SKYWARD reaches new heights with its first paperback volume, this September

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The fresh gravity-killing mystery comic series Skyward, by writer Joe Henderson (showrunner of Fox’s Lucifer) and artist Lee Garbett (Lucifer, Loki: Agent of Asgard) will be obtainable to all as in trade paperback form as Skyward, Volume 1: My Low-G Life.

The first story arc of the critically acclaimed series will include issues #1-5 of the series, and published by Image Comics.

The story here…

One day, gravity on Earth suddenly became a fraction of what it is now. Set 20 years later, SKYWARD introduces a humanity that has adapted to its new low-gravity reality. And to Willa Fowler, who was born just after G-day, it’s pretty awesome. You can fly through the air! I mean, sure, you can also die if you jump too high. So you just don’t jump too high. And maybe don’t get mixed up in your dad’s secret plan to bring gravity back, which could get you killed…

Captain’s note: I am reading the single issues of Skyward, and loving the hell out of it. If you enjoy fun, physics bending science fiction stories with a lot of mystery, then check this out.

The Skyward, Volume 1: My Low-G Life trade paperback will descend into comic stores on Wednesday, September 19th and bookstores on Tuesday, September 25th.


SW Interviews comics writer Ivan Brandon, on Drifter and new projects


Look through the current shelves and back issue bins at your comic  stores, and you will likely find the work of Ivan Brandon.

Ivan Brandon is a modern comic book writer, and editor; now working on Drifter, a sci-fi western fantasy published by Image Comics. Born in New York City from Cuban immigrants, Brandon drew his inspiration from comic books since the early 1980s, mainly from Marvel and the works of Bill Sienkiewicz and Frank Miller. Since the early 2000’s he has written and edited for Marvel, DC, Image and more publishers on many titles, working with a variety of veteran comic artists including but not limited to: Michael Avon Oeming (The Cross Bronx), Andy Macdonald (NYC Mech), Nic Klein (Drifter, Viking),, Rafael Albuquerque (Wolverine), Mike Hawthorne (Ruule: Ganglords of Chinatown), Tom Derenick (Men of War).

I talked with Ivan Brandon during the 2016 San Diego Comic Con, where I asked him about the craft of comics writing, working with others, and his latest work. He had much to say and reveal on his work, as detailed in the transcription below…


Hello Ivan, thank you for joining us. It’s been a helluva Comic Con (Sunday, the last of the four-day event). Are there any fresh announcements or coming books you would like to share with our readers?

Ivan Brandon: There has been nothing new since Image Expo,where we announced the two books there. One is VS, which is done by myself and Esad Ribic. The other book is Black Cloud, which is done by myself, Jason Latour, Greg Hinkle.

Black Cloud 1 black-cloud

And for those not quite caught up, could you give us a short blurb on each?

Ivan Brandon:  Yes. Basically, VS is a sci-fi story set in a future where war has been privatized and is an organized spectator sport where different factions fight publicly in a sort of gladiator combat. We follow one character through one of his victories, and more importantly, some of his failures.

Black Cloud is about a world and past where reality was composed by storytellers by the will of the individuals. Their ability to define their space to believe in the world and basically dealing with a character who rebels and is exiled from that world and then stuck in New York City, and then struggles to get back to where she is from.

You have some interesting and varied styles with much of your writings. For either of these books, were there any new research or interesting preparations you looked into?

Ivan Brandon: Yeah, there is a lot of there and some of is hard to explain because of spoilers. I am to a fault..tend to paint myself into a corner of having to reinvent how I approach a story, every single time I do a new it’s no different with these, as they are both different from anything I have done and different from each other. VS did involve me reading elaborate textbooks how the brain is composed, how it works for example. I ended up doing a ridiculous amount of research. Even when I was working the old days back at Marvel, I did a forty page story but read a 500-page story to plan for it. It’s not so much the data, but just getting myself in the mindset to jump into the story, and for the creative angle that’s interesting.

Drifter, of which I am a big fan of its unique style and storytelling. Something that has been a bit of a mystery to me..the time and setting. Could you elaborate a bit more on the large world, time and place of that, or is that meant to be a bit of a secret your withholding?

