Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Review – Angelus #4

Top Cow is back with another rousing issue of Angelus written by the architect of the Witchblade Universe Ron Marz with art by Stjepan Sejic. Jackie Estacado, otherwise known as The Darkness, has found out the Dani Baptiste has become the host for the Angelus. The Darkness and Angelus are the two primal forces in the universe representing good and evil, light and darkness. They and their hosts have battled throughout time to gain the upper hand and continue to do so in the modern day.

Dani has relocated back to her home of New Orleans after a stint in New York City that led to some very eventful happenings in the War of the Witchblades. Her girlfriend Finch has come with her as well, to both help and discover where their relationship can go. Dani doesn’t appear to have any allies until suddenly the lead of Angelus’ host of angels, Sabine, presents herself as a friend and ally. Developments since have brought that assumption into question, and while Jackie has the full cooperation of the minions of Darkness, does Dani have the cooperation of the forces of Light? Perhaps in issue #4 we will learn a little more of the intentions of all parties involved as well as the resolve of some more…normal…people.

Angelus #4 picks up with the fight between Jackie and Dani, both appropriately transformed in all their glory. This is the new Angelus host's first battle with the Darkness and it doesn’t appear to be going well. Just when all seems lost, however, Finch enters the scene to distract Dani and Sabine suddenly shows up to assist. Jackie’s intentions may not have been to destroy Dani after all, but with The Darkness, who knows what plans lie in his mind.

In the meantime in hell, Sabine’s angels manage to escape with an artifact known as the Wheel of Shadows. We get glimpses of its immense power as both an angel of the raiding force and eventually Sabine herself unleash its power. I think it is best summed up as something that a purported supporter of Angelus and the power of the Light shouldn’t be using. We also get a look at Dani and Finch’s continually growing relationship after the battle ends, but a surprise visitor may throw a slight wrench into the works. At the conclusion of one fight a new nemesis for Dani in the battle to control Angelus is finally fully realized and shown. Let me tell you, Jackie is badass in his visuals and powers but this new power is pretty frightening as well. The battle between The Darkness and The Angelus rages on and Dani’s personal life isn’t getting any simpler.

Marz, impressive as always, continues to weave enough storylines together to keep things interesting while not getting so bogged down that the story doesn’t progress. The bright colors and contrast between the forces of Angelus and Darkness are well drawn and just have images that pop off the page as Sejic continues to do a great job. I enjoy every comic in this universe from Witchblade to Magdalena and Angelus is no exception. Marz has designed and brought to fruition a really wonderful group of books and if you aren’t reading them all…what are you waiting for?

Check out some interiors below to see what I mean and pick this one up next time you are in stores or at your favorite online retailer.

TPB Bonanza!

Perhaps many of you read the site because our leader and head editor attempts to keep you up to date on your favorite comic related movies and news. Perhaps some of you enjoy the original pieces by our staff zombie expert in a world overrun by the fast decomposing living dead. Some of you may even get a kick out of the in depth analysis of comics brought by some of our more talented op-ed writers discussing the history of characters. I tend to be more review focused myself.

In the end I hope you enjoy the site for the comics themselves. Interiors, reviews, discussions and overall enjoyment of the medium are what we are all about here at Omnicomic. If you’ve been following our reviews and picking up our titles as the individual comics come out, we salute you! What’s that? Some of you didn’t get the chance to do that? Not to worry dear readers! Some of our favorites from a number of our writers are coming out in comprehensive TPB form. To find out some more info read on!

Enough suspense. Let me go ahead and fill you in on the trade paperbacks in question: We Kill Monsters, FVZA and Kill Audio. Can’t quite remember what these three fun and very different publications were about huh? No worries, I’ll fill you in.

We Kill Monsters tells the story of two auto mechanics that find themselves improbably thrust into a world of monsters. One of the mechanics is bit by a monster and instantly notices some rather strange side effects. Their lives change from that point forward to hunting the monsters and, as the title would hint at, killing them in their search for a cure and the source of the problem. A talented creative team of Chris Leone, Laura Harkcom, Brian Churilla and Ronda Pattison come together for some humorous writing.

The look and feel is that of a classic cartoon with some truly gruesome monsters mixed in for good measure. After re-reading this series I find myself enjoying more this time around, and I know Brandon enjoyed the series right from the start. Published by Red 5 Comics, pick this collection up in stores if it sounds like your cup of tea. If it doesn’t, that's my fault in the description and you should pick it up anyways.

