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ONE OR DONE: Find yourself ELSEWHERE, just as long as it’s not a GHOST STATION.

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*clap clap clap* More new comics! *clap clap…clap clap clap* Another week means another crop of debuting #1’s and one-shots. Marvel brought their Generations of Hulks together, Dynamite apparently likes cats, and Image offers up an answer to some of history’s most famous disappearances.

As always check out the Marvel and DC rundowns for what’s new in the big two.

ELSEWHERE #1

 

Story: Jay Faerber

Art: Sumeyye Kesgin

Colors: Ron Riley

Letters: Thomas Mauer

Published by: Image Comics

 

 

 

 

Copperhead is one of those books that’s the answer anytime you ask a creator what some of their favorite comics are and for myself one of series I’ve been meaning to finish. Not helping that Jay Faerber now has a new series that might be even better, Elsewhere.

Korvath is a world filled with mythical beasts and ruled by a fascist dictator. No, it’s not America 2017, it’s the setting of Elsewhere. Artist, Sumeyye Kesgin designs something reminding you of the planes of Dune while giving it a topographical geography like something out of Tolkien. Supporting her eye and line work is Ron Riely’s color choices. Filling in everything with a cool tone gives these pages a vibe I haven’t felt since I watched the beginning scenes of the Last Starfighter. Readers get their introduction in a daring prison escape when 2 inmates, Cort and Tavel, flee for their lives and encounter Amelia Earhart, the famous female pilot who vanished in the Bermuda Triangle.

Readers get their introduction to the characters in a daring prison escape when 2 inmates, Cort and Tavel, flee for their lives only to encounter Amelia Earhart, the famous female pilot who vanished over the central Pacific in 1937.

It’s from there, the story opens up to reveal the wonders of the world while also setting up some of the series’ overarching dilemmas. How will she get home? Is she the only human on this world? Faerber has a lot of possibility in this story and the first issue’s final page illustrates that best. While creating original characters is a gift possessed by talented people in comics, there’s something to be said when a writer or an artist can find that sweet spot using a figure from real life history in a way that makes them interesting all over again while not over bombasting their lineage.

[WON] Elsewhere #1 is an insanely good book for the non-traditional comic inclined, science fiction novel lovers or those who enjoy tall tales.

GHOST STATION ZERO #1

Story: Anthony Johnston

Art: Shari Chankhamma

Letters: Simon Bowland

Published By: Image Comics

 

 

 

 

Did you enjoy Atomic Blonde? Well, the creator of the graphic novel it was based on, The Coldest City, has a new series out this week; Ghost Station Zero. In a debut that sets out to translate the neon stylized spy action we saw on theater screens, Anthony Johnston brings back Russia’s answer to James Bond, Baboushka.

Creators, Anthony Johnson and Shari Chankahamma bring readers a character that checks all the super spy boxes: sweet ninja moves, witty quips, and sex appeal. In this world, Ghost Stations are abandoned secret bases from the cold war era. When an EON agent goes missing on the trail of a ghost station in the Swiss mountains, Babushka’s simple rescue mission gets more complicated by what she encounters underground. She’ll utilize exploding vehicles, dozens of bullets, sensual charms, and the

In this world, Ghost Stations are abandoned secret bases from the cold war era. When an EON agent goes missing on the trail of a ghost station in the Swiss mountains, Babushka’s simple rescue mission gets more complicated by what she encounters underground. She’ll utilize exploding vehicles, dozens of bullets, sensual charms, and the agility of 10 Olympic gymnasts to get out of this jam.

The book certainly has an interesting premise, but its execution has some mechanical problems. For an action packed comic, the word balloons are overused soo much that they distract from what the issues strengths are. What’s more is they offer little contribution to make the story more interesting where simplified dialogue choices would have made things more efficient. The end result comes out a bit too much on the boring side because of the choice to not let the action carry the reader.

Which is a shame because the action scenes are top-notch pop corn flick, had they been better balanced with the medium of comics, it would have made Ground Station Zero one of the best book’s of the week featuring a female lead.

[DONE] Ghost Station Zero #1 has some great action sequence visuals but stumbles over itself in creating a hook that warrants attention.

TMNT: DIMENSION X #1

 

Story: Paul Allor

Art: Pablo Tunica

Letters: Shawn Lee

Published By: IDW

 

 

 

 

 

Normally, tie-in comics to events bring a knee jerk eye-roll reaction. Even in the greatest of events like Infinity Gauntlet, Crisis, or Secret Wars; publishers can’t help but make these additional material books to pry more money out of consumers. Which is why my shields were up when I looked at TMNT: Dimension X, a Ninja Turtles mini-series tapping in directly to the events of IDW’s regular TMNT series event: The Trial of Krang. Unlike the bigger publisher’s, IDW’s aim is to have this book be more necessary than optional and it’s a refreshing change of pace that it feels that way while still managing to have standalone legs.

