Posts Tagged "scifi"
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:
Mike Isenberg recommends Dark Engine #1

Written by Ryan Burton and illustrated by John Bivens, Dark Engine #1 is a fantastically weird, gory, and beautiful romp through a strange alien world.

The story features a female warrior named Sym, created by alchemists to travel back in time and defeat the evil that plagues them in the past like some sort of berzerk lady Terminator.  But the source of Sym’s power, the alchemical Dark Engine implanted deep within her, is unpredictable, and the outcome of her mission is far from certain.

Issue #1 plunges us directly into the deep end of the strange world that Burton and Bivens have created.  The book introduces the setting and a few characters, but this place is weird, and very little is explained directly to the reader.  Instead we are left to piece together the what, when, and why from context and a few snippets of dialogue.

Between those few dialogue scenes are a number of gorgeously rendered action sequences, mostly concerning Sym cutting her way through dinosaurs and monsters, covering herself with blood and viscera along the way.  Bivens executes these beautifully, with a rough-yet-purposeful brush style that evokes the work of artists like Paul Pope and Nathan Fox.

The near-impenetrable weirdness of Dark Engine’s setting gives it a plapable sense of alienation and danger.  That so little is explained directly to us only serves to make the world feel more real and alive.  Fans of Brandon Graham’s (royalboiler) excellent Prophet revival will feel right at home here.  Dark Engine #1 leaves us with a lot of questions, but it takes us on a wonderfully trippy ride along the way.  Definitely worth checking out!

[Read Dark Engine #1 Here!]

For fans of: sci-fisupernatural, action

Mike Isenberg is an Associate Production Coordinator at comiXology, and the co-writer of FIRST LAW OF MAD SCIENCE.  He lives in Harlem with his cats, TESLA AND EDISON

A comiXologist Recommends:
Harris Smith recommends Spread #1

The end of the world, or rather what happens after the end of the world, is big in the cultural consciousness right now.  In the past month, The Leftovers and The Last Ship have debuted on television and Bong Joon-Ho’s Snowpiercer has opened in cinemas.  Recent comics have presented a diverse array of post-apocalyptic scenarios as diverse as The Wake, Kranburn, Crossed: Badlands and The New 52: Futures End.  The latest among these is Spread, which proposes a particularly treacherous landscape replete with disease, roving bands of marauders and deadly tentacled monsters straight out of John Carpenter’s The Thing.

At the center of this chaos is a lone wanderer known only as No.  Speaking very little and wielding a pair of hatchets with deadly skill, No recalls the antiheroes of classic Spaghetti westerns or Samurai films.  In fact, as No finds himself caring for an infant in this debut story, Spread specifically recalls the classic Manga and film series, Lone Wolf and Cub.

Whatever the reason for this current spate of end-of-days narratives, Spread is a welcome addition.  It’s good, gory fun for fans of horror and action.  The monsters, bright red and dripping with goo, are some of the best I’ve seen in comics since the X-Men first encountered the Brood.  No makes for a compelling central figure.  He’s tough but not ostentatious, grim yet compassionate.  I’m looking forward to seeing where Spread goes.  Issue one is enthralling and shows the potential for an exciting, unpredictable new comic.

[Read Spread #1 on comiXology]

For fans of: horrorscience fiction

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:
Kate Kasenow recommends The Woods #3

In the first two issues, new and original BOOM! Studios’ series The Woods established itself as the perfect storm of apocalyptic high school adventures in sci-fi horror. If that phrasing alone seems a bit intense for you, then you’d better fasten your seatbelts, because issue #3 is one wild ride.

Despite what the faculty and staff seem to think, things are looking grim for the students of Bay Point Prepartory Academy. After getting mysteriously transported to another world, the principal is daydreaming while the athletics department is turning the school into the dystopian setting of 1984. Meanwhile, Adrian Roth is fighting over control of a ragtag group of students with Sanami Ota. Both have powerful ideas about what needs to be done, but, unfortunately, so does everyone else.

Underneath the fantastic setting and lurking horrors of the plot, the story is essentially a diverse set of character studies. Writer James Tynion IV (jamesthefourth) has done a brilliant job of delving into each character’s personality and initiatives while still leaving a lot of mystery for readers to contemplate. Not to be discounted in the least, Michael Dialynas’ (thewoodencrown) artwork gives a unique look and feel to the multitude of genres represented. I’ve long been a fan of Dialynas’ work and seeing him tackle both endearing character moments as well as monstrous acts of violence is both refreshing and invigorating. Like a bright cherry atop this cake of terror, Jose Gonzalez’s colors add vibrance and surreality to this mysterious new world and its newest residents.

By now you might be asking yourself, “Why high school students? How will they survive? Who’s behind all this?”

Jump into The Woods now and find out!

[Read The Woods #3 on comiXology!]

