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Review: Ash & Thorn #1

Ash & Thorn #1

It’s the end of the world as we know it… and it’s in the hands of an elderly woman. Yes, it’s now who you’d expect at all. Ash & Thorn #1 takes the well-worn story of a champion standing up for the planet and delivers something new. We’ve seen the heroic individual in the past. We’ve seen the utter screw up as well. This? Well, this gives us a hero who’d fit more in a Golden Girls reboot.

Written by Mariah McCourt the story revolves around Lottie Thorn, reluctant savior of the world and her also-elderly trainer Lady Peruvia Ashlington-Voss. It’s an entertaining start taking a story that’s been done so many times and twisting it a bit. It not only takes on so many tropes and familiar stories but it adds some comedic timing to it all to keep readers on their toes. It’s a send-up and love letter to this type of story.

What’s truly great about the comic is that it can be read completely with a straight face. McCourt has fun with it all and if you just want a kick-ass world-saving story, it’s all here. But, McCourt fills the comics with moments that it’s hard to not laugh and take it for the comedic tone it’s going for. There’s a bit of Grosse Point Blank in the comic where the weapon of choice is a frying pan, not a broad sword. And that keeps the readers on their toes. You never know what’s going to happen as we’re taught to expect the unexpected.

Soo Lee provides the art and is able to balance the serious and humor. There’s a solid sense of flow to the action. But, that flow also comes with a bit that feels like it fits Thorn’s age. Maybe it’s my 41 years but I could at times feel the ache from the swinging of a weapon. The color by Pippa Bowland is really nice with great use of it in the background to really set the time and thus a mood for each segment. There’s a cool glow about the colors that make the images pop. The lettering by Rob Steen stands out too as he switches gears in settings. There’s a lot of dialogue packed in and Steen gets it all in there and readable.

Ash & Thorn #1 is a fun comic. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and delivers a wink and nod with the material. But, it’s also an Ahoy Comics release which means some extras as well. Beyond “Editor’s Notes” there are two recipes. I can’t cook worth anything, so it’s all a foreign language. I have no idea how yummy these are but… the images make me want to try to cook them, even though they’re drawings. There’s also a story, “No Smoke Without” by writer Dan Micklethwaite and artist Meredith McClaren. It’s an interesting story mixing technology and horror that doesn’t quite fit the comedic tone of Ash & Thorn‘s main story but is itself quite good.

Ash & Thorn #1 is a fun debut featuring some interesting protagonists you don’t see every day. It has a light tone and is just going with the flow of fun. Sit back and enjoy something new and different and a new series featuring a type of main character we don’t see too often.

Story: Mariah McCourt, Dan Micklethwaite Ar: Soo Lee, Meredith McClaren
Color: Pippa Bowland Letterer: Rob Steen
Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read


Purchase: comiXologyTFAW

Preview: Ash & Thorn #1

Ash & Thorn #1

(W) Mariah McCourt (A) Soo Lee (CA) Jill Thompson
In Shops: Jun 24, 2020
SRP: $3.99

The apocalypse is nigh! The world needs a Champion, and the only heir to a sacred mystical lineage is…a little old lady? Meet Lottie Thorn, reluctant savior of the world, and her also-elderly trainer Lady Peruvia Ashlington-Voss. They might not look it, but these women are prepared to take on any Big Bad that comes along. But first, perhaps a nice cup of tea? Every AHOY comic also features extra prose stories and illustrations.

Ash & Thorn #1

AHOY Comics Returns with All New Releases and New Schedule

AHOY Comics will resume publishing new comic book magazines in June. The updated summer publishing schedule includes:

ASH & THORN

A 5-issue miniseries by bestselling writer Mariah McCourt (True Blood, Stitched), artist Soo Lee (Analog Sci-Fi Magazine, Charlie’s Angels vs. the Bionic Woman), and colorist Pippa Bowland (2000AD), with lettering by Rob Steen and covers by legendary artist Jill Thompson (Scary Godmother, Wonder Woman: True Amazon).

