Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Image Round-Up - March 13th 2013

The Image Round Up column aims to get some words down on every single Image Comics book published for the week. These reviews are handled by Liam Jose, Hansel Moreno, William Tournas and Chris Partin and they'll be dropping non-spoilery reviews the day before the books are available so you can best make up your mind on what to buy tomorrow. We offer this service because Image has been putting out some amazing content lately and it will be nice to shine a light on every single title they produce. This week our intrepid team looks at Change #4, The Manhattan Projects #10, Mind The Gap #8, Peter Panzerfaust #10, Triggergirl 6 #1, Where is Jake Ellis? #3 and the newest collected edition of Chew: Chew Omnivore Edition Volume 3 Hard Cover.

This week Peter Panzerfaust #10 takes the coveted prize of the COVER OF THE WEEK! Read Hansel's review for more info!

We'd love to hear your thoughts on these books in the comments once you've read them, or you can ask our Round Up Crew any questions.

The reviews are graded according to the following scale:

Must Read. -- Do not miss this hot piece of comic action!
Buy It. -- For memories sake.
Check It. -- This is a toss up. Up to you really.
Byrne It. (skim it on the rack). -- Look at it but don't leave with it.
Avoid It. -- Steer clear.

Change #4 

Story By: Ales Kot

Art By: Morgan Jeske & Sloane Leong
Cover By: Morgan Jeske & Jordie Bellaire

Liam José: Change is a difficult comic book to review. Not because it's difficult for me to say whether I liked it or not, or thought it was good - I didn't, and in a lot of ways, it isn't. But because it's ambitious, and imaginative, and there are qualities here that will hopefully lead to better work in the future.

Change is about Lovecraft, and creation, and Los Angeles, and writing. It wants to make the apocalypse personal and bring trauma into the world of horror and infuse that with celebrity and the mundane. So far - sure - I can dig those ideas.
The artwork by Morgan Jeske and Sloane Leong is stunning - let's get that out of the way. It's Paul Pope-ish, delirious and beautiful. Sometimes the layouts aren't clear, particularly in scenes that require smooth action. But overall, it's giddy and lovely. And the colouring is just incredible.
However, the writing is really, really pretentious. So much of the prose is of the awful purple variety. The kind of stuff that reads like the author has read some "way cool, deep stuff" that they liked and tried to emulate it, but without understanding it, and instead it's a horribly overbaked mess or of half-thought out ideas and no weight.

However, there's something very human and raw that is sitting just below the surface of this pretty bad comic, and that's admirable. This comic is almost at fiasco status, but I'd still rather read a personal, interesting, ambitious fiasco that all the anonymous crap that gets published these days

This is the kind of book I want to write a much longer review about, about how it got everything so wrong. So, although it wildly missed its target,  I still respect Change for trying to not be the same as everything else out there. Even though it wound up being almost embarrassingly lousy.

Verdict - Byrne It

The Manhattan Projects #10

Story by: Jonathan Hickman
Art By: Ryan Browne & Jordie Bellaire
Letters By: Rus Wooton 


Hansel Moreno: It would be difficult to cut down my monthly titles to only ten. If I had to, for what ever nefarious reason, The Manhattan Projects would be firmly in my top five books. 

The premise is one tried and true trope, from Star Trek to Superman, the "Evil Twin" pops up in a lot of mediums. Jonathan Hickman does it with aplomb and while running most of the top scientist from the 1940s names' through the mud. In The Manhattan Projects everything goes wrong. Not just the appetite for destruction these bastards have but their end game is not the betterment of humanity, but the search for personal power. From Einstein to Oppenheimer the cast deals with any one involved with the Manhattan Project that can't sue for libel. 

This book is a gem. The design is amazing, while it didn't take cover of the week it is certainly in the running to catch your eye. Sure it doesn't tug at your heart strings or wallet with it's presentation here in the digital realm, but look at this cover as it is lined up in your local shop against of sea of colors and it POPS. Good job Hickman!

This week the comic has a special fill in artist, Ryan Browne and the regular colorist Jordie Bellaire. Not that Jordie's work is anything but ordinary. Color is such an integral part of this series and especially this comic. So thanks for the hard work Jordie!

Ryan Browne is a real piece of work. I first saw him in IDW Smoke and Mirrors and his own book God Hates Astronauts (Now on Kickstarter!). Ryan has quite a few distinct art styles at his disposal. In this particular issue he differentiates himself from series regular Nick Pitarra but not so much to alienate readers. This comic has not faltered, at least in my opinion, but a helpful hand from Ryan brings a refreshing take to this historical redux. 

I always have trouble when reviewing the work of letterers. Rus Wooton is a power house. He has close to 90 issues on The Walkind Dead! In The Manhattan Projects he has been nothing but stellar. A good letterer is like a good soundtrack. Thanks Rus!

Solid team, solid book, amazing issue. I for one can't wait to get my own copy.

Verdict - Must Read!

Peter Panzerfaust #10

Story By: Kurtis J Wiebe
Art By: Tyler Jenkins
Colors By: Heather Breckel
Letters By: Ed Brisson

Hansel Moreno: DING! DING! DING! Cover of the week right here folk! This book got 3 out of 4 of us panelist to fawn over it. I won't tell you which one of us is dead inside and couldn't find true joy while looking this over. Way to go Tyler and Heather!

