Jessica Jones creators Bendis + Gaydos’ Pearl intrigues readers, as the duo’s newest heroine brings grit and a steady hand to the tattoo parlor and the Yakuza gang wars surrounding San Francisco.
Pearl #1 introduces us to the young woman, her Iriguci spider tattoo, and her very capable gunshot.
The vivid and poignant illustrations form a neo-noir San Francisco befitting of Pearl, and the motorcycle scenes storm across the pages blisteringly.
Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos once created a new character in Jessica Jones (in the pages of ALIAS), the brash female P.I. with super strength and super alcohol tolerance.
And their newest unwilling participant in a ruptured feud is another fictional personage one cannot get enough of.
Pearl is wary, sexy, and her instincts are sharp!
The dialogue, timely placed motorcycle VRROOMMM’s (and other cutting sound effects) and a storyline of mysterious relationships, both new and old, that envelop Pearl’s life make for writing that utterly absorbs the reader.
Pearl #1 introduces us to a world of effervescent color and feeling.
Pearl is a young tattoo artist tied to the city’s age-old feud by some act from her past.
Her night out with a girlfriend leads to a young man, named Rick, who notices a rare and revered tattoo artist’s work on her wrist.
He promises he is not hitting on her, but he too is a tattoo artist and a connoisseur drinking in her Iriguci spider, comparing it to the Mona Lisa.
And so, egged on by her friend, Pearl engages with Rick and his friends up until the second that he shows off his own work, a piece of a Yakuza tattoo on his buddy’s back.
Pearl tries to walk away.
But the bikes are already gunning through the air, the bullets flying.
She takes a shot to the arm, but fires her own semi-automatic handgun and the aim is true, killing gang members and saving Rick’s life.
The act holds consequences.
She is further tied to another gangster, Mr. Miike, a tattoo artist bearing his own Yakuza portraits.
Her steady hand is to be used to do more than needle ink.
Pearl is more useful, valuable, to him now.
Can she murder the man she just saved outright?
Can Pearl kill Rick when she finds him in her place and he is flirting, offering what seems to be thank you sex for her saving his life?
The tattoo artist Pearl has a history, a conflicted present, and a dangerous future.
The Pearl creator-owned series is off to a brilliant start!
ACES WEEKLY Comic Art Magazine sparks digital revolution with its riveting comic book and graphic novel short stories delivered every Monday!
For £1 per week, in any currency, readers get volumes of up to 150 pages in seven weekly parts.
ACES WEEKLY is the seven-card stud of e-comics!
To paraphrase David Lloyd, the idea for the award-winning ACES WEEKLY came down to comics looking better [than paper] with fewer limitations [and myriad possibilities].
In the very first volume of ACES WEEKLY, the gem Valley Of Shadows takes a black and white noir tale down new twisting alleys hereto untraveled.
More on Valley Of Shadows [Plot by David Jackson and David Lloyd, and the Script and Art by David Lloyd] later after we examine the cards, I mean the ACES.
When David Lloyd, co-creator of V For Vendetta and author/artist of Kickback (and a whole lot more), first launched ACES WEEKLY, very few comic books were available in a digital format.
Those that did come in a digital form required the paying of an extra dollar to the paper version, making a $3.99 book $4.99 in your LCS for the same 21 pages of content.
Now e-comics are in the mainstream, but none have the formula of six different works delivered every Monday night in an innovative set of seven serial installments.
At a buck a week, and adding that up, seven pounds for seven weeks of stories, you get 21+ pages for each of the six titles.
That is up to 150 pages, or six or seven comic books, for less than the price of two paper comic books!
Value aside, the proof is in the product, and ACES WEEKLY’s continuous stream of e-comic books are incredible.
The art is mostly in traditional comic form and looks STUNNING on screen!
Just like the serial installments of Superman of old, in the newspaper funny pages, the ACES WEEKLY tales are mostly told on horizontal pages.
The books are, after all, only bound virtually, in Cyberspace.
There is no limitation of the reader having to hold a vertically stapled comic book.
This means that you can read in a more natural line of sight akin to watching a movie on a widescreen, in the theater or at home.
ACES WEEKLY combines different widely appealing genres masterfully.
An omnivorous reader, like myself, loves the funny, the dark, the thrilling, and the wildly creative varying in voices from one comic book to the next.
ACES WEEKLY delivers a smorgasbord of quality each and every week!
