IndyStash is a brand new monthly subscription box that promises to bring you 4 awesome independent comics a month. June 2016 is their first month and we here at IndieComiX decided to check it out. So please join us for the first hopeful installment of a new monthly segment: Unloading the IndyStash!
IndyStash – June 2016 Reviews
Agent: Wild #0
Dork Empire Ink
Written & Illustrated by: Don Walker
Inked by: Larry Welch w/ Jeff Graham
Colored by: Nicolas Chapuis w/ Jesse Heagy
Lettered by: Ed Dukeshire
Reviewed by: Derrick Crow
Summary: In the far future an interplanetary government has been put into place called The Union. Working under the Union is a spy agency known as the 12th Hour. And within that agency is their finest weapon, Agent Wild. During a low key mission to retrieve a stolen device an old friend returns to Agent Wild’s life and reveals a dark secret growing within the Union. It’s time for Wild to choose a side.
Review: This was a fun, badass, gorgeous comic and I had a lot of fun reading it. How’s that for a review opener? – Seriously though, I wasn’t sure what to expect going into Agent: Wild. I mean for most comics you never really do but I was certainly blown away with how impressed I was with it.
From the get-go the first thing you notice just from an aesthetic view is how gorgeous the artwork for this series and that persists through the entire comic. It has a sort of Mark Bagely feel to it to me which is wonderful cause I love that man. The pages are very vibrant and the action scenes feel very kinetic. Walker does a great job putting this comic together panel-to-panel.
Sure, not every shot is perfect and sometimes the proportions on characters look irregular but never to an extent that throws the reader off or makes them second guess what they’re looking at. I also want to make a quick comment about the awesome panel layouts Walker lines out for the comic making many of the pages seem cinematic in scope and wholly interesting to just look at.
Story wise the overall adventure isn’t anything unique or mind blowing however it is fun and well-written and those two things make all the difference. Agent: Wild is a really interesting character and I want to know more about her past and and family after the revelations we get at the end of the comic related to her ties to the 12th Hour.
The overall plot from a basic standpoint reminds me of the movie Serenity, the series-finale film of Firefly. At first I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy that but by the end Walker makes some moves that make this comic feel fresh and exciting and makes me want to continue reading it.
Agent: Wild is a sci-fi story and from the get-go we get interaction between humans and aliens in this story but Walker pens these characters in a way that interaction like this is simply every day and Earthlings can be treated just as alien as the aliens themselves. I like this dichotomy and in fact the Earthlings are in the minority in this comic where aliens of different shapes, sizes and species take precedence in this comic. And as someone who loves space stories featuring different aliens I loved this.
Overall I really enjoyed Agent: Wild and would gladly read more. Walker has something going here and I for one wanna be a part of it.
Final Score: 4.5 Uncovered Conspiracies out of 5
Editor’s Note: Head here to experience more Agent: Wild!
Short Fuse Media Group, LLC
Written by: Max Milne
Illustrated/Inked/Colored/Lettered by: Jordan Johnson
Reviewed by: Derrick Crow
Summary: In an alternate universe where superhumans seems commonplace, Gritt a young upstart in the superhuman pantheon finds his first fight with a former hero of his turned to be much more than he could handle.
Review: I actually liked this comic quite a bit, but that unfortunately doesn’t stop it from being unexpectedly confusing to read. And what I mean by that is for majority of the comic everything feels quite straight forward. It begins on the planet Aralios where it seems most of these superhumans of Earth evolved and grew up. Only to move to present day Earth where these superhumans have migrated to and become commonplace Earth. Gritt, our main character, is one of those superhumans from Aralios.
However as the story goes on it becomes increasingly confusing as to how the backstories between these characters all link up. Sure, we don’t really get a lot of explanation as to how superhumans came to this planet but the villain – or hero? This is another complaint I had, the way the two characters are written it is very difficult for me to personally to tell who is the good guy in this comic – Vigor does make comments alluding to the superhumans having migrated to the planet Earth.
I want to say what’s going on is that Vigor leads a team of superhumans who want to take over the Earth for the superhuman species, and Gritt is among heroes who want to fight for the humans who live here and the world they now live on for cohabitation. That sounds about right but there just seems to be some missing text that I must of have just missed that spells that out; and it could’ve been done in either just a side comment where I can easily connect the dots or an expositive sort of way.
However, past that, I did really enjoy reading Gritt and I actually got a major Invincible vibe out of it. From a lot of the character designs, to how the world I sort of set up, the – well – gritty, bloody fights and even down to the art which shares a lot with Invincible’s regular art style.
Which none of that is a bad thing either. I like Invincible to an extent (there are times when stories get unnecessarily drawn out) so to have this series share some of its same qualities I just see it as a bonus. It also does feel just different enough that it definitely doesn’t feel like a rehash either. If you like Invincible you’re going to like this comic, it’s just that simple.
I have issues with this comic, unless I’m blind there doesn’t need to be a bit of spelling out about how the superhuman politics work in this world so that I can understand better whom I’m actually supposed to be rooting for, but I did think the comic overall was fun and entertaining and I would read the next issue if given the chance.
Final Score: 2.5 Bloody Punching Matches out of 5
Editor’s Note: Head right here for more Gritt and other Short Fuse Media titles!
Moros: A Hard Boiled Hero #1
Written & Lettered by: Josh Lucas
Penciled & Inked by: Tamal Saha
Cover Art by: Paul Anderson
Reviewed by: Derrick Crow
Summary: Bay City is a rundown town where gangs have gone to war over a new drug on the street called “Juice” that allows the junkie to become physically stronger and more rabid in nature. The police have become corrupt and violence runs more rampant than ever before. Luckily one detective who refuses to give into corrupt justice is out to exact vengeance for his town. Moros: A Hard Boiled Hero.
