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 Sheltered #3, Reality Check #1, Hoax Hunters #10, Chew #36 and Love Stories (To Die For),
This week the team decided Sheltered #3 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.
Co-Created, Written, & Lettered by Ed Brisson
Co-created & Art by Johnnie Christmas
Colored by Shari Chankhamma
Ricardo Guajardo: Last time we checked in Sheltered our main character Victoria tried to gather information and help from the rebel group led by the Lucas (who previously killed all parents in Safe Haven) as his motives may be still be mysterious as ever.
Ed Brisson, Johnnie Christmas and company have brought a world that sucks me in with the story and art. As each page progresses it leaves me with a sinking feeling that the kids are not alright.
As the plot thickens for the readers, I truly believe this comic is a sleeper hit of 2013. As the issues past into issue 3, I cannot recommend this comic enough as it can only get better for the readers to enjoy.
Final Verdict: Must Read
Reality Check #1
Story by Glen Brunswick
Art by Viktor Boydanovic
Colors by Paul Little
Ricardo Guajardo: When I first heard of this comic advertised I wasn't sure what to make of it other than it sounded promising. After reviewing this first issue I can safely say this is one of those weird situations where it is comic art imitating life. The main premise is that comic writer Willard Penn and his creation, Dark Hour, are both going through issues in their own respective worlds.
Glen Brunswick knows how to pull a couple of heart strings here and there while other times make me wonder if Glen was going with what he knows from experience with his comic industry commentary. The art by Viktor Bogdonavic is simply refreshing with the character designs with the down to earth characters while breathing familiarity to the comic world our main character created in the book as he struggles with not only his personal life but professional as well. The colors by Paul Little complimented the comic pretty good as both worlds brought different feels to each characters perspective.
Overall, I am intrigued by and recommend this book to fellow comic folks can crave not only a different type of comic. Not too many books can jump into both worlds of the writer & creation. remember that it's mainly a set up first issue where the reader is familiarizing themselves with both characters and its certainly a promising start.
Final Verdict: Buy It.
Hoax Hunters #10Story by Michael Moreci and Steve Seeley
Art by Tristan (T-Rex) Jones
Letters by Jim Campbell
Hansel Moreno: After a few months on hiatus Hoax Hunters is back!
Michael Moreci and Steve Seeley are joined by Tristan Jones on art duties. The new direction on art is satisfyingly dark. Tristan's line work and colors help to carry and amplify the theme of the book. Our main cast looks great in their new line work and the new characters introduced are just completely owned by T-Rex. He is off to a great start and I really enjoy the new energy he is bringing to the book.
Michael and Steve have put the team on a new supernatural case that is off to a brutal start. With the new arc and art I'm really pulling for this arc to generate a strong solid story.
Final Verdict: Check It.
Chew #36Story by John Layman
Art by Rob Guillory
Hansel Moreno: Rob Guillory and John Layman have done 36 amazing issues of Chew. They have made us laugh, cry, very nearly puke and cower in fear of POYO. They have nearly touched upon every human emotion possible. This issue brings something new.
Toni Chew (Tony's twin sister) is back in the spotlight for a very special issue. Toni and her sister Sage are out for a girls only Chu family caper.
Guillory's art is as gorgeous as ever and Layman's script is hilarious, heart warming and there is plenty of ass-kicking as well.
Final Verdict: Must Read
Love Stories (To Die For) #1Conceived and Written By Dirk Manning
Art by Rich Bonk and Owen Gieni
Colors by Sean Burres and Owen Gieni
Ricardo Guajardo: The concept of the flip book comic is a gimmick that is cool but also has to be backed up with stellar content. Dirk Manning (Nightmare World, Write or Wrong) is a talented writer and the rest of the creative folks in this book had well intentions in creating this great concept comic.
However, the problem is that the two short tales (Bloodlust: Deceiver of the Gods and Symptom of the Universe) are muddled by the short page count and not enough characterization for the reader to invest in the folks in the book. Don't get me wrong by my negative tone as I certainly was invested to a degree but the price tag of the book ($5 might scare away potential readers) as well as a rushed ending, some might say it's hard to justify the purchase of this book. Bloodlust: Deceiver of the Gods was certainly an example that the pacing of the book left a lot to be desired as it seemed to me that the comic was spent too much time building the world up that it suddenly remembered that it had a limited amount of pages left to wrap everything up. Symptoms of the Universe was a better written story but again, the pacing hurt the book in my opinion as by the time it wrapped up I felt that there should have been more.
As much it pains me to say for the folks that tried their best to bring a different type of comic to readers, I cannot recommend this book for there are many things to go against it as I stated above.
Final Verdict: Avoid It