(W) Gerry Duggan (A) Patrick Zircher (CA) Valerio Giangiordano 32 PGS./Parental Advisory In Shops: Jun 02, 2021 SRP: $3.99
• Nightmare comes for the Marvel Universe and the Doctor is out, but luckily, Conan and Ghost Rider are IN. Flaming skulls are things Conan usually extinguishes with swords, but he’s vaguely okay with Johnny Blaze.
Heavy Metal has announced that they will be exclusively selling a second printing of Taarna, The Last Taarakian #1, the first issue of the bestselling series about the venerable science fiction, fantasy, and horror magazine’s flagship character from the 1981 animated film, brought to life by writer Stephanie Phillips and art by Patrick Zircher. This special edition will also have eight pages of additional content, including a special “Script to Final Page” feature with script excerpts by writer Stephanie Phillips.
The first printing of the first three issues of the hit series Taarna, The Last Taarakian have completely sold out.With overwhelming demand from retailers and fans, Heavy Metal will be releasing the second printing of Taarna, The Last Taarakian #1 to retailers exclusively as a direct order. This special printing will include a one-of-a-kind cover, illustrated by mega-popular cover artist Peach Momoko.
This August will mark the 40th anniversary of Taarna’s debut in the landmark Heavy Metal film. In Taarna, The Last Taarakian #1, writer Stephanie Phillips breathes powerful new life into the iconic and beloved character, bringing her into the modern era with a strong voice. In Phillips’ groundbreaking series, the flagship character returns in a new story of cosmic mystery, as she battles throughout the multiverse in her war against Kako, the embodiment of chaos. This is the tale of a millenia-old battle between godlike beings, with all sentient life caught in their path.
Taarna is a property I know so little of. Other than some images, it’s a character I haven’t read comics of or seen on the big/small screen. So, with Taarna #1, I thought it’d be a good opportunity to check it out and can say, it’s not what I was expecting at all.
Taarna is a character that I expected to be a female Conan. I went in to read the comic and was taken back when it wasn’t so much sword and sorcery as it was Kirby cosmic.
Writer Stephanie Phillips uses Taarna #1 as an introduction to the character delivering an epic scale of a story involving a dying sun threatening to engulf a planet. It’s the type of bombastic, over the top, imagery that you’d expect in a big budget film.
From a sun dying and people being saved, to a “god” falling from the sky, the story is an epic scale of a start. It cements Taarna as a powerful being. It also establishes her as one who works on a grand scale. Starvation of the people or lack of medicine aren’t pleas she hears. A world about to be engulfed in flames is. She’s aloof in a way creating an interesting character to explore and see more of.
The art by Patrick Zircher is solid. Zircher is joined by Jessica Kholinne on color and those pop from the page. There’s a great combination of the two. They capture both the tender moments of a people witnessing their death and that of an individual taking on a sun. On a marco and micro scale the visuals work and it works well switching between the two without it seeing a bit silly. Marshall Dillon handles the lettering. Dillon brings a flair of sword & sorcery fantasy to the comic with narration boxes whose lettering evokes that a bit. It adds a bit of classic fantasy to a cosmic adventure.
Taarna #1 isn’t what I expected and that’s not a bad thing at all. It fuses classic fantasy with futuristic cosmic adventures. It does it on a massive scale. It’s not the rogue warrior battling on the landscape that I’d expect. Instead it’s a deity like being protecting an entire planet and taking on a dying sun. I was off in those expectations. It’s an interesting start. It doesn’t reveal too much but gives you just enough to come back. The details and depth are traded for spectacle resulting in a first issue that makes me want to come back for more.
(W) Gerry Duggan (A) Patrick Zircher (CA) Valerio Giangiordano Parental Advisory In Shops: Dec 16, 2020 SRP: $3.99
LET’S GO TO LIMBO! Magik joins Conan with guest Avenger the Black Knight and…the Juggernaut. An Asgardian dragon with the second eye of Agamotto doesn’t stand a chance. Or maybe he does. Either way, the Sweet Sixteenth of this comic is going to be a knock-down, drag-out fight that will punch you upside the head. Fair warning.
The disciples of Kulan Gath are preparing for Gath to come to Earth and reign supreme. Two different squads of Avengers take him on – one with a direct assault and then the group that takes the focus on this issue head towards a drug cartel taken over by Gath’s disciples. So what happens when you get the Punisher, Wolverine, Black Widow, Elektra, and Hellstrom together? Probably a whole lot of killing in Savage Avengers #15.
There was something enjoyable in Savage Avengers #15 due to just how absurdly, over-the-top silly and violent this book is. They might as well change the name to Murder Avengers because these members are, basically, just murdering anything with a pulse that is in their way. I thought it was a bit on the silly side to see a character like Black Widow reduced to showing off her top assets and then moments like Wolverine putting the Priest Of Sickles (dumb name) in a wood chipper. As wonky as that sounds, there’s also a lot of pure, unadulterated humor and enjoyment to seeing these characters doing some of these actions. Savage Avengers #15 ends up being fun in its excesses. Suffice to say that writer Gerry Duggan puts these characters in an amazing amount of crazy situations.
I haven’t been reading Savage Avengers prior to this issue so there’s some stuff I have questions about. It would have been nice to have seen the team that went up against Kulan Gath, other than the last page reveal. All we really get is a goofy story where is disciples are poisoning cocaine.
I always enjoy Patrick Zircher’s art. He puts a great amount of detail in his pencils. Here, his art is used to showcase a lot of blood and violence and his style works very well here. I do wish that a few of the panel backgrounds had something going on. Java Tartaglia’s colors are a good pairing but I do wish for a bit of a brighter color palette.
Savage Avengers is the kind of book where the premise should take me right out of it. I’m an old-school Avengers fan and it’s been a really long time since I liked an issue of any adjective-driven Avengers team. But with how ridiculous some of the stuff in this is, I’m a bit torn on how I felt but I decided to go with the positive. The Murder Avengers won me over but just barely.
(W) Gerry Duggan (A) Patrick Zircher (CA) Valerio Giangiordano Parental Advisory In Shops: Dec 02, 2020 SRP: $3.99
While Conan’s team is busy trying to take treasure from a dragon, Kulan Gath’s forces are poisoning the world’s drug supply to summon Shuma Gorath. Black Widow, Wolverine and Son of Satan take on the Priest of Sickles. Ain’t no party like a Savage party, and you can’t throw a poison drug caper without the Punisher crashing it.
(W) Gerry Duggan (A) Patrick Zircher (CA) Valerio Giangiordano PARENTAL ADVISORY In Shops: Nov 11, 2020 SRP: $3.99
Conan leads a team of Savage Avengers against an Asgardian dragon in a quest for treasure. Get out your twenty-sided dice and roll to attack with Conan, Magik and new Savage recruits the Black Knight and Juggernaut!
(W) Gerry Duggan (A) Patrick Zircher (CA) Valerio Giangiordano Parental Advisory In Shops: Oct 28, 2020 SRP: $3.99
The Savage Avengers assemble! Wolverine, Conan, Dr. Strange, Elektra, Black Widow, Hellstrom, Voodoo, Magik…and more. The heroes draw up a battle plan against Kulan Gath, and you’ll be thrilled as Conan wields a most unexpected weapon in the fight against darkness.