Comic Publishers

November 16, 2012

FFGtGR: Kozmik, TMNT and Voltron Force!

From Friendly Ghosts to Gamma Rays

From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays, No. 120

Hi ya’ll, and welcome back to your source for the 4-1-1 on all-ages comics, From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays! I’m all out of witty intros these days, but just you wait, it’ll strike you when you least expect it and –holy mother of–ladies and gentlemen, it’s Sonny Chiba!!!!!!!!!

Wow, just wow, how about that for an intro, friggin’ Sonny Chiba making a cameo! That is even cooler than when he played the father briefly on the TV show Space Sheriff Gavan! Well, now that that’s out of the way, on with the reviews!

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Kozmik #1
Publisher: Arcana
Written and Drawn By: Scott Kinney

Last week on comiXology the all new all-ages title Kozmik was released digitally first (it will be collected in print later on) from our friends at Arcana, created by Scott Kinney.

The first issue follows the story of the alien Bruvo, who is escaping from the evil Dreadnite and his forces through space, with a battle suit that could decide the outcome of the fate of the universe. In his attempt to flee, he ends up on Earth, and decides to stash the suit in the closet of 12-year-old Zak Tyler. As Bruvo is captured, Zak discovers the suit and puts it on, leading him to discover just the start of what this thing is capable of.

Issue #1 of Kinney’s Kozmik is a nice kick off into this world for readers, setting everything up while entertaining us along the way, and not skimping on the action a story like this benefits from. For older readers the concept may remind them of the 1997 film Star Kid, or for older-older readers the 1985 manga Guyver, Bio-Boost Armor, which spun off two anime series and two live-action movies, but I assure you it really just ends there conceptually and does its own thing. For starters, it’s all-ages, so it is nowhere near the violent blood filled insanity that was Guyver‘s charm, and in terms of Star Kid, the battle suit here is more of an Iron Man-esque weapon than what was going on in that film. Kinney lets the story do its own thing and go wherever it just naturally goes. Stylistically it looks good, and the villains have a Darkwing Duck vibe to them giving it a certain nostalgic appeal. However, all of those things aside which really I aimed at the adult reader side of all-ages, on the kid side it’ll appeal to them as well, and they’ll eat it up, no comparisons included.

Kozmik is good all-ages science fiction coolness. Issue #1 available now digitally on comiXology.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2012
Publisher: IDW
Written By: Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz
Art By: Kevin Eastman

Wow. Just wow (second time I wrote that phrase in this column, but it’s really from the heart here). The impressive thing about the current state of the comic market is there is sooooo much stuff that I feel like every week I can find something that’s quality, and every few weeks I can find something that wows me, and the thing that I got around to covering which wowed me this week was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2012 that IDW put out about two weeks ago. It is not just the joy of seeing Kevin Eastman get back and draw an entire Turtles story in black and white like the good old days, it was that the combination of it spiritually bridged the new rebooted Turtles-comic with the classic 1980s comic, while at the same time giving us essentially the Pulp Fiction of TMNT tales.

In a massive tale that spans 60 pages (!), Eastman and Waltz have spun an epic in the current Turtles-continuity, but a solid story that any fan from any generation of TMNT readers can pick up and dig. It all starts off as we have seen been before, with Raphael and Casey wrestling around, however, when Casey’s baseball bat flies out of his hand it causes a chain of events that leads to a car crash, that leads to a brief case of diamonds being picked up by a bum, that leads to thugs trying to get it, that leads to rival detectives and then eventually two rival ninja clans, the Foot and Savate, trying to get this briefcase, and finally an epic battle royal with all said parties and the TMNT on the docks of NYC as the police are approaching!

I was glued page-by-page by the massive cast of new characters that was introduced (names complete with homages to other comic book artists) flawlessly through the chance-by-chance events, given to us in a series of jump backs in time to help propel the story forward, cleverly done and never confusing. The whole baseball bat set-up was very much signature Eastman-TMNT humor, and classic fans are sure to go nuts. Also the comic is ridiculously cool to look at it, visually exactly like the classic issues, but the designs slightly geared towards the new reboot designs (i.e.: Casey being a teenager), and the backgrounds much more detailed than some of the early stuff.

I cannot highly enough recommend laying your money down for this, available in both digital and print from IDW.

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Voltron Force Vol.5: Dragon Dawn
Publisher: Viz Media (Viz Kids Line)
Story: Brain Smith
Art: Albert Carreres Guardia

Viz keeps cranking out graphic novels based on the Voltron spin-off Voltron Force, which finds our favorite robot lion pilots training a new generation to take over their legacy one day.

In “Dragon Dawn,” after finding a thought-to-be extinct nest, the evil Maahox orders the Drule army to secretly transport thousands of dragon eggs to the planet Arus. There on Arus, Daniel, Larmina, and Vince are learning a hard lesson for not following orders by being given some painful clean-up duty. The trio decide to get revenge on Lance for being tough on them, and enlist Hunk to help them play a prank. The group instead uncovers the plot of the dragon eggs being ditched on the planet. Before we know it, the eggs hatch and dragons flood the planet causing destruction, and it’s up to the original force in Voltron, along with our new trio in Awesometron, to stop these monsters.

Voltron Force is just plain fun. I don’t watch the new TV show, but from what I’ve seen it’s a fine adaptation (and honestly I prefer the comic over the show). Smith has crafted a good adventure story here that gives us action, monster bashing, and not one but two robots. The art by Guardia looks good, with bright, thick lines, and solid action layouts.

So who will dig it: fans of the show and fans of Voltron comics. Those who are just fans of the old show but haven’t watched this one yet, I’d check it out first before buying the comic to make sure the story is going to gel with your senses and feel it’s worth your time. Available in print from Viz.

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That’s it for this week! See you next!

Drew McCabe
drew@comicattack.net






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