Guest Review June 24: Of Really Big Monsters and Really Tiny Men

My name is Jerry and someone thought it was a good idea to let me do a guest review this week! I wanted to review something fun and light-hearted so I chose my favourite series right now.

Kaijumax

“On a remote island in the south pacific lies Kaijumax, a maximum-security prison for giant monsters. We humans don’t care if these creatures are metaphors for man’s scientific hubris – they need to be contained!”

Kaijumax is the story of a maximum-security prison for the world’s Kaiju (Japanese: literally “monster”). From the mind of Zander Cannon and published by Oni Press, Kaijumax manages to balance drama, humor, and really big monsters.

Issue one introduces about eight primary characters, three organized factions within the facility, and pictures numerous secondary/background characters who are sure to move to the foreground at some point. Amid this whirlwind of introductions Electrogar is the first. Electrogar is the reader’s point of view into the story, and consequently it’s main character. The necessary details of the unfortunate situation that has landed Electrogar in Kaijumax are laid out quickly and in just enough detail.

Subsequent characters are introduced naturally as Electrogar meets the community in Kaijumax. A community that is as diverse as it is closely related. Each kaiju is given a brief back story along with a very distinct personality (these character introductions are minimal, but four pages of bio are provided in the back of the issue). Even the visual style defines these individuals. Some are derived from apes others from insects, reptiles, even robots.

The robust culture of the kaiju is contrasted by the human presence. Very little is said about the flea-sized wardens of this prison. Each are referred to by their position first and foremost allowing the emphasis to remain on the inmates.

Why should you get this?

It’s fun. A character-focused story greased by humor and fueled by drama. The art is bold, defined, and clean. The dialogue is engaging. The characters are simple, but easy to identify with and unique. Overall Kaijumax is an entertaining and pleasant read.

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Tales From The Pull List Jun. 17th: In a (Justice) League of their own

Hello Revuers!  Its that time of the week again. This week there were quite a few comics I was excited about. It turned out not to be as great as j had thought it would be though, as many comics didnt live up to my expectations. I also wanted to let you all know that I will not be posting for the next week or so. I am getting married Saturday and will be on my honeymoon until next saturday. So enjoy the list!

Pick of the Week

Justice League of America #1: Story: Bryan Hitch Art: Bryan Hitch & Wade von Grawbadger In what was otherwise a disappointing week, JLA #1 was a success. I dove right in without a vast knowledge of the DC universe,  and even less about the latest event: convergence. Despite this I was able to follow along without being to confused. The book opens up with the death of superman, or should I say A Superman. Someone, or something, is killing Supermen from across the multiverse,  and only Superman (THE Superman!….?) can stop it. By doing…nothing.A mysterious company summons superman to a meeting to warn/threaten him of what was to come if he didnt protect himself. Hitch did a good job at portraying the JLA (which featured Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, and Green Lantern) as not being to over powered, and making the story interesting. The art job was great as well, Hitch and Grawbadger did a good job of using scale to make panels feel bigger than they were. Overall a good start to the series and I look forward to the next issue.

Rating: 7.5/10

Buy

The Fiction #1: a fun start. The art really is what carries this book, but the story is intriguing as well. I am interested in seeing what comes next. Which is always a good sign for a series that just started.

Rating: 6/10

Dr. Fate #1: Another DC title that I really enjoyed this week. I came in with next to no knowledge of Dr. Fate and still enjoyed myself. The art was different than most DC titles, but was similar to that of Constatine Hellblazer, from last week. However, I feel like the art was more successful here and really maintained a consistent tone throughout

Rating: 6.5/10

Black Canary #1: Coming in I had high hopes and expectations for this one. While it was decent, it didnt live up to the hype in my head. The art was good, but not fantastic. The story was ok, however it felt kind of rushed and squeezed together. It could of been just a result of unrealistic expectations from me and for that reason I am going to continue the series.

Rating: 5/10

Southern Bastards #9: This Issue serves as the start of a new story arch. It picks up with the surprise ending of issue 8, and is een through the eyes of the sheriff. Jason & Jason continue to play with my emotions and make me sympathize with horrible individuals. If anything this series has struck home with me that even seemingly terrible people may have a story that can move you to tears.

Rating: 7/10

Skip

Martian Manhunter #1: I bought this because I thought I liked the Martian Manhunter as a character. Turns out I was wrong.

Rating: 4/10

Runaways #1: I have not read the original volumes of Runaways. From what ive heard its very different than this. I hope so.

