Title: Batman Inc vol. 1
Writer/Artist: Grant Morrison Chris Burnham
Synopsis: Led by the Dark Knight and bankrolled by his civilian alter ego Bruce Wayne, Batman Incorporated has agents in every corner of the globe, fighting injustice no matter the geography. Now the war has come home to Gotham City–and the new Robin is caught in the crossfire.
Raised to rule the world by his mother Talia, the daughter of the villainous Ra’s al Ghul, young Damian Wayne rejected his tyrannical training and now battles evil alongside his father, the Batman. But her ever-growing cult, the global criminal conspiracy called LEVIATHAN, is on the verge of extinguishing the light of justice everywhere. And once she’s taken away everything the Batman cares about, she’ll take away his son too. Even if it means turning him into a monster.
Even if it means killing him.
And the price on the Boy Wonder’s head is nothing compared to what Batman will do to save his son.
I’m probably in the minority when it comes to this story line. I didn’t care for the art at all– it is very sketchy with harsh lines, the colors are washed out/water color tone, and the over all toning of the panels was very dark, at times making it really hard to see what was going on. At times it made distinguishing characters visually very difficult to do. The main story arc drops the reader into an all ready in motion story, so at times I felt a little lost, and I spent some time on wiki a) spoiling myself b) trying to figure out exactly what was going on.
That aside, there were some things that I did like about this volume, and it’s enough to get me to pick up the second one. Though I will be picking it up through the library and not collecting it, because I don’t care that much. I really loved the redemption of Jason Todd without the drama and redemption arc ‘on screen’. It’s no secret that I’m a Jason fan–but I really like how Batman Inc handled his coming back to the bat-family without dragging the reader through the mud and beating a dead horse. I did also like the glimmer of humor that was in the story as well. The Bat-cow/Bat-steak panel made me laugh, and it’s probably one of the more iconic scenes in the first volume. Damian really shines in this story but on the other hand Bruce is really off (again, tying into the beginning arc that this story picks up on.)
Overall: An interesting Batman story arc, but not something that I’ll actively read.
Title: The Extinction Parade Volume 1
Author/Artist: Max Brooks, Raulo Caceres
Published: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Avatar Press
Max Brooks, the best selling Zombie writer in history, unleashes an all-new horror epic! As humans wage their losing fight versus the hordes of the subdead, a frightening realization sets in with the secretive vampire race: our food is dying off. This is the story of the vampire’s descent into all-out war with the mindless, hungry hordes of the zombie outbreak as humanity tries to survive them all! This collected edition contains the entire first chapter of Extinction Parade
World War Z redefined the Zombie genre for me. Extinction Parade takes it one step further, by introducing a secondary supernatural creature: the vampire. In this volume Brooks sets up an epic battle of zombie vs. vampire and the winner maintains the right to hunt and feed on the dwindling human population. It’s a riotous bloodbath with gore and violence. The art is beautiful, and something that I’m drawn to when I’m looking for graphic novels to get into. The story line is something different and I’m interested to see where it goes in further volumes.
The aspect of vampires v. zombies is something that I’ve thought about–especially since both beings at their core are reanimated corpses. I found it fun to read and to see the differences between the two. The vampires that are portrayed in this book are what I consider traditional vampires. Strong, badass and rather nasty when it comes down to it. I am intrigued by the vampire’s caretaker and I am going to grab later volumes of this to figure out the story line that’s happening there.
Overall: Bloody, gory and violent this graphic novel throws together two of the undead supernatural creatures in a knock down drag out fight for food. It’s vampires v. zombies and the prize? Us.
Title: Black Science Volume 1
Author/Artist: Rick Remender, Matteo Scalera and Dean White
Published: November 13, 2013
Publisher: Image Comics.
Grant McKay, former member of The Anarchistic Order of Scientists, has finally done the impossible: He has deciphered Black Science and punched through the barriers of reality. But what lies beyond the veil is not epiphany, but chaos. Now Grant and his team are lost, living ghosts shipwrecked on an infinite ocean of alien worlds, barreling through the long-forgotten, ancient, and unimaginable dark realms. The only way is forward. The only question is how far are they willing to go, and how much can they endure, to get home again?
To be completely up front and blunt, I enjoyed this. I like that straight off there’s a ton of action and story development. There’s a great underlying plot and it’s smart. The writing and dialogue are very smart and fast paced. There’s enough explanation and exposition that it’s not an info dump alongside great illustrations. It does remind me a bit of the television show Sliders (seriously, look it up it was amazing.)–but the differences are strong enough that I’m not feeling like it’s fan fiction.
The characters are well written and unique with their own voices. The aliens that they encounter aren’t the most creative, but I think with the way this story is going and conflict we as readers are thrust into when the story opens, it’s easily ignored. The art though—I keep coming back to it. The lines are great and the colors are brilliant and saturated with an interesting quality to them. I will be reading this series as it progresses, and I’m interested to see where it’s going from the ending point. I’ve been on a manga kick for so long that it was a little different to pick up a traditional graphic novel/comic book and read it, but I found Black Science to be a good trap door back into that genre.
Overall beautiful art with a clean, slick, well written story line makes up an interesting comic book. Worth checking out and reading.