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Comixology Originals - Initial Thoughts

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  • Comixology Originals - Initial Thoughts

    Well, the announcement came, and they released a few titles. The idea is an ok one, thought I think they went a bit overboard with the "announcement party live-streaming" thing they did. Considering what came out, there wasn't much for the average reader to get excited about. If they got some top-tier talent to work on some launch titles, and announced a regular schedule with some solid upcoming releases, maybe - but what we got was a little tepid.

    Strangly, when I went to check out the upcoming releases, there were a Spider-Man and an Avengers title listed as "Comixology Originals" (Spidey: Schools Out and Avengers: Back to Basics)- I guess these were announced months ago. Why they wouldn't hype them in the announcement, I have no idea.

    I checked out three of the four release titles ... I plan to read Ask For Mercy, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. I thought about doing an article on them, but positivity reigning, It would end up being half an article. So I thought a post here was better.

    The first one I read was the graphic novel Savage Game by Panthers Center Ryan Kalil. It was pretty decent. The story centers on a son who's father squandered all of his mother's wealth to build a manmade island for scientific research, outside the ethics laws of any nation. The idea was to splice animal and plant genes to create new life forms to solve issues like hunger and disease. As a side business (something more glamorous to make money?), they decide to create a monster fighting league. The story was left open for more, but I thought it wasn't too bad.

    The second one I read was the first issue of Elephantman: The Death of Shorty. I guess they were on a gene-splicing spree for their launch. I guess this one is an ongoing existing property at Image so you are kind of supposed to know the characters, but I never read it. I didn't feel too lost. The story involves a team of human/animal hybrid soldiers. It was good enough that I'll check out the next issue.

    Finally, I read SuperFreaks. They released all 5 issues - I almost made it to the end before putting it down. It started with a TON of promise. Every 10 years or so, an alien ship called "The Crisis" would arrive and threaten the earth that the heroes would stop. Superheroes were created by a VW Van - and the world came to worship the van for creating the holy superheroes. Every now and again it would create another powered person, and that person would either become good or evil. Trouble was, the existing heroes and villains - instead of training the new powered person - would take them on as sidekicks, bully them and treat them like secretaries all to keep them on the sidelines and from stealing their spotlight. One day they vanish, leaving only the Sidekicks to fend for themselves. I loved this concept, and thought it would be great.

    Unfortunately after the first couple issues, the politics ramped up to 11 and the story devolved into a preachy PC nightmare. At first it wasn't bad, there was a little of it, but what was there didn't detract from the story. For the record, I don't have an issue with the characters on the team AT ALL, just with how the soap-boxing took over the entire story. I think leaving the characters as they were and toning down the over-the-top political message (or at least tone it down and make it a little character development) would make this an outstanding comic. I don't want to spend too much time dissecting the negative, but every single sidekick's story centered on how they belong to ____ group with ____ issue, and how everyone in the world (including their families and anyone who likes Fox News) hates them and are monstrous towards them. The main plot of the book morphed into something that fit that narrative. There might be an audience for this if you are into that kind of theme, it just felt like a bait-and-switch to me to have this really clever, light superhero concept be crushed by all of the heavy-handed politics.

    So I am 50/50 on the titles so far. I'll post again after I have a chance to read Ask For Mercy...

  • #2
    The thing that caught my attention was the print-on-demand thing, but I wasn't able to find that aspect. I'd be interested in Elephantmen for that, to try.

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    • #3
      It looks like you need to go through Amazon for that, and they aren't available POD until the arc is over. Savage Game is available now, but the rest are awaiting the graphic novel release.

      Seems like there will not be a POD option for individual issues.

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      • #4
        Hmm... bummer.

        C'est la vie, I guess!

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