Archive for Owls of the Ironwork Isle

Soaring Owls


Owls of the Ironwork Isle #2

It’s been a while since the first issue of this one came out, so let’s review: We’re in a steampunk version of London, following the adventures of Lady Penelope Ayre, a leader of the Owls, a team of secret agents dedicated to protecting the city from all possible threats. Queen Victoria plans to levitate the city with the miraculous aetheric generator, and shadowy forces have taken the announcement as an excuse to attack, and Penelope’s adoptive mother is killed and framed as a conspirator. From that point on, it’s an all-out battle/chase scene between the Owls and the many high-ranking soldiers and officials who are attempting to take control of the city.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Mad props to writer Stephen Phillips and especially to Lubbock’s Will Terrell, who provides the fantastic black-and-white art. This is full of high-energy action, suspense, and drama, fun dialogue, and extremely charismatic artwork. I hope y’all are able to pick this one up.


X-Men #5

Arrgh, crossovers! The bane of a comic fan’s existence! This is part of the “Battle of the Atom” crossover, where the time-traveling X-Men of the past meet the X-Men of the present and then run headlong into the X-Men of the future. Arrgh, time-travel crossovers! The other bane of a comic fan’s existence!

So the future X-Men, who include monster versions of Beast and Iceman, much older versions of Kitty Pryde, Jean Grey, and Deadpool, Charles Xavier’s grandson, and an all-grown-up Molly Hayes, say that the time-traveling original X-Men are going to wreck the future unless they return to the past. And most of the X-Men have basically decided the younger X-Men shouldn’t be in the present anyway — but original Jean Grey and Cyclops decide they don’t wanna go, so they steal the Blackbird and go on the run. Pretty much the whole issue is chasing Scott and Jean around.

Verdict: Thumbs down. Arrgh, crossovers! So destructive to fun comics!


Batman: Li’l Gotham #6

This issue focuses on both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Damian and Colin hang out, make fun of the old Robin costumes, and then go out to fight crime together, with Colin stealing a spare Bat-costume and using his muscle-growing powers to impersonate the Dark Knight. Later, Colin takes flowers to the nuns who raised him, and Damian gets to spend quality time with both Batman and Talia. In the second story, Commissioner Gordon and Barbara Gordon go out for a Father’s Day dinner, but have to share a table with Ra’s al Ghul and Talia, which makes for a pretty tense meal. The rest of the Bat-family, meanwhile, tries to make dinner for Alfred, which makes for a pretty tense kitchen…

Verdict: Thumbs up. It’s adorable and funny — and it’s set in the pre-reboot universe, so it’s something all sensible comics fans can enjoy.

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Owl City


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.

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