For fans of: actionscience fictionhorror

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:
Michael Crowe recommends Legendary Star-Lord #1

In anticipation of the August 1st release of Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel is launching an all new ongoing series titled: Legendary Star-Lord. The series follows Peter Quill (portrayed on-screen by Chris Pratt), as he traverses the galaxy without the help of his fellow Guardians…at least for the moment

Issue #1 introduces us to the titular character, giving us a peek into the life of an orphan from Earth turned intergalactic outlaw. As someone who is unfamiliar with the cosmic corners of the Marvel Universe, I found this issue to be both informative and, most of all, fun. Writer samhumphries infuses the character with an infectious sense of adventure. Peter seems to relish his alter-ego, Star-Lord, and even the trouble it gets him into. But beneath this facade of carefree bravado and effortless charm lies the heart of a hero. In essence, Quill is a do-gooder who doesn’t always go about doing good in the best ways.

Paco Medina’s art harnesses the outlaw narrative by calling to mind westerns through stunning establishing shots and character designs. Paco also illustrates some seriously cool ships and weapons, exciting the scifi swashbuckler in all of us. The coloring, also by Medina, is rich and vibrant, lending a liveliness to the perils of full time space adventuring and thievery. Together they craft a story that is both intriguing and non-threatening for the uninitiated.  

Also be sure to check out Guardians of the Galaxy: Galaxys Most Wanted #1 and Rocket Raccoon #1 for even more pulse pounding off-world action.

[Read Legendary Star-Lord #1 on comiXology!]

For fans of: superheroesscience fiction, cosmic

Michael Crowe works in digital assets/launch at Comixology. He is also an avid fan of science fiction, action/adventure and horror.

A comiXologist Recommends:
Jen Keith recommends Wonton Soup Omnibus

Ingredients: 
2 cups space truckers
¾ cup absurdity
½ pound of laugh out loud hilarity, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sweet romance
a pinch of space ninjas, to taste

Mix thoroughly and bake at 400 degrees of awesome in a science fiction oven and serve immediately. Enjoy your delicious Wonton Soup by James Stokoe, surely to be a favorite at your table or in your comics library.

Imagine combining Naruto and the Iron Chef into a wild sci-fi ride through an otherworldly culinary school, and you’ll have a small idea of the joy to be found in Wonton Soup. Johnny Boyo cruises the cosmos as a space trucker with his eccentric co-pilot/trucker buddy Deacon, eating his way through the tentacled oddities of space chickens and a menagerie of other bizarre ingredients. Rather than a strictly linear plot, we’re treated to a tasty variety platter of stories detailing the eccentricities of the characters, unusual cuisine via Boyo’s culinary prowess, and an odd (and often hilariously vulgar) universe.

It’s not often I have to pause while reading to give myself time to stifle my laughter, but this book had me taking a chuckle if not out right guffaw break every few pages.

Stokoe’s lively and intricate drawing style makes every panel just as entertaining as the last, complimenting the spirited action and humor. If you want more proof of the talent and sheer level of detail Stokoe is capable of, try Godzilla Half Century War.

And if you’re still hungry after that and want another generous helping of food-related comics, check out Toriko or Chew to hold you til dinner.

No matter how many comics you read this week, be sure to leave room for seconds because Wonton Soup is delicious to the last drop.

ed- Includes a foreword from royalboiler!

[Read Wonton Soup Here!]

For fans of: comedy, science fiction

Jen Keith is a Digital Editor at comiXology, comic artist, music addict, and looking forward to lunch because all of these comics are making her hungry.

A comiXologist Recommends:
Harris Smith recommends Judgment Day

The impression one walks away with after reading Judgment Day, a collection of science-fiction stories drawn by Joe Orlando, as well as the other recently released volumes in fantagraphics' EC Comics Library is that, had the 1954 Senate Subcommittee Hearings on Juvenile Delinquency not led to the formation of the Comics Code Authority, effectively rendering EC unable to continue publishing their forward-thinking but hard-edged line of crime, horror and sci-fi comics, the medium of comics as a whole would have been viewed much earlier with the kind of legitimacy it has garnered today.  EC is known today for producing gory, controversial horror comics like Tales From the Crypt and Vault of Horror, these titles and others they published contained superior art and writing to anything else being published at the time (one notable exception being Will Eisner’s The Spirit.  In addition to the high quality of their comics, EC brought an intelligence to their work, with literary adaptations of Ray Bradbury stories, satirical humor in , and comics dealing with important issues of the day, such as racism and anti-semitism.

The title story in “Judgement Day,” written (like many of EC’s best stories) by Al Feldstein and drawn by the legendary, influential Orlando, is one of such story, dealing slyly yet poignantly with racial prejudice.  It was the censoring of this comic by the Comics Code, in fact, that inspired EC Publisher William Gaines to turn his focus from comic books to Mad Magazine, of which Orlando would eventually become associate publisher.

History and controversy aside, pick up Judgment Day for, if nothing else, the wonderful stories and beautiful draftsmanship by Orlando, presented in crisp, detailed black and white.  Whether your interest is in what could have been or just what was, you are in for an experience.

