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 Ricardo Guajardo 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 Five Weapons #5, Ten Grand #3, and the Masks and Mobsters Volume 1 hard cover collection.
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.
Five Weapons #5By: Jimmie Robinson
Hansel Moreno: In Five Weapons we follow the story of a young boy posing as his friend/employer in a school for assassins.
So far "Tyler Shainline" has ,managed to best the very best of the students with out ever picking up a weapon. The teachers and students aren't happy but accept this as part of him carrying the tradition of master assassins "Shainline's" tend to be.
"Tyler" is not the only one who holds on to secrets. The staff and school nurse are playing a con game against each other and risking their students' lives in the process. In this final issue (COME ON ONGOING!!!) a foe from the true Shainline's past comes to hunt down our young decoy.
Jimmie Robinson has laid out a beautifully illustrated story that has more charm and wit than bite. Yes these are teen assassins but Robinson plays the wise guy angle, it's all very tongue in cheek. This is a comic, we know it, he knows it and the characters are fluid and given a fun life force. I still felt for the characters, especially the young decoy "Tyler". With this book coming to a close this issue is not for new readers. You can look forward to the collected edition soon and I hope enough of us buy this story to get another chapter to enjoy.
Verdict: Buy It.
Ten Grand #3Written by: J. Michael Straczynski
Art by: Ben Templesmith
Letters by: Troy Peteri
Ricardo Guajardo: When we last saw our main character, Joe Fitzgerald, he was lying dead on the streets with a client that hired him to find her dead sister. Rest assured, its just another day in the office for Joe. Despite that nasty cliffhanger in the last issue, he's determined to continue on with what he was hired for. Problem is, nothing is what it seems and that always leads to trouble...
Got to give the devil his due, just when I figured how the story will go in Ten Grand JMS manages to surprise me. The comic throws not one but two curveballs that keeps making this a must read for me. Ben Templesmith once again brings the dark, moody atmosphere that adds wonders to the storytelling. Troy Peteri deserves some credit for the excellent job he's doing by giving much needed icing on the already delicious cake.
In this issue we are given back story to the relationship of the main character and the love of his life. It is much appreciated while foreshadowing the grim aspects of their fate. Another major plot twist is added in the later half of the book, thus cementing the respect the main character demands, and rooting for him to overcome the challenges.
Another home run to the already impressive work to both creators, readers can't afford to skip this comic if they crave supernatural horrors that has been left by other companies. While there are similar characters from other publishers, they do not have the same impact JMS is trying to establish in this world Ten Grand created. It doesn't matter if read in singles or for those that prefer to trade-wait, this is one book that shouldn't be left in the comic racks.
Verdict: Must Read
Masks and Mobsters Volume 1 HardcoverWritten by: Joshua Williamson
Ricardo Guajardo: Picture if you will this notion, what if the wise guys that superheroes faced back in the early days were not brainless thugs but more than capable of handling their own. That's the idea that Joshua Williamson entertains with in this book with Mike Henderson handling art duties on the book with several contributions with early character design by other artists. While there no color to the story, it does match the overall tone that the reader can see which is a throwback to early crime stories.
Mike Henderson does a stellar job bring the noir aspects art wise while bringing the classic pulp hero feeling while reading the fantastic storytelling and well thought scenarios by Joshua Williamson. There are ten chapters in the book with each having a self enclosed story that interconnects to an overall story line with recurring characters that involves tales of revenge or justice to each side between the "Masks" and the mobsters. What makes this book collection a fascinating read is how each side deals with each other, each countering with various dealings and manipulations to one-up the other. There is one chapter that also deals with a super-villain that is trying to capitalize during this feud.
Without delving into too many spoilers, I thought this was a good read that also leaves room for a potential sequel series down the line. I can't find any negatives to this comic beside the feeling of wanting more. The amount of pages was right welcome (close to 120 pages worth of material) and the hardcover has an exclusive chapter for readers of the book. If the reader wants a recommendation for a book that delves into these aspects of crime-busting/crime tales, this is one feud that is absolutely with checking out.
Verdict: Must Read