Kill 6 Billion Demons Book One Review by Eugene Alejandro

Disclaimer: This is a review of Image Comic’s print release of Kill 6 Billion Demons Book One. The review for this book (as well as the reviews for future books) are not of the original web comic versions.

Kill 6 Billion Demons is about a post-grad teenage girl named Allison Ruth who ends up being taken to a mysterious strange world along with her boyfriend. She and her boyfriend end up getting separated from each other, and it’s now up to Allison to find her boyfriend with the help of her new strange looking allies she meets while in the bizarre world of Throne (Allison also ends getting imbued with an ancient power while she ends being sent to Throne).

The best way I can describe Kill 6 Billion Demons Book One is that while it is very strange and bizarre, it is one of the most amazing and creative comics I have ever read thanks to its brilliant writing and outstanding artwork by its creator Tom Parkinson-Morgan.

Kill 6 Billion Demons Book One does a very good job at setting up all the characters, the setting the story takes place in, and the series’s tone. The story in Kill 6 Billion Demons Book One also moves at a fast pace, but never to the point where it feels very rushed. These aspects of the writing in Kill 6 Billion Demons prove that Tom Parkinson-Morgan is a very gifted writer (as well as a very gifted creator).

Tom’s artwork in Kill 6 Billion Demons is some of the greatest artwork I’ve ever seen in a creator-owned and independent comic. The characters have very unique and original designs to them, and the backgrounds have such amazing detail for the reader to see. The coloring also helps show how good the art is as it fits the style of the art very well.

I want to talk about the lettering in Kill 6 Billion Demons for just a bit. Kill 6 Billion Demon’s lettering is very unique as each characters dialogue has his and her own way of how the letters for their dialogue look in order to show how different they speak (which helps the reader understand how each character is different from the other very well).

In conclusion, Tom Parkinson-Morgan’s Kill 6 Billion Demons is without a doubt one of the greatest, most original, and very creative comic books of all time, and Book One of it is the best place to start reading it. Please spend your time and money on this amazing work of comic book literature.

I give Kill 6 Billion Demons Book One 5/5 Stars, and 2 Thumbs Up.

Low Volume 1 Review by Eugene Alejandro

Written by Rick Remender, drawn by Greg Tocchini, and published by Image Comics, Low is about mankind living in the ocean because the Earth’s sun has expanded so much, the surface has been uninhabitable. Low Volume 1 is specifically about the Caine family trying to use their technology to search for other planets in the hopes of helping mankind. However, while they do this, their ship get’s attacked by pirates, the father of the family (Johl Caine) gets killed, the two daughters get kidnapped, and the mother (Stel Caine) and the son (Marik Caine) are the only ones who survived the pirate attack and didn’t get kidnapped. Years later after the incident, Stel discovers where the man who killed her husband and kidnapped her daughters is (that man’s name is Roln), and decides that she and her son will go that location to save their remaining family, and get their revenge on Roln.

Low has a very unique and creative premise for a post-apocalyptic story, and Rick Remender’s writing helps with that as the world is explained enough so that the readers can understand it, and the characters are well-written and developed perfectly.

The artwork by Greg Tocchini is really interesting to look at as the way the characters, animals, and settings are illustrated don’t contradict with Low’s tone at all, and are also nice to look at.

There are some nitpicks with Low Volume 1 that want to mention. The first one being that not a lot of things are explained such as whenever Roln gets stabbed in the chest more than once, he survives as opposed to dying. I would have liked to see a reason for why that was the case. Another part of the story that has no explanation is that besides humans, there are what resembles a cross between humans and sea animals, and some of the animals look very alien-like as opposed to a normal sea animal on Earth (there is even what resembles a mix between a fish and a lion). I’m fully aware that Low is set in the future, but it still seemed weird to me to have that in the story just because (hopefully it all will be explained in Low Volume 2). The second nitpick of mine for Low Volume 1 is that I feel that it would’ve been even better had it only be a six issue mini series (Volume 1 collects Low issues 1-6) because the way the story is written prior to issue six (the first 5 issues to be specific) to me have the pacing of a mini series, and the way issue 6 ended felt as excuse for there to be more issues to this series, and should’ve just ended the whole story altogether (that is just my opinion).

