Thursday, April 23, 2015

Update Review Sheltered Vol. 3

Sheltered Vol. 3
Written By Ed Brisson
Art By Johnnie Christmas
Released By Image Comics

I am just writing this quick review as an update to the review I did a little while ago on the first two trades of the series.  I finally got my hands on the final trade and got the chance to read it to see how it all ends.  Now I went into this knowing that there probably wasn’t going to be a happy ending for anyone involved.  But by no means did I expect the way everything officially played out.

As the second trade came to an end Victoria and Tab got away from Safe Haven at the cost of the life of one of their best friends.  And the wife of a delivery man had gone to the cops for help finding her husband who was making a delivery to the compound when he went missing.  

Both of these events lead to the government surrounding the compound and trying to negotiate the surrender of the kids.  The problem is that the kids of Safe Haven have been raised and trained for just such an occasion, and the agents can’t afford to breach the compound without a valid reason that won’t make them look like monsters for leading an assault on a bunch of kids.  But if there is one thing that is almost guaranteed it’s that  teenagers will act without thinking anything through.

And just that happens when a member of Safe Haven shoots down a news chopper that broke a no fly zone in hopes of getting a scoop.  And as it comes crashing down Lucas, the leader of the Kids, realizes that there is no way out of the situation without a lot of casualties.  I am going to spoil the end of the series, but I will say it ends the only way that is logical to the events of the series.  With a few surprises of course.

Rating: 4 Out Of 5
This was a great 15 issue series and the third act did not disappoint.  At first I was kind of upset that it was over.  But I am also a strong believer that it is best to end a story before it becomes stale.  

Thanks for reading my review.  If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions please leave them in the comments section.  And as always…. Thanks keep reading comics fans.

Quick review of Warrior #1

All throughout my life I have been in an on and off relationship with professional wrestling.  And I was a huge fan of the Ultimate Warrior, so when I saw this issue while putting away comics in the fifty cent bins at my local comic shop I just had to grab it and give it a look.

Warrior #1
Written By Warrior
Art By Jim Callahan
Released By Ultimate Creations

I entered into reading this book with pretty low expectations.  To put it nicely I wasn’t disappointed.  The story is just as hard to follow as the promos that Ultimate Warrior used to cut when he was in the WWF.  But what I could gather is that a man is being called to a higher purpose by some form of deity that is claiming he is the champion or “Warrior” that he had been waiting for.  The deity is hinted at being the man’s father, but once again I couldn’t put together if he was truly his father.  Or if it was a Donald Blake situation where Odin id the father of Thor and Donald is the avatar for Thor.  Therefore Odin is Donald Blake’s father.  

Most of the issue is spent with the man traveling across a barren fantasy landscape and discovering his destiny to become the Warrior.  And by the end you still don’t know much about the character or why it is important that the Warrior arises.  But it is made clear that the man is in a coma after some kind of accident and everything in the rest of the issue was taking place inside his mind.

Onto the writing by Warrior.  It goes without saying that it was rough at best.  It gets across that Warrior the writer was using this book as way to get across his beliefs, which are very spiritual nature.  And has a strong foundation of being a warrior in every facet of life,  But because of that it makes it easier to get lost or bored with where the story is going.

This book was released in 1996, and the art definitely reflects that fact.  The art looks like any book ever drawn by Rob Liefeld.  And in my eyes that is not a glowing review,  Warrior looks like he is either giving birth to a massive food baby at all times, or someone just off panel is repeatedly kicking his dog.  However, unlike Liefeld, Callahan shows a very good talent with anatomy.  The characters have clear hands, wrists, and ankles.  And the musculature actually isn’t too far exaggerated from reality.

Rating: 1.5 Out Of 5
Admittedly, the only thing that kept this issue from getting a one or less was my own personal nostalgia for anything to do with wrestling from the late 80’s and early 90’s when the Ultimate Warrior was at the peak of his popularity.

Thanks for reading my review.  If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions please leave them in the comments section.  And as always…. Thanks keep reading comics fans.

Quick Review of Billy Joe Van Helsing: Redneck Vampire Hunter

While putting away comics in the fifty cent section at the local comic shop that I volunteer at a couple weeks ago I found this hidden gem.  I bought it purely for the title.  But I knew I had to review it because it was either going to be truly genius.  Or it would be so bad that it was at least entertaining.  So let’s do this.

