Community Nooch's Comic Reviews

Number 1 in my book

This week, a bunch of new titles came out, and I couldn't make up my mind which to share with you, so I'm sharing them all... or at least the good ones.

Dead Irons #1
by James Kuhoric and Jason Shawn Alexander

This is definitely one for the horror lovers. I'm really digging how horror comics have made a comeback in the last few years. I think it was the original 30 Days of Night mini that got readers back into being frightened. I don't think I can remember a time since the old EC days when we had so many (at least) decent horror comics coming out regularly. And I'm not talking about the shock/big booby books like Evil Ernie and Lady Death that Chaos was putting out when they were around. Those books had their own appeal, but I wouldn't really consider them true horror books. I'm talking about tales that you might tell around a campfire or to some girl that you're trying to hook up with so she'll look to you for "protection".

The cover artwork on this book is kickass. It's by Jae Lee, who also does the artwork for The Dark Tower. Interiors are done by Jason Shawn Alexander, who didn't use to his his middle name in credits. I'm guessing he kept getting confused for that guy from Seinfeld. What bugs me is how ambiguous some of his images get. I remember him doing a 3-issue zombie story from Dark Horse whose name I can't recall right now, and that had the same problem. His images aren't distinct enough for me to easily tell who's who. The style is great and really captures the mood, but is that guy getting shot on page 15 the same one from page 8? I can't tell. It's not such a big deal that I wouldn't recommend it, as is evidenced by me writing this... you know, recommending it.

Who should read this book:
People who liked Desperadoes by Jeff Marriotte.
People who liked Underworld.
People who sing in harmony with hummingbirds.

Soul Kiss #1
Long Road to Ruin by Steven T. Seagle and Marco Cinello

I really dig Steven T. Seagle's work, even though he's now going by the much-more-difficult-to-type "Steven T. Seagle", instead of just Steve Seagle like back when he was writing X-Men. I had an opportunity to talk to him for a while at SDCCI a few years back. He's very insightful, what with also teaching a psychology course at a community college at the time. He was actually a professor for a really good friend of mine, which I totally used as my icebreaker.

This time around he's telling a story of selling your soul to the devil or a devil-like creature. Yes, that premise has been used countless times, many done poorly, but I trust that Seagle can put a very interesting twist on it. This book is part of bunch of stuff coming out of Man of Action Studios this month. The "men" in question are Seagle, Joe Kelly, Joe Casey, and Duncan Rouleau. If I remember correctly, I think they got together as a group way back when they were all working on various Superman titles at DC, hence the name "Man of Action" (Action Comics is a Superman book, also the longest running comic ever). Put that together with very emotive artwork from Marco Cinello, and you're getting your $3.50 worth.

Who should read this book:
People who liked Seagle's work on American Virgin.
People who like stories about troubled souls.
People who liked only eat muffin bottoms.

Astonishing Tales #1
Madripoor Mix-Up by C.B. Cebulski and Kenneth Rocafort
Iron Man 2020: Endless Stolen Sky by Daniel Merlin Goodbrey and Lou Kang
Iron Man: Making an Appearance by Christopher Sequeira and W. Chew Chan
Bobby and Sam in Mojoworld by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra

What we have here is a new anthology from Marvel. Normally, I try to stay away from these things. They're usually just a way for a publisher to squeeze more material out of their IPs and more money from customers. You'd think that one book would take care of this, which was being handled by Marvel Comics Presents. That book ended, to be replaced a few short months later with this new Astonishing Tales. The format is identical: 4 stories under one cover for $3.99. If they were going to release this book anyway, why cancel the other one?

Whatever the case, I did end up picking up this book mostly because of the pretty cover. It's done by Kenneth Rocafort, whose work I was way into from Madame Mirage. That was a book that he did with Paul Dini, who shot to stardom on his work on Batman: The Animated Series. He also did the art for the first story, which features Wolverine and the Punisher. That means that within 8 pages, plenty of people get shot and/or shanked/shived. I may not pick up any more issues from the series, but this isn't bad if you want a quick, exciting read.

Who should read this book:
People who want various stories in one book.
People who like exploring various aspects of the Marvel Universe.
People who can't quite peddle their bikes all the way up the hill.

I am Legion#1
The Dancing Faun by Fabian Nury and John Cassaday

The industry is pretty excited about this. I am Legion was originally published under Humanoids in Europe. A few years back, DC had licensing to publish Humanoids material in the USA. They released one volume of I am Legion, and left it kind of hanging. Devil's Due Publishing now has the Humanoids license, and they're promising that we're gonna get the full series.

The titular "Legion" is the one from the Bible, as in "My name is Legion, for we are many." In this case, Legion is(are) in WWII Germany, manipulating the Nazi forces. If you ever wondered what type of people could possibly commit such extreme acts of violence, maybe this will provide some insight into that.

Art chores are handled by John Cassaday here, who is 8 kinds of kickass and 4 varieties of badass. This is stuff that he was working on before his run on Astonishing X-Men, or even Planetary from Wildstorm, and yet in some ways it's better.

Who should read this book:
People who have some familiarity with stories in the Bible.
People who like fictional alternate histories.
People who are many, but still speak in singular.

Bang Tango #1
El Paseo ch. 1 by Joe Kelly and Adrian Sibar

I wasn't sure about Bang Tango when i first heard about it. Yes, it's a new Vertigo book, so it comes at an advantage over most new books. But the premise is about an ex-gangster who tries to start up a new life as a tango instructor. I'm open to all kinds of stories, but I can't say I've ever been intrigued about any tales of any kind of dance. I did like "Save the Last Dance", but I only went to see that because a bunch of my friends were going. Plus, it had Julia Stiles shaking her fine booty through most of it.

I picked up this book, though, because it's got Joe Kelly writing. I liked his work on Superman and JLA, so I'm open to see what he can come up with under a mature readers line.

Who should read this book:
People who like noir stories with mysterious pasts and intrigue.
People who can handle sex in their stories, without it being the focus of the story.
People who enjoy fancy dancing.

Hotwire: Requiem for the Dead #1
by Steve Pugh and Warren Ellis

This is the first book that I've picked up from Radical Comics. They're a relatively new publisher on the scene, having put out their first books in 2008. I have high hopes for them, as I do for all small publishers. Times are tough for the little guys these days, as Diamond (pretty much the only comic distributor around) has raised their minimums. That means that small publishers won't be able to get their books in stores unless more people order them.

For my first book from them, I'm very impressed. Steve Pugh is handling both the writing and illustrating chores, based on a story by Warren Ellis. I'm not sure what Pugh is doing here, but I think much of the art is purely digital. I guess I could ask one of the designers around the office to check it out and let me know for sure, but I'm actually writing this at home while watching a recording of tonight's My Name is Earl. Whatever the case, it's all cool looking, especially his images of ghosts.

Oh, right, that's what the story's about. At some point, the electromagnetic energy released when people died stopped dissipating into the ether. So, exorcism is incorporated into law enforcement. We explore the world through the eyes of Alice Hotwire, Detective Exorcist. I want that title. I was considering going around introducing myself as a captain, but Detective Exorcist sounds so much more inexplicable. That's funny because people would always want you to explain it.

Who should read this book:
People who are into the supernatural.
People who oppose police brutality.
People who own Poltergeist on VHS.

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Nooch's Comic Reviews

More people should be reading comic books, dammit. As the resident comic book elitist, Nooch has made it his personal quest to get more noobs heading into their own dimly-lit comics dungeon every Wednesday to peruse the vastly under-rated world of sequential art.