Story by Nick Spender & Art by Wes Craig
I wasn’t too familiar with the old stories of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. agents (read: not at all) so I was kinda hoping it was new reader friendly. As I started reading, I realized I wasn’t going to be too keen on the old time-y art style but I was gonna try to keep my mind open to it. It was a little hard to care about people I have never heard about but then I realized that part of the story is that these people die quite often so they’re rotated out. I quickly forgot the names of everyone except the T.O.W.E.R. agents. A team of T.H.U.N.D.E.R. agents is on an alien planet on an observatory mission. One of them, NoMan, notices a familiar red-scarved face in the crowd of aliens(later revealed to be named Demo), and panics. He’s quickly shot in the head by an unnamed assailant. Clearly this mission went wrong. It switches to earth and a conversation between the two T.O.W.E.R. agents’ discuss the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. agents. They’re defined as heroes who are given abilities that will eventually kill them which is pretty damn harsh! Either way, an Asian woman named Lian (hero name Raven) is the first one whose equipment doesn’t have that kind of health risk attached to it.
Tension rises between the two T.O.W.E.R. agents, Toby and Colleen, as they further discuss some of the equipment, namely a helmet Toby seems to have used in the past. Apparently, a guy named Emil Jenkins, who was prior military, went to school, and worked several odd jobs, teamed up with his roommate, NoMan. They joined up with the Higher UN and created this helmet that utilizes mind control. Once the gravity of such a helmet hits him, Emil begs for it be destroyed but is denied. He then installs a safeguard algorithim based on the individual wearing the helmet since he can’t install morals, which he names “Daniel.” The story takes 3/4 of the book to really take off but it has potential.
Art style withstanding, I think it matches the story it’s put to. Wes Craig is an artist I’m not familiar with either, as I hadn’t read many Wildstorm comics where his art is predominantly shown. The only time I really felt pulled into the story art wise is when Toby and Colleen are discussing the helmet.
This isn’t a story I’m interested in following myself but by all means, check it out the next time you’re at your LCS. You may like it but I didn’t.
Story by Aaron Williams & Art by Joseph Lacroix and Dave Stewart
Oh my God, this comic tries too hard to be scary! You know the comic isn’t gonna pull you in when you’re distracted by other things constantly and it takes you an hour to read a 20-page book. Either way, let’s continue with the review. I honestly kept trying to swallow giggles because the old man looks like Jafar’s disguise in Aladdin. Old guy is hanging out in a market and suddenly he grasps a kid’s shirt (Jacob) and tells him his fortune and miraculously, Jacob eats up this old hobo’s words. The story is definitely lacking and unrealistic. Hold on, I know some of you are going to berate me for those words. “Leia all comics are unrealistic!” In a world of superheroes, superheroes doing shit is realistic, okay? In no world should people be this gullible and listen to the wino sitting on the dirt floor of a market, I don’t care what he has to say.
That’s all I was trying to say. Throw in a totally confusing flashback about Jacob as a kid sent into battle anyway with tears in his eyes and another showing mama dearest, who is apparently the barbarian wife of Jacob’s daddy. Jacob’s dad has her tried and convicted of treason and be-heads her. Jacob has some issues with Dad.
The art is just okay. I can see Lacroix working on a Hellboy title with Mignola but definitely not on this one. Get out while you can, guy because I’m betting on this title to be canceled if they went and canceled Shade. As far as outstanding artistic panels go, the only one I liked is laughably the one with hobo Jafar grabbing onto Jacob’s shirt.
This comic sucked. I literally had to make myself go back and read it after I lost interest 3 pages in. Definitely leave this on the shelf.
The Ray #1
Story by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray with Art by Jamal Igle
I’m very unsure if they’re going for random diversity with this story but The Ray is Asian. I wasn’t going to pick this up as I was already annoyed that it took up precious pages of Aquaman. Naked, awkward, and in Seattle, Lucien finds himself resigned to his newfound powers thanks to a Sun Gun project. I don’t know about you, but a Sun Gun just sounds like a bad idea. On the heels of realizing all clothes burn off his rippling, muscled body, Lucien becomes aware that he can bend the light and reflections he now rides, forming “clothes” we normal people can see while he still remains naked. Enter bossy Hindu girlfriend Chanti. Not much to like about her or to relate to, but she yaks his ear off and recommends strongly that he see a doctor before leaving. Through the power of yoga (suggested by Lucien’s hippy adoptive parents), he is able to control his powers. The villain also shows up in the last few pages, a hollywood legacy who disappeared in 1981 and all that remained were a film of his demise and a shrunken head. This is being explained by a professor to his mildly interested students as they watch the director dying and surprise, he bursts out of the ground and kills them all.
Art is okay, nothing to write home about. I think Lucien looks dopey most of the time (kind of like Mario Lopez) and his friends and family look equally silly. I do looooove the coloring by Guy Major.
I am not interested at all to see where this story goes. Leave this one on the shelf too.