Billy Joe Van Helsing: Redneck Vampire Hunter #1
Written By Billy (Joe) Kieffer
Art By (Billy) Joe Paradise, Robert Roman, Donna Franklin, John Skikus,and John Migliore
Released By Alpha Productions

This book is just what it sounds like.  A comical trip into the world of vampire hunting through the misadventures of a self proclaimed two-dimensional stereotype of southern people.  The issue is made up of a series of short stories, the best of which features Billy Joe trying to win back his ex Maxi by proving her new boyfriend is a vampire.  

The true fun of this book is the fact that Billy Joe isn’t really the greatest at what he does.  He is often way under prepared for the situations he finds himself in.  And he seems to believe that he is also a master of disguise, but actually just gets by on the incompetence of others.

Kieffer really likes to have fun with Billy Joe’s accent, and slang.  As well as making a lot of pop culture references that the other characters often use to make jokes about how uneducated Billy Joe is.  But it never comes off as anything but satirical, when it could easily come off as moronic or insulting.  That said, at points Billy Joe’s accent makes it hard to understand what he is really saying.  The art is all over the place in this issue.  But on the stories with Joe Paradise is on art is when it shines the best.  Paradise has the best grip on who the characters are that he is putting on panel.  So much so that I would be interested in seeing what his art would look like on a book for a bigger publisher and in color, as this issue is all black and white.

Rating: 3 Out Of 5
This was a really fun read that as far as I can tell there were never any other issues.  But I kind of hope there are others.  And if there are I would gladly grab them so I can see what other shenanigans Billy Joe gets up to.

Thanks for reading.  If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions please leave them in the comment section.  And as always… Keep reading comics fans.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Most Disturbing Moments In Comics

The idea for this list came from a conversation between my cohort and I had while I was BBQing for a small get together at my place the other day.  We have often discussed the moments in various comic series that make you almost squirm as you read them.  So we decided to make a list of the top moments that were really disturbing to us.  Now these are in no particular order, so we are not claiming any of these moments are better than the others.  And fair warning there will be spoilers to some big events in the books mentioned, so read on at your own risk.

Most Disturbing Moments in Comics

Hank Pym attacks Janet in The Ultimates:
Now Hank does this in the 616 also, but there is just something truly horrifying about the way it all plays out in the Ultimate universe that just chilled me to the bone.  The whole encounter begins over Janet being pretty smitten over meeting Captain America, and accidentally insulting Hank.  What follows though is not only Hank hitting Janet, but spraying her with a can of bug spray and wrapping up with him sending an army of ants to attack her.  But the panel that really seals this moment is a close up of Hank as he is sending the ants after Janet as he hauntingly asks her  “Why did you have to make me feel small Janet?”

Jesse Custer attends a party for the Gomorrah  Society in Preacher:

One could argue that most of, if not the whole series of Preacher really fits the bill for this list.  But the party for the Gomorrah Society stands out the most to me.  The Gomorrah Society is a group based out of San Francisco lead by a man named Jesus DeSade.  And they throw parties where nothing is taboo.  In fact, the more depraved the act you give into, the more pleasure should be gained from it.  And when Jesse, Cassidy and Tulip visit one of their get togethers they witness some of the most disturbing acts a human could think of.  So when Jesse opens a door and is stopped dead with a completely horrified look on his face you know that whatever he is seeing is even worse.  Ennis and Dillon never show exactly what is going on when the door is opened, but after Jesse beats Jesus to the edge of death, a small child is shown being escorted from the room.  I think that the fact they leave the details up to the readers imagination makes the whole thing a lot more disturbing.

The deaths Lori and Judith Grimes in The Walking Dead:
The Walking Dead is another book known for not pulling any punches when it comes to shock factor.  But the way this particular event plays out takes it to a whole new level.  In the show Lori dies giving birth to Judith, and Judith lives on to see many more days.  But in the comics Lori gives birth to Judith and and as a group the survivors all help raise her.  The problem is when the Governor and his followers attack the prison they were living in at the time the survivors know they can’t win the battle so they start to flee.  And while Lori is running away with Judith in her arms both mother and daughter are killed.  There are two interpretations of how Judith dies.  One thought is that the bullet rips through Lori’s body and then hits the infant in her arms.  The other is that Lori is killed by the bullet and falls on the helpless baby girl in her arms, thus crushing her under Lori’s weight.  it was never clear to me which one happened, but either way it makes for one of the most disturbing moments in comics to me.

