Saturday, April 23, 2011

Friday Slice of Heaven, Slice Into the Woods 4/22/2011

Good morning.  This week is going to be a no show week on the new release front as I have not had a chance to make it to the comic store and I will probably (I better!) have a copy of the Sixth Gun #11 waiting for me.  Next Wednesday I think I have something around the order of eight books due, so I should have plenty to talk about next Friday.  Thankfully, I am still working through the Wondercon pile and I ordered some random comics I was missing so there is still plenty to talk about.  But before we get into the stars of today's show, let's hear a word from our sponsor.
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POSSIBLE SLIGHT SPOILERS WARNING...Consider yourself warned.

Friday Slice of Heaven

Echo Volume 2: Atomic Dreams
Echo Vol. 2:
Atomic Dreams
Echo Volume 2: Atomic Dreams - Everythinged by Terry Moore, published by Abstract Studio.  Julie and Dillon are on the run from the government, an insidious corporation and a homicidal bum in possession of a liquid metal hand that is all too similar o the plate permanently attached to Julie's chest.  Ivy continues to hunt the missing pair and Annie, the original possessor of the suit, may not be as completely dead and gone as Dillon and Julie believed.  The cliffhanger ending would have been far too painful if it were not for the fact that I had volume three on hand.
The action ratcheted up to a nail-biting, stressful level leaving me to hammer through the book in a day; I couldn't help myself.
I fell further in love with the characters including the intimidatingly-tough biker, Dan, who even as a secondary character with a currently small role, left me wanting more.  Of course there are the main characters of Julie, Dillon and Ivy who with every peek into their past and their actions in the present have me sympathizing with them and praying for their safety.  The psychotic bum with the deadly hand is unrelenting and honestly...terrifying.  On to volume three!  VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Echo Volume 3: Desert Run
Echo Vol. 3:
Desert Run
Echo Volume 3: Desert Run - Everythinged by Terry Moore, published by Abstract Studio.  If there is someone who has made it through the first two volumes of this wonderfully exciting series and NOT picked up the next volume, I would suggest they have a sanity check (unless they happen to write TV reviews for the New York Times...see here).
The homicidal, atomic-powered and religinutty bum continues menacing Julie and Dillon as they run for their lives from the deranged man.  An innocent bystander gets gooped and Dillon is injured in the ensuing battle between the two liquid metal bearers.  Julie's emotionally damaged sister begins to take a more prominent role in the story, tragedy strikes Ivy, Dan decides to pay the evil contractor, HeNRI, a visit and an ally appears when needed most.
Moore's characters continue to shine in this well-paced sci-fi story.  After reading this volume, I flipped through again, intentionally not reading any of the dialogue and was amazed by how Moore's illustrations alone can tell the basics of the story through the character's expressions, through body language and the use of sensible action.  Void of word, Echo tells a better story than a good portion of the comics on the stands, but with Moore's text providing the necessary depth, this book is one of the best I have ever read.  I need to get volume four this weekend.  Since the series wraps up in the next month, I would not be surprised to see a compilation of the entire run in a beautiful hardcover someday soon; I might just have to double dip for this one.  VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Cyclops #4 of 8
Cyclops #4 - Written by Matz and illustrated by Luc Jacamon, published by Archaia.   Cyclops #4 wraps up the first half of the eight issue series and I have been loving every bit of it.  I was all too lucky to pick up the first three issues for free at the Archaia booth at Wondercon, but having read the first half of this engaging and somewhat scary-in-its-realism series I would have happily paid full price for everything.
As Douglas Pistoia begins to question private military contracting firm, Multicorp Security, and its more shadier dealings, his very public relationship with he wife Tatiana begins to feel the strain of Doug's new found media celebrity.  Pistoia's doubts in his employers escalate due to gaps in his memory and he renews contact with journalist Fuente, who then goes missing.
Another intelligent, expertly-told tale with some truly compelling sequentials.  VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Xombi #1 (2011)
Xombi #1 - Written by John Rozum, illustrated by Fraser Irving and published by DC Comics.  I have been reading quite a bit of news on Xombi and how it is some reviewers' favorite book.  Now that I have actually read it I can understand why.  David Kim is Xombi, a man infused with nanomachines that grant him both immortality and a body that maintains peak physical condition.  He also has the ability to manipulate the tiny machines into constructing items at the molecular level from the molecules of other items.  Xombi has some connection to a secret group (don't we all) and is called upon to prevent the escape of a prisoner whose release would not be a good thing.  Even with the aid of Catholic Girl, Nun of the above (seriously) and Nun the Lesser (seriously-er) the situation turns bad with an eerie and entirely beautiful last page splash.  I'm not completely certain what the hell is going on, but I honestly don't care; I'm in all the way.
Beside Rozum's well-told, intriguing story, I really need to point out Irving's gorgeous art and mind-blowing coloring, which is unlike anything I have ever seen.   The mood he creates with his choice of colors and lighting is strikingly vibrant and moving.  I would love to see the methodology involved in the creation of each page, as the end product is amazing.
I never read the original series from back in the '90s, but now I'm hoping that Comixology/DC will put those old issues out at some point soon so I can delve even further into the past of this interesting and odd series.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED and with a little more insight into the character and history, I will gladly toss in a "VERY" to my recommendation.

Axe Cop:
Bad Guy Earth #2
Axe Cop: Bad Guy Earth #2 - Written by Malachai Nicolle and illustrated by Ethan Nicolle, published by Dark Horse Comics.  Axe Cop is a book that begs to be read after having a really bad day at work--I will most likely be rereading this issue this coming Monday.  As I mentioned in the review of issue one, there is no real way to summarize what the hell goes on in an Axe Cop comic.  It's pure six-year-old boy madness beyond explanation.  Here are some examples: Wexter, a T-Rex with shades and machine gun arms, travels back in time and meets his father, his friend named Waxta Tutu and his other friend Lavasaurus and one panel shows Wexter hugging his father; a lion is chasing a pig, gets hit by Axe Cop's monster truck and dies, but then the pig eats the lion and turns into Super Lion Pig; vikings wage battle evil baseball players; and Super Lion Pig instructs the heroes to go back in time to the year zero thousand and zero when defeat threatens them all.  What does all this mean?  I have no idea, but regardless of the degree of whatever wicked mood I happen to be in, I will always be smiling after finishing this bizarre, fun book.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Slice Into the Woods

Slow New Comics Week for Me - This was a slow week for new comics.  I'm hoping to make it down to my LCS later this afternoon and should only expect to find the highly anticipated Sixth Gun #11, which will conclude that particular storyline.  I will also probably pick up Echo Volume 4: Collider since the wait to read the next chapter is driving me insane.
This coming Wednesday will be a different matter.  I will picking up Brightest Day #24 (Finally it's over...not too thrilled), Chew #19 (Yay!), Echoes #5 (I'm scared...yay!), Morning Glories #9 (Yay! Can't wait), Ruse #2 (Yay!), Secret Avengers #12 (Hopeful), Secret Avengers #12.1 (Hopeful), Xombi #2 (Hells yes!).  All that and my looming stack of trades and I will hopefully need to do another two installments to cover all the goodness.

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