Dynamite! - This Week in Comics 10/21/2015 ~ What'cha Reading?

Dynamite! – This Week in Comics 10/21/2015

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Here is a look at this week’s upcoming Dynamite Comics titles!

This coming Wednesday, October 21st, sees the release of four new titles by Dynamite Entertainment.  It’s easy to overlook many comic books on a weekly basis, especially really good ones, since we normally reach for what we’re accustomed to reading.  We’ve long enjoyed the titles Dynamite publishes and this week has a few books that we think you might want to read.  Admittedly, I normally stick with what I’m familiar with, but since the good folks at Dynamite were kind enough to send us their advance copies, we felt it was only right to take a look and tell you what you’re in store for when you head out to your local comic shop.

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Dynamite! - This Week in Comics 10/21/2015

Image courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment.

The first title I read was Dawn / Vampirella issue 5.  Written, illustrated, and colored by Joseph Michael Linsner, this was actually the first time I ever read the series, or a Dawn or Vampirella comic book for that matter.  I’ve long been familiar with the two characters, especially Vampirella since one of my friend’s is a huge fan.  (She may actually be the biggest fan!)

As I have not followed the series, it’s obvious that a much larger story arc has been detailed within the previous four chapters of Dawn / Vampirella.  Chapter Five: An Open Rose follows Dawn and Vampirella on a wildly imaginative journey that involves many facets of religion and mythology. My friend, Jovanna, tells me that she enjoys Vampirella because “she’s a heroine to monsters and humans.”  With that in mind, the context of Joseph Michael Linsner’s script works in an amazing way.

Despite the very fantastical angle of the story, there’s real human emotion and a relatability to both women and their journey. Dawn and Vampirella come into contact with a baby that might possibly have a demon within him.  It’s just a baby, but due to Ravana offending his lord and master, Vishnu, he ended up with “three incarnations, each one getting more demonic before he was once again with Vishnu.” It’s understood that the baby is Ravana so a horrific, but necessary choice comes into play.

We see both Dawn and Vampirella struggle with the weight of their situations,  but handle it with a maturity and grace.

Dawn / Vampirella issue 5 was enjoyable, even without prior experience with the series.  I enjoyed the work of Joseph Michael Linsner very much and I could easily see the appeal of the title.  Both heroines are strongly depicted and the imaginative landscapes and characters only add to how fun the series is.

Dawn / Vampirella issue 5 gets 4 stars.

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Image courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment.

Another of the comic books releasing on Wednesday, October 21st is a comic called Looking For Group.  It’s already at its seventh issue. It’s a series based on an extremely popular web-comic.  With some research, this is what I was able to find:

Looking For Group follows the adventures of Cale’Anon the elf and Richard the undead warlock, as well as their companions, through Fantasy, Pop Culture, and Gaming tropes, set in a reality and time unlike our own. It’s a place where the eating of small children is not necessarily frowned upon; where beings of extraordinary power can destroy entire villages with only “because I could” as an excuse; where magic and adventure are as commonplace as setting fire to, and then reanimating, a chipmunk into a skeletal minion (it happens more than you’d think); and an epic journey can begin by an accident of fate.                – Yahoo! Games

Looking For Group is a pretty wild comic book, especially considering how it’s rife with pop-culture easter eggs.  It’s a straight forward fantasy story, but if you pay close attention, you will not only encounter a Smurf, jawas, and a certain yellow brick road.  The comic is written by Ryan Sohmer and it was created by Sohmer and the series artist, Lar Desouza.

I’ve never been a sincere fan of fantasy, but Looking For Group is a beautiful comic to look at.  The art by Lar Desouza, in particular the colors by Ed Ryzowski are lush and pull you right into the story.  There’s a genuine quality to the book that makes it quite the entertaining read.  And, again, I’m not one for fantasy and Looking For Group is a title that I could see myself reading regularly.

“You’re surprisingly light?”

“Atkins diet.”

“Richard in the sky… with diamonds.”

Ryan Sohmer peppers the seventh issue of Looking For Group (LFG) with plenty of sly references towards pop-culture and the issue reads in an almost satirical way.  Sohmer has a distinct voice and it’s understandable why this title has developed such a massive following.  There’s also a few back up stories which make LFG worth every buck.

Looking For Group issue 7 gets 3 stars.

 

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Image courtesy of Dynamite Entertainment.

A title that needs no introduction that also releases this week is Voltron: From The Ashes issue 2.  Voltron is one of the most recognizable heroes as he originated in the 1980’s as a popular animated series and is The Defender of the Universe!  This release by Dynamite Entertainment is also seriously impressive as it features Cullen Bunn and Blacky Shepherd as the creative team.  I was never a big fan of Voltron as I didn’t follow that series (I was gung ho for G.I. Joe), but the work of Bunn and Shepherd is an immediate selling point.

Voltron: From The Ashes issue 2, in many respects to its title, concerns itself with the ideas of relevance and necessity.  “There hasn’t been a need for Voltron in 200 years”, we learn and so a ragtag bunch of soldiers are more comfortable with their jovial and apathetic attitudes than with teamwork and taking their training exercises seriously.  Issue 2 is primarily about the teams working together and conducting this highly technical and stylized combat routine, but none of them feel it’s really necessary.  They dismiss Voltron and the training exercises as “worthless” and the overall attitude is similar to the Colonial Marines in Aliens and the Roughnecks in Starship Troopers.  They’re young, dumb, and indifferent.

Of course, evil returns in the form of the robeasts and it perfectly sets up the third issue.  I’m vaguely familiar with the world of Voltron through the beloved toys and so I’m aware there are a few characters that appear in issue 2 that will excite the fans.  Writer Cullen Bunn handles Voltron: From The Ashes with an authority and respect to the mythology of the series and issue 2 reads like any of Bunn’s other stories – a solidly told tale!

Voltron: From The Ashes issue 2 feels episodic in nature and matches what I would think is the style of the show.  I would like to point out that Cullen Bunn and Blacky Shepherd have piqued my interest in Voltron and most likely I will be spending a few days with the show and issue 1.

Voltron: From The Ashes issue 2 releases Wednesday, October 21st along with the rest of Dynamite’s comic books.  I give it 5 (yup) that’s five stars!

Our review for Will Eisner’s The Spirit issue #4 is upcoming!  Stay posted.

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About Author

Mild mannered reporter, Steven Biscotti, has an avid interest in all things comic books, movies, and music (especially pertaining to Coldplay.) Always ready, professional, and on the scene, those closest to him may suspect he's actually from another planet. @ReggieMantleIII

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