Ivan Brandon:  I can say a bit of this. We are just about to finish the 13th issue, which comes out next week (note: interview was done in late July), which is the penultimate issue of that the 3rd arc. There are some answers coming out, with definitely some major moves and answers on the difference factions of the world, and how they interact with each other. There will be a big reveal at the end of this arc. And then the next arc, there will be wall-to-wall reveals.

One thing I will say is that I don’t want to reveal too much and that not everyone’s checklist will be met. But, it is my intent to for my own understanding of the story is that all my questions that I think I have posed will have very clear and specific answers . Not only will they be answered, but they will be in such a way more going back to the beginning of the story, that you will see that to a degree they have been answered, but just subtle.


Yes, I had a feeling that some pieces would come together, while I continue to enjoy the series with its awesome colors, art, and concepts.

Ivan Brandon: Thank you.

Looking back on Marvel and DC, where your world-building can only go so far, and then seeing how your creative work you has no boundaries, which can be an inspiration to new writers looking to build their own worlds. Do you have good advice on creating from scratch toward a believable setting?

Ivan Brandon: Yeah, it’s a balance where believability is key. You can make almost anything believable if you approach it the right way if you’re honest about it. I can’t say there’s a correct right or wrong way of doing that, but for me, it’s trying to sort of brown things in. Sci-fi is a great example, where people can get a little too obsessed with a lot of bells and whistles that make up sci-fi. For me, if you can create recognizable characters that can anchor the reader into some sort of something they are familiar with, from their own experiences and own emotions, or whatever. Then, you can build any sort of environment around it that you can believe, then you learn from that and appreciate that world through the characters eyes. Then, what I try to do is focus and find the humanity in the character in whatever period it is, like in my Viking story before Drifter. Different as that story might be, there are very classic desires that any kind of human has in any time period, with specific desires and emotions, I can hopefully connect with those things and then I can take the reader along to.


That’s great. And you have worked with so many artists. For those also new in creating comics, do have any advice for those in picking out their artists?

Ivan Brandon: I think you want to work with the most exciting, most talented person you can because that’s the person ultimately telling your story to the world. They are the ultimate performer of the story, right? When the person is flipping through the book or walking past the’s that cover that I didn’t draw. That person is singing the song. You also want someone that has a great range in what they can express. To me, comics are a very really interesting place that you can do the freedom to present visually almost anything. You have to balance the excitement of almost gratuitously create the most exciting the most exciting visual spectacle that you can, with believability. To me, finding someone who can believably put real human characters into them. And, by human, I mean in quotes because it can be a story about an alien or whatever. But you still want to find that humanity, that heart that you can connect with. That to me, is one of the most important things what you need, to find someone who can handle that “acting” of the characters in a convincing way then that’s half the job right there. The audience than can fall in love with those characters, then it doesn’t matter where you take those characters, they will follow you..that is if you do that job right which is easier said done.

So, to wrap it up do you have any last-minute words to your fans and potential fans out there reading this?

Ivan Brandon: Thank you everybody. I’m really excited to bring the new books out, and I hope you dig them.

Thank you, Ivan!

Drifter monthly issues, the Volume 1 and 2 collected volume paperbacks , and other works of Ivan Brandon are available everywhere at awesome comic stores and better book retailers. Digital back issues are available via all current digital outlets carrying Image titles. For more info on Ivan Brandon and his work, visit his official site at and follow him on Twitter at @ivanbrandon.

– Interview by Orion Tippens (Orion T) –  eic, frequent writer of the Stranger Worlds,explorer of all science fiction across all planes and platforms.


SW Interview with comics creator Brian Haberlin, on Faster Than Light and more..


Brian Haberlin is a modern visionary through his special brand of science fiction storytelling.

He is a creative writer, artist, colorist, producer, and much more. You may have discovered Haberlin’s work through his critically acclaimed graphic novels (now in print and digital), Anomaly and Shifter. Recently, he brought forth via Image his latest comic book series, Faster Than Light; a cosmic adventure series of explorers braving the dangers of space travel and intergalactic relations. Through his own Anomaly Productions studio, he creates his stories, while working with a broad array of new talent to tell new tales. Much of his current productions uses his own Ultimate Augmented Reality (UAR) apps, where readers with the use of their mobile devices, may delve deeper into his work to reveal 3-D holographic-like imagery with revealing extra information.

