MONTHLY ROUND UP, JULY 2021
This monthly series is dedicated to giving brief reviews to ongoing comic series, allowing us to cover more debut comics in our full Comic Book Yeti format while not leaving ongoing series out in the cold.
BY THE HORNS, SCOUT COMICS
Writer: Markisan Naso
Illustrator: Jason Muhr
Original Article: By the Horns, Issue #1
Issue #2 - By the Horns#2 brims with magic, depth, and emotional resonance. Markisan Naso writes hardcore fantasy driven by characterization. The art team translates the full scale of that deft emotion into their hypnotic illustrations. The opening flashback in this second issue hits hard, poignantly emphasizing how loss and grief motivate Elodie’s lust for revenge. Despite revenge feeling like an overused trope, By the Horns #2 boasts a brash protagonist and inventive magic system that remains engaging for readers. Full of gravitas, sorcerers, and demons, this issue heightens the action well. And what person can resist the affable charm of the cutest character in comics, Gary Panda?
Issue #3 - After ending on the heart-pounding highs of victory over the evil wind mage in issue #2, By the Horns #3 slows the pace to allow breathing room for character development. At this point, Elodie’s hero’s journey arc hasn’t veered off in any unexpected directions. However, the addition of floating eyeball Evelyn sprinkles in comic relief while acting as a prime foil for Elodie’s hard-hearted character. The slow pace in By the Horns #3 almost made me miss the action from the first two issues, but the interlude proved necessary in forging relationship dynamics. Readers also learn crucial information about the previously enigmatic unicorns, who remain central to the narrative’s trajectory. By the Horns continues to feel innovative and exciting while boasting breathtaking art and SFX I can’t stop admiring.
SECOND COMING: ONLY BEGOTTEN SON #3, AHOY COMICS
Writer: Mark Russell
Illustrator: Richard Pace
Original Article: Second Coming: Only Begotten Son, Issue #1
After a hiatus, Second Coming: Only Begotten Son has returned with a fabulous third installment. The first page summary helps remind readers about Sunstar’s incoming baby gifted from Jesus himself and Jesus’s narrow escape from a religious theme park from issue #2, but re-reading the last issue might be a necessary refresher. This issue opens in a flashback from 1099 A.D. Jerusalem, where the story’s relevance doesn’t make sense until smartly tying into the present day themes with Jesus later on in the issue. Humor is dialed down in issue #3, focusing more on deconstructing the satire and hypocrisy surrounding Jesus and religious institutions in a thought-provoking way. Mark Russell’s writing style differs from Second Coming Vol. 1 positively, and I think readers will appreciate the tone change continuing through the third issue of this second series. As usual, the divided art styles between past and present, Jesus and Sunstar’s orbits, provide visual distinctions for mood and ambiance.
THE WRONG EARTH: NIGHT AND DAY #5, AHOY COMICS
Writer: Tom Peyer
Illustrator: Jamal Igle
Original Article: The Wrong Earth: Night and Day, Issue #1
If you’re not reading The Wrong Earth: Night & Day, you’re missing out on the best comic multiverse/parallel universe/subversion of superhero tropes currently on the market. Night & Day #5 culminates in a stinging battle of superhero egos, emotion, and comebacks so witty, you’ll be jealous of Tom Peyer’s relentless capacity for entertainment in such a tired genre. Earth-Zeta’s Man-Dragonfly proves a moral quandary as the overarching plot thickens for the dual Dragonfly heroes in the series’ penultimate issue. Chemistry flies off the charts within the pages of Night & Day #5, bolstered by Jamal Igle, Juan Castro, and Andy Troy’s artistic chemistry. Comic letterers should be taking notes as Rob Steen throws down shattering SFX and brilliantly laid-out speech bubbles. Vigilanties and heroes alike face moral dilemmas in Night & Day #5, positing mind-probing questions for readers like, “Is anyone going to make it out of this comic alive?!”
-Katie Liggera, Senior Contributor
BARBARIC #2, VAULT COMICS
Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Nathan C. Gooden
Original Article: Barbaric, Issue #1
Owen and Axe's journey continues as they learn more about Soren and the creatures that attacked them and the village. Moreci does an excellent job of developing Soren's character and continues to play up the humorous and antagonistic relationship between Owen and Axe. Gooden has mastered both kinetic action sequences and subtle changes in expression. With Duke's colors and Campbell's lettering, this is an explosive, over-sized issue.
MIDNIGHT WESTERN THEATRE #2, SCOUT COMICS
Writer: Louis Southard
Artist: David Hahn
Original Article: Midnight Western Theatre, Issue #1
Ortensia and Alexander have been hired to find a young girl, but instead come across a strange cult whose prophet is barking mad. Alexander's fussy dialogue is an excellent match to Ortensia's quiet intensity, which comes through in Hahn's artwork. After the laughter and violence, Southard masterfully ends this tale with sorrow and compassion.
HOME SICK PILOTS #7, IMAGE COMICS
Writer: Dan Watters
Artist: Caspar Wijngaard
Original Article: Home Sick Pilots, Issue #1
The focus of this issue returns to reveal what happened to Ami and Buzz after the Old James House went down in the ocean. Watters' writing reveals much of the bond between Ami and Buzz, which is deep and sweet without any melodrama. The standout here though is Wijngaard coloring his own artwork, his storytelling abilities on full display. 3 pages in particular of Ami and Buzz on the shore where he opts for a lighter, warmer color palette than the blues and pinks of this series are sublime.
-Jimmy Gaspero, Interview Editor