Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Steven's Reviews: Idolized, Dancer, Steed and Mrs Peel plus More!

Godstorm #0 (of 4)
The next big event from Zenescope is here!  This company has had the habit of taking familiar franchises and give them a wonderfully unique twists that delight and in some cases terrify us.  So welcome to the world of the ancient Gods and Goddess’ as told as only the team from Zenescope can.
            In today’s modern world, the stories of powerful gods from Greek and Roman mythology have been thought of as mostly folklore.  However, the truth is that for thousands of years, Gods and Goddess’ have been living on Earth in human form.  Many have admiration and respect for the human race, but others want nothing more than to be worshipped by mankind.
            Now, the Goddess of beauty known as Venus has begun to recruit other powerful gods to join her in a plan to return to the “glory days” of old—the days where Gods and Goddess’ were feared and worshipped by all.  And she will stop at nothing to get what she desires most….
            Zeus the King of the Gods is the man who opens this story for us.  While he may be someone to contend with we aren’t left with the impression that he is among those that Venus wishes to recruit.  He’s an artist here and seems extremely content with making his art, based on Greek lore as it turns out. 
            Can Mount Olympus be rebuilt?  The Gods have notoriously been at odds with one another since their stories have been introduced to man so how or can they work together now to restore their former glory days?  
            This isn’t a new thing to undertake I mean so many characters have ties to the Gods of old but I think that here we’re getting a new take on them.  A new direction for them to be developed and explored and it is definitely interesting enough that I for one will be coming back to see how the story unfolds. 
            The interior art here also a most pleasant surprise.  I’ve noticed that Zenescope has seen an increase in the talent level they employ nowadays and it really pays off in spades here.  Of course with EBAS doing his usual incredible work on the covers helps as well, but the inside doesn’t really differ a heck of a lot from the cover and that is simply marvelous. 
The Spider #5
Dynamite Entertainment 2012
Written by David Liss
Art by Colton Worley
            So the Spider seems to have entered Anput’s trap.  Thankfully he came prepared and wore the appropriate gear under his mask.  Actually the fact that he did shows that the character has a mind, a sharp one and uses it extremely well.  It’s just another aspect to the character which we need to see more of.  He has this incredible good support team that is able to help him see what he cannot and while he’s trying to survive this trap he’s in this team manages to talk him through it.  He also manages to get his hands on a canister of the gas which turns people into zombies, oh yeah an unopened container.
            So back at Professor Brownlee’s lab Richard’s worst fear is confirmed and the gas is manufactured at his dads company.  Wentworth Enterprises is the source of the zombie gas. 
            Wow he really goes ape shit on his dad while in his guise as the Spider.  I do like that most of this was a set up and that his dad will go to jail for a long time to come.  Though I wouldn’t have expected he would involve the police regardless of his civilian friendship or that a Detective has a hard on for unmasking him.   I’m amazed that his father turns out to be such a scumbag. 
            Anput is really putting the screws to Richard.  I mean now after their latest encounter she has wasted no time in attacking a new target.  The newspaper that Nita works at is that target, of course Nita is the commissioner’s wife and Richard’s previous love and now thanks to Anput she’s a zombie.
            I like that Richard isn’t afraid to kill his enemies, granted makes them harder to come back for sequels but he isn’t’ squeamish.  Well he does manage to free Nita from the effects of the gas and now that daddy dearest is going to jail he’ll have to take over the company as if all this weren’t enough I can’t wait to see what happens next.  
            I have to say that the pacing of the story the amount of characterization that is revealed as the story progresses is really quite amazing.  I am also pleasantly surprised at just how complex the writing is, there are a few layers at simultaneous play here that is just a pure delight.  As I’ve said before by updating the character in a modern day setting isn’t a detractor here it’s a definite bonus. 
            Colton has managed to really make this series his and the artwork throughout the interiors is just stellar.  The last two panels of the last page just really stand out in my mind and I’m totally in love with his work. 
            I don’t think this series would be as successful if these two men weren’t working on it.
The Bionic Man #13
Dynamite Entertainment 2011
Written by Phil Hester & Aaron Gillespie
Art by Ed Tadeo
Colours by Thiago Ribeiro
            It’s a little ironic that while another companies franchise expansion to me took much longer to get off the ground and separate itself from what we’ve seen previously.  This book right off the bat just kept that feel of the television series it comes from but made things fresh and new at the same time.   I am constantly in awe of each issue that comes out as it manages to merge both old and new together.
            Sigh the Bionic Big Foot is just a throw back keeper story that is utterly fantastic and how it is unraveling is simply marvelous.  Well while we didn’t see the cavalry come to the rescue it is very well portrayed by the characters in the book.  While I wanted to see so much more of Big Foot I have to begrudgingly admit that the way this happened was very well done.
            So Big Foot attacks OSI headquarters and all hell breaks loose.  We finally see Max the Bionic Dog attack and in action for the first time!  Though Big Foot manages to bust him up pretty good, I just hope that he isn’t dead or permanently damaged at this time. 
