Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Comics Review | Single Issue Awards: January & February 2017

January & February 2017 Stats
Total Comics Read:19
New Series Started: 4
Series Continued:3
Series Abandoned:0

The Bronze Award Goes To: 
Seven to Eternity #1 (September 2016) 
By Rick Remender & Jerome Opena

Seven to Eternity #1 sets up a gruesome fantasy world in which The God of Whispers has spread his lies across the murky land of Zhal.

Some have been brainwashed into serving as minions, while others will take the role based on fear of the alternative alone.

Our male protagonist Adam does not have long to live and a big family to protect.  He finds himself in the position of having to chose between joining some rebels in a suicide mission or taking a chance on a deal he promised he would never make.

Up until this point, Adam has lived his life with very different values, but the choices he has left look very different now that the stakes are higher.

I'm actually not a huge fan of Rick Remender's stories but the way he explores the very ordinary theme of compromise in this fantastic setting is totally working for me.  Adams not a bright eye'd hero out to save the world.

The art is good, but I think it shines more on the creatures and enemies than it does the humans.

The Silver Award Goes To:
Monstress #9 (December 2016) 
By Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda

Lately I feel like more and more people have been reading and praising Monstress and I couldn't be happier.

I feel like this series is one which might bring more readers into the world of comics.

The plot in this issue had me wondering if we would finally get answers in the next issue.  Maika's character has really been made to wait for the answers she seeks for the bulk of this series & now that she seems to have a firm grasp on her predicament I think its time for the answers.

The flashbacks to Maika's childhood with her mother have added a whole new layer to this story, and to Maika, and I am interested in how it will play into whatever the ultimate end of this series will be.

Our little fox got quite a bit of character development and even the Monstrum within seems to have a solid personality now.

The change in setting from land to open ocean in issues #8 and #9 has allowed for some great changes in the art and color, but issue nine included a few flashbacks & scenes of elsewhere that were particularly eye catching.

I even posted a shot of the opening page on my Instagram because the colors were just--woah!

The members of the crew seem to be the most tangible of side characters in the series thus far, and have been a good addition to the story.

As always I am extremely impressed with Takeda's ability to make these characters look beautiful and formidable at the same time.  I, as the reader, take them seriously and believe that they exist in this world without any other convincing.  Seeing the Siren actually made my skin crawl.

The Gold Award Goes To:
Ether #2 (December 2016)
By Matt Kindt & David Rubin 

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I picked up the first two issues of Ether, but I am glad I took a chance on it.

I want to praise the plot and the writing, but part of its excellence is the way in which information is revealed to the reader, so I will keep it vague.

Boone Dias ventures regularly to a 'magical world' with the purpose of proving it is not magical at all. Even though he is a man of science and a typical nay-sayer the beings of this world have come to like him.

Our story opens up with a murder mystery within this magical realm. Boone along with his friend/sidekick, an oversized ape named Glum who guards the gate to the realm, will be the ones to solve it. And you better bet they will banter as they go.

I was extremely impressed with the writing. World building, plot, and characterization were all established within the first few pages of issue one, so when it hits you with that first plot twist the impact is fully felt.

As I already mentioned on my Instagram post, I find the tone of this comic to be intriguing. And the best way that I can describe it is as a "between space". The magical realm is established enough to be believable, but it does not seem solid enough to truly exist. Boone thinks it can be explained scientifically, which does not seem necessary. The murder seems like it would have profound consequences, yet nothing much has resulted from it.  As the reader you can't help but wonder, "Is this really happening?"

This tone of a "between space" is then echoed in the art style which is somehow, somewhere, between grotesque and cute, the plot is between wholly unique and feeling familiar, and the dialogue is between mature and childish.

Even if you don't love it, I am certain you would find it interesting, and therefore, I highly recommend this comic.  Even to non-comic readers. I get this sense that if you enjoy Adventure Time this would be worth your time.

Initially, when I finished issue #1 I thought for sure it would win my gold award, but then issue #2 so greatly expanded on it that it stole the gold.  I'm excited to see what this series does next.

Until next month!

Thanks for reading!

To see all the comics I read this month, and every month, check out my Goodreads 'comics shelf' here: