Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Codename: Action Vol. 1

Author:  Chris Roberson

Artist:  Jonathan Lau

Publication:  July 2014

Publisher:  Dynamite Entertainment

Source:  Net Galley

Graphic Novel Challenge Book #6

Summary (from Comixology):  During the height of the Cold War, unknown forces scheme to heat up a global conflict. As key officials on both sides of the Iron Curtain are replaced with doppelgangers, the infiltration threatens to disrupt the precarious state of world affairs. The security of the Free World depends on a young secret agent, one assigned to shape the world's masked heroes into a force with singular purpose and unyielding resolve!

Based on his previous work (iZombie, The Shadow), I had faith in his ability to write this series.  Then when he is teamed with the exciting art of Jonathan Lau, it is a guaranteed hit with me.  The team did not let me down.

Roberson's story follows the start of a new spy's career.  Picture a new apprentice starting to work with James Bond.  The heroes start to suspect something is going wrong with the way government officials are lobbying for war.  And these are people who did not think that way in the past.  The villain's plan kicks into high gear when heroes start to get replaced.  The author has crafted a fun summer action story.

The art by Lau is perfect for this tale.  When you look at one of his pages, the action flies off through the panels.  Lau has developed a very good style for showing action.  His storytelling leads you through the panels.

Dynamite has a hit with this book.  I hope they are working on volume 2.

Highly recommended.

Three Kingdoms Vol. 3: To Pledge Allegiance

Author:  Wei Dong Chen

Artist:  Xiao Long Liang

First Publication:  October 2013

Publisher:  J. R. Comics

Source:  Net Galley

Graphic Novel Challenge Book #5

Summary (from Amazon):  With Zhuo Dong gone and a weakened Emperor Xian in exile, a power vacuum has opened in the lands ruled by the Han Dynasty. Soon, Cao Cao, Shao Yuan, and Bu Lu are jockeying for position in the race to rule the land. Provinces will change hands, allegiances will shift, and the law of the land will change in ways no one could have imagined.

I missed the first two volumes in this series.  According to what I have heard, they focused more on the people.  Vol. 3 continues to cover the history of the Han Dynasty.  Although I have only a passing familiarity with this period of Chinese history, I found this volume easy to follow the narrative.  And the art was exceptional.  The art made the characters jump from the page for an almost 3D type effect.  I will be picking up more of the volumes in this series.