The death of Glenn in The Walking Dead:

This is the most shocking moment in TWD for me.  Glenn was very much the heart and soul of the group and this death was so over-the-top graphic, you see him getting his head caved in for several pages by Negan’s bat.  This also marks the moment where I gave up on this book.  Was it because this was just too much and I couldn’t handle anymore?  Nope, this was like the third or fourth time I’d seen this drum beat in the series.  There will be several issues in a row of what appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel for the survivors.  Their lives won’t be perfect, but they seem to be at a place where they can accept their new reality.  Then, like clockwork, there’s a shocking issue.  If not for Invincible, I’d write Kirkman off as a complete hack, the writing equivalent of Rob Liefeld.  It’s lazy, sloppy writing to tell a story that has no end as he’s stated that he never has any intention of explaining how the zombie apocalypse came about, therefor, there can be no progression to resolving it.  If I want some bullshit story that never ends and just repeats the same stupid formula over and over, I’ll go watch some Dragonball Z.

Wolverine kills all of the X-Men in Old Man Logan:

Old Man Logan is an interesting concept.  The world is now run by a series of villains.  And Logan has gone pacifist, vowing to never pop claws again.  Till the day that he is forced to team up with a blind Hawkeye to start fighting back against the people oppressing them.  But the moment that stands out is a flashback that explains what happened to the rest of the heroes and why it made him make the vow to never use his claws again.  The event in question shows Wolverine surrounded by a large group of villains that are attacking him with such ferocity that it forces him to start using fatal force.  So Logan starts cutting his way through the villains constantly trying to figure out what happened to all of his friends that were fighting along side of him moments before.  Then as he slays the last of the villains the illusion that Mysterio had cast over Wolverine.  Thus revealing that the villains he was fighting were actually all of his friends, and Jubilee is on the ends of his claws looking extremely confused and with her last breathe she asks him why.  The disturbing fact in this is that it is the pure feral rage is the reason he never stopped to question what was really going on.

Barbara Gordon’s shooting/rape in The Killing Joke and Hawley Griffin’s (the Invisible Man) sodomy/murder in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen vol. 2:

I put these two together because both were written by Alan Moore.  Of the two, I’d say Barbara’s situation is the much more disturbing of the two.  Just getting shot and paralyzed would be disturbing enough, by itself.  But to make the whole scenario even more twisted, she’s brutally raped in front of her father, just to break the man.  Truly horrifying stuff.
Griffin gets raped to death by Mr. Hyde.  Hyde knows the League has a traitor in their midst and once he realizes it’s Griffin, he confronts him alone in a room.  He reveals to Griffin that he can see him in his invisible form and proceeds to enact his own brand of justice.
With a little research, you quickly see that Alan Moore has quite a history of rape in his books.  There’s been either rape, attempted rape, or implied rape in his other books, such as League of Extraordinary Gentlemen vol. 1, V for Vendetta, and Watchmen.  Kind of a disturbing trend.  But when you’re trying to get a visceral reaction from your readers, nothing is quite the guaranteed home run like rape, I guess.

The Lizard eating his own son and the affair of Gwen Stacy and Norman Osborn--Amazing Spider-Man:

The Lizard has a long and storied history in the pages of Spider-Man as one of his earliest and most enduring foes.  One constant was that Dr. Connors wanted to get out from underneath this curse that he brought onto himself and that he was first and foremost a family man.  All that changed in an arc from a couple of years ago called “Shed”.  In this story, the lizard part of Connors’ brain is trying to establish dominance over the mammal part of his brain.  What better way to do that than destroy his last anchor to his humanity: his son?  Billy meets his demise in gruesome fashion and it was a turn that I never thought they’d take with the character.

This second one will always make my blood boil when I think about it.  I’ve been a Spider-Man fan my entire comic book reading life and always will be.  I’ve read every issue of ASM.  There’s some universal truths out there, the sun rises in the East, water is wet, and Gwen Stacy loves Peter Parker more than anything.  In an arc called “Sins Past”, writer J. Michael Straczynski commits what I consider the most heinous act of character assassination I can imagine, in comics: he not only has Gwen have a brief affair with Norman Osborn, Peter’s best friend’s dad, but she has twins with him.  This revelation is so far out of left field that it baffles me that this ever got past editorial.  So much of JMS’s run absolutely disgusts me and this was the cherry on top of a shit sundae.  I will never respect this man as a writer!

Thanks for visiting our site, and reading our articles.  It means a lot to us both.  If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions.  Please leave them in the comments section.  And as always.  Keep reading comics fans….

