Star-Lord and Nova!!!!
Can’t stop thinking about Star-Lord?
Then you need to read Annihilation, which is conveniently on sale right now.
A comiXologist Recommends:
Harris Smith recommends Low #1
The best science fiction is a measured balance of concept and idea. The concept is the hook, it draws the reader in with its inventiveness. The idea is what gives a good science fiction story resonance. Planet of the Apes, Logan’s Run and X-Men all have great sci-fi concepts: a future where apes have evolved beyond humans, a futuristic society that kills off anyone over the age of 30, a group of teenagers born with metahuman abilities. No doubt these clever stories are what initially drew readers and viewers in, but these three concepts have strong ideas behind them that have continued to reverberate with readers for decades: a treatise on evolution and man’s inhumanity to man, an indictment of youth-obsessed culture, an allegory for racial prejudice.
Rick Remender's new comic, Low, has both concept and idea. The concept is overflowing with imagination (would we expect anything less from the creator of Franke-Castle?): in the future, an expanding sun has doomed the human race and driven them underwater, where they live in an encapsulated city besieged by “Road Warrior”-esque pirates and scavengers. The idea, meanwhile, is universal- how do we find hope in the face of the inevitability of death, in this case the knowledge that the sun will soon engulf the Earth? Remender sets this heady existential question, one that’s plagued philosophers from Kirkegaard to Ernest Becker, within an exciting, colorful universe, a world replete with majestic fantasy landscapes and riotous underwater battle sequences. It’s a perfect blend of concept and idea tied together with the vision of a true artist and highlighted with masterfully evocative artwork by Greg Tocchini. High-minded ideas and aristry aside, Remender really knows how to tell a story and this first issue left me genuinely excited, maybe even a little anxious, to find out what happens next.
Harris Smith is a Brooklyn-based comics and media professional. In addition to his role as a Senior Production Coordinator at comiXology, he edits several comics anthologies, including Jeans and Felony Comics, under the banner of Negative Pleasure Publications. He’s also the host of the weekly radio show Neagtive Pleasure on Newtown Radio.
A comiXologist Recommends:
Mike Isenberg recommends Zombillenium #2
Zombillenium Vol. 2 is finally here! When Vol. 1 came out last summer it totally charmed my socks off, so I was very excited to see Vol. 2 on our release slate for this week.
For the uninitiated, Zombillenium is an absolutely gorgeous graphic novel series from French cartoonist and graphic designer Arthur de Pins. The story centers on a “spooky” themed amusement park, the eponymous Zombillenium, and its highly unusual staff. Park guests are wowed by the zombie make-up, ghostly special-effects, and monster costumes; little do they know that everything in the park is real. After all, why use make-up when you can employ the legitimately undead?
If the set-up sounds a bit hammy, trust me when I say that de Pins’s superb execution lets this book soar high above its premise. The characters are delightful, the writing is snappy and very funny (though you may have to excuse the occasional awkward translation), and did I mention that the art is absolutely gorgeous? Each page was created digitally using Adobe Illustrator and the result is a distinctive, crisp, cartoony style that looks like no other book out there. The characters are all lively and dynamic, the colors all pop; really I could just stare at this book for hours.
Volume 1 introduced us to the characters and the park, while management dealt with declining sales and a labor dispute with the Zombies Union. This new volume keeps the focus on the running of the park, which is now having some trouble with the locals. Employing thousands of undead, while the nearby area suffers double-digit unemployment for the living, will tend to ruffle some feathers. When a couple of local villagers enact a plan to infiltrate and sabotage the park, they’ll find more than they bargained for beneath the rides and cotton-candy machines.
I really can’t recommend this book highly enough. It’s light-hearted with a distinctly dark edge; the characters are charming, the dialogue is witty, and the artwork is stunning. Go check it out!
A comiXologist Recommends:
Jen Keith recommends Hawkeye #19
Bro. Hey, bro. It’s been a while, bro. New issue of Hawkguy, bro.
