Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tardy Tuesday Reviews: Green Wake #1 and a bunch of mini reviews

Alright, life keeps me busy, but hey, looking for a job will do that to you.  On the other hand, if any of you folks are looking to hire and honored Business Administration/Finance student who's looking for a job when he graduates in June, let me know!  As such, I've only got one review for you today instead of my usual three.

Green Wake #1 Writer: Kurtis Wiebe  Artist: Riley Rossmo

Green Wake is book that has really flown under a lot of people's radar.  Debuting in the shadow of Marvel's Fear Itself and fellow Image property Non-Player, this book seems to have been ignored under the flurry of publicity that both of the other properties received.  That's a damn shame as for my money, Green Wake #1 is stronger debut than either of the aforementioned series.  So what exactly is Green Wake?  It's the titular island where castaways and those lost at sea arrive at with no knowledge of how they got there.  All attempts to leave the island only lead right back to the island.  Think the island from "LOST" only with a massive Victorian style settlement and port instead of the lush greenery of TV series.  In this town, the residents lead humdrum lives to live out the rest of their now unnatural lives.  Indeed, in the face of never seeing those they loved ever again, it appears that most or all of the residents become reclusive or withdrawn and only exits their homes if they absolutely must.  The only exceptions to this rule seem to be our protagonists Morley and Krieger.  Having appointed themselves the town sheriffs and welcoming committee through virtue of the fact that no one else is willing to do the task, the two seem to be the only residents who enjoy interaction with others in the godforsaken world they've stumbled onto.  We don't know a whole bunch about either of them, except that enither have any training in law matters, but are earnestly doing their best to serve their bizarre community.  Inside of the mystery of the nature of the island, we are also presented the mystery of a woman who appears to have snapped and gone on murderous rampage.  One of the quirks of the island is that its residents live unnaturally long lives (as eveidenced by Krieger who now looks more zombie than human), but they can still apparently die.  These murders are grisly, nasty crime scenes and really contribute towards the horror portion of the title's "horror-noir" genre banner.  It's made more curious by the fact that this woman, Ariel, was one of the more reclusive members of the community and the fact that her former boyfriend coincidentally.  This issue sets up a lot of questions for the series to answer in four short issues, which does worry that we're going to be left hanging on a few of these threads.  However, for the first issue, the hook is strong enough and the writing is capable enough that I'm quite intrigued as to where this could go and will definitely be back for the rest of the mini.  While the writing and plotting thus far is very strong, it's a little lacking in the character department.  While Morley, per solicits, has been put forth as the main character of the series, we don't really know much about him other than he's a bit of a odd fellow.  Krieger is little more than a caricature at this point as well, having the depth of a puddle to his characterization so far.  In fact, it seems we know the most about Bill, the newest arrival and the former boyfriend of She-who-snapped-and-killed-everybody.  Bill acts as a sort of stand-in for the reader and we're almost invited in to solve this mystery alongside them.  On the art front, I easily think this series has been the best fit for Rossmo's art of anything that he's been on.  His art kind of clashed with the story being told in CowboyNinjaViking and it was pretty good on Proof, but there's something about his stylistic sensibilities that really fit the mood of this comic quite well.  His unique linework/inking can get a little messy at times and there's a few spots where I had to stare for a minute to figure out what was going on, but overall it's some of the better work that I've seen out of him.  It's moody, detailed when called for, and sets the tone for the series quite well.  Overall, it's a very good debut and was the most enjoyable book of the week for me.  I want to get to know a bit more about these characters and there personalities and I want a little better ending than LOST hopefully.  Overall, I give Green Wake #1 a...

Wonderful use of light and shadow on Rossmo's part.

And since I didn't give you three full reviews this week, I'm going to do a couple hit and run reviews to finish off this post.

Herc #1 Writers: Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente Artist: Neil Edwards

Very entertaining start to new series.  Much darker than previous run and great art from Edwards.  8.5/10

Annihilators #2 Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning  Artists: Tan Eng Huat & Timothy Green.

Annihilators half of this book gives us fairly standard superheroics that's enjoyable if not a bit too straightforward with some mostly good Huat art. The Rocket Raccoon and Groot story is heartfelt, hilarious, and features incredible art.  7/10 for Annihilators half and 8.8/10 for the Rocket Raccoon half.

Chew #18 Writer: John Layman Artist: Rob Guillory

Funniest issue in quite a while with a solid story to boot.  9/10

Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth #2 Writer: Malachai Nicolle  Artist: Ethan Nicolle

Absolutely hilarious.  Funniest book on the stands right now.  Story makes no sense, but I don't care and neither should you.  8.4/10

Heroes for Hire #5  Writers: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning  Artist: Robert Atkins

This series has gone massively downhill since issue #3.  The art was bad, the story was boring and predictable and it generally was not a pleasant reading experience.  4.8/10

Non-Player #1 Writer, Artist, Everything: Nate Simpson

Absolutely gorgeous book.  Stunning visuals and painstaking care is put into his immaculate linework.  Some solid world-building here but not much of a plot to go on unfortunately.  8.5/10

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