Star Trek Deep Space Nine, makes a bold return to comic shelves in 2020

Sure, there is a lot of talk about the new Picard TV series among Star Trek fans, but there’s more out there for Trekkies to reconnect with, as IDW Publishing makes a bold announcement for DS( fans with this press release:

IDW Publishing brings the beloved DS9 crew back to comics with a taut noir thriller: the four-part comic book miniseries Star Trek: Deep Space Nine — Too Long a Sacrifice, under the license of ViacomCBS Consumer Products.

Written by longtime Star Trek scribes David Tipton and Scott Tipton and illustrated by Greg Scott (Gotham Central), the new series marks the first Deep Space Nine title published in over a decade. Debuting its first issue in April 2020, this long-awaited DS9 storyline shines the spotlight on Constable Odo, the fan-favorite shapeshifter brought to life by the late (and greatly missed) actor René Auberjonois.

“Set during the most difficult hours of the Dominion War, Too Long a Sacrifice shows the station during trying times: a series of mysterious and seemingly unsolvable terrorist attacks just as the war has everyone strained to the breaking point,” says David Tipton. “We’ll get to see the darker side of life on the station as Odo leads the investigation, with increasingly desperate conditions forcing him and others to deal with new and unexpected allies and to use unusual tactics in their efforts to stop the attacks.”

Scott Tipton says, “We’re so excited to return to the world of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. With its ‘frontier setting’ and precarious place in the galaxy, Deep Space Nine offers the opportunity to tell truly unique tales of intrigue and suspense. Combine that with one of the best character ensembles ever assembled, and you get something no other Star Trek series can offer.”

“I’m really excited to be spending time with the DS9 crew,” says artist Greg Scott. “I’ve always loved Star Trek, and can’t wait to draw these wonderful characters!”

“Deep Space Nine is one of the Star Trek series that I’ve been the most eager for IDW to dive into in comics form, so to be at the helm for the first series in over a decade is a dream come true,” says editor Chase Marotz. “I’ve worked with David and Scott Tipton on several amazing Star Trek books and know that they’re going to deliver a story that the fans will love, and it’s exciting to finally be able to work with Greg Scott. I’m a big fan of his style and I think we’re poised to create a Star Trek book that’s going to both surprise and delight.”

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine — Too Long a Sacrifice #1 will be available with multiple cover variants for retailers and fans to enjoy, including Cover A by Ricardo Drumond, a Photo Edition for Cover B, and two Retailer Incentive editions by J.K. Woodward (Star Trek: The Next Generation — Mirror Broken).

Star Trek: Warp Five beams to the comic stores, this April

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Recent news released for fans of the classic original Star Trek, and sci-fi in perhaps its best form…

Star Trek: Year Five, a monthly comic book series is setting warp speed to stores, this coming April and published by IDW.

On board for writing will be an exceptional crew, including Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, and artist Stephen Thompson for its opening story arc, and – painting Star Trek for the first time in all his 60 years of professional illustration – Greg Hildebrandt as cover artist for the debut issue.

In Star Trek: Year Five, the crew of the Enterprise have traveled to strange new worlds, defeated impossible foes, and made universe-changing decisions. But with the end in sight, they’ll have to face their biggest challenge yet. Step aboard the Enterprise with Kirk, Spock, Bones, and Uhura on a voyage towards an uncertain future!

“Year Five will be a vital, hard-hitting, character-focused look at Captain Kirk on his last year in command,” said Jackson Lanzing in a recent press release. “His actions will have huge ripple effects, from the outbreak of war in the Alpha Quadrant to an unprecedented strain of trust with Spock. We’ll turn a mirror on our modern society, just as Trek did in the 1960s, and go boldly towards meaningful, heartfelt stories.”

IDW’s continuing Star Trek: Year Five series, under license by CBS Consumer Products, will be nurtured by a collaborative writer’s room (including Brandon Easton, Jody Houser, Jim McCann, and the aforementioned Lanzing and Kelly), working together to craft the overall journey while swapping writing chores specific to each story arc.

