Review – Liberty: Deception Volume #1

Creator, Producer, Writer: Travis Vengroff
Co-Creator, Storyboards: Adam Cartwright
Sketches and Ink: Raymund Bermudez & Art Shaft Team
Colors: Joana LaFuente
Letters: Eduardo Camacho
Cover Art: Dave Dorman, Eirich Olson

A Terraformed world gone mad, sounds like another day in the dark voids of sci-fi storytelling… or is it? Liberty: Deception drops readers into the shoes of Tertulius Justus, a figure with a uniquely manufactured past that lives in the hearts of the citizens of Atrius.

While Justus doesn’t get a common introduction, his life and reputation are anything but that. Combat Medic and Senior Investigator for the Bureau, Justus takes on the worst of the bunch that want to harm Atrius. Unfortunately, his legend is built on a government propaganda machine that seeks to create new heroes on the front lines that aren’t actually on the front lines at all. Kind of complex but so is Liberty.

Volume 1 throws readers into the depths of Atrius, well within their prison system we find the darkest of offenders or at least it once seemed that way. The story fills with confusion and some levels of deception, soon the story starts to come together through a series of flashbacks to quickly build depth to the story and get a better understanding of Justus and his place in the world. Given the reach of the story there are few if any slow moments through the first issue, pacing keeps readers guessing what comes next and where Justus is going with such a troubled situation.

The issues that follow in the volume continue with character introductions, back story and development so the cast doesn’t feel like a handful of fodder thrown in for cheap drama. Consideration flows through every page to highlight the struggle, the character flaws in their core and physically while bringing together a perfect storm as Justus comes into his own. Readers also learn how those overseeing Atrius have painted a twisted narrative and hold their own vanity in such high regard they’d sacrifice anything to retain it. Enemies of the empire are painted in mutant form, alien from anything they’d know as a complete misrepresentation, the mass manipulation of the media runs so strong the citizens blindly trust anything that comes to their lap.

Unfortunately, there’s a large cliffhanger with Volume 1, while tons of work has gone into the project and talent came from around the world to make it happen, there’s a desire for more and one has to worry when the next bit will come. The story has supplements running in other mediums but with the artistic quality and stylization directing the narrative, it’s hard to just swap mediums and take in the same energy.

One of the biggest things to take away from Liberty: Deception is how refined the read is and how familiar or comfortable it feels even though it’s a completely different piece from what’s come before it. The action, dialogue, and sequences are all well executed and illustrated to tell just the right tension, emotion and direct the narrative along. Given the size of the group behind the project and the distance between everyone, the result shows a remarkable level of consistency throughout. The Liberty: Deception team does note the challenges they had to face but it really did create a much stronger product once it was all said and done. For those looking to explore beyond the everyday book, Liberty: Deception presents an interesting cyberpunk, dystopian future full of twists, turns and of course, deception.

Links:
Kickstarter | Amazon

Release Date: Out Now

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

 

Extended Credits

Continuity, Conway Flashback, Map, ABI Advert: Casey Bailey
Character Design: Eirich Olson
Twitch Flashback: Colin Lorimer
Aemos Flashback: Danielle Otrakji
Reeve Flashback: Deon De Lange
Tales from the Tower Advert: George Kavallines
Atrian Adverts: Arianna Westerfield
Citizen Guide Cover: Sean Thornton
Reeve Endures Poster: Michael Lee-Graham
Motion Comic Production: Brian Stabile & Astro Crow
Soundtrack Composer & Producer: Steven Melin
Concept Design, Creative Consultant: Laurie Thomas
Symbol Design, Chapter Border Design: Matthew Bailey
Digital Renderings, Writer for the Liberty Podcast: Kaitlin Statz
Matte Painting: Dylan Peirpont
Liberty: Deception Logo Design: Stacey Baldini

Dark Horse’s Fear Agent Library Volume #1 Sells Out!

Dark Horse Announces Reprint Timed with the Release of

Volume 2 in Spring of 2013!

Dark Horse Comics gives one of its most beloved creator-owned series in its vast archives a long-overdue deluxe treatment! Demand has proven to be much higher than Dark Horse could have anticipated, with the first printing selling out before hitting the shelves of comic shops today.

Rick Remender, Tony Moore, and Jerome Opeña’s Fear Agent was a critics’ darling long before the X-Men joined the Avengers. Published first by Image Comics,Fear Agent came to Dark Horse in 2007 and stayed through the series’ end in late 2011. It follows the adventures of Heath Huston, a first-class drunk, an interplanetary alien exterminator, and the last of the Fear Agents, the band of Texans who once defended Earth from an onslaught of aliens seeking its annihilation. After our “hero” has been stripped of all that he loved—his home, his family, and his world—Huston spends his hours putting himself in constant danger for low wages and little thanks, with a bottle of whiskey to keep him company.

This epic tale is told in three major parts: Heath’s origin as a young father fighting an alien invasion, his time as a middle-aged, broken-down alcoholic alien exterminator, and his old age, as the last man alive who can stave off robotic conquerors.

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Fear Agent was a six-year-long labor of love that Tony, Jerome, and all the collaborators dumped themselves into, and it’s extremely gratifying that the series is breaking through to a new audience. It’s nice to know Heath Huston will live on.”

