Who's Got 'The Helm'?!
Well, if You missed the four issue mini-series... Then You will have another chance to purchase it in April 2009 when the trade paperback collection is published!
Jim Hardison, (pictured at top right), sent me review copies of his mini-series that was printed just last year. He had told me that the TPB will be available this April when I had asked him about his first comic book work.
Upon receiving the package, I immediately read the series in total. Which is what a reader of the upcoming TPB would be doing.
Not to give away the whole four issues, but here is what the first issue of the story arc was about:
"Matt Blurdy's day has gone from crap to worse. Not only did his girlfriend break his heart at work -- and in front of all of the video-store patrons -- but he just got fired. All that's left to do is minibike his sorry, thirty-year-old (and freshly unemployed!) butt back home to his mom's basement and drown his sorrows in a bucket of extra-crispy chicken while contemplating where his life went wrong.
On the way home, Matt decides to quiet his aching heart with a brief detour to a garage sale. When an ancient-looking helmet calls to him as "the Chosen One," exhorting him to don the mantle of the "Valhalladrim," Matt touches it with trembling fingers -- and is jolted by raw magical power. Holy crap! Is he going to be a superhero? Is this why he always felt special even when everyone else thought he was a loser? Then the helm gets a sense of whom it's dealing with. Suddenly, it changes its tune: 'I was mistaken. You are not the chosen one. Good day.' "
That first issue got my interest. Even though Jim was a newcomer to comics writing at the time of publication, he does come from a cinematic background, which assisted him in starting this four issue story arc and piquing my interest.
Additionally, he was assisted in visualizing the story by Bart Sears, whose artwork I have watched since his Valiant Comics Days of X-O Manowar and Turok. The pencils were inked ably by Randy Elliott, and I especially liked the colors by Dan Jackson. The colors made the magical scenes in the issues really stand out for me!
This four issue story arc held my attention, and since I had all four issues to read at once, I did so. The storyline was plausible, contained humourous scenes, and was not overtly violent for an adventure / action type of comic book. However, I would agree with the Dark Horse rating of 14+ for reading this mini-series or TPB compilation, as there is a subtle sexual scene or two. (Note: there isn't any rating on the comic book covers.)
The only part of this four issue arc that I could 'nitpick' a little was in the final issue, where the story seemed to wrap up just a little too quickly in the final pages, (pages pacing?). The storyline had progressed smoothly up to that point... yet I was left feeling pleased with the mini-series ending when it wrapped up.
BTW, I really enjoyed the 'Letters Page' that started in the first issue and continued through the last issue. Being 'Old School' I still enjoy those little touches that some creators deem to put in!
I am looking forward to seeing more from this writer, and suggest if you have not yet read this mini-series, you might want to check out the TPB. I do not see if there are any additional pages containing non-published pages or background storyline in the TPB when checking out the Dark Horse Comics web site at:
Publication Date: March 25, 2009
Format: FC, 104 pages, TPB, 7" x 10"
Age range: 14+
(Note: A complimentary copy of the comic book mini-series for this mention / review was provided by the writer.)
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Note From Make It So Marketing:
Michael first set up at the 1972 San Diego's West Coast Comic Con. To the left is a photo of Michael at the 1973 SDCC - San Diego Comic Con that was held at the Sheraton Hotel, Harbor Island, San Diego.
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