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, William Tournas and Hansel Moreno. 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 The End Times of Bram & Ben #4, The Manhattan Projects #11, and Mighty Skullkickers #1.
This week after a vicious pub crawl our panelist declare Mighty Skullkickers #1 the COVER OF THE WEEK! Read Liam's preview for more info!
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.
Bram has been busy giving the people of Earth a third choice between Heaven and Hell while his roommate Ben tries desperately to save his soul and keep the forces of Heaven from killing him with righteous might.
Rem Broo animates the HECK out of this comic and really brings it all to life with amazing action scenes, well captured facial expressions and really, really varied body types. There's this one constantly misspoken
Liam José: Well, Invincible has crossed the 100 issue mark, and is showing no signs of fatigue. For those of you who've never read it, it's basically Robert Kirkman's riff on the teen superhero-genre. And I'd argue that it's one of the finest examples of that genre. The real joy of reading this comic has been watching its evolution and the whole universe he created to surround the titular hero.
It's at the point now in its run where there are dozens of subplots running simultaneously, but Kirkman never lets the reader get lost. He manages to keep a bunch of those big ridiculous superhero soap opera moments you want, but make them feel fresher than they have in years, largely because it's his universe and he'll do with it what he damn pleases, and he doesn't need to service anything larger than telling the best possible story.
#102 is another solid issue and has a few revelations, but this is really a comic that is best read from the start to enjoy it best, which can be pretty daunting for a new reader (although, Image and Kirkman are good at making collections easy for a reader to parse pick up and get into - seriously, what on earth would you tell someone who was interested in reading Morrison's Batman run?)
Ryan Ottley's art is wonderful, as ever, and he's really become one of the best storytellers in the business at this stage. The consistency of this title is pretty stunning, and it always finds its way to the top of my stack.
This comic barely needs a review - you know if you like it. If you wanna try, pick up the first 13 issues.
Verdict - Buy It.
Letters by: Rus Wooton
Hansel Moreno: This is one of my top 10 Image comics.
This issue is the Fermi and Daghlian buddy cop movie you didn't know you needed to see.
Nick Pitarra, Jordie Bellaire and Rus Wooton are amazing again. The lettering is superb. It smoothly moves the conversations along with out getting in the way of the art or story. The colors pop, POP. Beautiful, beautiful art. There is an ice cream sunday that is just divine.
This issue jumps around in time giving us background story on Daghlian, the relationship between Fermi and Daghlian and the alliance that they form with in the greater schemes of the other scientists. Keep an eye on Oppenheimer. ALWAYS keep and eye on Oppenheimer.
It brings a tear to my eye to see these bonds of friendship grow. HOWEVER, this is Jonathan "Big Papa" Hickman we are dealing with. Is Fermi just setting up Dags (I'm calling him Dags from now on.) to use him? God, you are a sick man Jonathan.
Verdict - Must Read
Mighty Skullkickers #1
Liam José: Where the hell did this comic come from? I picked it up because it was a "first issue" and then I found out that it was actually part three of a story, (which annoyed me a bit,) and the numbering is just a joke about the constant relaunches of modern superhero comics. Great joke, guys! But really annoying. However, that feeling dissipated once I read the thing. Holy Satan, Mighty Skullkickers is awesome! What's it about? I have no idea - people fighting some evil guy thing on an island? It's just the best thing that's ever happened, pretty much. If this issue were summed up using onomatopoeia you'd have to censor the sound effect on this site for being too loud, sexual and exciting. It would be so hyperbolic that it would go back in time and seduce my Grandma and I'd have bigger muscles and be writing this on my computer-girlfriend.
Jim Zubkavich - I don't know you, but consider this review a love-letter. You are amazing. I didn't know how much I wanted to read about an alcoholic dwarf murdering a tiger with a rock until I read this issue, but now I realise that my life was empty before. Zubkavich sprinkles this thing with so much personality and humour and excitement, that it really makes it stand out how boring, bland and annoying most superhero comics published by the Big Two are. Give this guy everything ever to write. He would make everything better. In fact - "Zubkavich it" is my new phrase. Let's give it a shot: Geoff Johns infestation in your writers' stable? ZUBKAVICH IT! Runaways sales plummetting? ZUBKAVICH IT! Suffering from ennui? ZUBKAVICH IT! Garry Buseys in your ceiling? ZUBKAVICH IT!
Seriously - this stuff is crazy fun.
And the art is just joyous, to boot. I wasn't familiar with Edward Huang before this comic either, but I'm so glad I am now. His work is spectacular here. Crystal clear storytelling, and perfect comedic timing in his art. His designs are perfectly suited to the story and have a great mix of wonder and exaggeration. His art is like Joe Madureira, if Joe Madureira's work wasn't the artistic equivalent of a drunken doctor trying to abort my eyeballs.
This comic is near flawless, and I'm not even that angry about coming in mid-story anymore. This comic had an effect that so few things do these days, and that is that it made me want to track all the previous Skullkickers issues and read them. If you like superhero comics, action comics or humour comics, no one is doing it better than these guys.
Verdict - Must Read
Five Weapons #3by: Jimmie Robinson
William Tournas: The twists, turns, and excitement continues in Issue #3 of Five Weapons, with Tyler Shainline becoming public enemy number at the 5 Weapons Academy; so much so that even his teachers are trying to take him out.
Jimmie Robinson has woven an amazing tale so far, with a rich sharp and witty script, followed through with amazing art. Often at times I'll either be laughing or just smiling at this series. All the various characters are great, as well as the lead Tyler Shainline.
Robinson is careful to not lay out all the cards on the table about the series, but let you get sucked in for more as you try to work out what will happen next.
5 Weapons is an enjoyable series that i wish was an ongoing. Its that good.
Verdict - Must Read