Here is a video sample of a more recent issue of Faster Than Light with UAR app integration:

Haberlin’s work goes far back, for over two decades, beginning with his work at Top-Cow Productions where he co-created the Witchblade series. He would move on to work independently for the Marvel, DC, and Image comic publishers. Later, he cofounded Avalon Studios, where he would bring out new independent titles, including Aria, Stone, Area-52, and M-Rex. He also teaches comic art at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and contributor for 3-D World and ImagineFX magazine.

Overall, Haberlin is a creative soul who enjoys storytelling through comic books. I also feel is also an explorer at heart, trying out new ways of content delivery through digital technology and the use of UAR and beyond. He often presents his work at his Anomaly booth at various conventions, where his stories and associated UAR tech are featured; drawing fans in, old and new. During the recent 2016 San Diego Comic-Con, I talked with Brian Haberlin about his work and thoughts on humanity’s future.

Below, is our enlightening discussion:


Hello Brian! I much enjoy your current work of Faster than Light, which will soon reach its eighth issue. What are your thoughts so far on bringing this comic series into the comics market, and how it originally developed?

Brian Haberlin: It’s been very successful. It’s been a book I have wanted to do since 1994. I had ghost-written a (Star Trek) Deep Space Nine episode with Evan Carlos Summers on staff. I was busy with Warner Brothers, and he was doing his thing.  I didn’t think the freelance writing stuff was going to work. But we did an episode where a Kai was killed (Season 1.13 – Battle Lines). There was a problem with what was going on with the Star Trek stuff I saw at the time, where if you relate it to what’s happening right now there was this excuse of someone whose ‘oh, he’s into ancient earth music’ or, ‘or oh, that’s ancient earth history..’

I wanted to do a space show that’s happening now. If anything is happening on Earth now, you can reflect it in the show. You can have people comment, which I do quite often, on pop culture or the other sci-fi that happens in fiction that you can relate to that. Then you can mention and talk about it, without rationalizing “oh, it’s the year 2500, and there’s something in 2017” kind of nonsense.

Yes, and Faster Than Light feels much more different from anything in science fiction, revolving around this adventurous space travel. It does not feel like Star Trek, Firefly, Lost In Space; or whatever else we are familiar with. What else do you feel on what you said, that projects it as unique and different to what people perceive as a typical space travel adventure?

Brian Haberlin: I think it falls pretty heavily on the influence of my older brother who is 12 years older, who really got me into sci-fi, to begin with. Of most of that stuff, I was heavy into Larry Niven. If you read Larry Niven’s stuff, it’s very heavily science-based. Since then, he’s been a futurist because there are so many things he wrote about from around the 60s on stuff that’s totally come to pass. So, I think it’s mix of ‘that’, where ‘this’ can happen..which I’m trying to do on what could be real and eventually happen.

One thing I find interesting about Faster Than Light is the human relation to other aliens. Humans are sometimes gullible, kind of naïve in their place in the universe..not in a bad way, just as the new kid on the block of the interplanetary neighborhood and we are just trying to fit in, which is part of the drama. What do you think can be done today, to perhaps prepare us better for the future to better ourselves in that galactic menagerie?

Brian Haberlin: At the core of Faster than light, there is the Aurelian Signal and the potential threat of whatever got them is coming to get us. But using that as a jumping on point for our adventure, I framed everything purposefully… You can’t go out there thinking , oh my god we are all going to die and we have to be super suspicious of everybody. If you don’t go out there with hope like Captain Forest, who has the best possible outlook. We are out in space where no humans ever been before. No one has ever done any of this stuff, so turn around and give yourself a pat on the back. I know we are trying to save humanity here, so appreciate the wonder of the moment. I think that is the key.


I like that message.

Brian Haberlin: Indeed, I think that was the wonderful thing about the reboot of Doctor Who, especially the Christopher Eccelston episodes, and the next one (David Tennant). There are moments of this Time Lord, this amazing character looks at humans and goes…’you don’t understand, you guys are amazing. You get up every morning, and do all these things, everything about you is amazing and you have this unlimited potential.’

I see (while admiring the fact that he gets the Doctor as a visionary for the good that humans can do).. 