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Review: Ms. Marvel #13 and #14

Ms. Marvel #13 and 14
Writer: G. Willow Wilson
Artist: Takeshi Miyazawa
Publisher: Marvel Comics

If I had the discipline to write reviews more regularly, I'd do pick of the week reviews.  This issue (#14) would most certainly take this week's honors.  This is the second time I've reviewed issues from this series, so that should tell you a little something about the quality of this series.

Since my last review of this series, quite a bit has changed for our hero, Kamala Khan.  She's now well aware of her Inhuman heritage and is under the protection of the royal family.  She's faced and bested her first supervillain, fought the likes of Loki, and even had a team-up with Wolverine.

In this arc, which starts in #13, Kamala is introduced to Kamran.  He's the son of an old friend of her father and a potential arranged marriage suitor.  After much pleading with her father, her and Kamran go for a walk around the city.  They're suddenly caught up in a destructive show of force by a new villain, Kaboom.  Kamala quickly defeats her with more force than was necessary.  But Kamala is still new at this and up to this point, her foes have been more than able to handle what she can dish out.  After the dust settles, Kamran finds a visibly shaken Kamala and comforts her and, at the same time, reveals that he is Inhuman as well.

I won't divulge any more than this to avoid spoilers where the next issue goes or spoil so much that anyone won't want to get in on reading this arc.

I've already gushed on and on about how wonderful Wilson's writing is in this series and I won't do much more because this is still the same top notch stuff we saw in the first arc.  I really wanted to spotlight the talent of Takeshi Miyazawa.  His style is very obviously manga inspired and absolutely beautiful.  His previous works include The Runaways, New Warriors, and Robotech: Invasion.  He's an excellent compliment to the main series artist, Adrian Alphona's whimsical style.  If Alphona leaves the book for new projects at any point, Miyazawa has my vote to continue on where he leaves off!

My apologies for a shorter review than I normally do, but a good chunk of what I have to say about this series has already been said in my previous review.  It's nice to see that the high quality we've seen from this series hasn't waned, even after fourteen issues.

The verdict:  This series continues to be of the highest quality.  The art is beautiful and the writing is superb.  This series is a perfect example of an all-ages book done right.  It's appropriate for young readers, but doesn't pander to them; in doing so, it manages to also be quite enjoyable for older readers.  I was so impressed with the first arc, I picked up the trade for a good friend's daughter.  She's not really a comic book fan, but I'm sure she'll love it!

The score: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Review: X-Factor Volume 3

X-Factor vol. 3
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Various
Publisher: Marvel Comics

This iteration of X-Factor is a team that has come together to form X-Factor Investigations. They're a group of mutants who offer their services to anyone that has need of them, but they specialize in cases that have a mutant and/or supernatural element to them. The team has had members come and go throughout the run, but chiefly consists of the following:

Jamie Madrox - the Multiple Man. Madrox is a mess, plain and simple. He has little confidence in himself and his ability to lead this team. But over the course of the series, you learn that he's much more capable than he gives himself credit for. What he lacks in confidence, he seems to make up for in an excellent ability to run on gut instinct. I guess that would be a great trait to have as a PI.

Theresa Cassidy - Siryn (and later Banshee). Terry is very much the conscience of the team. She always seems to be the first to say if what they're doing is something she agrees with or not. Her character progression in the series goes from being a woman who mourns her father's death (in sometimes unhealthy ways) and ultimately ends with her becoming a goddess. Some of things that happen in between are sometimes funny, sometimes horribly tragic.

Guido Carosella - Strong Guy.  Easily the character I like the least.  Every team needs a heavy, and I guess he’s going to be it.  What I like least about him is his character design.  The “I always skip leg day” look and the stupid tuft of hair on his head just make him look stupid.  He does get a redesign as the series progresses, which improves things slightly.

Monet St. Croix - M.  Now this is a character I love.  So much so, I included her in “Our Picks For the Best X-Men Team” article.  She’s beautiful, brash, and arrogant.  But she has the abilities to back it up.  There are a couple of times in this run that her past, as Penance, come back to haunt her.  

Layla Miller - “She knows stuff”.  She comes to the team as an enigmatic little girl that seems to know what’s going to happen and when.  She has other abilities that are shown later that have very terrible consequences when used.  She was introduced in House of M, but really comes into her own in this series.  One of my favorite interactions with her is how she keeps telling Madrox that they’ll get married one day, sending a visible shudder down his spine everytime she says it.

There are several other members that come and go, but these five are very much the mainstays of the series.  Others that pop up in the run include Darwin, Havok, Longshot, Polaris, Shatterstar, Wolfsbane, and Pip the Troll.

