Descender Review

If you didn’t already know, on Wednesdays (Aka New Comicbook Day) I work at Richmond Comix on Richmond’s South Side, where they are nice enough to give me a Pick of the Week! I post that pick on Instagram and Twitter, and then review that book/series here on Thursdays! Nick’s Pick this week is Descender by Image Comics!

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The first key to determining if this book is for you or not is to answer a simple question; Do you like Robots?

This story seems to be all about robots. The main story follows a boy who has been asleep for 10 years on a mining colony out in space. The interesting part is he isn’t a real live boy. He’s a robot whose model  name is Tim-21. He “awakes” to find that he is all alone on this mining colony. He comes across another robot, a small dog-like bot he calls Bandit. Together, they move to find out what has happened, why they’re alone, and in the process send out a distress call.

Meanwhile we get some of the 10 year back-story that involves Tim-21’s creator and designer, Doctor Jin Quon. He is widely considered the foremost expert in robotics in the United Galactic Council (UGC). This is union of nine core world planets that make up known life. One day they are visited by nine giant robots that suddenly and quietly peer out over each core planet. Dr. Quon, being the expert he is, is brought in to shed some light on the mysterious robots that come to be referred to as “Harvesters”.

The story moves between the ten-year gap between the appearance of the Harvesters and the reactivation of Tim-21. What is his connection to the mysterious Harvesters? How does Dr. Quon work into the equation? What makes Tim-21 so special? These are the driving questions that propel the story forward.

The art in this book is handled by Dustin Nguyen quite nicely, and Jeff Lemire delivers as usual with the storytelling. This is another book by Image that raises the bar for all the other creators out there! Unless you’re Will Smith in IRobot, I recommend giving it a shot! I think this book is a great read so far, and as it’s only on its second issue, there is still plenty of time to jump on the band wagon!

Come back next week for more reviews, or check out some of the other stuff here at Blackhole-Comics.com!

The World is Ours to Make!

-Nick Flair!

 

 

 

LOW and Spider-Gwen #1 Double Review!!!

******Quick Note: If you haven’t already checked out my Kickstarter project, Proton #0, click HERE for more info!*****

If you didn’t already know, on Wednesdays (Aka New Comicbook Day) I work at Richmond Comix on Richmond’s South Side, where they are nice enough to give me a Pick of the Week! I post that pick on Instagram and Twitter, and then review that book/series here on Thursdays! Nick’s Pick this week was Low by Image Comics, but I decided to make it a double since I had some extra time and reviewed Spider-Gwen #1 from Marvel Comics too!

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So let me start with Low. This is a really interesting story written by Rick Remender (Uncanny X-Force, Uncanny Avengers, Axis, Black Science) and drawn by Greg Tocchini (Uncanny X-Force, Hinterkind). These two bring to life a world where the sun is dying, air is in rare supply, and everyone lives in a domed city under the ocean where everyone in power seems to know they’re all doomed. The book follows a family initially as they keep hopeful of finding a new planet that humankind can move to and gain a new lease on life. Their bloodline can pilot a rare artifact, a mech suit, that seems to be very powerful.

I could tell the story is for mature audiences almost immediately between the violence, cursing, and sexual content! That being said, I don’t think it hurts the book, let me be very clear about that.  You see the fall of some characters, some reaching absolute low points, and then some that never lose hope. This story has tragedy, corruption, redemption, battles, and just some breathtaking scenes! This issue was the sixth and the last before a brief break, so if you want to get into this book, now is the time to catch up! I recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Black Science, post apocalyptic worlds, or just great art!

 

 

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Now on to the bonus, and a real joy for me personally! (I’ll tell you why in a bit) Spider-Gwen #1 comes hot on the heels of the Spider-verse event that recently took place. If you haven’t checked that out at all, I HIGHLY recommend it! Some of Dan Slott’s best work to date! In the second of the Edge of  Spider-verse one-shot stories, we were introduced to a world where Gwen Stacey, not Peter Parker, had been bitten by a radioactive spider and acquired great power that needed great responsibility to control it.  That book is now in its FOURTH printing. The buzz around the character has reached levels not seen very often.

