Sunday Digest 11/08/13 – this weekend’s must-read digital comics

This week’s must-read digital comics in the Sunday Digest include Captain Midnight, a golden age superhero throwback from Dark Horse Comics,  bleak dystopian sci-fi in The Bunker, a horrific new edition of Tim Gibsons’ brilliant Moth City, and a behind the scenes look at Brian K Vaughan and Marcos Martin’s pay-what-you-want series The Private Eye

Captain Midnight #1 (Dark Horse Comics)

Captain Midnight continues to develop Captain Midnight 1‘ new lineup of superhero comics alongside Michael Avon Oeming’s The Victories. However unlike Oemings gritty post-modern look at superhero, Captain Midnight is a much more straight forward offering, dusting off the star of a 1940s radio serial and giving him a 21st century makeover. Captain Midnight is super scientist Jim Albright who is cast forward in time to the present day in a world war two bomber thanks to a storm over the bermuda triangle – so far, so familliar – and when landing in the present day sets about avoiding capture from the authorities. Rather than rely on the Golden Age nostalgia feel, Captain Midnight has a very contemporary Ultimates feel in tone and characterisation which helps the book stand out from it’s potential competitors, with artist Fernando Dagnino giving the book a slick Marvel-esque feel that’s reminiscent of former Ultimate Spidey artist Mark Bagley at his best. Writer Josh Williamson has excelled this year with the retro charms of Masks and Mobsters and the more modern adventuring of Ghosted so we’re in safe hands going forward as Williamson doesn’t rely just on modern day misadventure to get the book by. There is a fantastic opening salvo in the arctic involving Nazis and polar bears in the 1940s which goes to prove the book will still have a bit of a bite to it (pun intended) and that this should be more than just another by-the-numbers superhero story!
Captain Midnight is available via Dark Horse Digital

The Bunker (Hoarse and Buggy Production)

The Bunker 01Joshua Hale Fialkov and Joe Infurnari’s new bleak, hard-edged science fiction story The Bunker, starts off in fairly traditional fashion with 6 friends discovering a hatch that leads to a secret bunker (all very Lost meets The Hole). But as the story develops and they begin to question why the hatch has 4 of their names on (but not all 6), and why there are letters in there addressed to them, it begins to defy your preconceptions. Describing any more would potentially ruin the story, but lets just say the bunker has been sent back in time from their future selves, and using a split narrative across the two timelines we begin to put the story together in a truly fascinating and engaging way. It’s a story about fate and destiny and morality, and how groups of friends can remain inter-connected well into adulthood. It’s one of those books that requires an instant re-reading once finished to truly appreciate – not because it is over wrought and complex – but because there is so much in there which you need to truly appreciate and get your head around once everything is in context. Fialkov’s script is outstanding with Infurnani’s bleak monochromatic artwork giving the book a true sense of creeping tension. This could well be one of the sleeper hits of the year and will be on a movie screen before you know it, so be sure to get into this one now!
The Bunker is available via ComiXology for £1.49/$1.99

Moth City Season 2 part 2 (Thrillbent)

Moth City Issue 4 coverWe previewed Tim Gibsons’ Moth City earlier this week giving you the chance to see the new direction it’s going in with the extra horror elements in season 2. After the politcal wrangling of the first season, it’s beginning to develop a really nice dark tone to it and is becoming  reminiscent of Phillips and Brubaker’s Fatale (which is about as high a praise as we can give!). However what makes it such a great read is that intangible extra which comes with each instalment. The  Oriental setting and sub-plot  makes it feel really old fashioned and gritty, like a pulp novel from the 1940s, but not in a way which we have seen done a million times so it still feels fresh. Gibson’s artwork is tight and controlled making the most of ComiXology‘s Guided View with smart transitions and layered imagery, but it also has loose and expressive style, meaning it doesn’t feel soul-less and corporate. His script is smartly written and the characters brilliantly realised, so when combined together makes Moth City feel both incredibly modern and slick but also classic and timeless. Getting the balance of these elements right on a Guided View Comic is quite tricky and not everyone manages to get it, but with Moth City Gibson does a near perfect job of keeping his comic both readable and innovative in equal measures. Every page features something new and exciting and as such this should be regarded as the yardstick for all other Guided View comics to be judged against right now.
Moth City Season 2 Part 2 is available via ComiXology for £0.69/$0.99

The Making of The Private Eye (Panel Syndicate)

The Making of The Private Eye (Panel Syndicate)If you’re a fan of Brian K Vaughan and Marcos Martin’s The Private Eye, or simply a huge fan of the comic book creation process then this is an absolute must. Stripping back the creative process for this ‘pay what you want’ digial comic right back to early concept emails, as well as the pitch which Vaughan gave Martin to get him board, this is about as revealing a behind the scenes look into the world of comics as you can get without being able to see inside BKV’s brain. Alongside early character sketches, layouts and a complete script for issue one, this lets you view the entire creative process for Vaughan and Martin’s modern masterpiece, including the rejected names and characters which never made the final draft. There are even emails discussing the very publishing model they chose. There’s just about enough in here to keep us satisfied while we wait for issue 4, as it’s filled with some truly fascinating stuff from this truly unique series!
The Making of The Private Eye is available from for the price of your choice.