—Rick Remender

“I’m truly overwhelmed by the response to this hardcover edition. We put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into the pages of Fear Agent over the years, so it’s great to not only see it collected into such a handsome tome, but to see that our man Heath is still finding his way into new readers’ hearts, as well.”

—Tony Moore

“The Fear Agent library selling as well as it has been is amazing! It’s gratifying to know that work we all did years ago is still exciting readers and hopefully finding a new audience as well.”

—Jerome Opeña

This deluxe hardcover library, the first of two, collects issues #1–#15 of the acclaimed Fear Agent comics, along with half of the Tales of the Fear Agent side stories, covers, pinups, and artists’ sketch galleries.

To celebrate this landmark release, Dark Horse will make the first two collections available digitally for the first time, with the first issue available for free download! Visit Digital.DarkHorse.com for more details.

Make your way to your local comic shop today, or order now from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, as quantities are extremely limited!

Dark Horse is going back to print immediately, with a new volume shipping from Diamond on ­March 27, 2013, and arriving at retail on April 3

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:★★★★★ 

Dark Horse Comics Collects Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain

 

Acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and novelist Chuck Hogan bring their New York Times best-selling series of novels, the Strain Trilogy, to Dark Horse Comics with an ongoing adventure that takes a terrifying spin on the vampire genre.

Renowned comics creator David Lapham (Stray BulletsSilverfish) and artist Mike Huddleston (The CoffinButcher Baker) join forces in this comic book adaptation unlike any other—bringing del Toro and Hogan’s vision to life in a story that casts a deadly plague over the whole of humanity. The Strain Volume 1, collecting issues #1–#6 of this ongoing series, is a horror story unlike any other!

When a Boeing 777 lands at JFK International Airport and goes dark on the runway, the Centers for Disease Control, fearing a terrorist attack, calls in Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his team of expert biological-threat first responders. Only an elderly pawnbroker from Spanish Harlem suspects a darker purpose behind the event—an ancient threat intent on covering mankind in darkness.

 Praise for Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain:

“[The Strain] is one of the scariest comics on the stands, as genuine surprises await the reader at every turn of the page. Usually, such big reveals are left to the final moment, but with The Strain there’s almost a cliffhanger every few pages and that makes this series a truly surprising, and enjoyable, read.”—Broken Frontier

“One of the year’s best books. If I were to give you one bit of advice while reading this book, don’t read it in the dark.”—Comic Buzz

The Strain Volume 1 is on sale November 14 in comic shops everywhere!


comiXology giving away The Walking Dead Vol. 1 free at ECCC 2012

Going to Emerald City Comicon? Yes we’ve asked this before, this time it serves as an even bigger boost, if you’re headed out to the show stop by comiXology at booth #308 for a free copy of The Walking Dead Vol. 1 to make your very own. If you have your phone on you it can be redeemed on the spot and you can start reading when you take a break from cruising the floor. They did this at Wondercon and while it was first come first serve they had plenty of cards to hand out to curious attendees, keep in mind they are noting only 2,500 copies will be available at the con so grab them while you can for a giant dose of zombie goodness.

comiXology will also be hosting an open panel on all things digital, if you want to catch that check out Room 3 on Saturday March 31st from 2:00pm – 3:00pm and get your latest pondering cleared up or just sit and listen to the flow of Q&A from the community.

Review – Drifters Volume 1

Creator: Kohta Hirano
Published by: Darkhorse Comics

Kohta Hirano is back again, this time with a new foundation for war unlike any other in Drifters, a manga which combines destined time travelers with a fairy-tale world. In it, a war is brewing against the Black King, a figure determined to wipe the drifters from his realm with his own army. O-Toyohisa, Nobunaga and Yoichi have only one choice to engage this new world with all their might and discover why fate has brought them from their respective eras into this troubled world.

With that said, Drifters will take many readers right into the pages of Hellsing in the art style, it reflects heavily to the world that Hirano developed over those years. While Alucard hasn’t jumped into the fray, some of the characters just feel like old friends in their actions and design. The raw force of O-Toyohisa is scary but relentless, seeking only the strongest of his opponents to savor the battle, even Yoichi strikes a tones of former female leads. For those that fell in love with giant guns and epic battles of blood, there is no shortage of that in this world, I would say that it’s just as strong as ever in this first volume. As for taking on new classes and breeds of character, Hirano has no issue establishing his creative power over these new figures and presents them in equal care to the central figures of the story.

For those worried about a slow start to this tale, worry not. The action paces itself throughout the volume, making sure to include only enough to keep readers moving quickly through the event until the next transition hits. Shortly into the manga there are some mysteries revealed to tease the reader about what this whole war is about, to save on spoilers though I’ll avoid talking about it. Just keep in mind that this isn’t a simple dark Shonen story and it seems as if we’ll have many turns ahead in this new world.

For Hellsing fans, this is a series to seriously consider jumping into; for manga fans looking to break from simple Shonen titles… I would say this is a strong contender for your money.  The length, development and potential makes it one that collectors will most likely chase down after the next few volumes hit the streets.

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