FVZA (or Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency) it a tale of an alternate world history where the zombie virus has run wild throughout the nations history and vampires are a constant and present threat to national security. I enjoyed the way that actual historical events were taken and then twisted to incorporate how things might have developed if vampires and zombies had been involved. In the present day think of vampires as the ever present terrorist threat with the zombie virus being the doomsday biological weapon. We follow a particular family as they battle through the ranks of the FVZA, trained as children against a threat many believed was under control, and quickly learn of their involvement in the situation at many levels.

Radical Comics publishes the title displaying the work of David Hine, Beau Flynn, Tripp Vinson, Roy Allan Martinez, Wayne Nichols, Kinsun Loh and Jerry Choo with clever writing, brutal artwork and battles with zombies and vampires and ultimately an interesting twist that brings the story to a clean conclusion. Everyone knows that zombies and vampires are hot right now, so I don’t know that I should even NEED to convince you that this is a cool title. I loved this work.

Last but certainly not least I’d like to discuss Kill Audio. BOOM! Studios and the minds of Claudio Sanchez, Chondra Eckert and Mr. Sheldon bring perhaps the most unique and twisted comic I’ve read in my year writing for Omnicomic and life reading comics. Kill Audio is an immortal being brought to a world where music is dying. Genres are battling amongst each other and it seems that good art is dead and gone. Kill Audio must face down enemies trying in increasingly strange ways to kill him and a strange cast of companions to solve the problem.

It's the kind of world that one might see if they spent their entire existence floating in between psychosis and an acid trip, and that is just an assumption since I’ve spent time in neither place. All I know is that if you are tired of the same fare of heroes and villains in your stories and happen to be a lover of all types of art and music, Kill Audio’s take on the world might really interest you. I found myself completely overwhelmed by this comic but still going back to read it again and again to try to piece it all together. Any book that can simultaneously confuse and completely enthrall you is a winner in my book.

So the bottom line is, if you are looking for some quality comic reading in your near future these titles should be on your radar. All three have very different styles and stories, and really no matter what your tastes are I can almost guarantee that one of these will be for you. Happy reading everyone.

Octopus Pie

Octopus Pie is an ongoing comic series about two women living in Brooklyn. Their jobs, social circles and, of course, problems. The series is written by Meredith Gran and her latest book Octopus Pie: There Are No Stars in Brooklyn was actually just released last Tuesday (June 22). What's even better is that she's doing a signing of the book...if you happen to be in MA.

On July 5 at New England Comics in Cambridge, MA, from 5 PM to 7 PM, Ms. Gran will be on hand to sign the aforementioned book. You can RSVP via her Facebook page if you're interested in attending.

In the meantime, check out the comic if you're intrigued.

Wonder Woman's New Costume

DC has seen what Marvel is doing with redefining their characters. The whole Heroic Age is sort of a Marvel Universe reboot of sorts, so why should DC be left out of the all the fun? I'm not sure though that this is exactly what fans had in mind, as it seems they're taking one of their most iconic characters and redesigning her. Yep, Wonder Woman is getting a new look.

If you couldn't tell, that's the new look above. The redesign is courtesy of Jim Lee, ripping her from her 20th century origins and attempting to modernize her in the year 2010. The change is timed with the release of Wonder Woman #600 and the character's rebirth courtesy of J. Michael Straczynski and artists Don Kramer and Michael Babinski. And Straczynski has a lot to say about the change.

"It’s now nearly twenty years later. Diana has been raised in an urban setting, but with a foot in both worlds. She has little or no memory of the other timeline. She knows only what she’s been told by those who raised her On the run, hunted, she must try to survive, help the other refugee Amazons escape the army that is still after them, discover who destroyed Paradise Island and why…and if the timeline can be corrected or not. She also does not yet have access to her full powers, but will be gaining them as she goes. Along the way, she will face a range of enemies — human and otherwise — who we have not seen before.

The Gods, for reasons of their own but which may have something to with their survival and perhaps the survival of Earth itself, have changed the timeline. In the new timeline, years ago the Gods removed their protection from Paradise Island, and left it vulnerable to attack. And attacked it was. Led by a dark figure, a veritable army descended upon the Island, equipped with weapons that could kill even the Amazons. Outgunned, doomed, Hippolyta gave over her three-year-old daughter to a handful of guardians who spirited her away as Hippolyta led one last desperate battle against the forces that had come to destroy all she had created. In that final battle, she and most of the Amazons were killed, though some managed to escape."

