RANDOM ROUND-UP: Dec.10, 2013

RANDOM ROUND-UP!

with Brett Reistroffer

indestructible1Indestructible #1 (IDW) - Everyone has wanted to be a superhero at some point in their life, right? Perhaps though, not everyone has had such grand ambitions for themselves, and would therefore make for an unfortunately awkward situation should they get thrown into that life unexpectedly and completely without intent. It would be doubly awkward if it happened without them even having any superpowers to begin with. Which is exactly the premise in Jeff Kline’s Indestructible. Greg is a normal guy, almost hopelessly normal, just trying to get through life without failing too hard and have some fun while doing it. But that all takes a pretty severe, and somewhat comical 180 when, on a fateful late night visit to the video store, Greg unwittingly foils a robbery attempt, albeit one that was already failing pretty badly. By no initiative of his own, he is now the newest sought-after superhero in town (capes are apparently quite commonplace in this world), and that has plenty of baggage to go along with it, some good, some bad. There’s a little bit more going on here, but that will mostly be coming to life in the coming issues, such as the character introduced at the start of this one. It’s an entertaining comic for the most part, the script is smooth and concise as far as pacing and dialogue are concerned and the art team of Javi Garron, Salvi Garcia, and Alejandro Sanchez delivers good looking pages, though the average style won’t leave a big impression on the reader. Hopefully there will be some more meat added to the story as the title continues, because while the premise is good for a few sitcom-chuckles, there isn’t enough in it alone to mine very deep. I can also see this book relying too heavily on clichés and gimmicks; the two main characters are, after all, an obliviously bumbling nice guy and his do-nothing wisecracking roommate. As it is, Indestructible is an entertaining read for a filler title, and it is worth mentioning that this is the first book launched by Jeff Kline’s brand new Darby Pop imprint, so if you want to see what this new comic house has to offer then check it out.

 

brainboy0Brain Boy #0 (Dark Horse) - Collected from Dark Horse Presents, we get a zero issue of Brain Boy this week, which of course means it has graduated to getting its very own series soon. The book’s titular hero is Matthew Price, the world’s foremost telepath (or ‘reader’), raised from birth by a biotech company and is now a loaned asset to the United States Secret Service where he psychically sniffs out bad guys. In the three part introductory story, Matt is assigned to a G8 summit meeting in Ireland, a particularly sensitive task as the world’s top leaders are going to be present. Of course, things don’t exactly go that well and after a great big bloody surprise (literally), the Brain Boy is left as the only one capable of saving the day. While the events in this zero issue are self-contained for the most part, it’s clear that there is enough of a launching pad here for a well fleshed-out series in its own right, we are introduced to a decent amount of backstory which is interjected amongst the regular pacing, and the ending certainly sets up a followable arc. The script, mostly first person narrative, is well written and while telepathy may be a bit well worn as a comic book fulcrum, the angle taken in Brain Boy is fresh enough to escape any fatigue. A definite highlight of the book is Freddie Williams’s pencils and inks, they’ve got an almost messy looseness to them while still maintaining a crisp enough definition to make for some good detail on the pages. Likewise, Ego’s coloring gives the art some good vibrancy and depth. If the character’s incubatory exploits in the pages of DHP are any indication, Brain Boy should shape up to be a fairly solid title, if you missed out on its run in the anthology, pick up the zero issue this week and get caught up.

 

SinDex1Sinister Dexter #1 (IDW) - Following with the recent publishing deal between IDW and iconic UK publisher Rebellion, we are being treated to another series of American reprints from the classic 2000 AD anthology comic, this week in the form of hired gun buddy series Sinister Dexter. The title follows to ‘gun-sharks’, Finny Sinister and Ray Dexter as they take up contracts to liquidate various targets across Downlode, which is the semi-futuristic territory covering most of Central Europe. The two stories in IDW’s first issue of reprints are sadly not from Dan Abnett and David Millgate’s original run of the book, but instead are culled from around 2001, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it would have been nice to start from the title’s beginning. Here we see the death dealing duo hunting down a thrill seeking porn star and a narco kingpin, both entries enjoyable though fairly standard and straightforward. The only thing that really keeps the reading interesting outside of the more intense action sequences is the characteristic buddy banter between the two principals. Unfortunately, the real drawback to these selections is on the art side of things; there’s nothing wrong, per se, with Andy Clarke’s pencils besides some very stiff character work, but the oh-so-digital coloring courtesy of Chris Blythe leaves the pages a bit flat. All in all, there’s nothing too special with the selection of Sinister Dexter tales IDW has chosen for its American debut of the series, though I suppose they work well enough for an introduction to the title and its characters.

 

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In addition to serving as a contributing writer for DarlingDork, Brett Reistroffer is Editor-in-Chief and founder of Bad Dream Entertainment,  an independent online publisher of horror, science fiction, dark fantasy, and literary oddities; focusing to help foster the independent community of edgy authors, with future plans for BDE including transcending beyond the online world into print publishing of literary fiction, poetry, graphic novels, and ongoing comic book series.  You can follow Bad Dream Entertainment on Twitter  @BadDreamPub and DarlingDork @TheDarlingDork.


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