Brian Haberlin: Because right now in issue #10 of Faster Than Light, where they are dealing with multi-dimensional creatures, who know a lot of things about us and our true reality. In that one of them says at one point, you in your are the tip of the iceberg. there is more to humanity in the other dimension, that you’re not even aware of.’ So, I think, of things I try to pull off , is the one or two of the impossible.

And that’s interesting, but also shows where we need to work because learning is part of the adventure.

Brian Haberlin: Yeah, well people forget and I hope I’m not tipping my hand too much but there is a line from issue #10 I use.. when Pandora’s box is open and all the horrible things come out and there is one thing else left in the box, and that was hope.

Hmm… Speaking of hope, is there any updates on the news from April about a Faster Than Light TV show?

Brian Haberlin: Ah, I had a meeting with Skydance (Skydance Media) last week, and we are going over potential showrunners for the show.

Cool. And, nothing more on that, right?

Brian Haberlin: I just have to read the people and see if they can carry the ball or not. And, I am looking forward to it. But, I think of my goal. It’s not to just do comics and think I’m getting a big movie or TV deal. My goal is I love comics, I love the screen, I love telling stories. I see it all as good from what comes of it. It just comes down to if someone doesn’t do it right and doesn’t get it, I take it off the table. There have been other books of mine that are been a fast track for feature films and finally, I see the pitch and think, oh that’s nice then go back and talk to my agent and think, I wouldn’t make that movie with their money.

Like I think when the World War Z film happened, based on the book. I thought wow, they have the same title.

Brian Haberlin: That’s something as a creator that occurs quite frequently. Like when I had the Hellcop option, and it has been this, that and the other thing and when they come back to me with what it is..I think, then why didn’t you just buy the title from me?!

Yes. I see a lot of what you put into your current work, especially with the UAR app, where when used with the book gives all this additional info on elements in the story, sometimes as much as the book. How much time for each chapter do you spend on the what goes into the app, versus the actual book? 

Brian Haberlin: It’s about a week.

Then there is the virtual reality tech, that is now on its  steady rise. Have you been thinking or planning on using that technology in your storytelling?

Brian Haberlin; We have a couple VR apps already going. We have a Shifter Oculus App, we have Anomaly on Vive..that’s not finalized yet. But we are looking into a couple of companies now, doing some short VR stories based on Anomaly.

That’s great, as I think there is a lot of potential in VR that I can’t even begin to pick apart just yet. Possibilities are endless. So, are there any other news on Faster Than Light and other projects for the fans to get excited about?

Brian Haberlin: Anomaly 2 will be out beginning next year. Fury Formula will be out around the same time, which is a modern take on the Jekyll and Hyde story.

Fury Formula

Ooo (out of personal of interest for anything Jekyll and Hyde).

Brian Haberlin: The tagline is “Everyone has a dark side, his has its own wardrobe.” We also have some free Faster than Light stories on the website (See the Mission Logs here). The first one is “The Hermit” story on our website, which is available on the black and white ashcan here (at the convention), and every month a new black and white issue, focusing on a single character. First one focuses on Hippie, the second one focuses on Sally… And then we go back, as we have talked about in the book, a mini-series that is the Daedalus mission, which is why Forrest got the command and to begin with.

That’s great as that’s what i wanted more in the book, which is more focused on particular characters, to get to know them better.

Brian Haberlin: Yeah, problem is that end of the day where I love the characters, great ensemble piece., but at 22-30 pages it can be such a double edge sword where people think oh, it’s just a talking head issue. So, you have to be careful with the cool splash page and whatever, then have the character moments. Now, I think we are having interesting stuff going on with Malcolm and Sally right now, and then Ryan has a thing for Sally too, which is his unrequited love of her..for Malcolm how that will manifest, we will see.


Those ashcans look great. But will those ever be collected into a trade paperback?

Brian Haberlin: Yes, and that will be colored and put into a trade paperback.

Do you have any final message out there for fans, and perhaps new fans interested in checking out your book through this interview, and those looking into the far future?

