Sunday, September 6, 2015

Avengers: Rage of Ultron

Author:  Rick Rememder

Artist:  Jerome Opena, Pepe Laraz, Mark Morales

Publication Date:  March 2015

Publisher:  Marvel

Graphic Novel Challenge #16

I enjoyed the latest Avengers movie (“Age of Ultron”).  This original graphic novel was a much better story.  The art of Jerome Opena was near perfect.  The Avengers have had many great artists and Opena deserves to be on that short list.  His art was a perfect fit for Rick Remender’s story.  Remender seems to be channeling the spirit of one of my favorite Avengers writers-Steve Englehart.  The characters seem to be similar to a team that Englehart would assemble.  And the ending was heartbreaking.  Great characterization, great plotting, and great art combine to make this original graphic novel a classic addition to Marvel’s line.  The downside to this is that I want to see where Remender would take the story next.  Unfortunately he is not doing any work for Marvel over the next 12 months.  

Highly recommended.


Creators:  Ryan Ferrier & Valentin Ramon

Publication Date:  Sept. 2015

Source:  Netgalley

Publisher:  IDW

Graphic Novel Challenge #15

The opening of this story is more like classic science fiction.  Mankind creates robots to serve them, the robots rise up, revolt and wipe out humanity.  Then what are they left to do?  The robots decide to imitate their creators.  They take humanity’s place complete with marriage, family, and corporate jobs.  D4VE was the hero of the revolt.  He was the master strategist of their army.  Now he is struggling to fit in to a 9-5 desk job with a family.  The creators do a good job of showing how the robots imitate humanity.  The story kicks into high gear when an alien race shows up.  I do not want to give away any more of the story.  Pick it up.  

Highly recommended.

Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive

Authors:  Scott and David Tipton

Artist:  Rachael Stott

First Publication:  August 2015

Source:  Netgalley

Publisher:  IDW

Graphic Novel Challenge #14

One of the best words to describe this book is fun.  From the title “The Primate Directive” through the interaction of two of my favorite franchises (for more years than I care to remember) it was an entertaining mix of both universes.  The story is set during the time of the Organian Peace Treaty from the original Star Trek series.  The Klingons are frustrated by the non-violence pact they were forced into by the Organians.  Now their scientists have discovered an alternate reality that contains the Planet of the Apes.  True to form, they start supplying weaponry to a militant group of apes to enable them to conquer this Earth for the Klingons.  Kirk and crew discover the Klingons plans and follow them through to the other universe.  It makes for an entertaining story as the “good” apes team with the Federation to stop the “bad” apes and the Klingons.  One of my favorite parts is a connection between this series and the Apes movies.  I do not want to ruin it for other readers.  The artist does a good job of capturing the likenesses of the numerous characters.  They are easily recognizable.

Highly recommended if you are a fan of either series. 

Birthright Vol. 1: Homecoming

Writer:  Joshua Williamson

Artists:  Andrei Bressan, Adriano Lucas

First Publication:  March 2015

Source:  Comixology

Publisher:  Image

Graphic Novel Challenge #13

I read many comics each year.  This one stood out from the rest based on the first issue alone.  By the time I turned the last page, I had become a fan for life of “Birthright”.  It starts off like a somewhat traditional fantasy story.  A father and son are playing catch near the woods when the ball gets away from them.  The son goes after it and vanishes.  He ends up in a fantastical world.  The inhabitants tell him that he is the savior they have been waiting for.  Time runs faster back in the real world.  The loss of the son has a devastating effect on the family.  And that is where the story really catches the reader’s attention.  I will not reveal any more of the story.  It is best experienced when you read it.

The art is the other high point of the series.  At times, it reminds me of the classic John Byrne and Terry Austin team.  It perfectly complements the great story.

Highly recommended.  Once you start it you won’t be able to stop.