            All of this is because Big Foot needs to find parts that are compatible to fix his girlfriend.  Mind you I’m a tad skeptical of Steve’s software which gives him the ability to download and understand the creature’s language but it does make for a very effective tool once he is able to download it. 
            This ended in a cliffhanger I hadn’t seen coming.  So there are other who either know this is Big Foot and are just plain hunters or they are something much more sinister and either way it will be fun to see how they fit into all this.
            I guess I’m spoiled here as the series started out Steve really looked like Lee Majors and now with this current art team he has the same qualities but also has a more generic look to him.  Don’t get me wrong it isn’t terrible just disappointing for me.  Otherwise the art has remained pretty high quality and Alex’s covers continue to blow me away.
Idolized #2
Aspen Comics 2012
David Schwartz –Writer
Micah Gunnell & Pasquale Qualano –Art
David Curiel –Colours
            Wow so it’s one hundred and ninety eight contestants that are being brought to the next round of eliminations in New York City.  As this is a limited series I understand that we cannot spend as much time as perhaps I would like in learning about some of the people who progressed and some of the more interesting failures.  If this series were just a couple issues longer we possibly could have had that.  Don’t misunderstand me because while we don’t get that it doesn’t mean this isn’t a dang good story as it stands. 
            So there are constant battles or tests they must perform in controlled environments then they have to face the judges for either a breakdown or complimented.  These are represented as highly reminiscent of the television show it’s based on.  Speaking of which I absolutely adore the reference to the Real Superheroes of Orange County reference!  Simply brilliant writing from David on this one for a slew of different reasons.
            Alright so our girl is completely driven and her performance on the show may almost be jeopardized by it.  Sometimes she comes across as too intense or too focused so that she distances herself from the other contestants.  Though there is a brief encounter that under the right circumstances could very well lead to a nice little romantic situation. 
            I have to say there really was quite a bit of information delivered to us this issue, really jam packed.  Not that you felt like you were overwhelmed at any point in time because you weren’t.   Still we did get a great deal of characterization so great insight into a couple people as well as maybe something a little misleading from the first issue.
            When I read the first issue, or what the preview I can’t remember, I was under the impression that the story was told and we were just going to be along for her journey getting from A to B.  This issue however proved me wrong and that the journey may not be a direct route.  It will definitely be much more interesting that I could have hoped for.  Also the interior artwork here as was pretty darn tootin good. 
            Overall these guys have managed to change my mind about this series in a very short time and I appreciate that and the work they are putting into this mini-series.  Very impressive work indeed guys keep it up.
Steed and Mrs. Peel #1
Boom Studios 2012
Story by Mark Waid
Script by Caleb Monroe
Art by Will Sliney
Colours by Ron Riley
            The new Hellfire Club is up and running and while Steed and Mrs. Peel may have slowed them down they certainly aren’t out.  The Hellfire Club is certainly up to some very intense stuff here and the whole issue kind took me by complete surprise and I’m not terribly sure if it this is something live or Memorex.   Well okay truth be told I almost feel as if this is some big dream sequence and yet at the same time it feels totally plausible and orchestrated by the Hellfire Club.
            Gosh if I go into how things unfold in the issue I would completely ruin the whole issue.  There isn’t a way to really talk a whole lot about what is going on while not spoiling things. 
            Suffice it to say that the Hellfire Club, the Russians, the British government, monsters and more all appear here.  How, why and in what context remain to be seen by you the reader just keep in mind that this is done pretty done well. 
            I will also say that this is so far an amazing re-introduction, re-imagining of a series that was much beloved and appreciated before even I was born, or around when I was I cannot remember.  A whole new generation are being introduced to some of the most iconic and classic spies the world has ever had the pleasure to meet.
Dancer #5
Image Comics 2012
Story & Script –Nathan Edmondson
Art, Colour & Design –Nic Klein
            Alright so last issue we saw what appeared to be the younger version taking out the older model.  What surprised me the most about the whole story was that either way things were to turn out the company had a plan for both options.  I think how this ended was more of a surprise for all involved but I do strongly think that they expected the younger version to come out on top.
            Then to try and recruit him well let’s just say keep your friends close and your enemies closer.  They were responsible for his existence then somehow they managed to lose him and now they want him back under their collective thumb.  Yeah I wouldn’t be terribly keen on the idea of working for people who had done me wrong like they did.
            Thankfully due a really weird chain of events he never got the chance to do anything else.  Alan on the other hand, the rumor of his death was greatly exaggerated had come back to save the day.
            There are some very great moments that happen throughout this issue.  It manages to end the story in a most believable fashion while leaning the possibility for further adventures involving Alan.  Nathan writes a smart, intelligent, interesting story that manages to take you on a journey you might not have been prepared to actually take.  No there are no super-powers involved and yes this a Bourne Identity type of action/adventure mystery thriller. 
            I really wasn’t expecting this to end the way it did.  Touching, sweet and completely romantic and yet not in that mushy kind of way that took my complete surprise. 
            Nic does his words justice here with his artwork.  The two work incredibly well together and this gritty world where nothing is as it seems really does manage to almost make itself its own character.  All in all this is one of those stories that is more than worthy of your time and attention. 

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