Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Anti-Hero #1 Review

Publisher: Monkeybrain Comics

Writer: Jay Faerber

Penciller: Nate Stockman

Colorist: Paul Little

Letterer: Charles Pritchett

Cover Price: $0.99

Release Date: June 26th, 2013

I'll start by saying congratulations to Monkeybrain Comics on celebrating it's first anniversary in the digital publishing business. I wish them much success in their second year as they roll out more titles. You can view their full line-up at Monkeybrain Comics.

In Anti-Hero #1, mob henchman Callum Finney discovers the identity of masked hero Paragon. I've read a lot of superhero books in my life and even if you break this plot down to the most basic element, which may seem familiar to some, Anti-Hero gives it a fresh twist. Faerber sets a nice pace introducing our two leads, Callum Finney and Paragon, while also throwing in some superheroics to the mix. There's solid dialogue throughout and each character has her/his own voice. It's the build-up that stands out here. Readers will get insight into the worlds of each character and meet some of the supporting cast.

Nate Stockman's visuals carry their weight throughout the book, starting with the cover which is a perfect representation of the book. While his style may not be my favorite, it absolutely works. His characters are distinct and expressive. As you read, you can see how Stockman is a storyteller in his own right. There's also a nice flow panel to panel. With Paul Little's colors thrown in the mix, the end product possesses a gritty look fitting for the concept and title.

Overall, this is a solid title. The book covers 23 pages, 16 of which are story while the other pages are dedicated to extras including concept art and creator bios. Carrying a price of $0.99, you're getting plenty of value with this book. You can purchase this title from Comixology.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Comic Cover of the Week: Mama Said Knock You Out

Happy New Comic Book Day! Hey people, new books are here. With so many good books from different publishers, it's a great time to be a fan. Oh yeah, I hear there's some kind of convention starting today. That means awesome events, lots of people, cool costumes, a beautiful city and good food. If you made the trip to SDCC, I suggest finding your way over to Gaslamp Pizza for their BBQ chicken pizza. While I won't be in San Diego this weekend, I'll be keeping up with news from the show.

For now though, take a look at J.H. Williams III cover for Batwoman #22.

From the beginning, Batwoman has been a gorgeous book. Led by J.H. Williams III, the adventures of Kate Kane have been drawn by multiple artists including Amy Reeder and Trevor McCarthy (current artist), and has never missed a visual stroke. Williams has provided readers with what could be said as some of the most unique layouts in comics. Here, the perspective is what caught my eye. Batwoman's fist meeting someone's face is pure fun. If you've been reading this book, you know what I mean. The coloring

Whoever says superhero books are all the same has not read Batwoman. It's not too late to rectify that.

PREVIEW: The Killer Vol. 4: Unfair Competition

Following the exploits of an assassin, Le Teuer, was originally published in France from 1998-2003. Archaia Entertainment has translated the series to English and now presents The Killer Vol. 4: Unfair Competition, the next hardcover volume in the highly-acclaimed series. The Killer is written by Matz and drawn by Luc Jacamon.

"After his misadventures in Venezuela, our Killer retires to Mexico, but his Colombian cartel friend Mariano and the Cuban agent Katia are not far behind. Soon he finds himself drawn back into the great geopolitical game between Cuba, Venezuela, and the United States, with oil revenues and political independence at stake. Even when he finds himself in unusual territory as the shadow owner of an oil company developing Cuba’s off-shore deposits, the need for his usual skill-set is never far away."

At 128 pages, The Killer Vol. 4: Unfair Competition retails for $19.95 and is in stores today.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

E3 2013: Best In Show Awards

We're several weeks removed from E3 2013, but that doesn't mean the fun has to end. We're talking video games here, so the fun NEVER ends. I wasn't in attendance but I kept up with the news coming out of Los Angeles and was pleased with what I saw. And in an effort to increase the video game content, I decided to hand out some impromptu awards. So fellow gamers, here are the first annual Comic Book Legends E3 Best In Show Awards. Enjoy.

