Higher Earth #1
Story by Sam Humphries & Art by Francesco Biagini
The cover piqued my curiosity as it featured a short-haired redhead looking like a badass and since I’m on a Hope Summers kick, I picked it up.
A sword wielding man falls from the sky (well, it looks like he fell from the sky) and lands in a futuristic looking junk yard where gnarled and dumb looking locals hold up a piece of iron in triumph. The iron piece is shaped almost like a shield and they do an odd dance of joy before the Man points his sword in their direction and they flee in fear.
He wanders off in search of “her” and a fucking robo-bear appears out of nowhere and begins slicing away at some stray locals. A panel slides open in the bear and Red Head pops out and retrieves a plastic dinosaur, screaming “MINE” at the sky. Man watches her from afar as is some other sentient robo-guy and Red Head takes her prize to a small hill of junk, which is revealed to be her home. She places the little dinosaur tenderly amongst other childhood toys and smiles at them lovingly. Man confronts the girl (he reveals her name to be Heidi, much to her shock), and reveals that he knows a lot about her and she follows him to his hideout in hopes of finding out why he knows so much. As she learns he is from an alternate universe in tandem with this current one, they’re attacked by robo-guy. A well timed explosion allows them to escape to Sunshine Earth9, and Man slices through several government officials while informing Heidi she is an illegal now.
It’s an interesting take on alternate realities but even this mass amount of potential couldn’t save an otherwise flat story.
Mind the Gap #1
Story by Jim McCann & Art by Rodin Esquejo
I was intrigued by this cover ever since it showed up in Diamond Previews a month-ish ago. Jo receives a call from her friend, Elle (short for the horrifically ugly name Ellis), who gasps/moans into the phone and it disconnects. Worried, Jo then phones a mutual friend who hurries to check on Elle. Elle’s family (I’m assuming this well-to-do trio is her family) are in separate places in town and each receive calls that Elle is in the hospital. Dad is quite worried, Mom doesn’t seem to care one way or the other, and Little Brother thinks Elle’s just trying to get attention.
Sometime later, a hooded individual receives confirmation of a job well done and to wait further instructions now that things have been set in motion. The scene switches again to the hospital and Dr. Geller is requested to attend to a new patient, a 20-something female named Ellis. Dr. Geller is rudely dismissed by pompous male doctor, Dr. Hammond and we see that Elle is having an out of body experience and can’t remember her name. As she ponders her family at the foot of her hospital bed, she is welcomed by a handsome young man appearing out of smoke in one of the best looking panels I have ever seen.
Jo and the male friend (Dane, who just might be dating Elle), arrive at the hospital and discuss the possibility of foul play. As they’re talking, Dr. Geller overhears and decides to investigate Elle’s file, noting something seems fishy before she is interrupted and reprimanded for her actions but not quite before she’s able to spirit away Elle’s cell phone. We return to the young man talking to Elle about where they are and what they are. Elle attempts at remembering what happened to her at the urging of the Bobby (spirit boy) and it leads to disturbing results and she feels whoever attacked her is coming to finish the job. Meanwhile, another doctor (of the science sort) takes some research (about Elle) and starts a long drive when he crashes to avoid hitting a deer. Hooded man orchestrated this and makes off with the briefcase of research. We get one more glimpse of Elle and Bobby as they talk to another “floater”, who has decided to “move on.” As Elle’s spirit hovers near the floater’s real life body, she is sucked in and finds herself awake in his body. Awkwaaaard.
This was great and nicely paced. The art only made it better and I’m hoping issue #2 is just as good. The last pages show “easter eggs” left by the collaborative efforts of both writer and artist, allowing us to sleuth out who the attacker is, as they’ve been named in this first issue. So intriguing!
What did you pick up last week?