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Posts tagged “Dynamite Entertainment

Review: Herokillers

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Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment

Writer: Ryan Browne

Artist: Pete Woods

In 2008 Dynamite released Alex Ross and Jim Kreuger’s Project Superpowers. To all who love the superheroes of the so called Golden Age it was a treat. For many years people waited for more, and eventually the spin offs came, not the way readers expected it though.

Apart from the natural continuation of Project Superpowers; Black Terror, Death-Defying Devil, Masquerade and The Owl, it wasn’t until 2015 that a new series saw the light. Project Superpowers: Blackcross, written by Warren Ellis, was unlike the series it came from, and to most the only similarities were names of heroes and the title. More of a murder mystery with supernatural overtones, it most likely was a disappointment to those who expected something like the traditional storytelling. Now Dynamite have once again delved into the Golden Age pool, releasing Herokillers by Ryan Browne and Pete Woods. It too hailed as being from the pages of Project Superpowers.

Like Blackcross, the story has little to do with the original book. It takes place in Libertyville, a place dubbed as Murdertown U.S.A. The mayor, an interesting fellow called Smooth Willie Williams JR., offers a crap ton of money to superheroes who might come and clean the city up. The heroes are given tax breaks, annual salaries and bonuses based on performances. The end result is a safe city where heroes outnumber criminals. As is true with bored teenagers, the heroes soon lash out and become self destructive, none more so than Black Terror, who turns to alcohol and women of loose morals.

While Herokillers isn’t Project Superpowers, or Blackcross, it has its own charm. There is a warmth and humor to it that the other books lacked. It takes the superhero genre and twists it, making the heroes look more pathetic and sad. Maybe this is because they do not have a purpose in life, or maybe because they’ve always been a-holes. In the end it doesn’t really matter. Sure some readers might be disappointed again, because it makes fun of the genre and these characters, but it’s all very intertaining. A constant commenting from the editor Matt makes the series more meta, and the style of Woods brings it all together.

It will be interesting to see where this series goes and how these serious characters react when being thrown into absurdity.

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Review: Blackcross #1

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Writer: Warren Ellis

Art: Colton Worley

Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment

A dead body found in the woods, a man sets himself on fire and walks into a lake and a fortune teller is haunted by a terrible visage. All these things seem connected with the town of Blackcross in Washington. A place were Rob Benton is being hidden by the FBI after witnessing a mob killing. He hasn’t coped with it well and lives like a slob in between working at the pharmacy. He is also haunted by mysterious dreams as well as texts that confuse his federal contact. Whatever is going on it seems as if it’s coming to Blackcross.

Blackcross is billed as coming from the pages of Project Superpowers, Jim Kreuger and Alex Ross’ intriguing tale using public domain super heroes. At first glance, which is all that the initial issue really gives the readers, Blackcross is a darker animal than the traditional story of super heroes. This seems more to be a crime story of the neo noir kind and that is mainly due to Worley’s haunting artwork.  Though the first issue reveals very little of what one might expect in the future of this title it gives the reader enough to become invested and there are Easter eggs placed here and there for the odd golden age comic lover.

It is easy to become excited by Blackcross, yet there is cause for concern. Six issues have been announced and it feels that this might be too conservative. The slow build in the initial issue hints at a slow build, but the low number of coming comics makes one believe that, true to Dynamite’s form, the story will become rushed and suffer because of it. On the other hand this may not happen and one may just have to trust the genius that is Warren Ellis.

C.M. Marry Hultman

C.M. Marry Hultman


Review: Legenderry: Green Hornet

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Legenderry: Green Hornet

Writer: Daryl Gregory

Artist: Brent Peeples

Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment

 

In the wake of Bill Willingham’s Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure we find ourselves back in this elaborate world of fantasy, steam, adventure and pulp figures. Dynamite Entertainment announced a while back that they were releasing three spin offs from the initial series and that they would be Green Hornet, Vampirella and Red Sonja, these would continue the storyline and take it in very different directions.

The story opens on Undertown where we are introduced to a young man enlisting the aid of the street gang The Velocikings. What his agenda might be is shrouded in darkness, but it becomes clear in the end that he is in league with a figure by the name of Tin Man. At the same time he seems to be waging a war on the boss of the underworld; The Veiled Lady, the woman who married the demonic Blackmass in the original arc. This comes to a head early on as The Velocikings go head to head with the lady’s gang The Toffs.

While this is going on Britt Reid, Green Hornet himself, meets with the new millionaire in town; Chesterfield Grimes. Grimes seems to be interested in where Reid’s alliances are and this, naturally, causes suspicion in the mind of the Hornet.

There are a lot of things going on in the first issue of Legenderry: Green Hornet, which isn’t unusual for Dynamite Entertainment’s stories. The original Legenderry had so many characters introduced in each issue, without creating any back story, that it was more confusing than fun. Green Hornet on the other hand is paced differently, even though the reader is treated to three, seemingly, separate side tales the setup of these stories aren’t so confusing. As a reader one is treated to three varied cliff hangers all creating a desire to see where this is going.

Green Hornet proves that the three Legenderry spin offs just might be the ticket to further what was a very good story to begin with. The fault with the original arc was that it never really felt that it came to a resolution and there were just too many questions left unanswered.

The artwork, though not as clean as in Legenderry, creates the right amount of grit and sharpness for this steam punk world. Gregory also does well at keeping up the language and feel as was started by Willingham, but with a little bit more tongue in cheek and glint in his eye, cutting some of the seriousness out of the violence and mayhem.

C.M. Marry Hultman

C.M. Marry Hultman