Monday, December 20, 2010

More Comixology Reviews

This time we look at my first batch of purchased comics. With so many to choose from and being my first week with the app on my phone... Which titles did I finally throw money down for..? Let me show you.

I'm planning to purchase ten more comics this week. These are the five I picked up yesterday.
A few of these I already own in material form. I've decided this would be a perfect opportunity to reread some great comics and create a digital collection, as well.

THE WALKING DEAD #2 ($1.99)
(Robert Kirkman/Tony Moore; Skybound)


Rick heads to Atlanta where he hopes to find his wife and son.

This issue see Rick make his way to Atlanta and discover how bad things have gotten.

I've already seen a few differences between the show and the comic which were probably added to make it more exciting for tv. The tank, for example, was a great addition that seemed to fit right in.

As far as the comic goes, the suspense from the first issue is carried over as we tag along with Rick and see things from his solitaire position.

And then there's the ending where things begin to look up.

The story and art again fits very well with the Comixology app, oftentimes enhancing the tension and mood of the comic by it's very nature.

THE WALKING DEAD is must reading if you have an iPhone or Droid.
I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? #1 ($1.99)
(Philip Dick/Tony Parker/Blond; Boom Studios)


The book that inspired the film Blade Runner comes to BOOM! with backmatter by Warren Ellis! Visionary sci-fi author Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? has been called 'a masterpiece ahead of its time, even today' and served as the basis for the Ridley Scott film Blade Runner. San Francisco lies under a cloud of radioactive dust. The World War killed millions, driving entire species to extinction, and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remained coveted any living creature, and for people who couldn't afford one, companies built incredibly realistic fakes: horses, birds, cats, sheep - even humans. Rick Deckard is an officially sanctioned bounty hunter tasked to find six rogue androids - they're machines, but look, sound, and think like humans, clever, and most of all, dangerous humans. Rick Deckard, Pris, The Voight-Kampff Test, Nexus 6 androids, the Tyrell Corporation: join BOOM! Studios as the complete novel transplanted into the comic book medium, mixing all new panel-to-panel...

DO ANDROIDS DREAM ABOUT ELECTRIC SHEEP? is a comic adaptation of the book that inspired the movie Blade Runner. Any self-respecting fan of the film needs to read the original story by Philip Dick.

I have the paperback version of this somewhere and I still have not finished it. I'm bad like that. I have a hard time finishing books. I don't usually have a lot of time to read and I tend to stop after each chapter to let it sink in.
I've only finished about three novels in the last few years. About one a year. Ha!

When this comic was announced I was jumping for joy. I really wanted to read the story and this would be the perfect opportunity.

Dick's text is kept in its entirety, including the "he said" and "she saids", and once you get used to it the comic reads pretty well. Unfortunately, because of that fact, it does seem to feel heavy. Kind of like Chris Claremont when he came back to the X-Men.

In the physical comic this over-abundance of text appeared cumbersome but in the Comixology app the formatting for the "guided view" makes it easier to take in without feeling overwhelmed.

How fitting that one of the foundation books for the cyberpunk genre would read better on a smartphone. Now if only they will do NEUROMANCER...

I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS #1 ($2.99)
(Frank Miller/Klaus Janson; DC Comics)


This masterpiece of comics storytelling brings to life a dark world...and an even darker man. Frank Miller completely reinvents the legend of Batman in his saga of a near-future Gotham City gone to rot, ten years after the Dark Knight's retirement.

Would you believe I had never read this? Well... I did read #2 back when it first came out because I happened to come across it at a local bookstore. But I never saw the next issue and I just went on to other things and never looked back.

Of course, a comic this big still made its presence known to me. I knew the story from reading reviews and other sources. I think that was one of the reasons I never bothered to read it.

Now with the introduction of Comixology I've decided to go ahead and read it.

The story, itself, is now considered a classic and helped revolutionize comics in the '80s (along with Alan Moore's WATCHMEN). Back then comics readers were clamoring for more mature themes and something to justify their love of the medium. Something to make them go "Yeah! This is something I won't be made fun of for reading!"

Alas, now it's had the opposite effect as more modern readers are yearning for the simpler stories filled with heroes and hope. But back then we wanted vengeance and rebellion. And sex and destruction.
Any other writer could have written a story like that. With just those elements.

Frank Miller took them and made a compelling story that became more than the sum of its parts. Here he gives us a Batman coming out of a ten year retirement to wage a one man war on the evil that's tearing his city to shreds.

I enjoyed reading the first issue and I'm looking forward to reading #2.

I give DARK KNIGHT RETURNS 5 out of 5 stars.

100 BULLETS #1 ($.99)
(Brian Azzarello/Eduardo Risso; Vertigo Comics)


In the first storyline of this groundbreaking series, the mysterious Agent Graves offers Dizzy Cordova, a Latina gangbanger fresh out of prison, vengeance for her family's murders and full immunity for all of her actions. But first, Dizzy will have to get used to life back on the harsh streets...

100 BULLETS is another title that I would consider a classic. The chemistry between Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso is hard to match elsewhere. They created one of the best crime comics to be seen in ages.

I remember when I first was introduced to the title. I was watching The Sopranos on HBO regularly and I was reading GOTHAM CENTRAL and Brubaker's DAREDEVIL. A great time for any fan of the crime genre.

I have the first six volumes of the 100 BULLETS trade paperbacks and one would wonder why I would bother re-purchasing them to read on my phone. The answer is that I'm actually enjoying the experience. This is another title that converts well to the Comixology app.

Plus, I may actually get to finish it this time.

This issue introduces Dizzy and Graves and sets up the basic premise that started the hit series. Later on it gets a little more complicated as conspiracy theories rise up and we meet the rest of the cast. Definitely a book to read if you haven't already.

I give 100 BULLETS 5 out of 5 stars.

KEVIN SMITH'S GREEN HORNET #1 ($1.99)
(Kevin Smith/Jonathan Lau/Ivan Nunes; Dynamite Entertainment)


The Green Hornet is back and Dynamite is the new home for the avenging hero and his faithful sidekick, Kato (and, the Black Beauty, 'natch!)! We're kicking things off with a BANG as we launch the first of a new series of adventures starting with the great Kevin Smith. And let's get it out of the way, right here, right NOW - the scripts are in! Every single one! Joining Smith in bringing his unproduced screenplay to life is artist Jonathan (Black Terror) Lau as they present the one and only origin of the Green Hornet and Kato. This is the comic book version of Kevin smith's unproduced Green Hornet film and Dynamite is the only place to get in on the action - it all begins here!

I had been curious about this series for sometime. I'm a big fan of pulp heroes and characters that obviously spawned from that genre. So Green Hornet would be right up my alley.
However, I was speculative when I discovered Kevin Smith was headlining it. Especially after his recent comic book works where he would start and then disappear.

It does seem that this title is sticking around, though, now written by Phil Hester (who did layouts for this issue).

I figured I could go ahead and check it out since it was being advertised on the app's home page. Not bad at all.

I was very impressed with the art. Especially in the opening scenes with the Hornet and Kato's fight with the mob bosses.
The story then shifts forward and we meet the Hornet's son, who is set to become his successor in crime fighting.

I think Smith did a great job of launching the book, mixing just the right amount of action and drama. I may just have to see where it goes.
I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

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