Welcome! I hope everyone had an outstanding Free Comic Book Day and managed to make it to your local comic shop to grab some free books. After a week off I return with reviews of the first issues of Chin Music from Image Comics and Robyn Hood: Wanted from Zenescope as well as the second issue of the indie series Doc Unknown. Let’s get right to it, shall we?
Doc Unknown #2 (of 4)
By Fabian Rangel Jr. and Ryan Cody
Who would have thought that Twitter would end up being such a hotbed of amazing indie comics? It was there that I found Fabian Rangel Jr. talking about his new book, Doc Unknown, which was getting ready to print it’s second issue. A couple emails later, there in my inbox are the first two issues of Doc Unknown waiting for me. And once again, I’m left amazed at the talent that is creating comics out there.
Doc Unknown is a book inspired by the likes of The Shadow and The Phantom; pulp, noir style mysteries that will remind you immediately of the Golden Age of Comics, but with a modern slant.
Issue #2, subtitled The Shadow of Evil, takes a look at the beginnings of Doc Unknown and how he became the hero he is. Rangel Jr. has written an amazingly fun, addictive story that will have you writing emails to find out when issue #3 will be out. Cody’s artwork conveys all the action (of which there is plenty) perfectly with a deceptively simple style that most seasoned pros couldn’t hope to match.
Doc Unknown has joined an ever growing list of excellent comics I have discovered thanks to Twitter. If you want to see for yourself, head over to the book’s Tumblr (http://docunknowncomic.tumblr.com) to order yourself a copy. Now if I can just find out when Issue #3 will be out, I’ll be one happy fanboy.
Robyn Hood: Wanted #1 (of 5)
By Pat Shand and Larry Watts
After becoming one of Zenescope’s biggest hits last year, there was no question that Robyn Hood would be returning to comic book store shelves sooner rather than later. Easily one of the best new characters in recent memory, the first Robyn Hood miniseries was a great, fun book that any sequel would have a hard time living up to. And while Wanted shifts the tone a bit to a darker place, it looks to be another bullseye for Zenescope.
As I said, returning writer Pat Shand is using Wanted to take Robyn on a darker, more intense quest that the first miniseries. She is a wanted felon with no where to go and no one to turn to, trying to leave Robyn Hood and Myst in her past. As always, Shand is perfect with the characterization and he does a nice job of contrasting the exciting legend she left behind to the reality of her current situation on Earth. Watts’s artwork is gritty, detailed and perfectly paced to the story, a solid match to Shand’s words. Above all, Wanted seems like a natural progression for the character and one that I really like so far.
Shand has said that he loves writing Robyn Hood more than almost any other character and it clearly shows on the page. Wanted looks to be a worthy follow-up to the original miniseries and I only hope that a monthly book won’t be too far in the future.
Chin Music #1 (of 5)
By Steve Niles and Tony Harris
One is known as the creator of the now classic vampire series 30 Days of Night. The other is well remembered as the artist of Starman, one of the most revered series DC ever published. When it was announced Steve Niles and Tony Harris would be working together on a new Image series, the interest of many a fanboy was immediately piqued. But I don’t think anyone, myself included, expected something like the atmospheric, noir inspired Chin Music.
Chin Music is a hard title to review. I’ve read the first issue now three times and each time I find something I missed, some layer to the story I didn’t see before. Niles has written a comic that isn’t an easy read you finish in a few minutes or even easy to categorize. It is a deep, complicated, engrossing tale where nothing is laid out for you in easy to follow chunks, which is something you just don’t see anymore in modern comics. The art by Harris is just… wow, it’s tough to find words. Beautiful, amazing, stunning, they just doesn’t seem to do it justice. The art, more so than in other comics, really is an important, integral part of the story. After reading it, I just don’t see how any other artist could have done what Harris did on these pages.
Chin Music is not an easy read. If you are used to Avengers or Justice League comics, you may want to pass until the trade comes out and you can read it all in one sitting. But if you’re up for the challenge, Chin Music is an original, amazing book that you won’t soon forget.