Featured Columns

September 14, 2012

FFGtGR: Ninjago, Planet Gigantic and The Three Musketeers!

From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays, No.113: Action Packed Week!

Hello readers and welcome back to another week of all-ages comics goodness with From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays! Before we get down to it, just want you guys to know next week our column will be on break, however we will return on September 28th, so don’t worry! Now on with this week’s titles!


Ninjago Vol.4: Tomb of the Fangpyre
Publisher: Papercutz
Writer: Greg Farshtey
Art: Jolyon Yates

The fourth volume of Ninjago is out, continuing a great trend of comic book action and adventure, so much so that it’s easy to forget it’s based off a popular line of Lego toys.

Story wise, the writing by Farshtey is good stuff, as we find our masters of Spinjitzu, Jay, Cole, Zane, and Kai at odds with the four tribes of the Snake Warriors. Our heroes compete against these villains throughout the volume to locate the four pieces of the serpentine stone, which not only holds the history of the Snake Warriors, but also a great power itself. One by one they meet the challenges of these baddies, Fangpyre, Constrictai, Hypnobrai, and Venomari, using a variety of super powered vehicles, their ninja skills, and an unlikely ally in Garmadon.

On the art side of things, Yates does a great job here. He does face the challenge that he needs to bring life to something we normally think of as a stiff piece of plastic, but on the page does solid stuff between his action scenes and layouts, ultimately as I mentioned, allowing us to forget these are based off Legos and just be entertained by the story. It was cool to see the vehicles in action, which gave the title a slight Power Rangers or Thunderbirds vibe, adding a nice flavor to the usual ninja-action of the title.

Overall, Ninjago volume 4: Tomb of the Fangpyre is a good comic that keeps the spirit of the toys and is a continued good delivery with this comic series. It’s easy to see why it was a number one seller when it first came out on the New York Times’ graphic novel list: everyone can enjoy it and it’s simply a good comic. Out now in print and digital from Papercutz.


Planet Gigantic #0
Publisher: Frankenstein’s Daughter/PlanetGigantic.com
Story: Eric Grissom
Art: David Halvorson

Currently online at www.planetgigantic.com, you can download for free the first issue for the new upcoming series, Planet Gigantic.

Issue zero sets up the back story for us as it follows two kids, Yuri and Valentina, who are raised with special powers as part of the Wunderkind Project, a project designed to create these special kids and then have them travel hundreds of light years into uncharted space to collect and analyze mineral samples. Everything seems to be going well until the two run into some space spiders, which puts them on a course to run head on into a huge planet.

This issue sets everything up for a great intro and pulls you in. It’s short, but for its length both Grissom’s writing and Halvorson’s art combined together give us an interesting set-up which I’m sure readers will come back to with issue #1. From the sci-fi set up to the action sequence where they square off against the killer space spiders, there is a lot of nice stuff going on in the notes that are a hit in these pages.

Looking forward to the future of this title. You can check out issue #0 for free at www.planetgigantic.com!


Classics Illustrated Deluxe #6: The Three Musketeers
Publisher: Papercutz
Based off the novel by: Alexandre Dumas
Story: Jean David Morvan and Michel Dufranne
Art: Ruben

Papercutz has revived the Classics Illustrated line, but not with reprints; we are talking all new versions, so same classic stories, but updated adaptations and modern takes on the art. They have two lines, one is Classics Illustrated and the other is called Classics Illustrated Deluxe, which a bit larger and uses as much page count as needed to tell the whole story of some of the lengthier classics.

Classics Illustrated Deluxe #6 goes for broke with a massive sized adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’s classic The Three Musketeers! For the unfamiliar, the story follows the adventures of 18-year-old Gascon d’Artagnan, who leaves home for Paris where he runs into trouble, befriends the Musketeers Athos, Prthos, and Aramis, as well as begins training to become a Musketeer himself, all in the face of dueling, romance, and double crossing!

This comic adaptation of The Three Musketeers is one of the nicer ones I’ve come across. Morvan and Dufranne do a good job of getting all the important bits in there, shortening only a few things, but never skimping on the action or excitement, which is a huge part of why people for years have loved this story. The biggest strength of this book, though, is hands down the European flavored art of Ruben. Cartoonish but detailed, action packed and cinematic, it looks good, and the best part and why it works so well is if you just stopped reading the words you could follow along with the story visually and be 100% just as entertained and know what is going on; not always an easy feat that he pulls off here.

Classics Illustrated Deluxe #6: The Three Musketeers is out now in print from Papercutz.


That’s it for this week! See you in two weeks guys!

Drew McCabe



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