Burying the Message in Infinity 8 1

by Drew Baumgartner

Infinity 8 1

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Are science fiction and heart mutually exclusive? One word: Cocoon.

Steve Guttenberg, Party Down

Like any sci-fi fan, I love a good high-concept premise. Those premises give us something to latch onto in the uncertain settings of science fiction, but are ultimately just the hook that draws us into the narrative. For any story — sci-fi or otherwise — to work, it needs to meaningfully comment on the human condition (even if, you know, the characters are aliens or robots or whatever). The story needs to connect on some deeper human level in order to be anything other than a series of things that happen. Unfortunately, Infinity 8 1 is too invested in its own competing high-concept premises to ever make that kind of connection. Continue reading

Reversing Normalness in Cloudia & Rex 3

by Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

It’s amazing how quickly the concept of normalness can completely reverse itself. When we first meet Cloudia, Rex and their mother, it is during a painfully mundane car trip. The little sister is chattering away in the front seat, while the teenager trades texts with a boy and is generally angsty. That is our base-normal: reflective of a real world we immediately recognize. There’s a touch of narrative whiplash as writers Ulises Farinas and Erick Freitas and artist Daniel Irazzari drop us into a realm of forgotten gods under siege. Eventually, that becomes our normal: reflective of the bombastic medium of comic books. Issue three of Cloudia & Rex concludes the miniseries by interrupting that fantastical reality with grounded, human elements, proving there’s no limit to how many times you can turn a narrative on its side. Continue reading

Love, Survival, and Loss in Cloudia and Rex 2

by Mark Mitchell 

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, read on at your own risk!

slim-banner

In our discussion of Cloudia and Rex 1, I praised creators Ulises Farinas, Erick Freitas, and Daniel Irizarri for their honest portrayal of a grieving family in extraordinary circumstances, and their work continues to sing in this second act. I’m especially taken with their ability to deftly inject humor into the darker moments of the issue, like when Death sends Cloudia a text message posing as a boy she likes that reads, “Hello, would you mind engaging in a phone speak?” The fine line they walk between making Cloudia an honest-sounding selfish, reluctant teenager, but still relatable and likable is, frankly, remarkable. Continue reading

Cloudia and Rex 1: Discussion

by Mark Mitchell & Ryan Desaulniers

Cloudia and Rex 1

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, read on at your own risk!

slim-banner

Mark: Everyone in Ulises Farinas, Erick Freitas, and Daniel Irizarri’s beautiful Cloudia and Rex 1 is just trying to survive. For the deities like Death, Hypnos, and Ala, the threat to their existence is very literal; their entire plane of existence is under attack from Seraphim sent by the High Waveform as it looks to consolidate power and become the one, true God. For 13 year-old Cloudia, her younger sister Rex, and her mom, the threat is more existential. A close knit family, their ties are beginning to fray in the aftermath of Cloudia’s father’s death. Continue reading

Speed Thrills and Powers Kill in Accell 1

by Ryan Desaulniers

Accell 1

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

If you’ve read a superhero title, than you have almost certainly encountered a speedster on the pages. While their basic premise may be simple (they’re really, really fast), creators have played with the scope and scale of this speed to the point that characters have broken the time barrier and even out-run death itself. With this huge lore of speedsters existing, it must be a daunting task to write a new superpowered character with this skill set. The creative team — almost entirely composed of veterans in the industry such as Joe Casey — tackle this challenge in  Accell 1, delivering a fun romp if one can suspend their sense of disbelief, notable mostly for their choice in lead character. Continue reading