Lanzing explains, “We’ll tell an ongoing narrative with a beginning, a game-changing middle, and a definite end… and do so with some of the best writers in comics contributing their unique, diverse voices and ideas.”

“The opportunity to be a part of this monumental legacy is an unbelievable trust. With Year Five, we don’t just want to thrill – we want to channel the power of Roddenberry’s original vision, to tell a story about the future that illuminates our present,” says Collin Kelly in the press release, “It’s time for the Enterprise to come home… but first, they’ll have to face an enemy that’s been waiting in the shadows since 1968.”

“I have been a fan of Star Trek right from the beginning in 1966,” said Greg Hildebrandt. “I admired the social, moral, and political statements that were obvious in Gene Roddenberry’s plot lines. I feel that the original was and is one of the best shows ever on TV, and clearly the inspiration for all the Space Operas that have followed. It was an honor to paint this cover art of the original cast. Having never painted Trek before, it was a kick for me at 80 years old.”

Star Trek: Year Five beam into the comic stores, this April.

IDW rolls out an unexpected STAR TREK vs. TRANSFORMERS comics crossover

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With hailing frequencies open, there is something more than meets the eye to this final frontier.  The classic crew of the USS Enterprise will meet the first classic generation of Transformers in Star Trek vs. Transformers.

From IDW comics publishers, this crossover will indeed happen. Here are further details from a recent press release:

The starship Enterprise finds there’s more to the final frontier when Kirk and his crew come face-to-face with the strangest life forms of all: the shape-changing robots of Cybertron! Prepare to beam up and roll out this September with Star Trek vs. Transformers, a four-issue comic book crossover that is more than meets the eye and is inspired by the continuities of two iconic cartoon shows: Star Trek: The Animated Series (1973) and The Transformers (1984).

Two of the most prolific Transformers and Star Trek comic book writers — John Barber and Mike Johnson — team with artist Philip Murphy and colorist Leonardo Ito to tell the story that fans have demanded for decades. At the edge of Klingon space, the Enterprise​ answers a distress call, discovering a dilithium mine under siege by jets and helicopters of vintage 20th Century design. When a red, flat-nosed truck rolls in to save the day, the no-holds barred Saturday morning mash-up truly begins!

Co-writer Mike Johnson, whose vast Star Trek comic book credits include the acclaimed Countdown and Star Trek / Green Lantern storylines, says, “This is a crossover several decades in the making, and we could not be more thrilled to bring it to fans! John and I are having a blast writing the first meeting of Starfleet and Cybertronians, and Phil is the perfect artist to bring these two franchises together on the page.”

“The funny thing is, even though I’m the Transformers guy on this comic (I’ve written a lot of Transformers comics, after all), I’ve always been a huge Star Trek fan, ever since I was a kid,” says John Barber, co-writer and IDW’s newly-minted Editor-in-Chief. “When I was in fifth grade, I remember my teacher joking at the end of the year that maybe someday I’d wind up writing Star Trek… and it’s a thrill to finally get to!”

Philip Murphy, whose IDW credits include The Powerpuff Girls and Star Wars Adventures, says, “This is definitely a dream-come-true project for me. It’s my first time getting to draw Transformers and Star Trek. Not only am I a huge Trek fan, but I was born in the ’80s so I grew up in the golden era of Saturday morning cartoons – and The Transformers was definitely on the top of my list! This comic really means something special to me.”

Chase Marotz, associate editor, says, “Star Trek vs. Transformers is finally giving us the chance to combine two of our most prominent licenses in a style that will delight both fans of the original animated series and new readers. David Mariotte and I are having a great time editing it and we can’t wait until the fans get to see it for themselves.”

Captain’s Note: Both franchises have played an important role in science fiction, though to a very different degree. Star Trek has went beyond its universe as Captain Kirk has already met the X-Men, Planet of the Apes, Green Lantern, and more. The Transformers have encountered GI.Joe and the Avengers. I am not sure how this story here will play out logically, but it will an interesting (and hopefully good) one.

Look forward to Star Trek vs. Transformers #1, this September in comic book retail stores everywhere.

