Review – Dark Matter #2 – Rebirth Part 2 of 4

Writer: Joseph Mallozzi, Paul Mullie
Artist: Garry Brown
Colorist: Ryan Hill
Cover Artist: Garry Brown
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Garry Brown Cover

Stasis has not been kind to our crew in Dark Matter, awakened into turmoil and forced to find their instinctive knowledge or face death the crew raced into action. Issue 2 continues the escape from their mysterious attacker and plans of survival after being confronted with this blank slate. The issue brings a very rough ride for the crew, losing gravity at one point and their comfort as they confront a new world after a high-speed burst.

The issue rushes through in the same speedy pace as issue 1, the chase is on as they strive to escape attackers and find their own histories through the wiped logs of the ship. The art of the pages keeps urgency and the same high contrast styling and pauses as needed when even the crew are caught off guard in new revelations about their erased objectives. If you can’t hold on much longer for spoilers click below.

[spoiler show=”Show Issue 2 Spoilers” hide=”Hide Issue 2 Spoilers”]Soooo you can’t wait for the issue to know what’s really going down?

The crew has managed to evade the attackers, hitting evasive maneuvers and blasting off to mysterious coordinates recovered from the system. In the process of this they learn the destination was their original assignment but have no further details. When arriving to the surface they’re confronted with the locals, a survivalist bunch ready to take on all comers especially as they’re threatened by corporate interests. The great debate strikes the crew to support these crews or not until a mysterious finding shakes their new lives.[/spoiler]

That’s all, and I left out a ton of goodies too!

There’s a certain cinematic or scripted drama to Dark Matter, it moves quickly and honestly feels like a blip in a time as you wait for more. I honestly hope this story can wrap up all the drama before this series is up, it has so much promise and yet it simply teases readers with little bits here and there in each issue. We’ve gone from near destruction in stasis to escape from an unknown enemy to a planet of survivalist  humans and now to the truth about all of the team… well almost all of them.

The art is crisp and clean, it emphasizes speed, stress, awakening without a hurdle, the speed of the strokes translates the urgency or situation with every line, the dialog personalised each character and brought them into their own in this issue. Showing that while they were a team, they’re very different and have their own agendas lingering underneath their amnesia filled awakenings. Anyone that felt hooked by issue 1 will feel the rush return with this installment, the tensions are high and the mysteries just keep getting worse. Who are they, what are they up to, what will they do with this clean slate on their plate, who set them up and who is behind this new pursuit? They’re working on all these questions and it just gets better and better.

If you desperately need a teaser check out Dark Horse Comics for the teaser pages to hold you for now. Alternatively, secure your copy from TFAW before it releases.

Release Date: February 8th, 2012

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

Review – Conan The Barbarian #1: Queen Of The Black Coast – Part 1

Script: Brian Wood
Art: Becky Cloonan
Colors: Dave Stewart
Cover Art: Massimo Carnevale
Alternate Cover Art: Becky Cloonan
Published By: Darkhorse

Massimo Carnevale Cover

This Adventure starts with a horse bound Conan on the run from Court Guardsmen as they race through the dark alley ways and merchant villas of Massantia. As the chase continues, Conan makes way towards the shipping docks and jumps aboard a trading ship headed to Kush. Once aboard he is greeted by Tito, the master of the ship who ask’s the cimmerian the reason he’s on the run from the Massantia guards, as Conan tells him the story of how he was accused of killing one of the officers inside the bone in throat Inn located on The Old Wharf Road. He see’s the kings guards mistreating a young lady who was the sweet heart of a soldier that he didn’t approve of and ran his sword through the captain in middle of the tavern. As more guardsmen show up he is too dunk to make a run for it, he is captured and put in  jail for the murder of the captain as they assumed he was friends of the man who actually committed the crime.
[spoiler show=”Story Spoilers” hide=”Story Spoilers”]

He is brought forward to the judge who sentences him to the dungeon for contempt of court, he breaks free and kills the judge and everyone else present in the court room to which leads to a chase and him jumping on the ship. As the night looms in Conan and Tito continue to talk with Tito expressing his concerns for his crew and tells Conan that they are not warriors, understanding, Conan informs him that will be the reason they will need him and pledges his sword to Tito and his crew. Tito then beings to tell him about the The

Becky Cloonan Alternate Cover

River Styx and the Black Castles of Khemi where the sorcerers practice dark arts, and of Belit the captain of the Tigress who many call the Queen Of The Black Coast.  He then tells Conan how the master steersman describes her as a plague of the open seas, Conan on the other hand heard differently he heard of a fierce woman of unrelenting violence with no mercy or empathy, Intrigued by the stories of Belit.

As they reached Kush to make trade they spot the tigress the ship of Belit, worried that his trade route north is now in jeopardy Tito express his concerns but Conan once again informs him that he’ll lay his life on the line for him and his crew, and with his aid him and his crew should not worry about Belit because he will take care of her should they run into her. Back on the sea, one of the scouts see’s a ship coming northeast as it closes in Tito is shocked and thinks its Belit’s ship, as Conan jumps ship and makes his way to what he thinks is Belit’s ship. Once aboard the ship, he finds every man has been killed with no one alive, Conan leaves the ship and starts to swim back,  only to be surprised by Belit herself who arises from the water in front of Conan while still in the water. She starts to seduce Conan by kissing and hugging him then she quickly pulls him under water. It switches back to the ship and we see a bewildered Conan surrounded by white fog, he was under an  illusion the whole time as he had never left the ship. As the fog thickens Conan makes his way to the front of ship as the fog starts to clear up he see’s a half-naked lady standing on top of  a ship as ship turns around and makes contact with him he realizes that it’s Belit and alarms the men…

—————————[/spoiler]

Let me say this, I have noticed that all of the ongoing Conan stories such as Road of Kings and King Conan make references towards one another’s adventures making them similar. For example in this issue, it starts with Conan jumping upon a ship after escaping the Massantia court guards. what’s cool is that in Roy Thomas’s Conan: Road Of Kings #12, Conan breaks free of his chains and kills everyone inside the court room he then  steals a horse and makes his way to the docks. This issue, Conan talks to Tito about being captured and brought before the same judge for the same exact crime as in Road Of  Kings #12. The only difference is Conan doesn’t know the man who killed the guard. Like I said the writing is so similar to one another that I thought maybe the writers all agreed to make their adventures correspond to one another.

Final thoughts: With the writing being so similar and identical to Road of Kings #12 in the beginning that i found myself looking to see if i was reading the Queen Of The Black Coast or if I was reading Road Of Kings#13, writer Brian Wood’s version will be unoriginal to some of the more serious readers, as for me… I don’t mind it at all. As for the art, Becky Cloonan ( The Guild: Zaboo, WOLVES, Channel Zero) gives it a more cartoonish style…

Release Date: February 08, 2012

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★½☆ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