Your Deadshirt New Comics Shopping List for: August 26th, 2015

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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Zodiac Starforce #1

Written by Kevin Panetta

Art and Letters by Paulina Ganucheau

Color by Savanna Ganucheau

Dark Horse


Zodiac Starforce is so much the child of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Sailor Moon that I have a hard time describing it as anything but that. The comic follows five teenage girls who fight monsters using the powers of the zodiac. Each girl is assigned a different zodiac sign and channels her magic through a power jem, going through a very Sailor Moon-esque transformation that gives them extremely colorful outfits, shiny hair, and glowing jewel swords. The big difference with this story, however, is that it kind of picks up at the end of their adventure as a team. They’ve already defeated their big bad and had a friendship fallout, so this first issue introduces new problems with a “let’s get the band back together” vibe, as one team member who can’t let go of the good old days desperately tries to reunite the group.

Everything about this comic is bright and bubblegum pop—even the school library looks like the inside of a Sanrio store until a monster sporting a harsher blue bursts through its walls. The artwork is extremely clean, and the coloring is so uniform that the panels look more like stills from a cartoon than a comic book. Despite that kind of lack of minute detailing, there’s still a lot of emotion seen in characters’ faces, especially Emma, the leader of the Zodiac Starforce who has clearly not dealt with some mysterious past trauma.

The only stumble thus far is an odd inconsistency in the finished product (do the other members remember Alice? Is this a long term plot point or just bad editing?). It’s distracting, and perhaps a sign of rushed production, but the story definitely recovers as the adorable and dynamic characters are introduced one by one.

Despite the Rainbow Brite aesthetic, Zodiac Starforce tantalizes some darker and deeper storytelling, and I truly appreciate a comic that skips the origin story and trusts its readers to keep up. What could have been a kind of generic, girl-powered manga knockoff is a story that stands on its own with the potential to be heartwrenching.

– Sarah Register

(Click thumbnails to enlarge)




Godzilla in Hell #2

Written by Bob Eggleton

Art by Bob Eggleton

Lettered by Chris Mowry



The second issue of Godzilla in Hell is about as different as could be from the first. While James Stokoe’s take was nearly silent and humorously offbeat, Eggleton takes a more traditional route, pitting Godzilla against ghastly, demonic versions of his classic foes in a marathon of competition. Godzilla runs a gauntlet of enemies through a variety of climates and weathers, until he’s finally swallowed up, presumably in anticipation of the next issue.

The story here is fine, in a classic kaiju sense. It’s a pretty deep bench of foes, that includes both classics like Rodan and obscure characters like Varan. But the standout here is unquestionably the art. Eggleton’s full-color paintings of the battles between the monsters are beautiful masterpieces. Eggleton cleverly homages John Martin and Gustave Dore in his depiction of apocalyptic battles and the infernal afterlife. It’s aggressively stunning work, and it lends an air of gravitas to the story.

While I wasn’t quite as thrilled by this issue as I was by the absurdly distinctive #1, it’s still a solid execution of the title’s premise. There are many kinds of Hell, and Eggleton puts Godzilla through a beautiful, dangerous one.

– Joe Stando

(Click thumbnails to enlarge)




Over The Garden Wall #1

Written by Pat McHale

Art by Jim Campbell

Additional Colors by Danielle Burgos

Lettered by Warren Montgomery

KaBOOM! Studios


Over The Garden Wall was a beautiful little gem of a mini-series that hit Cartoon Network last November. Equally sweet and wickedly funny, the story of two half-brothers lost in a dark forest seemed to rule my Twitter feed for months afterwards. Now comes this comic mini-series by show creator Pat McHale and series writer/storyboard artist Jim Campbell, illustrating some of the boys’ adventures that happened between the episodes.

This first story, coming between episodes 3 & 4, have the boys stumbling upon an odd farm. There they find two little girls, who warn the boys that they shouldn’t wake up their papa, who exists as a fearsome presence within the ramshackle farm house. To keep the strange little girls happy, Wirt (the eldest brother) goes about doing some chores for them, to disastrous effect. The book has fun with the little girls’ wordplay at Wirt’s expense; they seem to give him pretty plain, if absurd directions, but Wirt keeps doing the wrong thing.

Jim Campbell’s art works perfectly. He doesn’t totally adhere to the style of the show, using a shakier line than you see in the animation, which gives the comic a storybook quality. It effectively separates the comic from its source while still maintaining a clear thematic connection.

This comic perfectly captures the spirit of the show. Fun and light, it fits perfectly between the scenes of the episodes. It serves as a great entry point for people who haven’t seen the series or little gift for the fans who loved it.

– Jason Urbanciz

 (Click thumbnails to enlarge)




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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