Voltron: From the Ashes #1 is Dynamite’s latest Voltron series (after last year’s Robotech/Voltron crossover), and while the first issue is something of a mixed bag in terms of execution and may alienate long-time fans in the direction it establishes for the series, it’s definitely trying something new in an attempt to revitalize the property and raise it up to the level of its 80s-era peers.
Cullen Bunn and Brian Churilla’s brand new ongoing continues with the second installment of Hellbreak. The story follows the Kerberos Initiative, a highly advanced occult military program funded by the Church that plunges down into the depths of Hell to recover kidnapped souls. Every Hell is different, always full of new horrors to behold and every drop is a test for Orpheus Team if they can survive what horrors the Pit has in store for them.
It’s the same old drill again, another issue of DC’s regular installment of disappointment. Guess it’s time to get it done. Earth 2: World’s End reaches issue #24 and is set to conclude in two weeks. Looking back on the last six and a half months leads one to conclude that the finale will most certainly be disappointing given how mismanaged this entire endeavor has been since day one. That being said, this week brings shockingly the closest knit issue to date, that is to say, there’s something that ties the many plot lines together and not something like the terrible art or drawn out fight scenes.
A latest “arc” of Moon Knight begins with the new creative team of Cullen Bunn and Ron Ackins. The title is quite a strange one. Given the majority of the big two’s output is overpopulated with comics deliberately written to fit into a six issue trade paperbacks a regular series from Marvel comprised of self-contained stories and only the barest of inter-issue continuity is nearly alien. While trying to follow up from the excellent run by Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey is quite the Herculean feat but it’s safe to say the team is more than qualified for the task.
Like a weekly root canal, it’s time to endure Earth 2: World’s End again. At least there’s solace that this defilement of this once great universe will soon end. What is truly making this final stretch of World’s End appalling is how little is happening. The last twenty two issues have featured their cast effectively spinning their wheels in the mud and one would assume that’s to kill time, both to justify this book’s status as a weekly and to build up to a great planet shattering climax. As previously stated, the end of the world is shockingly dull.
Another week means another issue of Earth 2: World’s End and while the chance for this series to be anything beyond cheap tie-in material to DC’s Convergence event has long passed by, this issue is a shocking improvement to what has usually be a painful slog to read. It’s true that this series has stuck the terrible decision to split art duties between plotlines instead of individual issues such as with Futures End and Batman Eternal, but for once this series does something that resembles competence.
Last week, Earth 2: World’s End did something unexpected, it improved. With the help of Cullen Bunn, issue #19 has some moments to shine with great characterization and heart-felt moments to wash out the terrible artwork and redundant Life Avatar battles. All of that goes right down the tubes as World’s End falls back into line with over-stretched plot lines, sloppy science fiction, and egregious artwork.
Cullen Bunn is unique. If nothing else can be said about him, he is certainly unique. The Empty Man shows the full extent of Bunn’s ability. The series focuses on two detectives as they struggle to sort out the mystery surrounding a series of suspicious deaths and murders. The deaths are connected by the strange hallucinations experienced by the perpetrators, as well as their last words “The Empty Man made me do it”. The Empty Man is unpredictable because it follows so very few tropes. Nothing like this series has been seen before, and readers will be asking themselves the same question over and over: Who is the Empty Man? (Or “What the F*ck?”).
This issue continues to explore the mystery behind the phenomenon known as the Empty Man. Empty Man as a series has yet to come together, and the internal logic that governs this story seems odd at or even absent at times. The series really needs a hook apart from the disturbing content, which is only going to hook readers for so long.
Empty Man is a horror comic book about a disease that may not be a disease and which drives its victims violently insane. Is it supernatural, or is it some kind of plague? While the idea behind the comic is interesting, the main characters are not particularly interesting. With a few more issues, the series may fully take shape.