Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Image Round-Up - May 22nd 2013

The Image Round Up column aims to get some words down on every single Image Comics book published for the week. This weeks reviews are handled by 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 Activity #13, Dia De Los Muertos #3,  Nowhere Men #5 and
Revival #10.


This week after gathering classified intel The Activity #13 is declared the COVER OF THE WEEK! Read William'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.

The Activity #13

Story by: Nathan Edmondson
Art By: Mitch Gerads

William Tournas: When it comes to comics and most other types of serialised story telling, it can be quite hard to maintain a high quality on something that's ongoing.

The creative team of Nathan Edmondson & Mitch Gerads achieve this with every single issue of The Activity. Each issue is a shining of example of great storytelling, as each issue is able to stand alone on its own merits.

After the Flashback issue last month, Issue #13 brings us back to the main storyline and dealing with the events of issue #12.

Team Omaha has been placed on stand-down pending further investigation after the identity of the leak was discovered. A call from a colleague of Switchfoot's in the IDF (Israeli Defense Force), leads to an unsanctioned mission with dire consequences.

Nathan Edmondson had me feeling mixed emotions with this issue. I was on the edge of my seat with Team Omaha's unsanctioned mission, while also have a sense of sadness for the investigation into the leak.

Mitch Gerad's art is amazing as always, matching the tone of the book perfectly. It brings the story forward in fast paced scenes, as well letting the slow intense moments linger with you.

Verdict - Must Read

Dia De Los Muertos #3

Story by: Alexander Grecian, Kurtis J Wiebe, Joe Keatinge
Art by: Riley Rossmo
Colors by: Riley Rossmo, Megan Wilson
Letters by: Kelly Tindall

Hansel Moreno: The third and final installment of Riley Rossmo's Dia De Los Muertos is in. This Day of the Dead themed anthology features three stories:

Return Of The Dead by Alex Grecian

First of all, a Proof reunion is something not to be missed. This is a quiet, creepy ghost story. It's a little similar to Ed Brisson's (The Bri$$) contribution but it stands well on its own with a few key attributes: It is a silent story and the color palette is muted as well. This story fits well with in the Dia De Los Muertos mythos.

Lonesome by Kurtis Wiebe

This story is a touching look back on how fast love can grow. In my opinion I think this story captures the feeling of Dia De Los Muertos the best. We remember the dead in all aspects of our lives. 

Day Of The Dead 3000 by Joe Keatinge 

This story is nothing short of Ultra violent Mexploitation. This takes Riley's idea and spins it so far out of orbit. You really surprised me Mr. Keatinge.

Verdict - Must Read

Not Final Cover

Nowhere Men #5

Story by: Eric Stephenson
Art by: Nate Bellegarde & Jordie Bellaire
Cover by: Nate Bellegarde & Fonografiks

William Tournas: Nowhere Men is one of the most fantastic comics that I'm reading at the moment. It's smart, amazingly written and the art is astounding. A perfect collaboration between the creative team of Eric Stephenson, Nate Bellegarde and Jordie Bellaire.

This issue gives a small glimpse to events prior the main story line, before jumping back to fallout from the space station disaster. More nuggets continue to be dropped as the mysterious virus that began transforming the young research scientists continues to evolve them even further.

The race is on amongst the last remaining original World Corp scientists to find these evolving humans before they get into harms way.

Stephenson has written a fictional world that I could believe was real in this day and age, with Bellegarde and Bellaire breathing air into work and making it even more real.

If I could compare it to anything, I would say its a modern day Watchmen.

Verdict - Must Read

Revival #10

Story by: Tim Seeley
Art by: Mike Norton

Colors by: Mark Englert
Letters by: Crank!

Cover by: Jenny Frison

Hansel Moreno: Right, ok, so wrap your head around this: The dead have risen. They don't want to eat the living, they are cognitive and they aren't decaying, in fact some of them are in better health than they were before they knocked off. What would you do? What would the local or national government do? In Tim Seeley's and Mike Norton's Revival we see this event unfold as they imagine it would in rural central Wisconsin.

First off, the dead are alive, alive and well. How weird and exciting this would be if you had lost a loved one? How awful would this be if you had killed some one? Second the government has issued a quarantine to ensure  that the "revival event" is not contagious or has other unknown and unforeseen repercussions. That's a smart move but immediately causes a lot of tension between the scared and confused citizens. I for one would immediately head for the hills if this happened near me. 

Revival has a large sized cast. We have local law enforcement, Revivers, reporters, government officials and all sorts of crazed factions trying to take control of the Revivers fates. 

One of the (shall we say opportunist?) factions has been carving out and selling organs of the dead, Reviver or not, and selling them for crazy illegal black market money. Where there is a will there is a way, I guess. A few issues back a disastrous car crash spilled its guts, quite literally and exposed the operation. This being a rural community there are not many locations for a ne'er do wells to hide. 

This isn't even scratching the surface of what Revival brings to you in monthly singles or trade collections! We have family tension! A mysterious creature lurking in the woods! Dozens and dozens of secrets coiling around the town! Mundane, embarrassing, dark and terrible and the main Revival event.

At first I was a little apprehensive about the size of the cast and the time the team was taking rolling out their stories. I liked the book but it was slow. The pace just didn't have me jonesing for the next issue. After I read issue 6,7, and 8 back to back to back I was hooked, hooked I tells ya! Tim and Mike are swinging for the fences! 

The story has (now) completely vested and you can't forget the art. Mike is laying down some amazing lines. Whether drawing tight close ups in numerous types of locales (bars, barns or hospitals) or the vast expanses of rural Wisconsin Mike is a pro. He also has a knack of alternating between amazingly cute button noses to disgustingly eviscerated corpses. This is greatly (horribly) amplified by Mark Englert's wonderful (terrifying!) colors.

All in all, I love this book. The story might be a little weird to pick up midway through the second arc so check out the trade!

Verdict - Must Read

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