Review by Akamuu
Every week one of my coworkers makes up signs to advertise books he thinks should be highlighted. Often there’s a lame joke involved. But one or two signs a week will simply be: Comic Book Title by fan favorite Artist Or Author Name. This week one of those signs was for Time Bomb by Fan Favorite, Paul Gulacy. I almost didn’t pick it up off the shelf.
I have nothing against Gulacy’s artwork. It works very well here, and after Googling his name, I realized I’ve seen a lot of his art over the years. And I can’t recall it ever being bad. But I also never bothered to remember his name. Flipping through some old Batman books, I’ve decided he is, in some ways, one of the best types of artists a writer cold ask for: a fantastic storyteller whose art never overwhelms the story. When you open up a book with art by JH Williams III, Greg Land, Rob Liefeld, Dave Mack, or Mike Mignola, you look at the art and either think “Oooooh, wow, this is fantastic.” or “Oooooh, wow, I kind of want to rip this book up and mail its confettied pieces back to the bastard that inflicted these horrors on my eyes.” With Gulacy, you pick it up and read the story. There are some five star panels and pages, and there are some three and four star ones. Personally, I think some of his faces are a little elongated for my liking. But I only really noticed them when I went back to look over the panels, as I read the issue, his work never detracted from the story, but occasionally enhanced it.
But, back to the sign. Whether Paul Gulacy is a fan favorite is beyond my knowledge. I’d never noticed his name until today. Clearly, someone(s) in the office did know his name, and were looking forward to this because of his art. When I looked at the book cover, what I noticed were the names Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray. These two have written some of my favorite comics of the last decade, and I couldn’t believe their names weren’t even on the sign. Then I remembered that some of the sign makers haven’t read that many comics since the 90s, and everything fell into place.
But the book.
When 7 Psychopaths #1 came out, I made an exasperated sigh and muttered “another [...] Nazi book, really?” This upset some people who’ve missed hating on the Nazis since The History Channel remembered that time didn’t stop in 1945. Those people have been waiting on books featuring Nazis, and Battlefields by Garth Ennis just wasn’t cutting it. Well, those whacky anti-Third Reich fanatics have something awesome to not-sig heil at. This story is fantastic.
Is it new ground? Not so much. Modern day. Nazis. Time travel. Virus. End of the world. Heroes with dubious morals. Science. It’s almost like the latest Tom Strong series, without the talking gorilla and loyalist robot.
Is it good ground? Hell, yes. This is by far my favorite book put out, thus far, by Radical Studios. Palmiotti and Gray are great as always. And while I’ve mentioned ad vertigo that the art is near perfect in its sufficiency, it’s also nice to note that this doesn’t look like a Radical book. No near photo-realism mixed with painting. A dark color palette, yes, but not overwhelmingly so. While I imagine this will make for a really nifty trade, I recommend picking this up in issue form. It’s got a nice little perfect bound spine for your pretentious trade paperback shelf (and by “your”, I, of course, mean “my”), and a great little lock and load cliffhanger ending to part one.
Really, though, if you don’t buy this issue, Hitler wins. Do you want that on your conscience?
Story: 5 – Excellent Art: 4 – Very Good
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