Harbinger Volume 1: Omega Rising
Written by Joshua Dysart
Illustrated by Khari Evans, Lewis Larosa and Ian Hannin
Peter Stanchek has a mentally ill junky friend named Joe. The two of them escaped from the institution together and have been on the run ever since. They get by using Peter’s powers to secure food, clothing, transport and…anti-psychotics to keep Joe from totally stepping into the worthless zone. A side trip to his old neighborhood gets him a chance to hook up with his crush from elementary school, using to force to persuade her of course, then gets him captured by a super philanthropist (villain).
This was a fun read and the art was pretty good. I especially liked the illustrator(s) delivery of the Harbinger school kids and teachers. The photo-negative of a Marvel product, Valiant has done an excellent job here making certain they do not fall into that trope. That being said here is my after-taste. It feels like a middle finger to, the comic giant that shall not be named again because they have way too much inertia, and as such I respect it but it is not why I read Indie. I may read volume 2 or I may just move on to original stuff that doesn’t seem like ‘so much sticking it to the man’.
Five entertainment points for the artwork, three for the anti-story gives me a four for overall enjoyment.
Shadowman: Birth Rites
Written by Justin Jordan and Patrick Zircher
Illustrated by Brian Reber
Jack Boniface has grown up in foster care ever since his mother was killed in a car accident. As an adult he finds his way to New Orleans because everyone says his name is local…there. Finally with enough of a job he can afford to have someone uncover who his parents were and what happened to them. A fit of disgust at what he thinks is the truth of his parent’s results in an impulse decision and now he is visible to things he didn’t know he was hiding from.
Welcome to the tale of a paranormal superhero named Shadowman, a symbiotic melding of Jack Boniface and a shadow spirit called the Loa. This is not a comic for the children. The artwork is graphic and very well done. This volume has the first four Shadowman comics and is a fluid tale of him coming into his powers.
Another good thing is it is not a DC or Marvel product. This is published by Valiant comics and I got my copy from the publisher at Denver Comic Con. I’m giving this five out of five entertainment points. Well played Valiant!
V for Vendetta
by Allan Moore and David Lloyd
with Steve Whitaker and Siobhan Dodds
Been a while since this work was added to my reading list and now I’ve completed it. Let me just say that it was worth it. V is a man who was experimented on in an internment camp for undesirable persons. Who said they were undesirable you ask? The government of England does in this storyline because they are the last country standing after World War III. They decide who to lock up and who to allow the semblance of freedom to based on skin color, sexual persuasion, credo and the droning belief of “England Prevails.”
V blows stuff up while he rescues Evey from being raped and killed by a gaggle of Vice cops. He takes her into his refuge and teaches her all the things that have been purged from the officially sanctioned school curriculum. He teaches her to think independently.
There are several compelling storylines in this presentation of V for Vendetta and sometimes they come off almost like a soap opera but they all have their little parts to play. It is a shame that they did not pick this up as a mini-series instead of a one shot movie because there is a lot missing in that piece.
I enjoyed this enough to give it four satisfaction points for story and artwork. Enjoy, and embrace anarchy…not chaos.
Aquaman: The Others
Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado
Black Manta is trying to eliminate all of Arthur’s super team mates on a revenge move. Well, he’s also trying to turn a favor from somebody who wants to rule Atlantis by retrieving the Atlantean Scepter. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Dr. Shin is in abject apology mode while Arthur tries to keep Mera from thinking him a ruthless killer. That’s a lot of effort for nothing.
This was a good continuing of the Volume 1 where Aquaman tries to get some respect. I’m enjoying these. The artwork was excellent and helped convey the story. Three out of five enjoyment points for this one.
Though I included the link for you to get this from Amazon I purchased this work from my local comic book store. Haley’s Comics in Ft. Collins, CO.
When it makes sense, buy local.
The Sandman: Volume 1 Preludes and Nocturnes
by Neil Gaiman
I blame my friend CJ McKee for this. At the accelerating age of fifty I have now formed a new addiction to comic books. Not into capes so much so here this goes.
Preludes and Nocturnes begin with a turn of the (20th) century warlock who summons death to trap it but nets its sibling, Sandman. As time marches on the warlock and his company are out waited by the immortal Sandman. Once released he exacts revenge and recovers what he has lost by drifting in and out of Gotham City, Arkham, the Justice League of America and other things from the world of comics.
The stories are well written, the artwork is excellent and I’m now a fan. I’m not going to rate this just recommend it to any who like the darker side of comics. It is published by Vertigo, an imprint of DC. This is a valid reason for going dead-tree and not digital.