Note: I was going to call this 5 Books I like and what it says about the current comics industry, but I realized that wouldn't be as click worthy as they title I'm using. I mention this as a sort of disclaimer for the last bit at the end of this post. - Jim
Okay, without going into a lot of details, 2015 was a difficult time for me but I got through it. One of the few upshots was that I had a lot of time to read old and new comics.
Here are the Good:
Still, even if the story had been phoned in, I probably would have included this comic on my list simply because of the fantastic J. H. Williams III artwork:
While Frank Miller's Dark Knight III seems to be getting a lot more attention, THIS is the type of 80's/90's comics revivals I would really like to see more of.
One of the tricks to selling a fantasy world is to have it look different. Artist Jake Allen succeeds here by coming up with clothing and scenery that feels like a mashup of old world European and Greco-Roman.
The above artwork is a good example of the clean and clever artwork in this book. The series is just up to issue two, but the story has moved pretty quickly. I'm eager to see where this team goes with this world.
And while I completely understand the photonovel feel isn't for everybody, for an old TOS Star Trek fan like myself, this series has been a lot of fun. Where else am I going to see the return of Robert Lansing as Gary Seven and Ted Cassidy as Ruk?
Where the rest of the ANAD Marvel books seems mired in a world of fan driven continuity and corporate agendas, The Vision stands out as a unique story that combines family drama with science fiction in a way that I haven't seen done in a big two comic before. And while I know a lot of old school fans have said they would rather see the Vision in a traditional superhero comic, I've gotta call bull-shit on that because nobody would support such a book even if it did get published.
At a time when companies are trying to duplicate the success of the new Batgirl series (and mostly failing) writer Tom King and artist Gabriel Hernandez Walta have actually come the closest by giving us a very different perspective on the superhero story.
I'd be hard pressed to put a label on this book. At times the atmosphere of looming violence and darkness make this comic feel closer to a Horror comic than a Science Fiction or Superhero comic. Whenever Marvel continuity is evoked, there is a sense of dread and menace to it:
If I had to pick a comic that could eventually evolve into Marvel's answer to Sandman, this would be it.
I've often said that one of the keys to the Walking Dead's success (besides zombies) is that at anytime, something big can happen to a character and the impact will have real effects. When you read Avengers or Justice League, you know no dire consequence will have a long term effect on the story because that's just the nature of corporate comics. The Imperium doesn't play by those rules though. Like The Walking Dead, characters can do things and have things done to them that actually mean something.
The intense story line is supported by some great artwork by Cafu:
I don't know how this book sells (I'm afraid to look because so many of my favorite books end up getting cancelled now days...) but I encouraged by the news that Valiant is going to start making movies soon as that may help support what I think is an amazing title.
I'm going to end this post here and will return with Part 2 next time wherein I will examine The Bad and The Ugly of 2015.