Welcome back to your regular Friday afternoon round-up of what our reviewers and writers have to recommend to anyone venturing out to their local comic book store or, maybe more sensibility, organising a drop-off, mail-order or pull list. While we’re not up to full strength yet, there are still a lot of great comics out there to enjoy, and here’s just a few to look out for:
Pulp (Image Comics)
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Sean Phillips
Colors: Jacob Phillips
For how much the book plays around with genre, Sean Phillips’ cover seems pretty direct. Anyone picking up Pulp for the first time would think they were getting a western, not a story set on the brink of WWII.
Mixing up genres is a pretty common but the problem with mixing westerns and noirs is they feel lifetimes apart. Maybe it’s the different modes of transportation or, stylistically, how different the two genres look (Jacob Phillips’ colors will attest to that), but a western and a noir can exist in one lifetime. Max Winter is proof of that…
If Feud (the TV show) made people look at how Hollywood undervalued older actresses, Pulp does the same for older cowboys and offers an interesting meditation on ageing in a world that wants time to stand still. – Rachel Bellwoar
Writer: Dan Slott and Al Ewing
Artist: Valerio Schiti
Colors: Marte Garcia
The hottest comic of the week by a country mile for a certain revelation, but that shouldn’t be the only reason you pock up this issue of Empyre.
It’s another issue that drops in on all separated parties with trips to Wakanda, but with this fourth issue we are treated to one twist after another before we even get to the wedding at the end of the issue. It makes for a very entertaining and dramatic issue all round.
Dan Slott and Al Ewing, having warmed up over the last three issues, finally bring their talents to the fore with this tag-teaming issue and, as ever, artist Valerio Schiti illustrates it all with aplomb, while colorist Marte Gracia, defines each and every separate and different scenario with distinctive and varies color palettes , making it all the more easier for readers to keep up with this fast-paced issue.
Here’s hoping the second half of this book continues to sustain the standards of this particular issue. – Olly MacNamee
Goddammned: The Virgin Brides #2 (Image Comics)
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: R.M. Guéra
Colors: Guila Brusco
We meet up once more with Jael – a rebellious little tike – and Sharri who has just had her first period and a sign that she will soon be targeted by the elderly matriarchs who rule over these girls with an iron fist. Tough times call for tough solutions.
The coming of Sharri’s menstrual cycle and her elevation into womanhood – as marked by the proto-nuns of the ancient, mythological past of Genesis – is enough encouragement for these two firm friends to rebel and become runaway brides.
Jason Aaron continues to create a beautifully savage world that’s reflected back at the reader through the type of characters R.M. Guéra envisions; a world in which might is usually right and those with the more advanced weapons will always win. How then can a religion be debated and developed in such fierce conditions? Is it no wonder that even here at the dawn of time, we are met with such ferocity? And, it’s this ferocity that Jael and Sharri – our two plucky heroines-in-the-making – must either adapt to, or die trying.
A gripping and horrific, savage saga that echoes through the ages and into our own, where it is every bit as relevant, sadly. – Olly MacNamee
Empyre: X-Men #2 (Marvel)
Writers: Gerry Duggan, Benjamin Percy, Leah Williams
Artist: Lucas Werneck
Colors: Nolan Woodard
Angel, Magik and Penance are in over their heads, with threats from three sides all coming at them at once. Horticulture only seems to want to understand (and maybe exploit) the Cotati. The Cotati want to destroy all meatbags. Meanwhile, Genosha’s zombie mutant population just want to live in peace. Naturally, things get out of hand… this is just a gleefully chaotic issue, and it’s a lot of fun. – Tony Thornley
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