Image Reviews by JoeLovesComics | 21st July

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

The issues covered this week are:

  • Home Sick Pilots #7

  • Home #4

  • Radiant Black #6

  • Shadecraft #5

  • Time Before Time #3

  • Syphon #1

  • Undiscovered Country #14

  • M.O.M: Mother of Madness #1

All reviews will be spoiler free.

Home Sick Pilots #7

So here's the thing. Normally I just read the advance pdfs I want to read in alphabetical order. So technically that would mean Home #4 before this. But I was so excited for another issue of series that when I peeked at the first page, the biggest smile appeared on my face and there was no turning back.

I really don't want to spoil it, to make sure you can hopefully have that same reaction too. But what I will say is that if you were put off by the previous issue, but enjoyed the first arc, DON'T MISS THIS!

Am I hyping this issue up too much? Well, that's for you to decide when you read it. But to continue, it might have been one of my favourite issues since the first one. A character driven issue, with lots of heart, emotion, some action and glorious art as always with this series. Something about the art style and the colours is so awesome to me, it's stylish, it's vibrant, and of course the lettering as always is on point.

Another excellent issue from easily one of my favourite series, brilliant work all round!

Home #4

The penultimate issue of Home!

Man what a series this has been. Just in terms of the emotional impact. This issue picks up right from the epilogue of last issue, with ICE agents making it a top priority to bring Juan in. Like he did especially in #1, but all throughout these issues, Julio Anta nails the dialogue yet again. The way the main agent describes it as if they're hunting the deadliest serial killer alive, full of malicious intent, twisting Juan's actions when really it was either a mistake or self defence.

As teased in the solicitation, I liked the reveal of the truth of Juan's father's death. The superhero backdrop to this immigration story has been gradually peeled away with each issue and I think it's been incorporated into the story really well. The pacing was also great throughout this issue, the reveal flashback wasn't too long or drawn out, but it was given the right room to breathe, leaving plenty of space in the issue. I think this will make an excellent trade. As always the art had that soft animated feel to it, like on the cover and the lettering was super nice as well. I feel like I want to say more, but want to keep this spoiler free so I'll just wrap it up.

Overall, another great issue, with great moments for Juan, great art, lettering and as the end of the issue starts to bring everything to a head I can't wait to see how this series ends.

Radiant Black #6

I've seen a lot of mixed opinions about this series. The first few issues were mediocre to some but enjoyable to others (like me), and then the big twist at the end of #4 divided people further. I suspect this is going to be another one of those issues.

Personally, I really liked it. Radiant Red was introduced way back on the final page #1 so it was nice to finally get some backstory on them. If you're more into action focused issues then this might not be for you. But there was some great character work here providing some depth to the person underneath the suit of Radiant Red.

The guest creators on ths book all did a great job. Cherish Chen co-writing the issue with Kyle Higgins, and Darko Lafuente and Miquel Muerto on the art and colours. I love Muerto's work on Something is Killing The Children, so it was cool to see their work here. Sometimes having guest art can be jarring, but here the change in art really suited the change in pace of the story and the focus on the origin of Radiant Red. Great work on the more grounded scenes, but still vibrant and dynamic when it needed to be.

Overall, still loving this series, a nice origin issue with some great guest art, excited to see where the new arc goes starting next issue!

Shadecraft #5

First of all, I have to say that cover is simply awesome. The scale of Zadie against the big shadow, her yellow jacket pops really well against it. So does the pink font for the title and in general the grey-blue background just all creates a really nice contrast.

But anyway, the issue itself. I've really enjoyed this series, I've said before it has a certain charm to it, and continues into this issue. The first arc is wrapped up in a satisfying way, with a perfect balance of action and character moments. I absolutely adored the art in this issue, the style this whole series has been so fluid and nails the texture of the shadows so perfectly. This issue they're used brilliantly for the climatic action scenes, but I just love in general how the colouring really pops, like I said on the cover how the yellow and pink stands out really well against the shadow.

Then honestly the ending of the issue does exactly what a first arc ending should do. It was satisfying enough for now, but still leaves a couple of plot threads open to hopefully come back to at some point in the future. When #1 came out, a TV show had been announced a few weeks before, so it was easy to be cynical. But this was lots of fun, definitely an enjoyable and worthwhile read!

Time Before Time #3

In case I haven't mentioned it already, I'm a sucker for a good sci-fi story. Especially based around time travel. So this comic continues to really scratch that itch.

I loved how the start of the issue showed one of the problems customers of the Syndicate face, they have pods that can go anywhere in time, but still run it as any other corporation would, naturally. Which at first just seemed like a neat detail to throw in to kick off the issue, but I like how it tied into finding out more about Nadia, the FBI agent that Tatsuo is stuck with.

