Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Splash Page Quick Shots

Some of the best comic books I've read the past couple of weeks and why:

Nat Turner #1
(See my letter/review below). Kyle Baker is usually known for his cartoony, and sometimes Averyesque take on life; however, he pounds out emotional chords with the biography of a slave who incited a violent rebellion against slavery. As far as I know, this is the first story of his published in black and white. His choice of color (or lack of it) serves only to highlight the opposing contrasts between good and evil; right and wrong; life and death. 5/5

Grounded #1
The Image Stable has had a strong showing of late with several entries into the superhero genre over the past few months. The fun and fraught-filled Invincible and the campy Hero Camp are two of the latest and greatest offerings of the teen hero set. Grounded makes a strong debut about a boy who has found a strong measure of escapism in comic books. He throws himself into the stories portraying himself as the hero. Despite constant ridicule by bullies for keeping his head in the comics, he strongly believes that he is a hero despite his lack of power. Those who have read comics since childhood can relate to the protagonist’s desire for daydreams to come true. This is a strong start from first timers Mark Sable and Paul Azacota. The overall package and the surprise ending make this a book I'm looking forward to see in the future. 4.5/5

The Gatesville Company #1
There have been tons of first issues and first time creative teams of late. I'm surprised at the great quality of entertaining, well-written and beautifully drawn books have been produced by these rookies. The Gatesville Company #1 is no exception. Speakeasy Comics is a relative newcomer into the comic book publishing scene and they’ve had their share of hits and misses...this issue is one of the stronger and most promising showings of their entire line. There have been artists who have taken the photo-realistic rout and their artwork comes across posed and stiff (take a look at Land’s UFF work). Fortunately, for our reading pleasure, this is not the case with Patrick McEvoy's artwork. Each panel and every page articulates the subtle power of McEvoy's brush strokes. Marc Bryant tells a story of a last shot at redemption for two men who have died rather violently and have some unfinished business to take care of before entering their eternal place. One will enter a place of rest and another will not. 4.5/5

The Defenders #1
Keith Giffen is quoted as saying this book would be his "Holy Grail". Uh...rrrrriiiight.

What else would you expect from the team that brought us (un)forgettable books such as Justice League, Formerly Known As The Justice League and I Can't Believe It's Not the Justice League? Giffen. DeMatteis. Maguire. What else do you need to know? Get it! 4.5/5

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