This week’s Best of ComiXology Submit features: dystopian science fiction in Dayglow #1; technicolour anarchy in Death Betty #0; pulp adventure perfection in Doc Unknown volumes 1 and 2; and an enigmatic rag doll carrying hit man in Trenchcoat Samurai #2.
Dayglow #1 (Publish Enemies, LLC)
As the world is ravaged by a deadly viral outbreak office clerk Javier continues about his daily business while his roommate and co-workers cope with the tragedy in their own unique way. But when Javier is given the one in a million chance to escape this world and be put into cryogenic sleep until a cure is found his life takes a turn for the better, or does it? Dayglow start life as a fairly traditional global outbreak/end of the world tale with randy room-mates and suicial co-workers, but once Javier gets involved in the mysterious cryo experiment things take a much more interesting twist and with a great cliffhanger ending that leaves us excited to read more of David Hahn’s excellent dystopian tale.
Purchase Dayglow #1 from ComiXology for £1.99/$2.99
Death Betty #0 (Adam Jackman and Ryan Winn)
This first issue of Adam Jackman and Ryan Winn’s new series is a like a global hyper-colour information blast to your frontal cortex as we are introduced to the world of gun-toting Betty and goth girl grim reaper Death in this psychedelic adrenaline rush of a debut. It pretty much defies description as Betty encounters Death on a highway bridge after Death’s latest victim Ron fails to fulfil his destiny of causing a motorway pile up. This is then followed by the two sitting down for a reluctant cup of coffee ‘Pacino and De Niro in Heat-style’ in the second of two chapters. Although the idea of Death as an enigmatic goth girl may seem a bit trad for any Sandman/Neil Gaiman fans out there, fortunately Death Betty has a fresh originality about it that make those comparisons fall flat. With an anarchic energy that reminded us of Jamie Hewlett’s Tank Girl and quirky visuals like Becky Cloonan’s recent Killjoys (but with a neon paint job!), Death Betty #0 is a brilliantly bizarre debut which should get you coming back for more if only to find out what the hell all that stuff in this first issue actually meant!
Purchase Death Betty #0 from ComiXology for £0.69/$0.99
Trenchcoat Samurai #2 (SubHero Productions)
Robert Harrington and Adam Marciewicz’s sword-wielding, coat wearing hit man joins a list of similar oddballs from Jean Reno’s Leon to Forrest Whitaker in Ghost Dog – except this guy carries a rag doll around on his missions, without any real explanation of why! Although this attempt to make our hero stand out may sound a bit peculiar, what actually makes the mysterious Trenchcoat Samurai such a strong read is that each story is told in short unconnected bursts, (with only 2 short chapters in the first issue and 3 in this slightly longer effort) which means we never get caught up in exposition and explanation, instead we just just get plenty of action and more than a little intrigue. With a couple of stories reminding us of Fraction and Aja’s Hawkeye in both look and style (but with a bit more nudity!), Trenchcoat Samurai is an enigmatic puzzle of a book that you simply cannot figure out, but for some reason it just kind of works, so be sure to give it a try! (And if you figure out what’s up with the rag doll, let us know!)
Purchase Trenchcoat Samurai #2 from ComiXology for £0.69/$0.99
PICK OF THE WEEK
Doc Unknown Volume 1: The Secret of Gate City, Volume 2: Winter of the Damned and Other Tales, and Boss Snake: Cold Blood, Cold Streets (Believe In Comics)
Fabian Rangel Jr.’s superb Kickstarter funded, pulp adventure series Doc Unknown hits ComiXology with a vengance this week with 2 collected volumes and a one-shot spin-off based around the evil Boss Snake now available. Doc Unknown is like the genetically spliced offspring of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, Bruce Timm’s Batman: The Animated Series and classic pulp series Doc Savage, that has been created in a lab with the objective of making the ultimate-pulp adventure series. Unlike many other imitators who try this and come up with a trad retread, Doc Unknown bristles with energy and fun with every episode leaping off the page with it’s tales of daring do! This is mainly thanks to Rangel Jr’s sparkling script but also regular artist Ryan Cody’s brilliant mix of classic pulp with a modern twist. There’s slimy reptilian crime lords, mysterious Japanese assassins and Nazi cyborgs to keep you entertained, plus the whole thing is set in a city built on the ruins of Atlantis, so if this sounds like your kind of book then be sure not to miss out! Each instalment of Doc Unknown is neatly self contained (just like a radio serial) and although this means the action can be over before it starts, there are just enough cliffhanger endings and ongoing story lines to help make this required reading. Unfortunately, volume 2 lacks a bit of the impact of volume 1 as it is more of a collection of one-shots, but Boss Snake is a more than worthy addition to the canon offering up a fantastic look into the back story of one of the Doc’s most fearsome villains.
Purchase Doc Unknown volume 1: The Secret of Gate City from ComiXology for £2.49/£2.99
Purchase Doc Unknown volume 2: Winter of the Damed and Other Tales from ComiXology for £2.49/$2.99
Purchase Boss Snake: Cold Blood, Cold Streets from ComiXology for £1.49/$1.99