Image Comics Final Thoughts – The Walking Dead: Compendium Three

With Marvel’s popular and successful foray into films with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’ve finally decided to get back into comics. I grew up a big fan of X-Men and other superheroes but haven’t really kept up since the 90s. Thus begins my grand catching-up of the last ten years of Marvel comics, events and stories.

Of course, occasionally I may even explore comics outside of Marvel if they come highly recommended or simply peak my interest. Like my gaming Final Thoughts, this will be full of spoilers. You’ve been warned!

the walking deadWriter: Robert Kirkman

Artist: Charlie Adlard

Issues: The Walking Dead #97-144

 

I did it. I finally caught up to The Walking Dead show. And quite a bit beyond with this third massive compendium of comics.

The Walking Dead: Compendium Three covers a major transition in the style and story-telling of the comic. The war with Negan is the culmination of several volumes worth of stories, providing a very satisfying conclusion.

But the series doesn’t end there. Instead we get a big two-year time jump for society to rebuild and deal with the more mundane problems that entails. Near the end of the compendium an exciting new threat emerges that threatens everything they’ve built. Overall it feels like a much different comic than the previous 96 issues. Continue reading “Image Comics Final Thoughts – The Walking Dead: Compendium Three”

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Image Comics Final Thoughts – The Walking Dead: Compendium Two

With Marvel’s popular and successful foray into films with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’ve finally decided to get back into comics. I grew up a big fan of X-Men and other superheroes but haven’t really kept up since the 90s. Thus begins my grand catching-up of the last ten years of Marvel comics, events and stories.

Of course, occasionally I may even explore comics outside of Marvel if they come highly recommended or simply peak my interest. Like my gaming Final Thoughts, this will be full of spoilers. You’ve been warned!

the walking deadWriter: Robert Kirkman

Artist: Charlie Adlard

Issues: The Walking Dead #49-96

 

The second 48-issue, eight volume chunk of The Walking Dead comic brings some major changes to the series. Compendium Two covers Volumes 9 through 16. Our survivors resume life on the road after the prison attack, meet new friends and enemies, and make a new home in Alexandria while their world expands and we start moving into post-post-apocalypse territory.

It’s an interesting direction and a lens through which Robert Kirkman wanted to explore – what if the zombie movie never ended but just kept going. Where would we go? What would society eventually look like?

The volumes here represent the bridge that begins to expand their world. They’re a great read, even if the initial Alexandria drama is a little hackneyed and boring compared to the prison.

In terms of the show, this Compendium covers events from the middle of season four right after the final prison attack (S4E9) to about 2/3 through season six (S6E11) when they meet Jesus and the Hilltop. Continue reading “Image Comics Final Thoughts – The Walking Dead: Compendium Two”

Image Comics Final Thoughts – The Walking Dead: Compendium One

With Marvel’s popular and successful foray into films with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’ve finally decided to get back into comics. I grew up a big fan of X-Men and other superheroes but haven’t really kept up since the 90s. Thus begins my grand catching-up of the last ten years of Marvel comics, events and stories.

Of course, occasionally I may even explore comics outside of Marvel if they come highly recommended or simply peak my interest. Like my gaming Final Thoughts, this will be full of spoilers. You’ve been warned!

imageWriter: Robert Kirkman

Artists: Tony Moore, Charlie Adlard

Issues: The Walking Dead #1-48

 

So I’m finally reading The Walking Dead. It’s been a long time coming, obviously. I did read the very first six-issue Volume, “Days Gone Bye,” several years ago. But I’ve been so wrapped in my Marvel comics and others that I hadn’t found the time.

Well in light of recent events, it’s time to tackle the whole damn thing. Or at least the first three 48-issue compendiums.

Trying to really analyze 48 issues in one post is impossible. It’s also impossible for me to separate the comic from the show, which is now seven years deep. My thoughts will be entirely pulled as someone who’s enjoyed the show, but wary of diving into such a gruesome, violent comic.

The Compendiums, like the collected trade paperbacks are organized like one giant story. Only the Volume act breaks serve as chapters. This means no cover art at all, and makes reading the massive tome in short bursts a lot more difficult as you try to figure out where the single issue breaks are (hint: look for the full page spreads).

Despite my annoyance of the organization, the continuous story is well-served by this method. It pretty much forces you to start at the beginning. For a comic that has over 150 issues, that is a damn daunting task. Continue reading “Image Comics Final Thoughts – The Walking Dead: Compendium One”

Image Comics Final Thoughts – Saga, Vol. 5

Saga’s fifth volume separates our main cast, which feels like a natural evolution for the series while still focusing on its great characters and fantastic art.

With Marvel’s popular and successful foray into films with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’ve finally decided to get back into comics. I grew up a big fan of X-Men and other superheroes but haven’t really kept up since the 90s. Thus begins my grand catching-up of the last ten years of Marvel comics, events and stories.

