Writer Jason Latour‘s backmatter reveals that this series was a labor of love that took 10-years and all kinds of effort to wrassle onto the page. Which makes sense. Anyone familiar with Latour’s artwork on Southern Bastards, or his writing chops on Spider-Gwen, is probably at the very least curious at what an original mini-series written by the prolific artist is going to look like. And it looks gorgeous. Chris Brunner‘s artwork is stylized, a bit more cartoonish than what readers of Bastards have come to expect of Southern noir from Latour — but definitely in the same ballpark with strong storytelling and memorable body language that convey the narrative well.
The real stand-out, though, is the colorwork from Rico Renzi, who makes full use of a broad spectrum of color that ranges from dark and gritty shades to wild explosions of day-glo that border on the psychedelic; all the while, it still remains tasteful and in full control of his palette. The first issue, however, falls a little bit short in terms of characterization. While there are a couple of hooks and the inevitable climactic Tarantinoesque eruption of violence to propel the action into the next issue, Latour’s characters fail to rise above the stock set-ups of their archetypes, at least in this initial installment. This is somewhat mitigated by the disclaimer provided in the backmatter, the writer hoping the reader won’t cringe and “confuse the past with the present,” but that’s how this issue lands, whenever it was written.
3/5 $5 Buckets of Pisswater.
This month I was asked to review Ladycastle. Being a lady myself, I thought that this would be an instant match…it was not. I personally found Ladycastle 01 very corny and lacking a decent storyline for my liking. I did enjoy the occasional unicorn though!
The beginning of the story starts similarly to Rapunzel did, but then you find that the young princess has been locked away in this castle by her father and he won’t let her out until she decides that she is ready to marry a man her dad chooses…This story is really winning me over (she says in a sarcastic tone and is silently screaming “shouldn’t her father be teaching her that that she can be I.N.D.E.P.E.N.D.E.N.T and have her own house, her own car and maybe have two jobs and work hard and be a bad broad…”)
The story slowly turns into more of a Mulan type of tale when the princess is freed and cuts off her hair, her dress and puts on armor to go fight her dad’s mess. Why do women even get to clean up a man’s mess in fairy-tales! Honestly, I was not impressed with Delilah Dawson (Star Wars: The Perfect Weapon) and Ashley Woods‘ (Niobe: She Is Life) creation of Ladycastle. The only thing it really had going for it was unicorns and a well wench that looked eerily similar to the creepy chick from The Ring.
Coming off the heels of Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, this one-shot explores what happens to Killer Frost between the end of that miniseries and the start of the new JLA series next month. The answer? Some of her paperwork for her release was misplaced, so she’s still in Belle Reve.
Basically, Amanda Waller being Amanda Waller.
Still, Steve Orlando and Jody Houser make sure Frost has an interesting last few days being locked up, though the real winner here is Mirka Andolfo’s artwork. This book is worth picking up just for the characters’ facial expressions. The Wall managing to side-eye someone while in mid-pout? Yes, please.
3.5/5 Illustrated Bibles.
Magic is real people, and the one wizard on Earth is here to help. Or is he ? Charles (Daredevil, Inhumans v X-Men) Soule & Ryan (God Hates Astronauts ) Browne bring us CURSE WORDS #1 from Image Comics. We are introduced to WIZORD (not a typo) the Wizard as he first comes to Earth to cast a spell for his master. But Wizord changes his plans. He decides to stay here. A quick rise to fame, fortune and talking animals.
A hero for hire? No? Wizard for hire!
As long as you follow the three rules of his magic : No Cures, No Wars, No Love. Everything seems to be going his way, that is until others from his home world of LEGEND come to finish the job Wizord was set out to accomplish. Soule does a wonderful job with laying out the rules of magic for this series while Ryan Browne does his usual trick of making the mundane look fantastic, and the fantastic look uncanny . Clean and crisp storytelling, wonderful character design with fun crazy yet easy to read layouts. If you’ve never had the chance to read the insanity that is God Hates Astronauts, you’re doing yourself a disservice as a fan of this medium. But that’s a review for another time. Soule and Brown are friends who both meld their unique voices together to make something magical here. Its a neat trick, indeed.
Hero? Wizard? Magic? Platinum Coated Pop Stars? A talking Koala bear? Sentient Facial hair? I’m in. I’m so in. 4/5 Magic F’N Words