Look DC. I get the need to keep up with the times. To stay "hip" with the kids and what not. But this will NOT go over well at all. Not only did you change the look of one of the most iconic characters in all of comics (and probably the most iconic female character), but you essentially copied Sara Pezzini from Witchblade. Leather jacket? It looks as if she's wearing her old outfit but felt the need to "dress it up" some before going out, so she just threw some jeans and a leather jacket on over her outfit. Why the change?

According to Straczynski the change is a result of female fans asking how Wonder Woman could kick so much ass in the outfit that she wore. Really? The character has had the look for close to seventy years! I get that you have to listen to your market and maybe this is DC's way of trying to expand their customer base by appealing to more females. I just don't get why you have to change one of your signature characters' look to do that. A few years back you killed Superman, only to bring him back. Recently, you killed Bruce Wayne, leading to a new Batman, but now Bruce Wayne is coming back. NOW you're changing the outfit of Wonder Woman. Has history not taught you anything?

I can only imagine the backlash will be epic over this. I can also really only see this lasting no more than a few months at best. Honestly though, I'm not running a major comic book publisher so what do I know.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Preview - Artifacts #1

When Ron Marz lays his head down to sleep he dreams of witchblades, angels of light and dark and cows on top. I mean, the man has singlehandedly crafted the Top Cow universe as you know it and it's all culminated with the upcoming release of Artifacts #1.

Illustrated by Michael Broussard and featuring covers by Top Cow’s Finest, John Tyler Christopher, Dale Keown, Artifacts #1 is the start of the thirteen issue mega-series that will guide the fate of the Top Cow Universe. When all thirteen Artifacts (including the Witchblade and Darkness) are brought together mankind is doomed. Or is it? Hope (daughter of Sara Pezzini and Jackie Estacado) has been abducted, which makes for a none too happy mother and father.

Check out the five page preview after the jump.


New Arrivals: June 30, 2010

I don't want to get all personal on you or anything, but this Wednesday is an important day. Not only are there new comics coming out, but it's also my birthday. My 30th birthday. I've heard that "30 is the new 20" (whatever the hell that means) and am looking forward to the day. It's an even bigger bonus because of the fact that it's Wednesday, meaning new comics for all. So when you're browsing your local comic book shop, buy yourself an extra comic and say it's a birthday present to me. I want you to keep it though, knowing you made my day.

The comics coming out this week have some good options, but I'd recommend you hurry to your local store to get a rather unique book this week. The book is Crossed: Family Values #1 Auxiliary Edition and it's unique because you probably won't find it anywhere.

The reason you probably won't find it anywhere is because the issue being limited in print to 1,500 copies. That's right folks: only 1,500 copies will be printed. Why should you try to be one of the first 1,500? Well, writer David Lapham, artist Javier Barreno cover artist Matt Martin are bringing a ton of depravity in the first issue of this newest Crossed series from Avatar Press.

Enjoy!

New Arrivals: June 30, 2010

Defense with the BoomPick

The time has come for the middle of the week to hit and it's always a good occasion. New comics are out tomorrow and really make looking forward to Wednesday as something other than another day before Friday. Slew of good ones are coming out for your reading desires, but only one can be chosen today. I went with an old favorite in the form of Marvel Zombies 5 #4. Let's see if these lone heroes can find a cure to the zombie plague.

After Machine Man and crew take care of the medieval zombies and show King Arthur how bringing the pain is done, they find themselves in a futuristic alternate Universe. In this reality humans are hunted with even more fervor as a Zombo-matic 5000 is on the hunt looking for any and all humans to be devoured. With a larger twist the Machine Man of this reality is the king of it all, setting up a showdown between the two that will most likely end in only one of them walking away.

Review - The Killer: Modus Vivendi #3


Well it seems the Killer is back on the hunt. I'm talking about The Killer: Modus Vivendi #3 that just came out and progresses the story of this unnamed assassin, propelling him to make some more decisions he might not like to help save his own ass. Another great issue and I can’t say enough about the artwork that simply meshes together with the story so well. No sense going on and on; let’s have the review and get back to the action with the Killer.

It doesn’t take long for our Killer to get back to work as we find him in Cuba looking for his next target. The places that he visits just fit so well together and I simply love the locations they set the story in. Cuba teaches him a lesson in life, showing how the depth of his character goes with a little history of Cuba and the sort of work the United States has done there. Basically he reviews all the major hotspots that have occurred in the world since the early 60’s and what all the chaos and killings has done to mankind.

