Indie Comics Corner: March 2012

Welcome to another edition of Indie Comics Corner. I didn’t plan on making this an ongoing feature, but it seems like every month smaller publishers like Image, Vertigo, and Dark Horse are putting out intriguing new series. Here I’ll be giving my opinion on four new series, 3 from Image and one from Vertigo. While super hero comics from DC and Marvel are the bread and butter of the comics industry, it’s really great to support up and coming creators and smaller publishers. Who knows, one of these books could be the next Walking Dead. Check out the books after the jump and head over to Comixology or another digital comic provider to give them a shot.

Glory by Joe Keatinge and Ross Cambell

The second book released as a part of this year’s relaunch of Rob Liefeld’s Extreme Comics properties is Glory. Glory started out as a blatant Wonder Woman analogue (rip off), geared very much towards showing a lot of skin. This new take shows Glory is much more in line with more recent takes on Wonder Woman that have made the character into an extremely fierce warrior. Creators Keatinge and Cambell take it even further, eschewing any preconceptions and expectations of lead female characters by making Glory a beast of a woman. The first issue moves between flashbacks of Glory’s coming to earth during World War II and a girl in the present day who sees Glory’s life in her dreams and has gone out to find her now missing hero. I really enjoyed the flashback sequences but found the present day story to be a little confusing and dull. I’ll probably give the next couple issues a shot but at this point I’m not nearly as impressed as I was by the first issue of Prophet.

First Issue Rating: 7.5/10

Hell Yeah by Joe Keatinge and Andre Szymanowicz

I bought the first issue of this series kind of on a whim. It really was a case of hearing positive buzz and really liking the cover. This is the story of Benjamin Day, a super powered teenager who attends a première university for super powered individuals. Ben’s father, Daniel, was rescued by the first group of super powered people, an event that sparked a massive change in the way the world works. The first issue lays down several mysteries involving the true nature of Ben’s parents and the bar code tattoo that mysteriously appeared on his neck when his powers developed. The title of this first story arc is “Last Day on Earths” and the cliff hanger ending both promise a good multiversal story, one of my favorite kinds. The art by Andre Szymanowiz is somewhat reminiscent of Frank Quitely, one of my all time favorite artists. Striking a tone somewhere between Robert Kirkman’s Invincible and Mark Millar’s Kick-Ass, this book shows definite promise.

First Issue Rating: 8/10

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

I’m sorry to say that I’ve never read any of Brian K. Vaughan’s major works, save the first issue of Ex Machina (which I liked). However, the hype surrounding his newest book, Saga, has been monumental to say the least. The basic concept, a Romeo and Juliet-esque tale with a sci-fi fantasy twist gives star crossed lovers a whole new meeting (ba, da, ching). Joking aside, the first issue of Saga is nothing short of stellar. For $2.99 you get a 44 page, ad-free comic with some of the best story-telling, art work, concepts and characters that you’ll find anywhere. Horned sorcerers, winged soldiers, robots with T.V. heads, rocket ship forests, a war engulfing the entire galaxy and at the center a family just trying to survive long enough to raise their newborn child. I believe that Saga is destined to be one the comic book greats. If you can track down the first issue give it a shot, it’s selling out fast, or check it out on Comixology. I can’t think of a reason to not give this book a shot.

First Issue Rating: 9.75/10

Saucer Country by Paul Cornell and Ryan Kelly

I’ve heard this book described as the X-Files meets West Wing. While I’ve never watched either show I feel like this is a pretty fair appraisal of Saucer Country, a new book published by Vertigo. The Saucer Country concept first appeared as a short story in last year’s Strange Adventure anthology book. However, while that story featured a man recounting his supposed abduction story, this new book tells the story of Arcadia Alvarado, a second generation American who is also the Governor of New Mexico. When Arcadia comes to believe she has been abducted by aliens and that an invasion is imminent, she declares her intentions to run as President in an attempt to prepare the world for the worst. The book’s side characters are as interesting as the main character, including a professor who see and talks to miniature naked spacemen. The book’s first issue is really just about laying the characters and concepts and it does a great job at that. The book grips you in as Arcadia tries to reconcile the events of a night she can’t remember, considering the possible involvement of her alcoholic ex-husband, all while something more sinister brews underneath the surface. It’s always great to see a book with a strong female lead, and I love conspiracy stories. Paul Cornell has been a little hit and miss for me, with his writing running the gamut of good, bad, and ugly (His runs on Action Comics, Stormwatch, and Batman and Robin, respectively) but I’m definitely willing to give this book a shot.

First Issue Rating: 8.5/10

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