Friday, February 05, 2010

The Weekly Crisis: Image Comics - An Introductory Primer

Image Comics, the poster boy for the 90's extreme comics, has seen drastic shifts in focus throughout the past decade and quickly became Andrenn's favourite publisher, mostly based on the quality of the books they are publishing but he also has a bit of history and nostolgia towards them.

Andrenn Jones brings you today's guest post intro primer on Image Comics:

Creative Team: Ron Marz (writer) Stjepan Sejic (Artist)
Where to Start: Witchblade #131 (October 2009)

Comments: At one point, I considered Witchblade one of the best ongoing series each month, but that was a while back, shortly before the big “War of the Witchblades” arc in mid-2009. Since then, the title has definitely lost some of its magic but has still been an enjoyable read each month.

Witchblade has always been a fun read. Great characters and lots of great action. Marz excels at both and can take just about anything and make it work for the story. One thing that’s really worked is the romance between Sara and Gleason. Rather then them meet and then date for five issues and have them fall in love as is the standard for most comic book romances, Marz has been taken a slower and more realistic approach to their relationship. It’s been long building and just now did Sara admit her love for Gleason. It feels real and makes you care more about the characters and their relationship.

I have to mention the gorgeous art by Sejic. It's amazing stuff and he somehow manages to keep it up each and every month without delay, even doing most events and side projects related to Witchblade. A great artist that can actually get the books out on schedule, now that’s awesome. He’s signed on until issue #150 but Marz has talked about working with him beyond that point.

Verdict - Buy It. I give Witchblade a strong recommendation. Great characters and all around strong writing, gorgeous art and it’s a tonne of fun to read each month. While no longer my favourite comic each month, it’s still one of the best comics out there right now to me.

Image United
Creative Team: Robert Kirkman (Writer) Erik Larsen, Rob Liefeld, Todd McFarlane, Jim Valentino, Marc Silvestri, Whilce Portacio (Artists)
Where to Start: Image United #1 (November 2009)

Comments: All right, I’ll come clean on this one. Image United is pretty much for the diehard of the diehard Image fans. If you don’t like Image Comics or haven't really read anything beyond Invincible or Chew, you will not like Image United. This is a comic made for the fans that grew up with these heroes like I did. Image United is guilty of being a comic made to appeal to that hardcore Image fanbase that loved Spawn and Savage Dragon and wants to see those heroes teaming up and drawn by their creators. In short, it's Marvel vs DC for Image fans.

One of the hooks of Image United is that six of Image's founders unite to draw their creations. Any character from Spawn is drawn by Todd McFarlane, anyone from Shadowhawk is drawn by Jim Valentino and so on for each artist. So if there’s a scene with Savage Dragon teaming up with Cyberforce and beating up a Youngblood villain, Erik Larsen drew Dragon, Marc Silvestri drew Cyberforce and Rob Liefeld drew the Youngblood villain.

It's amazing seeing all of these artists come together, contrasting the various styles and just seeing how great it all looks in this eclectic mishmash of art styles. Even Liefeld does a good job here, which is saying something.

But what about the story? Well it’s really simple. Good guys fight bad guys with a big mystery threat behind these events pushing everyone into action. Nothing new as far as comics are concerned and nothing too amazing as far as what one could expect from Robert Kirkman. It's a spectacle story and accomplishes what it sets out to do.

Verdict - Check It. There is some strong appeal to Image United for readers both new and old. However, ifl if you didn’t like Image before, Image United won’t change your opinion. It’s a solid read with gorgeous art, but more a guilty pleasure for the fans in the same vein as Marvel vs DC or other such events.

Read more here.

Source: The Weekly Crisis

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