[Read Judgment Day on comiXology]

For fans of: horror, classics, science fiction

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:
Michael Crowe recommends Flash Gordon #3

Not since watching the original 1930’s serials with my Father when I was a child have I been so enthralled and captivated by a Flash Gordon story. It is clear that everyone working on this title cares deeply about the source material.

Jeff Parker’s writing captures the very essence of these characters while adeptly updating them for a new era. Flash Gordon is at the top of his game, showcasing what it means to be a true hero. He leaps into action at a moments notice to fight any injustice he sees, for better or for worse. Dale Arden, once a helpless, screaming, fainting damsel in distress has been re-imagined as a gutsy, street smart reporter who can more than handle herself. Dr. Hans Zarkov, rocket engineer extraordinaire, receives an added layer of alcohol fueled sassyness to compliment his notorious intellect. The art, by Evan Shaner (docshaner), is explosive while also lending tenderness and emotional depth to each character, panel after panel. Jordie Bellaire’s (jordiecolorsthings) coloring infuses the empire of Mongo and its varied planets with a richness and liveliness that complements the exotic worlds we travel to with Flash and crew.

This book is truly unrivaled, nothing else delivers pulse pounding pulp stories with such aplomb. To find out exactly how Flash, Dale and Zarkov ended up stranded on the strange worlds of Mongo check out the preceding mini-series, King’s Watch, written by Jeff Parker and illustrated by Mark Laming. Be sure to pick up Flash Gordon #3 if you’re a fan of classic heroes, sci-fi action/adventure stories, and want to know what has inspired science fiction classics for over 80 years.

[Read Flash Gordon #3 on comiXology]

For fans of: Action, Science Fiction

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:
Molly Brooks recommends Six-Gun Gorilla by sispurrier & jeffstokely

The framing genre of this comic is science fiction– a futuristic couch potato society sending armies to fight a war off-planet– but most of the action takes place in the territory being fought over: a pseudo- old western frontier called the Blister, governed by dream logic and populated by bandits, monsters, and deadly sunlight.

The society fueling the war in the Blister has forgotten the value of crafted fiction in favor of pure spectacle; in a ghoulish extension of reality tv, suicide troops with recording equipment implanted in their brains are sent in with the regular soldiers to capture their (hopefully gruesome) deaths for the audience back home. Wartime tactics are determined by the ratings and advertising figures they’re likely to draw.

The main character, Blue-3425, is one of these suicide troops. Blue is a heartbroken former librarian who thinks he has nothing left to live for, until he gets to the Blister and his brain camera records something it shouldn’t. Suddenly, caught in a warzone in a half-imaginary place, he has a mission again, and a mysterious laconic gorilla commando companion to help him see it through to the end.

Six Gun Gorilla’s strength lies in its worldbuilding; this is a story about story, flipping genres and spitting nonsense at every turn, and it could have easily collapsed into an incoherent mess. But seamless exposition, interesting characters, and a strict adherence to internal logic make it work well as both a sci-fi-cowboy-spy adventure, and as meta-commentary on the value of a good yarn. I enjoyed it immensely, and I highly recommend picking it up!

For more adventures about the nature of storytelling, try The Unwritten.
For more surreal and intriguing takes on the western genre, try Pretty Deadly and East of West.

[Read Six-Gun Gorilla]

For fans of: western, science fiction

molly brooks is an artist from nashville currently living in brooklyn. she works at comixology as a digital editor.

A comiXologist Recommends- MANGA EDITION:
Jose Sagastume recommends One-Punch Man

As the name suggests One-Punch Man is the story of a superhero that is so powerful that he can defeat anyone with a single punch.  Saitama, our hero, was once an unemployed businessman who had grown bored of life. However, after an encounter with a monster, he decides to quit searching for a job and begin superhero training. Saitama trains so intensely for three years that he not only ends up becoming extremely powerful but he also goes bald.

The premise sounds ridiculous because it’s meant to be.  One-Punch Man is meant as a parody of the super hero genre. Writer, ONE, and artist Yusuke Murata, seem to be the perfect blend for this story. Take my favorite scene as an example. We’re introduced to Saitama after he rescues a woman from being killed by a giant monster named Vaccine. The monster asks who he is and Saitama simply responds by saying, “Someone who’s a hero for fun”. This nonchalant response enrages Vaccine because he actually has a purpose for wanting to destroy humanity. 

Murata is able to further enhance the scene in the way he chooses to draw the characters. While the art for Vaccine is painstakingly detailed, Saitama’s is plain, almost boring. Even in his costume Saitama appears more average and almost out of his element. While the chapters all follow a very similar formula, the book does not disappoint. Each chapter is just as good as the last and having it all topped off with Murata’s phenomenal artwork- it is definitely something that I’d recommend to just about anyone. If you’re a fan of superheroes and have never read manga before this book will not disappoint.

One-Punch Man is the perfect mix of action and comedy because it isn’t afraid to mix laughs and thrills.

[Read One-Punch Man on comiXology]

For fans of: Sci-FiMartial ArtsSuperheroes

Jose Sagastume is a New York transplant from LA who works as a Community Support Advocate for comiXology.