Rating: 3/10

Thors #1: This issue had promise, but didn’t deliver in my opinion. It tried to read like a crime comic, but the only crime I felt was the theft of my $3.99 Rating: 2/10

Tales from the pull list June 10th: It’s a Weirdworld

Hello Revuers! This week I am trying out something new. I am going to list all of the comics I bought or read and place them into three categories: Pick(s) of the week, Buy, or Pass. Let me know what you think of this new article and if you like, it or if I should go back to pick of the week, in the comment section below. Your feedback is appreciated. With out further delay here we go:

Pick of the week:

Weirdworld #1

Weirdworld #1 is a tale of a king stranded on a, well weird, world looking for a way back home. The antagonist Akron is the ruler of the kingdom Polemachus, who due to the events of Secret Wars has been stranded on a floating island. Which he then names Weirdworld, due to all the strange and impossible dangers he has had to face, These include: Squidsharks, dragons,  fire rain, hawk-squatch hybrid, etc. etc. This issue really serves as an introduction to Weirdworld and our protagonist, although plenty of action is offered in the second half of the issue. I wont spoil it, go read it. What drew (all puns intended) to this issue was the art. The series features the artistic talents of the art team behind the latest volume of Elektra: Mike Del Mundo, and Marco D’Alfonso. This fantastic duo draw and color a world beyond our imagination. Where hard neon colors stab through soft pastels, where blood flows green and grass grows red. All in all this artistic team delivers on what were high expectations (by me at least).

Rating: 8.5/10

Buy:

Gotham Academy #7: The gang is back! Well some of them. A new character emerges, and joins Maps in a quest to discover the secret of the (magic?) quill.

Rating: 7/10

Decscender #4: Excellent character development this issue, with still fantastic art. I am excited to see if robots really do dream.

rating: 6/10

Injection #2: This series has started off to a slow start for me. I was very excited to pick it up, since it features the creative team behind the first arc of Moon Knight. So far it has left me a little disappointed. However it did just enough to keep me interested in purchasing issue 3.

Rating 4/10

Silk #5 Another solid issue and return of artist Stacey Lee. There was a heartwarming moment in the middle of the issue that I wont give away, but lets just say it was from a character you wouldn’t expect.

Rating: 6.5/10

Spider-Gwen #5: Interesting work with the black cat. Also having Matt as a villain is an interesting twist. The art was fantastic, and it really got a lift from the outstanding coloring job by Rico Renzi. Seriously, is there a colorist better right now?

Rating: 7.5/10

Silver Surfer #12: This issue felt a little stale, with similar themes and plot ideas as the last issue, however, Michael and Laura Allreds art saves it for me.

Rating: 5.5/10

Pass:

Starfire #1: Really didn’t do it for me. Also, all the “wow, starfire is hot” moments felt weird to me. Some of the thought bubble pictures were funny though.

Rating: 4/10

Ultimate end #2: Maybe I just didn’t get into the Ultimate universe enough to care, but I just can’t get into this series.

Rating: 4/10

Constantine the Hellblazer #1: Bogged down by dialogue in my opinion. Some interesting and striking art choices though.

Rating: 4/10

All in all this week was pretty good. As I stated before let me know what you think of the new format in the comments section.

-Andrew Horton

Pick of the week (Jun. 3rd): Groot #1

Groot #1

Writer: Jeff Loveness

Art:: Brian Kesinger

Publisher: Marvel

“I am Groot!” – Groot

Hot off the success that was Guardians of the Galaxy (GotG) Marvel has been giving individual members of the team their own books. First it was Rocket Raccoon and Star Lord, and now Groot. Despite having a huge soft spot for the Groot, I was a bit skeptical. Mainly I was worried about how the dialogue would be when the only words the protagonists can say are “I am Groot”. It turns out though that Groot didn’t have to say much, his old pal Rocket Raccoon came along to narrate/interpret for us. The story starts out with Groot trying to convince Rocket to head to Earth. Rocket is not so sure because according to him Earth is the worst place in the Galaxy. Groot eventually wears him down and the two decide to head to Earth. It turns out that their ship is broken and so the pair must hitchhike their way, this leads to some interesting adventures including Space sharks (who are of course…endangered), and a group of Mormon siblings (ok so not really, but if you read it you’ll understand). Ultimately leading to a run in that changes the direction of the book and had me laughing out loud for a full minute after I had put the issue down. Seriously, this plot is one of the best ideas I’ve ever read. I love how Loveness builds up the characters in a way that pays off at the end of the issue. I can tell what direction the plot is moving and I think it’s the best possible direction for a Groot series. The art by Kesinger was great. He really captured the essence of Groot, drawing him in a cartoonish way that highlighted his naivety and his childlike sense of wonder. The rendering work on the space backdrop is also some of the best space-work art I’ve seen in quite awhile. Even better was his work on facial expressions. I’ve never seen a better use of facial expressions in comics. there’s one panel that is devoted just to just Groot and Rockets faces, and it is by far my favorite panel.  All in all this is a fantastic issue and a exciting start to a series. I love the direction the book went at the end and I can’t wait to read what happens next.

Rating: 9/10

-Andrew Horton