It’s that time again when Comic Bastards takes a stop by Titan Comics anthology A-1. As with all of our group reviews the writers/reviews of Comic Bastards will give the issue a score of: Buy, Borrow or Pass and along with a short reason as to why. Before we begin here’s a blurb about the issue from Titan Comics: Three stories continue in this newest issue. In Weirding Willows, Frankenstein's Monster is in the Weir and the angry mob greeting him with pitchforks and flaming torches are Mice, Weasels, and Rabbits. From World War 2 to Iraq, you'll always find Blazing Glory in the thick of it. But after 60 years of combat he's starting to question what he's doing and why in Odyssey. In Carpe Diem: Arcade Fire, an extremely out-of-shape video game freak assembles his own army of gamers and plans a hit on a well-loved politician. The reason? Said politician made a really disparaging comment on the nutfreak's favorite game!
I can definitely recommend to you now that A1 is an anthology you should buy. The first two issues I wasn't really sold on the first and third stories (The Weirding Willows and The Odyssey respectively). However both of these have improved in their short lifetimes and Carpe Diem continues to entertain me. The art and storytelling for all are pretty good and I'm finally glad to be reading three short stories as opposed to wanting one full issue for one story.
The three stories are completely different genres and I find this works to the advantage of A1, one will most likely cater to your mood whereas the other two will still provide that entertainment you didn't know you wanted. I do look forward to A1 #4, I want to see the developments of these creations.
Pure fun. That’s right. This collection of three tales that deserve to be individual comics on their own will make you glad you got your but out of bed and to the comic book store to empty your pull box this week. “Weirding Hollows” mashes so many literary homages together into a fun story that features a dinosaur. Instant win. “Carpe Diem” lampoons video games with a dark biting tongue that will have you chuckling. Lastly, “Odyssey” takes a serious tone on the modern day, real-world version of Captain America.
A-1 continues to be a great little sample platter of some of Titan’s smaller stories. “Weirding Willows” is turning out a lot more interestingly than I thought it would. After its reading, you’ll no longer be able to say, “I’ve never seen Frankenstein fight anthropomorphized squirrels.” Along with some great character stuff with “Dr. Doolittle” and Miss Marche, this was a madcap little adventure, and really does stand out from all the other titles out there re-imagining classic figures from Literature and lore.
“Carpe Diem” was again a fun little ride, pitting the odd little team against a bunch of Hacktivists armed with mafackin’ Power Gloves! I love the Power Glove. It’s so bad. The plot behind this one is pretty silly, but I’ll be damned if those couple pages which serve as the mid-story team intro aren’t a hoot and a half! Add to that nods to M. Bison, light sabers, Mario and one big kersplode of an ending, and this one ticks a lot of boxes in the stupid-fun column.
The last story in the book, “Odyssey,” continues to march along, albeit a bit aimlessly. I thought this would establish itself apart from a Captain America clone with what looked like shades of Blade or Hellboy thrown in there, but it doesn’t seem to be doing much of anything new. It’s not a bad “special ops” story, but it’s nothing I’d call exceptional. Overall, though, it doesn’t hurt this nice little smorgasbord of a title, and it’s a great look into the impressive range of stuff Titan is capable of producing.
It is tough to bring in three totally different stories and make the audience love each one. I don’t love each story. It is clear that Carpediem is the winner, but the other stories are getting better. I think what I dig so much just story wise with Carpe is that it is a full story in each issue. They go on a mission and complete that mission. Whereas Weirding Willows and Odyssey try to continue a long story with not a lot of time. Those stories are hard to really get a good bite out of them.
In saying that, the other two are getting more of my attention. Odyssey was a little strange at first thinking it was Captain America remake. It still reflects this hero a lot but I see it for its own comic now. This issue finally proved that the story has some good magical realism involved. Should make out to be an interesting tale. I think they are trying to make this dude fail more than Captain America would. And show a hero in today’s world.
Weirding Willows is probably now my least favorite. It is so slow and has a lot of character development to do in no time. They need to build it faster for me to even read this story anymore. I like the elements of fairy tales being involved, but it is hard to see how they all connect.
Carpediem offered another great story and I don’t know how these guys surprise me by how they kill Monday every time but it does. Makes me laugh too. These characters bounce off of each other so nice, it makes for a real treat and it is usually the first comic I read when I know we are reviewing it. It is the middle story in the comic which is usually the best part of the cookie.
A-1 is still a strong buy. I am just holding out for Weirding Willows to pick up some ground.
All three of these stories have grown on me to the point that I really look forward to this series each month. In fact I’m the guy responsible for the continuing group review coverage of this series because I think it’s interesting to see what the other writer’s think of it. I really think it has the prefect mix with the strange and weird coming from “The Weirding Willows”, to the hilarious and goofy “Carpe Diem” and the serious and dramatic “Odyssey.” This is a very entertaining series for sure, but it’s also extremely well-crafted too. The writing is spot on and finds the perfect pacing for the monthly anthology, while the art crafts beautiful worlds with varying detail and styles. It really is fantastic so check it out.
Score: BUY IT!
Writers: Dave Elliot, W.H. Rauf
Artists: Barnaby Bagenda, Rhoald Marcellius and Garrie Gastonny
Publisher: Titan Comics
Release Date: 8/14/13