Mini-Reviews: Deadly Class #7, Shutter #6, The Strain: TNE #2, Savage Dragon #198 and More!

Big disclaimer here...Over the weekend, I was able to successfully prove Newton's Theory of Motion as my action of slipping while getting out of the shower had an equal and opposite reaction (I smashed the back of my head on a toilet).  As I laid there, partially conscience, staring at the ceiling and pondering my predicament, a sudden thought occurred to me that I had a metric shit ton of reviews to do that I might be unable to do.  What to do?  Yes, "do" seemed to reverberate around my head for some reason. I had accepted the fact that I probably would not be able to complete my reviews, as I have been concussed and typing for longer than 5 minutes makes my head start to hurt and spin.  My problem is that before my unfortunate tumble,  I had read some really good comics and desperately wanted to share my experience with you, fellow comic book fans. I likewise read others post concussion (spin head and all), and decided that some way some how, I must get these reviews out to the masses.

So now, with the help of my teenage son who has decided to forego Senior activities so as to provide assistance for his old man, I present to you a nice little condensed version of my reviews. Each review is roughly a paragraph or two long as my son has better things to do than sitting here and typing for me. I take it as I can.  Here we go...

DeadlyClass_07Deadly Class #7

As I waited for this comic while it took a small break after its first awesome arc, I discovered that the absence made my heart grow fonder for writer Rick Remender and artist Wes Craig's ode to teenage angst on the backdrop of a school for assassins during the late 1980s where failure can cost you more than just your future.

Arc number two picks up right where arc one ended. And we discover that what happened in Vegas, has stayed in Vegas, at least for right now.  Things are in motion however that may send the Vegas outcomes spiraling right at our little gang of would be killers. But as for now, our hero Mario Lopez is dealing with personal issues in regard to social interactions and girlfriend drama. Neither are going so great, not to mention that he still has a killer out to get him.

But his troubles are our gain as Remender has written yet another awesome study of inner turmoil. The interchanges are active, edgy and realistic as you really feel where Mario is coming from and what he is dealing with (albeit with some deadlier drama than us more typical Generation X'rs dealt with at the time). Craig's gritty artwork continues with a nice punky influence to it that makes this issue the best I read this week.

Score: 5/5

Writer: Rick Remender Artist: Wes Craig Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 9/17/14

Shutter_06-1Shutter #6

This is the issue where we really see Kate Christopher open up and fully embrace her utter bad assness.  And I am here to tell you that it is pretty bad assy.  Triceratops and Jackal warriors anyone? The action in this issue is non-stop and writer Joe Keatinge is beginning to find a nice groove into this weird and bizarre world of tomorrow.

As for the art, I cannot say enough great things about Leila Del Duca. She draws the bizarre like it is established fact, making this world totally believable, no matter what you are seeing. And you are seeing a lot.

Shutter has been a fun indulgence that is off the beaten track and completely awesome.  I can't get enough of it.  And with each issue, we get an improvement on the previous one making for an incredible story rich in wording, texture, and imagery.

Score: 5/5

Writer: Joe Keatinge Artist: Leila Del Duca Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 9/17/14

19197The Strain: The Night Eternal  #2

Eph (along with all of humanity) is in real big trouble. The Master has pretty much taken care of business and everything is wrapped up... or is it? Obviously, The Master has plans for old Eph and he/it will not stop until he succeeds in nabbing our hero. Also, The Master is not afraid to hit Eph where it hurts in getting those plans completed.

The darkness from the last book, The Fall, was dark and pretty disturbing.  I don't know how, but I think an extra layer of shadow has been added to Mike Huddleston's artwork making this Night Eternal pretty heavy on the night side. The imagery is as morbid and devoid as ever of goodness.

But goodness is still there, and writer David Lapham juices every ounce of it as we see our heroes trying to save that bit of humanity that hasn't been steeped out of The Master's concoction of terror.

Score: 5/5

Writer: David Lapham Artist: Mike Huddleston Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 9/17/14

savagedragon_198Savage Dragon #198

One must always be suspicious of trolls who come out of holes. In this case, the hole that they left behind and their reasons for entering onto the surface look to have some potentially disastrous consequences for the fine people of Chicago. But we are all good, as young Malcolm Dragon is on the scene to take care of business... That is, if he can make it to school on time and deal with the ins and outs of being involved in an interracial and interspecies relationship. Life is tough, but young Malcolm appears to be up to the task.

The new direction of Savage Dragon has been simply super.  And it has rendered some of the best writing and art from Erik Larsen that I have seen in years.  The man is killing it and appears to have renewed passion .Each issue has been showing that passion as we work up to what promises to be a spectacular Issue #200 that is almost upon us.

When I am asked by people what some of my favorite comic titles of all time are, I always point to the beginning run of Larsen on Image with his Savage Dragon.  It was lightning in a bottle and ranks as one of my faves, but I unfortunately fell off through the years.  It has felt awesome though to be back and see that the lightning has returned with Malcolm Dragon taking over the helm. This issue is rock'em sock'em and deep too, a perfect combination in a really great comic.

Score: 5/5

Writer/Artist/Creator: Erik Larsen Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 9/17/14

JudgeDredd-23-cvrJudge Dredd #23

The Dark Judges are still around, but they are trapped in Sector One.  The leadership of Meg City One is stuck on the prison moon of Titan outside of Saturn and at the mercy to many of the criminals that were sentenced there by them.  Only Judge Cal remains in Meg One and he is unveiling a new security policy that is pretty harsh even for Meg City One standards.  And as for Judge Dredd... he is stuck in ooze. Unfortunately for this issue, much of it too is stuck in the ooze as well.

Nelson Daniel has returned to the art side of things after a break from duties in Issue #22. And for the most part, he has returned to a nice form with Duane Swierczynski's writing style covering lots of locales.  But the ooze is dominant as Dredd is gone for long periods of time only seeing what happens when he jumps out usually a month or so later.

There is potential for the Black Light District story arc to really have some serious pop at the end.  But as for now with this issue, we, like Dredd are kind of in and out of the ooze.  Here is hoping for more next month.

Score: 3/5

Writer: Duane Swierczynski Artist: Nelson Daniel Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 9/17/14

ManifestDestiny10_CoverManifest Destiny #9

Lewis and Clark have been stuck... for about three issues now... and the obstacles have been quite formidable that the expedition has faced. Add a little bit of disharmony among the regular soldiers, the prison volunteers, and the acquired refugees, and you have the summary of Manifest Destiny #9 in a nutshell.

This title has been real hit or miss with some issues being amazing and incredible, while others have not been so much. With the current story arc, the party has been stuck on the river as has Charles Dingess' writing. It's like the party gets a big obstacle, they ponder it, then they get through it.  There hasn't been any plot point that pushes forward as of yet.  The only constant that I can get is that the untamed west is, well untamed. And our historic party simply are happening upon each untamed part the same.  Maybe I am just looking for more and haven't quite gotten it yet.  I don't quite know. But I am beginning to feel like this holding pattern will be the norm.  I certainly hope not.

Matthew Roberts' art has been absolutely spectacular and well done covering equal parts historical drama with equal parts creepy unknown played to perfection.  But the writing just hasn't met the art since way back in the early issues.

Score: 3/5

Writer: Charles Dingess Artist: Matthew Roberts Publisher: Image/Skybound Entertainment Price: $2.99 Release Date: 9/17/14