Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dylan's Sequential Theology 01.30.2013

For those of you that are looking for another comic to fill out your weekly stack, I have returned with more reviews! I've read a lot of great books this week, but I'm just going to share three that really stood out for me.
As always, you can purchase these comics digitally by clicking on the title, or buy them at your local brick and mortar store. It's a good idea to find it now, so you don't feel supremely awkward when you head over there on Free Comic Book Day later this year.

Angel & Faith #18
Story by Christos Gage, Art by Rebekah Isaacs
I have certainly changed my opinion of this book since I first started reading it. "Angel & Faith" has quickly become my favorite in the Buffyverse. As soon as I put down an issue, I immediately want to marathon old seasons. It's nice to have a book that feels like a natural extension of the series, while still bringing something new to the table. 
Rebekah's art has grown on me. Her fight scenes are engaging, and her monsters are very well designed & eerily rendered. They aren't incredibly detailed with every tiny inked bit of sinew. There's a vague fright in the amount of skin they seem to have. Like so much razorblade horror wrapped up in a fleshy bag.  
It's full of the snappy-pop-dialogue the show is known for, without feeling like parody. And for anyone that liked Buffy but hated Buffy herself, then this is a series you might really enjoy. The Buffyverse does have a bit of a dense continuity these days, and the comics have added a lot of characters that may not be immediately familiar, but Christos Gage has done his time at Marvel and knows how to sell a character with a small economy of dialogue and a whole lot of action. 

The Shadow #9
Story by Victor Gischler, Art by Aaron Campbell

Victor Gischler continues to play with the limit of The Shadow's power, and shows him as much more fallible than he is often presented. I'm not entirely sold on the idea when it leads to melodramatic statements like, "their emotions... they're unknown to me... I must rely on their body language to tell me what they are feeling." But this is a character of theatrics and high-melodrama so it's not inexcusable.
He has certainly amped up the adventure angle that Garth Ennis brought to the forefront in his opening arc. The Shadow is usually much more street-level, but it seems to work quite well. I think it has something to do with the visual of the scarf billowing in the wind.
Aaron Campbell draws an excellent sequence highlighting his sadistic determination as he jumps between airplanes that is quite thrilling, even if at times it's a little muddy. But Aerial combat is a very difficult thing to pull off in a comic book, so I cut him a good deal of slack. While each issue has some small thing that makes me cringe, it's still a fun book that definitely delivers on action & adventure.

Star Wars: Agent of the Empire - Hard Targets #4 
Story by John Ostrander, Art by Davidé Fabbri & Wes Dzioba
This series surprised the heck out of me. It's set at a point in time where the Empire and the Old Republic are still trying to figure out if they can co-exist. The clone wars are over, but the rebellion is just beginning. 
It follows the story of one Imperial secret agent as he treads the line between doing what is right, and what is in the Empire's best interest (I'll give you a hint, he's a heroic protagonist).
I enjoy seeing that not everyone in the Empire is a generic British person who wants to kill all the Americans that want to separate from the Empire... er...
Anyway, Davidé's art is quite strong, and the velvety guache-like colors of Wes Dzioba makes this book a joy every month. I hope this book finds a way to live on after the Star Wars license reverts to Marvel, but its ultimate fate is anyone's guess.

That's it for me this week. Come back next time when I will be sharing my sudden disappointment at a particular series that has quickly become my favorite book on the stands.

And as always, if you disagree with me, then prove me wrong.

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