Quick Recap for those not caught up: Peter Panzerfaust is in essence Peter Pan retold over the horrors of World War II. The orphans and Peter are in Nazi occupied France. This book has the wonder and adventure down pat and mixes with that the deep, deep tragedy of war. 

At times I don't know how to feel about this book. One moment my heart is soaring with the boys only to be crushed when the absolute horrors of war rear their heads. Kurtis Wiebe masterfully dances between the two.

It has been a true pleasure to watch Tyler Jenkins skills improve. I loved the art the minute I laid eyes on it but over the last year he has gotten better and better. His art varies from wispy/flowy to wildly energetic. He has worked hard and it is paying off.

Heather Breckel and Ed Brisson put their fair share of elbow grease in to this series as well. Heather's colors really shine this issue but I don't want to give any of that away. 

This book has a buzz building around it and the one thing I hope for (besides all the boys making it  out alive, damn you Wiebe!) is for the art team to finish the story how they see fit. Nothing ticks me off worse than having a story just stop.

Verdict - Must Read!

Triggergirl 6 #1

Story By: Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray

Art By: Phil Noto


What? What? WHAT?
So, this thing is what? Like a super spy thing? Like Bond, and Steranko and Diabolik and Golgo 13? Cool. Okay.
Wait, what? Did my face melt off reading that action scene? That's crazy
Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray know their stuff. This comic is super fun, and I can totally see where it's going. It's an assassin. In Media Res. And... WAIT? WHAT? I did not just see that, did I?
Best. Ever.
Phil Noto, I love you. You do the best layouts. The best design. You are amazing. 
I can't feel my teeth from reading this.
This comic is insane. Wait. I think I'm insane now.
I don't know if the plot to this could ever be explained properly. It's a super spy trying to kill the president of the USA. And then everyone involved in its creation seemingly got high half-way through. And it's great.
Why is this warning on the front that says not to read it all? "Could blow your mind"? Haha. That's cute. I'll just read this last -

Verdict - Buy It.

Where is Jake Ellis? #3 (of 5)

Story By: Nathan Edmondson
Art By: Tonci Zonjic

William Tournas: Where is Jake Ellis? is the sequel to the critically acclaimed spy thriller mini-series Who is Jake Ellis?, from the team of Nathan Edmondson & Tonci Zonjic.

If you haven't read the first series (there's a collected edition available), by the end of it we found out the secret behind Jake Ellis and how he is connected to Jon Moore. There was also a two page recap in the first issue of this mini series.

With issue #3 (Chapter 8 in the ongoing storyline) the intensity of the series continues, with the stakes for Jon Moore & Jake Ellis being raised higher and higher, as the mysterious Dawid gets closer and closer to catching Jon.

Edmondson's writing continues to be sharp as ever with this next mini-series installment. He doesn't waste one moment in book, always moving the story along at amazing pace that leaves you wanting more at the end of the issue. Edmondson is clearly taking the comic book world by storm with one amazing story after the other.

The art in this series is some of Zonjic's best work. He continues to excel with each page bringing Edmondson's writing to life. The level of attention to detail Zonjic brings to the table is visually amazing, and the colour work is breathtaking.

As with the previous mini series each issue is full of non-stop action and story. Every page full of intense detail, character/story development, and intrigue as you don't know what to expect next. This series is well on it's way to being one of the best mini-series of 2013.

Verdict - Must Read!

Chew Omnivore Edition Volume 3 Delicious Hard Cover

Anthony and Antonelle Chu are fraternal twins. Tony and Toni. Each with their an extraordinary, albeit diametrically opposed, ability. Tony is Cibopathic, able to get psychic sensations of the past of anything he bites into or ingests. Toni is Cibovoyant, able to flash onto a vision of the future of any living thing she bites into or ingests. They are both federal investigators, and this is the story of some of their strangest, sickest and most bizarre cases.

Hansel Moreno: If you like a huge dose of comics all in one go this is what you have been waiting for. Chew is a fun and unique comic I love to follow month to month. Single issues are disgusting and horrid when compared the masterpieces that are these Omnivore Editions. John Layman and Rob Guillory have cooked up an amazing story that encompass a wide gamut of emotions. This book focuses less on Tony and lets other characters have their moment in the sun. Hats off to Layman and Rob for their hard work. If you haven't kept up with the series this baby will get you through issues 21 through 30. Don't just take my word for it!

The CHEW Omnivore Edition Vol.3 comes out this week. You're gonna want that. It's really pretty. - Rob Guillory

Verdict - Must Read!
The following comics are also out but we did not receive review copies: 

The Darkness #111
The End Times of Bram & Ben #3
Nowhere Men #4 - Must Read! I will be racing to get my own copy! - Hansel
The Walking Dead #108
Todd, The Ugliest Kid on Earth #3 

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Eric van Schaik said...

A very short list for me this week.

Chew Omnivore Edition 3.

Can't wait for the next Manhattan Project TPB after reading the column.
Will try Triggergirl6 in my LCS.


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