Are you still in post-SDCC recovery? Has your diet normalized from the cookies, pretzels, and energy drinks you lived off of last week? While you try to decompress into your normal routines there’s quite a few new #1 comics this week to help ease you back. Marvel are looking to cash in on their partnership with Telltale Games before the first game even wraps up, the alternate dimension Mignola plucks all his Hellboy universe stories from still hasn’t collapsed, and Rob Liefeld puts out a remaster maybe a few people asked for.
As always DC and Marvel get rundown by the beat crew every week here.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: THE TELLTALE SERIES #1
Story: Fred Van Lente
Art: Salva Espin
Colors: Jim Campbell
Letters: Cory Petit
Published By: Marvel
DC Comics tried to bring to the page Telltale Games story set in Bill Willingham’s Fable universe, The Wolf Among Us and it was disappointing. As someone who loved the game and read the digital series, I couldn’t tell who that comic was for. As it was nearly a scene by scene depiction of the events that happened in the game, there was no surprise for anyone who played the award winning, The Wolf Among Us. Those who hadn’t but enjoyed source material, Fables, got nothing of Telltale’s brand of crafting your own story. Which is what makes those stories soo good. I was bit tepid on seeing this new Guardians of the Galaxy comic on store shelves before the Telltale Games series even wraps its first season. While it still doesn’t match up to making choices and unfolding a story you have a hand in tailoring, Marvel at least puts effort into doing something original with this adaptation of their adaptation.
Seasoned comics scribe Fred Van Lente (who worked on some of the story for Telltale’s Michonne mini-series) tells a prequel story to the GOTG game leading up to when the group will encounter Thanos in the first episode. Van Lente puts Star-Lord and his band of outlaws in some major internal conflict with Quill’s personality flaws as the catalyst. The comic also gets to play with more of the Marvel universe than the game’s developer does, in this comic book series you’ll see several familiar faces including Howard The Duck who someone now owns the Milano. That’s the kind of fun this book can have while feeling like a companion to the game series for Telltale fans. Though some of the context will make more sense if you’ve played at least through GOTG episode one this comic has enough of its own legs to stand as a solid out of continuity Marvel book.
Salva Espin and Jim Campbell really nail it on parts of the book and look average in others. Thier big space scenes and fight shots have the necessary gravitas. When the book gets into its more intimate moments, it leans towards feeling a bit too Disney in comparison to the art style we see in the Telltale game itself. Everyone involved on this project understands what this is and could be, giving me no doubt the visual will match the narrative as it moves forward. Just as with Marvel finally understanding what video games with their character should be, they’re taking big steps to showing what the adapted comics could be.
[WON] Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series #1 is worth your time as a Marvel fan and a must if you’re a Telltale fan.
Bloodstrike #1: Remastered Edition
Story: Rob Liefeld, Eric Stephenson
Art: Rob Liefeld, Dan Fraga
Colors: Thomas Mason
Inks: Danny Miki, Rob Liefeld
Letters: Kurt Hathaway
Published By: Image Comics
How do you remaster an Image Comic from the 90’s, the publisher who remastered all of comics with the advances of digital coloring and glossy paper stock? Rob Liefeld thinks he can answer that with Bloodstrike #1 reprinted and upgraded, but that just isn’t the case.
Arguably, Extreme Studios least popular series compared to Youngblood and Brigade; Bloodstrike #1 is a comic that just didn’t age well from when it was originally published in the 90’s. Many of the over-pouched and shoulder padded characters are representative of what was both cool and wrong about the times. I’m still a fan of Image’s Youngblood, WildC.A.T.S, and Cyber Force but, this book took the joke of knocking off X-Men characters and kept pounding you over the head with it. The team is loaded with swap meet versions of Wolverine, Cable, Deadpool, and making all things DC fair… a fat Lex Luthor. Even as something to commemorate the anniversary of Extreme Studios, it doesn’t really have anything special added in; no commentary, no design sketches, barely a note from Rob at the beginning telling you to go to a website for that stuff. Paying for a book and them making people go on a website to see the rest defeats the purpose of print, right? There are spots in the pages here-and-there which looked a bit cleaned up or re-colored and you only notice them because it’s painfully obvious the other pages haven’t been when you compare them.
Liefeld as a creator has been polarizing, to say the least, you either love him or hate him. But you can’t deny he’s put in the work for his spot in this industry and I would hope as the publisher continues to celebrate this year we’ll see the better parts of his Image years get true anniversary treatments.
[Done] Bloodstrike #1 Remasted Edition is a remaster that needs a remastering.
B.P.R.D: The Devil You Know #1
Story: Mike Mignola, Scott Allie
Art: Laurence Campbell
Colors: Dave Stewart
Letters: Clem Robins
Published by: Dark Horse Comics
Let’s end this week on a more positive note. B.P.R.D: The Devil You Know is one hell of a book in a series of books where each new one is the best. Mike Mignola and Dark Horse editor Scott Allie tell this universe’s version of Stephen King’s apocalyptic tale, The Stand. Liz Sherman leads a crew through monster-infested ruins on the most important rescue mission of her life while cults arise in the midst of a power vacuum created when Lovecraftian monsters unleashed a hell on earth. The real danger comes in the form of a little girl appearing in people’s dreams leading them to mass suicide. In a world that’s already ruined where is the one place people will go to give themselves hope? Their dreams, and now even those aren’t safe. Seems like you can’t catch a break if you live in Mignola’s world.
Mignola and Allie introduce a ton of different elements in this opening issue, yet everything has a harmony to it that never feels like too much or too little giving way to a character I personally believe still has great stories to tell. Liz Sherman is one of the Mignolaverse’s characters who’s never the first to come to mind but is set up here to be a welcomed guide through this tale and could end up being one of her most memorable series’. As first issues go, there isn’t one big hook that’s supposed to draw in the reader. Instead, from cover to cover it’s the smaller details in characters, setting, and threads that add up. There’s something inherently good about material that makes you work as an audience without even realizing it.
The art team of Laurence Campbell and Dave Stewart are stellar in this series debut. BPRD: TDYK is visually the best book of the week. Campbell’s pages feel like you’re looking at snippets of a history book. There’s a grit to his shots that make his bigger action choices something you can get lost in. When it comes to Dave Stewart, the issue proves he’s a colorist who makes everyone he works with better. His pallete choice is in line with the tone of this Hellboy universe, but he lightens the hue’s enough to give the illustrators figures a distinctive pop when compared to other books.
[WON] B.P.R.D: The Devil You Know #1 is a fantastic example of what Dark Horse Comics does better than any other publisher, put continuity second in favor of telling meaningful stand alone stories you can give to a friend to enjoy.
Here’s the rest of the week’s #1 comics:
- ROBOTECH #1 (TITAN)
- ALL NEW CLASSIC ARCHIE YOUR PAL ARCHIE #1 (ARCHIE)
- ALIEN BOUNTY HUNTER #1 (VAULT)
- ZOJAQAN #1 (VAULT)
- CAPTAIN CANUCK 2017 ONGOING #1 (CHAPTERHOUSE COMICS)
- FAITH AND THE FUTURE FORCE #1 (VALIANT)
- GO GO POWER RANGERS #1 (BOOM!)
- HEAVENLY BLUES #1 (SCOUT COMICS)
- SIDEWINDER #1 (ANTARTIC PRESS)
- VAN HELSING VS THE WEREWOLF #1 (ZENOSCOPE)