Indie Comics Spotlight: Kim and Kim #1, Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens #1, and Throwaways #1

Separator

By: Jonathan Pilley (@omnicomic)

Kim and Kim #1


1

“In about three seconds, I’m gonna come crashing through a window.”

For all the glory that comes with snagging a high-value intergalactic bounty, there’s the in-between. Struggling to find work, scraping by to live, and fending off rival hunters. As long as you’ve got someone you can trust, though, things are a little more bearable. Kim and Kim #1 from Black Mask Studio gives readers two characters who trust one another and rely on that trust to survive. The issue is written by Mags Visaggio, illustrated by Eva Cabrera, colored by Claudia Aguirre, and lettered by Zakk Saam.

Kim & Kim are twentysomething besties out to make a name for themselves in the wild world of interdimensional cowboy law enforcement. In a massive “screw you” to their parents and the authorities, they decide to hijack some high stakes bounty – and end up in way over their heads. Kim & Kim #1 is a day-glo action-adventure that’s bursting with energy and enthusiasm. It puts queer women and trans women front and center, with a story that embraces the absurd alongside realistic pathos. It’s a mature book that focuses on the power and meaning of female friendships as engines of validation.

What really jumps out upon reading Kim and Kim #1 is Visaggio’s completely carefree dialogue that reflects characters of a similar carefree nature. Visaggio ensures that both Kims have exchanges that allow one to be more responsible and one to be more brash and Visaggio does a fantastic job of balancing both personalities against one another. Their exchanges really help the issue move very quickly and add a sense of frenetic energy to their exploits. Visaggio infuses both characters with very frank conversation that really invites the reader into their world. And Kim Q was penned as a transgender character reflective of Visaggio as she underwent her own transition process, with her spontaneous approach demonstrating that she might not have all the answers yet she’s still willing to figure it out on the fly.

You can’t have punk rock without the appropriate artwork and Cabrera’s work pops. Kim and Kim may share a name, but Cabrera ensures that each has their own distinct appearance that complements one another well. All the characters in the book seem to scream out to the reader when they’re on the page – a testament to Cabrera’s ability to make things feel adventurous. The action sequences are handled very well by Cabrera as blows are exchanged between characters. The bright, bold colors by Aguirre maintain a loud presence in the book with plenty of neons and bright primary colors filling the panels.

You can’t have punk rock without the appropriate artwork and Cabrera’s work pops. Kim and Kim may share a name, but Cabrera ensures that each has their own distinct appearance that complements one another well. All the characters in the book seem to scream out to the reader when they’re on the page – a testament to Cabrera’s ability to make things feel adventurous. The action sequences are handled very well by Cabrera as blows are exchanged between characters. The bright, bold colors by Aguirre maintain a loud presence in the book with plenty of neons and bright primary colors filling the panels.

At first glance, Kim and Kim #1 is an intergalactic bounty hunter book, but there’s a lot more subtext buried deeper. Despite scraping by as bounty hunters, Kim and Kim have each other and are perfectly content with that and themselves. Viasggio’s script is very fast-moving and doesn’t really give the reader much chance to catch their breath. Cabrera’s illustrations are cheerful and vibrant even if the main characters can barely afford to live. Kim and Kim #1 is an intergalactic bounty hunter tale that mixes together the camaraderie of Thelma and Louise with the space humor of Spaceballs.

Kim and Kim #1 is in stores now.

Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens #1

2

“He comes from the sky, from very far away.”

Judge Dredd, Predator, and Aliens are three behemoth characters in science fiction. It only makes sense that they all meet at some point, right? Dark Horse Comics, IDW, and 2000 AD are teaming up to facilitate that crossover in Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens #1. The issue is written by John Layman, illustrated by Chris Mooneyham, colored by Michael Atiyeh, and lettered by Michael Heisler.

The ultimate science-fiction crossover pits the legendary lawman Judge Dredd against the universe’s supreme hunters, the Predators, as they both try to survive an onslaught by the galaxy’s ultimate killing machines, the Aliens!