The Killer here also has a job to get done, leading him to take a meeting to determine who can help him accomplish a goal. He is there to possibly make a deal to help save his own ass as the man he has to kill is a pretty popular guy who works in the oil Industry for Cuba and is in charge of negotiating oil deals. The guy is important to both the Columbian cartel as well as the CIA as a person of interest. With civil unrest occurring in other countries and President Chavez nationalizing the oil industry Cuba seems an unlikely place for it to all come together.

The Killer has a plan to take the target and make him "disappear" so that his enemies think that he's dead. He calls his own family, telling them to go spend time out in the forest with his wife's family, thinking something might turn south for the Killer. He gets close to the operative helping him out and propositioning a chance at a new life there in Cuba. An interesting way for the issue to end as with his mentality and being a psychopath he could decide to do it and move there. A great issue and I'm anticipating the next issue.

Check out some interiors below.

Summer Glau is Supergirl

So where are all my Firefly and Serenity fans out there? If I had webcams into all of your homes then I would most likely see most of you out there raising your hands. I'm sure just as many of you out there are also big fans of comics; more specifically, DC Comics and their animated film spinoffs. Now that we've established that you're fans of both, then you should be delighted to know that, according to TV Guide, Summer Glau will be voicing Supergirl in the animated film.

Glau will be playing the role in the upcoming Superman/Batman: Doomsday film available on September 28. She joins Kevin Conroy and Tim Daly, both of whom are reprising their roles as Batman and Superman respectively. All three of them join Bruce Timm, who is keen on Glau's performance.

"It was a fun part for her to play because it wasn't one-note," Timm says. "She could be young and bratty, like a typical teenager, and then show a little bit more maturity, then get feisty, then scared. She's got quite a gamut of emotions to act out."

The film is based on an arc originally written by Jeph Loeb (yeah, the new Vice President over at Marvel) in 2004 and reintroduced Supergirl to the DC Comics universe. In both the story (and presumably the film), Supergirl will struggle to find her place with a brand new set of powers. And we all know that Glau plays that role well, both as River and in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Again, Timm is enthused about her in the role.

"I thought in the comic that Jeph Loeb had done a really good job of sticking to the basics of the origin story, but putting enough twists on it to give it a fresh feel," says Timm,

Monday, June 28, 2010

Defense with the BoomStick

(Disclaimer: This post is set in a world where zombies have taken over and people live in small spots all over the world. It’s a weekly broadcast of news and a tip for survivors.)

Here we have Monday again and I think this week is going to be a lot rougher then anything we have seen. I say this as we are under siege here by a large horde of zombies that have our encampment just about surrounded. Now I'm not too concerned about this as we have the ammo and supplies to last; it’s just going to take a while is the problem. Don’t be surprised if this time next week I am still talking about it. Let's get to the news and the tip.

News is some good and of course some bad as more settlements have been coming under siege at alarming rates. More zombies are coming up from Latin America and are all heading North alongside the surviving population that remains. Some good news out of this is that the zombies that have been attacking us here and at other settlements look in bad shape, which means they might be dying off.

Haven’t gotten any more reports from overseas so I can’t verify the state of zombies there, but I'm sure most of the near decomposed ones are probably from the earliest batch of infected. The U.S. Government has been grabbing zombies to do tests on them and have determined they do decompose over time, but still can’t determine the exact timeframe. When more work information is available I will keep you all updated. Guess that’s all the good news I have. I know not entirely good, but you've gotta take small wins when you can.

Now time for the tip. Today I thought I would go over some melee weapon tactics when fighting a zombie or fleeing one.

Now with zombies being slow you have the advantage already as long as you aren’t surrounded; otherwise, their numbers will get the better of you. An easy weapon to make is a spear using just a knife and a strong stick. Provided it's long enough you can use it to first trip up a zombie and then move in to stab the head. When approaching the downed zombie make sure it doesn’t grab your leg and pull you in for a bite. Circle around it and come at it with the head in front of you.

A good spear can also be an excellent defensive weapon that can save your ass when faced with a sticky situation. Again provided it’s a good size in length you can use the blunt end to knock zombies out of your way and use the spear like a staff and shove with it. Only real drawback I can think of with a spear made out of a strong stick is that with prolonged use can cause it to break. Have a backup knife in case your spear does break and go for a quick kill strike in the head. If you can make one out of metal it will hold up a lot longer; plus, with a few welds you can secure the spear tip tighter, giving you more power behind a thrust.

That’s all for today. Until next week. this is Brandon signing off. Remember to keep fighting and keep surviving.

