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Comics in Review – Prometheus Fire and Stone, Nightbreed and Rot & Ruin


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Prometheus_FireandIce_1

Prometheus Fire and Stone #1
Writer: Tobin, Paul
Artist: Ferreyra, Juan
Cover Artist: Palumbo, David
On Sale Date: September 10, 2014
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

I will be completely honest, I didn’t like the Prometheus film. It took me a few viewers to actually finish the entire movie. In fact, the first time I saw it was in a theater and I fell asleep halfway through. It had some perks, cool death scenes, and decent cast, but overall the script was a mess and painful to watch. I had such high expectations for the film being a prequel to the Alien series, which is an undisputed masterpiece in my opinion. Ridley Scott knew how to make a great film in the 70’s/80’s and was twenty years before it’s time. Which included the late, great HR Giger’s designs and Alien costume that made the world afraid of outer space, just like Jaws made us afraid of the ocean.

In this series, Paul Tobin picks up on the story one hundred years after the Prometheus film where we left off with David and Shaw. LV-223 is the new planet that the reader has the pleasure of exploring with Captain Foster and her crew. The vessel has three ships docked upon its core and given the name Geryon, from the mythical three-headed creature, who was the grandson of Medusa. Clara Atkinson is like Ripley’s (Sigourney Weaver) character and is the curious explorer of the planet and looking to salvage materials and alien life forms. The crew stumbles across a space vessel with low risk, and little data in the year 2090, and are quick to explore what is hidden within the abandoned walls. A species called The Engineers were on the planet previously led by Peter Weyland, but were spooked by some sort of life form or “IT.” The comedic and sometimes annoying crew are naïve about what they may come across on their voyage, but that all changes when they land in the treacherous jungles of a barren planet. Early on they stumble across creatures with razor sharp teeth that hang from the trees and are getting off the chart atmospheric readings that know one has seen before.

Captain Foster and the team of explorers come across a field full of decaying carcasses, but that’s not the most traumatizing part of their investigation. It’s the claw marks and bowel smell residing from the decaying skin of the dead animals, but what could do such a thing to an animal species?

James and Elden take samples of the dead animals and cannot decipher what terrestrial species could do this because the genetics are all over the place and seems to be a scientific anomaly. The team continues to gather samples and get tremendous metallic readings when there is no metal in sight for miles on the desolate planet.

Eventually, a large ship called Hadley Hope is discovered and found to be the culprit of all the odd readings. Planet 426 had a major meltdown in the year 2179 and the team believes this ship fled the planet in order to survive. But from viewing the craft from the outside, it doesn’t look to have had any survivors. Captain Foster’s ambitious manner wants to find out the answers to the ever growing questions they have discovered on the planet, including the black ooze covered on the deceased animals and trees, and what is killing off all vegetation and life forms on the planet. Little do they know that what’s lurking behind the locked doors is much larger, hungrier, and malicious than they would have ever guessed. Will the team find the terrestrial life forms? Will they get answers to the samples they took? And will everyone make it off the planet alive?

I really thought Paul Tobin did a pretty good job of keeping the story close to the original series premise, with a lot of questions, and little to no answers. This keeps the original fans of the series and newcomers interested as to what will happen to Captain Foster and The Engineers. There is really good plot development, suspense, and a great introduction to a plethora of alien creatures. The take away from this first issue was the dynamic and intricate craftsmanship of Juan Ferreyra. His detail, coloring schemes, and identical detail to HR Giger’s infamous creature design was dead on from start to finish, and will unleash a blood path in the issues to come. This writing/design team is relaying a very important message, steer clear of the black ooze and the Alien species razor sharp teeth, or it’s your funeral.

I am giving Prometheus #1, a 4 out of 5 Nerdskulls.

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Rot_Ruin_1

Rot & Ruin #1
Writer: Jonathan Maberry
Artist: Tony Vargas
On Sale Date: September 10, 2014
Publisher: IDW Publishing

The mass hysteria of zombies has broken the boundaries once again in the newest series by New York Times Best Seller, Jonathan Maberry, called Rot & Ruin. This is a blood-curdling road through the land of zombies with one thing on their minds, flesh. Comic depictions have been touching this subject for some time, and most recently with the AMC hit series, The Walking Dead. It is turning on a much larger audience to this genre, and to be honest it’s annoying.

But then I read the first issue of Rot & Ruin, which doesn’t fall short of any soap opera synopsis with zombies making cameos. This issue opens the door to this world and doesn’t stop for the whole twenty-five pages, bringing me into this infected world, with no escape until the next issue. Being stunned and absorbed into the story a few pages in, I have the sensation that with the writing of Jonathan Maberry, we are in for a zombie joyride throughout the series.

