Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wednesday Number Ones 7/25/12

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.

This week, we will cover:  Debris #1, National Comics Eternity One Shot, Star Wars Darth Maul: Death Sentence #1, and X-Treme X-Men #1.

Debris #1
Writer: Kurtis J. Wiebe
Artist: Riley Rossmo
Company: Image Comics
When garbage monsters attack! That's the concept for Debris. Well, it's the concept while spoken in a small bubble. Outside of that bubble we have a book that gives us a post apocalyptic society, a society that has doomed earth by covering it's lands with garbage. Think Wall-E without the cute robot. The survivors, all clustered together, live in fear of ancient spirits that roam the land in the form of giant monsters. Then there's the one who might be able to turn the tide, a young woman named Maya. Honestly, we seen these kinds of things before. The wheel isn't be rewritten, but it's a fun enough first issue with some cool ideas that amp it up. The biggest draw, however, has nothing to do with the story. Riley (Proof) Rossmo slaps some inspired lines down on the page and creates a harsh yet eye appealing world. His inventiveness and the honed scratchiness of his lines give the action, which there is quite a bit, a real presence. And who doesn't love seeing people take on giant monsters? In the end, Debris excels more in the art department than in story, but there are enough building blocks in the mix that I can easily see the story snowballing into something very cool. We shall see.

National Comics: Eternity One Shot
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Cully Hamner
Company: DC Comics
The concept behind the National Comics, from what I understand, is a series of ones shots that revamp old characters with new blood. For this first one, we have Kid Eternity. Lemire is on a hot streak, what with the success that Animal Man and Frankenstein and now Justice League Dark has seen. This one however is a little shaky. The basics revolve around Christopher Freeman and his power to help the newly deceased find their killers. The dialogue doesn't always connect and Freeman, as a main character, isn't entirely likable. Not that every character needs to be. Lemire does bring some cool concepts about the afterlife, but he leaves you hanging on a lot of it, even though the story does complete. Hamner's artwork is quite nice. The harsher lines that he provides goes hand in hand with the more serious and darker story beats of the issue. I also compliment him on being able to handle a fairly healthy number of cast members, and being able to give them all a unique look and feel. Overall, I think Eternity could easily work as a six issue mini and be satisfying, but as a one shot, there are too many questions remaining at the end and the question mark at the end feels unsatisfying.

Star Wars: Darth Maul Death Sentence #1
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Bruno Redondo
Company: Dark Horse Comics
Darth Maul lives and he's a cyborg. In all honesty, this is the first Star Wars comic in awhile that I've come across and have been disappointed by. The meat of the story revolves around a big muckity-muck who has put a price on Darth Maul's head. Cue big fight and the Jedi Council sitting around talking about things. Agent of the Empire rekindled the love I have for the universe and then this book comes along, with it various ties to the prequels and its lackluster meanderings. By no means is Death Sentence bad, there are several fun scenes and a cool bar moment that stood out. Yet, there is no inventiveness in the story to be found either. It feels very cut and dry and contains no real hook that invests you in the story. Redondo's artwork is fine. He captures the characters well enough and when action is needed, he deftly handles it. He even plays a bit with light and shadow while he's trying to make Maul look all stealthy and mean. Blah, I say. Blah.

X-Treme X-Men #1
Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Stephen Segovia
Company: Marvel Comics
Spinning out of the pages of Astonishing X-Men and taking place before the pivotal and all encompassing Avengers vs. X-Men, X-Treme X-Men (with no ties to the older book that bore the same name) is part X-Men and part Exiles. Greg (Hulk) Pak is a guy who you can usual count on to write titles that have copious amount of fun. X-Ttreme X-Men is a bit disjointed at times though, and if you're seeing most of these new interpretations of the characters for the first time (like I was), then it gets a bit confusing. Still, the alternate dimension, we've got to save the world because we screwed up, notion is fun and I love Pak's choice of character to snatch from our reality. Elevating Dazzler and giving her more of a rounded out sense of character is appealing. Segovia's artwork is beautiful, by the way. It's very fluid and fun and reminds me of people like Greg Tochini and Miguel Sepulveda. He easily is able to handle large groups of people, detailed backgrounds, and giant squid creatures...And it all blends perfectly into a singular comic. All in all, there are a few speed-bumps to get past, but once you do, the experience is kind of refreshing.

1 comment:

  1. I was really looking forward to X-treme X-Men, I've dug Dazzler since she day one and Pak is usually solid to outstanding, but this was just OK, like you said, disjointed and just did not click for me. But I'll give it a few more issues.