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Comics: You Shook Me All Night Long
by Dee. 3/29/2019Dear readers,
This month we have three terrific comics picks: Bitter Root, Magnificent Ms. Marvel, and High Level. Let's have a look, shall we?
Bitter Root (Image Comics): This comic is on issue five, and there's a lot to talk about. Set during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s, this story is about the Sangerye Family and their struggle to save humanity from supernatural forces, including the Jinoo. The amount of world-building in these issues is staggering, as the occult world is expansive. This book tackles racial tensions, historic brutality and the possibility of a grim future.
Writer David F. Waler and artist Sanford Greene (Power Man and Iron Fist) bring a tale of family friction and dysfunction together with artist Chuck Brown (Trench Coats, Cigarettes and Shotguns). There are interesting articles in the back of the book, from notable professionals about Afrofuturism, Gothic Horror and what lies beyond for Black Americans.
The art for this book is excellent, with a color pallet that ranges from cool aqua to vibrant purples, yellows and reds. The character designs are so iconic, that you can automatically identify the wizened matriarch, the verbose bruiser and the wide variety within the secondary cast members. The splash pages and action sequences are excellent, with panels that you might hang up around your home. A cool bit of trivia is that the cover art connects for this first story arc, which would also look good on display. Each of our characters are surrounded by Jinoo, and look ready to fight back.
Bitter Root has a graphic novel due out May 15, and the series will continue in "Fall 2019", so stay tuned for more adventures.
Magnificent Ms. Marvel (Marvel Comics): For those of you new to Ms. Marvel, this is a fantastic place to start.
The dialogue is witty and true to character, as this chapter of Ms. Marvel is written by Eisner Award-winning writer Saladin Ahmed (Miles Morales: Spider-Man, Black Bolt) with the blessings of the original co-creator G. Willow Wilson.
The art is dynamic, with a bright palette, little shadowing and interesting action sequences. Art by Minkyu Jung (Gotham Academy, 2016 DC New Talent Showcase) compliments the writing well, as they combine for a light-hearted romp through a day filled with super heroics. The tension of the story so far is the insistence of Kamala's parents that she stop being a superhero, but they are soon in need of rescue. All in all, a good start for what should be a fun series.
High Level (DC Comics): You would think that a post-apocalyptic, dystopian story might be pedestrian, but there you'd be wrong. The setting has a cyber-punk feel to it, as most of the human characters having some sort of body modification with machine parts. Our main character, Thirteen, is a smuggler with a robot for a sidekick. While she does jobs in the Southern parts of the territory, she explicitly stays away from the fighting in the thick of the conflict zone. High Level is the name of a supposed utopia, but there are conflicting accounts about life there.
Our main opposition is the Black Helix squad, the military enforcement forces which are looking for a girl traveling with an old man. It is revealed later in the book the significance of these individuals, and the context clues are dropped in subtly through the course of the first two issues. The banter is highly entertaining, and the more action-packed sequences flow smoothly from one scene to another.
The art of this story is quite beautiful, to the point that it seems like vivid watercolor paintings in every panel. The colors and lighting are nice and bright, with the metal and blood being just as vibrant as the backgrounds of the bar scenes. In short, this book has a lot of great elements that make it special.
That's a wrap,