Writer: Patrick Kindlon; Artist: Marco Ferrari.
Image Comics evidently found gold in its series Frontiersman, as the publisher is soon to release an ambitious spinoff, Antioch. I had the mildly confusing pleasure of perusing the paneled pages of this upcoming title. With no knowledge of Antioch #1's predecessor, I closed this book having been thoroughly entertained while simultaneously bewildered, though the latter did nothing to hinder my enjoyment of what proves to be another potential hit for Image. With the Frontiersman in space prison — a la Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 — his son continues in his stead; Captain, as he is only referred to in this issue, burns an environmentally friendly warpath across the planet in a bid to curtail the destruction that humanity has committed on the earth.
This tale of eco-piracy reeled me in with its "grab and go" attitude that pushed me through exposition at Mach 3 to keep me engaged. This actually proved a delight as I was pulled into the action immediately, the writing itself becoming dessert to a visual feast. Multiple and purposeful lines cut across pages to carve angled, punky visuals that carry vibrant colors like they're paid to do so. The result is art that feels knowing, every crag and crevice on display to lend actual age to any given subject.
Page design carried hefty weight as well, being the primary tool to bring me up to speed while moving the current story forward. A lot of history is implied that I'm not privy to, but this is a minor issue that Antioch #1 handles with confidence. This absence of information is used as a positive, insinuating tension and future conflict in such a way as to have me emailing my comic shop to add this title to my pull list. The writing is tantalizing, teasing new readers with the things they don't know while building a new avenue of story to grasp onto that promises action, family, and more action.
Antioch #1 proves an intriguing continuance for existing fans and a Jim Shooter daydream for new readers — you should Google Jim Shooter, trust me. The art and writing are robust in and of themselves, yet together they deliver a full-force ride that somehow barrels through past exposition without giving up too much, while also supporting a new narrative venture that seems fresh.
I highly recommend this title, and do so by giving it 4 out of 5 POPs!
Pick this nifty tale from your LOCAL COMIC BOOK SHOP (!!!) or from the Image Comics website when it drops September 7th!
If you're like me and have no idea who or what Frontiersman is, check out the first volume from Image Comics here. Otherwise, I implore you to grab Middlewest and Rat Queens — *gasp* a throwback — for their similarly punk, spunk, and overall pluck that makes Antioch #1 so good.
Austin Kemp read Batman #315 (Batman vs Kite Man) when he was 5 years old, and hasn't stopped reading comics since. Austin is a college writing teacher and has a masters degree in Comics Studies. Austin and his partner, Savanah, live in Massachusetts with their master, a cat named Chaplin.