Wednesday Number Ones is a weekly feature here at Top 5 Comics. We take the books that are premiering a first issue from that week and give a quick opinion on them. From time to time we may also include more than issue number ones in this feature. If a noteworthy one-shot or the first issue of a new story arc is released, we may talk about it in this feature as well.
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Franchesco Gaston
Company: Image Comics
Another notch in Image's ever growing bandolier of books, Tim Seeley and artist Franchesco Gaston put the zombie back in the mercenary with Bloodstrike. Again, like most of the Extreme Studios books, Rob Liefeld's name goes hand in hand with these titles. It's a tough thing to overcome, and while there was a definite Youngbloodian feel to this, I was very intrigued and impressed with what we have been given in this first issue. Seeley utilizes the tricks and the skills that he has honed to make Hack/Slash an iconic and entertaining read and transplanted that to our main character of Cabbot Stone. The amount of character depth and the attention to the little things, be it sarcastic humor or a supporting cast, as we see him take out Mummies and other monsters that are a threat to the nation makes the issue pack much more of a punch. Gaston's art is solid. Not anything amazing, but it's clean and easy to read, which helps the flow. Overall, Bloodstrike is a book that's been made to jump into head first, one that racks up the kills and brings a new take on the classic Extreme Stuidos patent feel.
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: I.N.J. Culbard
People might shake their head at this one, what with it being another book that focuses on the slightly overdone subjects of the vampire and the zombie. Stop that head shaking though. Right now. I mean it. Writer Dan (Annihilation/Heroes for Hire) Abnett turns in something special with this one. Something new. Imagine if you will the television show Downtown Abbey populated with class crazy undead. Throw in a murder mystery, a detective who has become bored with his unending lease on life, and a case of world building that burns and blossoms with creativity and you've got a comic that doesn't disappoint. Culbard, the artist behind the graphic novel adaptation of the Lovecraft story At the Mountains of Madness, goes for gold with The New Deadwardians. His take on the Victorian era blended with horror strikes such an interesting new ground. Like a blending of Kevin O'Neill and Cliff Chiang, Culbard's characters and backgrounds and the off-kilterness of it all begs you to keep turning the page to witness the engrossing affair. The New Deadwardians is a wonderful surprise chock full of death and murder and humanity. Not to be missed.