MONTHLY ROUND UP, JUNE 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. Over time, we may add more to this segment, but for now, enjoy the show.
HOME SICK PILOTS #6, IMAGE COMICS
Writer: Dan Watters
Artist: Caspar Wijngaard
Original Article: Home Sick Pilots, Vol. 1
After a phenomenal first arc, Home Sick Pilots returns with a bang (well, "BOOM" actually) with its focus on The Nuclear Bastard and a blood-stained Meg. It's tough to switch main characters, but Watters presents a sympathetic Meg with Rip as a strong tie to the first arc.
Wijngaard's rendering of Meg works to endear her to the reader and his colors focus more on mood than realism, which serves this story well. Bidikar's lettering makes this story move and then they really let loose on the last page.
RESONANT #10, VAULT COMICS
Writer: David Andry
Artist: Skylar Partridge
Original Article: Resonant, Issue #7
Andry wraps up Resonant with an exciting and satisfying finale that showcases his skill in understanding his characters. It's been a highlight of this second arc to discover Patridge's artwork and see her excel in both action and emotionality. I will forever think about the reds, yellows, greens, and "chirps" of this series thanks to the combined stellar efforts of Wordie and Bennett.
Congratulations to Vault and the entire creative team.
TRVE KVLT #3, SELF-PUBLISHED
Writer: Scott Bryan Wilson
Artist: Liana Kangas
Original Article: Trve Kvlt, Issue #1
Marty and Alison are in it now as they infiltrate the HQ of the Church of the Immortal Heartbeat, while Bernice confronts Veronika as she searches for Marty.
Wilson and Kangas present the most visually inventive issue thus far while ramping up the humor and surprises. Contreras’ colors exude pure fun while playfully informing the mood of the issue, but it’s Hopkins that deftly turns the wordiest issue yet into a breeze to read.
-Jimmy Gaspero, Interview Editor
BLACK COTTON #3, SCOUT COMICS
Writers: Brian Hawkins & Patrick Foreman
Artist: Marco Perugini
Original Article: Black Cotton, Issue #1
Thus far, all three issues of Black Cotton have maintained a similar tone while addressing different scopes of far-reaching systemic racism issues.
The plot isn’t progressing as quickly as it could. However, the slower pace invites critical analysis about the family dynamics and attitudes toward race present in this third issue. Writers Patrick Foreman and Brian Hawkins continue to subvert expectations, especially in regards to an examination of the impact of harmful racial slurs and the baffling, yet “well-intentioned” actions of Zion. Marco Perugini’s greyscale art always succeeds at eliminating distractions, keeping a tight focus on the body language of characters in the forefronts of each panel.
Overall, issue #3 proves itself as another engaging entry in the Black Cotton saga.
HOME #3, IMAGE COMICS
Writer: Julio Anta
Artist: Anna Wieszczyk
Original Article: Home, Issue #1
Home is a series that will induce outpourings of emotion, due to its direct parallels to real-world family separation immigration policies.
In the third installment, the story shifts in tone somewhat unevenly, but still impactfully. Sobering moments like Juan and his deported mother’s all-too-realistic telephone conversation will split your heart wide open. While the plot of Home involves Juan learning to control his newly manifested superpowers, this third issue tries to deliver upon the premise with a pacing that ends up feeling rushed. There're only five issues in this miniseries and issue #3 passes the halfway point of the story. Home #3 overflows with heart and pathos, but attempts narrative heavy lifting that makes me wish there was more time to expand upon this important story.
HAPPY HOUR #6, AHOY COMICS
Writer: Peter Milligan
Artist: Michael Montenat
Original Article: Happy Hour, Issues #1-3
The odyssey of our favorite unhappy protagonists have wrapped up in a pretty satisfying ending...or has it? Although Happy Hour may have experienced a few missteps along the way (in part due to personal grievances), the ending issue gives each character their due in various hilarious methods of storytelling anyone can appreciate. Michael Montenat was given a lot of wacky scenarios to illustrate in Happy Hour #6, and his art exceeded his talented illustrations in the previous issues. A certain insufferable antagonist suffered no consequences for her actions, but maybe the Happy Hour creators have more in store for the not-so-miserable-anymore residents in the comic series?
