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Shadowhawk Reviews @Vertigo_Comics Hinterkind, @DynamiteComics Red Sonja, @ImageComics Rocket Girl, Lazarus @abhinavjain87


Here is today's Guest Review by Abhinav Jain from Shadowhawk's ShadeThe Founding Fields, and Just Beyond Infinity, for Vertigo Comics'; Hinterkind #1, Dynamite Comics'; Red Sonja #4, and Image Comics'; Rocket Girl #1, and Lazarus #4. I have also added my rating after each review. If you have any questions about my rating or want to discuss anything just leave me a comment.


See the Review Rating Overview page for more information on how I rate each comic.



Hinterkind #1 - Once Upon a Time...Chapter One


'Men go and come, but Earth abides.'- Ecclesiastes 1:4 Decades after 'The Blight' all but wiped out the human race, Mother Nature is taking back what's hers, and she's not alone...The Hinterkind have returned.

From the last, lost corners of the world they come, a myriad menagerie of myth and magic...but these aren't childhood fairytale creatures. They are flesh, blood and passion, and they have a long-simmering hatred for those who drove them into the shadows: The human race!

After her grandfather disappears, Prosper Monday must leave the security and seclusion of their Central Park village to venture into the wilds to find him, unaware of how much the world has changed. Or how hungry it has become...

Preview




Liger


As I’ve said before elsewhere, Vertigo Comics puts out some of the best stuff in the industry and their biggest selling point is how diverse each title, how different it is to the next. Vertigo’s various settings all have a different vibe, different feel to them, as you can see from Jeff Lemire’s Trillium or Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy’s The Wake or Bill WIllingham’s Fables. These are very much non-traditional comics and they are executed brilliantly.

Joining this stellar line-up is the latest by Ian Edginton, Hinterkind, a post-apocalyptic story in which humanity is now the endangered species and nature has run wild all over the world. Just the description of the setting itself intrigued me and made me want to read the comic ASAP. And I would have, as soon as New Comic Book Day came, if it wasn’t or some other reading commitments and plans that intervened. Might be reading this “late” but its sure been one hell of an experience.

Ian Edginton hooked me from the get go. The first page is ominous and bloody, hinting that somewhere something has disastrously gone wrong and that things are most definitely not what they seem to be like. Then, from the second page on, we hit the main story as we are introduced to the two protagonists of this series, Prosper and Angus. Through them, we see how people live in this changed world, years after nature finally took back its due. Set in New York City, we see how irrevocably life has changed, how the world has gone back to the hunting and gathering stage of the human species’ development.

As the story goes on, Ian Edginton keeps adding in one element after another to this world that he is creating and everything feels very spot on, very realistic. The world is full of some really amazing things, even if they can be a bit silly at times such as a Zebra being hunted in a forest at the top of a building in the city. Or not so silly, such as when Angus’ big secret is revealed, a secret that has some dire consequences for the young man.

Read the rest of Shadowhawk's review on Here

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 3.9 (8/10)
 - (Buy Hinterkind #1) SAVE 10%

Lazarus #4 - Family, Part Four


“FAMILY,” Part Four


The conclusion of the first arc. Forever moves to defend her Family with blood and steel as the Twins’ plot against their father is revealed.

Preview



Four


Looking for a good non-superhero book for me is not an easy task. Mostly because I love the genre so much that I just don’t take easily to anything that’s not in it. And the same goes for the big property/franchise titles like Star Wars, or G.I.Joe or what have you. These are worlds and characters I’m heavily invested in and thus I want to read more about them rather than anything else. However, into this mix steps Image Comics, who’ve been doing a pretty brilliant job with all their recent titles that I’m following.

Lazarus, by the acclaimed Greg Rucka, is one such book that is totally giving me all sorts of reasons to read non-superhero books. It is brilliantly written with some really great artwork and it is a truck-load of fun every single time. With the new issue, #4, I was expecting some big things since the story in #3 ended rather explosively. And man does Greg Rucka deliver in a really great way!

That cover, by Michael Lark and Santi Arcas, says everything that you need to know about this issue. It captures the tone and mood of the script inside perfectly. That doesn’t happen often with comics. Often the covers are just… romanticized versions of the story that’s happening inside, but this is one cover that portrays the contents perfectly and gives you a taste of what you are going to be reading.

The story itself is a great blend of action, world-building and characterization. Picking up where the last issue left off, we see things from the perspective of Bethany Carlyle, a daughter of the Carlyle Family and a doctor as well. She’s having just another day at the office, monitoring Forever as she returns from her mission to the Morray Family, when everything goes belly-up and all the alarms tied into Forever’s systems redline. From then on, we see just exactly what kind of a person that Forever is, and I don’t mean in terms of her character, but her nature. That cover? That should tell you exactly what the Lazari really are. Very Terminator-esque, in a very T-800 sense that is, the “classic” Terminator as portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Read the rest of Shadowhawk's review on Here

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 5/5
Verdict - 4 (8/10)
 - (Buy Lazarus TPB Vol. 01) SAVE 10%

Red Sonja #4 - A Single Drop of Blood


Red Sonja is just inches from death, when voices from the past call her away from digging her own grave, to fight possibly the last battle of her life, against the woman who taught her everything she knows about combat! With special variant cover by guest-star Ming Doyle!

