Review – Trekker: Rites of Passage

  • Story: Ron Randall
  • Art: Ron Randall
  • Colors: Ron Randall
  • Lettering: Ron Randall
  • Cover Art: Ron Randall with Jeremy Colwell
  • Published by: Dark Horse Comics

Intergalactic politics are never easy, getting caught in the black-ops dirty deeds of a big political storm is even more problematic. Trekker takes readers into the shoes of Mercy St. Clair, a Trekker / Head Hunter that doesn’t mind tangling with the worst the galaxy has to offer. The TPB edition is a full collection that covers a rough dance with the larger world that Mercy has put aside, seeking a simpler isolated lifestyle it’s not long before everything breaks down and her past emerges again.

Trekker spins off into secret government military operations, overthrows of outside territories and a rough ride through space with intense action and gun battles.

Ron Randall creates a complex web of relationships through the pages of Trekker, following Mercy through the pages there’s a huge struggle within as she fights constantly to shut the world and everyone in it out of her life. Creating a character that isn’t ice-cold but carries that on their shoulders because it’s what they know of the world is an interesting read, there’s sympathy and encouragement even while knowing it could all lead to dreadfully bad situations.

The art syncs up perfectly with the scenes, conveying careful energy and gesture to sell just the right read. From Mercy and her partner having some drinks (a few too many actually) to her expressions fighting predators in the wild with everything on the line. When you’re writing and illustrating that’s certainly a unique perk to have. Ron Randall creates momentum in the panels and emotion that helps keep characters alive and readers engaged.

Few moments ever manage to fall out of the constant friction in the story. The characters are flung from one bad scenario to the next all while holding on for dear life, Randall makes sure it’s not an easy ride and even in the most secure of moments, the floor falls right out from underneath Mercy and the reader. It’s unique in the mixture of cultures and a sci-fi manifest destiny gone wrong. Readers see the good and the bad not just in the shadowy government actions but in the people and their inherent desire for more.

Trekker is an interesting read, the art lands on point with carefully crafted pages that blend with the words on each page and give an expanded  understanding of the characters and world. For those looking to mix up their sci-fi experiences Trekker delivers, the character development is a very strong suit for the book and Ron Randall keeps a firm grasp on everything he wants readers privy to during the ride which makes it all the more interesting.

Preview: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: Out Now

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

Review – Orchid Volume 1 Hardcover (TPB)

Script: Tom Morello
Art: Scott Hepburn
Colors: Dan Jackson
Cover Art: Massimo Carnevale
Published By: Dark Horse

This beautiful hardcover edition of Orchid Volume 1 collects issues 1-4. As an added bonus, Volume 1 also contains all of the codes needed to download the free songs by Tom Morello that originally came with each individual issue. Aside from getting one of the best new comics out there, there is a little piece written by Morello about his inspiration for creating Orchid and a few sketches of some of the main characters (a couple more pages of sketches would have been nice). This hardcover edition is a great way to catch up on this AMAZING series and it really allows you to dive right in and see what you’ve been missing. It was a treat to go back through and reread the story and rediscover Scott Hepburn’s phenomenal art. Whether you are a new or old fan of the series this book is definitely worth picking up!

Release Date: July 11th, 2012
Price: $17.99

Link: Pre-Order | Preview

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

Review – Mass Effect: Invasion Trade Paperback

Story: Mac Walters
Script: John Jackson Miller
Art: Omar Francia
Colors: Michael Atiyeh
Lettering: Michael Heisler
Published By: Dark Horse

This collection contains issues 1 through 4 of the Invasion series and as an added bonus contains a short story from Dark Horse’s digital store. I don’t think it’s necessary to go over each issue contained in the collection, if you haven’t yet check out my reviews of each issue, you can find them right here on this very site! I will however talk about the new addition to the book, the short story Conviction. Conviction tells the story of Lieutenant James Vega, a man who likes using his fists as his primary form of communication. The story takes place “…after the annihilation of a Batarian system by Commander Shepard” where there is clearly tension in the air and everyone is on edge. After a brawl, Lieutenant Vega is called to duty much to his dismay as he learns his new mission is to guard a VERY important prisoner!

This collection is very nice, it allows fans of the comic or those who are new to the series to have it collected in one place in its entirety. Plus, you get the short story which was definitely intriguing and for the first time, in print form. The end of the book contains a short preview of the Mass Effect art book “The Art of the Mass Effect Universe” (check out my review for that as well). Whether you were happy with Mass Effect 3’s ending or not there is no denying that Invasion was a stellar series and is definitely worth a read!

Release Date: April 11th, 2012
Price: $16.99

Mass Effect Invasion reviews: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Links: Pre-Order | Preview

Overall:★★★★☆ 

Review – Evelyn Evelyn: A Tragic Tale In Two Tomes Books One & Two

Evelyn Evelyn: A Tragic Tale In Two Tomes Books One & Two
As Told By: Amanda Palmer & Jason Webley
Drawn By: Cynthia von Buhler
Afterword By:  Neil Gaiman
Published By: Dark Horse

To start with, if you do not know who Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley are, go find out.  Go get their music now, seriously, now, I will wait! Okay, now that your mind is blown by all their goodness, on to the Evelyn Evelyn review.  Evelyn Evelyn is the brain child, er children, whatever, of Amanda Palmer and Jason Webley.  They “discovered” these conjoined twins via a social networking site and decided to produce their album.  The album is eerie, unique and fabulous, as is, spoiler alert, this book!

The book tells the tragic tale of talented and sweet sisters Evelyn and Evelyn.  From birth, tragedy strikes these girls over and over again.  Just when you think things can’t get any worse, they do.  Terrible people, terrible circumstances and terrible luck seem to follow the girls around,  yet somehow the story manages to remain hopeful and the girls are so spirited that by the end they can handle anything.  Throughout the story they do occasionally make some good friends, but that never lasts long, as it is just not in the girls fortune to have good luck.  They continue on in their journeys and never seem effected by all of the misfortune that has been bestowed upon them.  Through this tale of catastrophe there is a message of resilience and strength.

The art is wonderful.  Cynthia von Buhler really captured the darkness of the story but manages to make Evelyn and Evelyn bright and optimistic. She really makes this story come alive with her images and really puts the final touches on a superb piece of work.  There is also an afterword by the amazing and legendary Neil Gaiman. This is an all-star collaboration and absolute must read for all!

Release Date: September 21, 2011
Price: $24.99