Excluding my nitpicks, Low is an ongoing comic book series with very good writing and art, and is a solid addition to the post-apocalyptic genre. Low Volume 1 is also a very well-made first story arc.

I give Low Volume 1 2 Thumbs Up, and 4/5 Stars.

Descender Volume 1 Review by Eugene Alejandro

Published by Image Comics, and created by Jeff Lemire (the story) and Dustin Nguyen (the artwork), Descender is one of the greatest independent stories in the science fiction genre as it has beautiful art, amazing writing, great characters, and excellent foreshadowing and plot twists. This review of Descender is specifically of the the first trade paperback (which collects the first 6 issues) known as Tin Stars.

The plot of Descender Volume 1: Tin Stars is that 9 robots that are the size of planets called The Harvesters have been discovered orbiting the 9 planets in the universe that the entire Descender series takes place in. The Harvesters begin attacking the planets, and war ends up happening. The Harvesters vanish, and out of fear that all robots (as well as androids) in the galaxy could be connected to them, the 9 planets have become fascist societies that have destroyed and outlawed nearly every robot and android they can find. Years have passed and a android with the appearance of a very young male child named TIM-21 has woken up in a mining colony on a moon. Things seem alright for him at first, but bounty hunters suddenly appear to capture him. As it seems that all hope is lost for him as he gets shot by one of them, a robot who goes by the name of Driller wakes up from it’s slumber and kills the bounty hunters. While this is going on, on the planet Niyrata, a scientist named Dr. Jin Quon is recruited on a mission by two aliens named Telsa, and Tullis to find one of the androids of his TIM series that he created a long time ago before the Harvester war (that of course being TIM-21) because it’s believed that there is a true link to it, and The Harvesters. Jin, Telsa, and Tullis arrive at the moon that TIM-21 is, but end up getting attacked by Driller. They survive by stunning him, and finally find TIM-21 who’s still not active after the bounty hunter attack. They repair TIM-21 back on their ship, and tell him about why they need him. TIM-21 agrees to mission on the promise that they find his long friend who he considers to be his brother named Andy. Driller (who was also brought to the ship) is calmed down by TIM-21 to be friendly with Jin, Tullis, and Telsa, and the adventure of discovering the connection that TIM-21 has with the Harvesters is able to begin.

There is much more in this story, but I don’t want to say it because I really want to people to read this trade paperback without knowing way too much about it.

Descender Volume 1: Tin Stars is a good example of how to start an ongoing series as it doesn’t feel rushed in introducing the world, the characters, and the current plot.

Jeff Lemire has done a spectacular job at creating his own fictional universe, and his overall writing in Descender is very good as he perfectly allows the story to be filled with (like I said earlier) foreshadowing and plot twists that help make Descender fun to read.

The painted artwork by Dustin Nguyen (as I also said earlier) is beautiful to look at, and helps in creating Descender’s universe. This kind of art is also nice to see in a independent/creator-owned comic.

To me, Descender is the comic book equivalent of the Steven Spielberg movie A.I. Artificial Intelligence. While they are not entirely similar in characters, setting, and story, both are about protagonists that are androids with the appearance of young boys.

If you want to read a very good sci-fi story, please read Descender. It’s worth all your time and money.

I give Descender Volume 1 5/5 Stars, and Two Thumbs Up.

68 Volume 3: Jungle Jim Review by Eugene Alejandro

Just as the title suggests, 68 Volume 3: Jungle Jim focuses on a character who is named Jungle Jim that does his best to survive in Vietnam from both zombies and Vietnam soldiers.

While the previous two story arcs were set in the month of February, this story arc is set in March, and feels like a new jumping on point for readers. It’s set only in Vietnam where as 68 Volume 2: Scars focused on both Vietnam and the USA.

However, that doesn’t change my opinion that 68 Volume 3: Jungle Jim is one of the many reasons why Mark Kidwell’s is a spectacular writer of the zombie genre. This story arc has both outstanding storytelling, and outstanding artwork in the main story.

