1 vs 1: Red Sonja vs Surviving Megalopolis

vs Red Sonja & Surving Megalopolis

1 vs 1 is where two comic books battle it out in a winner takes all contest to see which one I’ll continue to purchase and which one gets dropped.except when I decide to keep reading the second one anyway.

Winner: Three way tie between Red Sonja and Gail Simone and Marguerite Bennett

The Contestants

There are so many first issues out this month with so many interesting story lines it seems overwhelming.

The Favorite(s)

Gail Simone. Not only is the writer for Surviving Megalopolis, she had an amazing run on  Red Sonja and coordinated Dynamite’s cross over event Swords of Sorrow which set the stage for Marguerite Bennett to begin her run on Red Sonja.

So while only one of these two walks away. Gail Simone has a share in both. So she wins either way. An historic first if this completely made up competition that is less than a year old.

Marguerite Bennett has had what I consider an amazing (and overlooked) run on Marvel’s Angela. Both in Angela Assassin of Asgard and Angela Queen of Hel. Angela is a character that is not dissimilar from Red Sonja. And Bennett has done some remarkable storytelling on those titles. Having her follow Simone on the title is equal parts: good fortune and a no brainer.

The Match

  • Red Sonja
    • Doesn’t explain the change in Red Sonja’s wardrobe. And it doesn’t need to. Good call on Bennett. The last thing the story needs is 6 panel explanation on why a warrior needs to wear cloths. If any explanation is owed it is the previous chain mail bikini that needs to be explained. And not by the writer. By me. To my wife… So this is the first time a print version of Red Sonja made it into my house. (Digital is a totally different story).
    • There were a couple pages where I didn’t understand the sequence, which took me out of the story as I tried (and failed) to understand what was going on. I don’t mind not understanding a sequence, as long as I’m not supposed to understand it based on what I’ve read. But this had the feel that I should have known.
    • Red Sonja’s characterization had it’s moments, but it also had a few moments where I wondered if Red Sonja was being written too soft. But at the end of the story we begin to see a familiar Red Sonja emerge. There’s potential that this could carry through well into the next issue. I hope that’s the case, but I’ve had my hopes crushed before so I won’t hope to the point of convincing myself that the second issue will be action packed Red Sonja madness.
    • The Art by Aneke was fantastic.
  • Surviving Megalopolis
    • Little did I know that Surviving Megalopolis is a continuation or follow up to Leaving Megalopolis. It looks brilliant. Both in terms of art and storytelling. It’s just not a great place to start the series from.

What Others Think

Red Sonja Vol. 3 sold out. So, retailers have good things to say about Red Sonja. Surviving Megalopolis hasn’t received that many reviews, so eh.

Final Thoughts… a Question Really

I noticed the variant covers for the new Dynamite titles can be put side by side to form a larger image. An obvious tactic to cross sell titles. Each of the covers for Surviving Megalopolis are a piece of a larger image. Is this part of Gail Simone’s play book?


One Two Review: Snow Blind

One Two Review is a series that reviews the first two installments of a comic book as one whole.

Snow Blind is a 4 issue crime/mystery written by Ollie Masters with art by Tyler Jenkins and published by Boom Studios.

Why I Picked this Title

Aside from super heros, comic books produce a couple other genres. My experience (which is minimal) is that Horror and Crime are the two other genres that are regularly published. But since they are almost never published by Marvel or DC, they aren’t nearly as accessible. Especially Crime. There maybe a handful of titles a year that are published by the smaller companies.

So I feel pretty compelled to pick up a crime story when one comes out.

What Others Thought

Most of the reviews I’ve read have been positive. I can’t recall a single negative review. More importantly, both issues have received reviews from sites that normally focus on super heros.

What I Thought

I mixed feelings about the first issue’s story, or set up. After reading the second issue it becomes clear that this is one story told in four installments. Not 4 stories that when read together becomes 5. That works for me. For these types of titles, I benefit from rereading the previous installments before reading the current one.

The pace is good, the characters are never in one place for too long. And the dialogue doesn’t dominate over the art. These are two very important elements for any comic book, but seem particularly hard to pull off in a crime story.

One thing I noticed was that there was a polar bear on the cover and in the story the news in the background covers a wild animal that viewers are advised not to approach. But we never see the animal. Is the wild animal the wolf or fox we saw in the first issue? Or is it the polar bear on the cover? It’s a clever device, and I hope it leads somewhere.

The art by Tyler Jenkins is a healthy stylistic departure from the familiar comic book art. What I find interesting is that the characters are always easily identifiable, which is challenging for a non-super hero book (that’s why super hero’s have distinctive costumes).

So with two down and the story building, picking up the second half of the installment is a no brainer. If you haven’t started the series, it may be worth waiting for the TPB.

Would I read it to my kids?

No. The violence feels a little too real for an 8 & 5 year old. But it’s not overly dominate. When they start showing interest in crime dramas they might enjoy it, but then at that age I probably won’t be reading to them.