Originally scheduled to debut on April Fool’s Day, the highly-anticipated debut issue #1 of ASH & THORN will be published on June 24, 2020, followed by issue #2 on July 8, issue #3 on July 29, issue #4 on August 19, and issue #5 on September 9, 2020.

ASH & THORN

BILLIONAIRE ISLAND

A 6-issue miniseries by acclaimed writer Mark Russell (Second Coming) and artist Steve Pugh (Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass), and colorist Chris Chuckry, with lettering by Rob Steen. Issue 1 features a cover by series artist and co-creator Steve Pugh and a variant cover by bestselling artist Pia Guerra (Y The Last Man).

The critically acclaimed series returns on July 1, 2020 with an all new second issue, followed by issue #3 on July 22, issue #4 on August 12, and issue #5 on September 16.

BILLIONAIRE ISLAND

CAPTAIN GINGER SEASON 2: DOGWORLD

A 6 issue mini-series by acclaimed writer Stuart Moore (Bronze Age Boogie) and artists June Brigman (Power Pack) and Roy Richardson, and colorist Veronica Ghandini, with lettering by Rob Steen.

CAPTAIN GINGER: DOGWORLD, which had two issues published at the time of lockdown, will complete its serialization in exclusive digital editions from Comixology. The first new issue of CAPTAIN GINGER SEASON 2: DOGWORLD, issue 3, will be released digitally on June 10, followed by issue 4 on July 8, issue 5 on August 5, and issue 6 on September 2.

Each upcoming issue of CAPTAIN GINGER: DOGWORLD will contain a special Digital Bonus Book at no additional cost: issue #3 features DRAGONFLY & DRAGONFLYMAN #1, issue #4 features BILLIONAIRE ISLAND # 1, issue #5 features BRONZE AGE BOOGIE #1, and issue #6 will feature will feature a selection from EDGAR ALLAN POE’S SNIFTER OF TERROR, including Hunt Emerson’s Black Cat comics.

CAPTAIN GINGER SEASON 2: DOGWORLD

In June, AHOY will also be publishing the trade paperback of DRAGONFLY & DRAGONFLYMAN, the prequel to the dazzling series THE WRONG EARTH—by writer Tom Peyer, artist Peter Krause, colorist Andy Troy, and letterer Rob Steen. The trade paperback will be released in comic book stores on June 3rd and in bookstores on June 16th.

DRAGONFLY & DRAGONFLYMAN

Originally scheduled for release this summer, as part of the company’s fourth wave of releases, PENULTIMAN, the new super hero title by Tom Peyer and Alan Robinson, will be resolicited at a later date.

AHOY Comics’ Fourth Wave of Releases Has Been Revealed!

Comic book creators Mark Russell and Steve Pugh, Mariah McCourt and Soo Lee, and Tom Peyer and Alan Robinson are launching three all new series for the fourth wave of AHOY comic book magazines. The three series all tackle 21st century fears and anxieties with a heavy dose of humor. The new wave of titles from the Syracuse-based company will launch next spring.  

AHOY Comics’ fourth wave includes three all-new titles:

  • BILLIONAIRE ISLAND, a 6 issue mini-series by acclaimed writer Mark Russell (Second Coming) and artist Steve Pugh (Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass), and colorist Chris Chuckry, with lettering by Rob Steen. Issue 1 features a cover by series artist and co-creator Steve Pugh and a variant cover by bestselling artist Pia Guerra (Y The Last Man).

Debuting in March 2020.

Welcome to Billionaire Island, where anything goes…if you can afford it. But the island’s ultra-rich inhabitants are about to learn that their ill-gotten gains come at a VERY high price. BILLIONAIRE ISLAND is a savage satire that reunites the creative team behind DC’s The Flintstones.

BILLIONAIRE ISLAND tells the story of Freedom Unlimited (FU Island), a private island created and populated by billionaires hoping to wait out the end of the world,” said writer and co-creator Mark Russell. “But because they are in international waters and not subject to any law, their haven is a nightmarish police state for anyone on the island who crosses them. In a broader sense, it’s a series that asks the question: how do we save the world when all its resources are partying offshore?”