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Reflecting on Star Trek: The Next Generation, 30th Anniversary…

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30 years ago on this day, Star Trek: The Next Generation premiered with its two-part pilot episode, “Encounter At Farpoint.” And ever since, the show has had a profound effect on my journey through life.

I was lucky enough to catch it on its premiere night, not quite as eager in the beginning. But something drew me, being a mixed cast of characters on a big starship, seeking out new life, new civilizations, and boldly going…. On this new starship, the NCC-1701 Enterprise D, held an android seeking humanity in itself, a mighty alien warrior eager for new challenges, a blind engineer expanding his self in science and technological advancement, a ship doctor balancing her work with the challenges of single motherhood, a ship counselor with empathic abilities often not very helpful, a charming first officer, and a captain who seeks the peaceful, diplomatic, humanitarian solutions to every problem.

This would go on for seven years, and four movies. Star Trek: The Next Generation became a show I grew up with, identifying with much of the crew on their journeys and moral dilemmas. To me, the show was about finding self in seeing what’s out there. For the crew and the journey, establishing humanity’s place in the Alpha Quadrant as a member of the Federation; ever-exploring and spreading peace along the way while interacting with new alien species. Each crew member had an ongoing quest to reaffirm their place on the bridge as an individual and team. Through them as inspiration and admiration, I often dealt better with relatable challenges in school, social explorations, and direction in life.

So, I love Star Trek: The Next Generation. Here are my top five favorite episodes in no particular order:

  • Darmok – Picard is trapped on a planet with an alien with a very complex language system. The challenge puts Picard’s communication skills to a great test, with the solution being finding common ground and learning about each other.
  • Q Who – The omnipotent Q throws the Enterprise into a distant uncharted space, where they meet the Borg. The experience is a lesson in humility for humanity, with new and iconic challenges to come.
  • Yesterday’s Enterprise – An awesome episode with much of everything packed in; time travel, an alternate reality, epic ship on ship battles, revealing history connecting the classic series with the new, crew members put in new roles, moral dilemmas, high stakes.
  • Chain of Command Part II – a gut-wrenching episode where Picard is held prisoner and tortured, physically and mentally. The acting between Picard and his Cardassian captor is intense, with an unforgettable ending. How many lights are there?
  • “The Offspring” – Data creates an android daughter for him, in a continual effort to be “human.” This raises dilemmas and challenges on multiple levels, in a new role he must take on as a father and protector. A mix of emotions results with twists and turns, leaving me as a viewer feeling sad in the end for a fictional character whose existence didn’t last.

Overall, I love Star Trek: The Next Generation for what it was to myself, and what it gave to its growing audience – a vision of the future for a possible destiny in the stars, where the exploring and bonding with the universe and ourselves will never stop. With that, I best recall that epic last line of Captain Picard from its very first episode, that still remains a most important marker for us all…

New Star Trek Discovery Trailer and SDCC Panel Notes…

Over this latest weekend, CBS released a new Star Trek Discovery trailer, the next televised series bearing the Star Trek name in over a decade. Much on this upcoming Fall series was revealed, while raising new questions.

Here is the new trailer…

 

And, here are some new tidbits recently revealed at the San Diego Comic Con, through press releases and panel:

The updated cast:

Sonequa Martin-Green (First Officer Michael Burnham), Doug Jones (Lieutenant Saru), Jason lsaacs (Captain Gabriel Lorca), Shazad, Latif (Lieutenant Ash Tyler), Anthony Rapp (Lieutenant Paul Stamets), Michelle Yeoh (Captain Philippa Georgiou), Mary Wiseman (Cadet Sylvia Tilly), Chris Obi (T’Kuvma), Mary Chieffo (L‘Rell), James Fruin (Ambassador Sarek), Rainn Wilson (Harry Mudd), Terry Serpico (Admiral Anderson), Maulik Pancholy (Doctor Nambue), Damon Runyan (Ujilli), Rekha Shanna (Commander Landry). Kenneth Mitchell (Kol), Clare McConnell (Dennas), Sum Vanholomeos (Ensign Connor)

First Officer Michael Burnham (played by Sonequa Martin-Green) is Spock’s half-sister, with Sarek as her surrogate father. She was raised by her mother Amanda. The canonical reason Spock not mentioning her is unclear, but Executive Producer Alex Kurtzman said during the panel that they are aware, and such will be addressed with in time.

