Incarnate #1 Review

Incarnate #1 CoverIn the new tradition of musicians creating comics comes Radical’s Incarnate, from Nick (son of KISS’ Gene) Simmons, and I gotta say, it’s not too bad. This 3 issue mini-series is a reinvention of the vampire mythos, but before you roll your eyes at that notion, let me say that Simmons, as both writer and artist does a respectable job of breathing new life in to the undead.

It opens with one of preacher/poet John Donne’s works about death, from a few centuries ago, before revealing a naked boy eating a dog in an alley, while speaking lines like, “I am a bloodhound tethered to an invisible master.” Right off the bat, you know this isn’t a typical vamp comic.

Mot, the naked kid grabs some clothes off a hobo he’s just drained blood from before shooting Connor, a vamp assassin in the face, but it’s just a flesh wound. The pair then go to a club of vamps, or “revenants” as they’re known in Incarnate where they discover that their old foe Solomon Vane and his family are tracking them. Not only that, they’ve finally discovered a way to kill them. A battle comences with Vane’s eager general Vincent and an army of well armed soldiers but only Mot and Connor remain behind to fight them, and things don’t look good for the pair.

Incarnate is off to an impressive debut. It’s wildly different from any of Radical’s other offerings. Their painterly, serious approach is not taken here and this resembles a standard comic that you’d find from another publisher. Having Nick Simmons’ name on the cover certainly helps, as does the exposure its received on his family’s reality TV show. Not  alot is revealed about the revenants at this point. We know they’re immortal and treat humans with disdain, but that’s about it. Two more issues isn’t much at all to build upon that mythology, but perhaps if this series is successful enough, more will follow.

The manga influences are strikingly obvious, but Simmons makes it work. His passion for manga can be seen on every page, with flowing blood, speed lines and jagged panels everywhere. However, there’s a sense of clarity and purpose to the design. It never feels cumbersome and the story is satisfyingly streamlined. I can only assume Simmons is the primary penciller, as there is also an inker, a colorist and three assistant artists given credit. I’ve never seen that before, but Nam Kim is the only one given the honour of a cover credit besides Simmons’ name. However, from all the interviews I’ve read, and his appearance at Radical’s Comic-Con panel, this is Simmons’ show all the way. Considering this is his first comic as both writer and artist, he’s off to a good start. Hopefully with his name attached, and its manga flavour, many non-regular comics readers will pay attention and give Incarnate the chance it deserves.

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Oblivion Book And Film

I first saw the simple image of Oblivion from Radical a while ago and wondered what it was. The publisher has a good handle on sci-fi epics and has been making strong steps in to the film biz lately, so this bodes well. Press release below.


OblivionComing out of San Diego Comic-Con International, Radical Publishing is proud to announce that Joseph Kosinski, director of the upcoming Tron Legacy, is slated to direct Oblivion as a full-length feature film, based on the upcoming hardcover book also created by the director. Oblivion will be produced by Kosinski alongside Radical Publishing’s President and Publisher Barry Levine, filmmaker David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Anonymous Content’s David Morrison. Radical Publishing’s Executive Vice President Jesse Berger is attached as executive producer.

Set in the distant future, Oblivion revolves around a court-martialed soldier who is exiled to a desolate planet ravaged by the wrath of time. During his efforts to explore his surroundings and bring an end to the last remains of a primitive alien race, he comes across a mysterious traveler. Through the help of this enigmatic traveler, the soldier begins to question everything he knows – both about the galaxy at large and himself.

“I was looking to make a science fiction film that I could do on a budget,” stated Kosinski of the initial concept. “It’s grown since then, but it’s intended to be a very spare science fiction film, with a small cast but big ideas and big landscapes.”

“We’re very excited to have Joe Kosinski’s Oblivion at Radical,” said Barry Levine. “This our very first non comic property and the first book to debut in our illustrated novels collection. Not only has Joe crafted a unique vision for this book, he’s managed to create an incredible world and a compelling story. We’re pleased and proud to be a part of this project and fans will be overwhelmed with what we are planning for this book’s release.”

Oblivion will debut as a Hardcover hybrid novel in a landscape format, mixing the traditional text based novel with highly rendered illustrations. The book is set for a San Diego Comic-Con 2010 release under the Radical Books imprint.

Punisher Wars

Something strange is going to happen with the Punisher in November, judging by Marvel’s latest teaser simply image entitled Frankencastle. Also just released is Steve Kurth’s variant cover to Ultimate Armor Wars #1, which is being released on September 16. Marvel describes it thusly:

COVER BY: Steve Kurth
WRITER: Warren Ellis
PENCILS: Steve Kurth
Exploding from the ruins of ULTIMATUM, Tony Stark races against time to save his crippled corporation and stop the theft of his armored arsenal! Superstar writer Warren Ellis (ULTIMATE HUMAN) teams up with rising talent Steve Kurth (IRON MAN) to bring you a globe-spanning, high-octane thriller with a blast from Tony’s past that you’ve gotta see to believe!


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