The character was taken in by the fans and became the subject of fan art and cosplay on a mania level BEFORE the book even came out!!! The costume design by Robbi Rodriguez was beautiful. It was Modern. It was vibrant. It was unique. Before anyone even read the story it was cemented as the best new thing in the Spider-Man bible. Then we read the story.

Gwen Stacey took on the Spider-Woman mantle after gaining her powers. She struggled with the death of Peter Parker who had taken the role of Kurt Conners and turned himself into the Lizard to be more like Gwen, and had then died in her arms. She was a drummer in the band ‘The Mary Janes’ led by the band’s name sake. Her father, Captain Stacey, was alive and leading the task force chasing Spider-Woman. She was deemed a menace and the murder of poor Peter Parker. Our minds were collectively blown by the awesomeness of what we read.

We craved more. We NEEDED more! And when the Marvel Fans call in such large numbers, they are most often answered. We got an ongoing series for her before we even saw her again in the pages of Spider-verse! Most of us were already combing every page of the Spider-verse titles trying to get our fix, and then they name the series Spider-Gwen!?! This book only got more awesome. Could they do it though? Could they recapture the great storytelling we expected after that first issue?

Having read Spider-Gwen #1 I can tell you with all certainty, they nailed it. Keeping the formula intact with writer Jason Latour and artist Robbi Rodriguez, they picked up right where they left off. We see Gwen with all the personal life drama Peter ever had, the Vulture and Jameson deeming her a menace just like any Spidey, and a need to do the right thing and be the best Spider she can be. This book has every opportunity to become historic in its run. The fans embrace it with open arms, and it’s added to the lore of Spiderdom as much, if not more, than other fan favorites like Spider-man 2099 and Manga Spider-Man. After checking this title out, which you better do, you’ll likely become a fan of Robbi Rodriguez, but you’re already five years behind me.

Five years ago, I went to my first Comic Convention in Charlotte North Carolina called Heroes Con. There I was wide-eyed and amazed at all the comics I’d never even seen, and all the artists in  Artist Alley that were so unique! One of which was Robbi Rodriguez. He had done a book called Maintance, which incidently was written by Stephen Colbert. What really caught my eye were his awesome prints though. There was one he had dubbed ‘Go Go Gaget Flow that particularly drew me in. He only had 1 print left, and my good buddy Billy got it. I’ve been a fan ever since, and was one of the first to pick up his Image book Collider. (Later re-named FBP) Do yourself a favor and check out some of his old stuff still on his Deviantart page Here! But below are some of my personal favorites.

Come back next week for more reviews, or check out some of the other stuff here at Blackhole-Comics.com!

The World is Ours to Make!

-Nick Flair!

Invincible Review

If you didn’t already know, on Wednesdays (Aka New Comicbook Day) I work at Richmond Comix on Richmond’s South Side, where they are nice enough to give me a Pick of the Week! I post that pick on Instagram and Twitter, and then review that book/series here on Thursdays! Nick’s Pick this week is Invincible from Image Comics!

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This is one of my top 5 series right now, and I could attempt to tell you all the specific reasons why, but I don’t think I have enough space on this page. I’ll have to summit it up as best as I can.

By far the biggest draw to this book it the sheer fact, you can never guess what’s going to happen. I’ve seen characters killed out of nowhere, betrayals you never would have guessed, and bigger than anything acceptance of scenarios traditionally  unaccepted by superheroes in comics! It’s tough to go into specifics without spoilers, but let’s compound it into the good guy doesn’t always win. For that matter, the good guy isn’t always the good guy! This book keeps you on your toes.