I WALK WITH MONSTERS #6, VAULT COMICS
Writer: Paul Cornell
Artist: Sally Cantirino
Original Article: I Walk with Monsters, Issue #1
The final issue of IWWM takes an unexpected turn and is a near-perfect – yet bittersweet – ending. The final battle between Jacey and The Important Man almost feels overblown, but the horror genre context and Cantirino’s astounding art paved the way for this epic conclusion.
While this issues’ pacing suffers minorly from the oscillating nature of the story’s events, the last few pages circle right back around to the poignant intimacy we’ve seen from IWWM #1. Fortunately, the pacing problems that arose during a couple issues will go unnoticed now that every issue of this beautiful and harrowing comic can be read consecutively.
PROJECT: PATRON #2, AFTERSHOCK COMICS
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Patrick Piazzalunga
Original Article: Project: Patron, Issue #1
The second installment in the Project: Patron series from Steve Orlando and Patrick Piazzalunga swings for the fences and hits a pretty solid home run. Issue #2 caters to the pathos and psychological afflictions the characters endure following the tragic events of the first issue. The narrative angle allows readers to understand who the characters are both individually, and as a working unit, which puts wobbly loose ends from issue #1 in greater perspective. Piazzlanuga and colorist Carlos Lopez heighten the emotional intensity through massively expressive character expressions paired with explosive lettering work from Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. Additionally, the shocking antagonist reveal on the final page guarantees that readers will add the next issue to their pull list!
PHANTOM ON THE SCAN #2, AFTERSHOCK COMICS
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Mark Torres
Original Article: Phantom on the Scan, Issue #1
In the second installment of Phantom on the Scan, the rapid pacing and exposition that pushed the narrative forward in several directions is slowed down. The group of psychics are forced to reckon with the disturbing death of one of their own, allowing characterization to take the front seat in Phantom on the Scan #2.
Cullen Bunn reduces the urgency that made issue #1 an invigorating opening issue. However, Bunn raises the stakes to much astonishment during the final pages, his aptness for crafting a chilling horror story on full display. Mark Torres lets us glimpse into his twisted mind with equally haunting artistic designs and leaning on an ominous, muted color palette. Phantom on the Scan #2 again shows the power of unified collaboration on the creative end. Already, it’s evident that this supernatural series will lend itself well to the trade format.
-Katie Liggera, Senior Contributor
GIGA #4, VAULT COMICS
Writer: Alex Paknadel
Artist: John Lê
Original Article: Giga, Issue #1
In an already nuanced and detailed world full of intrigue, Giga #4 adds layers to the conspiracy while giving just the right amount of answers to a reader that can't help but be enthralled by the smart writing and sharp dialogue. It does feel like the art in this issue is less textured and detailed than the work John Lê has put forth in previous issues, but with a dramatic raising of stakes and colors that are as rich and compelling as ever, it's hard to be bothered by this otherwise excellent continuation in a series that only ever has more to show off and give.
-Wells Thompson, Content Editor
ANCIENT NOISE #5, SELF PUBLISHED
Writer: David Crispino
Artist: Tony Gregori
Original Article: Ancient Noise, Issue #1
Issue five of Ancient Noise continues with the tradition of Tony Gregori delivering the goods with absurd science-fiction visuals and body horror, with the latter on full display in the issue’s opening pages. The tense build-up and subsequent reveal of the antagonist’s monstrous new form was easily the highlight of the issue followed by Silver’s always-entertaining characterization and witty dialogue. While the final confrontation doesn’t match the heights of action sequences from previous issues, it still serves as a solid showcase for Gregori’s artwork and an entertaining conclusion for those who have followed the story up to this point.
-Alex Breen, Contributor
SHADOWMAN #2-3, VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Jon Davis-Hunt
Original Article: Shadowman, Vol. 6/Issue #1
Jack Boniface, aka Shadowman, is digging into the new threat hinted at in the first issue and finding more horrors than he expected; from the Arizona desert to Barcelona, it's a roller-coaster headed nowhere fun for the people of Earth. With weak spots between our reality and the bizarre underworld known as the Deadside spreading like a plague, issues #2 and 3 set the pace for the series; each is centered around a self-contained horror adventure, but interwoven with new clues about the growing danger and answers that remain just outside the hero's grasp.
It's the episodic horror side of the book, presented with eye-catching art and interesting ideas, which suffers most in this balance, but the compelling larger mystery and overall momentum are so far enough to pull it all together.
-Mike Lyons, Contributor
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