Comic – Lazarus, book1: Family: B

Post-apocalyptic stories seem to dominate comics outside of Marvel and DC lately. They each try their own take, this time being less fantasy/sci-fi and more mafia-esque political drama (though still with immortal supersoldiers to provide the sci-fi element). Perhaps Lazarus would’ve been fine without my weariness toward the subject. While it provided plenty of attempts at tension, I never felt the suspense it seemed to searched for, nor was I wowed by the occasional martial arts or gunfights. Everything was competently crafted, but not outstandingly so.

Comic – Saga vol3: A+

saga vol3A+

Vaughan and Staples continue their reign as the greatest talents in comics. The story slows down a bit, but only to make way for yet more development for each and every character. In the midst of the tense, epic showdown toward the end of the volume, even Lying Cat gets some brief backstory. Saga continues to demonstrate a perfect merger of fantasy in a scifi setting.

Comic – The Massive vol1: Black Pacific: B-

massive vol1
Yet another post apocalyptic story, though much less apocalyptic than usual, which itself is a welcome change. It jumps around with flashbacks and expository narration a bit too much, usually in the middle of action sequences in a (misguided) attempt to create tension. It’s not shy with sharing its ideas on environmentalism, politics, and war, which can get a bit lecture-y. But they’re usually nestled between intriguing arcs and actiony bits so that it works well enough. It’s titular subject seems to be a MacGuffin, as it comes and goes as a plot devise without much incentive for me to care.

Comic – East of West vol1: B+

east of west vol1
The concept hooked me easily; a mix of sci-fi, fantasy, alternate history, and western. But it’s more potential than realization unfortunately. It’s full of cool characters, though their motivations aren’t very clear, which flattens them a bit. The main characters are quite awesome, though perhaps too awesome for any sense of danger. Also, their powers seem to alter to fit the plot. The scope was often exaggerated, but the action didn’t usually disappoint. There’s so much flashback and setup that the reveals that come latter are less shocking. Still, there’s plenty of fun, enough to warrant checking out the next volume.

Comic – Saga vol2: A+

saga vol2A+
This is hands-down the best comic currently produced. Fiona Staples’ art is so gorgeous I find myself pausing just to soak it in every few moments. The character designs alone make it worth a read. But Vaughan is crafting another masterpiece too, with a basic plot made amazing through its relatable characters and measured pacing.

Comic – Chew vol 4: Flambe: B+

I like where this comic is going, but it’s starting to get unwieldy. Such a myriad of characters making cameos deludes some of the development they received in earlier volumes. Still, I applaud the shaking of the central concept. And the hints at the changes in direction, though radical, are also enticing.

Comic – Cowboy Ninja Viking vol2: A-

The main premise, assassins with multiple stereotyped personalities, is beautiful. This second volume was filled with even more intrigue and plot twists and red herrings than the first, possibly to a fault. Another problem with such a concept, is that there are lots of personalities to give, well, personality. And there are lots of characters. Tons. I don’t know how people read this issue-by-monthly-issue. But the action is fun and the dialog is like a frantic comedy roast.