When I first read Alias, all those years ago, I thought that Brian Michael Bendis was a genius. It was one of the burgeoning titles at the just started Marvel Max. Max was an imprint from the House Of Ideas, which sought to create comics that spoke to its readers who were becoming parents, and wanted material that spoke to them. Bendis heard that call and answered, as the book traversed the superhero genre while dealing with sensitive issues like sexual trauma.
The book became the line’s most recognizable title, it also made Bendis one of the line’s most sought after storytellers. He would set off a wave where creators looked at female protagonists differently. His run inspired the show Jessica Jones which furthered his narrative as they explored many toxic relationship archetypes. Geoff Thorne introduces us to another complex female protagonist with the first chapter of his comic series Shadow Of The Cat.
We meet Kit, our female protagonist, as she training to fight blindfolded, as she relies on her muscle memory when she used to be a ballet dancer. As her senses are so quick, that she outmaneuvers her opponent, and partner, Cal. Cal, we find out, is an experienced warfighter, and gives his partner a tiny bit of leverage. By the issue’s end, Kit and Cal complete their training for the day as Kit ponders her fate.
Overall, an engaging debut issue that is pure action. The story by Thorne is absorbing. The art by Thorne is stunning. Altogether, a story that palpitates with mystery.
I’ve been a fan of Alexander Dumas as long as I’ve been able to read. Many of his stories talked about valor and honor. These are attributes that many writers have tried to project onto their characters. Just like most people who read his books, I’m a fan of his Musketeers stories.
Each of the main characters brought their own savoir-faire to the stories. My favorite is The Man In The Iron Mask. When the Three Musketeers became the Four Musketeers, by adding Dartagnan, they added a whole different feel to the character dynamics. Geoff Thorne adds the third member in the third chapter to his comic series, Sist3rs.
We find Ruul and M’Para, meeting the third member of their triumvirate, Izzikay. As Ruul, vocalizes her doubts, as she senses Izakiin’s age and immaturity. Soon Izakiin would learn quickly and the three would start to sync their abilities collectively. By issue’s end, the three unearth on purpose, an ungodly evil, to test their abilities together.
Overall, a brilliant third issue that shows our three protagonists together. The story by Thorne is enticing. The art by Thorne is graceful. Altogether, this installment starts to bring the action to the story.
When it comes to horror anthologies, some of the best are on television. The HBO adaptation of Tales from the Crypt was a prime example and oozed brilliance. Its success meant that similar revivals were possible. We soon saw the revitalization of both The Outer Limits and Tales from the Darkside.
The revitalization of the genre on television also led to some original programming. Back in the 2000s, Showtime introduced Masters Of Horror. The debut episode, Incident On and Off The Road, was especially haunting. The episode told the tale of a woman who seemed like she was destined to be a victim but we would find out she was escaping domestic abuse and would exact her vengeance. Geoff Thorne unravels some of our hero’s story while showing how her life has given her the skills to fight a new threat much like the protagonist in that Masters of Horror episode in the second chapter to his comic, Winterman Comics
We’re taken back to Other Country, where our hero comes ot face to face with the new threat, a beast known as a Merk. As we find out how Kally trained and the weight she bears on her shoulders because of who her family is. Eventually a lesson she learned by trial and error while training becomes useful in defeating the Merk. By issue’s end, just when it seems the threat is neutralized, a bigger threat is at the gate
Overall, an excellent second issue that gives us some background on our protagonist. The story by Thorne is charming. The art by Thorne is elegant. Altogether, a story that remembers to give context fleshing out its world and characters.
Following the announcement of their Kickstarter for the first issue of the super-spy comic Thomas River, the creative team of Brian Stelfreeze, Doug Wagner, colorist Michelle Poust, and letterer Ed Dukeshire will release brand new Thomas River comic strips every weekday till the Kickstarter’s conclusion on October 15th. The Kickstarter was funded within 24 hours upon its debut last week.
The new prelude story, “The Bravest Soldier,” witnesses CIA Agent Thomas River attempt to halt a hostage situation involving speeding armored cars and multiple gunmen. The strips will release every weekday via publisher 12-Gauge Comics‘ Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook platforms. This is the first interior art drawn by Stelfreeze since his 2016 relaunch of Black Panther with writer Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Earlier this week, Stelfreeze also revealed a new variant cover to Thomas River #1, joining already-announced variant covers from bestselling artists Frank Quitely and Bengal.
Who doesn’t like to read about new heroes, people that capture our imagination?As most heroes are simply extensions of their creators. As their imaginations lead them to some fun places. Though we have enjoyed the many different created universes throughout comics, it is alarming, the marginalization of POC creators.
The mere absence of the many creators who could have crafted worlds we would have enjoyed for years is simply sad. Even the most well known Black comic book character right now, Black Panther, was created by 2 white creators. As we never saw the mainstream vision of Black heroes by black creators until 1993, when Milestone Comics was founded. Geoff Thorne unleashes a new universe of heroes starting with a fierce water-friendly hero in the first chapter to his book, Winterman Comics.
