In Reviews Roulette comics are assigned without foreknowledge or regard to preference. Basically Megan picks stuff from her previews queue and doles it out haphazardly. These are the results.
Christina McCormack, Liam Sharp (W), Liam Sharp (A)
Release Date: December 16, 2014
The world’s only superhero, Captain Stone, has disappeared from the grid following events swathed in conspiracy theories. With a premise like that, I would not have predicted this first issue, which chronicles the life of a vampiric ex-cat burglar. Charlotte “Charlie” Chance was raised by her father to be an expert thief, spending her childhood traveling the world and stealing from bad people until she lost the taste for it. She rebelled against her father and eventually experienced a dark event that left her bloodthirsty and isolated.
Liam Sharp’s artwork for this flagship issue is as darkly unpredictable as the plot. The style constantly adapts with the mood of the story, making each page remarkably different. The character design moves from anatomically accurate in the present, to overly muscular in an 80s flashback, to deeply symbolic in Charlie’s darkest memories. Everything about this comic seems alive; even the color palette emotes with each scene change. Checkerboard imagery is nearly constant, either used to frame the page or draw the eye.
The title character, Captain Stone, doesn’t get an appearance in this first issue, but the final few pages include an old interview from “Playbunny,” revealing him as exactly the type of person you’d expect: a slightly more vanilla version of Captain America. The fact that Charlie gets an entire artistically stylized issue for characterization and Cap Stone gets an excerpt from a sexy magazine gives an intriguing and contradictory first impression for the two main characters. Unexpected and compelling,Cap Stone is a comic to watch in the new year.
— Sarah Register
David Pinckney (W), Soo Lee (A)
Action Lab Comics
Release Date: November 26, 2014
Amarosa has a wish. A wish she is willing to give her life for. So she does the only thing she can — she appeals to a jury of nine gods. These nine gods have the power to decide if her wish is worthy and her heart is true. When they rule in her favour she gains entry to the Wishing Well and will attempt to fight her way through nine trials. If she survives than her wish will be granted.
Amarosa is a promising character. She is tough and angry, which is just the attitude she needs to approach the trials. But she has a softer, relatable side as well. Her motivation is a classic one – she wants to save her terminally-ill brother. It makes her human, it makes selfless, it makes her someone who you want to cheer for.
In this first issue, Amarosa faces down the first of her trials. This series could potentially become repetitive if each trial is just another fight scene, but from what I’ve seen so far I think Davis Pinckney has something else is store for us. Right off the bat with the first trial, Amarosa has to stop and think about how all of this will change her. Her fight is to kill or be killed. I respect that this comic doesn’t have her simply kill and move on. Death has a profound affect of her and I hope this examination of her character grows deeper as the series progresses.
This strong first issue is made even more striking by the distinctive artwork from Soo Lee. The colours are bold, the brushstrokes are strong and every page is impressive. And I’d like to award some bonus points for Amarosa’s chic purple glasses.
If you’re looking for a new series with a complex, POC, female lead, I highly recommend you keep an eye on Fight Like a Girl.
Cullen Bunn (W), Drew Moss (A)
Release Date: January 14, 2015
In which an adolescent girl rides an angry dinosaur around a city, wreaking havoc, and fulfilling so many of my childhood dreams. Yes, it’s a dinosaur comic. Why the dinosaur? I can’t tell you — it must have been explained in the first issue, which I haven’t read. Time travel, or something. But on a deeper level, why the dinosaur? Because it’s fucking awesome, that’s why.
The issue opens big, Wrex the dinosaur’s mouth wide open and ready to KILL, CRUSH, DESTROY, we the readers, who are staring right at him, and they the police who are hounding him and his rider.
The art is as fun and kinetic as it should be, not pretty exactly, but full of movement — and while the action sequences are all set piece, no reflection, the script balances it out with our protagonist’s observations. “You just ate a military vehicle. If the bullets don’t kill us, DAD will.” Parents, man. They just don’t understand.
Doctor Dad and Crankypants the General, in pursuit of the dinosaur and his teenage gal pal, Jessica Anders, are to type. They’re boring. But parents so often are boring in kid’s fiction. They want to kill Wrex because a time-travelling dinosaur clearly poses a risk to modern, human society — like I said, boring. Jessica, meanwhile, just wants to save her friend from a needless death. How she ends up accessory to a dinosaur gone wild is beyond her. But not, of course, beyond us.
All the staples of kid/animal or kid/alien fiction are here: Jessica is a bit lonely, Wrex is a bit wild, and they fulfill something in each other. Wrex may or may not be tamed, but Jessica will inevitably grow up and become more responsible. That’s not to say that the comic’s trope-laden story is dull, on the contrary, the dinosaur hijinks conceit, powered by Drew Moss’s pencils, is more than enough to carry it through. Unfortunately, that’s all kept my interest in this issue. Jessica, all quips and gumption, is not yet a fully realized character, and the aforementioned boring grownups are, well, boring. Here’s hoping Bunn and Moss can flesh out some of those non-human characters as the story unfolds. (Dinosaurssss.)
The Archie Library 9
Release Date: January 15, 2015
Not very beautiful colours.
Bizarrely convenient olde well?
Babies on ice?
One baby is balding, like a clown.
I hate babies. They’re so gross.
Is cupid Dan a huge nerd or what
OK I can deal with pulling a bow with your foot. But what is he steadying it with? Unacceptable.
This green baby has weird hair. It’s like…a lid.
Look I thought Archie was HIP now. Is this a reprint?
A tommy gun arrow-shooter looks WICKED violent. Is that appropriate?
It’s not CUTE, that’s for sure.
“Trigger Boris,” WTF.
Is that a pun? It has to be something.
WHY ISNT JUGHEAD IN THIS?
Queenie has a butchy mullet AND a pink skirt, which is cool
But ffs how can you tell that THIS Cupid is (“GASP”) female? YOU’RE BABIES.
And you all wear high-heeled boots!
Guyyysssss how can a Cupid, whose entire job is to make people fall in love??? Hate girls????
Is he a gay baby cupid? Well he still shouldn’t hate girls.
OK. Jughead is here now.
Jughead is also on ice. What’s with these polished crystal floors? I hope nobody wears skirts in Riverdale. Jughead wants a burger. I’m pretty sure this is on-brand. I also, would like a burger. With mouthwatering fries on the side.
What flipping year IS this? I like Ethel’s shoes, but I don’t know where she found them.
Jughead’s emotional shield is lowered when he’s thinking about food. I get u, Jugs.
The story falls into as many pieces as poor Jughead’s burger. “The power of a female,” this is baffling.
I haven’t even read a tenth of this digest. I have to stop.
I wanna buuuurg.