This week’s biggest debuting comics belonged to Image Comics with the supernatural horror mindbender Gideon Falls and the much anticipated Kirkman pre-tv property Oblivion Song. That’s not to say the industry as a whole didn’t keep up as Dynamite took the legend of The Green Hornet in a bold direction while Oni gave Rick & Morty fans Vindicators 3.5
GREEN HORNET #1
Story: Amy Chu
Art: German Erramouspe
Colors: Brittany Pezzillo
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Published by: Dynamite
While Dynamite isn’t ahead of the curve when it comes to shaking up readership by putting females in the roles of long established heroes, the new Green Hornet series is one of the few to do it for logical story reasons.
Writer, Amy Chu puts her stamp on the crime-plagued world of Century City as she picks up where Kevin Smith’s progression of Green Hornet left off. Britt Reid Jr. is missing and in his absence, a vacuum of power in the city’s underworld is causing crime to spike. It’s up to Kato’s daughter Mulan to grab the keys to the iconic Black Beauty and let the thieves and gangsters know Green Hornet still rules the territory. This series opening hits a rare tonal equilibrium balancing multiple goals. Readers get hooked by the question of “what happened to Britt Reid?” while still being gravitated towards Mulan as a compelling character. Her plight is summed up efficiently in a moment where she’s tasked with taking down a fake Green Hornet. A big part of this series is going to focus on the weight the legacy of The Green Hornet will put on her shoulders.
On the script level, Green Hornet #1 does its share by giving readers a compelling hook of mystery and crime. Its major drawback is German Erramouspe’s art. While it’s a rare level of good in intimate dialogue moments and serviceable in action, there’s no excuse for the plastic toy look of the Black Beauty we get. As artists, you don’t have to be good at drawing everything but there are some weaknesses you can’t compensate for. The cars in this issue lack the muscle and definition the iconic crime fighting vehicle is known for. It almost looks like Kato and the new Hornet will go out to fight crime in Blake Griffin’s Kia Optima instead of Matthew McConaughey’s crazy sexy Lincoln.
Overall, Green Hornet #1 does enough to bring you back in to find out how this story unfolds but Black Beauty has to get a better design.
Rick and Morty Presents The Vindicators (One-shot)
Story: J. Torres
Art: CJ Cannon
Colors: Nick Filardi
Published by: Oni Press
The rude and hilarious world of Rick & Morty created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon is the most popular thing going in pop culture today. So much so that it brought back a long thought dead sauce to McDonald’s. Naturally, comics would follow. This special from Oni Press brings a hilarious superhero parody starring the Galaxy’s least helpful heroes, The Vindicators.
This special one-shot doesn’t dance around meta commentary about the comic book industry. Rick Sanchez himself calls out specific things like “event fatigue” and “revolving door deaths” as Million Ants, Supernova, and Alan Rails journey to stop the galactic menace of Boon from gathering the Infinity Balls. You read that correctly, even Marvel’s most powerful object isn’t safe from the mockery. As much as on the nose directness can be preachy, this one never lets the commentary get in the way of the fun. The Rick and Morty universe exists to make the audience laugh with edgy and insightful commentary which these panels have their share of.
Oh, and if you love the extended cast of the show, you’re in for a treat from Scary Terry bi**h!
Rick and Morty Presents The Vindicators is another welcomed hold over for fans until we eventually get a season 4. Wubba Lubba Dub Dub!
OBLIVION SONG #1
Story: Robert Kirkman
Art: Lorenzo De Felici
Colors: Annalisa Leoni
Letters: Rus Wooton
Published by: Image Comics/Skybound
Here’s a secret, we’ve forgotten Robert Kirkman is an extremely good writer capable of unique concepts, generating multiple memorable characters, and not pulling out the rug from under you.
Oblivion Song showcases much of the talent that showed why early Walking Dead and Invincible became best sellers. This story set in two worlds follows Nathan Cole, a man set on rescuing 3,000 people sucked into a monstrous alternate dimension. The world he traverses is full of imaginative monsters and grotesque things you can’t help but marvel at. His mission is admirable and as a character, Cole is a solid hero we can get behind. Issue one rolls out much of the premise and character motivations as we find someone close to our hero was among those taken into this oblivion.
Lorenzo De Felici’s art was a concern going into the story. Unproven in comics and given such a spotlight project could have been disastrous. You can’t help but marvel at how fluid the artist’s sequential layouts are in this issue. Every panel is easy to follow and never jars the reader. When you combine that with imaginative designs, proper action shots, and solid dialogue scenes it equals a showcase for De Felici. One that makes me want to see more. Two other elements make Oblivion Song’s pages stand out as some of the best you’ll look at this week. The color work of Annalisa Leoni pops the line work without sacrificing the linework detail. These monsters and landscapes show every detail the artist put into the pages. Completing the puzzle is the restrained effects and lettering design. This panel work is fantastic but delicate. Improperly placed balloons or sound effects could have ruined it, yet it manages to be noticed as complimentary to the package of Oblivion Song.
Oblivion Song is without a doubt the strongest debut series Skybound has put out since Theif of Thieves. Like most of the series coming from Kirkman it has a danger of overstaying its welcome but I’ll enjoy the ride till the shark gets jumped.
HERE’S WHAT’S DEBUTING IN STORES THIS WEEK:
- HIGHEST HOUSE #1 (IDW)
- OCTOBER FACTION SUPERNATURAL DREAMS #1 (IDW)
- SPIDER KING #1 (IDW)
- GIDEON FALLS #1 (IMAGE)
- PRISM STALKER #1 (IMAGE)
- INFINITY COUNTDOWN #1 (MARVEL)
- MARVELS ANT-MAN AND WASP PRELUDE #1 (MARVEL)
- ASSASSINS CREED ORIGINS #1 (TITAN)
- BALLAD OF SANG #1 (ONI PRESS)
- DODGE CITY #1 (BOOM! STUDIOS/BOOM! BOX)
- DREAMLESS #1 (KEENSPOT)
- FIGHTING AMERICAN TIES THAT BIND #1 (TITAN)
- SONITUS #1 (ALTERNA COMICS)
- THE XII #1 (ALTERNA COMICS)