Preview - Gearz Graphic Novel

Bluewater Productions knows that July 28 is a week after Comic-Con (at least, I hope they do). So it only makes sense that they would release Gearz Graphic Novel on that day while your comic book adrenaline is still high and geek endorphines are still coursing through your body.

Written by Dan Rafter, with art by Thiago Silva and a cover by Rantz, Gearz Graphic Novel is about a group of unlikely female heroes. They're not unlikely heroes because they're women mind you (that would just be sexist), but they're unlikely because their robots tied to a high school girl. Karen Chugg wanted a dog, but instead she got three female robot bodyguards. These new friends don't come without strings attached though, as the President himself wants them back.

Bluewater Productions sums the story up in one worst-case scenario laden sentence: "Can an ordinary, if slightly unpopular, teen survive killer robots, super-powered school custodians, snotty classmates, chemically boosted monsters and hooded assassins while staying on track to become class valedictorian?"

Gearz Graphic Novel will cost $19.99 when it hits stores July 28. Interiors are after the jump.

Salt Water Taffy

I grew up in Virginia, about 20 minutes from the water and beaches of Virginia Beach. One of the allures of the area (and presumably any touristy beach) is the saltwater taffy. That stuff is like kryptonite and is quite delicious. It's so good in fact that it even works as a comic by Matthew Loux.

Loux is the creator of Sidescrollers, which was rated as one of YASLA's "Top 10 Great Graphic Novels for Teens." Salt Water Taffy is about eleven-year-old Jack Putnam and his eight-year-old brother Benny, both of whom are being dragged against their will to Chowder Bay, ME. This is the type of trip that everyone dreads as a kid, but in the case of Jack and Benny the trip actually gets real in a hurry. Mysterious government agents, grizzled old fishermen and giant lobsters make their summer much more exciting than any ride at Disneyworld.

The series is published by Oni Press on a quarterly basis. It's worth checking out if you're looking for something slightly different and filled with saltwater taffy awesomeness.

Jeph Loeb in as Executive Vice President at Marvel

It looks like the corporate shake-ups at the big two just keep on coming. The latest? Jeph Loeb is in as Executive Vice President, Head of Television at Marvel Entertainment. Loeb will work alongside Dan Buckley, Publisher & President of the Print, Animation & Digital Divisions, Marvel Worldwide, Inc., to move Marvel's characters to television (didn't he already do this with Heroes?). Loeb will also oversee the development and distribution of live-action, animated and direct-to-DVD series.

“I couldn’t be happier to accept this new position at Marvel Entertainment, working with both Dan and Alan to deliver exciting, cutting edge television projects,” said Mr. Loeb. “Marvel continues to break new ground in storytelling in both their comic book and film ventures, so, along with everyone here, I’m excited to bring the same brand of excitement into homes across the globe.”

Full press release after the jump.

MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT APPOINTS JEPH LOEB TO EVP, HEAD OF TELEVISION

New York, NY – June 28, 2010 – Marvel Entertainment, LLC announced today that it has appointed Jeph Loeb as Executive Vice President, Head of Television, a newly created division of Marvel Entertainment. In this new role, Mr. Loeb will work alongside Dan Buckley, Publisher & President of the Print, Animation & Digital Divisions, Marvel Worldwide, Inc., to translate Marvel’s popular characters and stories to the television medium, in both live-action and animation formats. In addition to these responsibilities, Mr. Loeb will oversee the development and distribution of live-action, animated and direct-to-DVD series. Mr. Loeb was previously a Marvel-exclusive Eisner-Award-winning comic book writer and an Emmy-nominated writer for his work on NBC’s Heroes. The announcement was made today by Alan Fine, Executive Vice President, Office of the President and Chairman of Marvel Studios’ Creative Committee, and by Mr. Buckley, to whom Mr. Loeb will report.

Mr. Fine stated, “It’s with tremendous pride that I announce the creation of our Marvel Television division and the appointment of Jeph Loeb as Executive Vice President. His work in the comic book field is in a class of its own, showing his passion and talent for bringing Marvel’s finest characters to life in an innovative manner. Jeph’s work on multiple award-winning television series and popular films has shown fans worldwide his ability to deliver thrilling entertainment in a number of media. With Jeph as our EVP, fans will experience the highest quality and most exciting television projects featuring their favorite Marvel characters.”

