Review – The Walking Dead #101 – Something to Fear

Creator, Writer: Robert Kirkman
Pencils, Inks: Charlie Adlard
Letters: Rus Wooton
Editor: Sina Grace
Gray Tones, Cover Color: Cliff Rathburn
Cover Art: Charlie Adlard
Published by: Image Comics

Walking Dead #101 is here, I really don’t know how to open this given the ending we saw in 100. It was basically one of the highest selling books of 2012 and honestly it was also probably one of the most brutal  events in a comic at the same time. If you’ve been skirting around reading the issues and just getting by on reviews I can’t really stress how hard of a hit 100 is and that if you’re interested just get it and take it in.

That said, 101 is here,  everyone is pissed, Maggie, Carl, Sophia. There’s no way to get past what happened to Glenn and how absolutely screwed they all were the minute Negan’s men showed up to surround them. Given the ammo shortage and everything else going on and the kids in the van, it was impossible to even attempt a last stand in such a case. Now comes mourning, continued rage and of course revenge. The group makes the last leg of their original journey ensure Maggie and Sophia make it safe in their trip. The rest of the concerns fall to the wayside though and it’s an emotional punch for all of them, even Carl.

All isn’t lost in 101, while the group is mentally beaten at this point, they’re still in the fight and a recent  capture makes the possibility of their survival that much stronger. When they said it was a whole new world they forgot to take into account the issue of new threats and greater foes, it’s doubtful that Rick will make the same mistake twice after this incident. The series got violent but it’s about to get much uglier as they buckle down for some large confrontations between Negan and the camps. If only they could also tackle that small issue of ammunition, given they only have a week to prep their shipment for Negan they really don’t have that much time available to them for any new plans.

Compared to 100, The Walking Dead #101 is a shorter trip but the possibilities seem endless for how this battle is going to go forward. Kirkman takes the speed of the issue to a slower pace to let people catch up with the recent trauma while setting the groundwork for the next battle, Adlard continues to deliver on emotion and gestures and as a whole it’s a well-rounded issue that tries to address the immediate fallout that strikes Rick’s group.

Release Date: August 15, 2012

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

Review – Star Wars – Darth Maul: Death Sentence #1 of 4

Script: Tom Taylor
Art: Bruno Redondo
Colors: Michael Atiyeh
Letters: Michael Heisler
Cover Art: Dave Dorman
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Maimed in an epic battle and left to die for over a decade, such things can’t phase the Sith and Dark Maul acts a testament to it. His brother Savage Opress joins to save him and bring him back to sanity after suffering endlessly. The goal of course being a new army and empire and a reign of terror that will not end this time around.

The story picks up with the brothers secluded away on Paklan, not flashing their name about but not doing very much to hide away either. A smug bounty collector arrives on scene and sets the chain of events into action as he hopes to quickly subdue the brothers and make his way to collect his cash payout for their collection. Unfortunately legend of the Sith brothers seems to have escaped this person as absolute fallout is all that follows.

The brothers have a price on their head and given all they’ve dealt with so far, this is really the last thing they need on their plate. They’re not phased by the problem, just annoyed that extra energy has to be spent to clear the path so they can work freely on their dark plans. Nothing spoils plans to build an army and a massive revolt like having a tag on their heads after all. Unfortunately the marker itself is only the trigger to a larger series of events including the Jedi becoming aware of his return when he was resting cozy under the radar to this point.

Death Sentence through all of this action and darkness takes a more mature tone that younger readers might not feel comfortable with, bashing and slashing is the name of the game and even Jedi can’t stop it. Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo have their work cut out to wrap this small arc up within the next 3 installments, so much potential and it will need to survive being bottled up enough to print. Issue 1 is already out on stands but we’re playing catch up before releasing our review on Issue 2 for everyone.

Release Date: July 25, 2012

Links: Preview | Order | Order Digital

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

Review – Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison #4 of 5

Script: Haden Blackman
Art: Agustin Alessio
Letters: Michael Heisler
Cover Art: Dave Wilkins
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

We haven’t covered the Ghost Prison on Bamfas yet, but it is in contention for being one of the better Star Wars releases of the year, taking a traditional approach in art, story and focusing on Vader puts it in our top considerations for the year. We join up in issue 4 with Vader on the Prism in the midst of all out chaos. Rioters battling away not only for a chance to live but for their pursuit of power, it is a demonstration of complete violence and Vader stands at the top of the pile, putting down anyone who dares oppose him.

While Gentis prepares himself to take his spot as head of the Empire we see that Vader, Trachta and Tohm are getting ready to move after their arena challenge reaches completion and the winners board up. New faces come into the story and while that seems like a given after a mass recruitment it’s only a strong 2 that really make impressions not only on Vader and the crew but on the reader as well. Not only does the payback for the attack on the Emperor seem to be well on the way but it could prove to be a mass obliteration of those in Vader’s path.

Personally I enjoy that most of this has been a character exploration just as much as it has been about action and the unknown. Haden Blackman paints unique narratives that give a sense of danger and struggle, and also these same narratives show how unwavering Vader is at all times as an absolute power. His view on recruitment and personal slaying of anyone who dares step into his arena are signs of how intense he really is especially with the Emperor in recovery.

Agustin Alessio compliments the issue with illustrative work that shines through, while some issues in the series go for a painting impression, we don’t see that. Each panel is incredibly detailed and bold in line usage, expressions run wild and gestures help tell the story that words cannot. Seeing survivors torn apart and barely holding together trying to plea for mercy, it gets in-depth for emotion to say the least and the duo manage to drive the story while feeding off each others creative energy.

