The Image Round Up column aims to get some words down on Image Comics book published for the week. This weeks reviews are handled by William Tournas, Ricardo Guajardo and Hansel Moreno. He'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 Bounce #2, Fatale #15, Five Ghosts #4, Jupiter's Legacy #2, Lazarus #1, and Sex #4.
This week the team decided Five Ghosts #5 is COVER OF THE WEEK! Read Ricardo'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 Bounce #2Story by: Joe Casey
Art by: David Messina
Colours: Giovanna Niro
William Tournas: When we last left Jasper Jenkins he had seemingly been transported to another world via the hallucinogenic smoke of The Fog. This continues as he finds an old friend, but soon Jasper wakes up to reality when the cops raid The Fog's establishment.
This issue continues with this angle while also revealing a little bit of his origin. We also get to me some of the other players of the overall story, who we get a sense will cross paths with Jasper at some point.
Joe Casey does a fantastic job of portraying the stoner turned anti-hero, who wants to beat up bad guys and score the latest cheapest high. The character dialogue feels fresh and flows naturally. David Messina's artwork provides even more depth to the characters with impressive line work, which is complimented by Giovanna Niro's colours.
Verdict: Must Read!
Fatale #15Story by: Ed Brubaker
Art by: Sean Phillips & Bettie Breitweiser
Cover by: Sean Phillips
Ricardo Guajardo: While Fatale has been going on for close to a year now, this issue is jumping on point for new readers. It introduces several characters that will be connected in the grand scheme of things, but the main focus is one particular woman. A mysterious and yet very alluring who has been a recurring character in the series. You get a sense that things will not end well for the cast.
Ed Brubaker has always been known to write tortured characters that eventually led to their own downfall, which makes this comic more intriguing as you the reader know what should be happening but can't help but keep reading this twisted tale of lust, greed, and murderous tale like its a car wreck that is slowly happening in front of our eyes. Sean Philips & Elizabeth Breitweiser are a tag team that compliment Brubaker's tale of madness into fruition by adding the pulp-inspired designs plus luscious colors that meshes very well as the tone of the book changes.
That being said, this is not for the faint of heart as there are certain details that will sure raise some eyebrows and turns some heads in disgust. Despite the gruesome warning, it is still an enjoyable read that will have you coming back for more. Overall, if the reader wants a dark comic that is written by the industries best writers this is the title for them. It has a lot going for it and consistently been praised for both plot & art.
Verdict: Buy It!
Five Ghosts #4Story by: Frank J. Barbiere
Art by: Chris Mooneyham
Ricardo Guajardo: When we last saw Fabian Gray, he had made it into lost kingdom of Shangri La to exorcise the dark powers of the Dreamstone within him. Our main protagonist has the ability to manifest energy from the dreams of people to envision fictional characters to his world. These "Five Ghosts" are the following: The Samurai, The Detective, The Vampire, The Wizard, and The Archer which are a reflection of great literature characters to which Fabian uses towards his adventures at a price. However as he is about to go through five trials to help him, the kingdom is under attack by an evil sorcerer thus our current issues begins.
This comic gave me the sense of a pulp adventure, which I have to give credit to Frank J Barbiere for bringing these stories of the past back alive. Chris Mooneyham must have been reading classics by Gene Colan as he certainly has been channeling his art style in this comic which is impressive in my book. The colors still maintains its wonder thanks to Lauren Affe which is the final piece to this soon to be masterwork from this creative team. The challenges Fabian faced were unique in their own way however I did want more time to explore these tests. If there was anything else I got from reading this issue, it was the anxiety for the final chapter in the next month. Bravo good chaps, you got me good.
If there is one minor complaint about the book, is that there is no recap page to keep new readers from knowing what happened in the previous issues and will be lost if they pick up this issue. That being said, I highly enjoyed the comic regardless. I have to commend the creative team for delivering a comic for readers that want something different than what's out there. Trust me when I say, this book is one of the best hidden gems in Image today.
Verdict: Must Read!
Jupiter's Legacy #2Story by: Mark Millar
Art by: Frank Quitely
Ricardo Guajardo: Despite great power these characters have, the responsibility never seemed to be in their vocabulary. We truly seem to be building up to a tragic yet intriguing tale filled with betrayal and loss for all characters involved in Mark Millar's new comic with Frank Quitely.
Mark Millar certainly has stepped up his writing game once again as Frank Quitely once again continues to impress with his art style that goes delightfully well with the complicated cast in the comic. This book has been built up over the past year to be another title that both creators bring great moments & shocking turns. I can safely say after a interesting first issue in the set up, this is where the comic shines in terms of development and direction.
It has all the makings from a Shakespearean play, as family troubles keep brewing. These characters seem like simple cookie cutter cape heroes with no problems, but as the reader finds out nothing is that easy in life. From drug problems with family members, trying to solve economic troubles on a national level, to arguments with their own kin, this is another tale that will surely won't end well.
One thing I felt with one specific character is that she didn't get enough character development, but I will give Millar the benefit of the doubt as he knows where the payoff will lead to. Overall, I recommend this comic to returning & new readers of Millar's previous work and also Frank Quitely fans as he shows he has never lost a step.
Verdict: Must Read!
Lazarus #1Story by: Greg Rucka
Art by: Michael Lark
Colours: Santi Arcas
William Tournas: In Lazarus, the world is not divided by political boundaries but rather financial ones. The handful of families with the wealth and power rule, with each family having a protector. Someone at the peak of human condition. They are called their Lazarus. The Caryle Family's protector is called Forever.
Greg Rucka nails it with this first issue, cleaving away at Forever's initial introduction with Clinical detail. Forever dispenses justice for her family at their request, while conveying sadly that no matter the crime she is trapped in a cycle of violence.
Michael Lark's art style helps convey the darkness of this dystopian future tale, with fantastic line work and attention to detail. Santi Arcas colour pallet through the issue helps Lark's art pop even more.
Go get this! I can see this issue get popular very quick!
Verdict: Must Read!