“I couldn’t be happier to accept this new position at Marvel Entertainment, working with both Dan and Alan to deliver exciting, cutting edge television projects,” said Mr. Loeb. “Marvel continues to break new ground in storytelling in both their comic book and film ventures, so, along with everyone here, I’m excited to bring the same brand of excitement into homes across the globe.”

Mr. Loeb has written acclaimed stories featuring every major super hero in comics, including Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Daredevil, Spider-Man, the X-Men and more. Multiple-time winner of the prestigious Eisner Award for his writing, Mr. Loeb quickly established himself as one of the most sought after writers in the comic industry. Mr. Loeb also served as writer/producer on television series Smallville and Lost; writer/co-executive producer on Heroes; and writer of hit films Commando and Teen Wolf.

About Marvel Entertainment

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 5,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit www.marvel.com.

Superman #700 Celebration

Omnicomic is all about the indie comics. You know, those works that are usually a lot better than what's out there already but you never hear about them because there's not massive marketing budgets behind them. Indie comics wouldn't be getting near the recognition they get now if it weren't for stalwarts of the industry; stalwarts such as Superman.

Superman is turning 700...as in Superman #700 hitting stores soon. DC is pulling out all the stops to make the event a big one, and they're celebrating in one way by letting creators chime in on their thoughts on the Man of Steel. Recently, artist Bernard Chang, who teams up with writer James Robinson to present the first story in Superman #700, dropped by DC to offer his thoughts on the character.

“The opportunity to work on SUPERMAN is every artist’s dream. he represents ideals that have defined the modern day American superhero, and is perhaps the most recognizable pop culture icon on earth. to be a part of this monumental issue is a tremendous honor. i tip my hat to my fellow creators who helped contribute to the first 700, and look forward to the amazing work yet to come in the next 700.”

You can check out the cover above (what is sure to be one of many variants) and check out an interior below.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Review – Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard #2

Welcome back to a brief review of one of my favorite titles of the year so far, Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard. Archaia Entertainment brings us the title with David Petersen providing the narrative pieces in between the stories, stories told by a bunch of mice in a pub to clear their bar tab. The competition has been a friendly one with typical verbal jabs being taken as the stories have progressed. The writing is superb and I just love the setup as well as the stories depicting heroic and unbelievable tales of mice.

The rules of the competition, to remind you, are simple. The judge June, waitress and owner of the establishment, has stated that the stories must: contain no complete truths, no complete falsehoods and never have been heard by her before. Sounds like a competition built for legendary tales of slightly embellished upon truths (and let me tell you, it makes for an incredibly entertaining comic). As with the last issue the stories within are drawn and written by different teams of artists bringing multiple styles of art and storytelling to each issue, providing something for everyone to enjoy. Petersen keeps the whole thing moving along with clever and witty writing and lead-ins in between the stories that make the whole issue work.

The first story, "Potential," comes from a mouse named Fenton and is a tale from the town of Barkhamsted and a Guard member. There is a beast that is hampering the town, and the guard member must fight it off. Written by Alex Kain and drawn by Sean Rubin I really enjoyed the way it described the role of the Guard in this world of mice. They are protectors of not only what is, but what will be. The art in this story contains great detail in the textures of things. I wish I had more technical training in art because I’m sure there is a name for the style of high texture with muted coloring, but suffice it to say I loved it.

Caitlin is the next mouse to take a turn with “The Shrike and the Toad.” Written and drawn by Terry Moore it is a tale of Sasha and the guard Max who find themselves suddenly under siege crossing a field with few options. This particular story was short but shows the ingenuity of the guard. How shall I sum it up? Have you heard the saying "curiosity killed the cat?" Well it doesn’t work in the favor of toads either. A little more text heavy this was a tale that was fun because it's just so outlandish that I couldn’t have thought of it myself.

The final tale told in this issue is the tale of “Worley and the Mink" with art by Gene Ha and story by Lowell Francis. Our first brightly colored tale is about Worley, the especially stubborn banker, whose stubbornness leads him to pursue a thief to his hometown Wolfpointe. The town has a problem with a Mink who is stealing its goods and kidnapped people. Worley must find a way to defeat the Mink and rescue a woman kidnapped. He is a clever banker indeed and his story is the stuff of legend.

What can I say? If you appreciate heroic tales from unlikely sources and some innovative writing from all parties involved, you need to pick this title up. The art never gets stale and all of the varying styles match up with the stories nicely. It provides variety and freshness to each tale that I really enjoyed. Petersen and Archaia have done a great job bringing in fresh talent and I am looking forward to the final two issues in this series. For some interiors see below and the book is in stores now.