Review: Sundowners #1

Sundowners 1Sundowners #1

Script: Tim Seeley
Art: Jim Terry
Colors: Sean Dove
Lettering: Crank!
Publisher: Dark Horse

With a title like Sundowners, I’ll admit I was expecting a vampire story, but this new offering from Dark Horse Comics owes more to Fight Club than Dracula. While undoubtedly an ensemble piece, we’re introduced to the world of the Sundowners through the eyes of disgraced psychologist, David “Shreds” Shrejic, who’s taken to running support groups as an alternative to his old job. The Sundowners Support Group is for individuals who believe they are superheroes of a sort, some of whom possess extraordinary abilities. David dismisses their claims with a laundry list of possible causes for their delusions, hoping to make a study of what he sees as a new, undiagnosed disorder.

It’s an interesting premise, if not necessarily a new one, but the narrative creates just sundown1p2enough tension that the reader is left wondering if David’s right or wrong in his assumptions throughout the issue–not an easy feat. While there’s a fair bit of world building at play, everything feels very lived in, eschewing some of the awkwardness that often comes with first issues for new properties. I’m a stranger to Seeley’s work, having only read an issue of DC’s Grayson prior to this, but he delivers a solid story supported by Terry and Dove’s clear artwork. Although it’s not an especially pretty book, I’ll always sacrifice beauty in the name of knowing what the heck’s going on, and to that end, Terry is a great storyteller.

My one real critique is reserved for the handling of most of the female characters, whose stories, with one clear exception, seem to revolve more around what they’re wearing than anything else. While I hope this approach is dropped in future instalments, as these women are otherwise intriguing, the concept of Sundowners and the character of David are strong enough to keep me interested through at least the first arc.

Sundowners #1, from Dark Horse Comics, will be available August 27, 2014.

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Review: Pop #1

Pop #1 (of 4)

Story: Curt Pires
Art: Jason Copland
Colors: Pete Toms
Letters: Ryan Ferrier
Publisher: Dark Horse

I’ve been on a kick lately.  With the release of Image Comics’ title, The Wicked + The Divine and my subsequent obsession with it, I’ve been looking for something similar to dive into. Of course, there are the other works by those creators, but when I found out about Pop, the premise intrigued me in much the same way.

Pop exists in a reality that could very well be our own, where the world’s most famous pop stars are genetically engineered and grown instead of discovered. The sinister group of individuals behind the scheme keep tabs on them, controlling their careers and presumably reaping the profits. That is, until one of their latest creations, a girl named Elle Ray, escapes.  All in all, it’s pretty messed up, but in the best way.

It’s the fact that the world of this book is so obviously meant to be a critique on our own that makes me such a fan of it. From the very first page, Pires and Copland don’t try to pretend that one of the stars in this reality isn’t Justin Bieber (though they obviously can’t call him that) and go as far as to namedrop several other familiar singers. It’d be easy here to take the low road and fill the issue with Bieber criticism and bashing just for the heck of it– there are a few jokes, but they never come off as excessive– but that’s not the story here. It’s less about the stars themselves as it is about the system that’s created them, the people obsessed with squeezing all that they can out of fifteen minutes of fame. The puppeteers backstage are the story and the mystery here and the pop stars themselves innocent victims. I’m very interested to see where Pires goes with this, and I’m enjoying the sci-fi influence of a lot of the plot elements.

The story lends itself well to Copland’s art, which isn’t normally the type of art that draws my eye when I’m looking for a new title to dig into. Toms’s colors are flatter than the Marvel and Image books I read, but it works here. There’s a reservedness to the art as well, backgrounds that fall away for emphasis to bright color. It’s a choice that really benefits this book, especially in the opening pages. This book is no The Wicked + The Divine, but its one that is an interesting enough perspective on popular music and stardom to get by on its own merits.

Pop #1, from Dark Horse Comics, will be available August 27, 2014.

 

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What We’re Reading Wednesday

Wednesday! Glorious comic book day! Check out our post to see what we’re looking forward to reading this week, and let us know what you’re picking up as well.

Our picks of the week:

TheWickedAndDivine_03-1The Wicked + The Divine #3
Story: Kieron Gillen
Art: Jamie McKelvie & Matt Wilson
Publisher: Image Comics

Laura has no choice. She has to go underground to find the goth-goth-gothity-goth of the Morrigan. Is this the most illadvised underworld-related decision since Orpheus decided to see how Eurydice was doing in the back seat? To find out, read the comic that people are literally calling “The one by GILLEN/MCKELVIE/WILSON with the very long title.”

