Your Deadshirt New Comics Shopping List for: December 3rd, 2014

It’s Wednesday and that means new comics. Let Deadshirt steer your wallet in the right direction with reviews (and preview pages) of titles out today from Image, Dark Horse, IDW, Boom! Studios, Archie, MonkeyBrain, Oni, Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, Action Lab, and more!

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Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. #1

Written by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi

Art by Alex Maleev

Colored by Dave Stewart

Lettered by Clem Robins

Dark Horse

$3.50

In terms of story, this new Hellboy series doesn’t blaze a ton of new ground. It’s set in 1952, on Hellboy’s first field mission, so there’s an interesting sense of youthfulness to the character, but it’s not something that’s been totally unexplored elsewhere. The story is fairly boilerplate spooky, with some familiar faces in the supporting cast but primarily new characters, likely setting them up for good deaths later. There’s some promise, but the issue ends before getting into the meat of the arc.

The thing I loved about this book, though, and the thing I want to talk about, is Alex Maleev’s art. As far as I know, this is Maleev’s first Hellboy work outside of an anthology submission a decade ago, but he’s a natural fit. His honed craft is the best it’s been, and while he imitates Mignola’s level of stylization where necessary (Hellboy would be a weird character to do in a super detailed style), it’s clearly his voice and vision. Characters cut distinctive profiles, composition is always clear yet eye-catching, and the whole thing hangs together very well. As I alluded to earlier, we don’t get to see much action or spooky stuff yet, but Maleev’s previous work gives me full confidence.

Probably my favorite moment of the issue is early on, when Professor Bruttenholm has a vision/flashback of Hellboy’s potential for destruction. It’s a gorgeous, scary moment, well-rendered and beautifully colored. Its stark flames and reddish palette are a great contrast to the rest of the book, which mimics the sepia tones of old films or photos. A solid outing by the artists, and a decent enough story to give them a canvas to work with in future issues.

(Preview pages via The A.V. Club

– Joe Stando

(Click thumbnails to enlarge)

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Escape From New York #1

Written by Christopher Sebela

Art by Diego Barreto

Colored by Marissa Louise

Lettered by Ed Dukeshire

BOOM! Studios

$3.99

Snake Plissken, John Carpenter and Kurt Russell’s most famous creation, gains a second life in this new series from BOOM! Studios. Beginning seconds after the film, this new Escape From New York picks up with Plissken screwing over the President immediately after rescuing him and having to go on the run from the entire United States Police Force. Eventually, he joins up with a band of thrill-killers who tell him of the wonderland that now is Florida, which is ruled by two psychic twins who have effectively seceded from the nation using Cuban nuclear warheads as deterrent. With nowhere left to run, Snake decides to head to Florida, and its rather punishing immigration process.

This comic feels like what you’d get if Marvel had gotten the license to EFNY back in the 80s: lots of Big! Action! Scenes! with giant info dumps in between. Even Diego Barreto’s art feels like that kind of block Marvel house style that popped up in their G.I. Joe and Transformers books. This is not a criticism at all; those comics were my jam as a kid and this book is a welcome throwback to those days. Carpenter’s dystopian America is a cool place to explore and I like the idea of Florida as another walled-off lawless expanse, though the lawlessness seems to be a bit reigned-in from the brief look we get.

Sebela and team cover a lot of ground in this first issue but keeps the momentum going so that it feels like a breathless race across America for Snake. I’m looking forward to seeing where else they send him.

-Jason Urbanciz

(Click thumbnails to enlarge)

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RoboCop #6

Written by Joshua Williamson

Art by Carlos Magno

Colored by Melissa Louise

Lettered by Ed Dukeshire

BOOM!

$3.99

As BOOM!’s RoboCop enters its second arc, there’s a ton of really cool stuff going on here. Williamson and Magno’s story is putting RoboCop himself through some interesting hoops: he’s at the mercy of a gang of bank robbers wearing his extra helmets and using a beefed up “ED-2000X” as their muscle. (Not only is “ED-2000X” a pretty clever callback to the original film’s “6000 SUX,” it also boasts an absurd amount of weapons, tank treads and apparently trash talk). Worse, due to events of the prior storyline, he’s been stripped of his signature Auto 9 handgun. With his former partner Anne Lewis tied up in red tape, Williamson has RoboCop outmatched, outgunned, and clearly heading toward a breaking point. This issue, he gets an upgrade that’s both a no-brainer and a great character moment for the former Alex Murphy. (Magno gets serious points for RoboCop’s perfect smirk in this scene.)

Anne Lewis, now a detective kicked off the streets, has been a major focal point for this book and Williamson understands that while RoboCop himself is fairly static, Lewis isn’t necessarily. Her conflict with an older female detective, who cautions Lewis not to rock the boat as she tries to bring down New Detroit crime lord Killian, feels natural without dumbing either character to a simplistic caricature. Lewis’ integrity and frustration with herself, Detroit and her fellow officers feels real. It’s a very good scene that’s a little let down by some slightly stiff art from Magno (the subdued purples from colorist Marissa Louise are, however, a nice detail). RoboCop has proven itself a fine continuation of Paul Verhoeven’s original film thus far, a comic that both feels like its source material while still being, you know, a comic.

– Max Robinson

(Click thumbnails to enlarge)

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Be sure to let us know what you picked up this week in the comments below, on Twitter or on our Facebook Page!

 

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