Hey There Folks!! This column is designed to bring you reviews of new comic book series that came out this week. We will try to focus on independent and original series for the most part. This week we have four series for you. They are from AfterShock Comics, Boom! Studios, DC Comics, and Image Comics.
You will usually find the books that we review in this space on our month list of New Number Ones. You might want to check over there to see what you can expect for the rest of the month.
This week we will bring you our thoughts on four books: Alienated #1, Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey #1, Tartarus #1, and Undone by Blood #1
Check out the reviews below in alphabetical order:
Written by Simon Spurrier
Art by Chris Wildgoose
Colors by Andre May
Letters by Jim Campbell
Cover art by Wildgoose
The first issue of this book is all about setup, and it is a good setup. Simon Spurrier does a fantastic job of establishing the initial conflict but does so in a way that goes a long way toward character definition. He uses a narrative device that exposes the three principal characters in ways that quickly bring the reader into the story. It works very well. Chris Wildgoose‘s visual depiction of the characters and events is gorgeous. André May‘s color work is lovely, particularly with the secret in the woods. Jim Campbell does a great job in lettering the different character voices, and that adds a lot to the readability of the book. This is a fantastic debut.
Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey #1
DC Comics / Black Label
Written by Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti
Art by Conner
Colors by Paul Mounts
Letters by John J. Hill
Cover art by Conner & Alex Sinclair
This book is outrageous in every way you can interpret that word. It is an uproariously chaotic trip into the world of Harley Quinn. This first issue is like ninety percent Harley. The Birds of Prey only barely enters the fray in the last act, but if you are a fan of Jimmy and Amanda’s Harley work, this book is for you. The restraints are eliminated with this being a part of the Black Label line. Amanda Conner and Paul Mounts are one of the finest, most synchronized line art / colorist teams in comics, and they bring it, big time, in this issue. This is a hilarious, disgusting, gorgeous, raunchy comic starring the one and only Harley F. Quinn. (Don’t worry. She’ll tell you what the “F” stands for.)
Written by Johnnie Christmas
Art by Jack T. Cole
Letters by Jim Campbell
Cover art by Cole
The oversized debut issue to this series is a heck of a ride. There is a ton of story in this issue. The premise of this book sets up a outer space class war in very interesting ways. There is a lot of backstory in this book, and it is setting up an epic story. Jack T. Cole delivers a gorgeous visual depiction of a world that is reminiscent of classic sci-fi comic storytelling. Johnnie Christmas‘ dialogue is clear and descriptive. We really enjoyed this book and look forward to more.
Undone By Blood or the Shadow of a Wanted Man #1
Written by Lonnie Nadler & Zac Thompson
Art by Sami Kivelä
Colors by Jason Wordie
Letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover art by Kivelä & Wordie
This latest offering from AfterShock comics is a period tale set in the Southwest during the early 1970’s. At its base, this is a revenge tale that is shaping up to be full of violence and heartbreak. The narrative of the book switches between the story of a novel, the title of which is the subtitle of the comic, and the “current-time” actions of an orphaned teenager. Both are interesting stories. The art by Sami Kivelä is wonderful, and Jason Wordie really makes it work by providing a clear difference in the settings with color pallets that are just different enough but not strikingly contrarian. We definitely want to see more of this.
We use a 4 star rating system. It is simple and not to be taken too seriously. Everyone has their own impressions of art. These ratings are just to give our readers an idea of what we thought of the book, and they will be on the generous side, normally. So don’t expect to see a lot of 1 Stars. After all, it’s not often that you have a bad book on your pull-list.
The rating system is as follows: