Comics has a long history of producing writers only capable of writing variations on one story. Ales Kot, early in his career, seems to have stumbled into this lot. Wolf #1 shows a lot of ambition, but never really comes together until the very last page. Even then, you might not find enough to come running back for.
Even when Island Magazine #1 stumbles, it’s a worthwhile read. It’s fresh, it’s new, and it’s going for something that we’re not seeing. It’s a showcase of talent both up-and-coming and well-established (and the well-established talent is doing something out of her usual comfort zone). You may walk in wondering if it’s worth the price point: the answer is a whole-hearted ‘yes.’ Here’s hoping Island Magazine finds an audience and a long lifespan.
The question is asked in a sideways fashion in the book, but fans have been asking for a while: what happened to the James Robinson that wrote Starman or JSA: The Golden Age? Frankly, what happened is, the man changed. He became the guy who’s writing Airboy, and we’re lucky for that: we’ve got a sleeper hit on our hands, and it’s another credit to the Image catalog of books that look like nothing else out there.
To give some benefit of the doubt: first issues are hard, and Ales Kot’s a talented writer. His pretension tends to jump in front of him. He has strong opinions about social issues, and he’s into weird sex, and he’s into Hollywood, and he’s into war, so those trickle their way into his work. Unfortunately, here in Material #1, they add up to absolutely nothing. Perhaps once the trade hits, this will be worth something; on its own, it is a top-to-bottom failure.
A character says: “Your evident facts and recorded data are mere veils over the leering face of cosmic insanity.” That should get you ready for what lies within the pages of Mythic #1. Hester, McCrea, and company stage something worth a standing ovation here. At two bucks for the first issue, you’re basically stealing the book. If you were on the fence, or if it doesn’t look like your thing, take a gamble; books like this should keep existing.
When you add everything up, Injection #1 is worth your time and attention. Even where the work is inconsistent on the art side, it’s always interesting. Warren Ellis also brings everything to the table that you could ask of an Ellis book: it’s weird, it’s funny, it’s dense, and it’s going to leave you wanting more.
Elevator-pitch: it’s Mark Millar writing his version of an aging Flash Gordon. This version of Flash Gordon goes by Duke McQueen. He saved a planet once. Down on earth, nobody believes him except his wife, who we learn has passed away in the first few pages. There’s a lot of room for this to go down heartless Millar territory, but what it actually does is much more valuable.