Kids Talking With Crazy Not-Blind Guys, Sci-Fi Wars, and Magic Teens in Deep Trouble

New Comic Book Day highlights some of the best books released that week.

Well, if you follow us on Twitter, you’ll notice that this week’s grab was mighty large. We came in at a whopping twenty books and two graphic novels this week. My wallet cried as we drove home from the comic shop, but my face had a smile from ear to ear. This week has some serious heavyweights in it so let’s not waste any time and get into this week’s New Comic Book Day…

4-Kids-Walk-2---Cover 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank #2

Written By: Matthew Rosenberg
Art By: Tyler Boss
Published: June 29, 2016 by Black Mask Studios

When issue one of this new title hit the shelves, we here at Reverse Meltdown were currently undergoing a planting phase, as well as, I personally was dealing with some health issues. I mention this because I want to make it clear that this book by Black Mask Studios is absolutely amazing.

The story follows a group of young nerdy friends: Stretch, Berger, Paige, and Walter. This group of teenagers are thrust into an awkward and dangerous situation due to Paige’s father. Long before he met Paige’s mother, he spent some time running around with a rough crowd, all of which ended up in jail. Well, all of which with the exception of himself, ended up in jail. This group has been released from prison and have since made contact with their long estranged friend.

Issue two picks up as the kids investigate who these criminals are, and what they want with Paige’s father. Needless to say the group is a little less than trained, and quite frankly, they suck at being sneaky. What they do have is heart, although it doesn’t do them much good as this issue ends in a rather catastrophic situation, which will more than likely cause some serious problems in the next issue. All in all, this book is delivering one heck of a story with characters you immediately fall in love with. By the end of the first issue you’ll find that you care about each of them, Paige’s father, and exactly what’s going to happen now these old friends have returned from prison.

Hillbilly-1-CoverHillbilly #1

Written By: Eric Powell
Art By: Eric Powell
Published: June 29, 2016 by Albatross

Today is a gift from the heavens if you’re not familiar with Eric Powell’s work because you can jump onto his brand new comic, Hillbilly, and experience the greatness that is Eric Powell. This might sound like I’m crawling up his rear, but, Powell is easily one of the best storytellers and artists working in the business today. His handling of line work, color, camera angles, and story progression are just superbly done. While Powell had worked for every major publisher, it was his creation The Goon that introduced me to his work. Since that time The Goon has sat in my top ten favorite comics without fail.

Hillbilly is Powell’s latest creation, and let me tell you, as a long time fan, this book delivers in every way I wanted, and about a bajillion ways I didn’t even know existed.

This book was so good I’m actually having a difficult time figuring out where to start. I guess the first thing I should mention is that this book is one of the most beautiful and skillfully crafted books Powell has created. Everything has his signature, dark, whimsical feel to it, but this book just took things to a new level. The story of this particular book is introductory in nature. We’re being given the tone and feel, as well as the lore behind this story. Normally, that would feel slow and bogged down, however the world in which Hillbilly exists is marvelous, and easily captivates readers in this first book. We learn of the legend behind this man known as Hillbilly. His origins, powers, weapons, and really the mystical world that sits on the outskirts of the world the rest of us live in. By the end of the first issue, we know that we’re in for an absolutely wild ride with this book, and I for one cannot wait to sink my brain into more.

Jade-Street-1-CoverJade Street #1

Written By: Katy Rex
Art By: Fabian Lelay
Published: June 29, 2016 by Black Mask Studios

It’s books like this one that constantly cause me to readjust my view of comics. I have a comic type, much like people have when speaking of people they find attractive. Over the years, especially the last ten, my type has expanded well beyond what it was when I was younger. If you’re sitting there thinking, “Is this guy really talking about comics like he’s attracted to them?” I respond with, “Don’t judge me and my love.” As I was saying, because I know I have a proclivity toward certain comics, I often find myself pushing into new territory. Jade Street is exactly an outcome of that, and holy crap, did it pay off in a big way today.

