Comic Review – Reborn #3 (Image Comics)

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Then he reviews one every other week.

I had a (relatively) small stack this week, but I have been meaning to review Reborn for a while now. This week issue #3 of this fairly new Image Comics series came out, created by Mark Millar and Greg Capullo, with Millar on writing duties, Capullo on pencils, inks by Jonathan Glapion, colours by FCO Plascencia and letters from Nate Piekos.

reborn-cover

Cover by Capullo, Glapion & Plascencia

Reborn stars Bonnie Black, a previously 80-year-old woman who has been reborn as a 25-year-old warrior queen, fated to defend the world of Adystria against the forces of Lord Golgotha and The Dark Lands. When she awoke in this new land, she found the world populated with long-lost loved ones and was reunited with her father. Now the pair of them, along with Bonnie’s childhood dog Roy Boy (now a huge armored beast), are travelling Adystria, while hunted by her now anthropomorphic cat Frost, who is working for Golgotha and bears a serious grudge against her. But Frost isn’t the only danger they need to worry about.

Everything I just said probably sounds pretty crazy. Which is fair. Reborn is kitchen-sink crazy with everything that populates this weird after-life plane. It is high concept fantasy and is a hell of a lot of fun to go along with it. Millar’s dialogue and plot move at a breakneck pace in this latest issue, and while it still may not be clear where the story is actually going, it is compelling enough to lose yourself in. A few character beats and choices felt a little out of step, with a particular moment of blind and idiotic trust in a stranger being difficult to believe from anyone without serious head trauma, but mostly this is very strongly written.

reborn-interiors

Art by Capullo, Glapion, Plascencia & Piekos

Millar has been on somewhat of a roll of late with the artists he pairs up with, and while I was sad to see Capullo leave Batman after such an incredible run with Scott Snyder, it is nice to see him stretch some fantasy muscles in Reborn. The result is something truly breathtaking, with dynamic and visceral action being the real strengths here. The standouts in this issue are the terrifying excellence of the monstrous second and third pages, and the gorgeous Black Wish Mountain towards the end of the issue. Glapion and Plascencia have been working with Capullo for a while now, and clearly know how to really make his pencils stand out. The result is an art team producing work that is worth the cover price alone, regardless of the story.

Reborn is a great looking, huge and insane fantasy book that you should be definitely checking out. I can’t wait to see where the series goes, and what weird and wonderful creatures Capullo is going to get to draw along the way. Check it out at your local comic book shop or digitally now!

Score: 8 Political Prisoners out of 10

Comic Review – Chrononauts #1

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Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Every week he is going to attempt a mini review of one of them, with potential minor spoilers.

This week I picked up the much-hyped Chrononauts from Image Comics. This new sci-fi series was written by Mark Millar, with art by Sean Murphy, colours by Matt Hollingsworth and letters from Chris Eliopoulos. If you listen to our podcast, you may have heard me voice opinions on what I already think about Mark Millar’s work. It isn’t that I think his writing is bad, far from it. He is a very capable writer. But generally, the comics from him I have enjoyed the most have all been Marvel work. Civil War and The Ultimates in particular I enjoyed. But when uninhibited by editorial restraints, I have tended to not enjoy his creator-owned work, often finding it overly crude, violent or offensive without actually making a point, almost glorifying certain very negative aspects. But regardless, this new series caught my eye and I thought it worth checking out.

Chrononauts is the story of Corbin Quinn and Danny Reilly, two doctors and best friends, who are set to become the world’s first time travellers. It starts with Quinn, hunting down anachronistic and chronologically displaced technology and vehicles, planes in ancient and cars being found buried under Mayan pyramids for example, and using it as proof of concept for the possibility of time travel. Soon after, he and his friend Reilly, with a team of scientists helping them, send a satellite back through time to the American Civil War, transmitting live video around the world. 18 months later, and Corbin and Danny are prepping for the first manned mission back in time, with the whole world watching with bated breath. Corbin goes through first, but is knocked off course. Danny insists on following, heading back to 1504 to rescue his friend.

I may have been a bit overly critical of Millar before, but this is a really nice first issue. There is none of the unnecessary crassness that has often put me off his independent work, instead here he tells an action packed opening that lays plenty of groundwork, has a decent amount of character set up. There is a big emphasis on bravado and bromance here, with the guys even calling themselves rock stars, but it is played up comically and doesn’t feel out of place. The feel of the story is a cross between the lunar landing and Black Science, without the success of the former or the horrible depressiveness of the latter.

Murphy’s art here is superb. I was already a big fan of his, and to be honest the art team was what sold me on this book more than the premise or the writer, so it was likely I was going to be reasonably pleased with anything he put out. There are some lovely set pieces, wide shots and backgrounds that work to show the normality of the setting and how routine what they are attempting seems to be, even though it is effectively stepping through a Stargate to another time in a fancy suit. The facial work is dark and heavy, but very expressive. The most impressive panels though are those dealing with the time travel, appearing as a burst of twisting energy for the most part, but looking really nice when it shows Danny actually stepping from the timestream or whatever it is called into his new destination. This is all beautifully realised with the help of Hollingsworth, certainly one of my favourite colourists in comics, who brings his pastel style and range to make the different time periods and time travel scenes really distinct.

Chrononauts is off to a good start, and while the story is very good it is really the gorgeous art that makes this worth picking up. Check this out at your LCS or digital comics platform.

Score: 8 Arrows out of 10

Dan’s Nerdgasms: Superman Red Son

Each Monday Dan recommends a classic unmissable graphic novel. 

Today I’m recommending a DC trade paperback called Superman Red Son. Masterfully written by Mark Millar and illustrated by Dave Johnson and Killian Plunket. Instead of landing in Kansas as as a child, what could have happened if Superman’s rocket landed on a collective farm in the Soviet Union? What would happen if the Man of Steel was raised as a communist?

In this book you’ll see all the familiar characters you know and love with a completely different twist. There’s a whole bunch of other DC characters that make an appearance, like Batman and Green Lantern — who you’ll both see in a whole new light. Don’t worry folks Batman is still bad ass in the story.

As always what would any Superman tale be without the devious Lex Luther opposing him every step of the way. In this story he is the head of S.T.A.R Labs and has been given the mission to destroy Superman at any costs.

This book came out originally in 2003 as a three part mini series . It’s collected together now in one book. If you’re a huge Superman fan or just after a really different take on the Man Of Steel, then this is the the book for you.

Happy reading boys and girls

Dan