Danny J. Quick
Danny J. Quick
4TH WALL PRODUCTION
My thoughts on the story.
Well, if you were hoping for spoilers then get out the tissues, because I’m only here to capture my feeling and initial impression of the comic, the art, the characters, and “A” certain, panel I found exceptionally well done. Yes, I might reveal some elements, but reviews are meant to be a mystery and entice you to go support 4th Wall Productions. So, prepare to be enticed and get those wallets, hand-planted RFID chips, neuro-synced head ports cycling, or just plain ole cash hand-ready, BECAUSE–
(Wait for it?)...
Villain Season is officially here, and you’re going to definitely have to buy this series at least up to issue number eleven if you want to see a conclusion to this arc. Ha-ha…ha! You would think the true villain here is the writer for making us wait so long… BUT… this is comics, we love this type of pause and play because the pay-offs are usually worth it. Sadly, this is my first Aceblade comic, so I’m jumping into this as a new reader, which gives me a unique bargaining perspective to share with you, the reading audience.
I found a lot of relaxation in reading issue number five with little worry or flow breaking into my concentration by having to worry about asking things like “How do they know one another?,” “What’s this chicks problem?,” and “Why is he in jail?” those types of questions. Well, I mean I asked those questions to myself, but the conflict and actions happening in the story from page to page weren’t warranted urgently enough that it caused me to put the book down. I didn’t need to know any past event content to understand what was going on in the present.
It reminds me of a Stan Lee motto “Treat every reader like it’s their first comic” so I feel Quick and Lambert really put in some effort with the story to make it read that way. It was almost like a spin-off inside of a series with the main character being the spin-off in his own area, I think?
Either way, it was well written in that regard. I say that is a unique experience because the industry always preaches to creators in any medium serialize your story so it will sell because the people like to binge-watch/binge-read/binge-play the content. In my opinion marketing process leaves a lot of money on the table for most people especially novel writers, but comics? Yes, serializing a series is just natural, but that doesn’t mean it all has to connect. Have you read a Marvel or DC book today? Some story arcs spawn in Spiderman #34 of different characters then end in Wolverine#63.
All I’m saying is if you’ve read Aceblade one through four, great. If not, then picking up on the story in issue five won’t be a problem for fans that haven’t read one through four, or are new to the series. It really is a fresh of breath air to see someone finally understand that a story arc needs to breathe to open up the world around the characters. Aside from this aspect of my reading experience let me break down the story without any plot give-a-ways.
To those who are familiar with the series, and this is for those of you who aren’t, Gutshot is a real big cocker spaniel entitled bady. With a seemingly freakishly oversized presence, his strength is powered by a powerful rage, at least that’s the way it seems. I’ve only ever seen characters like Superman, Hulk, and Juggernaut break down walls the size of a Vegas fighting arena. It’s the classic “bad guy plays with his food spat” but as usual, the hero is too clever and puts themselves in bait’s way to defeat the big guy in a funny and humiliating “punny” kind of way. The story sees the return of characters like Hammerhand’s, BlackJak, and the frozen hotty Rhewlette back to the Vegas spotlight for a climactic showdown with your friendly neighborhood purply-armed ninja, Aceblade himself.
My favorite fight sequence during the showdown. Look at that ricochet shot off the damaged Hammerhand to the back of Rhewlette. Pretty fly for a purple ninja guy!
The actions scene were very well thought out and penned quite nicely. I do think the majority of those scenes could have been drawn out to give that realistic aspect or filmatic quality that you would see in that type of action-packed showdown, but the turning point images of those cause and effect panels had you imagining the actions in between. As a fellow creator, I saw some places where taunting could have been placed to make the scenes more fun to follow almost like a Rob Liefield Deadpool encounter in a fourth wall issue of the red and black crusader. I think that was just something my mind cooked up while following along because it was something I wanted to see and not something necessarily that needed to be there that wasn’t so the story suffers, it’s not like that at all. The sequences were great visually, I’m just too meticulous to my own credit sometimes.
The story overall and a nice ending with a mysterious someone coming back to help salt the wounds of Gutshot. Who that person is I don’t know, but if Black Adam and Killmonger had a baby boy who was adopted by American enthusiasts whose stepbrother was Peacemaker, well then DAMN, that would be this mysterious someone. I don’t who these other followers are behind this guy either, but I’m concerned for Aceblade’s future in these next several issues. I know it’s all very cryptic, but I did say be prepared to be enticed, didn’t I.
The Limitless Panels of the day are?...
BlackJak portal punches the CRAP out of Aceblade.
Not only is this an epic visual ability shot, BlackJak (Awesome) but the lettering is ironic. Here’s why…
So, this is one of a few panels I chose for the purpose of my blog review service, and it is ironic that Danny J. Quick the writer, AND… the letterer selected “gotcha” as the tag for BlackJaks portal punch. For those of you who listen to the podcast and follow Limitless Comics we have a very popular cybernetic time-traveling portal hopping character named Gotcha, and this is basically one of his fighting styles and moves. It’s fun to see this mirrored in BlackJaks encounter with Aceblade.
