Prior to this batch of reviews, I had never heard of Charles Soule, yet he has popped up twice in this list, writing both Inhuman and Letter 44. The latter title is set following a recent election, during which the new president discovers that the wars in the Middle East and the increases in military R & D has been because of the discovery of an installation being built in the asteroid belt. The reader is introduced to the crew and the situation as the new president is, creating a very effective start to an exciting new series. Well told and fast paced, it appears that Charles Soule may be my new go-to writer for science fiction comics.
The story of Magnus is one that has been told by many people at many companies, and been updated many times. Beginning in Gold Key Comics, the series was most notably revamped by Valiant Comics, becoming a very strong part of their future continuity. When Valiant closed its doors, the series was bought and sold multiple times with few new comics, with the exception of a not-so-great graphic novella from iBooks, before being picked up by Dark Horse, who published four issues. The character eventually landed at Dynamite Entertainment, which has proven to be a great developer of new directions for licensed characters (Red Sonja, Vampirella, a whole host of pulp heroes including The Spider, etc.). The new series is written by Fred Van Lente, who is best known to many as the co-writer of Cowboys & Aliens, as well as some of his non-fiction comics like Action Philosophers and Comic Book Comics, and his run on Hercules and his current (brilliant) work on Archer & Armstrong. Magnus: Robot Fighter follows a small town teacher who is thrust into a future world where robots seem to control everything, and he struggles to survive. Van Lente’s new direction is a lot of fun, taking the best elements of the past and making them into a wonderful new story. This series is highly recommended for fans of science fiction action and adventure.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Prelude #1
It is hard not to be a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and with recent releases Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: Winter Soldier, it just keeps getting bigger and better. And the next movie is only a few months away. In anticipation of the release of Guardians of the Galaxy on the big screen, marvel is releasing the official prequel, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Prelude. Following Nebula, a young assassin in training under Thanos, the reader is introduced to all of the major players that will be appearing in the movie, as well as a taste of how the movie series will deviate from the comic series. Written by fan-favorite Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, who wrote the Guardians of the Galaxy series that revived interest in the series in the first place, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Prelude is a fun start to a two-part mini-series that will get you excited for the upcoming film.
Rogue Trooper #1
The character Rogue Trooper began in the famous British comic 2000 AD, where science fiction comic staples like The A.B.C. Warriors and Judge Dredd originated. Unfortunately, this reviewer has found a lot off the material from 2000 AD to be a touch on the tedious side, as we explored previously in the review of Ro-Busters: The Disaster Squad of Distinction, so I was a little hesitant to pick this one up. However, like Dynamite Entertainment, IDW has shown themselves to be great and re-introducing and re-developing licensed characters, such as G.I. Joe and Judge Dredd, so I picked this one up. And I am glad I did. Writer Brian Ruckley does a great job of introducing the character while still keeping him enigmatic and mysterious, and the action doesn’t let up. Readers who enjoy Valiant’s Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps will really enjoy this new series.
Walter Simonson is truly a comics genius. Most iconic was his run on Thor, but his work really has few low spots. However, with the large volume of work he has released, some of it has following to the wayside. IDW made the interesting decision to rerelease one of Simonson’s earliest works, Star Slammers, that was originally published in a graphic novel and mini-series by Marvel, as a newly colored on-going series, Star Slammers: Re-Mastered! The series shows the influence of science fiction titles like 2000 AD with its art and narrative approach, but it uses that format in a much more approachable, less slow moving way that creates a wonderfully dynamic story. While Star Slammers: Re-Mastered! feels like an older science fiction comic, it is all that was great about the genre in that era. This one is well worth picking up.
Scott Snyder seems to exploded onto the comics scene recently, first with American Vampire, then on Detective Comics, and following the advent of the New 52 at DC, Batman, Swamp Thing, and Animal Man, along with the brand new weekly title Batman Eternal. And along with all of that work, he is producing The Wake, which looks to be one of the best horror comics released in some time. Marine biologist Lee Archer is called to an underwater research facility in the arctic circle by the government, which has discovered some strange sounds that are clearly not whale or dolphin. The mysteries deepen when Archer gets to the base, and discovers just what has been found. Lots of suspense, and narrative bouncing around in time, and a lot of suspense make this a highlight of horror science fiction comics.