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Category: Fantasy Realms


 

Review by C.J. Bunce

I reviewed the first issue of Dynamite Comics new series Obey Me last month.  It was actually labeled Issue #0, although I’m not sure why.  Tomorrow Dynamite Comics releases Issue #1, a continuation of the series.  I loved the first, zero issue.  Check out my review here if you missed it.  So does the next issue fare as well?

Absolutely.

I was surprised the series is video game tie-in–it comes from the Obey Me PC/console game from Error 404 Game Studios.  The story is playing out as a solid supernatural fantasy, with superb writing by Mario Mentasti, artwork by Ben Herrera, and eye-popping colors by Emmanuel Ordaz Torres.  Each issue is a chapter you don’t want to end, following a badass super(natural)hero team of Vanessa and Monty, a girl and her dog.  Of course, she isn’t the typical girl and he isn’t the typical dog.  Vanessa is a bounty hunter tasked with hunting down souls contracted to the devil, and Monty is the hound assigned as her partner.  Only in their next case readers will learn even more about Monty’s potential.

 

As with its first issue, look forward to some amped-up action and dialogue that will be loads of fun for mature readers.  It’s quickly becoming a favorite from this year’s comic book releases.

Take a look at this preview of Obey Me, Issue #1, courtesy of Dynamite Comics:

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Sometimes the implementation of an idea goes well beyond the idea itself.  That’s what I found with the new Dynamite Comics series, Obey Me.  The catchy title and great covers drew me to this first, and I’m a sucker for a story that stars a hound dog.  I’m also a fan of the movie Crossroads, a 1986 film written by John Fusco that features an old man who sold his soul to the devil.  A kid comes along (played by Ralph Macchio) who bargains for his life, and the result is a true American classic, steeped in mythology and blues.  In Obey Me, a young woman bounty hunter is tasked with hunting down a mob boss who has broken his contract with the devil.  She is joined by a talking hellhound–a familiar of sorts–and must go through several bodyguards to get to her target.  Along the way through some mouthy dialogue and murderous camaraderie, the pair–the woman is Vanessa and the dog is Monty–create a goofy brand of chemistry.  The plot sounds a little strange, but the first issue arriving in comic book stores tomorrow provides a heckuva fun story.

Obey Me blends two of my all-time favorite off-the-wall comic book series:  It has the irreverent humor and unusual talking characters of Felipe Melo, Juan Cavia, and Santiago Villa’s The Adventures of Dog Mendonça & Pizzaboy, and the equally strange, irreverent, and unusual series God the Dyslexic Dog from Brian and Phil Phillipson and legendary artist (and this year a Will Eisner Hall of Fame nominee) Alex Niño.  Plus there’s the Talking Dog.  Obey Me writer Mario Mentasti provides a familiar foundation, but look forward to some amped-up action and dialogue that will be loads of fun for mature readers.  Artist Ben Herrera and colorist Emmanuel Ordaz Torres find the perfect balance of comic book situations and blood, fire, and damnation.  Best of all, the team of Vanessa and Monty is all badass, making the book a must for your comic store pull list.

 

I was surprised this story is a tie-in to a PC and console game called Obey Me from Error 404 Game Studios.  It’s better than your average video game tie-in comic.  The game is a one- or two-person “top-down 3D action brawler” coming to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC later this year.  Here is a preview of Issue #0 of Obey Me, courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment, and the trailer for the video game:

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New Army of Darkness Vampirella Red Sonja Bettie Page!  All four feature a Halloween theme plus there’s even more Vampirella and Red Sonja, a new Mars Attacks book, a new KISS book, and a James Bond hardcover.  If you’re prepping for Halloween weekend, you have plenty of books to get your Halloween spirit engaged, and cosplayers could get their next year of ideas from a single new comic book day tomorrow as Dynamite Comics delivers a great selection of new books to Elite Comics and your local comic book store.  We have previews for ten books below courtesy of Dynamite, and a big pile of variant cover previews.

  

In addition to Dynamite rolling out four one-shot stories for Halloween, James Bond: The Body is out tomorrow in its first collected edition.  Bryan Hill and Rodney Buchemi begin a new series featuring your favorite costumed band with KISS: Blood and Stardust (with 12 cover variants available).  A new Mars Attacks series begins, with ten variant covers.  The second collected edition of Legenderry Red Sonja arrives, plus two new Vampirella issues: Vampirella: Roses for the Dead (with a Billy Tucci cover available) and the Vampirella/Dejah Thoris crossover.

What more could you want?

  

Check out all of these 83 pages of previews:

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It should be pretty difficult for someone not to get this right.  Right?  It’s a mash-up of sword and sorcery Transformers-esque robots and Frozen-inspired fairy tale princesses.  How can it not be the next best thing to a Pixar movie for animated movie fans?  It’s so simple, and yet the first issue of a new series arriving in comic book stores tomorrow shows that it works.  Writer Todd Matthy and artist Nicolas Chapuis have come together to create the next series from Dynamite Comics, Robots Versus Princesses.  Like Cowboys vs. Aliens?  Okay, maybe all these mash-ups all don’t quite work out, but this series has the heart of that new Bumblebee movie trailer and a similar design–a lovable fish-out-of-water robot and a girl looking for something different from the status quo.