We are taken to a place called Other Country, where our hero is looking for some R&R. We find her in her natural habitat and spending time with old acquaintances. She finds out that her once peaceful home has come under attack from one of her neighbors forcing her into action and a search for vengeance.
Overall, a great first issue that shows heroes are also needed at home. The story by Thorne is mesmeric. The art by Thorne is graceful. Altogether, a story that boils with excitement.
When it comes to agency and the role of women during any time of history it is usually largely absent. It’s illustrated in the epic Game Of Thrones. The show has many faults in its portrayal of certain characters and largely of certain archetypes. Examples are the women and people of color, where one was mostly at a disadvantage and the other mostly nonexistent.
Of the two, the women within the show had a mixed bag of results of whether they gained agency or suffered because due to the lack of it. We saw Daenerys rise because men usually misunderstood her or underestimated her, where she rose to power unequivocally. We also saw how the sand Snakes meet their demise because of their lack of agency. In a beautiful graphic adaptation of Renée Ahdieh’s The Wrath and The Dawn, we meet another female protagonist, who looks to end another tyrant’s rule of terror.
We meet General Al Khoury, as he ensures the killing of another bride, of the Caliph. As we soon find out that the Caliph, Khalid, is cursed for the kill 100 hundred women for the one whom he took unjustly. We also meet Shahrzad, a young lady who is the first to volunteer to be one of these brides, who is getting prepped to meet Khalid. Her father visits her for what might be the last time they see each other, he tries to impart something memorable of their home, but it soon dissipates, leaving to make one last plea to her to withdraw her betrothal. By issue’s end, we find out about Shahrzad’s reason for volunteering as she looks to end Khalid’s killings.
Overall, a wonderful heroine who does not despair and does not waver. The story by Ahdieh is engaging. The art by SilvesterVitale is breathtaking. Altogether, a harrowing tale of the sheer power of one woman’s fury.
Isaac Asimov is one of the greatest architects of science fiction and his influence has grown exponentially. AS what he dreamt almost a century ago now, is so relevant today that you must be blind not draw the comparisons. His visions of the future are truly the present we live in now, and in some ways, our reality is much grimmer than he ever imagined. Where he saw robots go, the world saw it go further.
As the most recent in memory adaptation of his work, I, Robot, revisited some of those classic tropes, which only Asimov could evoke so hauntingly. Will Smith’s character represented the viewer, it showed how we struggle with technology, especially when we benefit from it. As it can be true that sometimes too much technology is too much. In Walter Ostlie’s excellent Haxor, we find a protagonist dealing with this very dilemma.
We meet our protagonist, Iso, who is being awakened by an alarm clock, which will not go off no matter what she does. As she lives in Shi-Bu City, where its inhabitants play games for a living, and where one corporation owns the game and practically all Shi Bu’s inhabitants. We also meet Wire, a grizzled veteran gamer whose disdain for the game and the corporation has made him cynical and reckless. By the issue’s end, Iso enters the game, where something already doesn’t seem right.
Overall, an interesting introduction to a world not so distant from ours, with a brand new protagonist whom we can cheer for. The story by Walter Ostlie is fun and engaging. The art by Ostlie is gorgeous. Altogether, a story that introduces a universe both familiar and still nascent.
Story: Walter Ostlie Art: Walter Ostlie Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
In addition to the Kickstarter going live, Michelle also launched new pages on www.avasdemon.com today. The new installment features a bit of horror involving Odin’s backstory, and Ava’s guilt and fears. Art from the update, attached, can be used as an asset.
Skybound Entertainment recently announced a partnership with Michelle Czajkowski Fus to assist in efforts around the Ava’s Demon: Reborn Kickstarter and future projects, including a mass-market softcover of Ava’s Demon down the line.
Image Comics and Skybound Entertainment have announced a partnership with author and artist Michelle Czajkowski Fus to release an all new print version of her YA fantasy/sci-fi webcomic Ava’s Demon.
The comic, which has gained a dedicated online fan base, follows a young girl and an ancient queen who make a pact to destroy the most powerful being in the universe.
Skybound will assist in Kickstarter efforts around a special Ava’s Demon: Reborn hardcover, a campaign going live on Tuesday, September 15. The backerkit can be found HERE. The relationship between Czajkowski Fus and Skybound will continue through future Ava’s Demon content, including a mass market paperback of Ava’s Demon down the line.
In the second episode of Comics Deserve Better, Brian, Darci, and Logan react to the 2020 Eisners and discuss the 2017 Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernandez comic, The Old Guard. Or what Logan likes to call “Blackwater, but queer”.
Other books talked about on the show include the webcomics Fangs by Sarah Andersen, Gunnerkrigg Court by Tom Siddell, and Clover and Nugget by Phil Sheldon as well as Scout Comics‘ Yasmeen #1and Tales from the Pandemic by Mario Candelaria and a bunch of awesome artists.