That being said, it also draws you in. It has pulls me into caring for the characters and sympathizing for them. There is a modern-day relate-ability I would compare to the troubles of Peter Parker when that book first came out. There are a great many non-superhero plot points that one could compare to a sit/com or soap opera, ar even a dramatic television series. The tone of the book changes from point to point and always in a seemingly natural way. I’ve literally read this book and stopped because I was simply stunned at what had just happened.

Being stunned by the story is one thing, but I’ve also been stunned by the art. Corey Walker and Ryan Ottley are the usual suspects for the book, tagging in and out seamlessly on artistic duties. Not only does this provide consistency for the book, but sometimes the visuals just blow, the already fantastic story, right out of the water and into full-scale epicness! At first glance it might be easy to assume its all fluffy fun superhero art too, but this is can be one of the most gore filled books on the shelf some days as well! After all Writer Robert Kirkman also created the Walking Dead, so that should come as no surprise.

The current issue, #116, isn’t necessarily the best jumping on part, and to be honest that might be the worst thing about this book. There is no real good jumping on part other than just diving in and getting your feet wet. I have to say though, this book rewards long time readers like no other. The constant teases into future story arcs, the support characters and the way their stories develop and intertwine, and call back to previous events make it an incredibly fun time if you’ve followed along the way!

If you have the time and money to dive into the collected editions of the series from the beginning I sincerely would recommend it! If not, but the book still interests you, and it should, check out the local comics shop and grab an issue and jump in! At some point you’ll catch on enough to know what’s happening and maybe you’ll want to go dig up those past stories!

Come back next week for more reviews, or check out some of the other stuff here at Blackhole-Comics.com!

The World is Ours to Make!

-Nick Flair!

Rasputin Review

If you didn’t already know, on Wednesdays (Aka New Comicbook Day) I work at Richmond Comix on Richmond’s South Side, where they are nice enough to give me a Pick of the Week! I post that pick on Instagram and Twitter, and then review that book/series here on Thursdays! Nick’s Pick this week is Image’s Rasputin!

 

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The main reason I picked this up is one of the most common reasons anyone picks up a comic they’ve never read; I liked the art. We’re all guilty of it! Sometimes you see the art in a book and you just feel compelled to pick it up. The artist on this book is Riley Rossmo, and I first saw his work on Cowboy, Ninja, Viking. (Also from Image, if you can find it, grab it!) I thinks fun, and lends itself well to action stories specifically. That being said, this book isn’t as much action as his previous work, but still I really enjoyed it!

The story, by Alex Grecian, revolves around Russia’s “Mad Monk” Grigori Rasputin. The first issue begins as he sits down, preparing for what he believes to be his last meal as he suspects his good friends attempt to murder him. Then we flashback to the past as he grows up in an abusive home, in a cabin in Siberia. We find out much about Rasputin’s upbringing and how it affects him as he grows up. At the end the story moves once again to his older self dinning with his “Friends”.

Issue two picks up where the second leaves off at the dinner table, but again flashes back to part of Rasputin’s past. This time we see a slightly older version of himself in a bar as a fight breaks out. He comes out of the brawl as one of two men left standing, the other whom he quickly befriends. The glimpses into the past in this issue focus more on how he’s met some of his friends that he suspects are trying to kill him. Is he right?

I’ll tell you that reading this book is a quick read that can make you feel a bit cheated at first.The small amount of dialogue makes for a seemingly short story. Personally I felt that way for a moment or two, but then as I went back through and took in the art a little more I realized that was where the real value of the book was for me! The first two issues also came out fairly close together, so not having to wait for issues to come out is another added feature!

I’d recommend this book to fans of Rossmo, anyone who likes books of a historic nature, and anyone who is looking for an interesting, visually dynamic book that they can pick up every other week or so. It piqued my interest, and I’m glad I took a shot on it!

Come back next week for more reviews, or check out some of the other stuff here at Blackhole-Comics.com!

The World is Ours to Make!

-Nick Flair!