SAVAGE / ULTIMATES 2 / VIOLENT LOVE / ETHER [Reviews]: Grand Passion.

SAVAGE #1 - Valiant
SAVAGE #1 – Valiant
"Sister" Savanna Leigh @SavannaDLeigh
“Sister” Savanna Leigh @SavannaDLeigh

My first thoughts when reading Savage #1 are very familiar to my thoughts when I watched the first episode of Lost–though I only made it through one episode so don’t correct me if my comparison is incorrect!–but then as I kept reading, faint memories of Jurassic Park came to me as well. How can you blame me?! Crashed plane on some random island.. and, of course, let’s throw in some flesh-eating dinosaurs! A lot of people will make similar comparisons, surely.

All future similes, metaphors and other comparison terms aside, Savage #1 was a solid albeit surprising issue that kept my interest the whole time. I’m actually excited to see if my morbid thoughts about the mother will be true. Writer B. Clay Moore (Hawaiian Dick) has an awesome comic book here, with artists Lewis LaRosa (X-Force), Clayton Henry (Alpha Flight) and colorist Brian Reber (X-Men Legacy) doing a phenomenal job bringing Savage #1 to life and creating detail to this issue, equal amounts realistic and grotesque. 4/5 Bibles.

ULTIMATES 2 #1 - Marvel
ULTIMATES 2 #1 – Marvel
Jason "Bad Preacher" Bud
Jason “Bad Preacher” Bud

Suck the stardust from this acronym: (U)ltimately (L)anguid, (T)iresome (I)teration by (M)arvel, (A)gain, (T)hat (E)ssentially (S)lumbers. Issue #1 of title is your unfriendly neighborhood Marvel-less mediocrity. Crystalline brilliance is often beheld within the simplest of measures, yet even that glimmer — from writer Al Ewing (2000 AD) and penciler Travel Foreman (Immortal Iron Fist)–eventually fades into unperceivable dark matter, once that same reflection incessantly laserbeams into the iris’s core. Look. Marvel needs to fully harness the meta-humanness of their hall of heroes, and duly allow their gargantuanly-talented creators carte blanche to deliver unto us a truly cosmological reckoning that shakes their overused comic palette to its very subatomic core.

With The Ultimates 2 #1, you’ve seen this one all before: a fistful of superheroes (Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Blue Marvel, Spectrum, Ms. America) have disbanded their supergroup due to certain forces from outside their circle, in conjunction with their incompatible dysfunctions from within; a “new,” and yet unperceived “threat” is forcing them to put aside those outlying obstacles and their internal differences, so they can reassemble to save the Earth, the humanity, and the galaxy; while they’re being dispatched to do so by someone who was once their enemy-and-is-now-their-frenemy. OH NO!!! What could that multiversal threat to the entirety of existence be??? Yeah…you guessed it: you’ll find out in episode #2, and it’ll most likely be some supervillain from Marvel’s long-established catalogue of criminals. Guess who’ll eventually win??? Yeah…exactly. 2.5/5 Red Dwarf Super Novas.

"Pontiff" Matt Paulsen @stigmonus
“Pontiff” Matt Paulsen

With a Bonnie & Clyde-esque cover–and a title like Violent Love–you can probably guess what kind of story this is going to be. When the book opens, we’re introduced to the hardships of the firey Daisy Jane, our criminal-to-be, along with her lover Rock. Interestingly, writer Frank J. Barbiere (White Suits) plays his hand early, showing us a glimpse of where the story will tragically end. But it’s all about the jouney and the stories of these characters to that point. Victor Santos (Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters) delivers a beautiful cinematic feel to the characters and a genuine feel to era-specific set-pieces, as the story bounces back and forth between 1987 Texas and California 1969. It’s a little bit slower than I’d prefer a first issue to be, but not so much that it’s a deal-breaker. If you’re like me and you’re a sucker for a good crime story, then Violent Love #1 is worth the check. 3.5/5 Bibles.

ETHER #1 - Dark Horse
ETHER #1 – Dark Horse
Jason "Pope" Sacks @jasonsacks
Jason “Pope” Sacks

Boone Dias is an adventurer, a wanderer into a delightfully strange fantasy realm full of bizarre creatures, astonishing architecture and magical portals. Boone has been journeying to that realm for years, applying real wield science to odd mysteries. As we discover in Ether #1, in his latest adventure Boone must investigate a locked-room mystery, complete with a magic bullet.

As if that isn’t enough to grab a reader, Boone has a second existence in the real world. He’s dissolute and destitute, a man whose spirit seems to be crushed and whose bank account seems nonexistent. How with the real and the magical interact with each other, and what will be the real facts behind Boone? With writer Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT, Unity) and bewitching artist David Rubin (The Hero) leading the way, this could be a delightful epic mindfuck of a comic. 4/5 Magic Bullets.

GRAND PASSION #1 - Dynamite
GRAND PASSION #1 – Dynamite
"Inquisitor" Luke Anderson IG @lukepoisoner
“Inquisitor” Luke Anderson IG @lukepoisoner

James Robinson (Starman, War of the Supermen) and Tom Feister (Ex Machina) deliver a taught crime/suspense/romance comic as part of Dynamite’s creator-owned line of releases. There’s actually not much more that can be said until issue 2 and the thick plottens. It has potential to be a rollicking good road-trip/ crime series of Preacher quality, but we aren’t there yet.

Feister’s art is the high-point here, as Robinson is largely just setting the scene and introducing characters and the premise; but Robinson’s cartoon-ish noir action keeps the issue moving at pace. It’s all very 90’s/00’s Vertigo in feel, so if you need some more of that in your life, then you need this book. 3/5 Bibles.

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