**AS ALWAYS BE MINDFUL THAT THERE WILL BE SLIGHT SPOILERS, READ AT YOUR OWN PERIL!!**
All-New Captain America #1
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Stuart Immonen
Inker: Wade Von Grawbadger
Color: Marte Garcia w/ Eduardo Navarro
Reviewer: Brett “He Who Wields the Shield” Israel
To say that I loved Remender’s initial run on Captain America, which immediately preceded this issue, would be an understatement. After years of the Brubaker espionage themed run, one which was also very strong, it was time for something new, something a little more over the top. With the Dimension Z story, Remender brought that to us, and with this new series, he continues the wild Kirby i ride.
Even though I tend to get struck by writing first, with this book I was taken by the art. I’m fairly familiar with Immonen’s work, especially after the great run he had on All-New X-men. When I opened to the first two page spread of this book, I let out an audible “Wow” for the art style. We’ve seen a lot of Immonen’s excellent cartooning style, and his mastery of highlight and shadow, however, in this book, we get a slightly different style, a more heavily rendered style. In no means is this overly rendered, just properly so for a title of this tone. When there are moments that call for a slightly lighter feel, Immonen breaks out the slightly more cartoony, one moment being when we see in a panel of Steve Rodgers on a boat, trying and failing to tell Sam how to approach the situation he finds himself in. Each page, in both layout and content, is incredibly dynamic and well paced, and makes the last page cliffhanger all the more epic (which I don’t want to spoil, just trust me it’s worth it for the image alone).
As previously stated, Remender continues his greatness on this story here. While this is a new number 1 issue, it’s more or less a continuation of the previous Captain America series, yet is completely accessible to new readers. The first page, which is an origin tale of sorts of (SPOILERS but late spoilers) the new Captain America Sam Wilson, is classic Remender at his finest, exploring those moments that pull at your heartstrings. That page along would draw me into the book, but after that, we are immediately thrust into the action of Sam infiltrating a Hydra base. Without getting too much into the issue, we are given the picture of Sam working out the kinks at being the new Captain America, with a great cameo by one of Captain America’s classic rogues, Batroc the Leaper. Remender throws in some hilarious one liners coming from Batroc, making for a fun and engaging action sequence, which doesn’t become one note. Also, the use of the character Nomad, who we know as the child Ian from Dimension Z, is used excellently here as a foil for this new Captain America, and hopefully will become his Falcon.
What made me really happy personally about this issue was the usage of Sam Wilson, and the fact that Remender didn’t harp too much on the fact that he’s African American. One of the big pieces of this change was the race matter in it, and while I have no doubt that it’ll be touched upon at some point, I’m glad we didn’t get thrust into that. This issue proves that Captain America itself is the symbol, and whether it’s Sam or Steve (or even Bucky), the symbol of Captain America and the American way shines through. Much like there is a new person worthy of the hammer of Thor, one of a different gender than Thor Odinson, multiple people can embody the symbol of Cap, and race is no factor there.
This issue is an incredibly solid first issue, and has easily hopped into my most anticipated Marvel title. I can’t wait to see what Remender has in store for Sam Wilson, and as long as Immonen and Von Grawbadger are producing greatness on the art, this book is a no brainer for me.
5 shields out of 5
The Walking Dead #134
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Charlie Adlard
Reviewer: John “The Zombie Whisperer” Amenta
This issue starts with a touch of terror via the super creepy Whisperers. It ends with a truly horrifying moment from semi creepy Carl. Kirkman understands that the zombies in the book can only be used for scares so much; it’s the breaking points of humanity enacted by our main characters that are most disturbing.
Jesus is knee deep in Whisperers, humans using walker skin too move freely and terrify the living. A brutal fight ensues, further cementing Jesus’ status as a guy you want on your side in a pinch. Back at the Hilltop, Maggie faces challenges to her leadership decisions. In the last act of the book, Carl and Sophia discuss the past when suddenly the present hits them in the face. Or more accurately, in the head with a brick, via the bullies that Carl fought off recently. The Grimes family temper hits its boiling point, and Carl pulls a Rick. Kirkman simultaneously plays on society’s hatred of bullies as you root Carl’s vengeance on, but also makes it clear that a beloved main character is crossing a line.
