Posts Tagged "crime"
A comiXologist Recommends:
Kate Kasenow recommends Moon Knight #6

Continuing a long-running streak of brilliant reboots, the newest series of Moon Knight does not disappoint! While issue #6 is the finale of the current creative team, it invigorates the story of Mr. Knight and passes on a truly impeccable story unto the next.

In this issue, we are not lead by Moon Knight at all, but the tragic rise of a would-be antagonist. The plot of this issue really drives forward the idea that as not all heroes are created equal neither are villains and sometimes the best of intentions can lead to the wost of consequences. The character of Moon Knight, especially during this current series, is rife with both personal and psychological issues. The exploration of these issues from both sides—from the perspectives of both protagonist and antagonist, is what makes this series truly shine.

Behind these perspectives, is the seasoned writer Warren Ellis, who’s sparse style really packs a punch—sometimes literally. His characters are often reserved until their thoughts have marinated enough to let the words flow freely, but when they do the story rolls along with them. Each character is full of depth that allows them to exist fully in the dark underworld that Ellis paints with his writing. Backing up Ellis’ words is the fantastic art of Declan Shalvey (dshalv) with colors by Jordie Bellaire (jordiecolorsthings). The mood of the colors is always pitch-perfect and Shalvey’s lines move effortlessly across the page, each one laid out with an incredible sense of design.

This issue is the swan song of an incredible team and isn’t to be missed!

[Read Moon Knight #6 on comiXology!]

For fans of: superheroes, crime, mystery, action

Kate Kasenow is a comics artist from Indiana currently living in Manhattan. She works at ComiXology as a Lead Digital Editor and spends most of her spare time re-reading J. R. R. Tolkien.

A comiXologist Recommends:
Eric Arroyo recommends Boss Snake - Cold Blood, Cold Streets

Gate City’s underbelly is home to more than enough crime lords and cults for a single pulp action hero to take on. Covered in foreboding geometric spot-blacks and brought to life with ink wash textures, this post-WWII setting recalls the first decades of the superhero genre, with all the mobsters, mysticism, and mad science to go with it. But unlike Doc Unknown, the heroic pulp-revivalist adventure comic that introduced Boss Snake, Boss Snake: Cold Blood, Cold Streets turns its snake-eyes on the story’s villain and explores his rise to power.

In Doc Unknown #1, our hero summed up Boss Snake’s life as a brutal rags-to-riches story. But this embellished tale shows that on the road to controlling Gate City’s underworld, Snake lost much more than he could ever gain. Unlike Doc Unknown’s more whimsical adventures, Cold Blood, Cold Streets is a down-to-earth, Depression-era tragedy, with the most fantastical element being Snake’s own reptilian mug. Artist Ryan Cody and writer Fabian Rangel Jr. craft a world that’s out to get Snake, with deep shadows and gritty brush strokes lurking even in the corners of Snake’s happiest moments. The slick, contrast-rich art style couples design sensibilities that recall the time period with contemporary storytelling sophistication. Cody suggests time and place with specific and iconic details, making Gate City feel fully realized with just a few marks of the pen.

Cold Blood, Cold Streets doesn’t set out to reveal that Boss Snake deep down has a heart of gold. Instead, it builds his worldview, showing what happens when a man who’s hardly given a chance has to take everything that life refuses to give him. Boss Snake is a villain you learn to respect, but never forgive.

If you ever wanted to see the dark side of pulp adventure like The Rocketeer and The Spirit, coupled with a classic mob story, look no further than Boss Snake: Cold Blood, Cold Streets. And if you’d rather stick with the high-flying adventure, read about Doc Unknown’s exploits in his own title.

[Pick up Boss Snake - Cold Blood, Cold Streets here!]

For fans of: crime, supernatural

Eric Alexander Arroyo is a Brooklyn-based cartoonist and a Digital Editor at comiXology. He’s probably drawing giant robots or listening to ABBA.

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?

[Read Hawkeye #19 Here!]

For fans of: crime, superheroes

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.

[Read Bodies #1 on comiXology]

For fans of: Crime, Science Fiction, Mature Content

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.

A comiXologist Recommends:
Jen Keith recommends Watson & Holmes Vol. 1

“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
-Sherlock Holmes 

Or in this case: when you have eliminated your comic to-read list, whatever remains, however good, it must be Watson and Holmes that you read next.

Modern adaptations of Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, and the steadfast Doctor Watson are in vogue with BBC’s Sherlock and CBS’ Elementary. Karl Bollers and Rick Leonardi, with their own avant garde take, move the now African American pair from England and into Harlem, NYC for investigations into drug trafficking, kidnapping, murder, and more. 

Despite the contemporary setting and subsequent changes to what we expect from a Holmesian story, it’s still entrenched in Doyle’s writing. Many crime dramas turn into procedural cop shows; Watson and Holmes keeps us in Watson’s shoes, observing Holmes’ genius while he himself steps into the spotlight as a force to be reckoned. As a fan of the original work I’m thrilled they maintained that quintessential vantage point while giving Watson the attention he deserves. Nods to the source material are scattered throughout, so fans of any version of Holmes and the uninitiated reader alike will find an engaging mystery for all tastes. 

Leonardi’s art keeps the distinct personalities of the characters and New York City intact. I never realized I was missing a Sherlock Holmes with dreadlocks in my life, but I was. Meanwhile, Mycroft and the Baker Street Irregulars a treat, and I eagerly await more of them. 