Best Trailer: The Crew Announcement Trailer

I've already raved on Twitter and here about this game, so it should come as no surprise to see it again. After you check out that link, where you can find this video posted, watch it again here. Trust me, it's that awesome. You'll want to watch it again.

Best No-Show: The Absence of Zelda U

I do not own a Wii U nor do I have any plans to pick up one. At any point. Pretty much ever. However, I have to say I was a bit disappointed Nintendo didn't show us a next-gen Zelda title. I'm sure I wasn't the only one either. Maybe there won't be one for a while or maybe Nintendo predicted how badly they'd be overshadowed by Microsoft and Sony. I'm crossing off the latter option because everyone pays attention when Zelda is mentioned. A franchise of its stature demands it. And for the record: Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is my all-time favorite game.

Best Surprise Announcement: EA having Faith with Mirror's Edge 2

I didn't pay much attention to Mirror's Edge because the first-person gameplay didn't seem appealing at first. But eventually I did rent it and enjoyed it enough to buy it. It wasn't without its flaws but the gameplay will keep you coming back for more. Several times in fact. The chases in particular, whether you're doing the chasing or are being chased, are exciting. I don't think it sold as well as hoped so a sequel may not have been high on EA's list. But the announcement came. Check out the trailer below.

Best Appearance: Mega Man in Super Smash Bros. 2014

Mega man, never known to give up the fight, will join Nintendo's fighting franchise. The Blue Bomber will aim his mega buster at other longtime gaming icons such as Link and Samus. SSB will be available on the Wii U and 3DS in 2014.

Best New I.P. Likely To Surprise: The Crew

I shouldn't have to say anything else about this game but I will in the off-chance you didn't click on the link from the first award. This game gets this award because of the co-op gameplay and customization options. I think the idea of forming a crew with you Xbox Live friends or your Playstation Network buddies to take on missions will hook players. The level of customization is deep. The gameplay demo shown at E3 showed players will be able to strip their cars down completely. I don't typically follow this genre, so these features may have been present in other driving games. With that said, it's all new to me and instantly had my attention. Surprise. Cruise on over to The Crew's garage for more info on this next-gen title.

Best New Next-Gen I.P.: Tom Clancy's The Division

In a post-apocalyptic New York, players can team up with and take on other players in this open-world RPG. In the fight to take back the world, players will be able to tailor their experience to fit their play style. The companion app on smart phones and tablets allows players to engage in the fight beyond the controller. Check out the videos below from E3.

I've been a fan of the Tom Clancy brand for years and Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment looks to add another solid hit here. The Division will be available in late 2014 on both PS4 and Xbox One. Visit The Division for more intel.

Best Presentation: Ubisoft

Ubisoft went to E3 ready to show out and they did not disappoint. They presented some good looking games for this generation and the next. We're talking Splinter Cell: Blacklist, The Division, The Crew, Watch Dogs, Assassin's Creed IV and more. Oh and did they mention Rainbow Six: Patriots? Yes, they did. I've been awaiting news on that game for a while. Ubisoft is sending in Team Rainbow to take on the Playstation 4 and Xbox One.

What did you think of these awards and their respective winners? What categories would you like to see for future awards? Let the world know.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Comic Cover of the Week

Happy New Comic Book Day! Image Expo dropped a ton of news for the industry to eat up, especially about their DRM-free digital service. Head on over to Image Comics for more info on that and the rest of their news. Another big event coming up of course is San Diego Comic Con, which is just two weeks away.

Take a look at Matthew Waite's 8-bit variant cover for Superior Foes of Spider-Man #1.

As a gamer and a fan of Mega Man, a.k.a. the Blue Bomber, I absolutely love what Waite did with this cover. Of course while looking at it, I'm just thinking of all the Mega Man games I've played. His old school gaming representations of Superior Spider-Man and a collective of his rogues gallery is perfect. There have been several homages of video games on covers in recent months. For the fans of comics and games, it's a double treat.