Hugh Likes Comics: We Only Find Them When They’re Dead

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We Only Find Them When They’re Dead #1
Written by Al Ewing
Drawn by Simone Di MeoColored by Mariasara Miotti
Lettered by AndWorld Design
Published by Boom! Studios

The Skinny: A weird and beautiful space opera about small business and giant corpses.

In the distant future, mankind has scoured the galaxy clean of resources. Pushed to the edges of a depleted galaxy, they find space’s last mineable source of minerals, metals, and even meat: Dead Space Gods. But the competition between fleets of ‘autopsy ships’ is fierce, and heavily regulated. As corporate entities dominate the market and push out independent operators, Captain Georges Malik and the crew of the Vihaan II struggle to stay afloat under the watchful eye of a zealous enforcement officer.
We Only Find Them When They’re Dead is a sad, beautiful, and imaginative high-concept space opera of the sort that only really works in the comics medium. Ewing’s script is tight and economical, bringing the four-person crew to life in just a few pages. But Di Meo’s art with Miotti’s coloring is the real star here. There is a breathtaking use of light and shadow in this book. The characters seem to float right off of the page, and the space scenes do an excellent job conveying both the enormity of the titanic corpses and the tiny, cramped vessels that carve them up for parts.
We Only Find Them When They’re Dead #1 is the start of something massive. I can’t wait to read more, and I highly recommend you check it out. Find it at Your Local Comic Shop, or digitally from Comixology!

Hugh Likes Comics: New Avengers

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New Avengers # 1
Written by Al Ewing
Drawn by Gerrardo Sandoval
Published by Marvel Comics
With almost an entire line of new comics coming out, Marvel probably has most of my immediate attention.  Particularly after the variety of neat stories that came out of Battleworld.  There are a lot of new ideas and re-imaginings to come, but one of the books I’m most excited about is New Avengers.
The interesting thing about the book is that by most marketing standards, it shouldn’t work.  It’s a superhero team made entirely of legacy heroes, supporting characters, and C-listers.  And that is why I really hope it succeeds.
Organized by mutant billionaire Roberto Da Costa (A. K. A. Sunspot,) the team consists of former Master of Evil/Thunderbolt Songbird, the newest White Tiger, Power Man Victor Alvarez (not Luke Cage,) Wiccan and Hulkling from the Young Avengers, and Squirrel Girl.  Hawkeye is also presented as a potential recruit.  Da Costa tells him he was ‘hoping for the other one.’  Squirrel Girl’s sidekick Tippy-toe is also a member.  Together they represent Avengers Idea Mechanics, a global problem-solving team.
The thing that really works about this team is that writer Al Ewing really understands the voices of these characters and gives them all a chance to interact naturally with each other.  The writing for everyone is very on-point, with Squirrel Girl attempting to reason with the bad guys and Wiccan and Hulkling showing characteristic empathy and concern.  The whole concept of Sunspot trying to solve crises by throwing misfit teen superheroes at them from his Pacific Island Fortress is ludicrous yet so entirely in keeping with the character that I’m completely sold.
The art is solid, but not without its nitpicks.  Sandoval’s designs have a delightfully energetic Saturday morning cartoon feel, with exaggerated features and not-quite proportional limbs.  Stylistic choices aside, a few of the characters feel a bit off model, and occasionally drawn from unusual angles.  Squirrel girl seems to be missing her tail, for instance.  He feels a bit uncomfortable with the characters, but his style is charming enough that I hope he either relaxes or makes the designs more his own as the series goes on.
New Avengers is a delightful new comic that brings back some of my favorite characters without relying too heavily on an encyclopedic backstory to enjoy the book.  It’s a great introduction, and I can’t wait to see where their adventures take them next.  New Avengers is available from Comixology, the Marvel app, or your local comics shop.

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