Afterlife with Archie 8 (July 2015)

Afterlife with Archie #8

I don’t know how he does it–maybe with some of Afterlife’s built-up good will–but Aguirre-Sacasa manages to do a Shining homage and make it work beautifully. He simultaneously attacks the foundations of the whole Archie brand and then reinforces them. It’s no wonder he’s in charge of the company.

The issue starts with Archie recounting a recent event among the survivors. Afterlife is now a zombie survivor book more than an Archie spin-off. Aguirre-Sacasa is running with it and running well with it. The way he’s telling the story has become more important than the content of the scenes, though they’re really good too. Afterlife is creepy.

Artist Francavilla helps a lot with that creepiness. He’s getting a little rushed again this issue–the last fourth or so is incredibly hurried–but it comes after a bunch of good work.

Afterlife is divine.

CREDITS

Betty: R.I.P., Chapter Three: A Ghost Story…; writer, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa; artist and colorist, Francesco Francavilla; letterer, Jack Morelli; editor, Jamie Lee Rotante; publisher, Archie Comics.

Invisible Republic 3 (May 2015)

Invisible Republic #3

Little bit too much future stuff going on this issue of Invisible Republic. There’s a whole action sequence with the reporter. Hardman’s art is intricate for the action sequence, which has two parts in the issue and is bigger than anything in the flashback.

The flashback’s somewhat stronger, but opening with the reporter in a predicament makes Maia’s narration lose some impact. She’s not the most exciting thing going on this issue, which has a couple reasons for existing. It’s a bridging issue where all Hardman and Bechko have to do is hit two vista points on the bridge and they’ll be all set for something further down.

It’s fine, it’s good. It just feels very artificial, which might just be the way Republic is going to go with the flashback structuring.

Great art, of course, helps. Hardman’s future manages to be boring and scary, the flashbacks ugly and sentimental.

CREDITS

Writers, Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko; artist, Hardman; colorist, Jordan Boyd; editor, Brenda Scott Royce; publisher, Image Comics.

Rat God 4 (May 2015)

Rat God #4

Having a hero in Rat God is sort of weird. Corben almost wants the reader to still actively dislike Clark; there’s just something annoying about his face. You just don’t like it. And he’s mean to the little native girl who wants to run off with him.

Because Rat God takes place in an uncharted land, even though it’s just up in the mountains of the first issue’s Lovecraftian New England town. But in mixing Lovecraft, Native Americans and hidden protagonists, Corben’s made something sort of new. It’s like a horror story for PBS. If PBS did more original dramatic programming.

This issue moves too. There’s the opening action sequence, which has a lot of lush imagery but Corben doesn’t let it get in the way of the progress. It’s great art this issue. And the end sequence–a costume ball–a Richard Corben creepy costume ball–is simply gorgeous.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Richard Corben; colorists, Corben and Beth Corben Reed; letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Jemiah Jefferson, Shantel LaRoque and Scott Allie; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

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