Issue 5 is just around the corner, those who haven’t caught this series should really give it a shot, I can say it’s well worth the investment if you want some classic Star Wars drama and Vader showing his cold iron fist.

Release Date: August 28, 2012

Links: Pre-Order | Preview (coming soon)

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

Review – Axe Cop #2 President Of The World

Story: Malachai Nicolle
Pencils, Ink, and Lettering: Ethan Nicolle
Colors: Dirk Erik Schulz
Published By: Dark Horse

The last time we saw Axe Cop he had Goo Cop (a man made of goo) and Junior Cobb (a bow tie wearing gorilla) by his side fighting off all the bad guys. This issue begins with us meeting two bad robot brothers, Bu and Tu, from another planet. These guys are looking for trouble and won’t stop until they find it. Back on Earth, Axe Cop and his crew have their hands full as they meet the new super weird mash-up bad guy, Chee-Rex. I’ll let you use your imagination with this one! After some mouth springs, giant punches and transforming robots, Axe Cop and his friends save someone who could arguably be their biggest save yet; but, it doesn’t end there, oh no, theirs plenty more action. The evil robots devise a plan to make Earth’s citizens believe that Axe Cop is evil while also traveling through the universe destroying planets and picking up allies along the way to complete their evil plan of becoming the worst bad guys EVER! Axe Cop, refusing to sit back and let the robots win, devises a plan to figure out the robots plan and it’s a doozy. The universe is in peril and it looks like it’s only going to get worse!

Robots, the Devil, golden mustaches, there is nothing this issue doesn’t have. Seriously, it’s all in here and it shouldn’t be so entertaining but dammit it is! The next and final installment of “President Of The World” looks to be crazy and Axe Cop and his friends are going to have their hands full. This comic has so much charm and humor it’s unbelievable. Everything in this issue works, the writing is always funny and the art is really great, so much so that you can actually follow the story even if there weren’t any dialog, that’s pretty impressive. This is a must read and can really be enjoyed by anyone of any age. Don’t miss on Axe Cop, in a word its brilliant!

Release Date: August 29th, 2012

Links: Pre-Order | Preview (coming soon)

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

Review – Angel & Faith Season 9 #13 Family Reunion Part 3

Script: Christos Gage
Art: Rebekah Isaacs
Colors: Dan Jackson
Letters: Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Cover: Steve Morris
Alternate Cover: Rebekah Isaacs with Dan Jackson
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Published By: Dark Horse

Still in Quor’toth, our rag-tag bunch has a pretty simple mission, survive long enough to save an enslaved Connor worshiping species and get to safety. Sounds simple enough, right? Faith is doubting their plan and more importantly she’s doubting Angel. She soon realizes that her brain is being jumbled by the weirdness of Quor’toth. Meanwhile, Connor is beginning to see things much more clearly and is beginning to understand his father on a different level. Just as everyone is beginning to figure everything out, hell in the name of Quor’toth breaks loose. While all of this is going on, Sophronia and Lavinia are dealing with their own version of hell back at Giles’ house as Pearl, Nash and Whistler are attempting to have a little “conversation” with them. We quickly see who is really in charge and what they are really capable of. What does Whistler want and will it even matter if Angel, Faith and the rest of the crew are stuck in Quor’toth?

This issue is excellent. There is a lot of action and both of the storylines are full and rich. Christos Gage’s writing is great and the voice of each character is just how it should be. Rebekah Isaacs’ art is brilliant, which is not at all shocking because her work is always amazing. I love both of the covers as well, Steve Morris and Isaacs really outdid themselves on these two. I’m really enjoying this arc and it’s nice to see more of Willow as her own series is going to be starting soon. I also like the comic version of Connor much more than the T.V. Connor, he’s much more likable and not nearly as annoying. This issue is a must read, next month can’t get here soon enough!

Release Date: August, 29th 2012

Links: Pre-Order | Preview

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

Review – Mass Effect: Homeworlds #4 – Part 4 of 4

Story: Mac Walters and Sylvia Feketekuty
Script: Jeremy Barlow
Art: Omar Francia
Colors: Michael Atiyeh
Letters: Michael Heisler
Cover Art: Anthony Palumbo
Alternative Cover: Mike Hawthorne
Published by: Dark Horse Comics

The final installment of the Homeworlds series is here, we jump in with Liara T’soni before the Mass Effect 3 storyline kicks off. Functioning as the Shadow Broker she seeks every shred of information possible to stand a chance against the Reapers. It has become an impossible task for her to find the information that she needs but her persistence and connections are what carry her onward to find even the slightest glimmer of hope.

In Homeworlds #4 we see Liara pushing the limits of her relationships, associations and more and it’s finally wearing on her. We get a sense of her mental fatigue processing so much endless data, we see the juggled commitments and those she’s personally tied to expressing their concern of where this is all going. Although one has to admit, if the entire universe was on the brink of annihilation this wouldn’t be all that surprising or unexpected to come across, it’s just the gravity of the situation hasn’t come crashing down yet.

With desperation growing, Liara goes from authority to fresh game, Cerberus may be partnered up with her but it doesn’t take much to signal them to put a knife in her back if an opportunity presents itself. Their own personal quest for information has clashed with her with the Reapers going into higher activity. It’s an interesting exchange and Liara continues to use the knowledge and skills that got her where she is to show who the force is in this deal. For her, burning a few bridges is nothing if it means saving the universe from ceasing to exist, she just gets even tougher and heads forward even stronger than before.

We leave with her story going straight into Mass Effect 3 and conclude this arc of Homeworlds stories.

Release Date: August 29, 2012

Links: Pre-Order | Preview (coming soon)

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