Troy’s Toys but with Comics: Bad Bad Kieron Gillen Edition

WickedDivine_11-325x500Wicked + Divine 11

Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matthew Wilson, Clayton Clowes

Image $3.50

I’m really glad this and Saga are shipping within a week of each other, as it ensures 14 straight days of consecutive sadness for my June. The perfect way to kick off the summer!

WicDiv #11 is a well-crafted comic that is the emotional equivalent of the ending to The Empire Strikes Back. Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie drop several bombshells on readers with the final issue of this arc, ensuring hundreds of Tumblrs to cry out “OH GOD WHY KIERON, YOU ARE A BAD MAN!” This isn’t much of a surprise, given Kieron’s past comics work and history of being the actual Christian Devil, but it still hurts, given how much these characters have been flesh out over the past year. Granted there’s a good chance some of these tragic events are fake outs, but the ones that aren’t are devastating game changers.

Jamie McKelvie being as good as he is on this book comes as no surprise. He’s the best at what he does, and what he does is draw many beautiful people with beautiful outfits.  McKelvie is on the top of his game on Wicked Divine, making the plot twists all the more painful, and the violence all the more real and horrible The level of detail he puts into his line work is insane, especially when it comes to the more fantasy elements of this book.

Matthew Wilson, McKelvie’s colorist, continues to reinvented himself with every issue. Issue 11 has a 6 page action sequence that isn’t the most impressive in terms of choreography, but thanks to Wilson’s talents, it looks more kinetic and dynamic. Clayton Clowes‘ lettering is also phenomenal, giving several character their own unique fonts that help them find their own voice. This whole creative team is brilliant, but also lesser devils for striking an alliance with Gillen.

Wicked and the Divine #11 is an assault on your feelings and emotions, but also one hell of a comic. This bookwill  feel different during McKelvie’s absence these next few months, but on the upside, his temporary departure is for MORE PHONOGRAMS! Wic Div remains a must read title, but man, expect to be bummed out with this one.

nonplayer_2_cover_web (1)Nonplayer #2

Nate Simpson

Image, $2.99

Here we have Nonplayer #2, the second issue to a comic who has its first issue ship in early 2011. Suddenly, the Hawkeye delays don’t seem so bad.

This past week has seen a bunch of good looking comics being released, but man o man, Nonplayer is something else. Writer/Artist/Colorist Nate Simpson is part Geoff Darrow part Shirow Masamune, resulting  inn insane amount of detailed art set in a wide variety of different environments. It’s a book that literally has content from cover to cover, dealing with a murder mystery in the most popular video game in the world. That premise sounds pretty cliche, but the twist with this case is actually being handled by NPCs, with the assassin in question being a play controlled character. It’s a fresh twist on something that’s been done before, but never this good looking. Simpson’s unique imagination and talents give us a world with all sorts of fantastic character, ranging from battle-worn kings to giant tank robots. And the fact that he’s doing all of this with little to no help shows how crazy talented the dude is.

My only issue with this installment of Nonplayer is that coloring feels a little flat in some areas. Nonplayer works best when it’s set in wide, sprawling areas, so hopefully we’ll be getting more of that. To be fair, the book is a complete 360 of the first issue in terms of feeling and genre, which is very impressive, and the coloring choices may have been intentional. Regardless, it’s a gorgeous comic, overflowing with creativity and hopefully this is the beginning of getting this book out on a more regular schedule.

 

 

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