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Comics: Now I'm a Believer
by Dee. 2/28/2020Dear readers, welcome back to my monthly reviews of comics! For February, we have Dark Agnes, Godkillers and Plunge. We also have a preview of Volume One of Fire Power, a new Robert Kirkman book.
Dark Agnes (Marvel Comics): Based on the writings of Robert E. Howard (the creator of Conan), this is a solo series for the character Dark Agnes. For those of you (and me!) that aren't familiar with her, in 16th century France, Agnes de Chastillon left an arranged marriage and became a swashbuckler. Along with her friend Etienne, she's making her way through the countryside, dodging those who would lock her up.
Etienne gets into trouble with local law enforcement (which looks like a regular occurrence) and Dark Agnes is there to save him. She also takes it upon herself to save a nun from a hostile encounter with a strange man.
Written by Becky Cloonan (Demo, Southern Cross), this is an excellent introduction to the characters and the patter is believable for a swashbuckling story. Dark Agnes is a strong, fiery redhead living by her own rules, which plays well with the comic book style.
The art in this book is done brilliantly by Luca Pizzari. The action flows smoothly from one panel to the next, and the little bit of flashback given is done in an interesting static-filled muted aqua. Background characters have many unique features and they are accompanied by a lush countryside.
Godkillers (After-Shock Comics): Abdul Alhazred is afraid of death, and also the afterlife. When this folklore professor joins a group of soldiers known as the Godkillers, he's confronted with ISIS insurgents that use mythological creatures as weapons of mass destruction. Now he has more to fear than death itself.
This is a bloody comic with guns and beheadings, and that's before the supernatural comes in. Seeing as this story presents itself as a military operation first, the art is realistically rendered. The colors range from dusty browns and blues to stealth-ops green, with violent red panels. Overall, an interesting read.
Plunge (DC Comics): After a particularly destructive tsunami, a distress signal signal is heard from a long-lost exploratory vehicle known as the Derleth. This is unusual, as the Derleth has been missing for forty years. Not only that, but many species of fish are behaving uncharacteristically. Moriah Lamb joins the Carpenter crew to salvage what they can of the victims, and learns way more than expected.
The character designs are very well done, remaining realistic in its depictions of sea life as well as the humans that interact with each other. The script is excellent, as the layers of exposition get peeled back to show the reactions to the situation. Joe Hill's Hill House comics cranks out another intriguing story, with art that complements the building horror. The pronounced shadows really set the tone of the action.
They definitely left on a cliffhanger that I want explained, which means that the story is doing it's job.
Fire Power(Image Comics / Skybound): This story is a new venture by Robert Kirkman (Walking Dead, Invincible, Oblivion Song) and Chris Samnee (Daredevil) and it is excellent. Owen Johnson goes to the far reaches of a Shaolin temple to discover more about his birth parents. In the process, he's become a martial arts savant, learning and adapting to the fighting style of his teachers.
At this temple, he discovers that the students are learning to conduct heat through their hands, trying to achieve Fire Power. The ability to throw fireballs is purported to be the thing that will save the world from nefarious forces. Can Owen succeed before it is too late?
The action sequences move from one panel to the next at a breakneck pace, making it a very fast and intense read. This is cinematic enough that I wouldn't be surprised if it was already being considered for a movie or a TV show. The other interesting thing about this volume is that it is the preview for the upcoming Free Comic Book Day (May 2, 2020 folks!) issue. Then there will be single issues hitting the stands on June 3. So stay tuned!
Release Date: April 29, 2020.