Review: Set among a black and white gritty noir setting Detective Ed Knight is a hard-boiled cop and war vet who’s tired of seeing his town go to ruin. He knows how corrupt the cops are and the chief of police is also chief among them. And so Ed decides to take the law into his own hands after being shut down again and again to take down the various gangs.
I enjoyed Moros for what it was. It’s another plotline we’ve seen dozens of times before but that doesn’t mean its not fun or a bad comic. Ed Knight is a relatable as a character and it’s easy to see that he means well and just wants to see justice prevail. Lucas does a real good job at displaying police corruption within the work place as the Chief is very much against Ed taking out those who’d cut out his fat paycheck.
It’s over-the-top yes but that’s par the course for gritty noir crime dramas of this style. I felt that overall Lucas did a real good job with the story and keeping it cohesive in understanding what’s going on. We also get flashbacks to the past during Ed’s time as a soldier and his PTSD that came with it. It’s a very real, very relatable aspect to his character that I’m glad was included. The best part though comes near the end when Ed is forced to take law into his own hands and dawns the mask and suit of Moros.
The action scenes for that fight are beautifully drawn in detail as Moros goes full Daredevil-meets-Batman on a bunch of thugs while hyped up on the very drug tearing his town apart. It’s a great juxtaposition for the character and leads organically into a twist in the story at the end that sees Ed being forced to hunt down the very hero he’s masquerading as and bring him to justice.
It’s this final twist that makes this series worth continuing as it creates a unique and interesting dynamic for this series to tackle and keeps me as the reader hooked to find out what twist and turns will come next.
The art is great as well and detailed. I like the black-and-white style and as I said earlier that fight scene is awesome to look at. The only other color in the book is blood as it rips from the various thug’s when Moros lands a hit on them. This issue isn’t perfect as it does have lettering issues with sadly quite a few misspelled words. I can understand one or two getting by the proofreaders but not as many as are prevalent in this book. I do hope that gets fixed by the next issue. It will definitely help with the fluidity of the character’s dialogue.
Final Score: 3.5 Hard Boiled Heroes out of 5
Editor’s Note: Check out the Moros Facebook page to find out how you can acquire future issues!
Spirit’s Destiny #1
Written by: Dorphise Jean
Illustrated by: Edwin Galmon (Pgs. 1-20); Saint Yak (Pg. 21); Richard Perotta/Alexander Malyshev (Pgs.22-27)
Reviewed by Derrick Crow
Summary: Destiny I a young girl having strange dreams of a life she never lived, or perhaps has yet to live? While the nature of the events of her dreams are still a mystery Destiny still has to deal with everyday life like a Mother who she just can’t seem to communicate with, a Grandmother who is tired of both of them and school life where she has friends but she’s still bullied. After getting hit with a beam of energy though Destiny’s life is to unravel mysteries that she had no idea were ever there.
Review: This was another good first issue for IndyStash that I really enjoyed. And while the story was fun let me first talk about the art because I do feel its important here. This was drawn by 4 different people and yet overall this book looks like one helluva cohesive uniform work for 4 individuals pulling together.
I went in expecting whole pages and designs to clash but that never really happens here and I was impressed with that. If anything this book is really nice to look at as everything’s art is great. The action looks good, the various character’s designs look great, and the world they inhabit feels real. Not everyday you see such strong cohesion for a book. Regardless of the story, I’m very happy with how the book looks as a whole.
Now onto the actual story. This issue is mostly set-up and dedicates a quarter of its story to a dream sequence that introduces us to our first mystery as Destiny dreams of a life as a mother and witnesses her husband breaking into her house to steal (or possibly kill) their baby. When she awakes though she wonders if that was her life in the future or possibly her Mother’s. I’m sort of betting on the latter but the fact that she’s having this dream is another mystery unto itself.
Unfortunately she doesn’t have a lot of time to mull this over as she’s drug off to another day of school where she gets into a fight with a bully for merely talking to the bully’s boyfriend. I was glad to see the situation handled realistically as someone who used to be bullied while it is irritating to continue to see faculty and parents handling the situation terribly it’s also more realistic to actually what goes down in schools so I was glad to see that because it’s relatable.
The only thing that I’m not huge on is that if there is a giant mystery to Destiny’s family history then I’m not sure we needed a third party energy beam to help Destiny begin her story. See, Destiny’s mom is a scientist working on a project along with the mother of one of her friends. After being grounded for fighting, Destiny and her friends decide to sneak her out to go check out this project and see what it’s all about. They activate it and the machine doesn’t work at first and then suddenly the energy beam hits Destiny in the back, and from the short preview image of issue #2 this will set Destiny’s adventure in motion.
But considering how truly random it feels that Destiny got hit and not the other two I’m not sure how it’s really tied to the events a the beginning of the issue or if it was necessary to kick all this off. And who knows maybe it’s not related at all and I’m just reading too much into all of this. That’s always possible too. Only time will tell though but as for issue #1 as a whole I really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to issue #2.
Final Score: 4 Energy Beam Ex Machina’s out of 5
Editor’s Note: Want to find out when issue 2 is coming out? Head right here!
IndyStash.com is a new monthly subscription box that sends you 4 individual Indie comics to your mail – or mailbox – every month. You can purchase it physically or digitally or a small fee. Please, go check them out and support Indie Comics!