Sunday, January 11, 2009

First reviews of the year: Broken Trinity - Angelus and Black Lightining Year One #1

Broken Trinity: Angelus
Written by Ron Marz
Art by Brian Stelfreeze
Colors by Dave McCaig
Letters by Troy Peteri
Published by Top Cow

In FIRST BORN, The Angelus power chooses the troubled young woman Celestine as its host. Now in this issue Celestine's split personality struggles with The Angelus force for ultimate control, even as a rogue contingent of Angelus warriors plot their leader's overthrow. This is one of three, stand-alone tie-in issues to BROKEN TRINITY, featuring the heavenly art of Brian Stelfreeze (Batman: Shadow of the Bat, X-Men: Unlimited, Gun Candy) and written by modern master, Ron Marz.

As an Atlanta native, I'm always happy to see other Atlanta artists and writers take on projects like this. Brian Stelfreeze's (one of my Atlanta guys) art is just some of the best in the business and even if he is a seasoned pro, he still catches me by surprise with some pretty stellar stuff. His attention to detail is uncanny, but never over the top where it hinders the characters' construction. The panel layout is solid and not over-burdening. The colors by McCaig are pretty good, too. Marz's writing takes good care of these characters and really fleshes them out.

I have to admit, it's been several years since I gave a damn about Top Cow characters. Witchblade, while pretty to look at, never really held much substance for me. Marz has brought it back to more of a detective story and less t and a. I've had to change my opinion on the company and their some of their titles. They've done so much in the recent past, it's hard not to take notice. It's also going to take me a while to catch up properly. I'm a huge fan of the supernatural genre, and I think if you're into that as well, you should check out what's going on in the Broken Trinity saga.


Black Lightning Year One #1
Written by Jen Van Meter
Art by Cully Hamner
Colors by Laura Martin
Letters by Travis Lanham
Published by DC

I am personally a fan of these sort of ideas. Take a b/c-lister and give them a great writer and an uber-talented artist and sometimes you get something as awesome as this. At first I was sort of surprised of why one would pick Black Lightning to star in his own mini-series, then at DragonCon this past year Cully Hamner had some pages at his booth and I browsed through them, but you never can tell with just the inked pages.

Well, it finally came out this past week. Color me impressed. I can see where Van Meter took a splash of Walking Tall with the story. It was interesting to see his wife's point of view and voice on Jefferson's situation. She feels neglected and torn, but trust Jefferson with the move back to Southside, aka Suicide Slums. This issue explores different definitions of "hero".

The story is backed by dynamic visuals. Laura Martin (Secret Invasion, Thor) on colors aids Hamner's style beautifully. Oddly enough, the outfit Black Lightning is wearing in the first few pages resembles the outfit they gave him on the most recent episode of Batman: Brave and the Bold. Which marked the FIRST appearance of the character on any animated show.

Fans of comic books as a medium should consider picking this up. Not just superhero comic fans, not just Black Lightning fans, but anyone and everyone who likes to read comics.

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