JAMES BOND 007: BLACK BOX #1 – Dynamite
“The Traveling Nerd” Lance Paul @Lance_Paul

James.. James Bond is back with a new team and a new take on suave British Espionage! I was a big fan of the previous team that had a stellar run with Volume 1 and 2, respectively Warren Ellis and Jason Masters, but opening up this new issue reminded me of a new production team taking over with their own twist on the character–only with the same actor and same fun and same dangerous James. The new team consists of Benjamin Percy (Green Arrow), Rapha Lobosco and Chris O’Halloran and a damn good team it is. The same Ellis wit carries over as James is sent against a cyberterrorist and travels to sexy locals such as the French Alps and the Shinjuku District of Tokyo.

Lobosco (Doctor Who) also takes the series into a stylish rendition that couples well with the jump off the page colors of O’Halloran (Croak, Grimm) which will distance this new serious from the previous. If you are a fan of all things Bond, just think of this as a new director taking over your favorite hero, as this new series is just as fun and worth the read! 4/5 Shaken-not-Stirred Martini’s Agree!

ROYAL CITY #1 – Image Comics
“Inquisitor” Luke Anderson IG @lukepoisoner

This is pretty good. Like, really good. Words barely do it justice, but emoticons might: 😐 😐 :/ 😮 🙂 My “Professional Communication” lecturer told us this week that we should never ever do that; and I think she was right. Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth, Old Man Logan) crafts a quietly melodramatic piece of work that begins deceptively mellow and coalesces into something dark and portentious. Handling both the writing–and artwork–for this series, Lemire delivers a sizeable book full of his trademark scratchy, stylized, heavily-lined scribblings; perfectly coupled with the increasingly emotionally frenetic, yet subtly nuanced story.

While this could potentially be seen as a far cry from his work on things like Animal Man in it’s initial “slice of life book” feel, Royal City still plays off of the similarly grim and realistic themes that litter Lemire’s work, whilst adding a slight touch of the fantastical… Normally with books of this indie-comic ilk, I’m left going “It’s a reasonable start, but I guess Issue 2 is where it gets interesting”, but that simply isn’t the case here; Jeff Lemire’ s Royal City #1 is one of those comics that tells a tale best told in comic form, and as such reminds us all that comics are still a vital art form as well as an industry. 4.75/5 Fathers, Sons, and Holy Ghosts.

See Jeff Lemire go from Royal City to Emerald City at #ECCC2017 on Sunday, March 5th at booth G1 and the following panels!

The Future of Comics: Pure Storytelling (1:15 PM – 2:15 PM), Room TCC 303

Valiant: The Road to Harbinger Wars 2 (2:30 PM – 3:30 PM), Room TCC 305

EXTREMITY #1 – Image
“Sister” Savanna Leigh @SavannaDLeigh

When the “Monsignor” warned me that Extremity #1 was pretty graphic… he wasn’t lying. This book was disturbing and very “bloody” detailed. The biggest issue, however, isn’t the violence. It’s that the violence overshadowed the main story, making it was hard to focus on what the author was trying to convey. Because blood. Blood. And more blood. I did enjoy what Daniel Warren Johnson was trying to portray, though; I always love a good revenge story and also a story that proves that what you are seeking in your revenge.. may not be what you are expecting or need. Otherwise, Extremity is rough and gruesome and hard to believe that this was something that took 3.5-years to create. I don’t know if the comic deserved that much “painstaking” time. 2/5 Bloody Bibles.

SUPERMAN #18 – DC Comics
“Monsignor” Travis Moody

The Superman titles have been my favorite of the tremendous DC Rebirth lot so far, and now the Batman & Robin/Green Lantern Corps team of Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason are offering their first Rebirth crossover. It should be a dandy. From the Silver Age/”Everything Gon’ Be OK”-inspired cover to the multiplicity of Supermen invading its 22-pages, Tomasi pens up, perhaps, his most explicit Rebirth story yet. That might seem surprising. But in the first issue of “Superman Reborn” you’d hate to turn away potential readers who’ve been too busy complaining about the movies.

Further, the plot is simple: Clark Kent is evil. One of them. Smartly, I think Tomasi writing Damian Wayne those couple years has helped him with Superman. These new smarks want their comic Kal creepy, devilish and not the slight like the man we saw in the CW Supergirl. It’s both a delight and a tease to see the eye-popping splash page that endorses why we opened up the issue in the first place (cue up Pharrel’s “Happy”!). It’s to Tomasi and the art team’s credit that a recent plot that reflected the goods of Morrison’s run on the character has evolved into something into something more Brad “Don’t Call Me Dave” Melter. Watching Clark’s own worst enemy-self taking in his nicer clone’s best Kodak moments made me squirm. What happens next makes Zack Snyder seem like a guy who would fly up and save a kitten. 4/5 Bibles.

SAVAGE THINGS #1 – Vertigo
Felipe “The 3rd Deacon” Crespo

I’ll get the art out of the way, which is the one thing that I wasn’t crazy about: Ibrahim Moustafah‘s linework is fine–and just that–fine. It’s nothing that’ll make your jaw drop. Jordan Boyd‘s colors are drab, which I consider appropriate given the dark tone of the world we’re introduced to; but damn, that doesn’t mean everything has to look so flat and uninspired. Now the good stuff.. The story. I have to balance out how much I like it and not overhyping it and then having it not meet your expectations. Justin Jordan‘s latest endeavor reads like HBO’s next big thing, introducing us (barely) to a darker side of US operatives that work to keep us safe. To call the protagonist, Abel, an anti-hero would be a huge misnomer in its own right. This first book barely scratches the surface. Can’t wait to follow this Vertigo series in 2017. 4.75/5 Bibles.

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