Tag Archives: science fiction

Mine To Avenge: Book Of Layla #1 comes to Kickstarter

Mine To Avenge: Book Of Layla #1, a new Kickstarter which kicked off on the 14th of November, is a futuristic cyberpunk filled with action and a dash of the supernatural. As spoiler free as possible, the first issue is a solid starting point for readers with its fast-moving plot that pulls you in with tight dialogue and snappy banter. Mine To Avenge is a mystery that starts in pre-Civil War New Orleans, then time jumps to Russia in the 22nd century, where we find our main characters rescuing a damsel in distress followed by the return of a dark nemesis.

Written and created by Robert Jeffrey II, keep an eye out for him as a recent participant of the DC Comics Writers Workshop program, you can see the refinement of his writing skills in this creator-owned project. Supporting him is an Italian artist Matteo Illuminati, whose work is new to me, but another one to look out for as he does characters and action amazingly well. Also helping with the visuals of the book is colorist and letterer Loris Ravina, whose color pallet helps to enhance and set the mood of the story.

And for proof of development, here are the first six pages of the book.

Published by Evoluzione Publishing, for more information or character designs, check their Kickstarter or Facebook pages. The campaign runs until December 15.

Review: Centipede #1

“I’m no action hero. Mostly I just like pasta.” -Dale Trell

Well, if those aren’t words to live by, I don’t know what are. In Centipede #1, our protagonist, Dale Trell, has been in hiding for roughly three weeks after an unidentified monster has come to his home planet and jump started an apocalypse that has killed everyone else on STY-REK. He’s finally mustered up the courage to leave his shelter and take revenge on the unidentified monster.

Dynamite Entertainment takes on the challenge of bringing former Atari game to life in a new venture featuring the legendary console game—Centipede. Writer Max Bemis and artist Eoin Marron have teamed up to bring the classic to fruition. If the name Max Bemis looks familiar to you, it’s because he is the frontman for band, Say Anything.

Bemis relies on humor and backstory for this first issue. The most imaginative and fun aspect of this story is how Trell grew up with an obsession about earth life, mirroring humans obsession with aliens, and I’m looking forward to learning more about how this helps him navigate conquering the centipede. I’m also looking forward to seeing him come into contact with other survivors. I don’t see the story remaining very interesting if that doesn’t happen.

If you’re like me and love a good post-apocalypse story, then you should definitely check out this new series, and join me in the journey to see where it goes!

Story: Max Bemis Art: Eoin Marron Cover: Francesco Francavilla, Eoin Marron, Dan Schkade
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Dynamite Entertainment provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Science Fiction television has returned

the strain s2 imageSummer is usually the time of sunshine, beaches, barbecues, reality television and reruns. While science fiction shows may not get the attention they deserve, summer always seems to bring them back. Some shows like CBS‘s Under the Dome, FX‘s The Strain, Syfy‘s Defiance and Syfy’s Dominion have returned. While some of them have just began.

However the new shows are defiantly worth watching, from ABC Family’s Stitchers to USA’s Mr Robot.

Check out trailers for the new shows, and spend the summer in doors in the AC and enjoying some cool new sci-fi shows.

ABC Family’s Stitchers

AMC’s Humans

CBS’s Zoo

Syfy’s Dark Matter

Syfy’s Killjoys

USA’s Mr Robot

Review: The Little Mermaid #2

gftlittlemermaid002The first issue of the Little Mermaid introduced an interesting element, that of mixing a bit of science fiction into that of mermaids.  As supernatural creatures, mermaids tend to get lumped together more with magic than they do with science, and so using the science experiments on the main character as a plot device was an interesting direction to take such a story.  An interesting concept by itself can’t determine the quality of a story, as it has to be well executed, but while this concept is still here in this issue, it focuses on a different concept altogether.

