Will Lill Comics has made a niche of sorts by producing anthology comics; in a way they are using the same formula as Dark Horse Comics Presents in which they introduce and then spinoff the stories in to their own series. Now those series have yet to debut because the anthology is still running. There are three stories in this issue, but I’m going to focus on the first story and the last. The second story The Exiles is part three of a series and is the majority of the issue. The first story “John Kirby: Firefox” has taken me the longest to talk about. The reason being that I wanted to be able to say more than just “it’s Green Lantern inspired.” There’s nothing wrong with that of course because A) I like Green Lantern and B) it has elements, but isn’t an exact copy at all. Still, that didn’t seem like a fair comparison. Then it dawned on me while reading Champions of Earth earlier in the week, that there are other stories that use the alien crashing to earth story structure. One that came to mind for this tale was Boom’s Soldier Zero in which an alien life merges with a human life. That’s the case here as Firefox crashes to earth and needs a new host. The closest person is John Kirby a farmer just trying to get by. The alien merges, but something goes wrong as the alien doesn’t take over his host which is usually the case. John comes out of his Firefox form and has no idea what’s happened other than the fact that his farm is trashed.
I really liked the concept of this tale and would definitely be interested in seeing where it goes. I’m not sure if the “Kirby” in John Kirby’s name is homage to Jack Kirby, but it was cool either way. The writing and dialogue we very solid and the art was a great fit for the story. Again there is something about Will Lill tiles that have a classic and yet modern vibe to them. I like it… a lot.
Skipping to the last story “The Battle of Dulce” I will give my best attempt at doing the story justice while not spoiling it at the same time. It’s told in a round; which means the beginning is the end and the end is the beginning. Usually I hate stories that do this because it’s a cop-out to starting the story properly, but if ever there was an example of how to use a round it’s The Battle of Dulce. There’s a reason that it starts where it does and ends where it does because it’s relevant to the story.
The story itself begins with a man dying in the desert; he looks like a solider of some kind as he stumbles looking for help. Burns cover his body, but he looks as if he’s just been wandering aimlessly through the desert near a reservation. An Indian on the way the reservation finds him and helps him up asks what happened. The man mumbles, “Seven feet tallgrays… war.” A confusing sentence that will make sense by the end of the story.
The strength of this tale is both the story and the art. The narration gives us a complete picture of the events, but the art doesn’t always show the narration. It’s not actually needed and makes both elements more enjoyable because the narration is giving the reader more of the story and the art is able to focus on the impact of the rest of the story. The art was very detailed and photorealistic. I was instantly drawn to it because of how detailed and great it looked. All three tales are very good, but this one took the cake.
The Monty’s World anthology has been more of a superhero/adventure anthology whereas Grafix Chronicles is a sci-fi anthology. They focus on different genres, but they both have a high quality and care when it comes to their stories. Definitely check this issue out as it has three very entertaining stories for you to sink your teeth into.
Writers: T. Warren Montgomery, Lloyd Smith Jr. & Lonnie Weems, Steve Perry Artists: Lee Melton, T. Warren Montgomery, Steve Williams Publisher: Will Lill Comics Price: $3.50 – Print, $0.99 – Digital Website