
Cover Artist(s): Davi Leon Dias (Artist), Iwan Joko Triyono (Colorist)
***Same for both regular and variant cover.
32 pgs./ M / FC
$3.99

CHAPTER 1: I NEED A HERO. As a wholly new and delightfully twisted story arc begins, David is forced to team with the man he hates most (and trusts the least) to complete a key mission. Disgraced former superhero Lance Cordrey wonders if he has one last save-the-world push left in him.

ABERRANT SEASON 2 #1
Almost American
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