BILLIONAIRE ISLAND
  • ASH & THORN, a 5 issue mini-series by bestselling writer Mariah McCourt (True Blood, Stitched), artist Soo Lee (Mine!, Charlie’s Angels vs. the Bionic Woman), and colorist Pippa Bowland, with lettering by Rob Steen and covers by legendary artist Jill Thompson (Scary Godmother, Wonder Woman: True Amazon).

Debuting in April 2020.

The apocalypse is nigh! The world needs a Champion, and the only heir to a sacred mystical lineage is…a little old lady? Meet Lottie Thorn, reluctant savior of the world, and her also-elderly trainer Lady Peruvia Ashlington-Voss. They might not look it, but these women are prepared to take on any Big Bad that comes along. But first, perhaps a nice cup of tea?

“Everyone knows Chosen Ones are supposed to be young and extremely expendable, but even the Universe makes mistakes sometimes,” explained McCourt. “And sometimes the mistakes are big ones. Like when it taps an 80+ year old retired art teacher to be the Champion who fights the next Apocalypse. Can an octogenarian overcome age and arthritis to save the world from cosmic monsters, world eaters, and gross creepy crawlies?”

ASH & THORN
  • PENULTIMAN, a 5 issue mini-series by writer Tom Peyer (The Wrong Earth), artist Alan Robinson (Planet of the Nerds), and colorist Lee Loughridge, with lettering by Rob Steen and covers by Robinson.

Debuting in May 2020.

Penultiman is the greatest, best-looking, and most admired superhero in the world. Penultiman is The Next-To-Last-Stage In Human Evolution. So how can he stop hating himself? Only Penultiman’s android understudy, Antepenultiman, knows the answer. Or, at least, he thinks he does!

“Penultiman, The Next-To-Last Stage in Human Evolution, is hailed as the godlike epitome of beauty, power, and compassion in the year 2020,” said Peyer. “In the far-future century he came from, however, his more advanced contemporaries saw him as a brutish evolutionary throwback and exiled him to our era. Paragon or primitive? His one chance for peace is to deny the haters and admirers alike, and discover who he really is–if he only knew how to begin.”

PENULTIMAN

AHOY Comics’ fourth wave also includes 2 trade paperback collections:

  • SECOND COMING: Volume One trade paperback by Mark Russell, artists Richard Pace and Leonard Kirk, and colorist Andy Troy, with lettering by Rob Steen and a cover by Richard Pace. The book will be released timed to Lent and will be on sale in comic shops on February 26th and in bookstores on March 10, 2020.
SECOND COMING: Volume One
  • DRAGONFLY & DRAGONFLYMAN: NIGHT & DAY trade paperback by Tom Peyer, artist Peter Krause, and colorist Andy Troy, with lettering by Rob Steen. The book will be released timed to dragonfly season on the east coast and will be on sale in comic shops on May 27th and in bookstores on June 9th, 2020.
DRAGONFLY & DRAGONFLYMAN: NIGHT & DAY

Since its debut in September of 2018, AHOY Comics has pledged for readers to “expect more” from its line of comic book magazines and graphic novels with full length comic book stories, accompanied by “extras” including short prose fiction, the occasional recipes, and even a crossword puzzle.

Preview: Charlie’s Angels/Bionic Woman #4

Charlie’s Angels/Bionic Woman #4

writer: Cameron DeOrdio
artist: Soo Lee
covers: Cat Staggs (A), Jim Mahfood (B)
Jim Mahfood (RI-B/W), Cat Staggs (RI-Virgin), Jim Mahfood (RI-Virgin)
FC | 32 Pages | $3.99 | Action/Adventure | Teen+

What’s a hero to fight for? In this arc’s thrilling conclusion, the Angels have made an unlikely ally in their quest to steal the powerful adrenalizine formula from Naris Corp. — but will it be enough to overcome the military contractor’s upgraded security? They’ll need a bold plan, incredible feats of espionage and a little luck if they want to stop the possibility of a bionically enhanced war machine in its tracks. But OSI alumni The Bionic Woman and Oscar Goldman may be none too eager to allow such powerful technology outside of Naris control, despite potential medical applications. Allegiances will be tested, values will be questioned, and punches will be thrown in CHARLIE’S ANGELS/BIONIC WOMAN #4!