But in general this was a solid issue. It continues their stuck in 2093 journey, mainly picking up the thread from last issue of the rival gang occupying this period of time that captured them. Like with the other two covers, on this cover I love how the colours are used to make it striking, the combination of the yellow and the black and the white continues to look so good. Intrigued to see where this series goes.

Syphon #1

After being intrigued by the solicit and loving that absolutely gorgeous cover (I MEAN LOOK AT IT! THE COLOURS OH MY) I had a feeling I would enjoy this, but this was so much fun!

This was a very action focused issue, but not going to complain as the art was absolutely glorious! So bright and vibrant and kinetic, with some big bold splash pages that just made this an absolute joy to soak in and read.

The idea was a very interesting one. In a way similar to in the Green Lantern mythos, Sylas gains the power to directly syphon pain from people that are suffering. Honestly you just need to give this one a try and see what you think for yourself. I thought the issue did a great job of establishing the general character of Sylas and definitely really excited to see where this goes! Also in the back of the book there were lots of process elements which was awesome to see. Script for the first few pages along with penciled art, that was just a really neat touch and interesting to look at to see how it all came together!

Undiscovered Country #14

"What is... an American masterpiece?"

That seems to be the question as we continue the newest arc of this series. Considering how the other two arcs were very action focused, with Destiny being very wild and Unity all about technology, it's been an intriguing concept to have a zone purely around ideas and creativity.

The focus in this particular issue is on the superheroes on the cover there. The importance of superhero comics to American culture, described in the issue as a "quintessentially American art form, one of its most successful cultural exports". Given Snyder and Soule's previous experience in superhero comics, it was an intriguing issue for sure, this was a really well put together story and issue in general.

Love the look into Valentina's backstory to continue to see the significance of these superheroes to her, but admittedly the trope of "the group going into a new realm and someone getting split off so they can explore part of the zone while the group tries to find them" isn't exactly anything new for this series. But this was still a fun issue. I think the art team does a great job of keeping the book fresh, every zone has had a completely different feel and atmosphere to it through their brilliant art. Destiny being wild and natural, Unity being sterile and menacing, this is very wild but adventurous. The light orange tones of the sky, the blue of the open water, this zone has a very soothing atmosphere to it. Anyway, another great issue check it out!

M.O.M: Mother of Madness #1

So, Emilia Clarke's comic. I really wasn't sure what to expect here, that cover is wild and I think what I was expecting only covered: "mom" and "superpowers".

But I quite enjoyed it! To be able to talk about it properly, I will be going into light spoilers, but nothing massive just a warning if you want to go in completely blind.

I have got to be honest though, this article would have been up yesterday, but I hold off because I needed time to properly process the issue and think about my review. In addition to the first time I read it, I then went through the pdf a few more times, and even flicked through a physical copy when I went to my LCS today. It's an extra sized issue and definitely deserves the time to properly absorb everything, the story the art the character herself and just in general the messages present.

In a letter in the back, Emilia talks about how she "wanted to make something that was, at its heart, about the power of the female form" and how "here we are at M.O.M, a woman, a mother, who finds that all the things she most hated in herself were actually SUPERPOWERED." That really comes through in this book, she is an unashamed, strong woman that is still affectionate and caring towards her son. I loved in the back the illustration describing how exactly her powers work. Basically she gets different powers for different emotions, nothing overly complicated but just such a neat idea and executed excellently.

Emilia also talks about how she wanted to put her character "in an extreme capitalist structure [and] throw in some very real problems that face women everywhere", that is the main theme of this book. She doesn't act like how an outdated society would prefer women act. She constantly gets called "hormonal", "emotional", even "crazy" or compared to some guy's girlfriend that is being a woman "right" unlike her. To mention her role in capitalism for one, her boss is openly misogynistic and frankly it's just disgusting.

I loved the scenes when she was in the art gallery and there were speech bubbles of the women in the paintings pointing out how impossible the poses they were in were, and again such a simple thing but effective.

Overall, I really liked this and how it all came together. Maya is constantly talking to us, the reader, as she goes through her backstory, and just in general several events she goes through throughout the issue. That makes for a very energetic and fast paced read, but the issue is oversized so it's a very satisfying and thoughtful one at that. I would describe the art as spectacular, lots of awesome panelling, bright dynamic splash pages, like the one above it's so kinetic and just I love it. Yeah, this issue was such fun to read, going through learning about Maya as a character, soaking in the awesome superhero action as well as the important social issues that women face covered.

This is a brilliant, important and just all round excellently executed book that everyone should be reading.

This article was written by JoeLovesComics, who you can follow over on Twitter for (albeit shorter) thoughts on comics he loves.