Tag Archive: Image Comics


   

Review by C.J. Bunce

It’s marketed as “Lady and the Tramp meets Silence of the Lambs,” which is pretty unsettling to begin with.  It certainly looks like Disney’s 101 Dalmations.  The first issue of the new five-part monthly comic, Stray Dogs, offers a touching introduction about a little dog named Sophie who is rescued into a house of a dozen dogs.  She’s taken under the care of a dog named Rusty, but soon remembers the circumstances of leaving her past home–the new human in charge might be a murderer.  It’s the stuff of high drama carefully revealed and beautifully illustrated.  And damned creepy.  One more thing:  Paramount Animation has already apparently bought the film rights.

Check out a preview of the first issue of Stray Dogs below.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

In a dystopian future, a devastated planet teeters on the brink of collapse.  The next in the line of limited format comics series featuring a merger of sci-fi and terror, including last year’s Sea of Sorrows, Crackdown, Rogue Planet, Rom: Dire Wraiths, and Sentient, Image Comics’ new 12-part monthly Deep Beyond is part future fantasy, part sea monster kaiju fest.  With the tension of last year’s undersea thriller Underwater, this journey tracks a society taxed with curing a deadly virus while locking themselves inside, cordoned off from an even scarier threat to their survival.

Check out a preview of the first issue of Deep Beyond below, plus some forthcoming cover variants.

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Jules Verne’s novel The Lighthouse at the End of the World was written in 1901, but published posthumously in 1905, about a band of pirates seizing control of a lighthouse that lit a path for ships through an important straight in the South Atlantic.  Comic book writers David Hine and Brian Haberlin are taking that time period and flipping it into the distant future in their new adaptation, a five-issue series called Jules Verne’s Lighthouse, coming this spring from Image Comics.  Don’t confuse this with the 2019 movie Lighthouse starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson–that was an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s unfinished story “The Light-House.”  In this story, at the edge of the galaxy lies a giant supercomputer known as the Lighthouse.  Not a beacon so much as an advanced air traffic control for spaceships navigating wormholes, this Lighthouse is manned by a small group living for years in peace, until the arrival of space pirates.

Check out a preview of the first issue below.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Adventure on the high seas.  We’ve read it the best in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, we’ve seen it the best on television in the A&E Hornblower mini-series, and we’ve enjoyed it with Captain Jack Sparrow in five Pirates of the Caribbean movies (and a sixth on its way starring Karen Gillan as the red-headed pirate called Redd from the Disney park ride).  Coming later this month is a new comics series featuring a legendary pirate duo of women, Anne Bonny and Mary Read.  A Man Among Ye is more swashbuckling action of the Jack Sparrow variety than anything pretending to be historic, but it will be a fun ride for fans of Treasure Island and Captain Blood.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

It’s a similar set-up to that used in the new Stargirl television series: A great superhero of the past has headlined success after success.  It all begins as the greatest pulp hero of them all, Adventureman, faces his death at the hands of his nemesis, Baron Bizarre, in a soul-shattering cliffhanger.  Or not.  Flash forward 80 years later to a mother and her son–the only two people that recall the Adventureman sagas.  It all begins here, in the first, triple-sized issue of Adventureman, with some great visuals that conjure the early artistic stylings of Adam Hughes.

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Our borg Best of 2019 list continues today with the Best in Comics.  If you missed them, check out our review of the Best Movies of 2019 here, the Kick-Ass Heroines of 2019 here, and the Best in Television 2019 here.

We reviewed comics from every major publisher this year, and were pleasantly surprised with all the new characters and content available.  You’ll find both some new creators on the list this year and some fan favorites who keep making better comic books each new year.

Here are the best comic books for 2019:

 

Best Limited Comic Series (tie) – Sara by Garth Ennis and Steve Epting (TKO Studios) and Goodnight Paradise by Joshua Dysart and Alberto Ponticelli (TKO Studios).  The new publisher TKO Studios began with a bang with these two incredible stories.  Sara is what every fan of war comics hopes for, and Goodnight Paradise brings the realities of life in the 21st century to the comics page in a story that will stay with readers a long time.

