“No Time to Breath” by Kieron Gillen (Writer), Steven Sanders (Pencils), And Craig Yeung (Inks)

“Not Yet” by Kieron Gillen (Writer), James McKelvie (Pencils), Matt Wilson (Inks), and Dave Lanphear (Colors)

The Story: In the main story, Abigail Brand spars with her partner, Commander Gyrich, welcomes Beast aboard her ship, and attempts to help her half-brother deal with a situation he has gotten himself into. In the backup story, Brand and Lockheed discuss Kitty Pryde’s current situation (being stuck inside a giant bullet).

The Good And The Bad: In the first issue of SWORD, writer Kieron Gillen throws a hell of a lot at the reader. New characters are introduced, conflicts are established, and the responsibilities (and hectic nature) of SWORD are explored more than they have been in the past. It’s pretty standard “new series” stuff, but thanks to the setting and slightly quirky tone of the dialogue, SWORD #1 feels quite fresh. While Abigail Brand doesn’t come across as the most likeable of characters, her supporting cast is more than strong enough to make up for it. Lockheed (in a nice touch, still reeling emotionally in both stories), Beast, Unit, and even Henry Gyrich all make quite a strong first (in the series) impression.

The artwork in SWORD #1 is serviceable, but only a few panels stand out in any meaningful way. Thankfully though, Steven Sanders and James McKelvie use a similar style so the book has a nice consistent look from start to finish. One thing I absolutely must mention is how horrid Steven Sanders’ take on Beast is. It’s like he’s part cat, part goat, and part Joe Camel…seriously…

Grade: C+

Sky Doll: Doll Factory #1

By Barbara Canepa & Alessandro Barbucci (Writers & Artists)

The Story: Doll’s Factory serves as a companion to the Sky Doll mini-series. There’s a short origin story that leads into the series released by Marvel a while back and a lot of behind the scenes/making of type of material.

The Good And The Bad: How do you feel about paying $5.99 for material that probably should have been put into the Sky Doll hardcover collection that came out some months ago? That’s really the key question that will decide how much you get out of Doll’s Factory #1. While the material is well presented and interesting (especially the short prequel), it isn’t really worth the money unless you are a huge Sky Doll fan. Since it’d be unfair to grade what’s, basically, just bonus material, I’ll instead label it…

For Fans Only!

Supergod #1

By Warren Ellis (Writer), Garrie Gastonny (Art), and Digikore Studios (Colors)

The Story: A scientist explains how the world went to hell as a result of the race to create superhumans that could be worshipped and save the world.

The Good And The Bad: It won’t be for everyone since it is quite dense and rather wordy, but thanks to Warren Ellis’ dry wit, intelligence, and sense of humor, the first issue of Supergod is well worth your time and money. Clever, smart, and damned good looking, Supergod #1 nicely fills the space that opened up when No Hero wrapped up. The two share similar themes, though No Hero was more about the drive to be superhuman while Supergod is more an exploration of the nature and meaning behind the superhero.

Tracker #1

By Jonathan Lincoln (Writer) and Francis Tsai (Artist)

The Story: An FBI agent discovers he’s not quite the same man he was before being found as the lone survivor in a bus full of mutilated people.

The Good And The Bad: Simply put, the first issue of Tracker isn’t a very good comic. From the clichéd main character with a five o’clock shadow and a hilariously stupid name (O’Roark) to the bland, somewhat predictable procedural stuff, nothing about the first issue of Tracker makes me want to follow the story to the end. While the premise of the series is all right and the potential is certainly there, Tracker #1 doesn’t have a particularly compelling or unique hook…or the characters that could possibly make up for the less than interesting things. At least Francis Tsai’s artwork is decent. Tsai’s art looks inconsistent as it jumps from being gritty and rough to polished throughout the book, but the storytelling is fine and the character work gets the job done.

Grade: D+

-Kyle Posluszny