Redneck 4 (July 2017)

Redneck #4

A flashback issue. Vampires in the Old West. Only, not much of them because–besides an initial battle scene, with the characters narrating from the present–Cates writes the rest of it as summary. It’s all right–great characterization for the narration–but it doesn’t give Estherren much to do. Western adventure it isn’t. Turns out Cates isn’t ready to give away any secrets–something the characters talk about way too much–and it’s all setup for revelations next issue. It’s solidly produced, but mostly show, no substance.

CREDITS

Writer, Donny Cates; artist, Lisandro Estherren; colorist, Dee Cunniffe; letterer, Joe Sabino; editors, Arielle Basich and Jon Moisan; publisher, Image Comics.

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Cinema Purgatorio 11 (June 2017)

Cinema Purgatorio #11

This issue of Cinema Purgatorio, at least for the fist two stories, is maximum effort for minimal result. Both Moore and Ennis write the heck out of their stories without much reward.

Moore and O’Neill do the “Black Dahlia” murder case, with victim Elizabeth Short narrating in song. There’s even a Marilyn Monroe cameo. Moore goes through a lot, suspects, intrigue, tangents, but it never really adds up to anything. O’Neill keeps it visually cohesive; it’s just never adds up.

Then Ennis and Caceres’s Code Pru has Pru getting a promotion (or something) after a meeting with a head honcho. Lots of effort from both Ennis and Caceres. Tons of dialogue. None of it adds up. Ennis is sort of better with the length constraint than before, but also sort of worse. It’s not episodic enough.

Brooks tackles some racism and sexism in A More Perfect Union. Not well, but whatever. Andrade’s art is good.

Modded continues to be relatively painless thanks to Lopez’s art. Nothing happens this time, good or bad. It’s not enough, though. Lopez doesn’t have anything interesting to do.

And, finally, The Vast. Some nice work from Andrade, some vague intrigue, some decent talking heads, but no payoff. Just like everyone except Moore, Gage isn’t any good at plotting out these installments. It’s not even concerning anymore, it’s just Cinema Purgatorio.

CREDITS

Cinema Purgatorio, My Fair Dahlia; writer, Alan Moore; artist, Kevin O’Neill. Code Pru, A Nest of Anacondas; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Raulo Caceres. A More Perfect Union; writer, Max Brooks; artist, Gabriel Andrade. Modded; writer, Kieron Gillen; artist, Nahuel Lopez. The Vast; writer, Christos Gage; artist, Andrade. Letterer, Kurt Hathaway; publisher, Avatar Press.

Jimmy’s Bastards 2 (July 2017)

Jimmy's Bastards #2

Ennis retreds more familiar territory this issue–Jimmy’s Bastards really does feel like all his most successful elements set into a new, gimmick-y book, but it sure does work. Especially here. There’s a lot of banter between Jimmy and his female partner and some nice foreground and background humor. Braun’s art is fantastic–the issue opens with a helicopter assault on a golf game, then moves on to investigation and conspiracy. And Idi Amin as a cameo. Because Ennis. It’s perfectly solid, accessible Ennis. This issue’s success suggests he might even be able to keep it going for the whole series.

CREDITS

Ninety-Nine Percent; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Russ Braun; colorist, John Kalisz; letterer, Rob Steen; editor, Mike Marts; publisher, AfterShock Comics.

Kaijumax: Season Three 1 (July 1)

Kaijumax: Season Three #1

For the third season, Zander Cannon returns Kajiumax to, well, Kaijumax. He’s now following around the Monster of Devil’s Canyon or some such creature–basically a giant goat, raised by religious humans (or at least he calls them Mom and Dad). He doesn’t fit with the other mammalian monsters, but at least they’re not always beating on him like the lizard ones. Or are they? There’s also a bunch of intrigue and foreshadowing involving a volcano monster–who stars in the opening prologue, hinting at great import. It’s okay. It’s a lot of talking monster heads without any narrative or information. It’s all atmosphere and not particularly compelling. Fingers crossed it’s just a slow start.

CREDITS

The Bad Place; writer, artist and letterer, Zander Cannon; colorists, Cannon and Jason Fischer; editor, Charlie Chu; publisher, Oni Press.

Kill the Minotaur 2 (July 2017)

Kill the Minotaur #2

With most of the action taking place in the Labyrinth, this issue of Kill the Minotaur takes a more supernatural, more horrifying turn. Writers Pasetto and Cantamessa play it for slasher suspense, teasing out ideas, hinting at eventual imagery, then going for twists in the revelations. They’re winnowing down the supporting cast while establishing some backstory. The issue moves well–it’s all action, save the prologue–full of tension. Great art from Ketner. It’s hard to know where Minotaur will go next, but if this second issue’s any indication, it’ll be somewhere unexpected and good.

CREDITS

Writers, Chris Pasetto and Christian Cantamessa; artist, Lukas Ketner; colorist, Jean-Francois Beaulieu; letterer, Clem Robins; editors, Arielle Basich and Sean Mankiewicz; publisher, Image Comics.

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