Princess Zara doesn’t understand the significance of the upcoming recital.  The other princesses in the walled kingdom have their accompanist animals selected and ready to perform.  Zara wants something different, to be different.  What about the dragons warring outside the gates that no one has ever seen but all have heard?  Maybe is she sneaks out at night she could capture a baby dragon and show the others she isn’t the least of the princesses.

Matthy’s story is very modern Disney, complete with a mix of cheery characters and a snarky heroine.  A bit Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, and Cinderella, and even more Sleeping Beauty, Issue #1 of Robots vs. Princesses is a solid introduction to a story that should be a keeper for readers looking for their next fairy tale fix.  Chapuis’s artwork is perfect for the fairy tale realm, and his realm of robot warriors has a unique design that fuses well with the best modern animated movies.

Here is a preview of Robots Versus Princesses, Issue #1, courtesy of Dynamite:

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Classic favorite trading card company Topps is teaming up with Dynamite Entertainment to bring back your favorite little creepy aliens.  Mars Attacks is back again, this time in a new series from writer Kyle Starks (Rick and Morty, Rock Candy Mountain) and artist Chris Schweizer (The Creeps, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl).  It’s coming this Fall to a comic book store near you.  Dynamite released the covers for the first issue as part of its San Diego Comic-Con announcements.

The pairing of Topps and Dynamite promises to reflect the tone of the original 1962 trading card series.  It all begins again when a kid named Spencer approaches his dad for a loan.  They wind up on the run from those helmeted fiends from space and their famous space rays and flying saucers.

    

Look for several cover variants for the series’ first issue.  Tom Mandrake (The Spectre), Ruairí Coleman (KISS/Army of Darkness), Eoin Marron (James Bond: The Body), Robert Hack (Dr. Who), Chris Schweizer (The Creeps) all have created covers (see above and below).

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As part of its volley of news items for San Diego Comic-Con this week, Dynamite Entertainment previewed five covers for titles it will feature with 40-page stories for this Halloween.  You’ll want to add one or more of these titles to your pull list for your local comic book store’s annual Halloween Comic Fest bash (Note: “bash” usually is accompanied by cake).  Look for special Halloween issues for Army of Darkness, the new Elvira, Mistress of the Dark title, Bettie Page, Red Sonja, and Vampirella.  

In Army of Darkness, Ash finally meets ghost pirates.  Written by Chad Bowers, Chris Sims, and Benito Cereno, with artwork by Eoin Marron and Anthony Marques, you’ll find a chainsaw battle against cutlasses and muskets.  In the pages of Bettie Page a Boston artist is in contact with godlike space invaders, written by David Avallone and Leah Williams with artwork by Julius Ohta and Fernando Ruiz.

    

In Elvira’s Halloween special, the mistress of the dark hosts a horror film festival and learns a creator of a famous zombie flick is more than she bargained for–written by Dan Parent, Fernando Ruiz, and Scott Bryan Wilson, with artwork by Dan Parent and Fernando Ruiz.  Readers of Vampirella will see their heroine celebrate her birthday, complete with a demonic invasion,  Scott Lobdell and Blake Northcott are writing this story with artwork by Rapha Lobosco and Anthony Marques.

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The world first met Ian Fleming’s James Bond with the release of the novel Casino Royale in 1953.  That first Bond story would be adapted into a newspaper comic strip in the UK in 1958, followed by a film–a satirical comedy version–in 1967 starring David Niven, followed by a dramatic film version in 2006 starring Daniel Craig.  But it’s the print comic version, the newspaper adaptation, that received a new retooling of sorts this year.  Dynamite Comics tapped writer Van Jensen (Flash, The Six Million Dollar Man: Fall of Man), artist Dennis Calero (Masks, Kolchak), colorist Chris O’Halloran (Lockjaw, Black Panther), letterer Simon Bowland (Red Sonja, Judge Dredd), and vintage cover artist Fay Dalton (Worlds of Tomorrow) to deliver a 2018 update to Casino Royale for a new generation of readers.  The result is a rich and elegant new look at Fleming’s first Bond adventure.

From the look of Bond’s classic 1933 Bentley to the French casino where much of the story happens, the tone, mood, and style is fresh while also nostalgic.  Jensen balances the extensive dialogue from the original novel to avoid a graphic novel that is merely talking heads.  He is most successful at having Bond explain the rules of Baccarat to the reader via a conversation at dinner with M’s assigned companion for him, Vesper Lynd.  Calero’s Bond has the steely eyes of Michael Fassbender.  At the card table we meet some doppelgangers in this reader’s eyes: Grace Kelly as the American film star, Barbara Bel Geddes as the rich American, Philip Seymour Hoffman as the DuPont heir, Emma Thompson as Mrs. DuPont, Julian Glover as the Belgian, Nigel Green as Lord Danvers, Pete Postlethwaite or Titos Vandis as the Greek.  And in Le Chiffre we see a bit of Aleister Crowley (Fleming’s inspiration for the character) mixed with Orson Welles (who played him in the 1967 film), and a little JFK meets Brad Pitt for American CIA agent Felix Leiter.