Examples of this diversity are evident in the noir classic Valley Of Shadows by David Jackson and David Lloyd, the epic Santa Claus VS the Nazis by Benjamin Dickson and Gavin Mitchell where Santa Claus becomes a prisoner of the Nazis and the elves are enslaved, and then . . . on a planet in the middle of the Andromeda System . . . there is the powerful science-fiction book Dark Utopia by Mark Montague.
You could not ask for a better hand being dealt.
Think about it: Santa must break free of the Nazis to save the elves! What bigger stakes are there?
The art is unique, the writing top-notch, and the creations are made to pop out at you from the screen, no matter where you wish to enjoy the tales.
Each week you look forward to the latest installment of scintillating reading.
And in Volume One, Valley Of Shadows is one hell of a gripping whopper to kick off the experience.
Buddy Chaplin hasn’t got much going for him.
His marriage has failed, he’s in a dead end job, and he’s stopped looking for more.
But life is about to take an unexpected twist….
The art from David Lloyd is full of shadows, emotions, long blacks and stark whites.
The vivid scenes could easily make the silver screen.
The innovative use of comic book panels and art surrounding and behind the panels makes full use of the reader’s eye and the horizontal page layout for incredulity at every turn of the e-page.
The story, dialogue and plot of Valley Of Shadows are intricate, tight, and unique.
Security guard Buddy is dragged into helping someone, committing murder (in defense!), and racing against malicious and resourceful forces to save a stranger’s little girl from a horrible fate.
The villain is a megalomaniac bent on destroying a valley if that is what he needs to do to get an organ donor for his dying son.
And Buddy is just a normal guy who gambles too much, lost his own little girl and wife in a divorce, and gets caught up in a fight he should not be able to win.
The tale is utterly brilliant and it only scratches the surface of all of the ACES WEEKLY offerings.
The art is amazing, the creators on board ACES WEEKLY are extraordinary, like David himself.
For the cost of less than two paper books a reader can feast on six full length high resolution comics formatted and built for any type of screen, from a Smart TV, to a tablet, or a smartphone.
This reader is subscribing for life, and POWkabam will look to cover at least one of the many tales in each volume going forward.
“ACES WEEKLY Comic Art Magazine Sparks Digital Revolution” was written by R.J. Huneke.
Is your Honor Badge made of C-4? Then you have not earned the Black Badge.
Parts of the top-secret Black Badge Boy Scout manual greets the reader through excerpts sprinkled along the inner and back cover pages.
A regular troop member will recognize the Boys Scouts’ manual’s style, but not believe the contents:
“How you received your Black Badge is privileged information. Guard it with your life.
“-Black Badge Handbook”
A diagram of a Boy Scout uniform containing a pocket lined with solidified sarin gas and marking the Black Badge itself noted as a throwing star, in disguise, will give readers an idea of where the covert team’s members might have to go to survive their incredibly dangerous missions.
BLACK BADGE #1 features a teenage troop possibly as deadly and daring as the Navy Seals.
The art style is unique and grasps the emotions of the troop of characters forced to work together on their first mission with a new member, Willy.
Matt Kindt’s writing is superb, the storyline and world building, and dialogue incredibly realistic and full of surprises.
Tyler Jenkins’ art is utterly gorgeous in its innovation and the colors by Hilary Jenkins are amazing in their subtle detections of mood or setting changes.
What goes down when Willy captures every Boy Scouts badge?
His dad seems to know whom to notify of this feat, and Willy is introduced to an Army-type man and told of one more badge . . . the Black Badge!
And Willy is off with his new troop in hopes to earn this badge . . . in South Korea.
And here the writing takes an immediate hold, as a repulsive bully from a school trip begins to make fun of the four Boy Scouts for their traditional Scout garb.
Little does the bully know that behind the Boy Scout sash there are throwing knives.
Kenny is the leader, Mitz is the short in stature tall in arrow use, and Cliff carries a mean walking stick with its own secrets and almost loses his cool while they are taunted by the bully.
Kenny steers him clear and their canoe is off northward.
Willy is a smart, naïve guy in husky pants, and he wonders if the Black Badge troop has lost a fourth member, which he is replacing.
He tells them of his last badge earned a diving test where he had to lose his gear and trust there would be a cave with air, as he was told.
He is loyal and trusting. He earns the badge.