Brian Haberlin: You keep your eyes and keep yourself open to endless possibilities… As long as you don’t let the shit get you down and you keep going forward, then good things happen. If you’re not open to the possibilities of success  of good things, guess what that’s not going to happen. If you can’t believe in yourself, like people who think, no I can’t do this..No. It’s better to not look at such as a fail, but give it a try. At least give it a try. If not, then give it a few tries.

Thank you, Brian!

Faster than Light monthly issues, the Volume 1 paperback (ISBN – 978-1632156846) , and other works of Brian Haberlin are available everywhere at awesome comic stores and the best book retailers still around. Digital back issues are available via all current digital outlets that carry Image titles. You may download the UAR apps from the Apple and Android stores. For more info on Anomaly Productions, visit their official site at and follow them on Twitter @AnomalyWorld and on Facebook


– Interview by Orion Tippens (Orion T) –  eic, frequent writer of the Stranger Worlds,explorer of all science fiction across all planes and platforms.


Stranger Reads – Comics Log 2016.8.1 – To be a little fearless…


The reads were a bit light for the last week of July. I went for a little less for that week for the releases dated July 27th. For that, and my recovery from the San Diego Comic Con, I caught up on a new favorite while taking my chance with a new Image title..

Here we go, with the new (and minor spoilers)..


Moongirl and Devil Dinosaur #9 (Marvel) by Brandon Montclare, Amy Reader, Natacha Bustos

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is so far turning into a very underrated treasure from Marvel. Though it’s definitely aimed toward younger readers, there is a precise charm to Moon Girl and her heightened intelligence and strange bond with a large red dinosaur. Stranger still is her rivalry with a young alien boy, determined to beat her. I love this issue and all so far, with great hopes Moon Girl and her Devil Dinosaur shall go far on the comic racks.

Drifter #13 (Image) by Ivan Brandon, Nic Klein

Never thought of this as also a horror book, until now. The story itself carries on, but the part is taking time to admire and take in the colorful and detailed situations. Here, an army of zombie like humanoids (Wheelers) attack a settlement, with terrifying results. The attack sequence is among the best displays of science fiction horror viewed in recent memory with stunning art and detail. The art is really growing on me, enhancing the story which takes patience and some rereading to completely grasp.

Predator vs Judge Dredd vs Aliens #1 (Dark Horse) by John Layman, Chris Moonyham

John Layman, who I best know from Chew, I think much fun in his writing. He does great introductions, to what sets up an interesting story with am unpredictable end. This goes triple for PvJDvA. All three factions set well, with the pitting of outside forces among the three; which will make this more than a three fight, or perhaps with more awesome collateral where everyone else loses. The set up is great for anyone less familiar with 1 out of 3 of the franchises (interested in Judge Dredd on his own, but not sure where to start). Still, such will be interesting and fun, with Layman’s direction and good matching art.

Divinity II #4 (Valiant) by Mark Kindt, Trevor Hairsine

The second issue wraps this series up well, as a second part of a possible trilogy (part III advertised) in the end. Here,we have god vs god, as Abrams meets his match against Myskha for the fate of everything. Added is much on influenced literature and philosophy, with a little less on the Valiant comics universe involvement (which I think held back part 1). Abrams seems even more humanized by the end, with a resolution of friendship and understanding (while the early part of the book focused on action is seemingly pointless). The art is top-notch, balancing action and dramatic storytelling. The end is nice and feeling good, with much open to what happens next.


Tales from the Darkside #2 (IDW) by Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez

Here, another great read from a favorite writer/artist in comics. We have a curious, character driven story bordering back and forth between a creepy tale to a dramatic dilemma on self-preservation at any price. The cursed protagonist tries to live a normal life, but doomed as unfortunate, weird things seem to just happen. Yet, an answer brings in an interesting cliffhanger where anything can be next, and terrifying to those ever facing sedation in a hospital setting.

Prophet: Earth War #5 (Image) by Brandon Graham, Simon Ray, Giannis Milonogiannis, Grim Wilkins

I picked this up and looked at it for a bit. It was hard to put down, as the art in this is amazing. It’s reminiscent of classic Moebius and similar Heavy Metal magazine stories. I must read the first volume, and all of this second volume. I will then talk more on this later.

That’s all until next time. Did we miss anything on the shelves, that is a worthy read?  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.


