Group Review: A-1 #2

We’re back with another group review for this series. Since it’s an anthology and so many of us enjoyed the book last time, why not get just as many opinions about the second issue! In case you’re new to this whole “group review” thing, it’s where the writers/reviews of Comic Bastards give the issue a score of either: Buy, Borrow or Pass and then they’re reason why they gave the score. Before that though, here’s a blurb about the issue from Titan Comics: CARPEDIUM Agents must save their leader, Sir 8th Day, from an army of clowns, commanded by the fascist Clown Nazi! But who is the Clown Nazi? And what is the reason for his grudge against Sir 8th Day? Find out in 'By Blood a King, in Heart a Clown'! Plus, 'Odyssey' continues and 'Weirding Willows' gets even weirder.

A1_02_Covers_Back_Barcode_4Dustin: Buy

This is a great anthology collection. The fact that it sticks to its guns and only has three stories running and no overlap in mood or theme is perfect. Of course I have my favorite, but really I enjoyed reading each story and seeing what’s going to happen in the different worlds. The three tales have become new friends and I can’t wait to catch up with each of them, even if it’s only for a brief moment.

My favorite is Carpe Diem. The art is amazing and the world that it creates sucks me in with its weirdness and black comedy style of humor. I absolutely adore the fact that each new Sir Monday starts off as the biggest and baddest agent and then dies instantly. It’s hilarious, as is the rest of the story.

The “Weirding Willows” has actually grown on me from the first issue. Usually I’m not into the mixture and reimagining of classic literature, but there’s something interesting about the different combinations of characters. I mean Dr. Doolittle is an animal wrangler for Dr. Moreau (whose daughter is Alice) and is going to make the animals from the Jungle Book fly for a woman that I believe is the Mad Hatter (could be wrong). It’s a strange mixture that works and works very well. It’s a very strong anthology and definitely worth a purchase.

Samantha: Buy

Ok when I witness a giant flying cat ship meowing, I have died and gone to heaven. This comic gave me a piece of that and I am forever thankful to its creator.

Unfortunately the bad part about A-1 is that I just want more “Carpe Diem”! The comic is hilarious and on top of that so creative. I love their names and the personalities along with it. I want to see this comic live on. Sir Eighth Day is such a good character. When I saw the Magic eight ball head I was confused but now he is like the chance of the group. The hope that when you turn the eight ball over “Better Not Tell You Now” will not appear.

The other two stories are solid as well. I am only partial, as most probably are to “Carpe Diem”. Anyway, the first story is all about the fantasy stories we heard as kids. It takes a job at blending all these stories into one. Both “Weirding Willows” and “Odyssey” aren’t revealing much about their story line. “Weirding Willows” will most likely follow Alice on many adventures though. It is “Odyssey” that I am confused about. It is a lot like Captain America and I haven’t seen the difference between the two comics yet. I don’t like it that much but I think I need to wait because it can’t be all the comic is about.

Sergio: Buy (Duh)

Titan Comics is the shit! I'm so happy that we're getting the opportunity to review them on the site and I'm really starting to become a big fan of A-1. Last issue I gave high praise to the first story, “The Weirding Willows”, and at the time it was my favorite out of the three but this issue I have to say that “Carpe Diem” has taken the #1 spot for a really unique story and awesome art. If you pay attention there are a few subtle things that make “Carpe Diem” so damn awesome. I don't want to spoil the surprises but pay attention to each panel, look for the Easter eggs.

A1_02_Covers_Back_Barcode_6When I first read “Odyssey” it reminded me of a Captain America knock off and now with the story opening up a little more not only is it a Captain America knock off, they even go as far as taking the mail character and placing him in present time. I've already read my fair share of Capt stories to I will have to pass on “Odyssey” all together.  Going back to the first story, “The Weirding Willows”, they introduce some characters based on the Jungle Book this issue which is pretty rad because I'm a huge Disney fan so it was rather enjoyable. The story is still developing so I'm very excited to see where it goes. If you haven't read issue one go back and get it and make sure you pick up this issue. You get your money's worth just based on the first two stories and who knows; maybe you'll appreciate the Captain America knock off more than I do.

Steve: Buy

Although I thoroughly enjoyed A-1 #1, I have to admit ... I liked A-1 #2 even more. Titan Comics has really impressed me of late with its editorial choices, and it continues to do so with this title. Last issue, I wasn’t sold completely on the first story in the anthology, “Weirding Willows,” because I find that these literary-mishmash books often pale and fail, but here, I found it actually pretty endearing, sweet at points without being saccharine, and interesting in the way these characters are put into play with and against each other. The appearance of one of Literature’s most apologetic monsters in Wonderland of all places also suitably interests the crap out of me.

Carpe Diem,” the book’s second story, continues to be great in its own weird little way. Call me traditional, but I’m a sucker for oddball assassin team stories, particularly those which pit anally-violated nyan cat-riding nazi clowns against men with 8-balls for heads who don ill-fitting headwear. This was a delicious second course of this story, and I’m looking forward to supping on more of it soon. As good as it is in small doses, it would be great to see this expanded into its own title.

A1_02_Covers_Back_Barcode_2The final story, “Odyssey,” was the biggest wildcard for me. I thought it was the weakest link last issue, but here I think it might prove to have the strongest long game. I imagine this one will end up being Captain America meets Blade, and it should be cool to see it develop. The art in all three stories is great, and match the respective stories well. I’ll continue reading this and suggest that everyone out there who enjoys comics keenly follows everything Titan is doing right now. They are making some truly inspired decisions.

Connor: Borrow

Anthologies have pros and cons. The main one I find is that it can be great reading multiple stories, so a reader can get more variety and be exposed to multiple great works at once. However the downside can be the same thing. Reading stories in such short installments frustrate some and they may only like one.

This is how I felt again when reading the second issue of A-1. The second story “Carpe Diem” is the only one that really interests me and I wish I could read more of it when I come across it. The other two stories, “Odyssey” and “The Weirding Willows “don't interest me whatsoever so being two out of three that I don't like it brings the book down as a whole. But hey, check it out it may interest you.

Score: 4 Buys and a Borrow… that we’re not counting.

Writers: David Elliott and W.H. Rauf

Artists: Barnaby Bagenda, Rhoald Marcellius, Garrie Gastonny

Publisher: Titan Comics

Price: $3.99

Release Date: 7/10/13