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<  From Pulp City HQ  ~  Review: Pulp City Comics Collected TPBs - Warning: Spoilers

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:59 pm
User avatarImmortalPosts: 1161Location: Montreal, CanadaJoined: Tue May 12, 2009 4:23 am
Hi all,

I love Comic Trade Paperbacks. When individual issues of a series come out, it's way too easy to miss an issue here and there. That's especially true with something like the Pulp City comics which were hard to find on their first printing. Thankfully, we've got the first few collected trades that will soon be available! Today I'll review the first batch which features:

Heavy Metal vol 1 (Collects issues 1-6)
Gentleman: Trail gone cold (Collects the 4 issue mini-series)
Blood Watch vol 1 (Collects issues 1-6)
Solar vol 1 (Collects issues 1-6 as well as the one shot Solar: The Avatar of the Jaguar)
Dead Eye vol 1 (Collects issues 1-6)
Rooftop Heroes (Collects issues 1-6)
ARC: Barrel of Monkeys (Collects the 4 issue mini-series)
Necroplane: The invasion Begins. This oversize TPB collects Necroplane: Origins (one shot), Heavy Metal 7, Blood Watch 7, Solar 7, Deadeye 7, Rooftop Heroes 7, Six Feet Under: Grave Matters (one shot) and ends with Necroplane: Destruction (one shot)


For those who care, there *WILL* be spoilers.


Heavy Metal vol 1

This was a great collection, but not the best one released this month. The writing was solid and I think it's the best inking in the comic industry today. One interesting thing is that despite being the flagship series and despite Heavy Metal being the archetypical "good guys", there's a lot of unknowns in terms of the heroes. Who gave Iron Train his abilities? Who is Nuclear Jones? What's Chronin's real agenda? I'm sure these are mysteries that'll be resolved eventually.

Issues 1-3 form the introductory arc for new readers. Since the team has been long established, they don't have to go through a long origin sequence. A very traditional premise, this super heroes vs super villain story has Mysterious Man unleashing new creations on Pulp City. It's a very "by the book" storyline, but still a pleasure to read.

Issues 4-5 are fun. It's a mini arc that has the various Heavy Metal supremes go about their daily lives. We see them interact with the people of Pulp City and deal with some minor villains here and there. Highlights include Iron Train stopping at a school to teach kids about the importance of traffic safety and an absolutely hilarious scene where Chronin has to try and explain "dating protocol" to Androida. Of course watching Doc Mercury take on a gang of thugs on his own is also a great read.

Issue 6 felt kinda like filler to me since it's a necroplane prelude. It's interesting to see how Iron Train's near death experience factored in and they're hinting that we may see some kind of "dark version" of Iron Train linked up to Necroplane.


Gentleman: Trail gone cold

Gentleman has always been one of my favourite characters. He's the top assassin in Pulp City and he does it all without powers. He's just highly trained, very clever and he beats his enemies with careful planning and neat gadgets. He's like a Batman who shoots people.

The story here is nicely complex. The number 2 hitman in Pulp City sets his eyes on becoming number 1, which means taking down Gentleman. In a rather foolish move, "Number 2" decides to start things off by targeting Gentleman's sisters. The two sisters survive, but for Gentleman, this is no longer business, it's personal.

As if things weren't complicated enough, Number 2 is being tracked by another of Pulp City's Supremes: Trail. Of course there's the mandatory Trail vs Gentleman fight, but they join forces to take out their common enemy which leads to one of the coolest fights we've seen in the Pulp City Comics to date. I'm not going to ruin Number 2's dark secret here but it's going to come as a shock to many...

This is easily the best of the trades to come out in this wave!


Blood Watch vol 1

I'm a huge Blood Watch fan and I loved these issues. Watching VH put together the team was an absolute pleasure. Basically, issues 1-6 are a recruitment drive as VH and Blacksmith travel around picking up some of the darker Mystery supremes. That said, despite the fact that most of us know this story already, there are some neat surprises. Until reading this, I hadn't known that Trail declined membership. In my opinion, the only thing that was really missing in this series was Six Feet Under but he joins up during the Necroplane crossover starting in issue 7 (see later in my review).

