Preview Reviews for the Week of 11/9/2022: Billionaire Island: Cult of Dogs #1, Specs #1, and Two Graves #1

Welcome to the latest installment of Preview Reviews.

This week we have a three terrific books for you. The first is Billionaire Island: Cult of Dogs #1 from Ahoy Comics, and the second is Specs #1 which is from Boom! Studios. Finally, there is Two Graves #1 from Image Comics.

You can find these books at your LCS or wherever you buy books on November 9, 2022.

Also the rest of the #NewNumberOnes for October are here.

Billionaire Island: Cult of Dogs #1
Ahoy Comics
Written by Mark Russell
Art by Steve Pugh
Colors by Chris Chuckry
Letters by Rob Steen
Cover Art by Steve Pugh

Original Solicitation:

The long-awaited return of the “series that’s simultaneously infuriating and hysterically funny in its indictment of not just the 1%, but of the people-and the economic system-that enable them” (Comics Beat). The year is 2046, two years after Billionaire Island fell-taking the world’s economy with it. Only one man-er, dog-can save us now. But where is Business Dog?

PCS Review:

Reading a political socio-economic commentary by Mark Russell on election day just feels right. This next volume in the world of Billionaire Island is off to an excellent start. The brilliance of Russell’s writing is that while it is loaded with social commentary and satire, the story is usually compelling and interesting. That is certainly the case with this book.

The story picks up two years after the first volume ends and does an excellent job of laying out the environment while ramping up a new conflict. The character development and pacing of the book are well executed.

Steve Pugh does a fantastic job with the visual narrative. His character expressions are important to the success of the story, and they stand out so exquisitely because of the brilliant panel designs and page layouts. Chris Chukry’s bright color work blends perfectly into the tone of the book, and Rob Steen continues to be the unheralded star of Ahoy comics with his excellent lettering.

This is an entertaining book that makes you think and invites you to come back for issue #2. Also the homicidal golf cart steals the second half of the issue.

Specs #1
Boom! Studios
Written by David M. Booher
Art by Chris Shehan
Colors by Roman Stevens
Letters by Jim Campbell
Cover Art by Skylar Patridge

Original Solicitation:

In this mysterious new series from writer David M. Booher (Canto, All-New Firefly) and artist Chris Shehan (House of Slaughter), what happens when a couple of misfit teens mail-order a pair of X-ray glasses, and realize they’ve received much more than they bargained for?

But all Kenny and Ted want is to not feel like outcasts in their small Ohio town. Their world is turned upside down when the Magic Specs they receive unlock a world of possibilities.

Their wishes start out innocent enough, but when they wish that their bully would disappear… things take a cursed turn, with far darker consequences than they thought possible…

PCS Review:

This is an excellent first issue. The narrative approach of looking back in time puts the reader in a comfortable position and encourages connection to the narrator and other primary character. The concept of powerful X-ray glasses is explored in a semi-realistic manner that works well with the tone of the rest of the story.

Shehan’s art is full of interesting camera angles and panel layouts. The color work by Roman Stevens drapes the entire story in a somber mood that feels appropriate with the consequences related to the internal conflict of the narrator and also the final reveal. Jim Campbell is an amazing letterer who sews this book together with smart choices and perfect execution.

This is a compelling story that has us wanting more for sure.

Two Graves #1
Image Comics
Written by Genevieve Valentine
Art by Ming Doyle & Annie Wu
Colors by Lee Loughridge
Letters by Aditya Bidikar
Cover Art by Wu

Original Solicitation:

Emilia and the man with the veil of smoke have set out for the ocean in a stolen truck. There’s a bloody handprint on his neck. She’s beginning to worry it’s hers. Death and the Maiden go on a road trip. Nobody gets out alive.

A new series from writer GENEVIEVE VALENTINE (Catwoman), illustrated in competing points of view by ANNIE WU (Hawkeye, Black Canary) and MING DOYLE (The Banks, DC Comics: Anatomy of a Metahuman).

PCS Review:

This book caught me by surprise. I am enthralled by this miscast buddy road trip comic. The artists craft a hauntingly distrustful energy that permeates each panel. It is difficult to single out what makes this so good. Each panel is wonderfully crafted and leads perfectly into the next one. Everyone in this creative team delivers a fantastic performance and the end result is nothing short of a hit new series. Highly Recommended.