One of the hallmarks of Grimm Fairy Tales is to gender swap main characters from famous stories from male to female and to thus give the characters a different voice and perspective.  They have done it with the Jungle Book with Mowgli and they have done it with the legend of Robin Hood.  The concept behind this story is the reverse of this usual trend.  Instead of a gender switch from male to female, it is the opposite, as Erica’s father, a merman prince, yearns to be reunited with the human girl that he saved and for any price.  This is of course, with a few changes, the classic tale of the Little Mermaid, only played out here by the Little Mermaid’s father.  Meanwhile the plot still focuses on what is happening with Erica and those that keep her captive.

While the quality of storytelling is still strong enough here, it doesn’t really capitalize on the concept that was introduced in the first issue.  Instead it goes after the lowest hanging fruit of any mermaid story, which is to associate immediately with Atlantis.  While this is handled in an interesting way, it is a little bit of a letdown compared to the first issue.  The story is still heading in an interesting direction, it is only for the creative team to capitalize on the potential that they have already created for themselves.

Story: Meredith Finch  Art: Miguel Medonca
Story:  7.7 Art: 7.7  Overall: 7.7  Recommendation: Read

Review: Princess Leia #1

pl001aFor those unfamiliar with the inspirations for Star Wars, among the most famous of them is Joseph Campbell’s A Hero of Thousand Faces.  As George Lucas determined his vision for Star Wars he used this book as well as others sources of inspiration from fiction to develop his space opera.  One of these inspirations was the use of a princess as one of the main characters, and with that the role of Princess Leia was born.  The character is a bit of an anachronism in a sense though.  Although considered to be a strong female character in relation to others in movies at the time, cinema has expanded women’s role since then, and her once higher status as an action/adventure science-fiction star is dwarved by others that have come after her.  The background of the character has been developed over the years, first by the admission of her true father in the Return of the Jedi, and thus that she was not really a princess, and later establishing her as the daughter of the Queen of Naboo and thus kind of establishing her as a princess once again.

What this new in-continuity series attempts to do is to explore some of the complexities which should be evident in this character but which have never been explored.  As Leia says within this issue, she has a title but no function, and while that is true of her plight following the Battle of Yavin, in some ways it could be equally true for her as a character as a whole.  Specifically this mini-series looks at Leia through the after effects of the destruction of Alderaan, and what effect that has on her as the regent of this adopted homeworld.  The resulting story of a regrouping of a diaspora is a common enough one in fiction, and maybe more so in science fiction, but it works here and works well.  Added to this is her own sidekick, a female Alderaanian pilot for the Rebel Alliance.  The pairing is not a natural one, but by the end of the issue it finds a way to work together.

The new direction that Marvel is taking Star Wars is an intriguing one.  This series is one that maybe no fans ever really asked for, but the question equally could have been “why didn’t they?”  The execution is not flawless, but the story is both engaging and entertaining enough to be an appropriate vessel for Star Wars’ first heroine.

Story: Mark Waid Art: Terry Dodson
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Halogen #1

halogen001aAt its heart there is maybe no better fit of a genre to a medium than science fiction to comics.  While comics has essentially every genre of fiction, science fiction fits best because science provides only so many answers, and it is to the dreamers to fill in the rest.  In the vast expanses of outer space, or in stories based in the future, there is no better medium to capture the essence of these stories.  Certainly movies and video games are good, but high and long production costs mean that only so many can be produced, and while books are good as well they lack the impressive visual element.  Science fiction stories thus have an advantage when it comes to this medium, but they are equally at a disadvantage.  They equally have to keep on top of the science, and they also have to be pretty imaginative to put out anything new compare to what has come before.

This series aims to be fairly ambitious.  It focuses on a futuristic space station which doubles as a large city. It is somewhat self-contained and floats in the middle of nowhere.  Instead of taking the Star Trek like image of the future where everyone works together, it instead regards humans as still just a greedy, willing to work within industrial espionage even when their entire living conditions is locked to the fate of their neighbors.  The main character Rell specializes in computer espionage but also knows a thing or two about holograms.  At the periphery of this story is the discovery of the corps of an ancient space god that still has devoted followers.