Ambassador Sarek (played by James Fruin) will be explored as a character further since his introduction in the classic series, as we find him younger and learning about emotions. He is also a mentor to Officer Burnham.

Saru (played by Doug Jones), is a Kelpien, a tall alien with hooves for feet.

The Klingons are back, but with the obvious difference in their appearance and presentation.  Little is known towards why, other than the promised expansion of their culture and heritage, and not as repeat villains.

Little is known about Lt. Stamets (played by Anthony Rapp), other than he will have a male love interest and partner; which will make him the first openly gay character with a lead crew role in Star Trek history.

Not much is known about Ct. Lorca (played by Jason Isaacs), other than he is different in character from past starring captains of the Star Trek franchise.

The creators announced Jeff Russo (FX’s Fargo, Extant, The Night Of, Legion) as the new composer on Star Trek: Discovery.

Star Trek: Discovery will première in the U.S. on CBS All Access (CBS digital subscription and streaming service) Sunday, Sept. 24. A broadcast première will follow on the CBS Television Network. The series will also be distributed on Netflix in 188 Countries.

The first season will run for 15 episodes, with the first eight initially running from the première date until November 5th. The second half will resume in January 2018.

Images: Courtesy of CBS

See the July Tom Whalen Variant Comics Covers from IDW Puiblishing

IDW Publishing recently announced its special variant cover theme for its comic books in the the July 2017 month, featuring the awesome art of Tom Whalen upon its many licensed characters in their popular monthly titles.

Here they are…

 

All are scheduled for release in July, but likely in limited quantities. Consult your local comic book retailer for more order info.

Stranger Reads – Comics Log 2017.2.28, More Recent Reads..

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Hey, some more comic read from the previous weeks!

Here are my notes on the following books worth checking out (with minor spoilers)…

RECENT COMICS, RELEASED 2/15 and 2/21, 2017:

Animosity #5 (Aftershock), by Marguerite Bennett , Rafael De la Torre

“A safe haven looms on the horizon, but the walled city will not take all of Jesse and Sandor’s companions. Who will live, and who will die to save the pack?”

PICK OF THE WEEK! I love this particular issue, which practically reinvents the series to where I thought this going. This is a good thing, as I was hoping the writing would stay away from the novelty of talking animal apocalypse melodrama, and straight into something oddly more serious and emotionally driven. This being the relationships between humans and animals, now that we have this surreal understanding. Everything about this issue is great, from the intro of philosophizing shrimp to the chilling foreshadowing hinted ahead. In between, are fantastic moments and thoughtful character development, especially of Sandor the dog; who comes off as a badass, yet caring. Jesse also develops, in more than ways than I expected (a very surprise moment I best not spoil). The art and coloring continue to give this series set the tone, with an added touches that flesh the world of Animosity into a strangely believable one.

The Old Guard #1 (Image) by Greg Rucka, Leandro Fernandez

“Eisner-winning writer GREG RUCKA (LAZARUS, BLACK MAGICK, Wonder Woman) and critically acclaimed artist LEANDRO FERNÁNDEZ (THE DISCIPLINE, Deadpool, Punisher: MAX) team up together to introduce THE OLD GUARD, the story of old soldiers who never die…and yet cannot seem to fade away. Trapped in an immortality without explanation, Andromache of Scythia—“Andy”—and her comrades ply their trade for those who can find and afford their services. But in the 21st century, immortality is a hard secret to keep, and when you live long enough, you learn that there are many fates worse than death.”

A good concept from a favorite writer. There is something about the set-up that seems bothering. The soldiers after living the long runs, seem somewhat unfulfilled on what to do with it all. I would hope there is some direction in the way of making sense of it all. Though, they find themselves easily manipulated. For what reasons, we shall soon see. The problem is not having as much to identify with the characters, in an ugly horrible world of war and death around. I like the art and interesting use of panel storytelling, especially the high point of intense violence. I feel there is something worth a payoff in the overall story, but not visible yet.

