After just two issues in, ISOLA from Image Comics might just be the next SAGA. I’d definitely recommend it to SAGA fans, maybe EXTREMITY and MONSTRESS (also from Image Comics) fans as well. A sufficient amount of positive word-of-mouth could help push this promising new fantasy series to the heights it deserves already. Certain manga fans could dig this as well. #Isola #FetishFix #FetishFav
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, AVENGERS/CAPTAIN AMERICA, BARRIER #1, CRUSH, THE MALL #0 and RELAY #0.
All were enjoyable reads. The standout is probably Zac Thompson, Andy Clarke, and Donny Cates and RELAY #0 from AfterShock Comics. A full issue with a highly intriguing story and beautiful art! I’ll be along for the full ride. Svetlana Chmakova’s CRUSH is a top contender for for standout as well. It’s a preview to a forthcoming graphic novel of the same name and it has me wanting to seek out the previous two OGNs, AWKWARD and BRAVE, from Yen Press. THE MALL #0 was pretty fun as well, and I think I will collect that series when starts this summer from Scout Comics. And of course BARRIER #1 (of 5) by Brian K. Vaughan, Marcos Martin and Munsta Vicente from Image Comics was a very nice treat bring the one-time digital comic to the printed page.
ASTRO CITY: a VISITORS GUIDE, BREATHLESS #2, BUZZ KILL TPB, FEAR AGENT – VOL. 1 TPB, SLEEPER: BOOK ONE TPB and SQUARRIORS #3.
I wanted to dive deeper into the back issue boxes at my LCS, but I just couldn’t resist a few trade paperbacks of older material that I’d been wanting to read, especially BUZZ KILL (Donny Cates!) and SLEEPER (Brubaker & Philips!!!). Rick Remender & Tony Moore’s FEAR AGENT has always been on my radar and now Image Comics is doing a series of four chunky collected editions in 2018.
Overall, I’d say this was my best FCBD yet! I imagine they’ll continue to get better with each passing year given the high caliber of output pretty much all the talented creators and better publishers are putting out these days.
At just past the would-be half-way mark of what’s speculated to likely be a 100-issue epic creator-owned series, SAGA is that comfortable, reliable favorite series that you come to simply expect to deliver exactly what you need from a series — not unlike a favorite TV showing deliver the goods each and every week of the season. That’s exactly what I experienced reading Chapter Fifty One. Saga’s vast cast of characters never fail to be compelling from scene to scene, issue to issue. The plots never meander and rarely fail to surprise and thrill.
A relatively “quiet” issue, this one opens with Squire and his father Prince Robot discussing the suspiciously missing Princess Robot. Longtime readers know the truth behind that story. Next we find young Hazel in the ocean, not-quite being babysat by Ghüs, Friendo and Doff. A “mustached kingfish” leads photojournalist Doff off to this chapter’s climax at the end, but not before we discover Hazel’s dad Marko writing a novella that gets lovingly criticized (not too harshly) by his wife and Hazel’s mother, Alana. Oh, and there’s the matter of Petrichor’s (along with Prince Robot and Squire’s) new identity plan that starts heading toward a resolution (well, maybe — you never know in this universe).
That aforementioned adventure to photograph the usually elusive mustached kingfish? Well, that adventure ends tragically, unfortunately. However, that death is an honorable one thanks in no small part to loyalty. Of course, SAGA remains an epic story that is no stranger to purposeful deaths.
All in all, a rather fulfilling chapter, especially if you consider how the plot continues to serve a variety of characters in its twenty-two pages. After six years and fifty-one issues in, SAGA enters its middle-age poised and graceful while its co-creators Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples continue to show the comics industry how it’s done!
I really enjoyed DC Comics’ 80-page ACTION COMICS #1000 Anniversary issue, which also, coincidentally, marks the 80-year anniversary of Superman in printed comic form, having debuted on the stands in ACTION COMICS #1 on April 18, 1938 with a June cover date. I bought, in my opinion, the best looking available cover left on the shelf — the Joshua Middleton 1980s era variant (see below).