 

Ms Marvel 7Ms. Marvel #7
Story: G. Willow Wilson
Art: Jake Wyatt
Publisher: Marvel Comics

IT’S WOLVERINE! Kamala may be fan-girling out when her favorite (okay maybe Top Five) super hero shows up for some help, but that won’t stop her from protecting her hometown. Who is the Inventor, and what does he want with Kamala and all her friends? Maybe Wolvie can be of some help. 

 

Keep reading for our picks!

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Art Love: Star-Lord

Star-Lord from Aceshouseofcards on tumblr.

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What We’re Reading Wednesday

Wednesday! Glorious comic book day! Check out our post to see what we’re looking forward to reading this week, and let us know what you’re picking up as well.

Our most pulled of the week wasn’t even a contest.

sexcriminals_07Sex Criminals #7
Story: Matt Fraction
Art: Chip Zdarsky
Publisher: Image Comics

Jon breaks into Kegelface’s house and oh my golly what on EARTH do you think he finds there. Not only are our beloved Sex Criminals not alone…they’re not unwatched, either.

And Suzie learns once and for all the fate of her precious library.

Keep reading for our picks!

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Art Love: Big Sister

Big Sister by V

 

Big sister’s here to help, by V

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Art Love: Headmistresses

Headmistresses by Sara Talmadge

Headmistresses, by Sara Talmadge

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What We’re Reading Wednesday

Wednesday! Glorious comic book day! Check out our post to see what we’re looking forward to reading this week, and let us know what you’re picking up as well.

Our pull of the week:

MM USM 4

Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #4

Story: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: David Marquez
Colors: Justin Ponsor
Publisher: Marvel Comics

THE SPIDER-MAN STORY EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT!!! SPIDEY VS SPIDEY! What more do you need?

(A little more than that, Smug Solicit, but we’ll take it because we love Miles. – Chantaal)

 

Keep reading for our picks!

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Art Love: Green Arrow – The Hunted

GA Hunted by scotchlover

Green Arrow – The Hunted, by scotchlover

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Review: Guardians of the Galaxy (Spoiler-Free Edition)

GotG

I don’t know if you know, but Guardians of the Galaxy came out this weekend. Look out for a spoilery discussion once the rest of the GRC team gets the chance to watch it!

I got to see Guardians of the Galaxy a few days early thanks to the wonderful people over at Skype Moments. The experience was great, starting with free popcorn and soda and ending with a small gift bag of a t-shirt, button set, and stickers. Shiny, shiny Guardian-themed stickers. Everyone in the audience were obvious Marvel fans, which was especially obvious in the fact that nobody left once the credits started – unfortunate, because our screening didn’t have an end credits scene. Damn you, Skype Moments! I love you, but daaaamn yooooou!

Bt1fGF8CUAEEZUx Bt1s95qCQAAQKSb Bt1viJKCMAECqMm
A few images from my night.

So, on to the film.

There are many moments and points I want to touch upon that will have to wait until the spoiler review/discussion, but for an overall theme, I’m going to quote my wonderful, hilarious boyfriend:

#GuardiansoftheGalaxy are kind of like the A-Team….. if the A-Team was full of drunk sociopaths.

That is basically the gist of what I got out of Guardians of the Galaxy as well; it’s got all the rough and tumble action fun of the A-Team, and plays fast and loose and has fun with its PG-13 rating. There are great emotional moments, there are ridiculously over the top and fun action scenes, and some of the best musical cues I have scene in any movie recently.

clintbartons @ tumblrThe color palette of the film was amazing, especially after the sepia-toned Wonder Woman reveal at Comic Con, and the recent glut of desaturated or teal and blue movies. Color saturates every single frame of this film, even in scenes with monochromatic sets, and it makes for a visually exciting experience.

Then there’s the humor. It’s exactly the kind of humor you’d expect out of a movie like this, and what I loved best was that Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon didn’t carry the humor – everyone had at least one great funny moment. There were many times the next few lines of the film were drowned out by the laughter of the audience, and it ranged from the very basest of physical comedy to some great Marvel-related quips and gags.

While I did have some problems with some aspects of the movie, such as Gamora and Nebula’s motivation versus everyone else’s (more about that in the spoiler review), I think the film as a whole came out strong and did exactly what I expected of it: I laughed a lot, and it’s opened up cosmic Marvel for the movie universe, which I love. Love love love.

avatarwinchester @ tumblr

P.S. If Groot doesn’t end up being everyone’s favorite character of 2014, then there is something wrong with this world.

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