Comic Book Review – Star Lord #1 (Marvel Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“It’s not MY fault, I’m stranded on Earth with your STUPID drinking rules!.” Star-Lord

With the trailers for Guardians of the Galaxy 2 both out and a huge success I thought I’d pick up with Peter Quill in the main comics this week. Marvel are starting a new solo run with this Guardian of the Galaxy, bought to us by:

  • Writer – Chip Zdarsky
  • Artist – Kris Anka
  • Colourist – Matthew Wilson
  • Letterer – VC’s Cory Petit
star-lord-cover

Cover by Anka

We pick things up after the events of Civil War 2. It’s not something you need to know the background on fortunately, we do find out early on though that the Guardian’s ship has been wrecked and Peter is stranded on Earth. Which he’s spending his time doing exactly what I plan to on Christmas Day – drinking far too much before lunch. He tries to make the best of things while he’s stuck on Earth by reconnecting with friends and getting out for a bit.

The scope of the comic is small, Star-Lord isn’t adventuring around the universe saving everyone but trying to cope with being bought down to Earth, literally. It doesn’t help that he is not the most popular vigilante amongst Marvel heroes. I wasn’t familiar with Zdarsky or Anka’s work before this comic, however their take on our hero trying to deal with day to day life is a great way to introduce new readers. We’re also treated to a couple of cameos which lighten the overall sombre mood of the comic.

star-lord-interior

Art by Anka, Wilson & Petit

The art at first appears simple but effective, but manages to match the fluctuating mood throughout the comic – light and fun to sombre and tense. The colouring feels very clean as well, Wilson and Anka teaming up to deliver a sense of texture and detail to the panels. Petit keeps the lettering minimalist to allow for broad and colourful scenes throughout the issue. Star-Lord also spends a fair bit of time shirtless if that’s your thing. However, although Anka and Wilson are great with chests, how are they with hands?

Can Anka draw hands? Being critical there are a couple of instances where the hands aren’t quite up to the rest of the art. That isn’t to say they’re bad as such, but simply aren’t quite as good as the rest of the art throughout the issue – one passer by caught in a cross fire and in a guest appearance by Wolverine his claws appearing to come out of his fingers Lady Deathstrike style, 7/10 for hand drawing skills!

Final Verdict

I really dug this as a start to a new series. Focusing on the small stuff and giving us a character in a more relatable environment helps make them more human and gives a surprising weight to the situation when things do go to hell. The writing and art team have also got off to a promising start and I’m looking forward to the rest of the work they can deliver.

Score: 8.75 Sarcastic Voice Messages out of 10

 

Indie Comics Review – The Pride #1 (Queer Comix)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those times.

Warning: minor spoilers.

Billy: “You’re fabulous! I just wish everyone else knew it…”

Fabman: “Maybe someday they will. Maybe someday they will…”

Time to dig into the first indie comic I picked up at True Believers – The Pride #1. This is written and self-published by Joe Glass under the banner of Queer Comix. A small army of artists – Gavin Mitchell, Marc Ellerby and JD Faith, along with Kris Carter on colouring and Kris Anka taking the cover art took care of the images for this comic. Looking at their website you can see many of these artists have quite the professional background, from Dr Who to X-Men. It shows, the front cover drew me to this comic, it has a polished professional look above many indie comics I’ve seen out there. As for the pictures inside, they have again been produced with a high level of professionaliam.

As for the world the comic is set in, it’s depicted as big, whacky crazy old school comic stories take place. In the opening pages we learn that Crabman saved the planet from the angry moon-people out to destroy the world, using a nuclear trout! (Unfortunately Lobsterboy IV died in the explosion, but hey, the public get to vote on who they want for Lobsterboy V!). As you can see there’s a playful tribute to old school comics going on here and the first impression you get is this is a fun, zany world. The thing is, there’s a darker underside to this that many people have to endure. Although Fabman, aka Stephen Wainright, tomorrow’s fabulous man, is celebrated as a hero himself but still faces a hell of a tough battle. As with our world there’s a lot of homophobia and anti-LGBT attitudes in this one.

