Stranger Reads – Comics Log 2017.2.27, More Wonderful Strangeness…


Some new comics from last week, yes!

Below are my further notes on the following books that caught my interest (with minor spoilers)…

RECENT COMICS, RELEASED 2/15 and 2/22, 2017:

Rough Riders{ Riders of the Storm #1 (Aftershock) by Adam Glass. Patrick Oliffe

“Three years have passed since the Rough Riders’ last adventure, but when an assassin’s bullet takes President William McKinley’s life, Vice President Theodore Roosevelt is thrust into the role of Commander in Chief. As a country mourns the loss of their leader, Roosevelt believes that the assassin is part of a bigger conspiracy, one whose tentacles reach back to Europe and whose intentions are to destroy humanity through world- wide ANARCHY. To stop them, Roosevelt must convince Harry Houdini, Jack Johnson, Thomas Edison and a surprisingly very alive Annie Oakley to band together again. But time has strained the bonds that once united them and the ideologies of their enemies may have already seeped into one of their own. Welcome to ROUGH RIDERS: RIDERS ON THE STORM.”

A great jump-on point for those missed out on the first series. I further think this issue might be better for jumping on, than the first series. Anyway, this true guilty pleasure of historical science fiction is back, and much of the issue is spent with ol Teddy seeking out the gang (though some seek him out). Some great characterization that feels more like the creative build than likely the true-life versions, and that’s all right. I see some tense trust issues among the protagonists, where anything can happen in this series. I enjoy much of this new setup, plus the art. The characters feel more defined, with nothing too artistic or over the top. The dramatic angles and use of action at times bring me back to the older Bronze Age Marvel comics. That is also good.

Sun Bakery #1 (Image) by Corey Lewis

“Sun Bakery comics anthology features the following stories: “Dream Skills,” about a city where guns are obsolete and the social culture is swordplay; “Arem,” a space adventurer on a quest to photograph the most beautiful galactic vistas; and “Bat Rider,” a supernatural skateboarding comic.”

Three very stylish stories, with sweet and diverse choices of color and ink styles. Much feels a bit surreal yet imaginative in very different directions. Such, I feel unprepared for, along with the subtle takes on game and pop culture. “Dream Skills” was my favorite among the stories, which emphasizes the absurd choice of swordplay in futuristic, sci-fi worlds with role-playing elements.  I love the characters and brilliant dialogue throughout, leaving me in hopes for more. The other stores are good in their own way but felt they were best kept short and sweet, as they are. Overall, a joy to read with a bonus story and commentary for this happy reader to further enjoy.

The Few #2 (Image) by Sean Lewis, Hayden Sherman

“As Hale and the Boys run further from Herrod they find themselves taken in by the father of the militiamen. Hale’s past comes more and more into light as we discover how these boys are as good at guerilla warfare as they are.”

The second issue expands upon the first greatly, on the social and political aspects of this fictional post-apocalyptic drama. The art truly drives the story, with a fantastic use of earthly tones and complex lines that are either a bit disorderly to emphasize intensity, or structured perfectly to establish setting and situation.  The tense danger and stresses of the rising dystopia bring about the character in Hale; which develops hs character and purpose along the way of the story. The contrast in the flashback is also well-done, building upon intriguing developments both personal and broad. To where all this goes, leaves no promises. I remain interested at least for the art and the interesting puzzle of world building being done.

Motro #4 (Oni Press) by Ulises Farinas, Ryan Hill

“The nefarious Reptoids, defeated and relinquished to hidden outskirts away from the Northern Kingdom, abscond with the human race’s final hope for survival—the last of their children. Motro convinces the city’s elders to sacrifice themselves to reveal the Reptoids’ location so the children may still be rescued, but they’re met with a horrifying discovery. Motro, with great warriors and a squadron of tri-tankerbeasts at his side, must decide what it means to save humanity when faced with extinction or a grisly new future.”

I love Ulises Farinas art and visual style, from much of his past work (Transformers, Gamma, Judge Dredd). Issue #4 is an another awesome balance of the complexity of his pencils, and the deeply imaginative story developed. For this issue, there is much happening with twists and turns, thrills me much. There lies an epic heroism on display here, especially toward the end. The result is another underrated classic from the mind of Farinas, in line with my other favorite work of his in Gamma. While there is excitement in seeing his work from licensed properties, Motro shows far more potential gain in greater work from his own creative visions.

That’s all until next time. Did we miss any worthwhile reads on the latest shelves?  Do you have further thoughts on the books covered here? Leave a comment below!

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


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