Star Trek: Boldly Go #5 (IDW) by Mark Russell, Steve Pugh

“The hit new ongoing series continues with this special story focusing on Jaylah, the breakout alien heroine from STAR TREK BEYOND! Learn the secrets of Jaylah’s past as she prepares for a bold new future at Starfleet Academy!”

The Star Trek Beyond film is my favorite of the new Trek films. Much of that because I liked the character of Jaylah, but felt there could have been more to her. This particular issue delivers her back story, and strengthening her character further. To what direction could this mean? I wish she did not join Starfleet, and kind of continued on a sort of anti-hero or rebel. Still, I hope for something new and fresh from her in this new Star Trek series, and not rehashing old elements (like recent Borg storyline in the previous arc). The art was all right, but hoping for something a bit more vibrant in the coming issues.

Drifter #17 (Image) by Ivan Brandon, Nic Klein

“Pollux has been searching for the truth ever since he arrived on Ouro. But now the truth finds him, and sometimes that’s the worst thing that can happen to you..”

Finally, comes a satisfiable explanation to much of the mystery of this great series. Its time was very much due, and such is more than expected, all with the usual awesome coloring and art. Pollux’s back story prior to the series is interesting, towards a reaction of where emotions can vary, depending on the reader. Pollux sudden actions to an impossible situation ends tragically. The fact that he lives through it all and not succumbing to regret and despair; enabling a good hero for the tough times ahead. I look forward to seeing where his character and overall story arc heads and ends. Then, I will reread the entire series to fully appreciate the added dimensions, which felt a hidden in the earlier issues.

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. 

 

Stranger Reads – Comics Log 2016.10.25, Thrills From Beyond…

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Another fine week in comics!

I think this often, even when I have yet to read the latest new comics. New thrills await, in many forms whether they be human, unhuman, or some other strange abstraction. No matter in preference, but the stranger the better when the story fits. This week, are the latest books personally checked out from the previous Wednesday. My reviews are below (with minor spoilers)…

RECENT COMICS, RELEASED 10/19:

Night’s Dominion #2 (Oni Press) by Ted Naifeh

“When she’s not working as a barmaid, Emerane becomes the Night, the most wanted thief in Umber. But when the Furie, Umber’s self-proclaimed champion, declares himself her enemy, she’s soon penniless and desperate. Her only recourse is to join the Bard and his ragtag team of rogues as they infiltrate the Cult of Uhlume’s tower in search of untold riches. The tower is not as it seems, however, and our heroes—if we dare call them such—may find more than they bargained for in its murky depths.”

This second issue packs a bigger punch. The cast is a bit more solid, with more on character development and action. The Magus, in particular, is my favorite of the badasses with some moments in style and reaction I admire. Each main character has a bit of complexity to them in how they handle situations, for better or worse. The overall setting well-defined by the art and atmosphere mixed with great colorings and classic paneling. It’s a bit too soon to really care for the characters, but there is a good start here, where things pick up more so in the end, leading to a curious third issue.

I Hate Fairyland (Image) by Skottie Young, Jean-Francois Beaulieu

“Decades of Gert’s blunders brings Fairyland to its final days. The last of this world’s survivors have to find a way to right her many wrongs. So many. Too many. They’ll probably die. Just read it.”

I never thought I would say this, but this series is top on my list I look forward to picking up. The latest issue continues to develop in areas I had little expectation for. This time, there is the Fairyland itself, growing its own mythology into the future. There is a coming apocalypse and end to it all, settled on Gert’s choices in her adventures. There is a serious yet ridiculousness to it all, where things will be complex, based on something not so complex. For the present, will she turn left or right? Such the decision seems trivial until an expected visitor complicates the passage. The conclusion brings more excitement, wondering whatever will become of this bizarre twisted fantasy, created by Scottie Young; whose writing of Fairyland is becoming as unique as his art style.

The October Faction: Deadly Season #1 (IDW) by Steve Niles, Damien Worm

“Ghouls in the graveyard! Giant Monsters downtown! The Allan family comes face to face with a whole new threat. This one comes from the past and it won’t stop until the Allan’s are dead.”

