Category Archives: Reviews – Boom! Studios

International Slay Station

Station #1
Writer: Johanna Stokes
Artist/Cover artist: Leno Carvalho
Colors: Imaginary Friends Studios
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Price: $3.99 US

It seems to me that Station is one of those books that Boom! supports with a little more of a promotional push, as it did with North Wind and Talent long before that. I understand why. The premise is a solid one, bound to appeal to a broad spectrum of readers. There are space/science buffs out there just as there are sci-fi enthusiasts, and who doesn’t like a good whodunnit? Johanna Stokes, who’s done plenty of work for Boom! in the past but is still billed as a TV writer, has happened upon a natural concept: a murder mystery in space. While offering new ideas in terms of means of murder, it limits the number of suspects to a manageable, easy-to-consume level. Of course, the premise is limited as well. The art boasts some striking visuals at times, and the man responsible certainly has capture the close quarter of a space station along with the vast emptiness that lies outside of it. But the visuals are inconsistent from page to page, which makes for some distractions and interferes with the story.

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Future Tense

The Foundation #1
Writer: John Rozum
Artist: Chee
Colors: Malaka Studio
Letters/Editor: Marshall Dillon
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Price: $3.99 US

Boom! Studios has done it again.

In late 2006, I was blown away by Talent, a Boom title that impressed with a strong premise, compelling, dark atmosphere and well-realized characters. The Foundation is a much different project, but it also captured my imagination. Both books have a distinctly dark and cinematic quality, and the supernatural/superhuman elements and twists remind one of the works of such filmmakers as Hitchcock and Shyamalan. This initial plot revolves around a potential air disaster, and while we’re more than six years removed from the events of 9-11, paranoia about terrorism remains raw enough today that delving into that subject matter is a bit risky. I applaud the creators for taking the risk of offending some sensibilities in the name of a good story. More importantly, John Rozum poses an interesting and challenging question of ethics to the reader that sparks reflection beyond the reading experience and the circumstances of the plot.

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That’s the Waid – Uh-huh, Uh-huh – I Like It

Potter’s Field #1
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Paul Azaceta
Colors: Nick Filardi
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Cover artists: J.G. Jones/Paul Azaceta
Editor: Marshall Dillon
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Price: $3.99 US

Boom! Studios has been solid small publisher in the comics industry for a couple of years now, but it really turned some heads at Comic-Con International San Diego this year when it announced that fan-favorite writer and former DC editor (a lifetime ago, it seems) Mark Waid had signed on as the publisher’s new editor-in-chief. It certainly seemed like a solid move, given the attention that Waid’s high profile brought and the expertise he brings to the job as well. Potter’s Field is not only Boom’s first big release in the wake of that announcement, but it’s also penned by the new editor-in-chief as well. Needless to say, Boom! Studios has a lot riding on this comic book, and fortunately, it lives up to expectations. I think what I most appreciated about Potter’s Field, other than the entertaining crime-drama storytelling, is the fact that it doesn’t mark a significant shift in direction for the publisher. It already offered a diverse array of material in its lineup, and Potter’s Field is just the latest addition. If you haven’t bothered to check out a Boom! release before, Potter’s Field is a good place to start.

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Shh! Be vewy, vewy quiet…

Whisper #1
“Hydrophobia”
Writer: Steven Grant
Artist: Jean Dzialowski
Colors: Sunder Raj
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Cover artists: Kody Chamberlain & Martin Redman
Editor: Marshall Dillon
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Price: $3.99 US

We’ve been hearing about this Whisper revival for a few years now, thanks to writer Steven Grant’s column at ComicBookresources.com. It was originally positioned at another publisher, later moving over to the up-and-coming Boom! Studios. I didn’t read the original Whisper series from First Comics, but fortunately, the only reference to the original incarnation is to be found on the cover (in the form of a poster behind the new version of title character). I like the idea of setting this new story in hurricane Katrina-ravaged New Orleans at the height of the natural disaster, but the art fails to really convey the sense of place and the overwhelming effects of the weather disturbance. Grant’s script is full of tension and action, and I like the dark political side of the plot.

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Cure for the Uncommon Code

Enigma Cipher #1
Writers: Andrew Cosby & Michael Alan Nelson
Artist: Greg Scott
Colors: Imaginary Friends Studio
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Cover artist: Jeff Johnson
Editor: Marshall Dillon
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Price: $6.99 US

Boom! Studios seems to focus its energies on publishing specific kinds of comics. There’s the farcical books (Hero Squared, What Were They Thinking) and the strong anthologies (Pirate Tales, Zombie Tales). And then there are the movies on paper. Boom! has published a number of comics that read a lot like movie or TV treatments, and the publisher has provided some solid entertainment in that vein. Among the previous limited series that fit the bill are Tag, X Isle and the superbly diverting Talent. Enigma Cipher is the latest “movie on paper,” and it’s a lot of fun, capturing the same sort of tension, excitement and conspiracy-theory drama as The Pelican Brief. There’s just one problem: the format. By splitting this story into two oversized comics, Boom! Studios missed a great opportunity to publish its first-ever original graphic novel.

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