This comic is like, Harry Potter meets Sailor Moon, and if that sounds stupid to you, stop, because it was absolutely fantastic. The story follows a group of girls who attend a magical school called Mattsdotter Academy. It is here that they learn to use their magic, which is infused into a gem that is brought to fruition in the form of weapons. One girl has a gun, another a giant hammer…you get the idea. Throughout the first book we’re given what we need to set things up. The rules of magic, how things work, even the social structures within the school. All of this is done wonderfully, and keeps the story moving while endearing you to the characters. By the end, we are off an running with the main twist, and holy smokes, it’s pretty freaking crazy.

One thing is for sure, I’ll be all over issue two, and this easily hopped into my pull list this week.

Spectrum-1-CoverSpectrum #1

Written By: PJ Haarsma & Alan Tudyk
Art By: Jason Johnson & Sarah Stone
Published: June 29, 2016 by Automatic Publishing

Oh look, a sci-fi comic has made it into my hands…this is both new and exciting. I’ve never read a sci-fi story before…and I definitely didn’t write about my serious addiction to all things sci-fi just the other day (which you certainly won’t find HERE, that’s for sure).

It should come as no surprise that based on the fact this book has anything to do with space, and that Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion (FIREFLY…err murr gerd, I love Firefly) are apart of it. Seriously, I couldn’t put this in my hands fast enough. I may, or may not, have nearly knocked someone over trying to get to this book. Okay fine, I did, but I apologized…after I grabbed the issue. Anyway, how about I actually talk about this comic now?

I’m going to try and temper my general attitude toward the wonderment that is sci-fi comics for a moment. I do this because when I say, this comic is absolutely a comic you should be reading, I don’t want you to think that it’s coming from the sci-fi addiction I have. This comic is as solid as it gets. We’re talking aliens, invasion, awesome weapons, space craft, off-world shenanigans, and the main character looks like Alan Tudyk…which is awesome. The art is beautiful as are the colors, everything just pops in this book. The writing is extremely well paced, never bogged down, and the story gets moving at a nonstop pace by page three. I highly recommend everyone read this, then reread it, then do that a third time. Why? Because it’s that good.

Oh look, another comic that was added to my pull list (seriously, my pull list is wildly out of control).

Lady-Mech-West-Abbey-2-CoverLady Mechanika: The Lost Boys of West Abbey #2

Written By: M.M. Chen
Art By: Joe Benitez
Published: June 29, 2016 by Benitez Productions

I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve written about Lady Mechanika, I know it’s a lot because this is easily one of the most underrated books available on the market today. In my personal opinion, this book should be hitting the top 100 in sales every month. It’s just that good. In this new story-arc our heroine, Lady Mechanika, is tasked with a sudden disappearance of young children who’ve been thrust to living on the streets. Also, for a major bonus, we are beign given glimpses into Lady Mechanika’s past, as suddenly, memories are surfacing from the event that turned her into the mechanical entity she has become.

In this, the final issue of this story-arc, we’re given an extremely action packed, mystery solving book that I found myself lost in completely. Lady Mechanika, and her new friend Inspector Singh, traverse the city as they search for clues, and ask questions to anyone who might lead them to ending these horrific events. There are twists and turns throughout the issue, and one of the most spectacular double-page spreads I’ve seen in a book. I seriously want to frame this artwork and put it on my wall, it’s that amazing. As I said, this is a short 2 issue story, so if you’re interested in Lady Mechanika at all, this is the perfect intro. Each story-arc is somewhat self-contained, meaning, that the story itself is wrapped up and inclusive with each arc, however Benitez is also developing a much larger story within each of these stories.

Overall, this particular story is so superb, and the art is mesmerizing. No joke, this book was so enthralling that someone actually walked in on me while I was reading, and I didn’t even notice. This moment of serenity was quickly followed by sheer terror the moment they spoke. It felt like I jumped four feet into the air, and I nearly crumpled to the floor as I scrambled to protect myself. That withstanding, every book of Lady Mechanika is better than the last, and that’s high praise because from the beginning this book has been one of the best that I’ve read. Whenever anyone asks about indie, or self-published books this is literally the first book I suggest. I’ve even purchased the trade paperback of the first arc to loan to people who want to give it a try. Everything about this comic is top-notch and amaze-ballz, and I cannot recommend this comic to everyone enough. Go out, try it, enjoy it, and…you’re welcome.

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