Each of the three characters in the issue’s title bring with them an appropriate amount of mythological science-fiction status. Layman unites the three extremely effectively through a script that feels possible as far as each character goes while also paying notable homage where necessary. His script is very free-flowing and pays respect to each character’s traits while at the same time crashing their universes together. Layman clearly understands what draws fans to the concept of Judge Dredd tangling with Predator and Aliens and works it all in accordingly. Layman also introduces plenty of new characters as well that also give the book a new feel and doesn’t seem to force the notion of a crossover.

Helping the reader get more into the action is Mooneyham’s art, which is fantastic. Each of the title characters are illustrated brilliantly and bear trademark characteristics – from the Predator’s hulking frame to the Judge’s bold jawline to the Aliens’ terrifying appearance. The other characters are equally as distinct and give the reader a sense that the universe is filled with plenty of characters. Mooneyham also fills each panel and page with a ton of kinetic energy, refusing to give the characters a break from the action. The colors by Atiyeh are subtle yet pop where necessary, infusing the book with another level of life that promises to get even livelier.

Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens #1 is a perfect example of how a crossover should be handled. The three title characters aren’t ones to back down from challenges and reconciling their abilities with and against one another will be a treat. Layman knows the characters well and writes them that way, providing enough of an interesting dynamic brewing among them that readers will enjoy it. Mooneyham’s artwork is awesome, rendering a world filled with other players for everyone to fight through. Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens #1 is a strong first issue that fans of any of the properties will definitely want to pick up.

Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens #1 is available July 27.

Throwaways #1


3

“If you want to survive, you have to shut down the panic. Count your heartbeats. See your death before it sees you.”

People want what they can’t have and that includes superpowers. The government especially will go great lengths to weaponize such powers and offer plenty of opportunity for double-crosses in order to do so. Throwaways #1 from Image Comics tells such a tale. The issue is written by Caitlin Kittredge, illustrated by Steven Sanders, and lettered by Rachel Deering.

THROWAWAY (n.) 1. A disposable asset, used for a single mission. 2. A disavowed assassin, meant to die alongside their target. Abby Palmer and Dean Logan are two broken people – Abby a vet with severe PTSD and Dean a burnout trying to escape the shadow of his infamous father – when they are thrust into a modern-day MK-ULTRA conspiracy…and discover they are both ULTRA’s human experiments.

Throwaways #1 boasts a very strong script by Kittredge that hammers home the plight of veterans both during and after service. Abigail Palmer is an ex-Ranger who crosses path with Dean Logan, the latter of whom is something of an extraordinary individual. The dynamic between the two is well-depicted by Kittredge and provides for a good balance of personalities throughout the issue. The first issue also excels at offering up an introduction to the universe as Kittredge jumps back and forth between setting the table to offering information useful to the reader’s understanding of the action. Probably the starkest part of the book is a brief segment setting up more of Abigail’s story that really emphasizes the emotional burden soldiers are forced to contend with – it’s an extremely effective way for Kittredge to further frame the characters.

The most impressive part of the artwork is how Sanders manages to make the characters feel so harsh on the page. Each character is illustrated very forcefully and in a way that makes them a part of the action surrounding them, but also makes them stand out against the backgrounds a bit. Sanders gets very creative with the panel layouts to better tell the story; the strongest is illustrating the aforementioned projection of the emotionally traumatized veteran. The panels are also marked by thick, black outlines that gives them a sense that they’re thrown right into the thick of it (much like the reader). And each panel is very effective in setting up and following the action, whether it’s an intense firefight or a simple email exchange.

Throwaways #1 runs very fast and doesn’t stop – not even to let the characters (or reader) catch their breath. Abigail and Dean are unlikely allies and there look to be a ton of double-crosses on tap for all the players involved. The pacing of the issue does feel a little erratic at times as the book sometimes moves around too quickly, but Kittredge does manage to wrangle everything cleanly by the end. Sanders’ illustrations are very impactful and bolster the script’s somewhat assertive message. Throwaways #1 is a great first issue that defies any and all expectations in offering a fast-moving book that features plenty of larger cultural subtexts.

Throwaways #1 is in stores now.


    No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

THE NERD MACHINE GEAR

Read More

POPULAR POSTS

CATEGORIES

LATEST VIDEOS

Read More