Stranger Reads – Comics Log 2016.7.26, Better Late then Never…


From the last Wednesday’s new comics arrivals, we have fresh stories of interest. This time pushed almost to its limit, as my time spent at the San Diego Comic Con was heavy and full of everything a con should be. Still recovering, I took time to read the latest interests post-trip. Here we go, with the new (and minor spoilers)..


Captain Kid #1 (Aftershock) by Mark Waid, Tom Peyer, Wilfredo Torres

A man dealing with a mid-life crisis, dead-end life suddenly can turn into the youthful superhero, Captain Kid. We have a first issue with barely anything on origins. Much of a focuses on the troubled soul of the protagonist, with the superhero as a form of an escapism. But there is something more than the situation he put in, as writer Mark Waid tells well-paced stories with thought-out conclusions. The art however, feels off. Not sure if it’s the melancholy feel of the character, mixing real life personal crisis with superhero melodrama; or perhaps it’s all supposed to feel a bit disjointed as a dramatic tale than superhero fanfare.

Chew #56 (Image) by John Layman, Rob Guillory

Only four issues left until the final issue #60, and the story leveling gets a bit exhilarating.  l love how Layman finds very interesting and new uses for the food related powers, leading Savoy to continue on through interesting means, and out hero to resort to a lite form of cannibalism. With little time left, I feel myself a bit impatient as to where all the events big and small lead. Will there even be an end, or perhaps a spinoff or new volume? I don’t feel the end coming, and continue to love the strange cast of characters (its strongest feature, with the art coming in a close second). Meanwhile, the end of this chapter is perhaps the most morbid yet.

I Hate Fairyland #7 (Image), by Skottie Young

It’s a series I didn’t think could continue to have any kind of deep story, but here we are in search of dragon pee. This issue is a funny almost standalone story with a little extra smiles. It’s not as gross or violently disturbing as the earlier issues, but the feeling is still there. We also have a bit more focus on the twisted world of out anti-heroine, with more logical sense on how things work. Scottie Young’s art continues to make this a very unique read with a distinct feel. The vibrant colors still pop, making the setting different and involving to the reader’s imagination. Pervis the Packrat is a fun encounter with a very disturbing request, something I hope Scottie Young brings back in a future issue.

Scooby Apocalypse #3 (DC), by  J.M. DeMatteis, Keith Giffen, Howard Porter, Dale Eaglesham

Perhaps the strangest reboot of them all currently on the racks.  I can not yet conclude my feelings on this, as Scooby is best done in original form, I feel. Here, I am uncomfortable with Scooby Doo being some cyborg thing in serious form. Meanwhile, the Mystery Inc. gang as we know continued wits their highly developed complexities. Though, I also like the idea of Shaggy mentioned as a Buddhist. The danger also increases, with more on the action. Much I would compare to the highly successful Afterlife with Archie. But, I must refrain, as I still can’t decide if the series is horror, action, or drama in the overall tone, and there remains too much detachment from the source material. Yet, some things remain the same in some weird ways, with a need to understand the world around them. I would enjoy the story so much more, if the characters were not based on the Hanna Barbara classic.

Snotgirl #1 (Image) by Bryan Lee O’Malley and Leslie Hung

There is much for me to hate and dislike on the characters and situations of this first issue, though I think it’s meant for that. Bryan O Malley (Scott Pilgrim) has a knack for making characters that relatable from their inner turmoil, but very select in everything else. We have this main character stuck n this bizarre self-obsession with blogging and popularity. There are some qualities in their presentations, but I feel as detached from them as I do the protagonist. But the last page suddenly kicks things into high gear, and turns this from anxiety driven to highly dramatic and mysterious. The art is engaging and popish, and misleading toward what lies beneath the makeup and angst. Overall, the execution is grand for its eventual twist is curious; leading the book to its rightful and interesting direction.

Black Hammer #1 (Dark Horse), by Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, Dave Stewart

A strange title this one is, that has a bit of that signature feel I get from the Dark Horse darkly titles like Hellboy, Buffy, Harrow County, adding a classic superhero angel to a bygone era . Jeff Lemire does what he does best in writing, character development and established setting in a rural environment. While the book looks back to an era of superheros, there is not the feel of the genre, except for some color to the flashbacks. The bulk of the first issue focuses on drama and interaction, with hints to what may fall forward. That’s a good thing, and I will look forward to the next issue and where it all goes.

