We Kill Monsters #5 Review

I got the 3rd season of 30 Rock tonight and I’m strongly tempted to watch all 22 episodes, and wake up late tomorrow for work. However, I have a copy of Red 5’s great series We Kill Monsters and I’m choosing to read and review that instead. That should tell you how good it is.

Simple, well-written tales are a rarity in these days of multi-character epics that require many months (and dollars) of commitment. That’s where Red 5 come along. Series like their Atomic Robo and Neozoic are brilliant, because they’re entertaining and accessible.

WKM’s writing partners Christopher Leone and Laura Harkcom have taken a simple premise (two brothers fight aliens in their hometown) and put enough familial drama, action and alien mystery to create an intriguing narrative. Penciller Brian Churilla has really been getting a lot of attention lately, thanks to BOOM!’s new The Anchor series (also good) and he does magic with the few lines he uses here.

This penultimate issue starts with the continuation of last month’s discovery of the creatures’ origins. This leads to Vanessa, long-time friend of the heroic Basher brothers of the title, to question not only herself but someone very close to her, and that kind of doubt is never a good thing when you’re armed with a loaded rifle. Jake and Drew Basher then head off to the source of the monsters – a cereal factory that’s manufacturing living mascots. Yep, it’s one of those ideas that could almost be a “shark jumping” moment, but throughout this series Leone and Harkcom have proved adept at balancing humour with danger. And there are a few genuine laughs in this issue, aided greatly by Churilla’s perfect timing and expressive emotions, but there are also thrills and spills. It’s never an easy thing to make readers genuinely concerned about the welfare of a bunch of new characters, in a new series (and from new comic writers no less) but I’m certainly not the only one who’s noticed the fine work in this humble title.

I hope Leone and Harkcom continue to write sequential art once this series wraps. We Kill Monsters is the kind of series that I’d happily read again in Trade form, and is a great entry level tale for anyone new to the medium, or for veteran fanboys who want a refreshing reminder that simplicity doesn’t have to mean lack of creativity.

Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer #3 Preview

Being released tomorrow is the third issue of Top Cow’s Cyberforce/ Hunter-Killer mini-series. Here’s what the Cow have to say about the issue, plus a few perty pics from artist Kenneth Rocafort. Looks good, hey?

Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer #3

(W) Mark Waid (A) Kenneth Rocafort (Cov) Rocafort, Whilce Portacio

The reason for Morningstar’s alliance with Cyberdata becomes clear and the teams of Cyberforce and Hunter-Killer team members rush to destroy key facilities around the world. Only Morningstar is one step ahead and has a deadly welcoming party ready!

Featuring a cover by series artist Rocafort as well as a variant cover by Whilce Portacio (Spawn).

Cover A – Kenneth Rocafort

Cover B – Whilce Portacio

DC’s February Goodies

So DC Comics have just released their full solicitations for February. As always, there’s some great goodies including comics and TPBs but its the statues and action figures that often catch my eye, such as…

The Batman Reborn figures being released in July, which include the new Azarel and Batgirl, as well as Two-Face and Jason Todd doing their best Batman impression.

Also being released in July is the Bizarro Bust based on Gary Frank’s designs and the 1:6 scale Superman based on the classic Kingdom Come series, which features a cloth costume and 28 points of articulation.