Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Treasures From the ComiCombs Issue #36: Grimm Tales of Terror, Lake of Fire, X-O Manowar

Welcome back! August continues to be a pretty slow month for releases. I’ve done some digging and have come up with a few recommendations for you to pick up this week, followed by the winner of last week’s duel review! First, I wanted to take a quick moment to mention that after years without a Comic Con, San Francisco is finally getting one back. I’ll be there for sure so if any of you Bay Area comic fans are free, it takes place the weekend of September 2-4.
Tickets are available now

Clean Room #11 (Vertigo)

One of the more original titles that began publication last year, Clean Room has been a consistently good read. Gail Simone has done a great job keeping her readers on edge with this one. Issue #11 brings us the end of the second story arc and this one promises a “grisly conclusion”.

Grimm Tales of Terror Vol.2 #11
(Zenescope Entertainment)

Though some stories are hit or miss, Grimm Tales of Terror is always a fun read. This week we get the Vanishing Hitchhiker!
“A hitchhiker in desperate need of a ride may find himself in for more than he bargained for in this twisted tale.”

Lake of Fire #1 (Image)

I’m pretty excited for this one. An alien mining craft crash lands in a remote wilderness in 1220 AD and a group of crusaders are the only hope to stop the bloodthirsty predators. This is definitely worth checking out, I mean come on, Crusaders Vs Aliens!

When Acclaim shut down in 2004, all publication for the Valiant lineup of comics ceased. In 2005, the rights to the Valiant library were acquired and the company was branded Valiant Entertainment. Seven years later, Valiant Entertainment relaunched their universe with four titles, the first being X-O Manowar.

X-O Manowar (Valiant)

Written by Robert Venditti and with art by Cary Nord, X-O Manowar had a tremendous launch. Vendittis' writing on this title is some of the best of his career and while the art has changed hands, it has remained top notch. X-O Manowar tells the story of Aric of Dacia, heir to the throne of the Visigoth people. Aric is abducted by a race of aliens known as the Vine and forced to be their slave. After years of captivity, Aric leads a revolt against the Vine and steals a powerful relic, Shanhara, the sentient X-O Manowar armor. Aric bonds with the armor and an amazing story follows. 
X-O is the longest running title from Valiant and sadly Aric's story will be wrapping up in September with issue #50. There is a lot of great content to enjoy but I recommend starting from the beginning. 

Last week Deadly Class went up against Assassination Classroom. As much as I wanted to like both of these books, there was a clear winner.

Deadly Class Vol. 1

This one wasn’t even close, Deadly Class won by a landslide. These two books share a common setting and they take the outcasts and put them in the spotlight but the similarities end there. Where Deadly Class takes a darker route and does a good job developing its characters, Assassination Classroom puts comedy on the center stage. While the premise of Assassination Classroom is dark, none of that really translates into any of the first volume. The chapters feel disjointed and there really isn’t any character development so the cast feels bland in addition to not being very likeable. 
Rick Remender's writing in Deadly Class is excellent but the art team of Wes Craig and Lee Loughridge was the major highlight for me. The panel layout is creative and gives the action scenes a real sense of movement that’s not often seen in comics. This book gives me vibes of Harry Potter and that’s not such a bad thing; it works very well. Assassination Classroom was a disappointment but Deadly Class exceeded all expectations and that’s why it’s this week’s winner.

That brings us to the end of this week's issue. Make sure to pick up something cool from your local shop and come back next week for more comics to feed your appetite!

- The Creature from the ComiCombs

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