The Black Badge program takes advantage of the intelligence and age and loyalty of its members.
So the troop crosses the border into North Korea.
Willy sleeps unsoundly when he realizes why he is there: they are sent because they are kids. Kids get lost. Kids are harmless. Kids can get in and get away with it.
The troop marks a village where their mission is to extract a nuclear scientist.
Kenny directs the team: Cliff marks the hut with his electronic laser, and Willy calls in the coordinates.
But then a plane sheds its bomb and an explosion evaporates the village.
As the kids are approached on their exit, they are recognized as frightened Boy Scouts and sent back to South Korea.
Willy questions whether or not they are doing the right thing, but their leader Kenny informs him that “they” tell the troop just enough to go on and the troop has to trust “them.”
The dialogue is freaking kick-ass:
Kenny: “Nobody can do what we can do. No one can go where we can go. This world needs fixing and it sure as heck ain’t the adults who are gonna fix it.”
This is a powerful book!
A big thank you to my LCS Red Shirt Comics owner Josh for his Captain’s Pick of BLACK BADGE #1 – if it was not for him I would have missed out on this sure to be amazing new series.
Go get yours before they sell out!
“BLACK BADGE #1: Boy Scouts Black Ops BOOM!” was written by R.J. Huneke.
The Sandman Universe 1 one-shot is riveting, visually visceral and stimulating, and features impactful storylines that merge for one hell of a tale.
Speaking of hell, Lucifer is in a bad state.
It seems he has a son, though impossible, and while the mysterious son seeks to destroy his father’s new sense of humanity, mortality, and mantra of hope, despite a potential wheel of fate forcing Lucifer to relive his pains over and over, Lucifer is off to find the mother of his child.
Lucifer’s bar is in shambles, as is his state of mind, his world, and his ravens (all but one at least).
And Dream’s raven (not Lucifer’s) has possibly the best line in the book when referring to Lucifer and his current predicament:
“It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy . . .”
The Sandman Universe 1 has many familiar faces, though Lucien is losing his memory and the Cain and Abel murders are helping to hold back the entire universe of Dreaming from cracking at the seems.
Daniel, Dream of the Endless, is gone.
And Lucien charges the all-knowing raven with finding him to help them save their increasingly brittle dreamscape.
The raven crosses dreams and stories in his search.
Another familiar face the raven flies over is Tim Hunter.
This sharp story sticks out immediately.
Tim’s life as a teenage magician living in the real world offers all kinds of complications.
Getting up late, showing up at school late, and finding your book blank when you go to read aloud in class is scary.
Finding out that your new teacher knows your secret and has plans for your magic is even more alarming.
What Tim does not know, but the raven sees, of course, is that Dr. Rose, with her scarlet scarf, has bloodily murdered Tim’s old teacher in his office with a fountainhead pen to the ear.
The Sandman Universe comes from master storyteller Neil Gaiman whose original work on Sandman has been nothing short of groundbreaking.
He is working with the talented writers of four new titles to come from the Sandman Universe.
The Sandman Universe 1 introduces the overall state of Dream, Daniel, and the Dreaming.
Because the raven knows, he hones in on Daniel in a city dressed as a teenager in Converse All Stars (donning white threads, of course), but he misses him before getting to speak to him.
It was like he had him and could not remember the Dream . . .
The Sandman Universe 1 story is by Neil Gaiman, and Simon Spurrier, Kat Howard, Nalo Hopkinson and Dan Watters write the yarn here as they set up their upcoming titles.
The illustrators of The Sandman Universe 1 are Bilquis Evely, Tom Fowler, Dominike “Domo” Stanton, Max Fiumara and Sebastian Fiumara.
Daniel does not want to be found. Has he given up his post as Dream?
At the end of the credits in The Sandman Universe 1 we get a post-credits scene if you will:
The Story Continues In . . .
The Dreaming #1 that comes out on 9/5/18, The House Of Whispers #1 coming out on 9/12/18, Lucifer #1 out 10/17/18, and Books Of Magic #1 released on 10/24/18 (just in time to get your magic up and running before Halloween).
Get ready for a journey through anything and everything dreams car offer and all while the infinite realms possibilities of the Dreamscape are unraveling!
Go grab a copy from your LCS, mine is Red Shirt Comics, before all of the coolest cover variants are gone!
“Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman Universe 1 Unravels Dreaming” was written by R.J. Huneke.