From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays, No.92: Friday the 13th…No Bad Luck Here, Though
Welcome back to your favorite all-ages comic column, From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays! It’s been a long week (and as I write this I’m only half way through). A play I directed just closed with much acclaim, and my body has hit that crash point where it was easier to lie on the couch and re-watch all 12 episodes of the 1990s Guyver, Bio-Booster Armor OVA series (love this series, but note to parents reading this column, that is NOT a kids’ title, not getting any blame if you let your child loose on that series), as well as cook dinner myself finally. We have some cool things coming up in our little column here, so keep your eye on us, but without further ado, this week’s reviews:
Josh Ulrich unleashes his new five-part mini-series of Jackie Rose with a nice start in this first issue.
The book starts off with a bang, as Captain Elizabeth Read and her henchmen pull a great heist and steal the Julietta Crown from a museum. Then we quickly cut to Springdale High School, as Eddie is trying to work up the courage to ask his friend Jackie Rose to the prom, which he fails hard at as Jackie is just excited about going on an air cruise with Eddie and his family, and she’d rather talk about that before running off. Jackie gets home excited about the world, only to get a slight let down as she overhears her father has hit hard times, but tries to keep her chin up as the next day she gets to enjoy the cruise. During the air cruise, it seems like everything is going fine for our young hero, with the exception of a few snobs of course, and Jackie even makes a new friend in a girl named Dian. All of this is quickly ended, though, as Captain Read and her air pirates strike the ship with Jackie, Eddie, and Dian getting caught in the middle and taken hostage (with a few twists along the way).
Ulrich’s new Jackie Rose mini-series is an enjoyable read, lying somewhere between Archie comics and a Miyazaki film. We get some nice slice-of-life boy-and-girl storytelling, done in a quality manner, that feels right at home with the Riverdale gang. At the same time we get air pirates and robberies like Castle In The Sky or Porco Rosso. However, none of these comparisons really need be made, I’m just using them to sell the unsure on reading this title and it’s what came to mind as I read the book. So Miyazaki and Archie references aside, this comic honestly stands just fine on its own, providing us with the start of a fun adventure that is sure to make readers feel like it’s money well invested in these digital pages.
The first issue of Jackie Rose is out now, get it at www.jackierosecomic.com
So we gave much praise to Transformers: Autocracy a few columns back, and frequent readers know I like to check in a few issues later just to see if titles I loved one week I don’t turn out hating the next. Great news is Transformers: Autocracy has totally held up. Not just that, but each issue as we get deeper into this mini-series gets better and better, filled with plot twists, action, and awesome art, as we see the world of old Cybertron as the Decepticons first come into play.
Issue #7 gives us Orion Pax and the Autobots squaring off in a battle against Zeta Prime, a corrupt Autobot leader who is a villain in disguise and using the Decepticon rebels more as a cover for his own evil ways. Finally, led by Megatron, the Decepticons step in to face off against Zeta Prime, and some cool plot twists take place.
Transformers: Autocracy is all killer with no filler, and is an awesome story for fans of the robot-hero genre. The story and writing by Metzen and Dille is great; all the characters sound and act like the characters we’ve come to love from Transformers. The biggest strength on why I was wild about this series when we first checked in is still its biggest, which is the art. Ramondelli does a Grade-A job, and the world he brings to life for us is wonderful to look at and deserves a re-read for the visual alone. It’s the kind of art where even if the writing was bad, which as mentioned it isn’t, it wouldn’t even matter because the art looks so cool. Perhaps the coolest looking art on Earth isn’t everything, but when your story is about 20-foot giant robots kicking the crap out of each other, it is a key factor to the goodness.
Transformers: Autocracy is currently a digital-exclusive comic, which rocks for everyone switching over to digital. A collection will be available in print some time in July, but why wait? The issues are only a buck each, and it’s released bi-weekly in all its splendor, so get on it!
That’s it for this week! See you next, and until then, get your kaiju game on!