Tag Archives: russell mark olson

Review: Gateway City Volume 1

Gateway City Volume 1

As a fan of crime noir novels, I’ve always been fascinated with that era. It’s been more than documented on television and the movies. Television shows like Boardwalk Empire and movies like LA Confidential enchant audiences with the style, feel, and loss of innocence of the era. Writer Ed Brubaker is definitely a disciple of this era, as many of his comics, like Fatale and Criminal, capture the essence of the time period.

I am also a fan of Star Trek. Every iteration that has come out I’ve watched religiously. The quality of writing on each series is some of the best I’ve ever seen. One of my favorite storylines in the Scott Bakula led Enterprise is “The Storm Front” arc where they’re taken to an Earth where Alien Nazis have control. This two-part episode more than melds science fiction, crime noir, and World War II into one of the best stories the Star Trek Universe has ever yielded. In Russell Mark Olson’s Gateway City we get a tale with the same familiar mix but with an even more thrilling story at its core.

We are taken to 1925 St. Louis where our protagonist, Lundy, a private investigator, is being interrogated about his whereabouts two days prior. As he was on a job, looking into a double homicide, which he was hired by the city for, as he uncovers something bigger at play, as he discovers a bootlegging operation, ran by one of the city’s most esteemed Senators. As he stumbles upon a few players that his employer did not account for, as Lundy escapes by skin of his teeth. He gets taken by the Senator’s men and we find out the Senator has a few guests, who are not quite what one would expect. Soon Lundy’s mentor, Wolf, is killed and Lundy goes missing, leaving the police to wonder to believe Lundy had killed his mentor. We also find out what exactly Lundy had to deal with in the war, as he suffered torture, by aliens that looks like the Senator’s guests. As we find the Senator has an illegal Gladiator arena where humans fight aliens. Luckily, his friends, Papers, and Pete, track him down and Lundy finds out who killed Wolf. By books’ end, Lundy gets his vengeance, but his actions unravel unintended consequences in the city and the outer rim of the universe.

Overall, an excellent nostalgia trip to the Prohibition Era that more than thrills, as Olson proves to be an excellent storyteller. The story by Olson, is fast, smart, and well developed. The art by Olson is simply breathtaking. Altogether, a story that will sweep the reader away and will look for genre mashups, especially when they are done as well as this.

Story: Russell Mark Olson Art: Russell Mark Olson and Emily Olson
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 9.9 Recommendation: Buy

Keith Lansdale Continues His Father’s Red Range

It’s Alive! has announced that Keith Lansdale, the writer who recently brought you X-Files and Creepy stories, will unleash his imagination on the historical and somewhat Steampunk world his father (Joe R. Lansdale) created in the original Red Rangegraphic novel! Launching in 2019, Red Range: Pirates of Fireworld will be the first new Red Range story in almost two decades!  And the first new comic book series from It’s Alive!

The original Red Range graphic novel was set sometime after the Civil War, when groups like the KKK were gaining popularity in the American South.  After having his family destroyed by the Klan, an African American man named Caleb Range donned a mask and sought his revenge, becoming The Red Mask!  Along the way, he met a young boy named Turon, who’s family suffered a similar fate to his own. Together, the two struggled to survive, while being pursued by the KKK. Then, while trying to escape, they fell through a hole to some deeper layer of the Earth, finding relics from different time periods in Earth’s history, and a sky of fire! A few dinosaurs showed up, and things were really staring to get weird, when the story abruptly ended, with a promise of “Pirates of Fireworld coming soon!”.

This new tale picks up right where the first one left off! Caleb Range (AKA The Red Mask), and his young companion Turon, find themselves under the surface of the Earth, in a world that seems to be lost in time. They are quickly confronted by a group of Steampunk-ish pirates in hot pursuit of a strange fellow who can only speak one name over and over again…Seetoc!  You’ll have to pick up the comic to find out what happens next!

These new Red Range comics will be launching with a beautiful standard cover by regular series artist Jok, along with a group of stunning variant covers by an international collection of artists including N. Steven Harris, Andrew Pepoy, Christopher Schenck, Russell Mark Olson, Ramón Pérez, and Aleksandar Bozic.  Please note: one variant will only be available via the Kickstarter campaign, and one variant will only be available via comic book shops.