Each week we take a look at recent releases to help you find something to fill those small weeks or, perhaps, answer some of those questions about books you don’t normally read. This week: Avengelyne #8, Exiled, Mind The Gap #2, New Avengers #25, Pigs #7, Rex, Zombie Killer, TMNT #9, and Uncanny X-Men #11!
AVENGELYNE #8 (Image)
Avengelyne came from the angelic army known as Warhost. She was cast out by her father for disregarding his fondness of humanity, and now lives among us as a mortal. Ironically she now has made it her mission to protect those that she once looked upon with disdain. When the issue starts our title character and hero is being held captive by the War Dogs, but this group has angered the wrong angel, specifically an angel of death. When he comes looking for his stolen gear she has a chance to escape, but not before questioning this angel’s lethal methods. There are at least two characters in the current series who have little to no memory of their past. In issue #8 of Avengelyne they both experience partial recall, and fans of the series will probably get a few puzzle pieces put into place for them through these. Every character seems to have a connection to either a heaven or a hell, but it can be hard to tell the difference. There are warriors on both sides who are capable of violence and other grotesque actions, and the art helps convey that too. There are a lot of great images in this book, and I really love the way they mesh religious imagery with an almost science fiction technology, and everything has a somewhat demonic twist. I really enjoyed the way light was depicted this issue. There’s a glow or something glowing on almost all of the panels, and they mix it up so you can enjoy it without any one color becoming oppressive. This was honestly the first issue I’ve read of this series, and while it didn’t totally pull me in, it made enough of an impression to make me want more. -Scorpio Moon
Part 1 of 5: Asgardians and New Mutants…a combination I didn’t think made any sense at all but make that story co-written by Kieron Gillen, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning and you have a story whose premise doesn’t have to make sense because it’s just going to be awesome. These guys also know how to bring readers up to speed on the two books involved in this crossover: Journey Into Mystery (JiM) and New Mutants so if you only read one, the other or neither, there is enough on the first few pages to bring you up to speed and allow you to fully enjoy what’s going on. So, what is going on? Well, the New Mutants are trying to be ‘normal’ so they can better co-exist with humans and show that mutants aren’t all dangerous. They live in a normal house and go through the normal everyday things the rest of us do. Except they have some creepy new neighbor across the street who is far more than he seems. It all begins when the Disir, an ancient group of cursed Asgardians, escape from Mephisto’s realm. This is very bad because these things have the lust for Asgardian flesh like you wouldn’t believe. Loki tries to rally his fellow Gods while Leah informs her mistress Hela and both groups, separately, go in search of the demon maidens. They end up on Earth, in the New Mutants neighborhood as the Disir escape into the mortal realm and their mystery neighbor reveals himself to be an Asgardian of long-lost legend! A great beginning to a crossover event that I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy more than the regular JiM story, but with this writing team…how could this not be on a whole new level? Continues in Journey Into Mystery #637 On Sale Tomorrow! -Skott Jimenez
MIND THE GAP #2 (Image)
Image Comics seems to be on a roll lately for new and upcoming comic book series. They seem to have another possible hit on their hands with Mind the Gap #1. Mind the Gap was created by Jim McCann. This comic has some wonderful artwork that might look familiar to you. The artists on this title are Rodin Esquejo and Sonia Oback. You might recognize Rodin Esquejo’s artwork; he has done cover artwork for Morning Glories. Mind the Gap is a haunting psychological thriller. We meet all the main characters within pages of this book. We come to find out one of the main characters Elle Peterssen was mysteriously attacked on the subway and she now lays in a coma. But her spirit and conscious are still alive and kicking, just not in this world. She appears outside of her body looking down on herself. She meets more people in this dreamlike world she is now in. Who are these other people? Who attacked her? What is this realm she has entered? We will find out more as Mind the Gap progresses. This comic is very well written with some great artwork to boot. There is a sense that every little thing happening with in the book has some meaning. Throughout the first issue are music lyrics. What role do these play? I’m sure there is some twist to these lyrics. At the end of the issue we get to know about some Easter eggs that are in the first issue. Within the first 10 pages is a focus on the time. From the time when Elle first called to the time everyone within her life is contacted about this incident. These little things will seem to play a big role in the storyline of this comic. Who did it? You will have to continue reading Mind the Gap to find out! Mind the Gap #1 is 48 page comic book for only $2.99. If you like psychological thrillers than this is a ride for you! -Tony Calandra
NEW AVENGERS #25 (Marvel)
This is one of many tie ins to the big summer event of Avengers vs. X-Men. The story opens with 6 pages of incredibly awesome eye candy as the Phoenix Force is depicted as being the uncanny power house that everyone knows and fears. Open with Master Yu Ti waking up from a dream where he sees a girl with fresh blood-colored hair who is immersed in flames. There is very little dialog actually spoken but this issue of New Avengers was awesome as more questions popped up not only about the Phoenix Force but why does this girl with Crimson hair need to be trained to be the next Iron Fist. The girl with red hair of course is Hope Summers and she is predicted to be the mutant messiah. The Avengers want her contained. The X-Men want her to save the mutant race as they are on the verge of extinction. For some reason the Phoenix Force and the Guardians of K’un Lun have a dark past as the two are not strangers to being secrets of the universe. The time for secrets has passed, and the world is about to find out what that connection the two have to one another. -Nick Furious
PIGS #7 (Image)
Nate Cosby and Ben McCool continue the tale of a Cuban sleeper cell active in modern-day America. Pigs #7 opens in the most obscure of ways; with a transcript of a recording introducing the main players of the story. Yes, a written transcript may seem strange in a visual medium like comic books, yet it somehow works. It’s touches like this that continue to make Pigs a tale told akin to a movie, taking different elements of storytelling and weaving them into a comic book. It all works wonderfully, from the visual cues to the flashing back and forth through time. Though Pigs has been tough to follow for a few issues, as more of the political and moral questions bring themselves to the forefront, issue seven gets the book on track. It shows just how on point our Communist terrorists really are and the lengths they will go to accomplish their mission. Cosby and McCool clearly are having a blast telling their story.
