Four Firsts

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Gail Williams rounds up four recent first issues.

The big problem of going to The Comix Shoppe is looking through (and buying) new comics, particularly the new titles. I love doing that. I'm always keen to give #1 a go, not all of them make it to issue #2 for me, but here are four recent releases that I thought I’d share with you. And before you start wondering about the order - it’s just alphabetical.

The Dark and Bloody from Vertigo

It’s 1992 in Black Lick Hollow. Iris Gently (and it’s a young boy by the way) is throwing a sack into the lake. Apparently a coyote got in with the coonhound and the result has to be got rid of. Iris grows up and gets posted to Afghanistan, not pretty. Then he comes home to make moonshine while his pregnant wife worries about their kid playing in the woods. People start disappearing, there are images of talons, black feathers. But just who is the boy’s new friend, and what is she and her family up to?

I liked the front cover of this one, it was intriguing and the story kept that up. The art is good, the storytelling works well, and there are enough questions raised in the readers mind to keep attention. I'd give this one a good four out of five. If you like horror you’ll love this.

Penny Dreadful from Titan

This comic book is based on the television series starring Eva Green, and is weird stuff from the get go, which I makes for a good read. Issue #1 sets up lots of questions for future issues, and gives few answers. It reflects the whole Dracula storyline, which frankly I’m getting bored of. I love the original book, but I want to see my horror more original now, still this comic handles the situation well enough.

The artwork is in keeping with the nature of the story - and yes that does mean I don’t like it, but that’s a matter of taste - I can see how good the artist actually is though. To be fair, it wasn’t until I read the comic that I realised Timothy Dalton was in the series. I would give this three out of five, it's not my cup of tea, but I’m thinking of taking the cellophane off the DVD which is collecting dust on the shelf.

Scooby Apocalypse from DC

This was something quite different and unexpected: it’s a proper reboot done properly. I grew up watching the cringe worthy 1970s cartoons so what I saw in this comic was rather different and very entertaining.

We have Velma, who is looking to save the world. Daphne, an all but washed up TV reporter who has a story her cameraman Fred is supposed to tape. Shaggy is a dog trainer and Scooby is a headset that helps him communicate. There’s a big facility that’s hiding darker secrets, and they have to stop it. But can they? And just how involved is Velma?

The production quality of this was way better than usual comics too. I loved the artwork, I enjoyed the story, I want to read more. This is a five out of five and I will be looking to buy more.

The Shadow Glass from Dark Horse Comics

1562, Thomas Hughes returns to London and goes looking for Adam, who introduces him to his beautiful young wife Arabella, who proves so useful to Thomas when he and Dr John Dee try to summon something from the Shadow Glass Thomas brought back.

We then jump forward twenty years and meet Rosemary who likes to wear boys clothes. Arabella is dead and Adam, it turns out is dying. Can’t say it comes as any surprise that Rose is not Adam’s daughter. Guess who’s the daddy…

I actually really enjoyed this opening issue, some of the panes have an almost photographic quality which I admire. This is another five out of five, though for very different reasons than Scooby Apocalypse and I will be looking to buy more.

So that’s your starter for four. Hope you find something here you appreciate and remember, there are so many titles - so little time.

Gail Williams lives in her own private dungeon populated with all the weird and the wonderful she can imagine. Some of it’s very weird, and the odd bits and pieces are a bit wonderful. Well okay, she lives in Swansea with her husband and daughter. And the world’s most demanding cat. To find out more about Gail, check out - Dare you!

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