Monthly Archives: July 2020

A Mouthful of Dollars

Chu #1
“The First Course, Part 1 of 5”
Writer: John Layman
Artist/Colors: Dan Boultwood
Letters: Comicraft
Cover artists: Boultwood (regular)/Rob Guillory and Boultwood (variants)
Publisher: Image Comics
Price: $3.99 US

I was a big fan of Chew when it debuted several years ago, and I wasn’t surprised at its success, given the novel nature of the central concept. I have the entire run in my collection — but truth be told, I haven’t read them all. One of the drawbacks of being a rabid comics fan is that one tends to acquire more than one can read in the span of a week, so the latter part of Chew is waiting for my perusal. So since it had been some time since I ventured into this weird world of police procedures and peckishness, I was concerned this followup, spinoff book might prove to be somewhat inaccessible.

I needn’t be worried. Layman delivers a delightfully welcoming read. It will please fans of Chew while also entertaining those who are new to the premise. And the art from Dan Boultwood is wonderfully consistent with that of original Chew artist Rob Guillory while also boasting its own distinct look.

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Striking the Wrong Chord

Dark Nights: Death Metal #1
“Death Metal – An Anti-Crisis, Part 1: It All Matters”
Writer: Scott Snyder
Pencils: Greg Capullo
Inks: Jonathan Glapion
Colors: FCO Plascencia
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Cover artists: Capullo & Glapion (regular)/David Finch, Francesco Mattina, Stanley “Artgerm” Lau, Doug Mahnke and Capullo & Glapion
Editor: Marie Javins
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $4.99 US

Given the success of a key villain introduced during the Dark Nights: Metal event, it wasn’t surprising when DC announced this sequel. There were elements from the first limited series I thoroughly enjoyed, but the execution was scattered, and the cosmic aspects of the plot weren’t clearly delineated. While the story looked and seemed cool, it was a cluttered, confusing capsule of chaos. It should come as no surprise that this followup project falls into the same pattern, and honestly, I can’t fault DC or the creators for it. The first was a resounding success; why would they shift gears with the sequel? Like the first Metal event book, Snyder and Capullo populate this title with novel concepts and new takes on familiar characters, and on that level, it’s a bit of fun. But it fails to establish any real suspense. Dark Nights: Metal really changed nothing about the DC Universe, save to inject a new, popular villain into the mix. The various spinoff titles fell flat. The main purpose here seems to be to offer a multitude of variant covers re-imagining icons of the super-hero genre as members of a metal band.

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