Comic Bursts is the first installment of a regular column here at Geeks Unleashed with mini bursts of the latest comic reviews. The first installment is brought to you by Guest Writer Chris Romero.
Morbius: The Living Vampire #1
Morbuis doesn’t really resemble much of a terrifying vampire, but more like my neighborhood paperboy! Writer Joe Keatinge’s debut of Morbius: The Living Vampire showcases a seemingly young vampire, donned in baggy jeans and a hoodie, attempting to find his niche in this crazy world. What better way to find yourself than flee to a poverty-stricken, crime-riddled hole of a town? That’s exactly where Keatinge takes us with his take on a Marvel villain who’s been around since the early 70’s. This book’s story isn’t what I was expecting based on Gabriele Dell’Otto’s frightening cover. Keatinge establishes Morbius with flashbacks of his childhood, and drives the story with a good deal of internal dialogue serving as narration. The style works for this issue, but I hope we see less of it in the future; in favor of allowing the events to tell Morbius’ story. The vampire’s enemy in this book, a small-time townie criminal, seems weak to the core with little personality. Oh, and he looks like a street thug right out of the first Police Academy movie. Richard Nelson’s artwork captures the action well; he definitely isn’t shy of blood. This title’s debut may not blow your mind, but it has potential.
Punisher: Nightmare #1 of 5
With the dramatic conclusion of Greg Rucka’s The Punisher series, fans have been left wanting more gory vengeance at the hands of New York City vigilante Frank Castle. Rucka’s recent release of the mini-seriesPunisher: War Zone has only wet our appetites, so it’s up to writer Scott M. Gimple to serve up the rest of the feast! Punisher: Nightmare #1 wastes no time unleashing Castle’s vendetta on violent street thugs as he goes to town on a sorry punk’s skull with a curbside memorial candle—yeah, that’s right—he uses a candle to put the guy out of his misery! Gimple, along with artist Mark Texeira doesn’t allow us to put our guard down for a second; reminding us of Castle’s motives. This introduction transitions well into book’s main plot: Castle is on the hunt to take down the culprits of the gruesome murder of a veteran’s wife and child. Gimple’s writing includes a good amount of first person point of view narration of both Castle and the Army veteran Jake Niman. This technique may come across as a bit overkill for some older Punisher fans who already are familiar with his origins, but can attract newer readers with its serious tone. Gimple has done a decent job setting the stage for what can be an entertaining series with a twist of a cliffhanger, but the story’s premises isn’t new: Castle hunts mobsters, teams up with bitter parent, delivers massive beatdown, etc., etc. Texeira’s artwork is the strength of this book: his colors are dark and gritty—perfect for a story about revenge. Although not a new concept for Castle, it’s still a series worth following as of now.
Great Pacific #3
I don’t know about you, but if cute French women fell from the sky into my lap I’d call that a good day! The only flaw (ok, maybe it’s appealing) with this pretty pilot who finds herself stranded on a heaping mount of trash called New Texas with protagonist Chas Worthington is that she has one heck of an attitude! Image Comics’ third installment of Great Pacific tracks a disoriented and down on his luck Chas as attempts to establish his newly founded country on the Great Pacific Gyre (yes, it’s on a huge mountain of garbage bigger than what can be found in the passenger seat of your car) after being attacked by group of angry natives and a huge Octopus by the name of Yalafath—sushi never looked this angry! Writer Joe Harris strives for characterization in this issue; exploring a piece of Chas’ childhood that’s surrounded by the events of his father’s death, along with some words of wisdom from his grandfather that move the narration forward. Harris introduces us to a new character with a mysterious motive. Great Pacific’s plot is taking an interesting twist in this book; Harris steers his focus from Chas to the giant squid and the pilot—both sure to be key characters. Although lacking character facial expression, Martin Morazzo’s artwork remains consistent, and his portrayal of New Texas is intriguing. Great Pacific is a solid, quick read—it may not be among my top ten titles out right now, but it’s definitely on the brink of cracking the list.