Reviews: March 21st 2012

Published on March 27th, 2012

We apologise for the disruption to the weekly COMPACT article; we’ve been pretty busy here lately with our video content and other things included. Even though we’re a day late this week (Rob takes responsibilty for the one day delay), COMPACT is back and by next week everything will be normal again. What joyous news.

Each week here at Comic Impact we do our best to bring you reviews of the latest and freshest comic books out there. If you listen to the Pick Of The Week podcast every Wednesday then you’ll know it’s where we discuss which comics were the most exciting, surprising or perhaps shocking as a group for that given week. But we do read a lot more than what we cover solely in the POW podcast and sometimes there will be a comic which stands out and appeals to us more  personally than it will to everyone else. Perhaps an issue of a mainstream comic touched on a somewhat controversial topic, or an indie comic blew one of our minds but was missed by everyone else. Here at Comic Impact we’re addressing the need to talk about these treasures which stand out to us as individuals.

So ladies and gentlemen we bring to you the COMPACT. Where the Comic Impact team will each week be giving you a quick review of two comics which they thought were particulary worthy of being highlighted. You’re going to be able to see which comics we loved or perhaps hated in these bite-size reviews.

Matthew Todd:
Matthew@ComicImpact.com

Dames In the Atomic Age – Chris Ryder, Marc Sandroni, Mike Vosburg, Paul Little, Tony Fleecs, Andy Suriano, Chris Moreno, Tone Rodriguez, Mark Dos Santos, Brad Rader and Rahsan Ekedal

Dames In the Atomic Age is the perfect blend of pulp, crime, and science fiction (my favorite genres) and an absolute blast to read. It tells the tale of Los Angeles P.I. Andrew Fisch as he becomes embroiled in a mystery involving a high-ranking government scientist’s wife, his ex-boxer best friend, and mysterious thugs armed with ray guns.

It’s the latest from comic shop House of Secrets’ own publishing imprint Art of Fiction and a very impressive debut for writer Chris Ryder. Both Ryder and artist Marc Sandroni have a clear grasp and affection for the comics of the 1940’s and 1950’s, which they elegantly show here. Sandroni gives us some gorgeous looking artwork, his clean line work reminds me a lot of a younger Dave Gibbons. As a whole the book itself is a beautiful object and at 64 pages that’s well worth the $8.95 price tag. Be sure to check out it out, here is the link to the official website. http://damesintheatomicage.com/Dames_in_the_Atomic_Age/Home.html

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John Carter:Gods of Mars #1 – Sam Humphries, Ramon Perez

Okay I liked Andrew Stanton’s John Carter. I like Sam Humphries’ writing. I like Ramon Perez’s artwork. So I was fairly certain I would like this book.But in a very impressive week of comics including favorites like Batman, Justice League, Wonder Woman and Amazing Spider-Man, John Carter Gods of Mars went above and beyond and was hands down my book of the week. The story picks up right where the movie ends so spoiler warning, that said you do not need to have seen the movie to understand what’s going on. Humphries capably handles Carter’s voice and keeps the perfect pulpy tone I loved in the movie.

Although the real stars of the issue are Ramon Perez and colorist Jordie Bellaire. The book is absolutely gorgeous, Perez had a lot of momentum after his impressive work in Archaia’s Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand but here he truly outdoes himself. His visual storytelling is truly top notch. Be sure to check this book out you will not regret it.

Sheldon Lee:
Sheldon@ComicImpact.com

Thunderbolts #171 – Jeff Parker, Kev Walker

There are many reasons to pick up this excellent title. Great writer in Jeff Parker? Check! Great artist in Kev Walker? Also Check! This issue in particular gives us a break from the crazy time-travel story they have had of late to bring us a solo story with Songbird. Now I must confess I had a bit of non-opinion about the character UNTIL I read this issue! Not only is she drawn BEAUTIFULLY by Walker but she is written note perfect by Parker. I think I have a fake comic crush…. I would be remiss if I did not mention parts of this story that really do put Songbird through the grinder a bit. She is tricked and internally operated on and her powers are restored…this issue was a joy to read!

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Justice League #7 – Geoff Johns, Gene Ha, Gary Frank

This is it! The beginning of the next exciting arc in Justice League history…or is it? Written by Geoff Johns with art by Gene Ha and Gary Frank this issue, art wise, feels like a BIG misstep. You need a BIG artist on your Premier book and you just cant half ass it like this. I did enjoy the story which almost made the art forgivable but well, I just couldn’t. Johns basically introduces us to Steve Trevor and shows us the downside to being best pals with The Justice League. As I noted the story was fine and on a different book Gene Ha might do really well but on this book, I beg of you DC, please stick with Jim Lee or a comparable talent. On a positive note however I LOVED the Shazam story that Johns wrote with Gary Frank on art! If any thing buy the issue for those pages and that story and you simply wont be disappointed!

Rob Andrews:
Rob@ComicImpact.com

Ragemoore #1 – Jan Strnad, Richard Corben

This was a solid comic. Beautiful to look at and well paced throughout. The story is about Castle Ragemoore; a living castle that created itself from the blood of the pagans who used it’s foundations for their gruesome sacrifices.

We don’t learn too much more than that about the history of the castle itself in this first issue but we do meet some of the characters who live in it. It’s mentioned in passing that the castle chooses who it lets in and out of itself, as the main character Herbert mentioned that the castle chose to not let him and his father out.

This is a good first issue with some of the best artwork I’ve ever seen Richard Corben produce. I think it will get much better however by the next issue when more about the castle is explained.

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Prophet #23 – Brandon Graham, Simon Roy

I have fallen head over heels in love with the Prophet. It’s without a shadow of a doubt the best thing I am enjoying reading at the moment. This issue brought everything since the first issue of the reboot to a sort-of close. John Prophet has finished his mission and has awakened the other John Prophets across the vastness of space.

This series has blown me away with it’s unqiue narrative driven story-telling, it’s attention to the self-preservation and survival, it’s proper science fiction details and it’s wonderful Moebius-inspired artwork and design. To ask for anything more from a science fiction comic would be near impossible in my opinion.

Where this series will go next, I cannot say. But this issue sets the series up with a mountain of potential to go anywhere it wants. I am excited, can you say the same?