Indie Comics Spotlight
by Jonathan Pilley (@omnicomic)
There’s certainly no honor amongst thieves. Especially when the thieves are conmen with superpowers
who are always watching their back for a double-cross. As in Scam #2 from Comix Tribe. The second
issue is written and illustrated by Joe Mulvey, with colors by Chris Sotomayor and letters by Deron
Oh Tru, someone’s gotten the best of you. Tru is the king of cons so to speak and, naturally, thought he had a good one going on Marcus. Turns out that Marcus knows a thing or two about running a con as
well, only he runs them with slightly less decorum. Marcus relies on violence to get his way, whereas Tru relies on cunning. The direction of the series seems to be set with the second issue, as Marcus wants Tru to find someone named Crosswords. Crosswords (as the issue shows) has made quite a name for himself throughout Las Vegas and is a man who shouldn’t be trifled with. Tru is keen on doing some trifling though, seeking out help from one of the Four Corners in the Roccozzi family.
The greatest strength of Scam so far is the depth of the characters. Tru, the main character, is a fairly standard, everything goes his way, con man type. The other characters though are more complex and interesting. For instance, Yeti is a beast of a man who runs one of the other four corners and is shown with a punching bag in a basement and a man strapped to it. Doc is incredibly intelligent and resilient, withstanding as best he can the torture he’s being put through. Even Gabrick’s bumbling crew pursuing Tru has their own dynamic. This is very much a character driven comic and how Mulvey weaves all of their paths together has been a blast to read so far.
Mulvey’s art is equally as strong as the writing. Just as there are so many different personalities, the characters themselves are illustrated appropriately to convey those personalities. Las Vegas is a strange place with stranger people and Mulvey really hammers that point home with the character models. There are also some really interesting panel choices, such as one showing someone through a newly formed drill hole in a shoulder.
Scam hasn’t disappointed yet and it likely won’t. It’s only a five-issue miniseries, but the pacing has been perfect so far, not moving too fast or too slow. Tru is a very likable leading character, further buoyed by his supporting cast. Definitely check out Scam #2 when it hits stores.
Scam #2 is available for preorder now.
Kodoja Terror Mountain Showdown #1
In the history of cinematic beasts, Godzilla stands head and shoulders (times one hundred) above the rest. The massive lizard has seen his fair share of destruction and battles, but he came from the sea.
Kodoja on the other hand is a man-made beast who’s not cinematic, but that doesn’t make his wrath any less dangerous in Kodoja Terror Mountain Showdown. The first two issues of the five-issue series are
written by Keith Foster and illustrated by Rory Smith.
Major General Jennifer Cruz isn’t having the best of days. The Colossus project she oversaw was supposed to have been shut down yet apparently went broken arrow, unleashing Kodoja onto the city and world. And he’s quite angry when it comes to giant monsters. She’s the expert when it comes to Kodoja, but he’s an expert at wrecking shop and being out of control. Major General Cruz is tasked with bringing the beast under control, even though he’s learning from everything being thrown at him. Add
that to his already impressive combat training and the antagonist is something who shouldn’t be trifled with. Throw in a suicide live at a Presidential press conference, a hothead general who thinks he knows how to beat Kodoja and lots of terror and you’ve got quite a story.
Foster’s story isn’t exactly an original, but it’s still spun in a way that actually seems original. First, Kodoja was created by the government as an organic robot (for whatever reason). He’s completely unstoppable to this point, dealing with everything being thrown at him, often proactively. Kodoja was imbued with the ability to learn and he’s definitely taking advantage of that, fighting the waves of military might with intelligent tactics. Second, Kodoja has been appearing in the dreams of Steve, someone being interrogated by the government for some unknown reason. It’s obvious he has some tie to the behemoth trampling cities; what that tie is remains to be seen. That’ll be one of the main draws in continuing with the series, that and finding out how to stop the monster.
Smith took a rather simplistic approach to the art, relying on heavy inked outlines and black and white renderings. The art is stark and plain, but it really works for the concept of the comic. It’s littered with rigid hashmarks and dark blots throughout, but there’s actually fairly intricate detail in there as well. The depiction of Kodoja is fairly terrifying, showing a monstrous creature capable of destroying buildings, jets, tanks and even people.
Beyond the comic, there’s an overall package tied to Kodoja that includes a soundtrack as well. The
funked-out Kaiju Soundtrack comes as a 45 RPM record and CD and was born as part of the comic creation. There’s also has a Kickstarter going which needs your help.
Kodoja Terror Mountain Showdown is a fresh comic that throws things back to a different time when giant monsters ruled the roost. Major General Cruz is going through some personal stuff having to stop
Kodoja, despite having her division shutdown. If Kodoja can be stopped it’s something that will require a lot more than what’s been presented so far.
Kodoja Terror Mountain Showdown #1 is available now, with the second issue due soon.
Telikos Protocol #1
It’d be nice if there was a science fiction story where the human race actually has a chance. Instead, we get story after story of robots, aliens and whatever other calamities await us. It’s no different in Telikos Protocol #1 from Vanquish Interactive. The first issue is written by Peter Cooper, with art by Adam Burn and letters by Justin Korthof.
The future of humanity isn’t faring too well in Telikos Protocol #1. Food is rationed, cannons have
been set up in the atmosphere to stop incoming asteroids and the people are not pleased with the martial law imposed. There are scientists who are working feverishly to find a way to better the lives of humanity, but things aren’t going too well. Enter Forrester and Goldstein as the two main characters, a pair of soldiers who also double as a couple. They were enjoying a day off until things went off the rails, prompting them to head deep into their base in search of Dr. John Santilli, one of the aforementioned men working to improve life. Since this is an ongoing science fiction series, it’s safe to say the issue doesn’t end with humanity better off and Dr. Santilli saved.
Cooper doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel here as far story goes. As mentioned earlier, most science
fiction stories follow a fairly standard formula. That’s not a knock against Cooper. In fact, the story is actually interesting and provides quite a bit of drama to set up the series going forward. Outside of Forrester and Goldstein, few others really get much of a chance to show anything other than necessary actions. There’s another character who’s the typical hothead Alpha male and Dr. Santilli is fairly calm (despite the awareness that things are getting bad). It’s likely they’re somewhat jaded in the world of Telikos Protocol, considering they’ve already been through so much as it is.
Burn’s art will be the draw for the first issue. This is a photorealistic book and it really, really makes the book that much better. Sci-fi worlds are difficult to present in comics sometimes, but Burns does so exceedingly well here. The style allows for the dystopian feel of the society they live in to shine through, really hitting home the point that things are bleak for humanity.
Telikos Protocol #1 is an interesting first issue. It’s setting the groundwork for what could be a great story and the art is stunning. If future issues spend a bit more time with the characters and give the reader a bit more context for the state of humanity as it stands, it’ll go a long way to making the comic even better.
Telikos Protocol #1 is available now.
$0.99 / £0.49 – Prelude (first 14 pgs)
Amazon – Graphic.ly – iTunes
$3.99 / £2.55 – Issue One – Digital
$?.?? – Issue One – Print
Coming soon to Amazon!
$4.99 – Graphicly (for panel-to-panel viewing mode) – $0.99 prelude and issue 1 and issue #1.
Kickstarter Link (Hardback / Softback / Specials)