Charlie Adlard continues to ride the groove he’s been in for the last decade or so. He makes the masked Whisperers extra bizarre through small detail such as the laces on the back of the skin that keep it on the wearer. Every time Carl’s eye wound is shown, it’s still disturbing. This is a book that has been going strong for longer than most books last, and it’s due to Kirkman and Adlard.
Nothing shocking here, another great issue of TWD. It’s kind of almost a pattern at this point.
5 Whisperers of 5
Grindhouse Drive In, Bleed Out #1 (of 8)
Writer: Alex De Campi
Artist: R. M. Guera
Colors: Giulia Brusco
Reviewer: Ray “Gotta get his grind on” Willis
The holidays are the time of year when you spend time with your loved ones, pass around presents from under the tree, and have peace but when that peace is disrupted by psychopaths what do you do?
Slay Ride is a two part story about Mother Wolf, as she seeks revenge against the psychopaths that killed two of her family members on Christmas. The story is crafted really well with the perspective of it coming from Mother Wolf who is stricken with lung cancer I’m assuming and having her interplay with another family member, Shayla that comes into the story. Having the dialogue of the two does shed a little light about them and who they are. Alex De Campi knew what he was going for with this tale of mystery and horror with little information of who are these men and where did they come from. It seems there maybe some supernatural elements at play that reveals some information on Shayla and what she has done in her past.
The art of this first of eight part issues was amazing. R. M. Guera who worked on the comic series “Scalped” visuals are really astounding. The first two pages alone will tell you the tone of the comic and it’s really gruesome in some scenes. A slight spoiler, someone gets their head blown off with a shotgun with a little of the guys face almost hitting the ground, it reminds of the scene from Maniac where Tom Savini’s character gets his blown off with a shotgun in a car. The characters look really great and the line work is superb. Also seeing tree branches shaped as a creepy smiling clown was a nice touch. The art really captures the scenery nicely and has some really great tense scenes that is captured well. The colors from Giulia Brusco are amazing with the emphasis on red with it being that time of year and brown with most of the inside areas of the home is.
I enjoyed this first issue of Grindhouse Drive In, Bleed Out, having a really interesting albeit a bit vague story of what is going or who are these killers that appear out of nowhere. The writing and art really shine in this grim tale in a snowy town. The dialogue of the characters is entertaining and the relationship of the two characters really pulls you in a bit on who they are. The killers that appear in this issue and the supernatural elements brings some chilling scenes in. The colors are really astounding and give life to this dark tale. I cannot wait to to see what happens at the end of this tale.
4 out of 5 Creepy Smiling Clowns
Silver Surfer #7
Artist: Mike Allred
Writer: Dan Slott
Reviewer: Oz Longworth Jr. aka The Other One Who Knocks
The Silver Surfer has been on good, kinda controversial roll. Though Mike Allred’s timeless art style seems to be divisive among readers this time around, Dan Slott’s new direction for the former herald seems to be exploring old ground in a refreshing way. Fortunately, the momentum in this book is still going strong.
This issue is mainly a one shot adventure that should really be called “Dawn’s Really Growing On Me.” As they usually do, the Surfer and his traveling buddy are surfing the spaceways when they come across a mysterious darkness that threatens to consume them both. What ensues is the comic book equivalent to a “montage” episode in a television show where the main character relives all the good times when their counterpart came through in a clutch moment. The book’s lighthearted, fun nature makes this feel less typical as every adventure “relived” reads genuine. The Surfer gives these memories an ironically human voice that you can smile at and enjoy without cynicism. But none of this would really work if it weren’t for Mike Allred’s visuals. Whether you love or hate his style, you have to give the man credit. No two worlds are ever the same, the facial expressions are always clear and deliberate. There’s always a thousand and one things to see in every panel. Naturally, this makes it easy for Slott to give each adventure its own personality as unique as a fingerprint.
Bottom Line: Slott and Allred have a hit on their hands that will be discussed and debated for years to come. This one shot of sorts is a textbook example of every reason why.
4.5 out of 5 surfboards