Tag Archive: Ron Marz


 

Review by C.J. Bunce

Six have been chosen by their clans.  New dangers have arisen, and they must work together and learn to fight for each other to achieve their mission, ridding the land of new threats.  Unfortunately none of these chosen warriors trust each other.  We meet the cast of characters in the first chapter of Rising Sun, a new comic book series from IDW Publishing set in 12th century Japan, based on the 2017 CMON Limited tabletop board game Rising Sun, where clans must use politics, strength, and honor to rule the land.  The story was created by Skylanders writers Ron Marz and David Rodriguez.

Readers follow Chiyoku of the Koi Clan as she confronts a dragon who fells a fellow warrior.  The introductory issue paints Chiyoku like a cross between the DC Comics character Katana, Disney’s Mulan, or China’s Lotus Rong on a journey Red Sonja might take–It’s drawn in the style we’ve seen of Red Sonja on her bloody adventures with similar sweeping action.  Artist Martin Coccolo (Star Trek: Year Five) renders characters that are lifelike and recognizable from panel to panel.  The costumes and vibrant color work by Katrina Mae Hao bring along a realistic, historical vibe to the world of the game (check out the core Rising Sun game and expansion packs here at Amazon).

 

Readers encounter a similar pantheon of color-styled clans as we met in the movie The Great Wall, this time the red Koi clan, the orange Fox clan, the purple Lotus clan, the gold Bonsai clan, the blue Dragonfly clan, and the green Turtle clan.  As a bonus for gamers, the first issue includes an appendix with suggested game modifications.

It has vivid action and beautiful characters, presenting a good beginning for the series.  Here is a preview of the first issue of Rising Sun, plus some cover art (above) for the first three issues, courtesy of IDW Publishing:

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Dynamite is releasing a new Western series based on a classic Native American fictional hero.  Originally starring in Dell Four Color Comics and Gold Key classics from the 1950s, Turok is back.  Turok is the dinosaur hunter known to more recent generations via periodic visits in the pages of comics and in video games.  Since 2013 three series have featured the character, including comics by Greg Pak, Phil Hester, and Chuck Wendig.

The latest Turok story finds him trying to save his brother from the U.S. Cavalry in a frontier story sporting the John Ford landscape of She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Fort Apache, and Rio Grande.  That’s thanks to artist Roberto Castro.  His action sequences are a mix of Jock and Bill Sienkiewicz, but the grand vistas are all Monument Valley and Illustrated Classics.  Ron Marz‘s story has the gritty feel of Jimmy Palmiotti’s New 52 run on Jonah Hex–the story has plenty of potential coming out of its first issue.

  

Look for four covers for this release, by Castro and Salvatore Aiala, Bart Sears, Butch Guice and Dan Brown, and Jeffrey Veregge.

Here is a preview of Turok, Issue #1, courtesy of Dynamite:

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We haven’t encountered anything like the Mayan prophecy of the world’s end since New Year’s Day 2000 and 2001, the Millenium Bug and Y2K.  The Mayan text the Popul Vuh established that, based on their linear calendar, we live in something called the “fourth world.”  The fourth world will have reached the end of its 13th b’ak’tun (a time frame of about 400 years), or Mayan date 13.0.0.0.0, on December 21, 2012.  Scholars or pseudoscientists (depending on who you believe) suggested that this will coincide with the end of the world (or alternately, the start of some new positive era).  If you haven’t read any of the discussions behind this, it is at a minimum interesting, and at worst, odd and quirky.  I read the Popul Vuh as part of an ancient Latin American history course I took in college and as ancient texts go in is very interesting, and still required reading in colleges around the globe.

So… it’s the perfect time for Dynamite Comics to have a crossover event featuring most of its properties and public domain characters that has as a story element the end of the world coming this December, courtesy of the ancient Mayans.  Called Prophecy, Issue #1 is out and it’s a lot of fun.  So far it is more of what I hoped for with Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the graphic novel mash-up of Allan Quatermain, Dorian Gray, Captain Nemo, Moriarty, Dr. Jekyll, Fu Manchu, Tom Sawyer and others.  Of course, unlike his forced change of DC characters to new made-up creations for his Watchmen series, with the League, Moore used public domain characters and avoided all that.  With Prophecy, writer Ron Marz and artist Walter Geovani use some of these vary same characters plus they add in modern characters like Red Sonja, Vampirella, and Purgatory.  Advance press from Dynamite reveals that the tale will include Pantha, Herbert West the Reanimator, Allan Quatermain, Athena, and Dorian Gray, too.

Issue #1 begins with Sherlock Holmes and Doctor John Watson investigating a murder.  The weapon that caused the death was an ancient Mayan dagger from the year 632.  And the dagger has disappeared.  Enter Red Sonja, soon to be the next sacrifice by this ancient people.  She chases her captor through time with the aid of the dagger and to the year 2012, where she encounters Vampirella in the forest, working with Dracula himself.

One excellent two-page spread has Geovani revealing a time travel voyage of Red Sonja, including the Three Musketeers, Edgar Allan Poe, Zorro, the Lone Ranger, Abe Lincoln and a host of others who will hopefully make an appearance in this series.

If you like mash-ups, this one looks to have a lot of territory it can cover, presumably in only the short span of the next 5-6 months that we have left, or, um, before we know one way or the other where December 12, 2012 will fit into Dynamite’s crossover series.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
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