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Weekly Comic Reviews - 24 Feb 2016

Weekly Comic Reviews - 24 Feb 2016

Ratings out of 5 stars. Shipment was delayed till Saturday because of bad weather in the US. The mainstream stuff are available at Absolute Comics (Plaza Singapura).


Broken Frontier

Editors: Frederick Hautain and Tyler Chin-Tanner

A Wave Blue World

Lots of comics coming out on Kickstarter now, even though they eventually get published with Image. We first heard about the Broken Frontier anthology last year and it’s finally out. The good thing if you have funded this, is that you get the digital version first. This was sent to us two weeks ago – the traffic to download it was so heavy that it was suspended temporarily. But it is worth the wait.

Broken Frontier started out as a web comic magazine in 2002 by editor-in-chief, Frederick Hautain. Later, it became a physical magazine edited  by Andy Oliver but that folded in 2014. Now, Hautain is back to co-edit this 250-page anthology, which has more than 40 creators and 27 stories. The cover is by Robbi Rodriguez, the artist of Spider Gwen, so you have some big names here.

The concept reminds me of David Lloyd’s Aces Weekly. Some of the stories are engaging enough to make you want to wait for the next chapter. So not all the stories are standalone – they are a preview to a longer story. The stories that I would pay money to follow: Phantom Limb Ghostpuncher (Greg Pak), Plunder (Phil Hester), The Wave (Robert Sammelin – this is very good; reminiscent of Otomo, Frank Miller and Geoff Darrow), The Wall (Toby Cypress’ art has a Paul Pope feel to it), Flyer (Mike Lawrence) and It’s About Time (art by Facundo Percio of Anna Mercury fame).

There are three outstanding stories. Quin Returns by David Hine and Mark Stafford continues their successful collaboration from The Man Who Laughs and The Bad Bad Place from the UK anthology Meanwhile. Hine is on a roll with macabre stories. Check out his new AfterShock Comics series, Second Sight.

Noah Van Sciver, the younger brother of Ethan Van Sciver, gives the anthology its alternative comics edge with his story, Down in a Hole. I.N.J Culbard (HP Lovecraft and Sherlock Holmes adaptations and The Deadwardians for Vertigo) ends the anthology with Last Dance at Omega Point, a poignant story about space travel and family.

Not all the stories are memorable. Like all anthologies, and I know because I co-edited Liquid City Vol 2 (Image Comics) all those years ago, it’s a mixed bag of hits and misses. But you could feel that Broken Frontier has been a fun ride for the editors (who also wrote stories) and the contributors. Anthologies do not sell very well, but they are not dead either. The new Alan Moore project on Kickstarter is an anthology.

Broken Frontier is available on Comixology now.

(4 stars)

Star Wars #16

Story: Jason Aaron

Art: Leinil Yu, Gerry Alanguilan and Sunny Gho


Hot on the heels of the successful Vader Down (reviewed 6 Jan 2016), this is the start of Book IV, Rebel Jail. Picking up where Vader Down left off, Leia has sent new villain Dr Aphra to the Alliance secret prison, Sunspot Prison. The bad doctor (fast becoming the most popular new character in the Marvel/Disney Star Wars comics) is proving to be a pain in the neck and it seems like she has a history with the smuggler Sana Starros. In the meanwhile, we learned Han Solo is as good a gambler as he likes us to think. He loses a hand and got to make a run for it with Luke in tow. Jason Aaron provides the snappy dialogue and the dream team of Leinil Yu (art), Gerry Alanguilan (inks) and Sunny Gho (colours) keeps the thrills coming.

(4 stars)

The Mighty Thor #4

Story: Jason Aaron

Art: Russell Dauterman


Jason Aaron is everywhere – writing The Thor and Star Wars and also his own The Goddamned (reviewed 11 Nov 2016) for Image. This current storyline continues from where Aaron left off last year (hiatus because of the Secret Wars event). Thor is still in the bad books of Odin who has the All-Mother Freyja put on the charge of treason for supporting the new female Thor. The bad guys are Malekith and the Enchantress, and Loki is back as well. The end of this issue is the long awaited fight between Thor and Odin, so the next one should be exciting.

(3 stars)

Avengers Assemble Season 2 #16

Story: Kevin Burke and Chris Wyatt

Art: Marvel Animation (dir: Phil Pignotti)

Adaptation: Joe Caramagna


Not quite a comic, but more like a picture book because this took scenes from the Avengers Assemble Season 2 cartoon series and putting it together. What’s interesting is that this episode is based on Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers World, which is one of the darkest Avengers stories in recent years and it led to the Secret Wars. Still, it is important to have such kids friendly titles that parents can buy for their children at Walmart. It builds the next generation of comic readers. You can watch the original episode here:


(2.5 stars)

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Lim Cheng Tju is the co-editor of Liquid City Vol. 2, an anthology of Southeast Asian comics publish ...

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