AfterShock Comics Should Have a Home On Every Reader’s Pull List
By Matt Peterson
My discovery of AfterShock Comics was completely random. I was unfamiliar with the new comic line and I had heard no coverage on any of my normal comic book related media or news intake. However, in December of last year, I walked into my local comic shop and waiting on the comic book rack was a brand new comic by Paul Jenkins called Replica. I should mention I am a big fan of Paul Jenkins, especially for his work on The Inhumans. It was no surprise to me that Replica made it into my overcrowded stack of comics, but I was more than willing to give anything written by Paul Jenkins a shot, even from a publisher I hadn’t heard a word about. In those two months (and one week) since AfterShock Comics hit the racks, AfterShock has made quite a splash in the comic book industry with extremely high quality creator owned content. Since their debut, AfterShock only continues to make waves in the comic book world. Not only is AfterShock now available on Comixology (many of their first issues are only $1.99), but AfterShock is continuing to announce stellar creative teams for their creator owned titles that only add to the very impressive roster they already have.
Even without thumbing through the issues, the creative lineup behind the initial AfterShock comics should make any comic book fan jump for joy. I’ve already mentioned Paul Jenkins as the writer for Replica, which was the debut comic for AfterShock, but the following authors have also been enlisted: Garth Ennis, Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Marguerite Bennett, Justin Jordan, and Brian Azzarello. Those names alone should pique your interest, but if for some reason they don’t, the following is a summary of each of the debut AfterShock titles that have at least two issues so far. I am nearly certain that any comic book fan with an open mind can find an AfterShock title that has been released, or that has been announced, that they will enjoy immensely.
Written by: Paul Jenkins
Art by: Andy Clarke
Colours by:Marcelo Maiolo
Letters by: Clayton Cowles
Replica is my personal favorite AfterShock title so far. The premise is essentially a murder mystery and police procedural in a setting that is home to over 1,000,000 different alien species, including some humans and a very unapproachable group of machines. It also just happens to take place in a particular area where human law governs. Unfortunately, for our detective protagonist, his coworkers are the equivalent of Brooklyn 99’s Hitchcock and Scully. It’s easy to imagine a Dark Helmet “I knew it, I’m surrounded by Assholes” moment with his incompetent supporting cast. This comic is a hilarious blend of a police procedural and sci-fi and has been a joy to read for the last three months. If that isn’t enough, this comic has already introduced a tiny sized bear mafia. Yes, a tiny sized bear mafia. Great art and writing, definitely worth reading.
Written by: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti
Art by:Rafael deLatorre
Colours by: Bryan Valenza
Letters by: John J. Hill
SuperZero introduced Dru Dragowski, a die hard comic fan that wants nothing more than to be a superhero. All she needs is an origin story that will allow her to become the superhero that, in her eyes, earth desperately needs. Dru is more than willing to force that origin story upon herself, going as far as planning the mugging of her parents or attempting to be bit by radioactive spiders after getting her ass thoroughly kicked. Unfortunately for Dru, the results are usually disastrous. The end result is a hilarious comic full of teen angst written by the Harley Quinn team supported by an art team that provides great art that perfectly fits the tone of the book.
Written by: Garth Ennis
Art by: Simon Coleby
Colours by: John Kalisz
Letters by: Rob Steen
If you are at all familiar with Garth Ennis you know that some of his best stories are war related stories. Not only is Dreaming Eagles set during World War II, but as a duel period piece it is also set during the Civil Rights Movement. In Dreaming Eagles, a Tuskegee Airman who struggled with discrimination and oppression during World War II shares his story with his son who is dealing with similar struggles during the Civil Rights Movement. Not only is Dreaming Eagles a dramatic and human story addressing the racial tensions of both periods but also contains some fantastic air combat action sequences. Slated as a 6 issue mini-series, after two issues I can’t wait to see how Garth Ennis continues to develop this story that is both emotional and action packed.
Written by: Marguerite Bennett
Art by: Ariela Kristantina
Colours by: Bryan Valenza
Letters by: A Larger World
Insexts is erotic, terrifying, and extremely intriguing. Set during the Victorian Era, two mistresses are empowered with brutal power that transforms them into terrifying insect monsters. The first issue wastes no time amplifying the intensity presenting a gruesome murder and an insect spawnling. The writing and art join together to develop a setting of manipulation, forbidden love, violence, murder, monsters and meddling relatives. Insexts is now one of the first books I read out of my pull. Must read.
After just over two months, AfterShock Comics has shown that the quality of their comics are on par, if not better, than the titles being published by better known companies. The creative teams certainly draw in new readers but the quality of the books is what gives AfterShock its staying power in the comic industry. Aftershock is continuing to produce a wide range of comics that range from grounded and human dramas to exotic stories of monsters and intrigue and that is only through the first four debut comic titles. AfterShock has already released issues for American Monster by Brian Azzarello and Strayer by Justin Jordan (both of which were reviewed by Talking Comics) and titles such as Second Sight by David Hine, Black Eyed Kids by Joe Pruett, Rough Riders by Adam Glass, Jackpot! by Ray Fawkes, and Volition by Ryan Parrott will be available soon. In case that wasn’t enough Mark Waid and Tom Peyer are teaming up again on a title called Captain Kid, which personally, it can’t come soon enough. AND if that’s not enough, it looks like readers can expect titles from: Jim Starlin, Cullen Bunn, Tim Seeley, Frank Barbiere, and so many others.
If you haven’t given AfterShock Comics the attention they so well deserve, now is your chance to jump into some very fresh and exciting new comic book titles created by some of the industry’s best creative minds.