27 November 2014

Graphically Reading: First Issues 1

 If you're into graphic novels and comics, then you've probably spent some time browsing the Comixology website. When there, one thing I always look for is their periodic free (or sometimes really inexpensive) first-issue sales. It's a great way to get a feel for a comic series, author, and artist without investing a lot of money and time. Here are four first issues I read this month.

Archer & Armstrong #1; Butterfly #1Archer & Armstrong by Fred Van Lente and Clayton Henry (Valiant, 2012): Raised and educated in a fundamentalist encampment, Obadiah Archer is sent out into the world (New York City) to defeat the Evil One. Armstrong, however, has already survived thousands of years, and Archer's martial arts training is not going to be enough to bring the big man down. Right in the middle of their confrontation, everything changes when they are suddenly united in a fight against a common enemy. Verdict: continue the series: You'll find good humor, lots of political jibes, fast action, and expressive art. This will particularly appeal to the more liberal crowd. Butterfly by Arash Amel, Marguerite Bennett, and Antonio Fuso (Boom-Archaia, 2014): When her cover is blown and she's accused of crime she didn't commit ex-CIA agent Rebecca Faulkner (aka Butterfly) is on the run, heading to a location known to her only by its coordinates. When she gets there, she finds a surprise that changes her world. Verdict: pass on the series: the colors are gorgeous and the artwork shines, but the story is uneven, it's hard to connect to the characters, and the ending doesn't pack the punch that I think we were supposed to feel.

Dead Letters #1; Girls #1Dead Letters by Christopher Sebela and Chris Visions (Boom-Studios, 2014): When Sam wakes up to the sound of pounding on his door, he knows only that he's lost his memory and that he needs to run from whoever is trying to get in. After car chases, a confrontation with a gang, and a rescue by a pretty woman, Sam is about to learn the surprising truth of his current situation. Verdict: read the series: the premise may sound familiar, but this is not your usual amnesia story; plenty of action and the mystery of Sam's past pull you along; the art is dark, a bit sketchy, and perfect for the story. Girls by Joshua Luna (Image, 2005):  Lonely, single Ethan Daniels lives in a small town, where everyone knows everyone. One night, after spending time in the local bar, he's driving home along dark, country roads, when he almost hits a naked woman who is standing in the middle of the pavement. Seeing that she can barely talk and is in trouble, he gets her in his car, intending to offer help--not realizing that someone has been watching. Verdit: try the series: this has potential, but I need to read more to decide what I think; Ethan doesn't seem all that appealing, but I have the feeling that his discovery of the dazed woman is about to change him--plus who was hiding in woods? I love the clean lines and muted colors of the panels.


Vanessa Morgan 11/27/14, 8:30 AM  

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Daryl 11/28/14, 12:39 PM  

i wish i was into graphic novels ... these look terrific .. thanks!

rhapsodyinbooks 11/28/14, 1:16 PM  

I just got another graphic novel by Brian Vaughn but I am in the mood for non graphic at the moment.... I have to be in the mood for graphic, whatever that means (I'm not sure myself!)

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