I am not at all familiar with the previous October Faction series, of which this stems from. I love the art with its gorgeous colors and spooky design work. I felt engaged enough in the writing and odd characters, to see this particular issue through. The style of Niles from his previous work (30 Days and Night, Mystery Society, Dark Days) is a cherished sort and fitting for this gloomy Halloween season. I think I shall not continue with this series until I pick up the previous series, probably in trade paperback volumes by now. If it is as good as this, than I shall return to this current run.

Lord of Gore (Devil’s Due) by DB Stanley, Daniel Leister

“Decades ago scandal propelled the Lord of Gore B-movie franchise to mainstream success. In 1989 the film’s costumed slasher actor murdered a young actress in ways worse than his on-screen character, creating a media frenzy. Now on the cusp of a modern reboot, a struggling screenwriter learns that the deranged star wasn’t the only guilty party that night, but before he can share the information, the film’s slasher seems to have stepped from the screen into real life to stop him.”

I like the approach, very different from what I expected in looking at the cover. Yes, there is some gore and bloodletting. But, I feel the cover and title is misleading. Yet, much of the issue is about a convention surrounding a made-up horror icon and a convention of fans and guests. There is a lot of very realistic drama surrounding the background and guests. There is a lot of realism in how the attraction of real life murder somewhat enhances the myth. The idea and overall execution is clever and original, leaving possibilities in how this may play out. Plus, I think the B-movie genre slasher is something long overlooked in comics, and this is some potential gold in a great story. As for the screenwriter at the center, I’m also hoping for some interesting commentary on some aspects of violence and horror entertainment in the following issues.

Black Hammer #4 (Dark Horse) by Jeff Lemire, Dave Stewart, Dean Ormston

“In the forties, Abraham Slam faced such menaces as the psychedelic Florist and the eldritch Cthu-Lou without breaking a sweat. But keeping the heroes of Black Hammer Farm from each others throats when his girlfriend comes to dinner proves far more perilous! Meanwhile, the Black Hammer’s daughter uncovers new clues to the exiled heroes disappearance!”

Another great issue, where I like there is a bit more focus on a particular character and angle of the mystery. Here, there is some previous focus on Abraham Slam, with a cool back story and some kickass action. The issue then brings much drama to the overall present. A solid issue, with the overall story still being a bit too surreal leading me to wonder what’s really going on.

Star Trek: Boldly Go #1 (IDW) by Mike Johnson, George Caltsoldas, Tony Shasteen

“STAR TREK’s 50th Anniversary Celebration continues with this all-new series following the adventures of Captain Kirk and the iconic crew! New worlds! New species! New ships! And a new danger unlike anything the Federation has encountered before! Boldly go into a new era of STAR TREK!”

A great new beginning for the select bunch of us out there who enjoyed Star Trek Beyond for that it was, a revision of the classic series and not so much a reboot. The new series follows after, with some develops fans may not expect of the familiar bridge crew characters. We see more than ever how each primary crew member has their own lives and goals to tend to. Something will bring them back together, and that’s where I felt a bit cold in the ending. There is an ending, which I suppose brings in pure fan service and curiosity as a classic villain species from the old Trek, returns. For me, I felt a sour taste in bringing back such characters. Yet, I hope there will be something different, evolved about them other than the usual slogans and plans for assimilating people…

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

 

Stranger Reads – Comics Log 2016.9.6 – Still familiar, but not enough..

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New comics are here again, but this time around I look to the familiar licenses on most of these. Some faces are familiar to film and TV, though not always under the best directions 9and some are). Still, there is that wide cult recognition that drives further curiosity at the comic stores, I think. Here in the comic lands, such faces present better under creative direction through well-assigned writers and artists. The results are interesting, with much in my notes below.

