Saturday, 6 September 2014

[Review] New X-Men Vol 1

New X-Men, Vol. 1: E is for Extinction 

 Author: Grant Morrison

Art: Frank Quietly, Leinil Francis Yu

Genre: SF / Superhero

Themes: Love, Self Image, Evolution, Survival, Purpose

There is a palpable change in the X-men in this volume, brought about by a new gritty and mature approach to the franchise. Morrison certainly has set out to change the perception of the team, bringing a much more threatening and realistic feel to the plotting with a distinct dark atmosphere.

The art style suits the new tone mirroring the story with the use of oppresive, moody tones. Each panel is well crafted, and conveys the action in clear and effective displays of graphical prowess. I also like the new depth of character this volume brings, with each character battling their own internal issues as well as those put in front of them.

I was a little let down by the writing, a couple of times it felt like I'd missed a page or panel and I had to go back to check. However I loved the ending, it's really made me want to read on and follow up on a shocking turn of events. This is a fresh and exciting start and I'm intrigued as to where Morrison will take it from here.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

[Review] Saga Volume 1

Author: Brian K Vaughan

Art: Fiona Staples

Genre: Sci Fi/ Fantasy

Awards: Hugo Award for best Graphic Story 2013, 6 Harvey Awards 2013, 3 Eisner Awards 2013

Themes: Family, Authority, Violence/Pacifism

I’m pretty sure I lack the vocabulary to accurately convey how incredible the opening volume of Saga is but I will try. We begin with two star crossed lovers, and their forbidden union forged when Alana was Marko's gaoler. They are two sides of a galactic wide war, and it quickly becomes clear that several parties will do anything to sever their union.

The first thing that struck me about Saga was the incredible illustrations by Fiona Staples which really brought the action to life. Vibrant, yet moody they capture the atmosphere perfectly and add so much to the overall package. Taking inspiration from the best parts of Fantasy and Sci Fi, Brian K. Vaughans writing is incredible. For me the greatest draw is the realism of all his characters, each so lifelike, with realistic goals and motivations.

The world itself easily matches up to the quality of the charactisation, wonderfully crafted, teeming with intrigue and surprise. Finally the book is full of humour, for me, the one liners by Alana are a particular highlight. I do hope the quality continues for years to come, so we can enjoy a lengthy tale worthy of the publications title.