Indie Comics Spotlight – The Infinite Loop: Nothing But the Truth #1, Catalyst Prime: Astonisher #1, and Misbegotten: Runaway Nun #1


By: Jonathan Pilley (@omnicomic)

The Infinite Loop: Nothing But the Truth #1

“It’s your truth against mine. Appearance against context.”

The saying goes that “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” There have been numerous variations of that message, but the main point is that people who don’t learn from their mistakes are prone to making the same mistakes. For Teddy in The Infinite Loop: Nothing But the Truth #1 from IDW Publishing, she’s not so much making mistakes but repeatedly finding herself in trouble doing the same thing over and over. The issue is written by Pierrick Colinet and Elsa Charretier, illustrated by Daniele Di Nicuolo, colored by Sarah Stern, and lettered by Ed Dukeshire.

Twin Peaks-creepiness collides with Orwell’s 1984-dystopian madness in this sci-fi mini series, as Teddy is sent back in time in a little town where people are addicted to lies.

Both Colinet and Charretier know that messing around with time travel is always tricky business, but they’re using that premise as more of a backdrop for some deeper, interpersonal connections between characters. At the center of The Infinite Loop: Nothing But the Truth #1 is Teddy’s relationship with Ano and there’s an incomplete sense shared between the two of them – despite their seemingly blossoming love for one another. That relationship allows Colinet and Charretier to present the narrative to the reader in a way that gives the entire story a sense of rebellion. Teddy is characterized as someone determined to do what’s necessary in her mind even if it’s at odds with the “law.” There’s plenty of dialogue throughout the book by Colinet and Charretier that reinforce this notion, effectively characterizing Teddy as well as giving the reader plenty to take in from a plot standpoint.

The abundance of sharp, clean linework by Di Nicuolo is phenomenal and furthers the book’s sharp take on doing the right thing. Every panel feels sufficiently weighty and charged with energy despite the otherwise minimal approach to the artwork. Those same panels are also laid out in a way that offers just as much excitement as Di Nicuolo keeps things moving on the page to match the frenetic pace of time travel. Characters are afforded the reader’s full attention both because they’re illustrated so emphatically, but also because Di Nicuolo keeps things minimal in the backgrounds. Stern draws from a variety of bright, bold colors that allow every panel to stand out in its own way.

The Infinite Loop: Nothing But the Truth #1 picks up where The Infinite Loop left off in the sense that all the big players are back for more. Teddy is the driving force for the series and its her relationships with other characters that offer all the movement for the plot. Colinet and Charretier do a marvelous job of penning a script that’s concise yet still manages to embellish things just a tad to keep the story fun. Di Nicuolo’s artwork is simple and elegant in its approach. The Infinite Loop: Nothing But the Truth #1 is a great first issue that offers up just enough of everything to keep the reader engaged and wanting more.

The Infinite Loop: Nothing But the Truth #1 is available now.

Catalyst Prime: Astonisher #1

Meteor hits are fairly inevitable considering Earth is in space and all. Most of those impacts are fairly innocuous, but there are the occasional few that land and imbue some of Earth’s inhabitants with superpowers. That’s the premise behind Catalyst Prime: Astonisher #1 from Lion Forge Comics. The issue is written by Alex de Campi, illustrated by Pop Mhan, colored by Jessica Kholinne, and lettered by Tom Napolitano.

The most dangerous corners of the universe live inside the nightmares of super-powered people. Magnus Atitarn, heir to the Atitarn Satellite Corp., tried to save the world with his experimental one-man spaceship – and ended up a broken man. Now a celebrity joke suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Magnus has the power to travel inside the mind of super-powered people, where he discovers nightmares which threaten the entire human race.

The premise of Catalyst Prime: Astonisher #1 affords de Campi a chance to really delve into some rather interesting issues. The lead character Magnus is pitched as something of an arrogant bro attempting to pick up the pieces after a very bad business decision. De Campi also manages to work in some deeper issues as well, most of which surround the concept of PTSD and its aftermath. The dialogue lends itself well to characterizing Magnus while at the same time setting the table for the plot as a whole and de Campi doesn’t rush things. Admittedly, the first issue seems to start off somewhat slow and vague, but by the end of the issue the premise of the story comes more into focus.

Mhan’s illustrations rely on pretty sharp linework. The characters are illustrated with looks that make them feel more realistic and helps to ground the work in a sense of reality. The way Mhan renders the facial expressions of the character is very expressive, further bringing the reader into their world. Stacked panels make way for some that overlay one another and the black borders (and gutters in some places) really frame the action very well. Kholinne’s colors are muted throughout the issue in a way that seems to embrace the darkness inherent in many of the players involved.

At its heart, Catalyst Prime: Astonisher #1 is very much a superhero origin story. Magnus is a man struggling to find himself after a terrible incident and what he finds is that he can be more. De Campi’s story is a slow burn that builds up to an interesting premise by the end. Mhan’s artwork is a great fit for the tale as it does a great job of showcasing the action. Catalyst Prime: Astonisher #1 is a pretty fun origin issue that offers a slight twist on the birth of a superhero.

Catalyst Prime: Astonisher #1 is available now.

Misbegotten: Runaway Nun #11

“We love flying by the gospels. Not one verse later.”

Religion is something that can both bring people together, but also has a tendency to tear people apart. In Misbegotten: Runaway Nun #1 from Action Lab Danger Zone, religion and science set the stage for a massive conflict of interest. The issue is written by Caesar Voghan, Justin Case, and Eric Granger; illustrated by Case; and lettered by William Bohm.

In a post-apocalyptic world gone medieval, the Church sends their top monk warrior to infiltrate a renegade scientist’s enclave and kidnap the J-Clone, the Lord’s vat-born twin. Saving the holy clone from the cross forces, the monk must confront the truth of his own (very immaculate) birth. Clones of Marilyn Monroe, Hitler, Gandhi, and Jesus…oh my! Misbegotten is cyberpunk religion gone mad!

Trying to decipher what exactly is happening in Misbegotten: Runaway Nun #1 is something of a chore. It’s very clear that Voghan has a grander plan in mind, but much of the issue is spent jumping from location to location with little detail being filled in. Voghan’s dialogue seems to indicate the near-future is rife with war between believers and non-believers, but he doesn’t really explain how it got to that point. Sure, stories can drop you in the middle of a conflict and let you piece things together, but Voghan doesn’t really give the reader many clues to do just that. There seems to be two competing threads in the issue – science and religion – and reconciling the two isn’t something the first issue really does well.

The artwork by Case is suitable for the script. There are plenty of pages that depict scenes of war that are chock full of fighting and combat, but a lot of it is obscured in heavy shading. Just about every panel is filled to the brim with characters and action, making it clear that Case spent a lot of time to fill out the world. The problem is that every page feels excessively crowded which makes it somewhat difficult to really appreciate the breadth of the world being rendered. And there’s not really “color” per se in the book; rather, the illustrations all boast a somewhat peach hue throughout.

Misbegotten: Runaway Nun #1 is pretty ambitious in its scope, but it leaves a lot to be desired. The characters in the book all seem to be waging wars on multiple fronts with a little bit of science-fiction thrown in for good measure. Voghan’s script is dense, but doesn’t really do much in the way of explaining the world to the reader. Case’s artwork emphasizes an abundance of characters in the world through somewhat loose linework. Misbegotten: Runaway Nun #1 wants to be a lot of things even though it doesn’t really settle on any of them.

Misbegotten: Runaway Nun #1 is available now.

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