Following last week’s new Guardians of the Galaxy #1 comes the new Rocket series. Rocket is back, sans the Guardians, in a heist book. Rocket is with his own crew now of strange looking aliens, each with a different specialty. My favorite of which, by the way, is an angry and destructive version of Tweety Bird. Seriously, they got the speech thing down here.
Like I said, this is a heist book. Rocket, a former criminal, has put that life behind him when an old flame shows up to ask him for help. So Rocket has to use his old skills, but this time for good. Well, at least we think so, we’re only taking said flame’s word for this. And so he has to assemble his crew (see the swanky gang on the cover).
This issue was well paced, and creative. It could have been another heist book, but writer Al Ewing puts the crazy outer space alien spin on it. And, because of this, the old familiar feel of the story wasn’t too predictable. It felt fresh and exciting. I also particularly enjoyed the way the story was broken down. There were the traditional panels, but then there were several pages that were split between text and pictures, almost making it look more like a picture book, also giving it a sense of narration.
In addition, the art really complimented the story. Artist Adam Gorham hits high note with me in regards to his sci-fi design. There are a lot of really weird looking aliens in this book, and that is something I like to see. When an artist creates a diverse set of aliens (I’m not sure I saw the same type of alien twice), that keeps me interested as a reader.
It will be fun to see where this series goes. There is clearly a lot of creativity by both writer and artist here, and has enough separation from the Guardians title to keep it fresh.
Optimus Prime #6
Optimus Prime. My man. I have always loved Optimus Prime, and enjoy that he has a title named after him. That may have been done before, but I can’t recall it. Now, I will say this, I haven’t read a lot of IDW Transformers books, but this is Optimus Prime we’re talking about, so this is the ONE.
This issue sees the conclusion of the storyline “New Cybertron” and we get lots of action. There is a lot of robot on robot violence, and it’s not as clean as the 80s cartoon, be warned. The other thing that this issue has a surplus of is what Optimus Prime does best: righteous reflection. Throughout the issue, Optimus spends a lot of time thinking about how all the violence may not be the answer, ends and means, and the like. Now that’s the Optimus Prime I like. At first it seemed like the fighting would be the main point of the book, but once Optimus got his own caption boxes, I bought in. It was these boxes that gave show writers John Barber knows his Optimus Prime.
There was also some cool retro art and coloring in this issue. Artist Kei Zama packed each page full of cool robots in disguise fighting each other. Not to mention lots of explosions. However, I think that the coloring is the highlight of this issue. It really has a unique look. It gave the Transformers their own look, helping to distinguish each amongst the others, and did a great job at setting the tone in several scenes.
This issue was the end of the current story arc, so I’ll be interested to know what Optimus Prime will do next, after all he learned in this issue. And, as a sucker for Transformers, it’s hard to say they can go wrong.
Bug the Adventures of Forager #1
I’ve been waiting for this one. Not only am I a big fan of DC’s Young Animal, not only am I fan of obscure characters like this, I am a fan of the Allreds. Forager is a character I haven’t seen for some time, I honestly can’t say I remember the last time. And when DC digs out those type of characters, they’ve got my attention. So, what is this book?
Well, in a word, it’s weird. And that’s why I like it.
This issue seems to be the beginning of an odyssey for Forager. He’s in between the worlds of dreams and consciousness. And, I think he’s just stopped being dead, from what I gathered. The story plays with the concept of reality, what is real and what is not, as Forager (in this issue) meets up with the Golden Age Sandman. Woah! It’s the sort of oddity that I really dig in my comics.
The best part of this book, though, was the creative team. It was written by Lee Allred (who I don’t think I’ve ever read before), but nonetheless did great. As I illustrated above, he crafted a strange tale. He also had a lot of fun with the sound effects. When someone glares at Forager, the sound effect is simply “glare!”
I have to say though, the biggest draw for me was Mike Allred. He has to be one of my favorite artists working today, as his style stands out incredibly. I love art that tells me who drew it just by a glance. His pop art style works well with the tone of the story, not too serious, and totally weird. Allred has a way of making any type of story his own with his art, and whether he’s drawing Sandman in dreams or Orion from New Genesis, it all fits firmly. And his art is always complimented by the colors of his wife Laura. In fact, I’m not sure that it would look right if anyone else colored his stuff now. Her ability to match colors to his art to create panels that pop is uncanny. They are vibrant and fun, helping to make this story even more enjoyable.
Young Animal has impressed me with all their titles, so far, and this is no different. Bug! Is fun, quirky, and has all the markings of a true epic journey.
Review by Jordan Kirian