Thursday, 9 August 2012

iT Girl! and the Atomics #1

iT Girl! and the Atomics

Writer - Jamie S. Rich
Artists - Mike Norton
Colours - Allen Passalaqua
Lettering - Crank!
Cover - AMichael & Laura Allred
Publisher  -Image

I am a girl. This is not something I often admit too, because I'm not very feminine at all, I don't have many (any?) traditionally female-oriented interests, and I'd rather go kick-boxing or play an RPG than go shopping. 

However, sometimes my inner-princess gets the better of me, a good example of that being when I saw the front cover of new Image title 'iT Girl! and the Atomics'. Add in some blurb from Fiona Staples on the cover singing its praises, and I duly handed over my hard-earned pennies and walked out of the shop clutching my new pink-and-lilac purchase.

While most of the characters are taken from the pages of Madman & The Atomics (which I have not read), they are given enough exposition that this is an easy pick up, no background knowledge needed. This title gave me everything I wanted: sassy females, comedic bad guys, mad scientists and enough action for set me up for the next issue. The magazine style front cover gives you hints as to the content, without giving anything major away unless you are aware of the characters from their previous books.

Much of the book is taken up with explaining what it going on in the world, and setting up the main characters, but iT Girl has enough personality to carry the plot, and Rich introduces the supporting cast with enough speed to keep the reader interested, but not to confuse them.

Mike Nortons artwork is lovely, perfectly complementing the story and the bright (dare I say feminine) colour palette used reflects the tone of the story, darkening for panels of danger or action, and light and breezy when it needs to be.

Overall I would say this is a good start to a new series, and hey, maybe you have a lady friend who would like a get in to comics? If she wasn't convinced by Captain Marvel (if not, is she mad?!) try her on iT Girl, she might see what all the fuss is about after all.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe #1

Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe

Writer - Cullen Bunn
Artist - Dalibor Talajic
Colourist - Lee Loughridge
Letterer - Joe Sabino
Cover - Kaare Andrews
Publisher - Marvel

This isn't the kind of comic I would normally pick up for myself, but as MrGiantwoman is something of a Deadpool fanboy, it seemed only right that I give it a read too. Luckily, I have learnt to turn my brain off before opening a Deadpool title, regardless of who has written it or what it is about. This title is no exception to that rule!

Part one of a four part series, it does exactly what you can expect from the title. We open with our protagonist wreaking havoc on the Famous Four in his usual understated style, seven pages of gore and quips only slightly marred by the portrayal of Sue Richards that harks back more to the bad old days of the 90s than he more recent First Woman of comics persona, but that is a minor quibble from my inner feminist.

We are then treated to a bit more exposition from the Watcher, who luckily informed us before the proceedings opened that this is all occurring in a parallel universe, so as not to cause any confusion with the (seemingly eternally) ongoing Avengers vs X-Men shenanigans. It seems the X-Men have finally given up hope on poor old Wade, and have delivered him in to the hands of a progressive medic who claims he can "rehabilitate" our unhinged friend. Well, I figured I could see where this one was going, but Bunn manages to throw in a curveball in the form of Psycho Man, who - after even more verbal sparring - thinks he has the better of 'Pool. Silly Psycho Man. The voices in Deadpools head (slightly confusing for one such as myself that have not read that much of his previous exploits, but easily identified through liberal used of various coloured speech boxes) have themselves a little party, then we get back to business; bloody, murderous rampage!

Sadly the story gets a bit confused by itself at the end of this first issue, because a character that was alive at the start then meets his maker by the end, an event that happened before the book began. Confused? So was Bunn apparently. Still, having turned my brain off I wasn't overly concerned, because it plays for laughs and lives up to the lovely parental warning on the front cover.

The artwork is fairly decent, given that a few major players make appearances, and the colouring suits the tone. It's all a bit mad and unhinged. As it should be.

This is not a comic to pick up if you are looking for something cerebral, but for a fun diversion from reality Deadpool Kills... ticks all the boxes.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Thief of Thieves #7

Thief of Thieves

Story - Robert Kirkman
Writer - Nick Spencer
Artist - Shawn Martinborough
Colourist - Felix Serrano
Letterer - Russ Wooton
Cover - Shawn Martinborough & Felix Serrano
Publisher - Image

I was quite a latecomer to this series, having missed out on the first, second and third printings of the first issue, and it wasn't until issue six that my LCS managed to find me a full run to get my teeth in to. Thieves turned out to be one of those comics that had me asking for the next issue as soon as I had finished all those I had, and issue #7 is no exception.

With a plot that could be pulled straight from a Hollywood blockbuster (yes the 'Oceans' series, I a looking at you), it has all the intrigue and twists of a major motion picture, supplemented by the sumptuous artwork of Shawn Martinborough. The plot is fairly simple, a master thief wants out, but has to pull one last big heist to set himself and his crew up for life. Except he pulls off a different kind of set up entirely...

Issue six left us wondering how he had pulled it off; setting up his entire crew in order to free his wayward son from the clutches of the FBI, only for them to appear to be walking free for no reason that we are given. Until now. Redmond is a master of plotting, and has pulled a blinder with his plan as enacted in issue 6. We are given the brilliant details throughout the course of issue 7, but the cliffhanger at the end only leaves me wanting more. At what cost has he rescued his son, given that it seems he will now have to carry out the "last big job" that he was so desperately trying to avoid throughout the preceeding issues? I suppose I'll have to wait and find out. Must... be... patient...

The beauty of Nick Spencers writing comes to the forefront in this title, different in many ways from Morning Glories, the only title I knew him from previously, but with the humanity that he seems to bring to all his characters. Once again he manages to create individuals that are flawed, imperfect, and yet utterly believable. Our master thief Redmond has all the hallmarks of the classic 'bad boy', and yes, I love him for it. He has rescued a slightly broken woman from a potential life of petty crime (admittedly by taking her into the murky underworld of major heists), done his utmost to win back the wife he has lost through his life changes, flirted his way through several encounter with the law, and written a heartfelt note to his son trying to prevent him making the mistakes that have peppered Redmonds own life. The supporting cast of thieves, family and FBI agents only serve to uphold the reputation that Spencer is rapidly gaining in my household for being a master of his craft.

Largely free of splash pages, the pared down style of the comic allows the artwork and colouring to come to the fore, with a dark palette that allows the faces of the characters to act as a focus, and a single full page illustration for the final page, beautifully rendered and encapsulating Redmonds plight - and my reaction to the latest cliffhanger - with a single word.

All the characters - even those introduced in this issue, and those that we technically shouldn't like such as the FBI agent that plagues Redmonds every step - have qualities that draw the reader in, and the emotion drawn on their faces, be it shock, happiness or fear, just add to the joy of this comic.

My verdict? if you haven't read this series yet, do so. Now. seriously, stop reading this and go and pick it up, you won't regret it.