On the heels of winning an Eisner award for best single issue (see Hawkeye #11 with an additional Eisner award congratulations to writer Matt Fraction for Sex Criminals) comes Hawkeye #19, which manages to surpass my love for the pizza dog issue. Writer Matt Fraction (mattfractionblog) and artist David Aja (with an extra shout out to Chris Eliopoulos on co-lettering with Aja) continue to push the boundaries with this shiver-inducing exploration of deafness in comics.
Remember that heart-wrenching cliffhanger in issue #15? It’s time to finally find out what happened to Clint and his brother, Barney. With ear damage after an attack by a hitman, Clint’s world is suddenly much quieter. This isn’t Hawkeye’s first experience with being deaf; he lost his hearing back in a Hawkeye mini-series in 1983, and this issue looks into a stint during his childhood as well. We get a peek at Barney and Clint’s history and how their past parallels their present. Stunningly, we get most of this in a beautiful display of body and sign language.
The way this issue unfolds is entirely unique to the medium; you could not find this story told this way in anything other than a comic. It reads like the moments in movies when the soundtrack falls away into a vacuum of silence that drowns out everything, leaving you absorbed completely in the visual narrative. However, because this is comics, that silence is illustrated through a clever use of lettering and lack thereof along with “unsubtitled” sign language. The reader experiences the world on mute with Clint as he struggles to adapt and overcome his condition and its instigators.
After finishing this issue, I had to reread it because the pacing was so smooth despite the staccato panels of sign language and action that I couldn’t believe it was over. I was devastated, wanted more, and all I could think was, “Aw, comic, no.”
Grab your coffee carafe and some pizza, and go read Hawkeye #19. Ok, bro?
Jen Keith is a Digital Editor at comiXology, comic artist, music addict, and ate enough pizza recently to satisfy even Lucky the pizza dog.
A comiXologist Recommends:
Michael Crowe recommends Bodies #1
Four time periods, four murders, four detectives - one victim. Bodies, written by Si Spencer, is a murder mystery mini-series like no other. The story follows Shahara Hasan in 2014, Edmond Hillinghead in 1890, Maplewood in 2050 and Charles Whiteman in 1940, all working to solve the same case while timelines apart.
Each of the parallel narratives are illustrated by a different artist with colors by Lee Loughridge. Meghan Hetrick depicts the present day in a style that is dynamic yet grounded in realism. The pages are colored in shades of blue, lending a cold sterility to this era. Dean Ormstons vision of London in the 1890s is a shadowy, gothic world of grayscale pocked with flourishes of red. Tula Lotay conjures images of 2050 with line work that is light and hazy. In addition the colors of this dystopian future are ironically bright and vibrant, filled with scorching yellows and cooler purples. This combination coats the future in a dreamy malaise. The London of the 1940s is illustrated by Phil Winslade, with panels that capture the romanticized pulp feel of the era. Each artist work is distinct and each is given ample room to shine. The work has been split into equal parts; six pages per timeline per issue.
This structure has allowed Si Spencer to drive the narrative forward while exploring the similarities and differences in society throughout time. Si is also interested in the intricacies of people and how the zeitgeist of their times influence them. The detectives are driven by very different forces, yet each share a common goal. But with hints of a ritual murder, the detectives might come to regret ever starting down this particular rabbit hole.
After reading Bodies #1 be sure to check out other books by members of this creative team: Superman: Lois Lane #1 by Meghan Hetrick, Supreme Blue Rose #1 by Tula Lotay, The Monolith by Phil Winslade, Lucifer #14 by Phil Winslade, and John Constantine: Hellblazer - City of Demons by Si Spencer.
Michael Crowe works on the digital assets/launch team by day and writes comics and prose by night. He’s an avid consumer of comics and all things sci-fi.
(ps: a little book you may have heard of called Hawkeye has a new issue out today.)
(pps: also it’s the finale of the wake, and fatale, and prophet, and if you aren’t reading all three of those you’re making a mistake.)