This series perfectly encapsulates everything I love about Peter David, as a writer. He tackles a myriad of issues in this series, such as mourning loved ones, homophobia, and religion.  Sometimes they’re handled with subtle humor, sometimes they’re handled with the seriousness that the topic demands.  David seems to navigate them with pitch perfect timing.  He’s always been a master at dialog, everything said from one character to the other seems so real.  If I were to compare his gift for dialog to any of his contemporaries, I’d say he’s in the same good company as Mark Waid or Brian Michael Bendis.  If I ever do a “Best Creators That Don’t Get Their Proper Due” article (hint, hint: it might happen), he would most certainly be on it.  When he suffered a stroke in December of 2012, I not only was concerned for his health, but I was worried that we may lose one of our most talented creators.  Thankfully, he pulled through and continues to bring us wonderful stories.  He’s been a true ambassador of the medium.  I remember, back in the day, he was a frequent poster on comics usenet forums and he continues to engage his audience today on Twitter.

Artwise, this series has been all over the place.  Some artists were fantastic, most notably Leonard Kirk and others were just awful.  Thankfully, the writing was strong enough to distract from the weak art on some of the issues and kept the series a cohesive whole.

The verdict:  A highly recommended series.  I think volume 4 had the potential to be an even stronger series because I feel the characters were so much more interesting and had so much potential for some interesting interactions, but it wasn’t meant to be as it was cut short due to low readership.  But this series was wonderful.  I can’t say enough nice things about the writing.  David is a creator I follow on whatever project he works on next.  Track down these issues and have a great time!

The score: 4 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Review for Dark Horse's X #0-23

One of the surprise hits of the last two years to me came to an end last week.  So I figured I would put the word out there on how much I really liked it.  I never read the original series from the 90’s, but there was just something about the #0 that made me want to give it a read.  I was hooked from the moment I read that first issue.

Dark Horse’s X #0-23
Written By Duane Swierczynski
Art By Eric Nguyen
Released By Dark Horse Comics
Released In 2013

The Streets of Arcadia are overflowing with crime and corruption.  And there is nothing anyone can do to even slow the tides before they drown the city completely.  That is until a mysterious masked man with only one eye named X starts delivering messages to the heads of the major crime families warning them to leave the city or face the vengeance of Arcadia.  He is named X for the red X over his missing eye on his mask. The messages are delivered through pictures of the target with a single diagonal read line marked through it delivered to the target with the promise of the other half of the X being added if he must cash in on the threat.

Intrigued by the mystery of the new vigilante who is taking out the major crime elements in the city, a local blogger  named Leigh Ferguson begins tracking the movements of the vigilante named X.  But Leigh always seems to just miss catching up with the masked man.  Until the night she gets in over her head and is saved by X himself.  This one encounter leads to the most unlikely of partnerships that runs through this series.  As the book goes X faces off with major crime bosses with disfigured faces, corrupt police units, and even a big business exec who is hiding some pretty big secrets.  And even when facing what seems like a no win scenario, never once does he back down from the fight.  

I am not usually not a big fan of characters that use any means to get the job done, but with Dark Horse’s X it seems very justifiable that X would kill when he has to.  Even though Leigh is always trying to help him find alternate ways to “Save The City”.  And then there is the fact that he locks the mask on his face.  But not to protect his identity, but to keep the true animal inside locked away from the surface.  

Swierczynski has a way of writing a world in various shades of greys.  And the people that live in the world are all really well established and realistic.  I haven’t really read a whole lot of his work, but X makes me want to see what other diamonds he may have hidden out there.

As for Nguyen’s art, it is just as rough and dirty as the city of Arcadia.  Often giving the emotion of a scene with the change of his linework.  And few times that X removes his mask Nguyen really shines with some of the most haunting images I have seen in comics.

Rating: 4 out of 5

I don’t know if I will go back and read the original run of X, but I know I will go back through this run again at some point.  If only to experience this tale of justice at any cost again.

Thank you for reading my review.  If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please leave them for me in the comments section.  And as always.  Keep reading comics fans.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Light Week Random Comic Review

Last Wednesday I had a light week for new comics so I decided to grab some number 1 issues for series that had started recently.  The issues varied in publisher and genre, but all seemed pretty interesting from first glance.  But we all know the saying about judging a book by it’s cover.  So let’s get to the reviews.  