Charlie’s Angels/Bionic Woman #4

Preview: Charlie’s Angels vs The Bionic Woman #3

Charlie’s Angels vs The Bionic Woman #3

writer: Cameron DeOrdio
artist: Soo Lee
covers: Cat Staggs (A), Jim Mahfood (B)
Jim Mahfood (RI-B/W), Cat Staggs (RI-Virgin), Jim Mahfood (RI-Virgin)
FC | 32 pages | Action/Adventure | $3.99 | Teen+

Kelly’s undercover and a hair’s breadth away from getting Naris’s security schematics to the rest of the Angels, but the Bionic Woman has other plans — and a dangerously accurate hunch. Will Kelly make it out of Stoker Security? Will the Angels make it into the Naris vault? Motives will be unveiled and plans will unravel in the third, can’t-miss installment of CHARLIE’S ANGELS/BIONIC WOMAN.

Charlie’s Angels vs The Bionic Woman #3

Preview: Charlie’s Angels vs Bionic Woman #2

Charlie’s Angels vs Bionic Woman #2

writer: Cameron DeOrdio
artist: Soo Lee
covers: Cat Staggs (A), Jim Mahfood (B)
Jim Mahfood (RI-B/W), Cat Staggs (RI-Virgin), Jim Mahfood (RI-Virgin)
FC | 32 pages | Action/Adventure | $3.99 | Teen+

Can Charlie’s Angels escape Naris Corp.’s walled compound with the information they need, or will Naris’s top guard, the Bionic Woman, put a stop to the Angels’ latest job before it really begins? There’s strength in numbers, but – as the Angels will soon find out – Jaime Sommers is much more than any infiltrators could have bargained for. It’s the Angels’ ingenuity and teamwork against the Bionic Woman’s determination and superior technology in the fight for a secret patent that could change the world. Who will win – and what will it mean?

Charlie’s Angels vs Bionic Woman #2

Preview: Charlie’s Angels vs The Bionic Woman #1

Charlie’s Angels vs The Bionic Woman #1

writer: Cameron DeOrdio
artist: Soo Lee
covers: Cat Staggs (A), Jim Mahfood (B), Ron Lesser (C)
Jim Mahfood (RI-BW), Ron Lesser (RI-Virgin), Jim Mahfood (RI-Virgin), Cat Staggs (RI-Virgin)
FC | 32 pages | Action/Adventure | $3.99 | Teen+

When Charlie’s Angels pick up an assignment to steal a dangerous patent and put it back in the hands of its mysterious inventor, they encounter their toughest counterspy yet: The Bionic Woman, Jaime Sommers. This new series follows two of television’s top teams after their programming run and into the 1980s. When the Office of Scientific Investigation is privatized and its patents sold off to the highest bidder, a military contractor looks to take bionics to the battlefield. Will the Bionic Woman be able to protect the patent from the would-be thieves, or will the Angels prevail, mothballing the formula’s military applications in favor of medical uses?

Charlie's Angels vs The Bionic Woman #1

It’s Spies vs. Spy in Charlie’s Angels/Bionic Woman this July

For the first time ever, the Angels meet the Bionic in the crazy 80’s in Charlie’s Angels/Bionic Womanfrom Dynamite Entertainment. Bringing together Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Charlie’s Angels and Universal’sBionic Woman is a first in comics and a winning crossover event in print.

Charlie gives his Angels an assignment to steal back a patent for its mysterious inventor. The biggest hiccup on the mission is their toughest counterspy yet, literally – Jaime Sommers aka the Bionic Woman. Will the cyborg come out on top against a team of highly trained private investigators or will the tides turn toward a team-up against some greater threat?

