Stranger Reads – Comics Log 2016.7.3, Fresh on the Shelves..

 Photo Jul 02, 11 10 41 PM

We love our comic books, as many look forward to the latest from the recent Wednesday new shelves, as new single issues are available. Lately, I scoped out some of the latest from frequent reads and with some new freshness added in. Below, are those recent comics highlights with short reviews, all worth a good look as we have a mix of horror, nostalgia, action, and heavy science fiction..


Cinema Purgatorio (Avatar), by Alan Moore, Kevin O’Neill, Garth Ennis, Keiron Gillen, Max Brooks, and many more.

There are 5 great tales from great writers with matching artists, worth reading. The first and most fitting for the cover is Alan Moore’s work with Kevin O’Neill; always magical and works just as well in black and white as they do in their League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series. Keiron Gillen and Ignacio Calero’s tale is best understood by gamers, but may confuse others. The other work is worthwhile for anyone, but more cheeky than epic or emotional to some sort. The book is worth its price and the best so far out of this series.

GI Joe vs Transformers #13 (IDW), by John Barber and Tom Scioli

Here, is the final issue of this bonkers fan-serviced nostalgia fest. Everything ends on many bangs with fantastic art, old comic textures, and over-the-top twists and takes on familiar characters. Such is enjoyable and not taken seriously by fans of either, with some hilarious and bizarre moments throughout. John Barber and Tom Scioli has been a real treat for those who like their comics fun. Hopefully, the IDW will recognize this underrated work and someday put the series in a nice collected hardbound volume.

Hillbilly #1 (Albatross), by Eric Powell

I loved this first issue, as we make most of the time for a truly dark and twisted origin story to protagonist, a most interesting character worthy of a horror fandom. Much of the story is dark, with a creepy fairy tale vibe patched in. Hillbilly is different and the art is awesome. The greyish tones and moody coloring draws the reader deep into this world of creepy witches and backwoods life. I look forward to the next issue.

Star Wars: Darth Vader #22 (Marvel) by Keiron Gillen and Salvador Larroca

So far as the Marvel Star Wars comics have gone, the Darth Vader series is the most interesting and worthwhile. It’s not just for its main star, but the interesting cast of characters introduced exclusively for this series. We know our favorite Sith Lord will survive but what of the cast? Also, we get a bigger picture of other forces besides the Rebellion and Empire at work, and where Darth Vader fits in. In this issue though, Vader takes on a cybernetic Rancor beast and its scientist who are an interesting match to the Sith Lord. But, sadly not a challenge towards the end of the issue. I am hoping for bigger, more complex situations as the series continues.

Spectrum #1 (Con Man Comics), by Alan Tudyk, PJ Haarsma, Sarah Stone

For this looking for a new space opera in sequential art form, than this new series starts off well. However, the prior #0 issue out in print and cheap through online apps sets the stage better. The first issue follows up with needed info, leaving new readers hooked by its first issue presumption, perhaps a little confused. Even with both issues, there is a lot of world-building and backdrop to sort out. The main characters are interesting and I love the name Cash Wayne. Overall, the writing, artwork and beautiful colorplay makes this a great, fun new book for fans of action-driven sci-fi.

Crytocracy #1 (Dark Horse), by Van Jensen and Pete Woods

A bit of everything one could want in some bizarre paranormal science fiction, except the melodramatic seriousness one gets from X-Files. Think Men in Black with all its weirdness and humor.  However, much is very over the top with unbalance pacing. Such has a lot of fun moments with great coloring and mood-enducing art. But the story is sporadic and feels a bit disjointed. The concepts and ideas are plenty, but a bit too much for a first issue introduction. I didn’t get the main character, of the lack thereof. Still, no regrets in reading as I enjoyed many parts, just not the whole.

That’s all until next time. Did we miss anything on the shelves?  Do you have thoughts to add on the books covered here? Leave a comment below!

Orion T – SW chief writer and appreciater of great comic books and all related wonderful things.


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