Here we go, (with minor spoilers)…

RECENT COMICS:

Equilibrium #1 (American Mythology Productions), by Pat Shand, Jason Craig

I love the movie Equilibrium, starring Christian Bale as John Preston, the Grammaton Cleric turned revolutionary for the “sense offenders.” Here, is a story of the after the very open end, where the movie left off. Now, we see the continuation from the perspective of a new renegade Cleric seeking John Preston. The trail leads him to new allies, and revelations on the new distribution of the emotion reducing Prozium drug. The first issue is intriguing as a sequel that feels somewhat spirited to the movie with its high action and dystopian 1984ish elements. But off-putting is some particular moments of odd and unnecessary gore, which I think seems almost cartoonish. I am on board for future issues, but hope for less bloodletting, and an evolved more satisfying conclusion to the movie’s original end.

Silver Surfer #6 (#200?) (Marvel Comics) by Dan Slott, Mike Allred

I love Mike Allred’s take on Silver Surfer, but tire of the Dawn Greenwood character. I was much hoping that our Surfer would go far back into the stars as the cosmic lonely traveler. Yet, he is still Earthbound for much of this issue, and we do get some touching moments. Also, we got a fun team-up with the other Dan Slott written favorite, Spider-man. It’s overall camp, with more Silver Surfer adjusting to Earth life and the Greenwood family. There is a little curiosity to where the result of Mike Allred’s run will eventually go. Though I am not as emotionally invested in Dawn Greenwood as a character, there is a bit of odd sweetness that adds to the Surfer’s angsty life. Such, I ponder if such will add to the tragedy, and that’s the drama that keeps me interested beyond the gorgeous art and colors.

Sage #37 (Image) by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

So much of this feels very ominous, especially after much on the happy endings and then the time hiatus. Someone is going to die soon, and such will be again, very unexpected. I hope it has nothing to do with the cute cliffhanger in the end, but there something putting me at unease. Anyway, there is some new expansion to the Sagaverse, which is always welcome. But, we also have some tender moments between the longtime beloved characters (with more Lying Cat!). Also, Robot’s very erect penis. I get the feeling that was put there to perhaps troll the complainers of the series explicit nature. Still, there is a huge question as to what exactly the erotic nature of Robot’s dream signify in the overall layout of events ahead. What could any of this mean, is anyone’s guess. But, the fun is to keep reading and just let things happen, no matter what may happen.

Afterlife with Archie #10 (Archie Comics) by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Francesco Francavilla, Jack Morelli

Yay, another issue though not as long wait as the earlier issue. Still worthwhile and though it’s part 5 of an arc, this issue serves a chilling and thrilling tale on its own. Here, is a flashback that sets the stage for Josie and the Pussycats to enter the zombie-infested Riverdale town but with a twist as the issue flashbacks to their vampiric secret origins. For over 100 years, the group has toured under different names, some very familiar. The story itself is a real page turner, predictable but fun to where it all leads (and fun to speculate how they fit in the overall horrific picture). The art is exceptional, with some of the best vibrant red colors ever in comics history.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe #1 (IDW) by Kevin Eastman, Paul Allor, Bill Sienkiewicz, Damian Couceiro, Freddie E. Williams, Tom Waltz

A good first issue that works up the expansion of the TMNT IDW universe that I feel has been the one us older fans have wanted. Different cliffhanger stories are afoot (and one about the Foot), though I was hoping for a better variety without the presence of the Half-Shelled Heroes. Though the main TMNT series via IDW is good, I have enjoyed so much more the Mutanimals, Bebop and Rocksteady, April and Casey and other odd one-shots and limited series. I hope there will be some fun chances to explore this “universe” with stories on side characters and perhaps some obscure returns familiar to the classic comics, toys, and cartoon runs. Meanwhile, this issue is off to a good start but not “universe” enough.

Predator Vs. Judge Dredd vs Aliens #2 (Dark Horse) by John Layman, Chris Mooneyham, Michael Atiyeh, Michael Heisler

A fun romp that so far hasn’t been as violent as I hoped, so far. The second issue still feels like a set-up for the whole VS. thing, where other factions come into play within the world of Dredd. Still, I like that all three of the major franchises in play are somewhat manipulated to some degree by a mad scientist who managed to experiment with various life forms. The end of this issue reminds me of some cheesy cliffhanger of the old 60’s Batman. How will Judge Dredd get out of this? I laugh to myself. Tune in next month, same Dredd channel, same Dredd time!

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 2016.8.23 – Brave the Unknown..

