Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Walking Dead #47 (Image Comics)

Warning for the trades only readers - spoilers that contain information on Walking Dead #46!!

The penultimate issue in the 'No-one is safe' story arc, Walking Dead #47 is a chaotic, bloody mess. In a good way.

This issue does not mess around, it jumps straight into the action, taking up where we were left hanging at the end of #46. As Michonne takes the offensive, back at the prison Rick is dealing with the fall out of the brutal death of Tyrese. While Lori makes her feelings clear to her husband (she blames Rick for his inaction), he is again making clear to his son, Carl, what the emergency exit plan is. They are going to be needing it very soon.

We then come to what I assume to be the climactic battle between Woodbury & the prison survivors. It's as disorientating, chaotic and brutal as you would expect, with Adlards art again delivering raw human emotion and explosive, bloody battle scenes. Major characters die again in this issue. There is a brief cavalry moment in the heat of battle that is all too quickly ended. The perimeter fences are finally breached, and as the likes of Herschel begin to put the escape plan into action, Rick rushes back to retrieve his family within the prison. The issue is over too soon (they always are with Walking Dead), and of course there is a massive cliff hanger, one of the best yet.

Robert Kirkman conitnues to surprise and delight with his ramped up storytelling, and Adlards scratchy art delivers all the emotion and action wonderfully. 'No-one is safe' is really living up to its promise. Where Kirkman takes us from here - who knows? There will be more suffering next issue, that's for sure.

Verdict - simply the best comic out this month, and no-one does better cliffhangers. 9.5 out of 10

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Kick-Ass #1 (Marvel/ Icon)

Billed as 'The Greatest Superhero Book Of All Time', 'Kick-Ass' is certainly engaging stuff by Mark Millar (Civil War), with great kinetic artwork from John Romita Jr. Not that there is a lot of action in the first issue, it's more of an 'origins' issue. We learn that young Dave Lizewski, average high school kid & comic book fan, chooses to become a superhero rather than celebrity or rock star. He wonders why no-one has thought of it before, but by the end of the issue, it's quite obvious why - you need to have some kind of superpower, and lots of training. Taking his first beating on his first proper day on the job is not a great start, though you suspect that there is more to this character than a superpower-free superhero. The final 8 pages really put Dave though the wringer. I assume he will eventually be okay, as it doesn't appear to be a limited series......

Millar puts a lot of humour into the script (favourite lines - "Two broken legs, my spine crushed, and dressed like a fucking pervert. My dad was going to kill me") and the plot zips along at a good pace. It puts a mirror up to the reader in a gentle way, not being too harsh about fan-boys. It is a comicbook for comicbook fans. It has got me for another 3 or 4 issues at least.

Verdict - A solid start, some good dialogue. 8 out of 10. Kick-Ass #1 Info