BLACK FIRE, LAST MORTAL and SHOOTERS Reviewed

BLACK FIRE
Archaia
Hernan Rodriguez
Pub date: Jan 3rd, 2012
$24.95

Hernan Rodriguez write and drew this book and I am blown away. It’s a
creepy horror tale set against a backdrop of war in Russia with Cossacks and peasants cold tired and angry. Its survival, and loyalty and bravery and cowardice. Soldiers separated from their unit in the dead of a Russian winter end up in an abandoned village looking for a place to hide and hopefully eat. They stumble across a number of other refugees who are also trying to avoid the Russians. As they settle in to the new surroundings they start to understand that the town is empty not because of the war, but because of something older and more evil.

This is a trippy book and it really stuck with me after reading it. The art made me feel the cold and the writing made me feel the desperation. Not what I was expecting and something I will reread and enjoy again.

LAST MORTAL
Minotaur/Image
Thomas Nachlik, John Mahoney, Filip Sablik
Pub date: March 31st 2012
$19.99

Written by John Mahoney and Filip Sablik with art by Thomas Nachlik LAST IMORTAL is an intriguing story of a slacker who ends up in a pretty sad place. Alec King ends up leaving college and becoming a petty crook and after some very noir choices ends up on the run from gangsters and someone who is behind all his recent trouble. It’s easy to feel sorry for this guy, Alec had great intentions but all too easily fell to peer pressure from his roommate Brian. After Brian is killed in a really badly botched crime, Alec is also killed. However Alec doesn’t stay dead. Alec’s no super hero and all he wants is to not be on the run so he needs to find out who is controlling the plan behind his misery and get out from under.

LAST MORTAL is a tight story with art that fits perfectly for the noir tale being told. I actually had flashes of Double Indemnity while reading it. I’m hoping there will be more.

SHOOTERS
Vertigo
Eric Trautmann, Jerwa Brandon, Steven Lieber
Pub date: April 24th, 2012
$29.99

The cover makes this look like a war comic in the vein of Sgt Rock, but what’s inside is far from your typical war story. Terry Glass was a soldier in Iraq and after being injured he is eventually discharged from service. Terry has a hard time adjusting to civilian life and his wife only has so much patience in this regard. The problem is the only people who know what Terry is going through are people who have been through it.

This book is an amazing look at how war has impacted people’s lives and I think Eric Trautman has done some of his best work here. The story makes me mad, upset, and frustrated all the while I am trying to sympathize with a character I can never really understand not being a vet myself. Trautman does a truly wondrous job of not playing to emotions but stirring them up. In this day and age when we can’t seem to stop fighting somewhere in the world it is important to remember that the men fighting are being affected by this more than anyone and this book shows that. This should be handed out in every high school in the country.

Jon Jordan