Axe Cop #1 and 2
Story: Malachi Nicolle
Art: Ethan Nicolle
I’m not even going to feign objectivity for Axe Cop; I love it. I’ve loved it since a friend of mine told me the whole concept. A big brother takes his VERY little brother’s story and illustrates it… now.. Axe Cop has found it’s way to a major publisher and even had a short animated series. After having watched all the animated series, it’s hard not to hear Nick Offerman’s voice while reading Axe Cop’s dialogue, which is ok by me. In the first two issues of Axe Cop, he assembles a team of American Choppers… but because they are comprised of a team that only uses axes. After getting together they fight lumberjacks using chainsaws, a team of evil fruit-dressed thugs and maybe even the devil himself.
Axe Cop scratches the itch that the Tick has left. This isn’t for anyone looking for anything remotely serious. The story is literally from the mind of a child, so if you’re looking for subtle nuance, you won’t find that either. If you want a bunch of people fighting things from the back of Tyrannosaurus Rex with chain-guns for arms… you’ve found your book. Since this is only on issue two, I suggest you check it out as fast as you can… and then go back and read any of the other Axe Cop trades… it’s crazy fun.
Brain Boy #1 and 2
Script: Fred Van Lente
Art: Freddie Williams II
Brain Boy is the world’s best (or at least top 10) psychic. In previous editions he has been used to quell traitorous dictators and other baddies with similar mental abilities. In this run, this series starts with Brain Boy infiltrating the White House. He’s clad in a new Iron Man like suit and zap’s Michelle’s brain. This is a pretty ballsy move, but it pays off. After that, Brain boy is on a plane as another powerful psychic sends psychic drones to pull Brain Boy into the astral plane. Second issue is the resolve and the explanation of the suit. Plus, more crazy psychic mayhem.
I love this comic. The writing is so well done. Little bits of great writing come in with Van Lente’s description of the Astral Plane: “It smells like a bag full of buttholes left out in the summer for a year.” The writing is so fun and the art is spot on. The pacing is fun to read and there’s enough action to make a book about brain battles really heart pounding. If you haven’t checked out Brain Boy yet, PLEASE DO YOURSELF A FAVOR!!!
Eye of Newt #1
All the things: Michhael Hague
I’m pretty sure this is meant to be read by young children, so I will try not to be too hard on it. This is a story about a young apprentice and a wizard as they travel through the Gloom. The boy dreams of dragons and goes about on the journey. He meets up with some Gollum type servant and some other guys… and that’s about as much of the story as I can report on. As of yet, other than building a bit of the setting, there was barely anything of note. I’m not sold on the art… at all… and the story is weak sauce. I love fantasy and I have a child, so I would love to have her be able to read a good fantasy tale when she’s old enough to not crap in her own pants, but this won’t be one I read to her. I may be missing something, but my world has moved past throw-back art styles that hold no dynamism. The story feels well trodden and there wasn’t anything exciting going on. I wouldn’t recommend this book. It may just be me, but as a fantasy fan, it missed the mark.
The Witcher #3&4
Script: Paul Tobin
Art: Joe Querio
Witcher is the story of prisoner who’s goal is to kill witches to get free (I think). He teamed up with another warrior and a succubus. In the two issues I’ve read, most of the action seems built around the other characters telling stories, which is fine. So far, the fantasy setting is well placed. After reading both of these issues back to back and with there being only one issue left, I’m still struggling to find what is the point of the comic. I get it… there’s a hag, but there seems to be no dread or fight to be afraid of. It’s as though he’s going to get groceries… but also wants to take a nap… what ever will he do?
Sure, this comic doesn’t break any ground, but that doesn’t mean it’s not entertaining. It brings fantasy back to the fantastical. The Art is fine-ish and the story is ok. I’m not sure the conclusion will turn this ok book into a great book, but maybe it will. If you long for the old fantasy days of Drizzt fighting almost no-certain peril, the Witcher is probably for you. Since there is only one issue left, I wouldn’t jump on board here. You wouldn’t be missing anything much, but if you do enjoy it, you’ll probably want to find the last couple issues.
Story: Kim Newman and Maura McHugh
Art: Tyler Crook
Taking a huge nod from H.P. Lovecraft’s story of Innsmouth, the Witchfinder features one Edward Grey as he tracks down clues in a town where everything seems a little fishy. Starting in New York, a death of a man from bad elixir leads Grey to another town where already things are looking ill. This story Grey is researching appears to be part of a trend of murders. There are more clues and an inevitable invasion of serpent-eels in this murder mystery.
So far, this book rules. The writing style hits me right where I like. Turn of the 19th century pseudo-science meets the occult. Like previously mentioned, I can’t help but compare it to “the Shadow of Innsmouth” by Lovecraft. I do love that story and always wanted more, so this being set in a similar setting is way ok by me. The storytelling is measured and Newman and McHugh are great at building tension. I’m very interested to find out where this story is going to go. Since this is a first issue and if you like investigative stories at the turn of the industrial revolution, this book could be for you.