Preview



Blood


Every now and then, its fun to get lost in a setting and a character to the degree that all that matters is the fun you have while reading (or watching, as may apply). This is one of the things that draws me to sword and sorcery stuff so much. There are some really fun tropes in the genre that otherwise would seem odd and out of place, but here, they are perfect. And nothing exemplifies sword and sorcery like Red Sonja and Conan do, characters who are the poster characters of the genre and have been around for decades.

With her fourth issue, Gail Simone proves once again why she is such a good fit for this rebooted series. The new issue continues a tradition of action-packed stories with some really fantastic art. And the same goes for artist Walter Geovani. I’ve always loved his work, and he continues to impress.


The last issue marked a really low emotional point for Sonja. We saw her at a really low point in her life but we also got to see some amazing characterisation brought to visual life with Walter’s artwork. He made each panel, each page stand out. I’ve been a fan of the series from the first issue and four issues on, I’m still in love, something that I don’t see going the other way any time soon.

In this issue, we continue to see how Dark Annisia is treating the people of Patra. She has quarantined the city and prevents anyone from entering or leaving, enforced with a very strict and uncompromising policy that ends in nothing but death. Right from the start, we get a hint that is going to a really bloody and really violent issue, in a way that it seems neither gratuitous, nor an afterthought, or just because. The violence is not a throwaway tool relied on as a crutch, it is used build character and show off their natures. And the way that Gail ends Annisia’s subplot in this issue, essentially rechristening her and giving her a new identity that reflects Annisia’s relationship with Sonja, it hints at a really explosive showdown. Not that we see that showdown here, since this issue is all about the build-up, something that Gail pulls off really well while still moving the plot forward.

Read the rest of Shadowhawk's review on Here

My Rating


Cover & Solicit -53/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 5/5
Story - 5/5
Verdict - 4.7 (9.5/10)
 - (Pre-Order Red Sonja TPB Vol. 01 Queen Of Plagues) SAVE 20%

Rocket Girl #1 - Times Squared



A teenage cop from a high-tech future is sent back in time to 1986 New York City. Dayoung Johansson is investigating the Quintum Mechanics megacorporation for crimes against time. As she pieces together the clues, she discovers the “future” she calls home – an alternate reality version of 2013 – shouldn’t exist at all!


Blast off with the new ongoing series by BRANDON MONTCLARE (Halloween Eve) and Eisner Award nominee AMY REEDER (Batwoman, Madame Xanadu).

Preview



Time


I say this a lot, and it needs to be said: sometimes all you need in a comic is some good, clean fun that you can enjoy just for the hell of it, away from complex, flawed heroes and impossible situations. What I mean is that sometimes the traditional story is just as great and awesome as anything wonderfully complex. This is where Rocket Girl by writer Brandon Montclare and artist Amy Reeder comes in. With their first issue, these two are set to make a huge name for themselves. And they are doing it in a way that you really wouldn’t expect.

Dayoung Johansson, a 15-year old cop from the future (2013) goes back in time (1986) to stop a company called Quintum Mechanicus from revising history to its benefit. That’s the long and short of it. As a setting, what Montclare and Reeder have created is fantastic. The New York of the past and the future both is a really upbeat place with lots of colour to it, lots of things to love. While Montclare focuses on his characters, Reeder focuses on the scenes and the setting, adding on to what the former is writing so that the two mesh together seamlessly.

That’s what fun about it, other than the fact that Rocket Girl is such a simple comic. Its not woefully complex, it just hints at some… involved stuff. The first issue here focuses on Dayoung, establishing who she is, what she is, and why she is doing what she is. As a first issue, Rocket Girl #1 has everything I could ask of it. The script is fairly simple and it doesn’t tax the brain. Its not exactly predictable per se, and the twists and turns aren’t too crooked, so it strikes a nice balance between those two opposites in every way.

The small supporting cast that is introduced, such as Dayoung’s partner and boss from the future, the Quintum scientists from the past, etc, all make up for a really fun experience when paired with the heroine herself. Montclare gets their dialogues all down pretty well, especially Dayoung, who is shown to be confident and competent throughout. She does have her own flaws, such as being reckless and a little arrogant, but she is also someone with strong convictions and a strong sense of what is right and wrong. Without really being all that complex, she still is complex and it shows in every page.

Read the rest of Shadowhawk's review on Here

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 5/5
Verdict - 4.4 (9/10)
 - (Buy Rocket Girl #1) SAVE 10%

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Shadowhawk is a blogger at http://sonsofcorax.wordpress.com/, senior reviewer for The Founding Fields book blog, a contributor to the Just Beyond Infinity mixed-content blog and a comic book reviewer at Comic Vine. The use of these reviews has been authorized by the original author.

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