The Reading Pile #31

Had a STACK of Image books I had to read; here’s a handful, but I missed some titles, so there may be an Image stack part 2 in the future, laugh out loud.

Monstress 23, Image Comics, 6/12/2019
Writer: Marjorie Liu
Artist: Sana Takeda

This issue was mostly back and forth dialog between Maika and her father, the Lord Doctor. Thought it was going to be a yawner of an issue, but he revealed himself to have incredible powers over the Monstrums. Got more and more suspenseful with each turn of the page and you have to love that. I am always such a mark for Sana Takeda‘s art, as well. I know I review Monstress a ton in these columns, but the series brings me a lot of joy.

Story: 4/5
Art: 4/5
Verdict: I have a ton of love for this series.

Sonata 1, Image Comics, 6/12/2019
Writer: David Hine
Artist: Brian Haberlin

How cool are these covers? I picked up the A cover, but the B is killer, too.

Really interesting start with our female protagonist, Sonata, flying around on a giant, warrior bird like thing waiting to do battle. Some of these panels REALLY remind me of another Image title from a few years ago. Extremity maybe? Definite science fiction and fantasy vibe here and this panel with the sleeping giant is so cool.

Anyways, two tribes at odds with each other: the Rans and Tayans. A conflict over water, a conference, actions being taken and a village being flooded. A lot going on here, but this was very good.

Story: 4/5
Art: 4/5
Verdict: recommended.

Gogor 1, Image Comics, 5/1/2019
Writer: Ken Garing
Artist: Ken Garing

Why does the name Ken Garing sound so familiar to me? A quick search on ebay reveals he did Planetoid, in 2012, this was a series I LOVED and, suddenly, I’m ready to dig into this.

Cover doesn’t look like something I’d be into: some kind of traveller/druid/magician talking to his companion bird or something? I do notice he is standing on a hill that conceals some sort of sleeping giant. I must admit, I am intrigued.

Starts off with a chase and floating islands, in the sky, are revealed to us…pretty cool. Story continues and we discover our protagonist is a scholar, named Armani, and the bird creature is someone he stumbled upon named, Wexil.

  • Armano’s carrying a sought after scroll that was given to him by a mentor after his school was attacked by The Domus.
  • Said scroll has cryptic language that Wexil reads; something about the sleeping legend of Gogor.

Now this is a killer panel, were we meet a cast of Wexil’s friends and pick up supplies to continue our journey.

Haaaaaa, the adventure continues and they are able to SPOILER awaken Gogor as they are attacked by The Domus once again.

This was a really fun read, with art that suits the story very well, but I wasn’t too keen on. Don’t get me wrong, it is very good sequential art, but a tad cartoony. Regardless this was great fantasy/adventure type stuff.

Postscript: Ken Garing’s ending notes page is totally alluring as he reveals the 20 year origins of Gogor (pronounced Gaw-Gore) how this contrasts with his previous project, Planetoid and art inspirations (Moebius, Miyazaki, Frazetta, etc.).

Art: 3.5/5
Story: 4/5
Verdict: really charming read; I would recommend this.

Criminal 5, Image Comics, 6/5/2019
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Sean Phillips

I’ve been finding this latest volume of Criminal books to be good, but just more of the same, really. Brubaker had hinted at issue 5 being the start of the greatest Criminal arc ever. I am half way in and I don’t know about that, yet. What I do know is this issue is awesome.

Just really great elements here: a PI, named Dan Faraday, a charming loser type with an interesting Vietnam war backstory; a mysterious woman named Marina Kelly who seduces married men then robs them of material possessions (cars, credit cards, jewelry, etc.). Well, Dan has been hired to find her, by a client he despises, and now has become smitten with her.

I’m only half way through this and I’m loving it; just hits all the right notes of a gritty pulp/noir tale with a dame to kill for. Brubaker just nails stuff like this when he’s inspired.

Art: 4/5
Story: 4/5
Verdict: read this now!

Quick Hits

This is supposed to be a full on Image Comics article this week, but I have got to say I really enjoyed Superman Year One by Frank Miller and John Romita Jr. TOTALLY surprised me.

That’s it for this week. Keep it positive and read some comics.

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