Advance Reviews by JoeLovesComics | 25th August

Curious to know what some of the new Image/Boom! issues releasing this week are like? Look no further than the latest edition of this segment!

The issues covered this week are:

  • The Department of Truth #12

  • Echolands #1

  • Good Luck #3

  • Ice Cream Man #25

  • King Spawn #1

  • M.O.M: Mother of Madness #2

  • Once & Future #19

All reviews will be spoiler free.

The Department of Truth #12

I absolutely adore that cover, I remember when it was first revealed, and I was just utterly blown away. The murky reds and blues, there's just something so mesmerising about it, more so than some other covers in the series. Because don't get me wrong there are some awesome covers in this series, but man something about this one, probably easily my favourite cover of the series. (The 6th printing of #1 comes very close)

But enough about the cover, this was another stellar issue. This is a series that somehow outdoes itself every time, consistently making every issue not just another read, but an experience. Seeing more of how long the Department has unknowingly been in Cole's life before he officially started working there. After a two part Bigfoot arc, the wider story comes back into play as this second arc heads towards it's conclusion. A comic with a lot of talking can be dangerous in terms of keeping a reader's interest, but Simmonds' art perfectly compliments the dialogue to continue that sinister and eerie undertone that has been thread throughout this series.

In short, as always not going to be for everyone, but personally I am continuing to absolutely love this series and excited to see how the arc ends next issue.

Echolands #1

"A Major Image Comics 2021 Event" According to the solicitation. After reading I think it definitely lives up to that, and that might even be an understatement. It's just the sort of comic that everyone needs to see for themselves.

I hadn't read anything with JH Williams III art before this, so as my first exposure to his art this was truly a treat and really lived up to the hype. There's so much packed into every page, but not in a way that feels busy or rushed, every detail is meticulously drawn and especially with the gorgeous colours by Dave Stewart which just elevate the whole thing.

The obvious thing to mention is the landscape nature of the comic. It might not seem like a big deal, simply going against the grain orientation wise, but it really does make for a unique and refreshing reading experience. Not even in a 90s "every page is a splash page" way, but just the way the composition is thought through gives a fantastic wide screen feel that can make you believe it's more like a movie than a comic. Helped of course by how dynamic the art is. Even one of the quieter pages in the book, the composition is just so satisfying it's hard not to like it. Also there are a couple of points where the art style is different from anything else in the book which creates such a distinct moment you just want to stare at and absorb.

That said there's definitely time for more story in issues to come hopefully, there was some nice set up here and I'm excited to see how this world gets explored. But honestly this was worth checking out for the art alone, like I said it's something everyone needs to see for themselves and experience. I almost feel like just reading it digitally didn't do it justice, with it's unique format I'm particularly looking forward to seeing this in the flesh at my LCS tommorow. Don't miss out!

Good Luck #3

There's just something so nice and appealing about this series. Like the equivalent of a cheery bubbly individual, this is just plain fun.

Nowadays, indie comics can cover such a wide variety of publishers and comics. With the launch of Spawn's Universe and the continuation of Keanu Reeves' comic BRZRKR, it can be easy to get caught up in the hype of all these big name launches that some big two comics would dream to have. That's not necessarily a bad thing, for one Echolands certainly deserves to be called "A Major Image Comics 2021 Event", but this is just two creators telling a great story and having lots of fun with it.

That fun is clearly present, I love how bright and bold the art is, especially the colours like shown really nicely on that cover. After a major event from the previous issue this one explores the consequences of that, so it's a bit slower than previous issues, but I like the time spent with the characters and that ending is super interesting as the series continues.

Ice Cream Man #25

What to say about this issue. It feels about as Ice Cream Man as you can get, and I mean that in the best way possible. A comic issue that follows a fictionalised plane crash as the plane heads towards the ground would be too random or out of place for most series, but for Ice Cream Man it is completely understandable.

Existentialist conversations, general eerieness, and just sheer panic (but not in the way you expect) all come together in the brilliant ICM manner. Because everyone loves a good horror story with a monster as much as the next person, but why shock the audience with gruesome imagery when you can freak them out like this instead. Then without spoiling anything, just when you think it's at least going to have a happy ending? Well... you'll see if you read the issue.

Ice Cream Man, freaks you out and makes you contemplate life or no money back, happy 25th issue!

(Also, how about that bonus story huh...)