Hello CBCers! Luke here! Welcome to this week’s Comic Book Corner. Someone left the kingdom unguarded, so I grabbed a seat on the throne while no one was looking. I’ll be running the show until someone catches on. Until then, let’s you and I keep this hush-hush. No sense shortening my reign unnecessarily!
This week, CBC will be focusing on a number of dynamic (my favorite buzzword) titles with a whole host of action and excitement. From crime to thriller to fantasy martial arts epics and science fiction, this week has it all! If you enjoy comics of some sort, you will be hard pressed not to find an exciting new read here.
While I am in COMPLETE AND TOTAL CHARGE OF EVERYTHING MUAHAHA, I will also take this time to make a quick plug for something I’m working on that I think fans of CBC might enjoy. Starting later this month, I will be kicking off a monthly series similar in format to Comic Book Corner, but focusing specifically on graphic novels and collected editions of comics. If you enjoy longer-form comics work, keep an eye out for “Luke’s Graphic Novel Picks of the Month,” which should be landing on GeekDad in a week or so.
Now let’s get to this week’s comics!!!
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero – Silent Option #2
Writer (Main Story): Larry Hama
Pencils (Main Story): Netho Diaz
Inks (Main Story): Alisson Rodrigues & Jagdish Kumar
Writer (Back-Up Story): Ryan Ferrier
Artist (Back-Up Story): Kenneth Loh
Colorist: Vinicius Townsend
Cover Artist: Netho Diaz and James Brown
Luke: Do you remember last week when I was letting you know just how disappointed I was in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero – Silent Option #1? If not, you can check it out here! Now that we are all on the same page…
I began the second issue of the rather inefficiently titled G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero – Silent Option with no small amount of trepidation. I wanted to like this series, but it had gotten off to a rather rocky start for me. I didn’t want this to become an obligation read.
So I am happy to report that, in Silent Option #2, Larry Hama showed up at full strength. The action was crisp, the dialogue flowed nicely, and most importantly, the characters did not feel wooden. We learn more of the back story of Helix, which is nicely balanced out with a rescue mission on a seemingly abandoned oil rig. Hama handles the main story, while Ryan Ferrier gives Helix’s background some air time in the back-up story.
The art also felt crisper this issue. The work on the main story fit the feel of the military thriller to a T, while the back-up story used an approach with more line work and pastel colors that worked far better than I anticipated it would.
This issue helped me feel confident that the series was finally on track. If Hama and company keep this level of quality up for the rest of the series, this will be a solid story to pick up.
Night Moves #1
Luke: I’ve been really into crime stories lately. That has ranged from the more lighthearted Daughters of the Dragon to the serious ‘40s Hollywood drama The Fade Out. Night Moves looked to be a good match for my current genre proclivities, so I made sure to check it out.
Night Moves #1 begins as Mr. Dundee tells the story of how he “lost the only woman [he] ever loved” to Nolan, a young boy he is watching. Following this How I Met Your Mother-style framing device, we enter the meat of the story.
Chris Dundee is taking a break from working seedier jobs to relax at a bar. He ends up hitting on a woman who is a cop, and learns she is there looking for Sophia Running-Bear, who Dundee… has a past with. But before things get too in-depth, three priests with shotguns break into the bar, declaring war on sin, and begin a shooting rampage. This, of course, all leads to threats from powerful people, murder, and a strange blood sacrifice.
Night Moves has a very engaging beginning. A lot of things are going on for a five-issue miniseries, but it really feels like the writers have a grasp on where they are going. The art is gritty and stylish. I would like to see the faces realized a little more consistently, but otherwise, the work is strong and does a solid job of telling the story.
If you are a fan of crime comics, I do not hesitate to recommend this title!
Luke: I’ve been reading Transformers: Unicron recently, which has been amazing. It also is a bit more on the serious side, which does tend to happen when the universe is ending. With serendipitous timing, IDW is concluding Transformers: Unicron at the same time as they are kicking of Tom Scioli’s Go-Bots, and while both feature transforming robots, they couldn’t have much more different of a feel to them.
Mid-air dogfights between transforming jets and high-speed racing kick off Go-Bots #1, which only gets more action-packed from there. There are a lot of characters, both human and robot, interspersed among these pages of tightly packed panels. Some of Scioli’s other work, such as Gødland, is known for pushing the story into deeper areas, but so far Go-Bots appears to be intended more as a fun romp, and it does so with aplomb.
The tone balances between being high-stakes action and charmingly retro all at once. In many ways, Go-Bots feels like an indie take on Transformers. Go-Bots is a licensed property, so this says a lot about the creative freedom given to Scioli, as well as his ability to craft a tale distinctly his within this universe.
This auteur take on Go-Bots should appeal to fans of Transformers, especially the more grounded Marvel years. It will likely also find success among fans of indie-style art and storytelling, as Scioli never loses his voice while working on this property. I would absolutely encourage fans of ‘50s and ’60s science fiction to give this series a try too.
Daughters of the Dragon #2
Luke: I had an absolute blast with Daughters of the Dragon #1. See me heap praise on the first issue here. Because I was a little behind on picking up the first issue, I got to read the second issue the very next week, and I was pumped.
Following the events of the first issue, Daughters of the Dragon #2 picks up with Colleen and Misty playing some mini-golf with their new charges. However, when both Hydra and Nick Fury, Jr. come calling, things are definitely going to go sideways. Colleen and Misty end up as part of a crazed assassin’s plot for nuclear devastation and have to push themselves to the limit if they want to have any chance of saving lives.
MacKay continues to be having an absolutely wonderful run on this miniseries. The pacing feels just right to keep this comic both funny and action-packed. MacKay does a very nice job balancing the light moments with the serious ones.
The change in artist did not feel too jarring here, either, which is not always the case. Vazquez has a nice handle on action scenes and does a solid job of storytelling rather than just illustrating. Sometimes, series that are digital originals skimp on the artists, but in Vazquez than found a highly function contributor to the story.
This comic continues to shine most in the relationship between Misty and Colleen. I love buddy action movies, and Daughters of the Dragon delivers in spades. The final issue comes out in January, and I will really miss this title.
Low Road West #4
Luke: It’s about to be link city up in here! If you are interested in seeing what I’ve said about what came before, feel free to take a look at my reviews of the first, second, and third issues at the respective links. Extra credit if you’ve been following along as they released! I’ve attempted to limit spoilers for the first few issues below, but there are still some lurking. To the uninitiated, proceed with caution!
Things keep getting weirder for the group of kids taking the low road west to safety following the beginning of a nuclear war. In a land where time travels in a bit of a curlicue, aliens see you as figures of myth, and journals write to you in-the-moment, it takes a lot to amp up the oddity. Yet, here in issue four, that is exactly what happens. Dark secrets are revealed, and it looks like all the kids may not make it out of this, at least not in any recognizable fashion.
I love how this story continues to grow organically, feeding the reader surprises without it ever feeling contrived. Being a teenager is a time of dramatic personal change, and in many ways Low Road West takes those changes and cranks them up to 11, playing on the existential angst that is so prevalent at that age. This story is absolutely engaging.
If you haven’t given Low Road West a try yet, it’s not too late! Snag some back issues, or wait for the upcoming trade collection, but either way, do not miss out on this story!
GeekDad received copies of some of the titles above in exchange for honest reviews.