This just in [[Plug Incoming]]
The Gotcha One-Shot is coming with the winter solstice, but you can see his first appearance in the new Issue #1 of “THIRST” – Now back to the review!
Sorry folks, something must have taken over the keyboard. Anyway, I was saying that I like this panel because of the action, but also to point out that I saw a lot of missed opportunities to showcase more of BlackJaks powers like this one throughout the story. This is not to say the story itself was bad, but power like this is just too “OP” for the story being told, for right now, I can only speculate that this is because her powers have energetic limitations or she hasn’t yet fully understood them. This is the only downfall I do see to reading this issue even though you don’t need to understand the Aceblade lore, you will have to deep dive into the previous issues to understand the context of the why’s and how’s to better grasp the why not’s. So, here is your chance to do so now straight from the review.
Another [[Plug Incoming]]
Type on over to the virtual storefront of 4thwallpros.com and get this issue and others or the Special 100 page collected trade covering all these issues and more!!!
Who the hell keeps taking over my keyboard! I’m trying to give an awesome comic review here, DAMN, yes I hyperlinked my frustration. Who knew comic reviews could be so informally formal and entertaining. This next panel is quite the opposite of my last panel’s topic.
This isn’t really a spoiler for those fans who have a mind of these previous characters' appearances, but I have to applaud Danny here for a moment in writing this coupled panel with such accuracy and data. In one fell swoop, Danny told us all we needed to know about Rhewlette, her strengths, weaknesses, and functions. I wouldn’t say it’s a mirror of the DC-style character writing we’d see in a DC book, but the way the character is portrayed is professional beauty even if it was to the advantage of making Aceblade seem more knowledgeable about his villains than the villains did. It caused a wealth of positive lines of questioning from my mind’s eye. I’m a fan of creators who create characters with mysticism, wow, and astonishing personalities but have a weakness something that grounds them to human limitation. I think Rhewlette might be my favorite character, but BlackJak has a pretty sassy attitude and uncanny power complex so it’s a tie really.
Not Limitless standing…
So this section is for the broken hearts that love to stay starry-eyed and gouchie. Look, making comics is no joke, it’s fun, but it’s hard work, and comic creators love connecting with their fans, but mostly love the grind. So, naturally, they’ll want to improve, right? I don’t think Danny J. Quick or his fabulous team would disagree. That being said, I have one crux that sticks out the most that rubbed my pork loin the wrong way, and the was “ADS” –
…in the middle of the book. I’m not going to lie to Danny’s credit he’s putting some indie names out there using a pretty unique and fun transmedia component that fans can use their phones for, but at what cost? There is one thing I took away in my master’s degree program at Full Sail and that was “keep the flow, flowing”...
I’m not irritated because I understand that this comic might be under a production style development process versus an independent style creatorship where ads are incorporated to increase a book’s overall revenue and audience reach. I’m not saying ads are bad, but I don’t like them in the middle of the book.
I will say that in the second case it was like a commercial credit in a television show. It was unique and the few pages after it was very entertaining and creative so I wouldn’t miss that section of this issue. The first ad interruption though, I thought the story was over. Had I not looked down in the side scroll bar to see more pages I might have closed the document, and given this book a pretty different-looking review. I remember ads being in the back of books and the front of books in older bronze and silver-age comics. Today you can see them in the middle of promo books like the comics I got for Free Comicbook Day this year. Even some of the mainstream books drop ads in the middle.
I have the opinion that if independent comics are going to stay independent comics then the only home for an ad in your book is either two options: in the front and back of your issue or in retailers copy that mainstream readers are accustomed to reading because they are prepared for the interruption, but I like the flow getting lost in it. It connects me with the characters and the story more so I feel like I’m a cinematographer filming the story in real-time. I know that sounds silly but that’s how much of an intense reader I am.
That’s my only opinion in some-what of critical mindset with the story. Ads can be fun if used sparingly, but not at the cost of interrupting the story. If the team was really pushing for a television-like style to play into the Vegas theme, then, I’m sad to say, it failed because mediums should be unique to their mediums. It isn’t a topic of unification across the platforms, but some people don’t even watch television. So if they read this and felt like it was a television commercial that triggers a memory about a coffee conversation that was interrupted by an infomercial where they ask the barista to turn it down then that person might stop reading Aceblade comics, or even worse, comics in general.
Coming from an educational background in multi-media writing, I can say that each medium is used for its specific reach to viewers, fans, audiences, or however you want to refer to them, you, reading right now, are either a fan of me or Danny’s or the Aceblade character and characters of Limitless Comics.
I would like to thank Danny J. Quick and his team of creators for allowing me a private viewing and a free digital copy of the Aceblade Villain Season comic to review for, YOU, the fans reading this review right now. I encourage you to follow the 4thwallpros link above to read Aceblade and have a really good time watching this hero navigate the criminals in the city of Las Vegas. It’s well written and the characters are worth taking the time out of your day to invest in.
I’d like to give a shout-out to my family in Vegas, who’s been embedded in the city for generations as proud Florio’s of our Italian pantheon. I love you all and hope to visit soon.
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