Welcome to the latest installment of Preview Reviews.
This week we have three books to review for you. The first is Blood Stained Teeth #1 from Image Comics. The next is RetroActive, an original graphic novel from Humanoids, Inc., and the last is Season of the Bruja #2 from Oni Press.
You can find these books at your LCS or wherever you buy books on April 27, 2022.
Blood Stained Teeth #1
Written by Christian Ward
Art by Patric Reynolds
Colors by Heather Moore
Letters by Hassan Ostmane-Elhaou
Cover Art by Ward
CHRISTIAN WARD, the Eisner Award-winning co-creator of ODY-C, Invisible Kingdom, and Machine Gun Wizards, returns to Image with red-hot artist PATRIC REYNOLDS for an all-new ONGOING SERIES—a fast-paced 100 Bullets-style crime saga with fangs!
Atticus Sloane—misanthrope, criminal, asshole, and vampire—lives in a world where blood isn’t the only thing vamps crave. And for the right price, he’ll make you a vampire too. After all, immortality isn’t cheap.
This is probably the new series debut with the most buzz this month. Everyone who has seen an early copy of it has high praise, and we are among that group of everyone. This vampire story has a very “crime noir” feel to it. The premise for the conflict is interesting, and the set-up builds like a walk through a dark fun house with more dread around every corner. This book is surprisingly compelling because there is really not a likeable character in the book, but we are hooked nonetheless.
The art team of Patric Reynolds and Heather Moore crafted a stunning visual display in this book. It is really difficult to find the words to describe the beautiful images that grace every page of the comic. Reynolds choice of close up and panned out shots for each panel depending on the flow of the story is brilliant. Heather Moore’s color work in this comic is inspired. From garish reds to radioactive yellows, every stroke is gorgeous. As usual Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou’s lettering work is invaluable to the flow and cohesion of this story.
This book has exceeded expectations, and they were high going in. Everyone involved should be proud of what they have created, despite the nightmares that it will fuel.
Written by Ibrahim Moustafa
Art by Moustafa
Colors by Brad Simpson
Letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover Art by Moustafa
Temporal agent Tarik Abdelnasser is trapped in a time loop, living and dying over and over again.
The discovery of time travel is unknown to the general public, but a new Cold War rages between global intelligence agencies as they attempt to alter historical events in favor of their respective futures. When new intel points the U.S. Bureau of Temporal Affairs (BTA) toward a hostile anomaly in the past, veteran field agent Tarik Abdelnasser and his new partner, Lucia Olmos, are dispatched to investigate. They discover a radical adversary wielding a new technology that could unravel everything the BTA fights to maintain.
As Tarik gets closer to the truth, he finds himself trapped in a time loop where an imminent terrorist attack, and his own death, trigger the day to restart. He must keep his sanity intact and find a way to prevent the attack, escape the loop, and return to his own timeline to thwart the destruction of the BTA and everyone inside of it.
This is brilliant. A 126-page self-contained original graphic novel from Humanoids, Inc. that grabs the reader by the shirt collar and takes off on a roller coaster-like time travel adventure. Ibrahim Moustafa crafts a thoughtful and compelling tale of the wonder and danger involved in exploring the concepts of moving through time. The themes of controlling global power and the nature of humanity’s corruptible ideals are just some of the difficult topics that this book explores.
The visual story that Moustafa and Brad Simpson render is incredibly inviting, and they made some interesting choices. The book has a consistent feel as it jumps through time, which plays well into the struggles of the primary character. Moving through time does not require a massive shift in perspective. The color choices and figure designs have a realistic quality that enhances the cinematic feel of the read.
The consistent nature of the visuals puts a lot of pressure on letterer Hassan Otsman-Elhaou to lead the reader through time jumps and scene changes, and he is masterful at smoothing out the transition for the reader. His use of his signature single-lined balloon tails works perfectly in this book, and he does a fantastic job of signaling volume and tone in the dialogue.
This book snuck up on me. I read it in one shot, and it was entertaining, visually stunning, and thought provoking. We highly recommend it.
Season of the Bruja #2
Written by Aaron Durán
Art by Sara Soler
Letters by Jamie Martinez
Cover Art by Soler
After a disturbing confrontation with an aggressive priest, Althalia Cabrera’s abuela Isadora has collapsed, and Althalia is arrested while trying to protect her. Now the young bruja-for the first time without Isadora’s guidance-must attempt to summon both her innate strength and her years of training in the craft to try to save her family’s beloved matriarch. But it may already be too late to take down the dark forces that seek to strip both of the Cabrera brujas of their power.
If you are not reading this series, you are missing out. Aaron Durán and Sara Soler are crafting a compelling supernatural adventure with heart. The second issue does an excellent job furthering the adventure and telling an its own story. The characters are intriguing, and with each passing page, the reader is drawn further into this story.
Sara Soler does a wonderful job laying out the visual narrative, and her use of perspective and color signaling enhance the immediacy of the story being told. The emotional depiction of the lead character is a major highlight of the book. Jamie Martinez’s lettering is excellent, particularly when it comes to identifying the speaker.
Overall we are hooked on this book, and will be looking to see what happens to Althalia and her friends.