It's also worth pointing out that there are some neat bonus features at the back of the book. There's a few character design sketches and a few extra pieces of art. The Hoodoo/Moonchild pic is easily the best of the shots, even if it does tend to drift a little into pin-up territory.

For those that like their heroes dark, I'd strongly recommend this trade.


Solar Vol 1

As the only true "solo" series released, there's a lot of pressure on this title to really explore the character and I think they do it well. You really get a sense of who Solar is, from his millionaire playboy time as Johann Sonnenbrandt, to his caped hero time as Solar, you get to see both sides and how each influences the other.

In the first few issues, you learn a little about Solar's connection to Ahau Kin, but really only enough to scratch the surface. Add in a wonderful brawl with Hellsmith and you've got everything you need to have a great time.

Also included was the one shot Solar: Avatar of the Jaguar. After Johann wakes up with a mutilated corpse in an alleyway, he begins to question the price he will have to pay for his power...

Solar remains one of the more interesting characters and I'm looking forward to seeing how he develops.


Dead Eye vol 1

When I heard Dead Eye would get an ongoing series, I was a little surprised. He's cool, but there are other interesting characters out there. I was thrilled when I found out that this was actually going to be the Pulp City "team up" title and that with every story arc, Dead Eye would be paired with another Pulp City supreme.

In this first volume we have the story of Dead Eye working with Vector to take down computer hackers that are using alien technology, Dead Eye teaming up with Father Oak (with an absolutely adorable Acorn cameo) to protect Pulp City from an ancient nature deity gone mad, and we top it off with a darker story that has Dead Eye work with Ace of Wraiths to solve a murder dating back all the way to the Pulp City founding fathers.

I found that the writing here was very well done but the art is what really got me. Changing artists with every arc is a brave move and the choices have been great. The dreamlike quality of the Father Oak story really worked and I loved the dry and dusty style of the Ace story.


Rooftop Heroes vol 1

What do you get when a comic features two of Pulp City's most interesting vigilantes? What do you expect with the only series published by Pulp Monsters that has a mature content warning on it? You get a brutal and dark story that would do Warren Ellis or Garth Ennis proud.

While the series focuses on the adventures of Jade Hawk and Skyline, one could argue that the true star of the city is the dark and seedy underbelly of Pulp City itself. In each issue, we see an amazing contrast between soaring skyscrapers and dark alleys. We see the little people who are hurt by the crimes committed and we see our "heroes" dispense absolutely brutal justice to those who deserve it.

There's been a trend towards more mature titles in the past and I sometimes find it a little gratuitous, but in this case, watching skyline smack an attempted carjacker right into Jade Hawks clawed hands was a beautiful sight.

If you can get past the blood and coarse language, this book is definitely worth your time.


ARC: Barrel of Monkeys

With a four issue mini series, you don't have loads of time to set up your story and in this case, I feel it took them a little too long, but I admit, the result is totally worth it. For those of you who haven't heard already, the story is actually rather clever.

Just prior to a planned raid, Guerilla calls the bulk of ARC to one of their underground bunkers. Unfortunately, a mistake with a dangerous viral pathogen seals the entire base. Not only does ARC have only 3 days to find a cure for their condition, but with so many apes in the same place, the virus may be the least of their problems...

With snappy dialogue and excellent scripting, we see Guerilla, Dr. Red and Red Bella all trying to seize decisive control over ARC. I'm not going to spoil the ending, but I think that we'll see the consequences of this struggle have an effect for quite a while. Not to mention, this is the story that leads into ARC's new regular monthly title.

Two other thing to note: There's a fun bonus short story that pits Chimp Chi against the Jade Cult Ninjas. I found it a little too short, but its still fun. Also, keep your eyes open during the ARC group shots during the series. Sharp eyes will be able to spot a monkey by the beer kegs. Coincidence? I think not...


Necroplane: The invasion Begins.

This trade is larger than the others and is great value. As a crossover collection, art and writing varies, but the end product is really very good and tells a really epic story.

Necroplane: Origins is a great Dr. T story that sets things up well. It's an intro piece but it gives you some insight into what the Doc wants. Also introduces the major necroplane characters. Supreme Z's intro is definitely not to be missed.