This collected edition collects issues #0-4 of the 68: Jungle Jim mini series, and while it features facts about the Vietnam War at the end of each chapter like Battle Scars had, there is no bonus chapter after the main story.

Jungle Jim #0 tells the main character’s origin story and while Mark Kidwell’s writing in it is great, it’s Nate Van Dyke’s artwork that didn’t impress me. I didn’t hate his art, but I felt that it didn’t fit the tone that 68 is known for (his cover art is really good though. It just didn’t work for me as interior art).

Jungle Jim issues #1-4 are the main story, and this is when the outstanding artwork of Jeff Zornow (the artist of Godzilla: Rulers of Earth) shows up. His art helps to carry the dark, violent, and gloomy tone expected in 68 (all thanks to Nat Jones).

One thing that I can say for sure from reading this story arc of 68 is that it’s by far the most violent and brutal arc in 68 that Mark Kidwell has written so far.  The zombies featured in this story look more disturbing with worms and maggots crawling all over their skin, an Elephant gets blown up by a rocket launcher, humans get chopped up, eaten, and blown to pieces with much more detail, and what I consider to be one of the best scenes in comic book history in which a Tiger shows up and starts slaughtering lots of zombies.

Overall, 68 Volume 3: Jungle Jim is a well-written and fun addition to the 68 series, and helps prove that the entire series is a good example of awesome zombie fiction.

I give 68 Volume 3: Jungle Jim 5/5 Stars, and Two Thumbs Up.

68 Volume 2: Scars Review by Eugene Alejandro

68 Volume 2: Scars is a good follow up to 68 Volume 1: Better Run Through The Jungle as it features even better storytelling that helps make the entire 68 series amazing.

This time, instead of just focusing only on Vietnam, the the zombie apocalypse stories jumps back and forth between Vietnam, and the USA. The USA portion of this story arc focuses on a Chinese couple living in New York Chinatown and their rescue and evacuation by the military.  The Vietnam story arc focuses on one of the characters from the previous story arc, Kuen Yam getting saved by a group of USA soldiers taking refuge in the Ton Son Nhat airport.

What’s so special about about this addition to 68 is that it changes the simple formula from just focusing on the characters that are trying to survive from zombies and Vietnam soldiers, to also focusing on characters trying to survive from zombies in the United States of America which is a good idea as it allows the reader to know what’s also going on outside Vietnam.

Mark Kidwell’s writing is still as phenomenal as ever as not only do the transitions from the focus on Vietnam and the USA work well, but he also did a good job at introducing the brand new characters that are featured in 68 Volume 2: Scars.

Nat Jones’s artwork is also still amazing to look at as he continues to draw both the humans and the zombies very well (as well as the action scenes and violence).

Another fun thing about this collected edition is that at the end of each chapter, there are facts about the Vietnam War in order to show what Mark Kidwell researched, and incorporated into the story (as opposed to just being extra features in the very end like in the previous collected edition of 68).

68 Volume 2: Scars also has one bonus chapter that’s written by Mark Kidwell and drawn by Godzilla: Rulers of Earth artist Jeff Zornow titled Hardship.

Just like the previous story, this one also has a lot of graphic violence which makes it not suitable for anyone who’s underage.

68 Volume 2: Scars is a fabulous continuation of Better Run Through The Jungle, and shows that Mark Kidwell is one of the best zombie writers of all time, and that his comic 68 is a really good zombie story worth reading any time.

I give 68 Volume 2: Scars Two Thumbs Up, and 5/5 Stars.

68 Volume 1: Better Run Through The Jungle Review by Eugene Alejandro

The Image Comics series 68 created by Mark Kidwell is a very unique and ambitious work of zombie literature as it does an excellent job of  combining fiction with a real historical event. The first story arc of 68: Better Run Through The Jungle collects the original one-shot, as well as the four-issue mini series.