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All new, all different comics from the recent week. Once again, I take my chances with new titles, while staying engaged with recent favorites. A good time overall, with no regrets and diverse fun.

Here we go, with the fresh picks recently released (with minor spoilers).

RECENT COMICS:

Agent 42 #2 (Red 5 Comics), by Ben Nunan, Fernando Granea

NOTE: PUT OUT DIGITALLY VIA COMIXOLOGY SUBMIT.

There is something about a humanoid robot protagonist who is also a gumshoe detective, which has me smiling before the first page. Such is Agent #42, where the robot also has an excitable sense of optimism and stylized humor, who for both issues thus far has himself mixed up in action and rough situations. For a robot, he seems awfully human in mannerisms and reaction. The overall situation for this issue places him in troubles that simply stand in his way. For now, it’s a jumble in wondering just what the end mission and motivation are for a robot to be a human detective. Maybe there is an answer, or not. There is much to ponder for such a silly concept.

Demonic #1 (Image) by Christopher Sebela, Niko Walter, Dan Brown

A new horror with a not-so-original concept, yet revitalizing in execution. Here, is another gullible soul willing to sacrifice all that he is for the life of his family; for an otherworldly demonic force in need of his soul to carry out lethal vengeance. Yet, I love the art and playful panel dispositions. The violence and gore are a bit unsettling, but not over-the-top and but forefront to the story. There is a way of things here, which keeps me interested in the page turning. Yet, the overall story does not have me quite hooked, nor as interested in the overall arc. Still, there may be a payoff in future issues. I may look into it.

I Hate Fairyland (Image) by Skottie Young, Jean-Francois Beaulieu

I didn’t think I would still find myself reading this far. Yet, there is something about the world of Skottie Young that makes me see past the disturbing humor and the loud, bright and colorful art. With this issue, i see it now in its protagonist anti-heroine. She is not invincible and losing control more and more of her fantasy. She seems ever more dependent on the world she hates, to find a satisfactory end to her strange hell, which I ponder is becoming a reflection of her troubled mind . Ever more, she relishes in the challenge to participate in a strange coin-op game inspired fighting bout. Though it backfires horribly, there is a sort of moral lesson in humility that Gert and the readers can sink in. Perhaps, she is closer to her goal than she thinks.

Black Hammer #2 (Dark Horse) by Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, Dave Stewart

The second issue clarifies some of the mystery of the first issue while leaving much open to speculate on the future issues. We learn much about one particular character, a girl with Captain Marvel (the Shazam one) like origins and powers but with a twist. The story bounces back to the present with the current predicament of former heroes trapped somewhere, of which is questionable in reality. There is much thought on what the writer is looking to convey, perhaps as a metaphor on the changing complexities of superheroes these days. Still, I am finding myself hooked towards the interesting characters and mood-driven art.

Broken Moon #1 (American Gothic Press) by Phillip Kim, Nat Jones

NOTE: PUT OUT DIGITALLY VIA COMIXOLOGY SUBMIT.

A dark yet spirited post-apocalyptic tale that feels refreshed with interesting new elements mixed with the usual cliches of Darwinism and terrible weather. Here, men of different beastly natures must forge an uneasy alliance to fight a much bigger beast (a scary Kraken!) and other dangers. The art is wonderfully spooky with murky tones mixed with strategically placed brightness. It’s fun for the horror-hearted and less squeamish while setting the stage for interesting twists and turns. For its 99-cent digital price, this first issue is worth a look with an end that will likely have the reader clamoring for more.

Star Trek #60 (IDW) by Mike Johnson, Tony Shasteen

A sweet finale to the series that took place in the Abrams Trekverse but gave much more than the movie could in original stories and fan service. For here, that went double as the original series crew met (sort of) the Abrams crew. The story was an interesting one for each crew studying each other with curiosity while working together to solve their strange predicament. The conclusion, I felt was a bit of a wink to the fans of the old and new, of those who enjoyed the new movies and that old Prime continuity..that the players may change but Star Trek is best when the message remains the same. Through the many (but not all) comics of Star Trek, I felt the original spirit of Roddenberry continued on.

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.