Since being a baby, the only thing that Benny Imura has known is the zombie realm and how to survive. That is the name of this game and with the help of his brother Tom, Benny has developed into a fine young warrior that fends off these flesh hungry and infected life forms with his group of friends. With the death of his older brother, Benny is forced to take leadership and all the skills he had acquired over the years to keep his group of friends alive. We have seen this premise in other graphic novels, but not in this form and pencil work. We have a group of human survivors that are walking through the infected zombie wasteland with samurai swords, cutting off limbs left and right, and blood spattering across the path they lead. But there is something larger at play here and more of a story to understand. With Mayberry’s unique style, he puts these teenagers into a world of death and despair at a very young age, forcing them to become adults by relying on murder to survive. Each character has their own unique personality, costume, and fighting style that makes them more memorable compared to other stories. We don’t need lavish backstories and soap opera moments to make something enjoyable. We need a story that puts people in real life scenarios where they are battling to survive with one another.

This was a very diverting first issue and Mayberry has crafted and formulated a journey through the final days of earth through the eyes of zombie survivors. With character development, Mayberry introduces the newest of zombie crime fighters named Benny Imura and his team of vigilantes that “slice and dice” anything in their paths. On the illustration side, Tony Vargas art work ripped through my flesh, figuratively speaking. The death scenes were realistic and felt like something out of an old Tales from The Crypt comic with the skull like frame of the zombies and their facial bone structure. There was a specific scene where a group of zombies completely maul a grizzly bear in front of Benny and his friends that really gave me an uneasy feeling in my stomach. Being a huge horror and gore fan, that’s really saying something. I completely loved this issue and am highly recommending it to all my horror fan followers and friends out there!

I am giving Rot & Ruin #1 a 5 out of 5 Nerdskulls.
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Nightbreed_4

Clive Barker’s Nightbreed #4
Writer: Clive Barker and Marc Andreyko
Artist: Piotr Kowalski
On Sale Date: September 3, 2014
Publisher: Boom-Studios!

Clive Barker’s Nighbreed returns this week with issue #4. We catch up with Peloquin and Boone as they are walking through the catacombs of Midian and discussing the battle between mankind and the Nightbreed race. Boone is having a hard time understanding his new role and how the two worlds do not play nicely together. Humans are designed to conquer and the Nightbreed are hidden within the shadows and depicted as monsters by the humans. As the reader gets further into this story, we can see the evil lurking around the streets and internal demons are far worse.

The series continues with the Reverend Ashberry throughout two different decades and how his internal demons have gotten the best of him throughout the years. From the bustling disco clubs in New York to the eccentric streets of San Francisco in the 80’s, human filth and debauchery push Ashberry over the top to put an end to the evil surrounding the human world. Each time when he takes matters into his own hands, more and more evil is born, putting more hatred into his eyes to question the world around him. With a murderous path that he leads, Reverand Ashberry quest for the end times seems to get pushed further and further away. In a sense, he is a religious vigilante that wants scum and filth put away, but his murderous rage gets the best of him, causing more problems than solved. Chocolat the reptilian woman that was introduced in the past issues is still coming to terms with her baby being kidnapped by the Vatican. As she strides through the treacherous paths of the snowy Alps to early 1900’s New York City, she is doing her best to stay alive, and keep her other babies protected from mankind. She is still lost with her first child being kidnapped, but continues to keep composure and move forward to make a new life for herself and family. As she makes her way around the U.S in the first part of the 1900’s, more and more people are afraid of her appearance causing her to hide beneath the shadows, and travel in the night. She eventually comes across a group of people that to her distress are much like her. Vasty Moses and his group of carnies are trekking their way across the U.S. with their carnival show and may have found something useful in Chocolat.

Will Chocolat find her calling with the carnival show and find her way back to her kidnapped baby? Will Ashberry make sense of all the debauchery poisoning the world or will his killing spree put him in harms way? Are the two stories somehow connected and was Reverand Ashberry, Chocolat’s baby that was kidnapped some time before? I still have so many questions, but I am hoping some of these questions will be answered in the remaining issues of the series.

What I really enjoyed about this comic was the two stories going head to head in two different time periods and how they may be connected. Despite the little back-stories of the main characters and the religious undertone, Clive Barker keeps the reader interested with his twisted story telling abilities and attention to detail. The only part I wasn’t too fond of was too much filler content with Chocolat’s journey and not much about Boone’s battles. Piotr Kowalski never fails and another phenomenal performance with her attention to detail on the Nightbreed’s monstrous faces. Vasty Moses looks like a character you would only see in hell and is displayed with well defined line work and coloring. I really enjoyed this issue and can see the storyline only getting better in the coming issues and hopefully more clues as to how all of these characters are intertwined.

I am giving Nightbreed #3 a 4 out of 5 Nerd Skulls.

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I have been a horror fan since the age of two with the introduction of Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors on the old VHS tape. Ever since then, I have seen most movies in the horror genre at least twice and surrounded my home with a plethora of slasher memorabilia, movies, and comics. I am a musician, artist, student, tattoo enthusiast, traveler, and IT professional solving all of your technological issues one floppy disk at a time. If John Carpenter, Martin Scorsese and Pat Benatar were to have a ginger kid together, it would look something like me. Oh yeah, you may run into me in downtown Vegas checking out the local scene, watching any Chicago sports that are on, or writing my latest Nerdlocker review while enjoying a frothy beverage at a local coffee shop. I am looking forward to being doused with the buzzing spectacle of the nerd community for many years to come.