ThePrideFabman has decided to do something about this, he calls to many of his allies – Frost, The Bear (one of my favourite super powers: that of turning into an actual bear), Angel, Sapphire, White Trash and their newest member Twink – to form The Pride. An all new super team trying to get fair representation for the LGBT community amongst the swarms of other super teams already out doing good in the world.

While this is being put together we get introduced to our first villain, it seems we have a more than slightly evil preacher with monstrous goons they’ll have to deal with eventually.

Finally Fabman seeks out Wolf, who appears to be this world’s Batman. Who’ll need to make a choice, as the Justice Division also have their eye on him.

One thing I really liked about this was how the Fabman feels powerful. He saves a bunch of civilians at the start of the comic and you get the impression that generally he can handle the super hero bit. He’s clearly strong and seems like this world’s Superman. As I mentioned Wolf has a real Batman feel to him and I spotted a few other tributes to big name super heroes throughout. But even though he’s that powerful he still has a real challenge when it comes to the societies he and the other heroes live in.

Final Verdict

As you can tell I enjoyed this a lot. The plot so far has been very simple, more to be a vehicle for the character interactions and their personalities than major twists so far. My main criticism would be it almost feels like too much is packed into the first issue. There are a lot of characters here I’d love to get to know more. If the comic had been paced over two books we could have had a little more background/history on each of them which would have been great, though if that wasn’t an option then just a couple more text boxes with a note on how they got their powers or a little more info on who they are would have been perfect.

If The Pride sounds like your sort of thing, check out all of the issues here or on Comixology!

Final Score – 8.75 Slam Dunked Drug Dealers out of 10!

Comic Review – Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel Comics)

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. He missed reviewing them while he tries to write up his PhD thesis, so every other week he’ll be reviewing of one of them, with potential minor spoilers.

Another week and another #1 issue from Marvel! This time I picked up Captain Marvel #1, written by Agent Carter showrunners Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters, drawn by Kris Anka, coloured by Matthew Wilson and lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna.

Carol Danvers AKA Captain Marvel is off to space again, although instead of the slightly further reaches of the cosmos where the Guardians of the Galaxy hang around, this time she’s off on a two year deployment commanding the Alpha Flight Space Station 250km above the Earth, acting as its first line of defence against interstellar threats (although a GotG member does make a brief appearance…). There she meets her command, including Alpha Flight members Puck, Sasquatch, Aurora and the prickly Lt. Commander Abigail Brand, and very quickly chooses to shirk her typical desk-job and administrative duties in favour of punching earth-bound ships and meteors. Which really sounds like a lot more fun.

Captain MarvelConsidering this is their comic book writing debut, Fazekas and Butters do a fine job here crafting a light-hearted yet meaningful first issue, blending a sci-fi drama in the style of Star Trek with cosmic superhero action. Carol’s character seems largely unchanged from Kelly Sue Deconnick’s run, so there is a familiarity to hold on to as we launch into this new arc. The supporting cast looks like it will be very interesting dynamic, with Carol butting heads with Brand while simultaneously quickly becoming best buddies with the affable Puck.

Anka’s art is expressive and bold, with some heavy and angular line work that retains a simplicity that works well with the light-hearted tone of the book. The character and facial work within the giant high-tech space station has sense of warmth within the sterile yet well-detailed environments, while the hugely vibrant space action is a real treat. Wilson’s colours are definitely an important part of that vibrancy, not just in the combat but also between the various character designs and uniforms. Danvers herself looks especially good with Anka’s slight tweaks for her new costume and the stark colours from Wilson.

If you’re looking for a fun and exciting sci-fi superhero comic, look no further than Captain Marvel. The ensemble cast works well to round out the book, but this is still very much Carol Danvers’ story and it should be a great ride seeing where she goes next. Check it out at your LCS or digital comics platform.

Score: 8 Hala Stars out of 10