Halogen #1
Written By Josh Tierny
Art by Afu Chan and Shelly Chen
Released By Archaia

Halogen takes place in the futuristic space station of Cityship Q.  It is a large station made up of two “conjoined twin cities”.  The upper side being where the upper class reside.  A regular utopia.  The lower side is more like Mos Eisley.  Dark and dirty and most likely filled with the unwanteds of society.   The body of a dead god named Det’Houva was found dead five years before the main story begins, and a corporation  named Securicorp has control of the body.  It seems that Securicorp has been mining the body with intentions of learning everything it can teach them.  Though it is never clear what they will do with the information.

The book is centered around a woman with a holographic halo around her head named Rell.  Rell is an information thief for a underground movement who wants the information that Securicorp has on the body of Det’Houva.  It is also never made clear what they want the information for.  But it almost appears that they worship the Det’Houva.  

I wish could say I fully understood what happened in this issue and where it was going, but I got a little confused about halfway through the issue.  Which bothers me a little because the characters and world had a really interesting premise.

Afu Chan has a very interesting art style.  There are no other artists that I can to compare it to.  Chan uses a very loose form line that works for the world being brought to life.  I would like to see Chan work on another book to see how it translates.

Rating:  2 out of 5
I wanted to like this book a lot.  The concept was interesting, and the world felt lived in.  But it just felt like there was too many concepts and ideas jammed into the small space of the issue.

The Big Con Job #1
Written By Jimmy Palmiotti and Matt Brady
Art By Dominike “Domo” Stanton
Released by Boom Studios

The Big Con Job is the tale of a group of actors who are in the twilight of their careers.  They were all on a highly popular sci-fi show back in the day, but now they are on a constant rotation of the con circuit.  The problem is that as the years go on more and more their popularity wanes.  

This book is definitely a darker version of the story shown in Galaxy Quest.  Minus the hatred between the former cast members.  But that doesn’t mean there isn’t some fun to be had.  For example the sexy female from cast is approached but it is clear the fan is only interested in getting a chance to look down her low cut tank top.  What really stood out to me though was the realness of the characters.  All of them have very real problems that make them feel like someone you would really run into at a con.  Like barely making rent or relationship problems.  But those problems lead to a couple truly heartbreaking moments.

The writing of Palmiotti on this book is on par with a lot of what makes all of his books strong.    He knows how to make a character you want to root for no matter what they say or do.  As for Stanton’s art.  It wasn’t horrible, but it also wasn’t perfect.  But I find I almost always feel that way about books that have a cover by Amanda Conner and interior art that is far from.  So I admit that I do possibly have a biased opinion.

Rating: 3 Out Of 5.
I most likely won’t grab the other issues of this series.  But when the trade is released I will be really excited to get a hold of it.

No Mercy #1
Written By Alex De Campi
Art By Carla Speed McNeil
Released By Image Comics

No Mercy follows a group of American students on a special trip to a South American country to help erect a school.  It features a large and diverse cast of characters that give almost anybody who reads it someone to relate to.  The problem is that their trip isn’t going to go as planned.  While traveling on a bus to the town where they are going to be building the school one of the tires blows on the bus and they go over the edge of a high cliff.  This leaves the surviving members alone in a hostile area of a foreign country. Only a nun from the village they were traveling to knows the area and she seems very nervous.

There is a lot going on in this issue.  It gives many of the kids a chance to move to the front and lay the foundation of who they are in the grand scheme of the book.  Then you have the mystery  of the step-uncle of the nun and his briefcase full of what appears to be cocaine. I don’t know what the ultimate arc of this book is. but it does have some real potential to do what few other books are doing right now.  To show what happens when you take teenagers, who are already emotionally volatile in a normal situation.  And put them into an extremely volatile situation where they have to trust and rely on each other.  

De Camp has put together a cast of characters in No Mercy that you could find while walking down the halls of any high school in the U.S.  But the real genious is there is no specific main character.  Instead De Camp puts together a group where anybody could be the focus of the tale and you will get a different perspective on the trials the group are facing.

The art of Macneil is a great fit for this book.  There wasn’t any confusion between character’s.  And his layouts were simple yet effective.  overall the art and layouts make the storytelling a lot more dynamic.

Rating: 3.5 Out Of 5
This was an enjoyable read that has a lot of possibilities for greatness.  Will it live up to the potential?  Who knows,  But I will be checking in again when the trade comes out.  I am not waiting for the trade because the book isn’t good though, I just already get too many books in issues right now.  

Thanks for reading my reviews.  If you have any comments, questions or suggestions please leave them in the comments section below.  And as always ….  Keep reading comics fans.