Best Ongoing Comic Book SeriesGhost Tree by Bobby Curnow and Simon Gane (IDW Publishing). Haunting, mythic, and sweeping, this story of a man reflecting on his past and coming to terms with the present combines with Asian legend tropes to form an emotional and curiously funny tale. Sure to leave readers begging for more.

 

Best Sci-Fi Comic Series, Best Comic Book WritingAscender by writer Jeff Lemire and artist Dustin Nguyen (Image Comics).  Lemire owned this category with two fabulous science fiction tales, both with strong female lead characters. Runner-up: Sentient by Jeff Lemire and Gabriel Walta (TKO Studios).

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Todd McFarlane has said he hoped to create a comic that would make it 300 issues when he began his Spawn series back in 1992–to surpass Dave Sims’ Cerebus series and become the longest running independent comic book series.  Now 27 years later he’s making it happen with a scheduled Issue #301 on its way.  But first it’s the big 3-0-0 and plenty of variant covers to go with it.  McFarlane also has a reboot film in the works, but little detail has been released, other than McFarlane intends to write the script, produce the project, and direct it.

For Issue #300 we count 18 covers in all.  So make your picks and let your local comic book store know what you’re after.  Keep in mind this release is similar to other benchmark issues–one-third of these covers will not be regular shop releases–so you will need to track those down on eBay or from collector retailers.

Covers were designed for this issue by McFarlane, Greg Capullo, J. Scott Campbell, Jerome Opeña, and Jason Shawn Alexander, along with black & white covers, logo covers, and “virgin” art covers, as well as a blank sketch cover.

Here are full-sized images of the covers for Issue #300, courtesy of Image Comics, and a preview of Issue #301:

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Review by C.J. Bunce

If you missed Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen′s sci-fi/fantasy series Descender, a recommended series from Image Comics we discussed previously here at borg, you’re going to be able to jump into these creators’ exciting adventure universe in a sequel to the series coming this month, Ascender.  Set ten years after Descender, readers are introduced to a strange new world ruled by magic, replacing the mechanized world of the past that leaves the inhabitants of Sampson subject to an all-powerful space vampire witch.

Young Mila–daughter of Andy and Effie from Descender–takes center stage, roaming the wastelands and merely getting by with her father.  But what happened to Effie?  And what are they to do when an old loyal robot surfaces in a place where robot tech is forbidden?  It’s another great beginning to a series from Lemire and Nguyen, in the realm of Image’s sci-fi/fantasy Copperhead series, with artwork and colors that fans of Matt Kindt will be drawn toward.

Substitute names and places and you also have what could easily be the next great Star Wars story, complete with rebels, a dark mystic leader, and plenty of gritty Star Wars space fantasy realism.  In fact Ascender has all the elements we’re hoping for in the final chapter to the Skywalker Star Wars saga we’re looking forward to from J.J. Abrams when Episode IX arrives in December.

Check out these preview images, forthcoming covers by Nguyen, a character sheet and timeline for Ascender, Issue #1:

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Image Comics is giving the celebrated Eisner and Harvey Award-winning series Battlepug a giant hardcover collected edition this month.  Written and illustrated by Mike Norton, Battlepug: The Compugdium collects all five volumes of the brilliant webcomic.  A series of humor-filled fantasy/adventure tales with the look and vibe of One Thousand and One Nights/Arabian Nights, Tarzan, Conan the Barbarian, Godzilla, and Ray Harryhausen movies, Battlepug is epic and unique.  Following stories told of the last Kinmundian as he rides his giant pug into the next town and next battle, Battlepug represents the best of the comic book and fantasy worlds.

With 336 pages in all with big 8.5 x 12 inch layouts, this is a book you’re going to keep returning to, fun for all ages.  Battlepug: The Compugdium includes Blood and Drool (the dreaded harp seal and Witch Toad!), The Savage Bone (meet Gil and some underwater types), Sit. Stay. Die! (a skull monkey and a host of giant underground beasts await), The Devil’s Biscuit (encounter a giant turtle spirit!), and The Paws of War (face the giant koala!).

Fans who have already gobbled down the five stories will still want to take a look at the Compugdium, as it includes plenty of great additional content: a gallery of 36 pages of Battlepug art from various artists, 15 pages of sketches, including some Norton layouts and early character images, plus cover art prints from the series.

Here are some great pages you’ll find in Battlepug: The Compugdium:

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