Hello from Compton California. February kicks off with a week in comics which didn’t see the dam of debut comics drown the village, but we managed to bring you a pair things worth talking about this week in ONE OR DONE.
PLANET OF THE APES / GREEN LANTERN #1 ($3.99)
Story: Robbie Thompson, Justin Jordan
Art: Barnaby Bagenda
Colors: Alex Guimaraes
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Publisher: BOOM! Studios/DC Comics
While I know much of ins and outs of how comics are made, the business decisions behind them still puzzle me at times. Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern is the latest in a series of crossovers between DC Comics characters and Boom! Studios comics or licensed properties. While the book is far from bad, even fantastic in one part, it doesn’t feel as though this should have been the crescendo of the crossover books. Nonetheless, it’s here and I gotta tell everyone; I was pleasantly surprised.
Robbie Thompson and Justin Jordan build a story tailored to blending these two universes together while being mindful of not jumping any sharks. When an ancient power ring breaks the barriers of the universe it sends Sinestro on a quest for the power with Hal Jordan and the corps out to stop him. When the ring itself lands on The Planet of the Apes, Cornelius becomes the carrier of a spectrum of power unlike anything his people have seen before.
While the premise is a bit simple itself, the plot is executed well with action that feels fun. Red and Green lanterns fiercely battling in space is balanced by the political intrigue of Planet of the Apes. The debut issue doesn’t show how the elements will come together till the last pages but, it’s an ending that leaves you wanting issue two to be here already.
Artist, Barnaby Bagenda brings much of the sensibility we saw during his run on Omega Men. We always knew he could draw the right emotion during dialogue heavy scenes, but here the action sequences are just as strong, something Omega Men didn’t nail often enough. Where the art seemed weakest was in the coloring. Alex Guimiaraes work would be solid over any other artist. Here it doesn’t give Bagenda’s line work the same texture I loved seeing in Omega Men colored by Romulo Fajardo.
Planet/Green Lantern had the unenviable task of following Justice League/Power Rangers. Going in, it was an uphill battle to prove the book had a reason for existing. Are there that many fans clamoring for more Planet of the Apes comics? Who knows, but there’s enough here for Green Lantern fans to love and get behind. Issue one shot out of the gate with the right amount of action and told a story which isn’t taking many chances instead, it plays to the strengths of both worlds and proves this series is no slouch in the crossover department.
[WON] Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern is unexpected fun. Coming on the heels of a more notable crossover, this comic proves its worth in these pages.
BLOOD BLISTER #1 ($3.99)
Story: Phil Hester
Art: Tony Harris
Inks: Eric Layton
Colors: Guy Major
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Far from a kids comic book, Blood Blister is the new Aftershock published series written by veteran Phil Hester and drawn by the incredible Tony Harris. The pair create a world of unspeakable horrors where morality is consumed like a piece of toast under an overflowing jar of expired grape jelly. Blood Blister focuses on Brandon Hull, a man of business and leisure who scoffs at trivial things such as ethics and well…the law. His once perfect body begins to decay on the outside as his soul is on the inside. He’ll dive into this world of occult and darkness in order to restore his old self. The opening sets readers up for a gory tale of moral lessons and gut punching emotion.
Tony Harris is in rare form for Blood Blister. All the surreal panel layouts I loved about Ex-Machina, the visual poetry of War Heroes; he brings it all to this book. Many artists who strive to do what Harris does end up tripping over themselves and the result is an unreadable mess. No matter how experimental Tony Harris gets in his pages, the story could be easily understood without seeing a word on the page. The book’s color work completes the dark intense tone. Guy Major’s color philosophy is like fashion, black goes with everything. It works.
Blood Blister feels like a story Harris and Hester couldn’t tell anywhere else. Hull is a dark prick of a character you won’t like. Luckily for us, this world he’s in where inner darkness is reflected tangibly is what’s most interesting about the book. Unlike other books with no compelling lead, this one’s world is the hook that will keep readers interested.
[WON] Blood Blister would be called dark by a cup of black coffee. I love it for that!