Art duties are shared by artist Breno Tamura, who has been a regular on the book since the beginning, and Will Sliney. Though the different art styles aren’t drastic, the creators choose to use each talent in different settings, with Sliney handling the action-filled flashback sequences. The move works given Slinely rough pencils, which make the scenes far more intense than crisp, clean linework ever could.
If you’ve been following Pigs, then this issue is the payoff you’ve been looking for. It also ends on a hook that promises readers answers to their questions, which after seven issues, questions have been quite building up. If you haven’t been following Pigs, for shame. Luckily the first four issues are now available in trade paperback, making it easy to catch up on the story. And I really recommend that you do. -Michael Wirth
REX, ZOMBIE KILLER #1 (Big Dog Ink)
Finally out, this book is one that people need to be checking out! Previewed by myself on this very site last week I have been waiting to do a review for it and now that it’s out… Rex, Zombie Killer is a 56 page, $3.50 one shot, with more to come I hope, that picks up after the zombies had all but dominated the world. Rex is a golden retriever who was being taught some special things in a lab when the zombies attacked. He leads our cast, including the often mentioned gorilla with a baseball back from California to Nevada where, he hopes, he can find the doctor who was working with him and be safe. Before they can really begin their journey they have to first rescue one of their number from a group of bikers who find sport in tying dogs up and watching them fight the zombies for entertainment!
From top to bottom, this book is one of the single most entertaining independent comics I’ve read in a long time. It is certainly right up there with Ninjas Vs. Zombies to me in terms of a unique idea that is executed perfectly! The only thing that would be a let down here is if this turns out to be the only book we get from the creative team of Rob Anderson and Dafu Yu! -Skott Jimenez
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #9 (IDW)
April finally meets the Ninja Turtles (MUTANTS in this book, the way they are supposed to be) while they begin to make plans to find and rescue Splinter who is now in the hands of Hob and StockGen! This is a good old-fashioned action issue. We’ve had many issues of story set up and planning the direction of this book but now we just get action and a rescue mission that is, sadly, doomed to failure. They do manage to get in to where Splinter was being held but he’s gone. Taken by the Foot Clan and Karai who have taken the rat to their master: Shredder! Yes, the long-awaited arrival of Master Shredder is here! It’s bold and dynamic and the cover of next month’s issue will remove any doubts that he’s back and means business.
Originally I had planned to read only the first story arc of this series but it was so good I decided to give it a year’s worth before dropping it. However, this series is has that 90′s indie comic feel that I never realized I missed until now that I can do nothing short of sticking with it for as long as it continues to entertain me! -Skott Jimenez
UNCANNY X-MEN #11 (Marvel)
This is another of the Avengers vs. X-Men tie ins. This time telling the battle from the X-Men’s point of view. The first thing that happens in here is that Unit tells Hope that she has a choice. No one makes her destiny except her. It wasn’t exactly clear what “get lots of readings on her” means but I think it means that Unit knows something big is about to go down and Danger needs to be there. There is plenty of fight in this issue as well, Red Hulk and Colossus which was pretty awesome.Hope takes out the Lights, Wolverine and Spider-Man and the Phoenix hasn’t even fully possessed her yet. Red Hulk takes out Colossus in a very interesting turn of events. We end with Kate Kildare getting a press release from Cyclops about how Utopia was attacked and the U.S. is no longer safe from mutants. The artwork jumps off every page and is easily some of the best in the tie ins yet. Namor explains why he stands by Scott Summers even against the Avengers and we find out why Hope ran away rather than helping. Things are heating up. -Nick Furious