You may be familiar with a more traditional interpretation, but I highly recommend you pick up Watson and Holmes Vol. 1 for the collected issues #1 – 5 and a breath of fresh air in these well-loved characters. After all, the game is afoot.

[Read Watson & Holmes Vol. 1 Here!]

For fans of: crime, drama, action

Jen Keith is a Digital Editor at comiXology, comic artist, music addict, and would like you to know that Holmes never said “Elementary, my dear Watson” in the original stories.

A comiXologist Recommends:
Harris Smith recommends Buffalo Speedway #1 by supermercado

Anyone who’s ever had an underpaid food service or retail job they simultaneously hated and cared about too much will find something to relate to in Yehudi Mercado’s Buffalo Speedway, releasing this week via comiXology Submit.  From the often-contentious camaraderie between co-workers to the occasional epiphanies of, “Wait, none of this really matters,” Buffalo Speedway captures perfectly the messy, hormonal intensity of being in your early 20’s and being paid minimum wage to sell records/flip burgers/take tickets at a movie theater, or in this story’s case, deliver pizzas.

Punchy, profane and paced at super-speed, Buffalo Speedway has the fun, inventive feel of a good indie comedy (think “Dazed and Confused” crossed with a touch of “Repo Man”), with a clever visual sense and sharp dialogue.  Appropriately, the story takes place in 1994, during the heyday of American independent film (and a year when I was 17 and working three different foodservice jobs while going to high school in Washington, DC), and each issue even includes a suggested era-specific soundtrack (in the first issue, this includes Superchunk, Cypress Hill and Killing Joke).  On target in just about every way, Buffalo Speedway calls to mind such 90s classics as Peter Bagge’s Hate and Bob Fingerman’s Minimum Wage in the way it both celebrates and satirizes the disaffected excesses and absurdity of premillennial youth.

[Read Buffalo Speedway #1 Here!]

For fans of: crime, humor

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:
Leah Wishnia recommends The Package (thepackageogn)

The Package, written by elliotblake with art by Alexis Ziritt (aziritt) is a dark and gripping novel of revenge and retribution that will keep you holding your breath till the last gasp.

The first scene takes place in the desert of Mexico, at a hideaway resort called “Vista Del Sol.” We are introduced to two foul-mouthed, violent, and misogynist gang members who are given a mission to pick up a mysterious package. At this point I wonder if we’ll have to spend the whole narrative following these two bums around, enduring their sexist remarks and over-the-top Machismo-driven egos. I am then delighted to find that a twist in events reveals that Paz, a beautiful and cunning young Mexican woman with an unassuming role as a cook at the resort is the true protagonist of this story. WIth a dark past and a specific vision for the future, she reveals herself as a modern-day Bonnie with a mission to avenge her father’s death and the loss of her own childhood and innocence. She picks out her Clyde, the sole-surviving man of a shoot-out, and together they prepare to seek out the one who wreaked havoc on their lives. 

Further heightening the hard-boiled yet striking nature of the story is Ziritt’s black and white brushwork, which evokes raw emotion, passion, and energy, never missing its mark. Fans of the Hernandez brothers’ Love and Rockets may find resonance with the work as well as any readers of more gritty crime novels and comics, such as Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight or From Hell. I must issue a warning, however, that there are scenes of sexual abuse and violence that may not sit well with all, and reader discretion is advised. Otherwise, I highly recommend checking out the fresh and bold take on contemporary crime in The Package, and get your heart rate thumping with it.

[Pick up The Package here!]

For fans of: crime, gangster, action, drama

Leah Wishnia is an independent cartoonist and publisher who holds the position of Digital Assets Lead at ComiXology.

A comiXologist Recommends:
Jonah Chuang recommends United States of Murder, Inc. #1

I don’t want to sound hyperbolic, but almost everything I believe about what makes a hero comes from Brian Michael Bendis (brianmichaelbendis). His portrayal of Peter Parker in Ultimate Spider-Man helped shape my views on what a hero should be, and, indirectly, what kind of person I want to be. And it’s not because he writes the most powerful or the slyest heroes but because he writes some of the most real and complex characters who struggle with the mundane problems we all struggle with. (He also knows how to milk the hell out of dramatic moments to really make you feel those emotional highs and lows.)

In Powers (if you don’t know Powers and its fourteen year run with its original creative team, you should), Bendis and artist Michael Avon Oeming (oeming) bring that same relatability to the grittier, edgier, and more ethically ambiguous characters, Detective Christian Walker and his partner Deena Pilgrim. Their stories have less to do with super heroics than with the crappy personal issues that adults have to deal with as they schlep their way through bureaucracies as small, seemingly-powerless cogs caught up in the intricate and burdensome machine known as society (but yes, there are also a lot of super heroics). 

With United States of Murder, Inc., Bendis teams up with Oeming again to tell the story of an America run by gangsters. The story follows one mobster as he attempts to uncover the secrets of the organization he works for. Though this sounds like quite a departure from the superhero stories I just praised Bendis for, it still possesses the same complexity, intrigue, and dynamic/relatable characters for which Bendis has come to be known, with even more shades of gray. If all that’s not enough to sway you, then just know it’s twice the amount of comic from two of today’s greatest talents for regular price.

 [Pick up United States of Murder, Inc. #1 here!]

For fans of: actioncrimemystery

Jonah Chuang is a Production Coordinator Assistant and 1:1 time traveler. He’s just trying to get to 88 MPH.