An anthology of assorted stories honoring Superman, I would have to say the Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason story probably was the best of the bunch, but really all the stories contributed well to the overall product, I think. The contents could have maybe been sequenced differently, but really that’s a minor thing. Dan Jurgens’ lead-off story was very clever. “The Car” by Geoff Johns, Richard Donner & Olivier Coipel, and “Of Tomorrow” by Tom King & Clay Mann, were especially fine little vignettes, as was Brad Meltzer and John Cassaday’s “Faster Than a Speeding Bullet”. As for the closing story with Brian Michael Bendis making his debut on the title and character, drawn by Jim Lee and Ryan Benjamin with inks by Scott Williams, I’ll say this: aside from the slightly annoying Bendis dialogue, I thought it was intriguing enough to whet the appetite for whatever it is he’s got in store for his upcoming runs on both ACTION COMICS and SUPERMAN starting this Summer.
So, as an on-the-fringe DC Comics fan, I’m very happy to own this special, historic comic. It’s certainly one of the better anniversary specials of all time, I’d say.
Gideon Falls #1 |
By: Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino & Dave Stewart |
Published: March 7, 2018 by Image Comics |
From the Image Comics solicitation: A brand-new ongoing series from the acclaimed bestselling creative team of OLD MAN LOGAN and GREEN ARROW! The lives of a reclusive young man obsessed with a conspiracy in the city’s trash, and a washed-up Catholic priest arriving in a small town full of dark secrets, become intertwined around the mysterious legend of The Black Barn, an otherworldly building that is alleged to have appeared in both the city and the small town, throughout history, bringing death and madness in its wake. Rural mystery and urban horror collide in this character-driven meditation on obsession, mental illness, and faith.
Writer Jeff Lemire and illustrator Andrea Sorrentino have reunited for a tour de force of a comic series that promises to deliver plenty of suspense and psychological horror. Lemire and Sorrentino have been developing GIDEON FALLS for years, always with the intention of it being created for Image Comics. Lemire has actually had the character of Norton Sinclair for over twenty years — he’s his oldest character. Yet he has admitted that the fully developed series was inspired by TV shows such as TWIN PEAKS and TRUE DETECTIVE. Also in a recent WORD BALLOON interview Lemire confessed that he was “venting” his own Catholic frustrations through this particular story.
Driven by a dual narrative, this first issue delivers great suspense and dark, yet dynamic, gorgeous and expressive art. Sorrentino’s page layouts are immersive and worthy of repeated viewing, no doubt made all the better by Dave Stewart’s muted, yet very effective coloring. Visually is what puts this comic over the top for me, though that’s not to take anything away from the writing, it’s just that the visual storytelling does most of the heavy lifting here and makes the read even more compelling.
The two narratives of Norton’s trash collecting and his subsequent return to the mental hospital for a therapy session, and of Father Fred’s arrival to Gideon Falls to replace the dearly (suspiciously?) departed Father Tom appear to be unrelated, save for a shared vision of the The Black Barn mentioned in the solicit. There’s something about the reveal in the last couple of sequences that I have a feeling will tie/twist things together even more. There’s a specific reveal that may hit toward what’s happened to Father Tom, who is supposedly no longer with us.
Aside from those two jaw-dropping final sequences that are sure to compel any readers to be curiously intrigued by the series to come, the portion in the middle really grabbed me as well. It’s the part where Norton’s psychiatrist thinks he’s regressing, undoing all the progress he’s made in his mental health by being obsessed with hunting through the city’s trash for clues to uncover some great mystery/conspiracy. The conflict here is Norton believes he’s uncovering the work of the Devil — real and true evil. It begs the question: is he on to something? Or is he truly delusional and in need of some better meds? Given that this series is billed as a psychological horror . . . well, it could be a little of both? Whatever it turns out to be I’m confident it’s all going to be a very compelling read. One for which I’ll be along for the ride. I predict that Gideon Falls will join Lemire’s other ongoing series DESCENDER as a long term creator-owned success.
Rating: 4.5 / 5 | Sticking with it?: Yes!
#WednesdayWarrior #NCBD #FetishFix #TheHaul @ImageComics
~ 1st Issue Fetish selections: GIDEON FALLS #1 and OBLIVION SONG #1.
~ Other Haul Regulars: THE WILD STORM #12, SAVAGE DRAGON #232.
~ And farewell to EXTREMITY which ends with its 12th and final chapter.
~ Bonus gets: IMAGE+ Vol. 2, #6 and IMAGE EXPO 2018 Preview Book #WeBelieveInComics #ImageComics