Wake Up And Smell The Coffee: It's All About Image, Part Three

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Sorry about the delay folks, I finally got around to getting this lengthy edition completed. The only thing worse than family during the holidays, is getting sick immediately afterwards. Well, without further ado (or excuses) here’s the final part of my excursion through the land of Image. I know I’ve passed over many favorites and will probably continue to do so, but be mindful that these are my highlights only. Though I do not name any others does not necessarily mean I feel either way about them either. The final spotlight goes to Top Cow’s “Joe’s Comics,” which also happens to be the reason I ever came to read Image titles consistently. If you don’t already know, the Joe’s Comics line was created specifically for TV writer J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5) to launch creator-owned material after the creative relationship he and Marc Silvestri had forged through Rising Stars and Top Cow had taken off. Here’s the latest on the blossoming new imprint:

Rising Stars – An epic “realist” superhero story, if there ever was such a thing. This 24 issue ongoing series placed Straczynski among the top creator spots, leading to his current regular stint on Amazing Spider-Man and a possible 3 picture deal with MGM to develop the series into films. The series itself follows the story of town full of children born with incredible powers who, as they grow up, have to deal with the fears and irrationality of society. Spanning three separate story arcs with artists including Stuart Immonen and Brent Anderson, the tale takes a good hard look at how the world as a whole (including those with powers) might come to grips with such threats and their consequences. Highly recommended. If you choose to read the series, you must start from the beginning with the trade paperbacks. It’s not for everyone though, as the earliest artist teams are not exactly the best.

Midnight Nation – Straczynski’s second project for Top Cow is this 12 issue maxi-series which is now coming to a close. A skillfully crafted tale of the supernatural, this book includes fantastic storytelling by Gary Frank and some truly fascinating looks at humanity and its will to survive. I highly recommend that you pick this series up in trade as soon as it becomes available.

Other projects from the imprint have included Straczynski’s collaboration with Michael Zulli on the hardcover, fantasy one-shot “Delicate Creatures” with similar projects and possible spin-offs planned as well. The more recent news includes a new ongoing series entitled “Joe’s Comics Presents.” The book will feature new stories and art teams allowing for a more consistent variety of material within the line.

This finally concludes my Image coverage. Thank you so much for bearing with me on this fill-in spotlight and please join me next edition when I return with more of my usual… some good old fashioned commentary and critical responses to today’s comics industry. See you then.

Born and raised in Tampa, FL, Drew Reiber is a part-time student with aspirations of someday writing those comics he so loves to rant about. He’s currently dealing with having dropped JLA with Mark Waid’s departure, but copes with copies of Ruse and promises of Fantastic Four.

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