Review – SECRET #1 – One: Teeth, with which to eat

Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Ryan Bodenheim
Colors: Michael Garland
Letters: Rus Wooton

Secret is a new property hitting the Image Comics line, taking a detour from the supernatural to the dark world of private security, government secrets and pain. The last one is a bit odd to mention but SECRET packs so much of it in the panels that it’s hard to neglect including it.

The story is simple as Image Comics points out

A man gets shot in London, a law firm gets broken into in Washington, an accountant gives away the password to his computer, and something put to sleep 20 years ago awakens. What is the unsavory relationship all these things share, and how could it bring down two of the largest governments in the history of the world?

Scratch that, it’s not simple, in fact the description doesn’t even touch how down and dirty this first issue gets in the first pages. Woken in the night on his secure compound, Mr. Dunn is assaulted but it’s not a thug, in fact it’s no ordinary encounter at all… the ordeal is an execution of power not a negotiation or a plea or even a demand. A man broken to his very core by a systematic collector on a mission from a higher power is what transpires in only the first pages. This sets the tone for SECRET and it’s a very high level atmosphere as Dunn has his life shattered in a simple series of events by an unknown that has only the vaguest request.

SECRET moves forward from there, what is an entry-level problem grows quickly, the exchanges are quick full of information, the dialogue building toward a conspiracy or threat that can’t even be identified and so the hunt is on not just for security but to neutralize the problem from coming again. In the corporate world for this comic these deals are not so direct, in fact it all comes down to memos, blackmail and exploitation to make a point. Mr. Dunn no doubt still shaking from his encounter skips ahead of all this in favor of dumping the baggage onto a third-party without much forethought just that he doesn’t want to run and even if he did where would he even hide.

It’s a unique story to have in a world of super heroes and zombies right now, while those are good in their own respect it’s always nice to have some wider variety out there and SECRET gets it done with a sense of style and classic appeal. Artistically it’s a special read for me, it takes special effort and considerations to maintain such a monotone palette and successfully engage and drive a reader in a comic. Ryan Bodenheim and Michael Garland get this done by using creative levels of contrast throughout the book to define focal points even when there isn’t a direct clash. The read is very driven by contrast and you feel out the key players and gestures based on the intensity. Anyone looking for some variety of a darker kind in their collection would do well to include SECRET in their next trip to the store or online order.

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

Review – Kult #4

Writer: Jeremy Barlow
Artist: Iwan Nazif
Colorist: Micheal Atiyeh
Cover Artist: Jake Murray
Published By: Dark Horse Comics

Kult#4 is here! Let us jump into the latest twists. Tomas is now attune to the truth’s of the world, and with his full potential awakened, he understands that he alone can change of the future. As Herzog and Claws Of The Hidden Hand look on anxiously, Tomas tells Astaroth that he understands how the reality machine works and can feel it inside him as they fight. Tomas also mentions that the Demiurge wasn’t the warden of reality prison but was the artist and that Astaroths actions knock the machine off course, for that, his actions will not go unpunished. Herzog and Claws Of The Hidden Hand comment on how the plan they had in course is now in ruins due to Herzog inference, when he awakens Tomas mind. Astaroth then tells Tomas that he’d been looking for the demiurge, and planned to over throw him and take his claim as god. Stating that many have attempt to save humanity and all have failed-died by his hands.  When the battle reaches it’s climax and Tomas cleary the victor, he teleports them to the original city of Metropolis which is now a hellish dwelling for the dammed, with his demise certain Astaroth tries to persuade the creatures to join him but to no avail. Now an arrogant Tomas announces to Astaroth that the demiurge is at the bottom of the abyss, and he’s more then welcome to join him there.

With Astaroth defeated and no one to stand against him, Cassie expresses the concerns Claws of the hidden hand have for the future and that they had devoted their lives to see the day humanity is free from enslavement. Tomas tells Cassie he see’s no reason to change the future, mankind needs order someone to suppress man’s darkest impulse’s. After hearing Tomas’s plans for the world, they attack him but are quickly apprehended, that’s when Cassie asks “Why are you doing this to us” and Tomas replys “Because I’m the Demiurge” That’s when you see the true nature of Tomas Zank.

Let me start by saying that I enjoyed the Kult series and thought it was solid read, the story was not overly complicated nor was it cramped with unnecessary characters. It’s a very simple story straight forward to the point you will not get lost if you miss an issue or two-But if you’re a reader who’s into crazy plots and twist then I suggest you leave this one alone.  The story as well as characters are lacking depth, the writing doesn’t  really grasp your attention. With that said the artist does do a good job capturing what the writing didn’t, Iwan Nazif  Illustration gives the reader a smooth transition for template to template it’s not clustered or overly detail. So, if you’re a casual comic reader then you would enjoy Kult but if you’re a hard reader then some of its faults my turn you away..

 

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

 

Review – Kult #3

Writer: Jeremy Barlow
Artist: Iwan Nazif
Colorist: Micheal Atiyeh
Cover Artist: Jake Murray
Published By: Dark Horse Comics

 

In the last issue,  Herzog opened Tomas’ mind to truth of the world as it is, the human race as slaves, and that he has the power to change the future. After a using his new abilities Tomas and new traveling companion Cassie Boyer narrowly escape death. Worried about the safety of his daughters, they teleport to Lillyvine Hospital the where Tomas children are staying.

Issue #3 –  Tomas and Cassie  are making their way through the hospital to see if Mary & Agnes are safe, on the way they run into Mark someone Tomas helped awhile back with his aid they reached the children’s ward only to find that all the children including Tomas daughters are in a comatose state, this cause’s Tomas to break down and leaves him open for an attack by Astaroth who’s disgusted as Cassie, once again Tomas has stumble into another life or death situation and must use his new-found powers to survive ……..

In a comic where there are  multiple realities, I have to say Atiyeh and Nazif’s transition from each world goes along admirably. Throughout  the issue Nazif’s Artwork along with Atiyeh’s coloring is first-rate, the reader should have now problem telling the difference between each reality, the Kult team deserves recognition for how great the series is coming together.

Like I said I’m interested on seeing how the Kult world evolves, I recommend Dark Horse’s Kult # 3 which is out now! So go check it out…….

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

 

 

Review – Kult #2

KULT #2

Release Date: September 07, 2011

  • Writer: Jeremy Barlow
  • Artist: Iwan Nazif
  • Colorist:Michael Atiyeh
  • Cover Artist: Jake Murra

Kult has already achieved legendary status in the Roleplaying world, now trying to make a name for its self in the comic book world. Kult#2  gives us a glimpse of what  to come in the future for Tomas Zenk

This issue of Kult #2 Tomas Zenk is left in a endless labyrinth and trying disparately to escape, confused and disorient Zank meet’s a wonder Herzog who takes him to safety. There herzog  proceeds to tell him about the evil that has complete dominance over the world he’s trapped in..and that only he has the power to change all of that, unsettled Tomas leaves herzog camp only to fall right back into a bad situation which forces him to use his abilities to survive…

Iwan Nazif Visual storytelling  of the Kult world is solid, Jeremy Barlow writing compliments the  clean artwork by Nazif all and all everything flows pretty well.

Here’s what I think about Kult #2. After reading a few pages I kind of got the feeling I knew this  story, then it hit me “The matrix! I’m not going to say it’s exactly like matrix but I can see the similarities in the story so far. You can say that it’s simplistic, and that nothing really jumps out at you but it’s well written, sometimes It does seem like the story is rushed, only cause how it flows. Overall  if they take time and not rush it Kult has some potential….I’ll just say I’m interested on seeing how the Kult world unfolds.