REVIEW: Mindfield #4

“Bad Trip Down Memory Lane”

Story & Creator: J. T. Krul | Illustrations: Alex Konat | Inks: Jon Bolerjack | Colors: John Starr | Letters: Josh Reed | Editors: Vince Hernandez and Frank Mastromaudro | Design and Production: Mark Roslan and Peter Steigerwald | Publisher: Aspen MLT

What Is It About?

Connor takes on Malcolm and Ian in the mind of one of the programmers in an attempt to stop them from finding the codes that may be stored in her mind.

Thoughts?

Mindfield continues to be an extremely face-paced story that has all of the excitement and entertainment of a big Hollywood summer blockbuster.  Every issue has seamlessly flowed from one to the next and only amping up the tension as you read page after page.

J.T. Krul has really crafted a sharp story about a covert team of psychics that are learning that they may not be the only ones with their abilities. What I find even more enjoyable is that while there is a lot of action in this series, there is a good sense of whom these characters are and why they react to situations like they do. Krul has a keen ability to add those moments, some show up in a line here or there while other moments are sprawled out across several pages, to get readers to connect to the lead characters.

The opening sequence of this issue take a look back at a tragic moment in Connor’s life that he had no control over, but still haunts him. Conner is easily the one most readers connect to and try to figure out how he does what he does without going mad. I think that kind of connection is needed for readers, and it’s good to see that Krul is doing this so early on in this series.

The art in this book continues to be strong, and it has been enjoyable to watch Konat do some really interesting things with the scenes knowing that the main characters are all psychics.  I think the coloring provided by John Starr really pushes Konat’s art to that next level, and really provides a vibrant book that is very appealing to look at.

The Verdict?

The cliffhanger ending to this issue is one that makes a lot of sense leading in to the next issue thanks to the events in this issue.  Connor’s figured some stuff out and knows that there’s a much bigger picture than the one he thought he was already a part of. What will be interesting is to see where things go from here, and I’m really looking forward to seeing it play out.

J.T. Krul is doing some great work over at DC Comics with Green Arrow and Teen Titans, but I think seeing what he can do with his own characters is really where you see his writing skills and creativity reach new heights.  I highly recommend checking out Mindfield!

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REVIEW: Artifacts #3

Writer: Ron Marz | Penciler: Michael Broussard | Additional Pencils:Facundo Percio, Stjepan Sejic, Paolo Pantalena, Sheldon Mitchell & Nelson Blake II | Inker: Rick Basaldua, Joe Weems & Sal Regla | Colorist:Sunny Gho of IFS | Letterer: Troy Peteri

What Is It About?
Aphrodite and her current “master” are making their moves to find all of the artifacts that are out in the open, and a major character returns to claim what is his.

Thoughts?
We’re three issues in to this series and readers have already been through several ups and downs and twists and turns, and this issue throws out a few more!  While I don’t plan on spoiling anything from this issue in this review I will say that I’m glad to see at least one of my theories has come true with the return of one of my favorite Top Cow characters (did you see the cover?).  It’s been a while since we’ve seen him, and if Ron Marz didn’t bring him back in this storyline I would have been a little disappointed.  Why did I ever doubt him?

Last issue Sara, Dani, Patrick, Jackie, and Tom were attacked by a bunch of demons and while I really didn’t think it would be that big of a battle, I was a little surprised it was as short as it was in this issue, but after thinking about it – there are three of the major artifacts in this battle so why wouldn’t it be over quickly?  I think if anything it provided fans with a cool couple of pages of action that I think some were missing in the last issue, and it gave readers who are new to the Top Cow universe just a taste of what these characters can do in the heat of battle.

The major push of this issue is Aphrodite’s journey around the world to meet and discuss with all of the other artifact bearers their stand in the upcoming gathering and to also move that returning character I mentioned before into a place of power by gaining control of one of the artifacts.  We’re only three issues in and we already have an artifact changing bearers!  Marz looks as if he wants to keep everyone on their toes while reading this series, and if we’re already changing bearers I’m curious to see how many more will change and who will gain them (and lose them).

Ron Marz continues to write a very dynamic and exciting storyline.  A lot has happened already, and we’re still in the first part of this story.  The major players are moving in to place and building up the story’s momentum. I will admit that I had wondered if thirteen issues would be too long for this kind of story, but the pacing and developing that Marz is using within these three issues is just the right mixture that keeps me interested and wanting to see more every time I finish reading an issue.

If there was something of note in this issue it is the mixture of artists that have been brought in to help Michael Broussard and get this series back on schedule.  The art styles are not that far off from what Broussard has done so far so there’s not a jarring feeling when the artists switch from page to page, and I must applaud Top Cow for getting this working the way the have.  I know some people will argue that Broussard should take as long as he needs in order to keep the same look and feel to his issues, and I can agree to a point, but I think the art in this issue is consistent and enjoyable.

The Verdict?
At the end of the first issue I was extremely excited to see what would happen next, and I didn’t quiet have that feeling when we got to the end of the second issue.  This third issue got me excited again for what’s coming again.  This series continues to be a favorite of mine as a long time Top Cow fan, and I’m excited to see what Ron Marz throws at us in the next issue!