Owls of the Ironwork Isle #1
Lubbock’s Will Terrell provides the art for this new comic miniseries from Antarctic Press, while Stephen Phillips handles the writing chores.
The story is set in a steampunk version of London and focuses on Lady Penelope Ayre, a leader of the Owls, a covert team of guardians, super-spies, and thieves dedicated to protecting the city from all possible threats. For all her responsibility, however, Penelope would very much like the occasional opportunity to enjoy the privileges of high society — but she’s usually required to fulfill her duties to London, the aristocracy, and the Owls. But tonight, Queen Victoria is announcing that new technologies will allow the cream of London society to take up a permanent place above the underclass — namely, as a floating city over everyone else. But a deeply inconvenient murder and a conspiracy in high places has the potential to bring everything crashing to earth.
Verdict: Thumbs up. The story is plenty of fun. The action is nice, and the dialogue is pretty good, too. Loved the characterization, as well — we had quite a few different characters, and they all spoke with their own unique voices. And if y’all are familiar with Will’s art (and for cryin’ out loud, you ought to be), you’ll find the artwork here plays straight into some of his strengths — excellent character design and caricature, strong cartooning, wonderfully expressive facial expressions, great storytelling and action flow. Let’s just put it down here — I loved this — and I’m not often a person with much affinity for steampunk — and you ought to try to pick it up.
Captain Marvel #11
Yet another issue of this comic that suckers you in with beautiful cover art, then stabs you in the back with horrifically bad interior art, courtesy of Filipe Andrade, who apparently has some really amazing blackmail photos of Marvel execs.
So Carol Danvers isn’t allowed to fly because she’s got some sort of bizarre mass in her brain that reacts to her flight powers by moving deeper into her brain and putting herself at risk of a brain hemorrhage — which she’d be able to survive, but without any of her memories or personality. Private eye Dakota North gets her a flying motorcycle and helps her bust up some bad guys, but Carol knows that the mysterious new Deathbird is stalking her… and her friends. How can Captain Marvel stop a flying villain when she’s not allowed to fly?
Verdict: I’m going to give it a thumbs up, because the writing and story are genuinely excellent. But the artwork — man, I’m starting to get the impression that Marvel wants this comic to fail. People get unhappy when you bait-and-switch them with gorgeous covers and gruesome interior art, and a comic this good deserves great art both outside and inside.