Gotham City Monsters #1 (DC Comics)
It’s not quite October yet, but DC is getting their spooky on with Gotham City Monsters, a new series from Steve Orlando and Amancay Nahuelpan that brings together some of the weirdest monsters and misfits in the DC universe to battle an ancient evil that’s been resurrected to wreak havoc on the multiverse. With a cast that ranges from Killer Croc to Frankenstein’s Monster to the vampire Andrew Bennet, Gotham City Monsters is definitely one of the biggest reaches for the publisher, but it’s not without it’s own charms.
Vampire Andrew Bennet and Frankenstein’s Monster are both hunting the same foe: Melmoth. Believing that forces are working behind the scenes to resurrect the ancient demonic entity, the two supernatural saviors eventually find themselves reluctantly working together to hunt him down. Or that would be the case if Frankenstein hadn’t just cut Bennett in half.
The interplay between Bennet and Frankenstein makes up a large majority of Steve Orlando’s script, and it’s pretty entertaining. What’s less entertaining is the random sections of the issue that deal with the other members of this monster team. While they’re fine snippets into what each character is currently doing, there’s little to no connective tissue for how these characters are going to fit into the team, or the current plot of the first issue. And by the issue’s end, they’re no closer to joining Frank and Bennett, so it doesn’t make me very confident that they’ll be joining those characters any time soon.
Amancay Nahuelpan made a big splash with Black Mask Comics, and it’s really neat to see his art on a big two book like Gotham City Monsters. His style is both cartoony but expressive, and this series should do wonders to increase his visibility in the industry. He can handle the dark visuals needed for this series, but also the super cool action sequences as well. If you’ve never experienced his art before, you’re in for a real treat.
Gotham City Monsters may not live up to it’s title yet, but it could get there in a few issues. For fans of New 52 series Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE and I,Vampire, this is a must get, as those two lead characters feature very prominently in this opening issue. Fans of characters like Killer Croc and….Orca, I guess? Well, you might be disappointed.
Trees: Three Fates #1 (Image Comics)
Warren Ellis and Jason Howard’s Trees has been running for a while now, and with the third installment in the series, Three Fates, arriving, I decided to finally give it a shot….which may have been a mistake. As a continuation of the Trees series, I’m sure it was great. But as a introduction to the Trees universe, it leaves a lot to be desired.
The basic plot of this new series revolves around the investigation of a dead body by local investigator Klara. After a bunch of giant pillars called “Trees” arrive on Earth, Humans needed to learn how to live with these new strange visitors. Eleven years later, humanity has accepted this as a new way of life, and the world keeps going, albeit now there’s a strange murder that may have ties to a deeper conspiracy.
That “lived in Sci-Fi” feeling is always welcome in my book, and while you can jump into this series with the basic information provided, I really do feel like I’m missing some larger revelations that probably arrived in one of the previous Trees series. Of course, this is partially on me for picking this up sight unseen, but at the same time, if Ellis wants people to come back to this series, or pick up the older series, then maybe he should have considered giving readers a little more tantalizing reasons behind the Trees to pique our interest.
Jason Howard’s art is an interesting mix of Ryan Ottley and Mike Avon Oeming, and it suits the series really well. Three Fates seems to be a much smaller event than the previous series, but that suits Howard’s style really well, as he gives the pages a nice sense of mood and pacing throughout the book. This wouldn’t be that far out of the realm of an HBO procedural drama, and it shows throughout the issue in Howard’s art.
Will I go back and check out the rest of Trees? I’m not so sure. But I do appreciate the fact that Ellis and Howard are using the backdrop they’ve set up to tell an interesting spin on the tried and true murder mystery, and it is neat to see this little indie book slowly set up it’s own universe, I can’t deny that I wish I was given a little more background information in this world to make it more interesting.