The story in 68 Volume 1: Better Run Through The Jungle starts at the end of the Vietnam War, February 13th 1968. Just when it seems that things are going to be good, zombies appear in Vietnam, and to make the situation even worse, the zombie plague has also stricken the USA (and probably the entire world).  This story focuses on a group of US soldiers stationed in Vietnam doing their best to survive from zombie attacks, as well as enemy Vietnam soldiers.

Before I being to talk about how I felt about the story and artwork, the thing that’s important to know about this collected edition is that the one-shot is before the main story, and even though both them feature some of the same main characters and both drawn by the same artist, they stand alone from each other.

Better Run Through The Jungle is a good start to the entire 68 series as it brilliantly sets up the idea that zombies aren’t the only thing trying to kill soldiers in Vietnam.  Mark Kidwell decided to have the series take place after the end of the Vietnam War, and have Vietnam Soldiers included to be another threat for those trying to survive the zombie apocalypse that’s happening in the story.

The interior art for this collected edition of 68 by Nat Jones is outstanding and it perfectly fits the story’s violent, dark, and gloomy tone.

I recommend reading the bonus content at the end of this collected edition because it includes notes from Mark Kidwell in which he shows the facts that he used from the actual Vietnam War in creating 68. These are great because it shows that Mark Kidwell did very good research before creating this series.

More bonus content includes two short stories called Mouth of the Babe, and Sissy which while written by Mark Kidwell, feature artwork by Tim Vigil (the artist and co-creator of the independent comic book series Faust).

Another important thing to know before reading 68 Volume 1: Better Run Through The Jungle (as well as the entire 68 series in general) is that it contains high amounts of gore, headshots, dismemberment, zombies eating people, people being set on fire, and people being blown up. Which is the reason why I can only recommend it to anyone who’s 18 years and older of age.

Mark Kidwell’s 68 has done a spectacular job at introducing something new to the zombie genre by blending it with a real life event, and Better Run Through The Jungle is an awesome beginning to the series.

Please read 68 if you are a fan of Zombies, Comics, and the Horror Genre.

I give 68 Volume 1: Better Run Through The Jungle 5/5 Stars, and Two Thumbs Up.

The Autumnlands Volume 1: Tooth and Claw Review by Eugene Alejandro

If you are someone that wants to read a good fantasy comic, look no further. Kurt Busiek and Benjamin Dewey’s The Autumnlands from Image Comics is a good example of a phenomenal comic book series in the fantasy genre for it has well-written characters, great artwork, and an amazing story. The Autumnlands Volume 1: Tooth and Claw is a six issue story, and is an overall brilliant first story arc for the entire series.

The story in The Autumnlands Volume 1: Tooth and Claw is that in a world inhabited by anthropomorphic animals, also exists magic. The magic in the world of The Autumnlands is fading which will cause the world to die. In order to prevent this from happening, a group of wizards summon “The Great Champion” to help their world from facing destruction. I would like to explain more, but I don’t want to because I really want people to read this series without being overly spoiled about it.

What makes The Autumnlands an amazing comic is how well of a job it does at establishing it’s own universe (especially in the first volume).

Benjamin Dewey’s artwork is very detailed, and it show’s amazing work from someone that’s new to the comic book industry.

Kurt Busiek’s writing is very top-notch, and allows the story to be incredible with amazing characters, good twists, and lot’s of creativity. His writing is also very good because he allows The first volume of The Autumnlands to succeed in being a brilliant beginning to the entire series as it the characters and story are well-developed.

My one problem with The Autumnlands is the lettering. While the lettering itself is done well, the speech bubbles don’t have black lines around them. This means whenever there’s a panel with a white background, the speech bubbles blend in and it causes confusion for the reader as it looks like the characters are speaking in their mind rather than from their mouths.

What I really appreciate about the Autumnlands is the fact that a big name well-established writer like Kurt Busiek has allowed a rising talent such as Benjamin Dewey to collaborate with him. Hopefully this series will allow Benjamin Dewey to become the superstar artist that he deserves to be.

The Autumnlands is a brilliant fantasy comic and Volume 1: Tooth and Claw is a phenomenal first story arc. 

I give The Autumnlands Volume 1: Tooth and Claw Two Thumbs  Up, and 5/5 Stars.