Reviews by Mark “Ambush Bug” Miller
The Rising #0
Radical Comics is the king of high concepts and here with this cross between SPARTACUS and V I think they have another high concept winner. The exposition is a bit heavy in this first issue, but necessary for the cliff hanger to be so dire. Earth has been enslaved by aliens and one man seems to be on a path to rising from slavery to overthrow his captors in gladiator style games. As usual, the art here is amazing with vivid colors and gritty landscapes. The story moves along briskly, although the aforementioned expository panels slow the pace down a bit. There’s just enough in this preview issue to get me interested and excited with this premise. Chalk up another Radical book on my pull list, please.
Driver for the Dead #1
It’s always good to compare a new comic to something similar and though there are shades of Cal MacDonald, John Constantine, and maybe a bit of the film ANGEL HEART tossed into this book, it reads as truly original. I was fascinated at the level of detail writer John Hefferman goes into when dealing with the realm of voodoo supernatural. I loved the Morgan Freeman-ish exorcist that started out the book and the exorcism that takes place goes into dark corners that I’ve never seen before in comics, let alone film. Leonardo Manco supplies the art, so you know two things: it’s going to be gritty as hell and it’s going to be fantastic. The art in this one is both as Manco adopts a more painterly style, but still injects grime and grit into every panel. Plus the main character is a bad@$$ driver who drives an even badder-@$$ier car, so it’s got that going for it too. Highly entertaining for those of you who like their horror ugly and fresh!
Ryder on the Storm #1
I pretty decent lead in for what looks to be a demonic noir tale. A rich businessman is found with holes drilled into his head. All signs point to a femme fatale, but something more diabolical seems to be afoot here. David Hani has been known for his cleverly paced stories which rely heavily on mystery. This hard-nosed detective tale set in what looks to be a noir-ish BLADE RUNNER / CAPRICA-like future (tech and fedoras) hold a lot of promise. Like a crack dealer, Radical continues to distribute their first issues teases in a highly affordable dollar premiere issue which lead into the series proper. Looks like they have another mark because I’m going to be seeking out RIDER ON THE STORM to see what kind of devilish things Hine has in store for us. Fans of ANGEL HEART and down and dirty detective/demon mash-ups like CONSTANTINE will want to check this out.