Are we finally recovered from Infinity War? Yeah. Me neither. The only thing that can possibly help is more new comics. Fraggle Rock and Venom respectively get debuting books on the shelves while Garth Ennis added a new war story to the World of Tanks lore, but the best-of-the-best this week belongs to Brian Haberlin.
Medieval Spawn & Witchblade #1
Story: Brian Haberlin, Brian Holguin
Art: Brian Haberlin
Colors: Geirrod VanDyke
Letters: Francis Takenaga
Published by: Image Comics
Todd McFarlane’s creation has shared pages with some of comics biggest characters including Batman. Meaning a crossover isn’t exactly a surprise, but the execution within the pages of this first issue are some of the most breathtaking you’ll see all year.
It’s been two decades since Spawn and Witchblade crossed paths. Rather than lean on already established versions of the characters Al Simmons or Sara Pezzini, instead, we’re put into an ancient world of castles, moats, and new characters such as King Valon the Medieval Spawn. Just happens, this kingdom has been overrun by demons and monsters. As the people of the land prepare for a last stand against these dark forces, the lost king will return to save them. This king has become the medieval incarnation of Spawn and these pages bring back a feel of the property’s touchstones: weaponry, armor, and metal.
The unknowns of this series story give it a chance to hook readers by only revealing enough backstory of this new Spawn to give you the narrative’s themes of deceit and magic.
Where this book absolutely shines is its blending of digital effects art with traditional 2D panels. Brian Haberlin has made a career out of being ahead of the art curve. MS&Wproves his talent isn’t limited to 3D gimmicks, here Haberlin shows how good he is as a sequential artist. Issue one begins, middles, and ends on big splash pages led into by smooth small moments that make the respective payoffs feel earned for readers. As with his Anomaly books, Haberlin’s Spawn & Witchblade comes with a special augmented reality extra. Looking at the cover through your mobile device shows you some behind the scenes stuff from the book. There’s more in the digital space which goes along with it but I haven’t had the time to scope it all.
Medieval Spawn & Witchblade #1 is a solid read for those missing the old school intensity of Spawn.
This Week’s #1’s (From Diamond Catalog):JIM HENSON FRAGGLE ROCK #1 (BOOM! Studios) (W) Jared Cullum (A/CA) Jared CullumThe Fraggles are back in an all new stand alone adventure illustrated in beautiful watercolor and presented in a format perfect for longtime fans to share with the next generation.WORLD OF TANKS CITADEL #1 (DARK HORSE) (W) Garth Ennis (A) P. J. Holden (CA) Isaac HannafordThe Eastern Front, 1943: as the cataclysmic Battle of Kursk looms large, Captain Piotr Piotrowicz and his driver, Natalya "Ginger" Pulkhova, prepare their unit for action- equipped with the worst tanks in the Russian inventory.JUSTICE LEAGUE NO JUSTICE #1 (DC) (W) Scott Snyder, James TynionIV, Joshua Williamson (A/CA) Francis ManapulDARK NIGHTS: METAL left the DCU transformed in ways both terrifying and wondrous-and only the Justice League is strong enough to face the threats to come...or are they?BARRIER #1 (IMAGE) (W) Brian K. Vaughan (A/CA) Marcos MartinFrom the Eisner Award-winning team behind THE PRIVATE EYE, BARRIER is an unconventional drama about violence, language, and illegal immigration...with a shocking sci-fi twist.HUNT FOR WOLVERINE ADAMANTIUM AGENDA #1 (MARVEL) (W) Tom Taylor (A) R. B. Silva (CA) Greg LandSNIKT! A SOUND THAT ONCE MADE BLOOD RUN COLD, WHICH THE AVENGERS WANT TO ENSURE IS NEVER USED FOR EVIL AGAIN. Due to a promise made between heroes, the NEW AVENGERS have reassembled to make sure Logan's body isn't misused.VENOM #1 (Marvel) (W) Donny Cates (A/CA) Ryan StegmanIn the wake of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s collapse, an ancient and primordial evil has been awakened beneath the streets of New York, and with it, something equally evil has awakened in that most Wicked of WebslingersLOVE AND AARDVARKS #1 (Ardvark Press) (W) Dave Sim, Sandeep Atwal (A) Dave Sim, Gustave Dore (CA) Lee Thacker if only Cerebus had married Maggie and Hopey; Jerusalem Crickets and The Crazy Catholics Hallelujah Chorus; An Ox's Nard; Cerebus develops "Cerebus Go"; God vs. Tarim; Philosophers on Jesus' teachings; "Aardvark Amuck"; Epic-length "Satan the Closeted Gilbert & Sullivan Fan"; Infernal Realms Police Training; John Lennon in Hell?; Drinking in Hell; Infernal Intercontinental Wrestling Title.ROCHELLE VOL 2 #1 (Antartic Press) (W) John Crowther (A) Dell BarrasInsect-tacular superhero Rochelle and her friends embark on a spring break vacation like no other in the beautiful Florida Keys. But their vacation quickly becomes an adventure as they delve into "The Legend of Skeeter, the Key West Ghoul"!WARHAMMER 40000 DEATHWATCH #1 (TITAN) (W) Aaron Dembski-Bowden (A) Tazio Bettin (CA) ?RJAN SvendsenThe best of the best and the most dangerous space marines from every chapter are called to the Deathwatch! They alone have the strength of mind and body to wield alien weapons and battle the enemy across the universe, manning the wall to defend humanity from the Xenos that would destroy them.