Comics for Noobs: March 21st
Mar 21, 2013 by     Comments Off    Posted In: Columns, Reviews

Another week and more new comics. This week is especially stellar, with great new series and arcs being released, as well as stand out issues in ongoing arcs and series. Here are the four I picked this week!

FiveGhosts_CoverFive Ghosts: The Haunting of Fabian Gray #1 published by Image Comics

Frank Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham bring us Five Ghosts, a story full of action, pulp adventure, and a bit of the supernatural. Fabian Gray is a master thief who’s been possessed by five literary “ghosts”: The Archer, The Wizard, The Samurai, The Vampire, and The Detective. Fabian can use the unique abilities of each ghost in his heists. In this first issue, Fabian steals a priceless treasure, experiences some trouble with his powers, and goes on a quest to Africa to atone for some past sins. There’s Nazi punching, spear throwing, explosions, and so much more.

The story is interesting initially for the inclusion of five literary characters as the “ghosts”. Each ghost is a familiar archetype, such as The Detective being Sherlock Holmes, so it’s easy to know what they are. The mix of action, pulp, supernatural, literary allusion, and more makes for a truly unique story. The art is perfect compliment to the writing style. Whether it’s action or supernatural explosions, everything looks perfect.

New readers should get on this series stat! It’s something that’s truly unique and is such a marvelous read. It’s a five issue series, so it will be short and sweet, but it’s also a completely new story. I’m sure many hesitant comic readers would love this story.

Art: 10/10
Script: 10/10
Parental Concern: Moderate. Violence, blood, language.

Constantine1Constantine #1 published by DC Comics

John Constantine makes his New 52 debut this week. Co-writers Ray Fawkes and Jeff Lemire take John from New York City to Norway as he searches for a powerful magic item. Though he once reveled in the darker side of magic, he’s now making sure no one gains too much power. John’s friend Chris is unwittingly very powerful and seems to divine the location of a mystical item. John takes Chris to the source, hoping to make sure the magical compass stays out of evil hands. Upon arrival, things get hairy, and John once again has to make a tough decision.

I’m completely new to John Constantine, but enjoyed this issue. There seems to be a bit of backstory that would likely be helpful, but there’s enough there to bring the reader up to speed. Lemire and Fawkes are right at home telling the story of DC’s resident anti-hero magician. The great art by Renato Guedes only helps.

It’s a good starting point for fans new to the magical side of DC. It’s fun, full of interesting history, and a great story.

Art: 8/10
Script: 9/10
Parental Concern:
Moderate. Violence, language.

CableandX6Cable and X-Force #6 published by Marvel Comics

In the last arc, Cable and his new incarnation of X-Force were found in a very bad looking situation and are branded terrorists. In this issue, writer Dennis Hopeless focuses on Colossus. He feels guilty for his role as part of the Phoenix Five during AvX so he’s turned himself in and is now sitting in prison. While he paints and exercises, Cable and the rest of X-Force are breaking into top secret S.H.I.E.L.D bases and busting crazy-looking aliens out. It’s a good time for everybody. And in the very end, everyone’s favorite former-leader-turned-terrorist wants to have a talk with his son.

Cable and X-Force is pretty great, all said. The beginning of the new arc was a bit interesting, but it gets you up to date. Colossus was always a gentle soul, despite his very physical powers, so it’s interesting to see him in prison, wallowing in his guilt. The appearance of Wolverine was a nice touch, as was the later appearance of Cyclops. That helped tie into the X-Universe as a whole. The visuals provided by Salvador Larocca were top notch and gave the book a great look. The captive alien was especially interesting to look at.

All in all, it’s a fun issue. I haven’t kept up with the series so far, and I wasn’t lost, so that’s a good sign. A primer on current X-Men continuity would help, but X-Men continuity is always crazy. New readers, jump on in. Take a look. Maybe check out Colossus’ painting skills.

Art: 9/10
Script: 9/10
Parental Concern: Moderate. Violence and Hope’s face is weird.

XO11X-O Manowar #11 published by Valiant Comics

Aric of Darcia finally makes it to the Vine homeworld and so being the “Planet Death” arc of X-O Manowar. After the Vine took his friends and family and transported him through time and space, Aric is understandably a bit mad. Since he’s now in control of the Manowar Armor, his aim is to destroy the home planet of the aliens. The first few pages of the book are a primer on the Vine religion centered around the armor. After that, Aric comes crashing in, exploding heads, severing limbs, blowing up ships, and doing much more. It’s only in the end of the issue that he discovers that if the Vine planet dies, so do his Visigoth brethren.

Robert Venditti packs a lot of action into one issue, while also giving us some very interesting and cool story for the religion. I had been dying to find out how the X-O armor came to be, so that was a treat. Throw in some amazing art by Carey Nord and you’ve got a great start to a comic. Nord’s art makes every fight and every death just that much more exciting.

New readers might feel a bit lost, but if they hang in for the whole issue, they can get some decent background information. The art and story are well worth jumping into, but some newbies might be confused as to why this angry, angry man is killing all these aliens.

Art: 10/10
Script: 9/10
Parental Concern: Moderate. Violence, mostly.

And that’s it for Comics for Noobs this week! Be sure to go out and buy some great comics. If none of these caught your eye, there are tons more that come out each and every week.

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