Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Image Round-Up - November 13th 2013

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 The Manhattan Projects #16, Manifest Destiny #1, Three #2 and Umbral #1.

This week the team decided Manifest Destiny #1  is the Book and 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 Manhattan Projects #16

Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Nicholas Pitarra
Colors by Jordie Bellaire
Words by Rus Wooton

Hansel Moreno: Jonathan Hickman takes history on a sick, dark twist as he reimagines The Manhattan Project in to a madhouse fueled by the biggest egos and brightest minds on the planet.

Hickman's story is beautifully (and in parts disgustingly) rendered by Jordie Bellaire and Nick Pitarra. Nick and Joride have gotten into a wonderful groove and this issue brings us new discoveries. From new aliens to some just exquisite lighting choices on Daghlian's radioactive glow.

The issue picks up where #14 left off. The think tank boys are still in their jail and are racking their brains to come up with some sort of an escape plan. This story is layered with a duo-chromatic flashback that reflects a hunter/prey relationships the group is facing internally. 

This issues has some solid laughs, gorgeous art and escalating violence. Pitarra and Bellaire really have seem to have increased their skill levels and I can't wait to sink my teeth into the next issue.

Verdict: Must Read

Manifest Destiny #1

Written by Chris Dingess
Art by Matthew Roberts
Colors by Owen Gieni
Letters by Pat Brosseau

Ricardo Guajardo: When I first heard about this title, I have to admit I was skeptical. Though I have to say this was a comic that proved to me that anything can be interesting if presented right to comic readers. Despite the settings takes place in 1804 that reminds me of my days in history class. Matthew Roberts and Owen Gieni knocked it out of the park. The characters are based on historic personas but are placed in situations that are fictional.

Chris Dingess writes an impressive plot as I was slowly lured into the comic little by little until the final pages got me hooked as a reader. The dialogue felt authentic for its time and never out of place. The visuals brought by Matthew Roberts are a sight to be behold as the details he draws is astonishing. The little stuff in the background and certain distinguish feature in animals make me think this artist really did his homework which I really have to give him props for.  

The comic in general I had little expectations going into but by the end of the comic had me hook, line, and sinker. All I have to say this was my pick of the week in terms of what sold me into checking it out. Another solid title that is sure to be an interesting read in comics this year. 

Verdict: Must Read

Three #2

Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Ryan Kelly
Colors by Jordie Bellaire
Lettering by Clayton Cowles

Hansel Moreno: In Three we are taken back to a time when Sparta was still in power. Not all powerful, but still holding on to the little they have. In Issue 1 slaves of Sparta have insulted the local authorities and their punishment is doled out instantly, death to all present.

Kieron Gillen and Ryan Kelly continue issue two immediately where one ended, in a blood bath. Kelly let's loose a wave of terror and violence that is notoriously Spartan.

Jordie Bellaire adds weight to Kelly's inks. Where the action could be easily missed, Bellaire makes it visceral and gut wrenching. In the war between masters and servants, no punches are pulled.

Gillen is not taking his research lightly and in the back pages he includes an interview with Professor Stephen Hodgkinson who was a great help in said research.

Personally I associate Rome, Greece, Sparta and Athens with a most romanticized version I conjure in my mind. Epics, Battles for freedom of the masses, Hercules, Minotaurs. Sights not real or embellished by time. Gillen's and Kelly's story is not one of honor or adventure. It is tale of survival. Fighting tooth and nail to see another day.

Verdict: Must Read

Umbral #1

Written by Antony Johnston
Art by Christopher Mitten
Coloring by John Rauch

Ricardo Guajardo: Umbral brings a unique take on the fantasy world where you see the world as a strange dream in which you bece captivated by the visuals and unique writing. Sure, the fantasy genre has been known to bring the visual tropes we all come to love like the settings and action, but there is something I can't put my finger on that makes it stand out. Things like the dark monsters designs and the dialogue spoken by the main characters that give off a special vibe. Especially when in the first couple of pages there is a world map that really assures to the reader that this is going to be one long journey.

Antony Johnston breathes new life to adventure stories and the structure he built in the first issue impressed me. This along with Christopher Mittens' art style which while nice cartoony feel to a degree, is suitable to the tale. John Rauch's coloring also jumps out in this comic thus grabbed my attention while reading as I spent a good minute after reading taking in the visuals. Even the surprise felt like something that caught me off guard which is a welcome change of pace. If this is the start of a long running series, then by all means to this creative team sign me up!

I do feel this is a promising start to a comic that already delivers on all fronts and am already anticipating the next issue. The next wave of new titles in my opinion rivals other comic companies, and makes this worth buying on the all formats. Go pick this up folks!

Verdict: Must Read

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