This is the title to show you that if you are an animal asshole, you better hope they don’t do anything about it.
Animosity is a new title (4 issues so far) from Aftershock Comics. Animosity is written by the marvelous Marguerite Bennett (DC Bombshells), drawn by the ruffian Rafael De Latorre (SuperZero), colored by the righteous Rob Schwager (Marvel 1602), and lettered by the meticulous Marshall Dillon (Street Fighter). The series is about a little girl named Jesse and her bloodhound Sandor (named after the Game of Thrones character) as they make their way across the country from New York to California to find Jesse’s estranged older brother. What makes it hard is that animals have gained complete sentience and the ability to speak. They all remember EVERYTHING and they are angry at the humans.
I happened to come across this series in the back of another aftershock comic and picked the whole series up at once. I was hooked within the first five pages. The story is razor sharp and highlights the whole gambit of human and animal reactions with the realization of well…realization. Bennett has shown once again how she is one of the masters (mistresses) of handling emotions, unique character voices, and situational awareness. The comic rewards the detailed minded with panels that harken back to Animal Farm, Planet of the Apes, and pop culture just to name a few. Latorre does a fantastic job with adapting animals to human items such as guns, kitchen, and my favorite, rocket launchers. Jesse and Sandor are strong characters that have a genuine bond, though at times it is unclear who is protecting who. I am sad that I do not have more issues to read but I am glad that I was able to start this title early and see where it goes.
I want to share a few of the very first pages of the book that blew me away, this was when the animals gained thought:
Pandas with Guns!!!
Link to Volume 1 of Saga
Thank you for checking out the second installment of titles you should be reading. Like many comic readers, I have my weekly/monthly pull list but there are some titles that are more worthy of a share than others. Not saying that other titles aren’t good, they are just not ones that you answer immediately to “do you have a comic that you would recommend?”.
Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staple’s epic space opera gets you lassoed in like a steer at the rodeo from issue one. It has had such an affect on me, it contributed to my resurgence in comic reading. I remember exactly where I was when I read the first issue. I downloaded a digital copy off Comixology when they offered it back in 2013 for free. I knew nothing about it other than I had heard of it on a list somewhere of new titles. I downloaded it and immediately bought the first two volumes. It was so good that I got my (now wife) girlfriend hooked as well to the point that she would ask me and still does to read my copy after they come out.
If you have not read it before or live under a rock, the cliff notes summary is that Alana and Marko, who are soldiers on opposite sides of a planetary war fall in love and have a child together. They then become wanted fugitives because of their love and the child it produces. The story is given an extra twist by being told from the narrations of their daughter, Hazel at some unknown time in the future. Vaughan weaves a tale that includes flying trees, bounty hunters, a ghost babysitter, robot princes, kidnapping, and a seal creature that is both the bravest and cutest thing in comics short of being a kids’ comic. This is not what earns it its place.
The reason that this is a title that needs to hold a spot in your buy pile is the world that is created and the realism that you would not expect to find in a science fiction comic. The series starts with a tale of two people trying to escape a hostile environment and find a place that they can raise a child and live out their lives in relative peace. Their fears and concerns are the same ones that you would expect to have in a similar situation yourself. You see yourself in the arguments (both the intensity and the frivolousness) that they have in the books, in your own household. Fiona Staples then masterfully crafts these characters in simply amazing places. The depth of characters and their motivations are well done and I feel that there isn’t a page that doesn’t serve a purpose. The purpose may not be apparent immediately, I have actually had to go to back issues and remind myself where a character popped up before and their introduction. Unfortunately, this is probably my own doing since there have been times where I will have 2 or 3 issues backed up. Saga is done with a sense of love and genuine interest in writing something special. While Saga does have parts that lag and the story can go off in tangents, it is a highly rewarding story that will go in directions that make perfect sense but incredibly unexpected.