Best of ComiXology Submit: Saga of a Doomed Universe #1, Soul Saga #1-6, Thoughts from Iceland #1-3, Wynter #1-3
This week’s best of ComiXology Submit features: Watchmen-inspired post-modern superhero action in Scott Reed’s Saga of a Doomed Universe #1; a quaint Nordic travelogue in Thoughts from Iceland #1-3; muscle-bound 90s action in Stephen Platt’s Soul Saga #1-6; and surreal high tech science fiction in Wynter #1-3.
Soul Saga #1-6 (Storm-Works)
Fans of 90s ‘artist du jour’ Stephen Platt can rejoice this week as all 6 episodes of his creator owned series Soul Saga are now available on Submit. For those who don’t remember those heady muscle-bound days, Platt was the epitome of the artist led explosion in the mid-90s, coming to prominence via Rob Liefeld’s Prophet (before it was good). With his intricate manga inspired style, packed with huge muscles, big boobs and intricately rendered backdrops he was one of the most in demand cover artist around with his variant going for big bucks. Soul Saga allows Platt to do what he does best, draw epic double page spreads with muscle-bound dudes in huge armour and women with massive boobs and tiny waists all of which look amazing on the iPad, if a tad dated! The story, co-written by Christian Lictner, is of secondary importance behind Platt’s ludicrously OTT artwork and really just serves as a conduit for his next awesome action shot. It’s a fascinating reminder of just how much the world has changed in 20 years and is a great trip down memory lane for any 90s Image fans as the art is still breath-taking (in a very cliched manner), however as an exciting and compelling story it is completely forgettable!
Purchase Soul Saga #1-6 for £0.69/$0.99 from ComiXology
Thoughts from Iceland #1-3 (Lonnie Comics)
If you’re after something a bit more sedate then why not try Lonnie Mann’s delightfully charming nordic travelogue Thoughts From Iceland. Chronicling his 4 days in Reykjavik it sees New Yorker Lonnie hike up a glacier, explore the city and drink lots of tasty beverages while eating all sorts weird and wonderful food. Told in a rigid 4 x 2 landscape panel structure with beautifully rendered watercolour and pencil artwork Lonnie meticulously details his stay in almost obsessive detail, giving a truly unique and esoteric look at this wonderful city. With a great eye for the architecture and people of Reykjavik this is the kind of series that will make you want to pack up a sketchpad and book the next available flight!
Purchase Thoughts from Iceland from ComiXology for £2.99/$3.99
Wynter #1-3 (New Worlds Comics)
Guy Hasson and Aron Elekes complex cyber-punk sci-fi thriller is set in a world where apps in people’s heads control peoples lives removing freedom of choice by making an individuals actions completely predictable based on their previous actions (and those actions of people who are genetically similar!). It takes the notion of techno dependancy and Big Brother state to a terrifying extreme and into a world where a mysterious global corporation are looking to remove individuality to make the populous more docile. It’s a dark and complex world that Hasson and Elekes have concocted, and one that is not always the easiest to follow. However if you persevere you are rewarded with a very smart and articulate piece of dysptopian science fiction in the spirit of Philip K Dick or the Wachowskis. Elkes painted artwork is particularly stunning and gives the book a sophisticated and ethereal quality while the dense lettering brilliantly replicates the white noise of social media.
Purchase Wynter #1-3 from ComiXology for £1.49/$1.99 each
PICK OF THE WEEK
Saga of a Doomed Universe #1 (Web’s Best Comics)
Scott Reed’s homage to 1980s event comics like Secret Wars and Infinite Crisis goes beyond simple superhero parody into a world of genre defying self reference aiming it to become the 21st century Watchmen – a goal it comes darn close to achieving! Chronicling the epic final battle of superhero team the Cavalry of Heroes (who are an obvious homage to the X-Men, Avengers and Justice League – right down to jokes about trademark infringement) who face off against their diabolical foe Nihilist and the Arsenal of Evil with devastating results. It takes that 80s-style crossover event to the extreme with retro art in the style of George Perez and a subtle faded colour scheme and halftone patterning it makes you second guess when this book was even published, while offering up a level of bloodshed and violence that is more akin to British comics of the time like 2000 AD than the safe world of Marvel and DC. However there’s more to Saga of a Doomed Universe than just a homage to all things 80s as over written through the book is a second level of story-telling focusing around the team of creators who produced this epic comic book. Running like a director’s commentary over the top, just as the heroes are facing their ultimate battle on the page, so the writers and artists of Saga Comics are also facing an unknown governmental conspiracy of their own. This whole extra level of story-telling is handled incredibly subtly in this first issue, only appearing on certain pages dotted throughout the issue, meaning it is never rammed down your throat and feels a bit like the Tales of the Black Freighter in Watchmen as it augments the plot without ever taking away from the actual action on the page. Watchmen is a very clear touchstone for Reed’s work, especially with the ambition and scale of the story and also the adult tone, but it also reminded us of Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee’s The Sentry graphic novel for the way it plays with the readers understanding of the superhero genre in a much more sophisticated way. If this were just a superhero throwback comic, Saga Of a Doomed Universe would still be a great read, but with the extra level of story on top it makes it one of the most exciting and ambitious books we’ve read in some time.
Purchase Saga of a Doomed Universe #1 for £1.99/$2.99 from ComiXology