Ballistic #1

Black Mask

Release Date:  7/10/13

Words:  Adam Egypt Mortimer

Pictures:  Darick Robertson

The Sitch:

Ballistic is a madcap sci-fi buddy adventure romp about Butch, a wannabe bank robber who idolizes Dillinger and his best friend Bang Bang, a dirty mouthed and minded, living gun.  The backdrop is a bioengineered future in a place called Repo City State.

The Confession:

Wow.  What the “shibal!?”

Ballistic is like the love child of a Cronenberg movie and The Boys comic with a touch of the 1990’s film Total Recall.  There is a lot to process in this one.  It is clearly a labor of love.  This is sci-fi imagining at it’s best and most wild.

The story follows Butch, an air conditioning repairman in Repo City State, where air conditioning is big business in a world that must keep organic technologies and environment within a temperature they will survive.  Pretty much everything in this world is alive.  This includes Butch’s side kick, Bang Bang, a living, talking, foul mouthed, drug addicted creature of the “talkie tech” nature.  These two have the best, engaging banter I’ve read in a long time.  The story is fast paced and dense, introducing the reader to new terms, creatures and world rules without mucking up the pacing of the exposition.  The tone is as serious as it is funny.  It may seem like the cramming in of so much information about this world and its inhabitants in just a few pages is overwhelming, but it’s done in such a solid, fun manner that you appreciate it all in the long run.

This kind of story needs some serious artwork to be affective and Robertson does an incredible job.  An important part of telling this story is the showing with the telling.  It is worth taking this one in slow because you will find yourself studying every gem of detail from the cityscape and it’s structures to the objects of food and drug paraphernalia.  It’s beautiful and gross and I kinda love it.

Ballistic-1-1-copy

If you are looking for something different and enjoy the weird and wonderful side of sci-fi, definitely treat yourself with this wild ride.

Liberator #1

Black Mask

Release Date:  6/19/13

Words:  Matt Miner

Pictures:  Javier Aranda

The Sitch:

Real heroes don’t wear capes, they wear ski -masks.  The Liberator’s hero, Damon, is a vigilante with a cause known as animal cruelty.  He’s part activist and part terrorist in the war to protect the animals powerless to protect themselves against the cruelty of some of the most base of human beings.

The Confession:

I admit this isn’t the kind of comic I get too jazzed about.  It gets a bit preachy.  I prefer the more sneaky approach to educating.  Of course, I am against animal cruelty.  But I do have to admit I eat meat and I enjoy it, so I’m sure many hard core animal activists would have issue with me.

That is not to say the writing is bad.  It’s alright.  Like I said before, it felt a bit preachy.  The positive side to this is that it is loaded with information in regards to animal cruelty.  Even though the characters are admirable in their passion for standing up for what they believe in, their actual character development fell a bit flat.  This could be resolved in future issues though.  It’s hard to say anything bad when you can tell this work was made with love for a noble cause.  Also included in the back of the issue are real life animal right’s activist letters.  Knowledge is power.

The art is gritty and does a good job of provoking emotion.  The animal cruelty scenes are real life harsh and just as provoking as the more tender depiction of a dog’s love and loyalty.

This book is giving voice to animal rights activists and that can’t be a bad thing.  Also, a portion of the profits from this book go to dog rescue.  If you want to open your eyes a little or if your eyes are already wide open and you just want to show a little support, buy this read.  If that’s not your thing you may want to skip this one.