Martian Manhunter #1 (DC Comics)
After the critical success of Tom King and Mitch Gerads’ Mister Miracle, it makes sense that DC comics would want to replicate that success with some of their other characters. Stepping up to the plate is Steve Orlando and Riley Rossmo, starting a new twelve part miniseries focusing on J’on J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter. Naturally the comparisons to King and Gerads’ series are going to be rampant, but so far it seems like Martian Manhunter isn’t going to be making anyone forget Mister Miracle anytime soon. Read the rest of this entry
Justice League #1 (DC Comics)
DC’s summer plans aren’t slowing down anytime soon. First they unleashed No Justice, then Brian Michael Bendis’ Man of Steel, and now the brand new Justice League #1 has arrived, with the new creative team of Scott Snyder and Jim Cheung. With a roster that harkens back to the classic Cartoon Network show and a brand new, universe shattering story, the comic is finally back to a place of quality that the characters deserve. Read the rest of this entry
Brothers Dracul #1 (Aftershock Comics)
I’m naturally interested in anything that has to do with the legend of Dracula, so Aftershock Comics’ new series Brothers Dracul piqued my interest. While many comics about the infamous Son of the Dragon focus on his vampiric mythology, the Cullen Bunn and Mirko Colak series instead focuses on the actual historical figure Vlad Dracul, and his life as a young boy with his brother and father. Read the rest of this entry
JLA/Doom Patrol #1 (DC Comics)
DC’s “Young Animal” imprint has definitely stumbled in recent months. Crippled by delays and waning sales, the Gerard Way curated imprint has been overshadowed by other storylines within DC. But now that this month sees the Young Animal characters crossing paths with their DC pals, there’s hope that it will revitalize the fledgling imprint and restore it to the days of the start of the imprint. With the Gerard Way/Steve Orlando written JLA/Doom Patrol, the hope is that the ACO drawn special, which kicks off “The Milk Wars” storyline, is going to do just that. But is it possible to get new people onto the Young Animal train with so much baggage around the line? Read the rest of this entry
Secret Empire #10 (of 10) (Marvel Comics)
SPOILERS (But it’s not like Marvel didn’t already do that for you)
My lack of interest in Secret Empire has been going on since before the series was initially announced, so now that we’re at the end (well, almost the end, there’s still an “Omega” issue coming to wrap everything up), I should be pretty pumped to see it end and move on. But even without the usual mainstream media spoilers, Nick Spencer’s big Marvel event feels like it’s just checking off the boxes of what you need to do in a major comic book event, and doesn’t really set up anything new or exciting for the post-Hydra Cap Marvel universe. Read the rest of this entry
X-Men Blue #1 (Marvel Comics)
Last week was the first issue of X-Men Gold. The week before that was X-Men Prime. So naturally, this week we’re taking a look at X-Men Blue, the other flagship X-Men title in the new RessurXion publishing event at Marvel. While X-Men Gold had the focus on classic X-Men members like Kitty Pryde, Colossus, and Nightcrawler, Blue is focusing on the younger, time-displaced original X-Men, who are now under the tutelage of Magneto. This twist is what initially had me interested in this series, and after reading the book, it’s clear to see that this will be the driving force behind Cullen Bunn and Jorge Molina’s new series. Read the rest of this entry
Justice League of America Rebirth #1 (DC Comics)
Spinning out of the pages of Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, Justice League Of America Rebirth features one of the strangest teams to ever bear the name “Justice League. I mean, who would’ve thought we’d ever see Batman and Lobo on the same team? But Steve Orlando and Ivan Reis have done it, and added a whole new aspect to the stellar DC Rebirth relaunch. Read the rest of this entry
Supergirl Rebirth #1 (DC Comics)
It’s pretty strange that DC didn’t have a Supergirl series on the racks when her TV show debuted last year. Luckily for them though, DC Rebirth is here to give new Supergirl fans an easy entry point into the Girl of Steel’s comic book adventures. Written by Steve Orlando and drawn by Emanuela Lupacchino, Supergirl Rebirth is the perfect jumping on point for fans of the TV series, even if it does go a little too fast. Read the rest of this entry
Daredevil #18 (Marvel Comics)
I’ll be completely honest: I haven’t been the biggest fan of recent issues of Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s Daredevil. For some reason, ever since the character moved back to San Francisco the whole series has felt “off” to me. Despite this, I stayed on the book to see it to this point, the final issue of Waid and Samnee’s tenure on the Man Without Fear. And I’m glad I did, because it ends up being one of the best issues of their entire run. Read the rest of this entry