That’s all until next time. Did we miss anything on the shelves, that is a worthy read?  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.


Stranger Reads – Comics Log 2016.7.17, New and Bold Expressions..

Photo Jul 14, 8 36 19 PM 

From the latest Wednesday new comics arrivals, we have fresh stories of interest. This time with a mix of mostly old parts of nostalgia, with interesting twists. Here, are the new interests I now share for this round (with minor spoilers)..


New Super-Man #1 (DC Comics) by Gene Luen Yang, Victor Bogdanovic

A different take on Superman that feels closer to the recent, acclaimed Superman: American Alien series. Here me meet Kong Kenan, who I feel is more than the Chinese Superman. Much of the first issue, we get to know the character; who comes off as immature and a jerk. There is a bit of a tragic back story, which I think lends more to his personality than his powers. The setting in Shanghai gives the storyline fresh possibilities, we also have interesting outside perspectives on the American superhero melodrama. It’s a solid first issue, and a fresh start for anyone feeling confused on the current status of the familiar Superman in its “Rebirth” phase.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #6 (Archie), by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Robert Hack, Jack Morelli

I love everything about this issue, which stands apart from the series so far for different reasons. First off, being two flashback tales that stand alone as interesting as the Teenage Witch herself. One involves a pair of cobras, the other is Salem the cat; both under curses that turned them away from human into animals. The dramas of both tales are captivating in their telling, with revelations and personal reflections of their transformations. The changes are more than physical. The art and panel sequences are also fitting, and perfect for readers who like a good story with chilling overtones.

Vision #9 (Marvel) by Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta

Funny thing about the Vision, longtime Avenger and underappreciated Marvel Comics character; he represents the best and worst of a superhero’s potential. He strives to be a good person, but something in his programming goes against his better judgement. From the first issue, we know this family attempt will not go well. This issue, such the plan escalates into a failed emotional investment, through a series of calculated cumulations. To what does he feel, is interesting; being the living android with new feelings. Writer Tom King toys with the emotions of the reader, especially in the end with a dark dramatic moment, that a bit of irony on his creation from another mad robot.

Rough Riders #4 (Aftershock) by Adam Glass, Pat Oliffe

A most ridiculous series that’s has a league of extraordinary gentlemen, from United States history. For those curious and still reading this paragraph, the heroic lineup is Teddy Roosevelt, Anne Oakley, Jack Johnson, Harry Houdini, Thomas Edison. It’s full of cheeky moments and stylish action, with some odd science fiction elements snuck in. Also, part of this makes me wonder why Teddy Roosevelt hasn’t got more fictional comic action, because much of him is quite cartoonish. Much else begs for character development. The art is good throughout, yet not overdone. The series excitement lies in the intrigue as to where it all goes, which I hope is more twisting of historical elements.

Horizon #1 (Image) by Brandon Thomas, Juan Gedeon, Frank Martin

I love the art and concepts at play here. The story is a bit of a twist on the alien invasion plot. Here, we are the aliens looking to invade another planet. Then, we have an alien coming to our planet to learn more. There are some odd twists and strange moments that may confuse the reader, as I had to reread it to fully understand the scope of it all. The pacing is also a little weird, starting with its time being took in the start with a descent and little dialogue. This goes on for nearly a third of the book, until we get to the bones of the story. Then we get some build-up and interest leading to an interesting cliffhanger on where the story goes from here.

Star Trek #59 (IDW), by Mike Johnson, Tony Shasteen, Roberto Orci

What happens when the J.J Abrams directed movie crew meets the original TV series crew? Well, hilarity and confusion ensues to this fantastic so far two-part series finale wrap. There are moments felt more like fan service for those overly nostalgic to the originally crew, and giving a cold welcome to the Abrams version. For much of the Abrams Star Trek, I truly enjoyed the comic series for the freedoms is was given in writing and more integrations with the Prime continuity (with much thanks to story consultant the Trek movie scriptwriter, Roberto Orci). This issue reminds us that all good things must come to end; especially the IDW comic series at times, felt more like a worthy successor to the classic series than the new movies.

