• Zenescope Entertainment

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Unity #0

Posted by Geek-o-Rama Admin on 2:00 PM

Writer Matt Kindt gives us an interesting glance into the past of the Unity team in Unity #0, detailing one of the first teams to be brought together under the “Unity” moniker – back then, however, the group was known as Unit Y.

Taking place during World War 1, Unity #0 introduces the original Unit Y team: a pacifist computer genius named Breaker, a quick-thinking inventor named Dell, a lethal and vengeful warrior named Alpha, and, of course Gilad Anni-Padda – the “Eternal Warrior.” Unit Y faces their last, most important, mission, as the outcome of their endeavors heavily impact the outcome of the war. Throughout the issue, a somber rumination provided by Gilad details his inner monologue, his thoughts on eternity, and the inevitable rise of new dangers.

Needless to say, Unity #0 carries heavy weight.

However, it handles the weight with grace. I fell in love with these characters and their interactions. Though only hinted at, readers can glean backstories from how they the team members play off each other. Quick jokes establish camaraderie, and brief mentions of characteristics – like Alpha’s rather violent disposition – develops each and every one of the members’ personalities. We can clearly see the thought put into each character, which makes it even more powerful to see this issue through to the very end.

And for such a rewarding read, it’s impressive that the team behind this comic managed to pull it off in only 24 pages. It begins quickly and ends quickly, moving forward with a momentum much like what Unit Y must have faced in each one of their own missions. Fans of Unity will definitely appreciate this origin story of sorts, but that does not mean this issue should be exclusive to hardcore fans. Being a single, self-contained story, any reader can pick this up and give it a read, which I highly recommend.

You can find out more about Unity #0 and other issues at ValiantUniverse.com

Photo Credit to Valiant

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

The Collector HC

Posted by Geek-o-Rama Admin on 11:00 AM

Far from the auction halls of the elite, The Collector seeks out rare and mysterious artifacts across the world. He is at home in the salons of Paris as he is in the jungles of Borneo. Set against the backdrop of late 19th century colonialism, The Collector is a delightful, swashbuckling adventure!

While I may have loved comics since I was a child, I must confess that there are a lot of gaps in my geek cred in that area.  In this particular case, it may be shocking to hardcore comic fans that I never really knew of Sergio Toppi before now.  Fortunately for me, I can now say that I’m at least somewhat familiar with his work thanks to The Collector.  Granted, I don’t know if any of his other work has been translated into English before this one, so I may not have to feel so bad.

This hardcover collection puts together five adventures of the extremely determined traveler known only as The Collector.  We follow along with his typically risky and often near death experiences seeking out rare and meaningful treasures, ones which he refuses to not acquire.  As hazardous as his travels are, he always finds a crafty, sometimes fantastical way of getting out of trouble.  In the end, he always gets what he wants, no matter what the method.

As the foreword so strongly emphasizes, Sergio Toppi was known above all else for his masterful artwork.  His particular style of line work is really unlike anything I’ve ever been used to before.  The way that Sean Gordon Murphy describes it in his foreword is probably the best way it can be, so I’ll leave it to you to read that.  The three words I would take from Murphy to sum it up: hallucinate, disorder and pioneer.  That’s Toppi in a nutshell.

These stories have been around for quite a long time, but again have never been translated into English.  So, unless you happen to have read the originals, this is something you definitely have to pick up now.  If you don’t do it for the wild writing or unique artwork, do it to make yourself a better fan.  Either way, you’ll be better off having read this book in the end.

For more on The Collector HC or other Archaia titles, check out Archaia.

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

The Storyteller Witches 2

Posted by Geek-o-Rama Admin on 8:00 AM

When an old woodcutter and his young apprentice are caught in a blizzard, a mysterious woman dressed in white appears and freezes the woodcutter to death before eating his soul. She spares the apprentice if he vows never to tell of what he has seen, but keeping his word may not be so easy when he falls in love.

Kyla Vanderklugt
Kyla Vanderklugt
BOOM! - Archaia

Once again, it seems that Boom! have managed to knock it out of the park. The Storyteller Witches Issue 2 is a change of setting and art style from Issue 1, this time being a story based on Japanese mythology. Though the art isn't quite as expressive as Issue 1 which made the text and art seamlessly blend into one, its still a wonderful art style with some absolutely crisp and beautiful artwork.

A truly spooky panel from Storyteller Witches #2
When you combine this with the comic format and layout (which is very different to most monthly comics) it combines to make something truly special. It also has something that Issue 1 missed out on, which was having a scene that reminded you of just why Fairytales, when presented in their unsanitised 'Disneyfied' form, still terrify today. That scene also makes the later developments of the issue feel more earned and the final resolution sweeter.

Again, the only real complaint I could find to argue is that its pretty easy to figure out how the story will resolve itself and that perhaps as a stand alone issue it could stand to be a bit longer. But when it comes with such gorgeous artwork, I'll frankly take what I can get.

 Images courtesy of BOOM! Studios

Jim Henson's The Storyteller Witches #2 is available from Comixology or your local comic retailer.

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Grimm Fairy Tales 103

Posted by Geek-o-Rama Admin on 12:00 PM

Belinda once served the Dark Horde, the most powerful of evil in all of the Realms. When she learned of the Horde’s involvement in her son’s disappearance, she became an ally to Sela. But can Belinda be trusted to shape the minds of young highborns at Arcane Acre... or will she use her position of power for evil once again?

The new kids in town have been recruited to take over the mantle that the original Realm Knights had dawned.  Wulf, Ali, Hailey, Skye and Violet are to be the new protectors of the realms, all under the watchful tutelage of Belinda.  However, not all of them are too sure about Belinda’s intentions, especially Violet.  Her life of always being on the run, had made her extra wary and she’s bound and determined to figure out Belinda’s true intentions.

Trust is a key factor in this issue, trust between a student and teacher and trust between a mother and daughter.  Belinda hasn’t been the most trustworthy person in her past, in fact she’s tried to kill Sela on more than one occasion, so it’s safe to say that some of the students are a little unsure of her.  After everything she’s been through, Violet’s more than in her right to not trust anyone easily.  After how many different betrayals she’s experienced while fighting through the hordes of Wonderland, it’s a wonder she even trusts her own mother.  Skye is just the opposite, after spending so much of her life in Belinda’s care she trusts her more than her own mother.  So, is Belinda really all that bad if she was able to bring up Skye so well?  Only time will tell, but Violet may not be as patient as the others.

This issue sports Pat Shand’s traditional style of awesome writing.  He skillfully breathes life into these characters and really brings out all of their little quirks and nuances, like Violet’s wariness, or Belinda’s self-doubt.  It all helps these characters grow and lays out the ground work for the new team of Realm Knights down the road.  Przemyslaw Klosin did a great job with the art side of things and really helped convey what Pat was writing down.  The new team is starting off strong.

Issue 103 of Grimm Fairy Tales is a good jumping on point for those looking to break into the series.  It’s a whole new team with characters just waiting to grow further.  If you have yet to experience the writing styles of Pat Shand, then I highly recommend picking up this issue, it’s the best of both worlds.  For more info on where to find this issue, visit the Zenescope website, or the Zenescope Facebook page.

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

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