Audiences sat at home glued to their TVs watching the thrilling adventures of these detectives, even on the same night for a period. This new series is set within the original series continuity for both shows and takes place after their finales, bringing everyone together in the 1980s. 

Cameron DeOrdio brings his honed writing abilities and love for both franchises to the table, while artist Soo Lee draws these women in her one-of-a-kind style. Colorist Addison Duke and letterer Tom Napolitano round out the team inside the book.

On the outside, a compelling cadre of cover artists include the sensational Cat Staggs, indie darling Jim Mahfood and paperback cover and movie poster legend Ron Lesser.

Charlie's Angels/Bionic Woman #1

Review: This Nightmare Kills Fascists

There has been an awakening in the public arena due to the 2016 American Presidential election. An election the world is still reeling from the ramifications. Artists, especially those who operate in the comic realm, were (and are) particularly incensed. This cognizance of international politics is very present in the excellent anthology This Nightmare Kills Fascists.

In “Diane The Hunter” the proliferation of violence on women is explored, as a pair of assailants, walk right into a “wolf trap”. In “Thermonuclear Hunger Strike,” a worst-case scenario of what the world will be under President Trump is played out, with an assassin taking apart the oligarchy that is left. In “The Pledge,” a young man despite his girlfriend’s pleas pledges a fraternity who is known for their misogyny and racism. During a hazing ritual they unleash an ancient evil. In “Dear Jane,” a woman who wakes up from a sleep undergoes a carefully constructed game, one that is the stuff of nightmares. In “Black Friday,” a man’s impulsive actions to leads to death of a stranger ad the one person he would kill for.

In “This Land,” America is reimagined as a country drawn along racial lines, literally. A family gets into a dangerous game of fox and hound, as a band of racist vigilantes chase them down, ending in the bloodiest way. In “Yellow,” a woman who has been emotionally abused by her husband over time, eventually hits turning point, one which she redefines her sense of self worth.  In “A Forest,” a man who was protesting deforestation, gets killed by something, not from this world. In “Devil Daddy,” a young lady who was raped by Satan himself, reclaims her power.

In “Long Division,” one woman who is helping to build the wall along the Mexican border, becomes part of it most horrific section, one where torture of American becomes legal. In “Thank God,” the evils of taking the Bible literally is played in this one high school. In “Do Unto Others,” the demagogue virtues of religious freedom is explored, ending up in just desserts. In “Fury From The Deep,” the dangers of fracking is brilliantly told and just how those who run in the industry has no limits on the evils they will do. In “Office Party,” a Senator who opposed heath care gets a Scrooge like visit, which leaves him not changed but horrified.

In “The Abyss Of Observation,” a writer’s observations about the Siege of Sarajevo, is played in dramatic fashion. In “The Price Of Fashion,” a young lady obsessions with clothes, proves deadly for one of her lovers. In “One In Heart and  mind,” a woman’s faith is shaken once she finds out exactly who her pastor is.

Overall, an engrossing anthology which pulls you into every page and highlights each artist and writer at the top of their game. The stories by each writer shows their depth at wielding a meaningful story while remembering to entertain. The art by each artist displays their synchronicity with each story providing readers with depth and warmth. Altogether, a book which means to stir the incendiary nature of every good human being. It not only does that but makes them aspire to higher.

Story: Vita Ayala, Justin Jordan, Ryan Ferrier, Michael Wernke, Erica Schultz, Forrest Helvie, Tyler Chin-Tanner, Ryan Lindsay, Matt Miner, Tini Howard, Christopher Sebela, John Bivens, Dave Ebersole, Joe Corrallo, Andrew Shaw, Eric Palicki, Fabian Lelay, Ryan Cady
Art: Eric Zawadzki, Crees Hyunsung Lee, Kelly Williams, Juan Castro, Claire Connelly, Joseba Morales, Yosam Cardenas, Soo Lee, Ariela Kristantina, Christian Dibari, Katy Rex, Matt Harding,  Jamel Jones, Sean Van Gorman, Don Cardenas, Fabian Lelay, Philip Sevy
Story: 10 Art: 8.8 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

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