Comixology Submit Roundup – May 7, 2014

Comics? Comics! There have been a bunch of #1 issues hitting Submit lately, so I’ll do what I do and tell you which indie series are worth keeping an eye on.

 

The Moses Militia, #1: Top-secret supernatural special forces get mixed up with living Nazis and undead other things in 1942. Characters include the shouty one, the young one, the vixeny one, and the hotheaded one. They say many expository words to each other, go to a place where they make a bit of a scene, and then get tussled up in big to-do. At no point am I given any reason to care about any of these characters, and by extension, their mission. Perhaps the biggest problem is that we have stock characters dealing with equally familiar situations (such as an overly lecherous solider who gets humiliated by the vixen) in predictable ways, creating a book that does a much better job than the titular militia of blending in to its surroundings. Not recommended.

 

Epic, #1: High school teens fight homework, hormones, and two-bit thugs. It’s dull. I struggle to find the target audience for this book. Its innuendo and sexualization of underage women make it unsuitable for the younger crowd (or anyone who is over their lifetime quota of eye rolls), but it’s so by-the-numbers that anybody who has read so much as a pamphlet in their life will be quickly reduced to trudging through the catastrophically dull pages with a sense of deja vu. It doesn’t help that it feels like it’s trying to take a wink-nod approach to the medium while simply replicating the most played-out themes and settings in the medium. At least it looks great, especially the high-saturation coloring that pops off the page and does a great job of making characters and settings stand out. But if you’re in the market for kids doing superheroics, stick with the far superior Rocket Queen and the Wrench. Not recommended.

 

Dead Ronin, #1:  An undead ninja delivers 23 pages of inner monologue. The end. Questionably perky female anatomy aside, I like the look of this inky black and white book, but how we manage to go more than twenty pages with a direct feed of the protagonists thoughts and come away with nothing of value is beyond me. I’m hard pressed to point to a single page that contains anything more than meaningless, generic brooding, and the result is one very forgettable book. Not recommended.

 

Angelica Tomorrow, #1: An understandably mopey high school boy finds a malfunctioning killer robogirl in the woods. Everything about this book works wonders for me. It’s certainly beautifully drawn, mixing rough, low-detail line work with a muted color palette that echoes the bleak worldview of our protagonist. But for me the biggest selling point for me is how effectively this book establishes itself without being overbearing about it. It gives us just enough information about its setting and characters to give everyone a meaningful identity, but at no point does it feel workmanlike. Even when it spends a few pages walking familiar ground such as the high school social ecosystem, it feels uniquely flavored by this particular set of characters and circumstances (not to mention that fantastic art). It’s a gorgeous and intriguing breath of fresh air, and I anxiously await the next issue. Recommended.

 

Durontus, the Lost Serpent, #1: A giant lizard from beneath the sea fights a giant moth creature. If you need a lizard versus moth fix and are somehow allergic to franchises that end in “odzilla,” then I guess this is great news for you. OK, technically it’s a giant lizard fighting a horde of abnormally large moths, but I think you’ll be fine. Also the existence of Mothr— I mean, a much larger mega-moth — is implied. Tying to judge a book like this on the first issue is like trying to judge <Well-Known Monster Franchise> by the opening scene where <Well-Known Monster> comes out of the ocean, but Durontus is a visually drab affair, and without much else to go on, I’m fine saying “heyyy-oh, they say he’s got to go, do-do-Doruntus. Oooh-ooh-ooh.” Not recommended.

 

Cover image is by Allen Byrns from Angelica Tomorrow.



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