Of course, occasionally I may even explore comics outside of Marvel if they come highly recommended or simply peak my interest. Like my gaming Final Thoughts, this will be full of spoilers. You’ve been warned!

sagaWriter: Brian K. Vaughan

Artist: Fiona Staples

Issues: Saga #25-30

 

The last volume of Image Comics’ magnum opus left our star-crossed family in a dire predicament. Alana and Marko were separated for the first time. The former was captured by a distraught rebel while the latter teamed up with an enemy. Meanwhile Team The Will has become Team The Brand as they search for a cure.

Saga‘s fifth volume is the most different so far, relying heavily on an intriguing but separate A-B-C narrative structure. It feels like a natural evolution for the series while still focusing on a small cast of characters, and the phenomenal writing and art I’ve come to expect. Continue reading “Image Comics Final Thoughts – Saga, Vol. 5”

Image Comics Final Thoughts – Rat Queens, Vol. 2

More action, more sex, more cursing – Rat Queens Volume 2 is a worthy follow-up to one of of my favorite comic series.

With Marvel’s popular and successful foray into films with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’ve finally decided to get back into comics. I grew up a big fan of X-Men and other superheroes but haven’t really kept up since the 90s. Thus begins my grand catching-up of the last ten years of Marvel comics, events and stories.

Of course, occasionally I may even explore comics outside of Marvel if they come highly recommended or simply peak my interest. Like my gaming Final Thoughts, this will be full of spoilers. You’ve been warned!

Rat Queens Vol 2Writer: Kurtis J. Weibe

Artist: Roc Upchurch, Stjepan Sejic

Issues: Rat Queens #6-10

 

I heaped a lot of praise onto Rat Queen‘s debut. The mixture of modern language and characters in a D&D-style fantasy world is sublime. An adventuring group of women with varying backgrounds, goals, dreams, and vices. While the plot is a little more simplistic, Volume 2 does a fantastic job giving us more of everything we wanted out of a follow-up.

Volume 2 is titled The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’Rygoth. It picks up directly after the drunken party our heroines Hannah, Violet, Betty, and Dee threw after their latest victory that saved their town of Palisade. Continue reading “Image Comics Final Thoughts – Rat Queens, Vol. 2”

Image Comics Final Thoughts – Copperhead, Vol. 1

Copperhead eagerly jumps into numerous Western tropes and characters while set on an alien planet.

With Marvel’s popular and successful foray into films with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’ve finally decided to get back into comics. I grew up a big fan of X-Men and other superheroes but haven’t really kept up since the 90s. Thus begins my grand catching-up of the last ten years of Marvel comics, events and stories.

Of course, occasionally I may even explore comics outside of Marvel if they come highly recommended or simply peak my interest. Like my gaming Final Thoughts, this will be full of spoilers. You’ve been warned!

Copperhead vol 1Writer: Jay Faerber

Artist: Scott Godlewski

Issues: Copperhead #1-5

 

The “Western but in Space” is always a fun setting. One of the reasons I was drawn to the original Starcraft, aside from my love of strategy games, was its grungy space theme. These settings evoke the freedom and anarchy of a Western setting, while infusing aliens and future technology alongside the familiar Western tropes.

So Copperhead‘s alien-Western setting isn’t exactly unique. What sets it apart is actually just how eager it jumps into all the tropes and stereotypes of the Western, while still having a ton of fun with them. Also, aliens. Continue reading “Image Comics Final Thoughts – Copperhead, Vol. 1”

Image Comics Final Thoughts – Saga, Vol. 4

Saga Volume Four focuses a bit too much on predictable family drama, but remains one of the best stories in modern comics.

With Marvel’s popular and successful foray into films with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’ve finally decided to get back into comics. I grew up a big fan of X-Men and other superheroes but haven’t really kept up since the 90s. Thus begins my grand catching-up of the last ten years of Marvel comics, events and stories.

Of course, occasionally I may even explore comics outside of Marvel if they come highly recommended or simply peak my interest. Like my gaming Final Thoughts, this will be full of spoilers. You’ve been warned!

Saga volume 4Writer: Brian K. Vaughan

Artist: Fiona Staples

Issues: Saga #19-24

 

The following phrases were exclaimed during my time with Saga‘s fourth volume:

“Whoa.”
“Ha!”
“Awww.”
“Oh no…”
“Wow!”
“Hehe.”
“Holy shit!”
“Crap crap crap”
“Holy hell.”
“Oh shit.”
“Oh snap – hell yeah!”

I devoured Saga Volume Four in a single day. The incredible (yet incredibly relatable) adventures and drama of new parents Alana and Marko continue to be one of the most impressive stories in modern comics.

Vaughan effortlessly builds an intriguing cast of wacky guest-stars and returning favorites, and isn’t afraid to kill or main them (or have sexy time) in a maturity level that would make Game of Thrones blush. Fiona Staples continues to be one of my favorite artists working in comics. While Saga Volume Four may be the weakest volume I’ve read thanks to some predictable family drama, that’s mostly due to how amazing the first three volumes were. Continue reading “Image Comics Final Thoughts – Saga, Vol. 4”