Near Death #1
Pilot Season Declassified 2011 #1
Ghostbusters #1 (IDW, 2011, $3.99)
This was a cute story that I think would appeal to fans of The Real Ghostbusters. Good character designs, introductions to all, and callbacks to the movies. The story worked well as the initial chapter in a serial, and there's some solid extras in the back.
Near Death #1 (Image, 2011, $2.99)
In a text afterword, writer Jay Faerber acknowledges the influence of television writer Stephen J. Cannell and crime novelist Robert B. Parker. That sounds about right. I caught the pilot for J.J. Abrams' Person of Interest a few weeks back, and it had a similar feel. A hitman has a near death experience, and decides to start saving instead of taking lives. Since his revelation and new mission begins in this issue, a lot of ground has to be covered in a short span of time, so that first job is given short shrift. Markham seems like an alright protagonist, and is already building a supporting cast. Artist Simone Guglielmini reminds me of a cross between Lee Weeks and Jorge Zaffino, which means it's almost too good for the episodic, slightly gimmicky material. Still, it's a solid start, and I enjoyed what I read. Perhaps a trade paperback with a nice low introductory price would get me to buy more.
Pilot Season 2011: Declassified #1 (Image, 2011, $1.00)
I want to say that I've done this before. Buying a book because it's a dollar, even though it is only slim, stupid, stiff interviews Newsarama would pass on and the types of "bonus material" packaged with the Previews catalog I order crap like this out of. In other words, this was pointless and tedious. Therefore, I will now review the concepts being put forth in this circular at face value while planning not to buy a single goddamned issue.
- The Test: Sounds just like the movie The Signal, and we're promised shocks on every page. There's an eight page preview, and there's nothing shocking from what I can tell. Also, the writer fellates the artist, but he only looks worth a handjob, at best.
- City of Refuge: Something about cops in a pacifistic society taking drugs to be violent enough to fight crime, which sounds pretty boring. The writer has some association with I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, while the artist was one of the reasons I blew off Shooter's Dark Horse Valiant books.
- The Beauty: Attractiveness as some sort of communicable disease with adverse consequences. Written by a guy who writes for Top Cow, and drawn by a guy I ain't never heard nothing about.
- Fleshdigger: One of the more interesting concepts, since it's basically a Bronze Age Marvel hero-monster premise like Werewolf By Night, but with a zombie. There's also design sketches, which are way less worthless than uncolored/unlettered preview pages.
- Theory of Everything: Kind of like the last one, with the sketches and an okay premise, except this one involves poor man's sci-fi instead of discount horror.
- Misdirection: It's about a race car driver, and is written by a Top Cow editor. Sounds like bad comics to me.
- Anonymous: The phrases "elite Special Forces soldier" and "black ops" are in the first sentence, and "Wet work" starts the second. The only way this could get worse is if "wanted out" and "Screenwriter Alan McElroy" were in succeeding sentences, and they are. But wait, the concept is only being executed by a hired hand, as the creator is another fucking Top Cow exec and there's no artist assigned yet.
- Seraph: Easily my favorite portion. The concept by All Pro football player Lance Briggs is at essence Spawn. Facilitating writer Phil Hester does his best to try to conceal this fact and elevate the material, but Briggs keeps chiming in that no, no, it's really really Spawny, but with more of the preachy. They also plug Lance's Comic World, a glorified blog that went from April through mid-September without any updates, and that update was art for Seraph unseen in the preview book.