Everyone’s favorite heroes in a half shell will be traveling to different planets in Krang’s home of Dimension X to transport witnesses who will testify in the events of the main series. In the mini-series opening, the turtles travel to Go’Mo a planet inhabited by gooey empathy inclined creatures. Only getting the witness out will put the team on a collision with Hakk-R’s hired assassin.

Visually, the book does the job but it’s far from the best art we’ve ever seen in TMNT comics. Artist, Pablo Tunica tries to blend the turtles’ cartoony grit with busy off the wall elements you might find in Shaolin Cowboy. Which is where the work in the book thrives, it nails the atmosphere. Where it goes flat is with the character models; the facial expressions and anatomy of the Ninja Turtles is borderline creepy. Readers will notice a lot of anatomy when these characters emote, even dentists don’t see that much of a persons gums.

Writer, Paul Allor scripts a fun cat-and-mouse story where the focus isn’t on these characters but their mission. Telling stories in this alien world isn’t about setting out to add lore changing elements but instead just do enjoyable comics giving the audience the cereal bowl enjoyment reminiscent of getting up way too early to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles before school. Best of all it tells its own narrative first and serves the event optionally. On this level, I’m all in on this mini-series. If Law & Order has taught you anything more than a catchy ominous sound, it’s that witnesses in trials are an absolute necessity. To IDW’s credit they aren’t hiding behind the veil of “if you don’t want to buy the tie-ins you don’t have to”, other publishers use when it comes to material like this. For that reason alone Dimension X deserves a chance to win you over.

[WON] Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Dimension X #1 is a radical start to this mini-series. It may not be up there with City at War, but by the end could be as enjoyable as watching Secret of the Ooze. 

GRUMPY CAT/GARFIELD #1

 

Story: Mark Evanier

Art: Steve Yu

Letters: Tom Napolitano

Published By: Dynamite Ent.

 

 

 

I know Dynamite was shooting for a mix of new and old with their Grumpyhy Cat/ Garfield crossover mini-series, but it’s 2017. Is Grumpy Cat still contemporary in a world where we’ve the attention span of a fruit fly?

Writer, Mark Evanier puts a lot of effort into coming up with a story premise that’s logical for two characters who are practically identical. On that level, it’s a serviceable comic book. When the nefarious president of Pet Mogul stores (yep that’s the name of the company) invents a way to alter the behavior of cats to be more like dogs, the company will seek to test out the science on the worlds most cat-like cats.

The story is hat on hat, two lazy cats who hate people and live to sleep. A comic book can’t really blend two different elements if there’s no distinction between them. These characters even do practically the exact same thing to their supporting cast, Garfield to Odie and GC to Pokey. Acting like buttholes to them, it really only works for Garfield though as Grumpy just comes off with the poise of a misspelled tweet. Garfield isn’t a thing kids today would get, sadly it’s much like Seinfeld. Gold not appreciated by a new generation. This book is meant for a wide age ranging crowd but it’s soo dumbed down that it quickly loses any momentum.

Visually there’s also a jarring disconnect. The art of Steve Yu is solid on separate sides of the Garfield/Grumpy Cat fence. It’s when two worlds share panels that the book loses any immersion. Everything was fine until you hit that first panel where Garfield is about to be catnapped that the invading art elements stick out to you a bit too much. I’ve always had an appreciation for the simple clean style Jim Davis created with this cartoon and I wished they would have adapted the GC character into this style rather than draw a story that feels like Alexander Luthor is playing with that world smashing machine from Infinite Crisis.

[DONE] Grumpy Cat/Garfield #1 that tries to aim at two audiences but only understands one.

Here’s the rest of this week’s #1 comics:

  • NEW GODS SPECIAL #1 (DC Comics)
  • GENERATIONS BANNER HULK & TOTALLY AWESOME HULK #1 (MARVEL)
  • ROBOTECH #1 (TITAN)
  • ADVENTURE TIME REGULAR SHOW #1 (BOOM!)
  • ALL TIME COMICS BLIND JUSTICE #1 (Fantagraphics)
  • DEAD OF WINTER #1 (ONI PRESS)
  • LARKS KILLER #1 (DEVILS DUE)
  • GALAKTIKON #1 (ALBATROSS)
  • ROBYN HOOD THE HUNT #1 (ZENOSCOPE)
  • SPIRITUS #1 (VAULT COMICS)
  • TUROK #1 (DYNAMITE)

 

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