Comic Publishers

February 29, 2012

Aspen Reviews: Broken Pieces #1 & 2

Broken Pieces #1
Publisher: Aspen
Writer: Mark Roslan
Artist: Micah Kaneshiro

What happens when you have big business, cellular regeneration, and something called a Bio-Bomb? The newest sci-fi thriller from Aspen comics, that’s what! From the mind of writer Mark Roslan, and illustrated by Micah Kaneshiro, this book is about two doctors in a relationship that sign on for the chance of a lifetime with a huge corporation. This company wants them to use their talents to find a cure for a disease that was apparently brought on by this “Bio-Bomb” that was dropped in the Gulf (USA, I presume?). This futuristic tale involves some hopping around through different times, but don’t worry, you won’t get lost.

The first thing I noticed about this book was the cover (well, duh). I really liked the “B” cover better (see below, by Joe Kubert), but the regular one is cool, too. The artwork throughout the book is pretty good, not normally the style I prefer, but definitely more than serviceable. The style in this book reminds me of watercolors, but Kaneshiro definitely has talents in several different forms. There wasn’t a panel where I didn’t understand what was going on or got confused, and believe me, that’s saying something these days with smaller publishers.

The writing was great in my opinion. I really enjoyed the story, the pacing, and the character development. Nothing seemed forced or out of place, and again, that’s an accomplishment in my book. I really felt like I was engrossed in this book, and definitely got lost in it. Roslan has done a lot of work, lettering, inking, etc., in the comic book industry, but this is his first big writing assignment (to my knowledge), and he did a fantastic job with this first issue. Rating 4/5

 

Broken Pieces #2
Publisher: Aspen
Writer: Mark Roslan
Artist: Micah Kaneshiro

Well, after issue #1 I was really expecting big things from this second issue. I’m elated to report that this team delivered another solid book that had me more than satisfied. We again jump around from “now” to “before” moments, but that doesn’t take away from the book. We see exactly what happened during the accident in the lab, then we are treated to some more back story between Gabriella and Kyle. It wasn’t anything Earth shattering, but it really was a cool little moment that was perfectly placed to keep the reader interested in the characters and keep you off your guard, as well. We find out about the company’s little dirty deed that played a part in the current pandemic sweeping the country. This is the catalyst that sparks an accident that will change everyone forever!

I’m definitely with this book for the long haul after this second good issue. I mean, both books really had no low point, or issues at all that I can think of. I just sat back and enjoyed both of them. Roslan clearly has a great vision for this book, and I think it’s going to continue for a while. To just reiterate, the part that showed the personal side of the two doctors really seems like it blended in with the story perfectly, and even after I’ve thought about it more, the book could have easily gone on without it, but it most assuredly benefits the book from an overall standpoint.

Kaneshiro’s artwork is another big reason I like this book a lot. It’s a style that I’m not used to seeing at all, but I can honestly say I like it. He did the “A” cover as well (above), and did a good job on it. The “B” cover (Joe Benitez, below) is absolutely spectacular, and anybody that doesn’t know his work needs to pick up a copy of Lady Mechanika. I’m going to recommend this series, along with Haunted City and Charismagic by Aspen, to anybody and everybody!  Rating 4/5

Billy Dunleavy
billy@comicattack.net

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