The problem with this series is that it does not really try anything new.  The mixture of all the elements together takes a smart approach to telling its own story, but it never hits anything deeper than the surface of the characters interacting.  As opposed to some series where characters jump out and beg to be paid to attention to, the characters here just aren’t as dynamic.  That is not to say that this is a bad series, it is quite readable (even if the formatting of the text bubbles is a bit sloppy at times), but it is also not gripping nor is it much different from thousands of other space stories.  The potential is there for something better, and hopefully the creative team manages to harness is in the coming issues.

Story:  Josh Tierney Art: Afu Chan
Story: 7.7 Art: 7.7 Overall: 7.7 Recommendation: Read

Boom Studios and Archaia provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review.

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic day! What’s everyone getting?

Around the Tubes

KWCH – Comic book theft now top priority for Crimestoppers – If anyone has any news or information, please help out.

The Verge – The best science fiction right now is happening in comics – Hells yes.

Vox – Bitch Planet is the feminist comic book we’ve all been waiting for – A solid first issue for many reasons.

Times News – Comic Book Man: Shop owner retiring after three decades – Congrats and good luck!

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Fandom Post – Death Sentence Vol. 1

Comic Vine – Injustice: Year Three #11

Talking Comics – Midnight Secretary

Review: Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris #26

Deja26-cov-RenaudA former student betrays his master, roping a younger student into his treachery. A woman clad in less than a cubic meter of cloth and golden pasties helps the tubby old master defeat his students and activate a 500,000 year old time portal. Add to that the Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsoomian milieu and you just might have the fixings for a 26th issue to this series.

My experience with Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris is tenuous at best. I’m a huge fan of the original novels, the first of which was published in 1917, and the series is a great mash-up of the swords-and-sandals action that would develop in the following decades and a great exemplar of mainstream early American science fiction. I say that my feelings toward this book are tenuous, because I struggle with the continued portrayal of Dejah Thoris in nothing but a bikini, despite the fact that Robert Napton is actually a skilled writer, and he captures the swashbuckling adventurist flare of Barsoom expertly in Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris #26.

Napton presents a stand-alone issue that details Dejah’s visit to her old archaeology professor’s dig site, a hallowed ancient city called Dorvas. Swashbuckling and decapitation ensues, and Dejah and professor Syl Mak save the day (but Mak’s old and current students get a failing grade—academic pun, anyone?). The narrative fits nicely into the 24 pages, never feeling rushed or tiresome, and paces along so that I felt eager to finish up the issue.

Carlos Rafael and Carlos Lopez are a great team, with Rafael providing the solid lines and detailed expressive faces that help push the story along, and Lopez working his colors like any good colorist. It’s nothing ground breaking, but the pages are great fun and, again, Rafael makes facial expressions pop! Also, it’s clear that Rafael is skilled with drawing the female figure; you would have to be literally blind not to pick up on that…

It is frustrating, however, that Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris doesn’t seem to fall into continuity with the other Barsoom book by Dynamite, Warlord of Mars, since Dejah’s father and grandfather are mentioned early on in issue #26, but readers of the other series will know that that can’t be possible. Still, a fun read if you have the time or are a fan of Barsoom; I guess there could be other motivations for picking up a book featuring Dejah Thoris, though.

Story: Robert Napton  Art: Carlos Rafael and Carlos Lopez
Story: 7  Art: 7.5  Overall: 8  Recommendation: Read

Dynamite provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy to review

Iraqi Science Fiction


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Over at The Comics Journal, Kent Worcester has a fascinating look at Iraqi science fiction imagery.  The Children’s Culture House of Iraq in the 1980’s published pamphlets to teach astronomy, space exploration, the frontiers of science, etc.  The pamphlets were in the clear if they steered clear of political themes and focused on the science.

The article goes on further to cover Salih Habeeb who was involved with the project as well as shows off imagery from the pamphlets and Habeeb’s work.  Below is one example of what you can find.  Pretty interesting stuff.

The Time Gap Novel by Salih Habeeb cover