The Heavy Metal issue deals with the team facing some odd new mystery enemies. Blood Watch shows the first organized resistance and a strange new ally (Six Feet Under). Solar's issue is possibly my favourite since it includes a flashback to a boardroom conflict (where only words are exchanged, not blows) between Johann and Guillaume Sanguine. Rooftop heroes does a great job of showing what the Necroplane invasion looks like to the man on the street.

Six Feet Under: Grave Matters is one of my favourites. Using a combination of flashbacks to his origin with scenes from the present battle, it's a great read from the start to the finish.

Necroplane: Destruction covers the final push of all the heroes (and a few surprise villains) to drive back the necroplane invasion. While the heroes win, it's only at great cost as a number of supremes fall in battle. There's a nice little bonus feature at the end that remembers Nigthfly, Crimson Girl and Bolt.


That's it for my reviews. They're all great books and well worth your time!


Cardboard Vampire
Montreal, Canada
April 1st, 2012


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 12:13 am
User avatarHeroPosts: 152Location: Peterborough, ONJoined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:23 pm
I had no idea there were Pulp City comics. How would one track these down? My google-fu is weak.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:41 am
User avatarHeroPosts: 354Location: Tindal, AustraliaJoined: Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:53 pm
Wow! Thanks for this! I've been hoping that someone would do a review of these great comics. I think for me, I loved the interaction between Iron Train and Androida in the Necroplane invasion arc. It was so well written.

Do you remember who it was that wrote the Gentleman/Trail one? I'm missing it from my collection... :cry:



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:18 am
User avatarSidekickPosts: 66Location: Melbourne, AustraliaJoined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:09 pm
I'm also super curious about when these came out, can't find any info about them!



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:36 pm
User avatarHeroPosts: 153Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 5:44 pm
I think you posted a minute too soon.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:58 pm
User avatarImmortalPosts: 1161Location: Montreal, CanadaJoined: Tue May 12, 2009 4:23 am
With April 1st being over, I should indeed confirm what some of you already knew, which is that this was indeed an April Fools joke.

I hope that those of you who read it found some amusement in it.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:00 pm
User avatarHeraldPosts: 1461Location: Zen StudiosJoined: Wed Apr 23, 2008 3:43 pm
cardboardvampire wrote:
With April 1st being over, I should indeed confirm what some of you already knew, which is that this was indeed an April Fools joke.

I hope that those of you who read it found some amusement in it.

It's killed me saying nothing LoL!



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:42 am
User avatarSidekickPosts: 66Location: Melbourne, AustraliaJoined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:09 pm
Ha! I can't believe I fell for this!



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:42 am
User avatarSidekickPosts: 66Location: Melbourne, AustraliaJoined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 2:09 pm
That said this is something that NEEDS to happen



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:49 am
User avatarHeraldPosts: 1461Location: Zen StudiosJoined: Wed Apr 23, 2008 3:43 pm
exploding youth wrote:
That said this is something that NEEDS to happen


I agree with you 1,000,000 %!



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:11 am
User avatarHeroPosts: 152Location: Peterborough, ONJoined: Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:23 pm
Well played Mr. Vampire. Now someone needs to make it happen.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:12 pm
User avatarImmortalPosts: 1161Location: Montreal, CanadaJoined: Tue May 12, 2009 4:23 am
smokingmonkee wrote:
Well played Mr. Vampire. Now someone needs to make it happen.


Thank you very much, Mr. Monkey.

:) Agreed. Someone does. Hmm, if Morf approved it, could we crowdsource it? Are there any artists in the forums?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:41 pm
User avatarGuardian of PulpPosts: 4526Location: House of Jade LanternsJoined: Thu Aug 09, 2007 11:16 am
Well done to our very own vampire for doing this. :)



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:22 pm
User avatarDefender of the NeighborhoodPosts: 130Location: the NetherlandsJoined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:21 pm
:MND for you

Id love to make a pulpcity based comic, tough I dont think my style would really fit a comic (or at least it would be a learning process.) my experience with action shots is minimal and.. I think it would take me ages to make something you read in less than an hour :\


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:34 pm
User avatarHeraldPosts: 1461Location: Zen StudiosJoined: Wed Apr 23, 2008 3:43 pm
I'd be up for doing some creative writing, but I would need more "fluff" so as not to make mistakes Background/Character-Wise.



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