Welcome to another installment of The 10 Spot – a quick round-up of the very best books from indie publishers this week. Kicking off this week’s 10 Spot is…
GHOSTED #14 (Image/Skybound) – I’ve been a fan of this story from the first issue and I’m constantly amazed at how writer Joshua Williamson keeps turning up the tension…even well beyond what I could have possibly imagined when this excellent tale started out. In trying to save Trick’s son, Jackson Winters may finally be well and truly over his head – but you’ll never guess why! This is a series where you can trust no one, where your best friends are your enemies and vice versa. GHOSTED effectively mixes the supernatural with a noir crime tale for an action-packed thriller that simply should not be missed. Add the excellent artwork of Davide Gianfelice and colors by Miroslav Mrva and this is easily a 10/10
X-O MANOWAR #0 (Valiant) – Ever wonder what Aric of Dacia, the great X-O Manowar was like before he became such a great warrior and leader? You’ll get a great prequel to the series right here as we find a young Aric who has to find a reason to fight. Robert Venditti gives us an amazing tale here, with fantastic artwork by Clay Mann (pencils), Seth Mann (inks) and Romulo Fajardo (colors). Another Valiant 10/10
RAGNAROK #2 (IDW) – Walt Simonson’s amazing vision of a very different God of Thunder is shown here, as the seemingly dead body of Thor is found…but can a god really die? Simonson’s artwork (with colors by Laura Martin) takes the lead in this issue, with some amazing battle sequences. This book is beautiful and terrifying at one time, even as the body count in the tale rises (noted by insets with a red slash). This is an amazing book – 10/10
BLACK MARKET #4 (BOOM!) – Frank Barbiere gives us a terrific (if slightly disturbing) ending to this excellent mini-series, as the hunt is on for Ultra! When you go up against someone who regularly punches holes in people’s chests, there’s not a lot of room for error…can they do this? And, how will the world change if they are able to harness Ultra’s DNA? My only problem with the ending is that it has to end at all. This has been a great series, written by Barbiere and illustrated by Victor Santos with colors by Adam Metcalfe. 10/10
THOMAS ALSOP #5 (BOOM!) – The Hand of the Island is going to do something so controversial, so horrific, that he needs everyone’s…hate? Doesn’t matter, as long as they believe something, so let’s just see how many people Alsop can tick off at one time! This character is over the top without being a caricature, a Tony Stark of the supernatural who is taking on his biggest trick…if he can actually pull it off, that is. Chris Miskiewicz has created a character that I can’t help rooting for, no matter how much of a jerk Alsop can be at times. The artwork by Palle Schmidt is spot on for this kind of tale, setting the right eerie tone without going too far – and I loved the social media angle. Another great issue of an excellent series. 10/10
IMPERIAL #3 (Image) – Mark is getting ready for his wedding, and training to be the next Imperial at the same time. I can’t tell which is crazier – picking out a DJ or watching Mark’s attempts to pick up those powers? This has a little of “The Greatest American Hero” in it, with the added dynamic of the old hero training the new…at least for now… I’m loving this story, watching Mark trying to keep his life together while realizing things will never be the same. A great story by Steven T. Seagle, with great pencils/inks by Marc Dos Santos and colors by Brad Simpson. This series keeps getting better with every issue – 10/10
That’s it for our 10 Spot this week – but we still have more great indie comics in our “Pressed to the Nines” feature and our “Great Eights”. And, keep checking in throughout the week with TMStash for all your news, reviews and commentary!