Panels #5: Animal Magic and Super Powerful Girls
The big skip between the last issue of Panels and this one gave me ample time to read a lot of new stuff. There’s a bit of everything here, so let’s get to it right away.
Roche Limit #1
Writer: Michael Moreci
Art: Vic Malhotra
In the far off future, mankind has figured out a way to travel across the stars and stumble upon an energy anomaly in the Andromeda galaxy. Naturally, the next step was to establish a space colony for the rich and famous in one of the dwarf planets orbiting said anomaly. After it’s prime had come to pass, the colony’s lofty inhabitants left it and the few remaining turned to organized crime and turned it into their new interstellar playground. The place is called Roche Limit.
Our story follows Sonya Hudson, a police agent in search of her sister, Bekkah, whose whereabouts are not promising. Her search leads unwillingly to meet Alex Ford, a man as murky as the city they live in who seems to know (and be known) by every notorious face in the place.
The first issue of this book sets a very promising start if caper stories are your thing, but at the same time the art left me a bit cold and unmotivated to read the next issue.
So: Not sure. A thriller with drugs, corruption, explosions and kidnapping in space. Theoretically I should be ecstatic, but I don’t know if I’ll read the next one.
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Pencils: Gabriel Hernández Walta
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
The hybrid human-sentinel factory isn’t all it seems at first glance and Magneto recalls a time where good intentions led his eyes away from the ball when Genosha was created decades ago.
Following the clues from last week’s episode, our bald mutant finds himself inside the belly of the beast and what he learns isn’t very pretty. This book isn’t really interesting compared to the previous ones, but it is key in the plot because we get to see our anti-hero make his first big decision, which for better or worse plays along totally with what I expected of him.
Ultimately, Magneto #3 is one of many books that remind us why the title character has so much trouble trusting normal humans and also reiterates the brutal power this man wields and the sick intellect it’s attached to.
So: Yes. Now that Magneto’s first arc seems to be over, I want to know where the creative team is taking this book next.
Ahora que el primer arco de Magneto parece haber terminado, quiero saber a donde lo llevará el equipo creativo de este libro.
Writer: Grace Ellis y Noelle Stevenson
Art: Brooke Allen
This book should get its own series on Cartoon Network, but instead it’s a comic book with art that looks a bit rushed in some pages and a story that didn’t really grab me.
Lumberjanes are teenage girls who attend Qiunzella Thiskwin’s summer camp, which seems to be surrounded by fantastic animals like the mystical three-eyed wolves and bearwomen. All five girls met each other a long time ago it seems, to the point where they even have battle formations, leading me to think they get in troubles with the beasts in the woods more often than this issue tells off.
My main gripe with the book aside from the art is that I didn’t see a lot of real chemistry with the characters outside the five girls. Dialogue isn’t that interesting and or original when the Lumberjanes engage with someone outside of their group, and the two supporting characters near the end seem a bit dull.
So: Not sure. It’s a comic with a Saturday morning cartoon feel, but it really doesn’t hit all the notes it means to on every try. I feel a bit sad the characters didn’t show enough to keep my curiosity afloat, but we’ll see. I’ve been proven wrong a lot of times before.
Gotham Academy #2
Writer: Brenden Fletcher y Becky Cloonan
Art: Karl Kerschl
Colors: Geyser junto a Dave McCaig
In which things literally heat up and relationships between characters become more solid. Gotham Academy is starting to hit a lot of good notes with me.
In this occasion, Olive is forced to pair up on a school assignment with Pomeline, her main antagonist who we only saw briefly in the last issue. It’s the perfect time to see what goes on between the two, which is exactly what this book needed to make Olive a more interesting character.
Maps and Kyle Mizuguchi also make a reappearance in the book, but only as a second stage to the main conflict between Olive and Pomeline, with brief cameos by the school teachers in interesting roles that go beyond merely teaching their students. There are also references to last month’s issue and Kerschl’s art remains as fluid and colorful as ever, especially with his creative panel breakdowns.
So: Yes. The ending of this issue opens the doors to revealing who Olive Silverlock truly is and the appearance of mysterious new characters keep intriguing me to no end, even if this number had little to do with the ending in the previous issue.
Tooth & Claw #1
Writer: Kurt Busiek
Art: Ben Dewey
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Kurt Busiek continues to demonstrate why he’s a master at creating original, attractive worlds. In Tooth & Claw, the animal kingdom comes to life as we follow Dunstan, a young bull terrier who is learning the ropes of being a merchant next to his father, who takes him on his first expedition to the world below the clouds to show him (and the reader) how things work in Keneil, the western-most out of the Seventeen Cities Above the Plain.
In this world, those who use magic have created floating cities, setting themselves apart from the animals below, who dedicated their lives to cropping and producing food for sustenance. What the earth dwellers don’t know is that magic is diminishing little by little around the world, which could entirely change the outcome of who serves who in the food chain.
This is where Ghaarta comes in. A priestess with a plan to keep the end of times as we know it at bay, her solution seems perfect on paper, but in practice it will give us an entirely different and epically interesting book by the end.
So: Yes. Tooth & Claw impressed me, not just due to Jordie Bellaires beautiful coloring and Benjamin Dewey’s designs, but because of how original it’s plot is and the constant urge to get to the next page. I highly recommend this one.
Writer: Matt Fraction
Art: Greg Tocchini
Fraction and Tocchini reach the zenith with this number where all the things we were hoping and fearing collide against each other.
Stel and Marik barely make it to Poluma, the third city in the depths, where the air is still breathable and many more secrets lie. In their quest to find a new means of getting to the probe, both are witness to the decay of this colony, where human life seems to be worthless. Their plans quickly change when Stel recognizes Roln, the samurai who murdered her husband and kidnapped her two daughters.
Here we learn what happened to at least one of the twins and we also get a brief, if biased telling of who is Roln and how he came to be the ruler of this corrupt city.
So: Yes. Low hast turned into a must read book and now that all the pieces are in place, all I’m hoping for is to get my head blown off with plot twists like the one I got at the end of this issue.
Panels is a weekly column where I talk about one or three comic books I’m reading and why I love them or want to burn them. Read the archive here.