That’s all until next time. Did we miss anything on the shelves, that is a worthy read?  Do you have 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.


Stranger Reads – Comics Log 2016.7.10, The New and Old Friends Among Us..

Photo Jul 09, 10 43 53 AM 

Fresh from the recent Wednesday new comics shelves, are the hot new singles some us nerds get exciting about. I have some latest reads below, with a mix of old and new..


Bounty #1 (Dark Horse), by Kurtis J Wiebe and Mindy Lee

An interesting new series for those who enjoy their Serenity and Guardians of the Galaxy with a lot of old cyberpunk mixed in. Bounty revolves around the work of two intergalactic bounty hunters. It’s action packed and definitely fun for the first issue. However, there is a lot of extra lingo and characters thrown that disjoint the pacing of the first issue. I would love a glossary or appendix to help sort out this, but perhaps learning along the way is part of the fun. Yet, a solid first issue but needs to slow down in future issues so we can get to know the characters.

Silver Surfer (Marvel), by Dan Slott and Mike Allred

I love Michael Allred’s art and Dan Slott’s writing (sometimes). But for the Silver Surfer, I remain a bit reluctant for this combination, and the continued inclusion of his hipsterish companion, Dawn Greenwood. I wish the Surfer would return to his space-faring travels alone as he quotes angst verses of poetic torment and loneliness. What’s funny here is a very meta moment, where a boy questions the dimensioned presence of the Fantastic Four and the Surfer, which has happened for reasons beyond the cosmic awareness of our Silver hero. Overall, a great cheeky issue as the Surfer adapts to Earth life, while taking time for some old school fighting action on the Moon. I enjoyed that balance.

Paper Girls # 7 (Image by Brian K Vaughan, Cliff Chiang and Matt Wilson

Still back to the future as our Paper Girls are stuck in the strange world of 2016. There are deeper mysteries, sorting through the real world familiarities and fantastical. I suppose both are hard to pick apart to any child of the 1980s. While amusing as such is, I think the pacing is a bit lost, as we readers can feel empathetic to the plight of our time travelers. What in the world is going on I would ask, with strange technology and giant monsters. Some new revelations keep things interesting toward the end, loving the fact that things will not be okay. That all is quite rad, with the story continuing to entertain.

Brik #1 (Oni Press) by Mike Benson, Adam Glass, and Harwinder Singh

A great origin story told in great detail setting up the character before the premise begins. Much revolves around the idea of the Golem, with its roots in Jewish folklore and history. But the bigger story is a small neighborhood in Yonkers, New York as locals deal with crooked bullies sent by a crooked real estate developer, leading to an important development sure to excite. Everything here has the worthwhile (though not fully original) ingredients for a great super hero tale, with much potential to reach long-term epic proportions.  The artwork I love, stylish and mood-setting for things to come. I look forward to more Brik.

Faster Than Light #8 (Image,  Shadowline) by Brian Haberlin, Dan Kemp

The series is growing on me, and this issue is heavy reason on why. I love the crazy concept and alien designs brought forth. Much of this issue involves our crew at a bar filled with dangerous looking alien types, much like that in Star Wars. but the conversational tone over differences and happenings makes the universe of Faster Than Light engaging and worthwhile of a read. But it’s still imperative to use the matching UAR app to activate it’s augmented reality features, which contains text that goes far deeper into the universe building Brian Haberlin does so well. My only major criticism is the lack of strong characterization by crew members. I would love a bit more time taken out to build upon the individual crew members, to get to know them better through stories. I’m hoping while on board, we see more of this soon.

Peanuts: Friends Forever 2016 Special (Kaboom!), by Jason Cooper, Donna Almendrala, Vicki Scott, Charles Schulz

This is the very last of the Boom! Entertainment licensed works based on the comic strips of Charles Schulz. The series as a whole has been a fantastic and faithful representation of the original strips. There are a couple heartwarming tales that go beyond the wit and humor of the classics. A story that grows Peppermint Patty’s character as she fights a school dress, code. Snoopy learns the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm is set to close. Both stories and others focus on wonderful bonds and relationships, that I think is the very heart and soul of Charles Schulz’s work. We also have some very funny moments, leading to an end of which feels like a sad goodbye to n excellent and very underrated licensed run.

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.