O’Halloran’s minimalist use of color and Calero’s lack of background detail helps keep the reader engaged, and Calero’s work is particularly interesting visualizing Bond’s thoughts in a way that evokes a Bill Sienkiewicz style.  The characters are not reminiscent of actors who have portrayed them previously, leaving readers to experience this version of Casino Royale without any preconceptions, although this version may make fans of the original films wonder how Sean Connery would have played Bond in this tale.  The various lettering styles required of the text give more significance to Bowland’s part in telling the story, and O’Halloran’s colors definitely evoke a 1950s world.

Here are some pages from Dynamite’s Casino Royale:

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Keanu Reeves’s John Wick has revved up fans of action movies in both John Wick and the sequel John Wick: Chapter 2.  Dynamite Comics is taking fans of the movie series back to the origins of the character in a new comic book series arriving at comic book stores today.  John Wick: Book of Rules, Part One, is created by writer Greg Pak (Planet Hulk) and artist Giovanni Valletta (Dark Horse Presents).  

When a young John Wick emerges from prison and embarks upon his first, epic vendetta, he comes up against a strange, powerful community of assassins and must learn how to master the Book of Rules that guides their lethal business. What are the Three Bills?  Who is Calamity?  And who was John Wick before he became the Baba Yaga?

Issue #1 delves right in, offering a look at Wick in two pasts, with tight writing by Greg Pak.  Valleta provides some cinematic fun via his excellent choreographed action sequences.  Fans of the films will love the attention Pak and Valleta give to the character and the opening scenes of this new monthly.  Look for cover variants by artists Giovanni Valletta, John Cassaday, Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz, as well as a photo cover.

 

Check out this preview of Issue #1 of John Wick: Book of Rules, Part One, courtesy of Dynamite Comics:

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For fans of a good fantasy fix, you can hardly find a more exciting adventure and weekly romp than TNT’s The Librarians.  For four years The Librarians have continued the world of the Warehouse 13-esque, made-for TV movie series going back to 2004, made popular by star Noah Wyle (Donnie Darko, Mark Felt, Falling Skies, ER, A Few Good Men) as Librarian adventurer Flynn Carsen.  Season 4 is coming this back to TNT this Fall (and to Syfy in the UK), and will feature guest stars John Noble (The Lord of the Rings, Fringe, Sleepy Hollow, Forever) as Monsignor Vega, a Vatican bishop who is secretly the head of the Heretical Order of the Shadows bent on destroying the Library, and Rachel Nichols (Continuum, Star Trek 2009, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Conan the Barbarian) as Nicole Noone, Carsen’s original Guardian originally thought to be dead.

While you’re waiting for the TV series to return, a new monthly comic book series will provide fans with an excellent continuation.  Published by Dynamite Comics, The Librarians, Issue #1, has the look and feel of an episode of the series, complete with the great banter between the Librarians the show is known for, the quirky characters protecting an even more bizarre Library full of secrets, magic, and the rarest artifacts hidden from the rest of us in the real world.

   

In the first issue writer Will Pfeifer (Aquaman, Hellboy) and Brazilian artist Rodney Buchemi (Uncanny X-Men) take The Librarians and readers to a classic source of the strange and paranormal, TV’s In Search Of… series that starred Leonard Nimoy.  Because it’s The Librarians version of that series, this issue is not about Nimoy and the series creators per se, but it’s similar enough that fans of the series will follow all the references, and–for those that need it spelled out–the first issue is titled “In Search Of… Chapter 1.”   Carsen, Caretaker Jenkins (John Larroquette), Colonel Eve Baird (Rebecca Romijn) and fellow Librarians Jake Stone (Christian Kane), Cassandra Cillian (Lindy Booth), and Ezekiel Jones (John Harlan Kim) set out to find the killer of the creator of the paranormal films, Solomon Schick, after he is murdered at a local film festival.

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This summer Dynamite Entertainment is re-uniting the team of writer Andy Diggle (Detective Comics, Green Arrow, James Bond: Hammerhead) and artist Luca Casalanguida (James Bond: Hammerhead) to bring spy thriller genre fans the next chapter in its series of James Bond international espionage stories, James Bond: Kill Chain.

Dynamite describes the new story line:
When a counterespionage operation in Rotterdam goes catastrophically wrong, James Bond finds himself in the crosshairs of a plot to smash NATO.  Someone is assassinating allied agents, and 007 is the next target in the kill chain.  Having kept the peace for decades, the old alliance is collapsing, pitting MI6 against its former ally – the CIA!

Issue #1 of James Bond: Kill Chain will feature a selection of cover variants, with covers drawn by Greg Smallwood (Archie, Moon Knight), interior artist Casalanguida, and Juan Doe (Guardians of the Galaxy), among other variant options.

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