Comics Review: Lantern City, Archon, Tokyo Ghost

(Source: Archaia)

(Source: Archaia)

I always yearn for a good steampunk comic book. There’s few that give online webcomic Girl Genius a fitting competition. I will mention Joe Benitez’ gorgeous Lady Mechanika here, but it took a while for that comic to find some solid ground.

I picked up Archaia’s Lantern City on a whim. Just a couple of issues in and I’m seeing a lot of potential combined with a fairly decent plot. I say that because each issue has made me curious about the next and I can’t quite see where it’s going. Sander is a lower class citizen that tries to provide for his family and not get into trouble, until of course trouble comes knocking. Through certain events, he ends up with the uniform of a captain of the guard. Impersonating a guard is not easy, but he will have help from unlikely allies.

There’s a familiarity to the plot, elements that you will recognize from old classics but the development and the outcome feel fresh, dynamic. You expect Sander to get discovered any second and perhaps he does by the next issue but then again, something altogether different might happen. So far, I can’t help but strongly recommend it.

(Source: Action Lab)

(Source: Action Lab)

The very innocent style of Action Lab’s Archon threw me off initially. It has this feel from the old Gargoyles TV Show and that might not be a total coincidence, the comic is nicely set in the 80’s. Fantasy and Vegas seem like a match made in heaven. The story revolves around a casino owned by a Alistair Koontz, who is literally a dragon, the new kid in town, Gareth Thompson, who accepts a position as security, without realizing that the trolls and goblins in this 80’s version of Las Vegas are actual trolls and goblins. Rounding up the main cast is Cayde Stormrunner. Rasta. Half comanche. Sorcerer. Police.

I can’t help but love a good irreverent comic that flexes some Dungeons & Dragons style world-building muscle but it does feel a little Disney. Whatever you do, please don’t turn this story into some hero quest. Let’s keep all the bad guys around. This comic might just be my guilty pleasure right now. It’s not the first time a comic like this is done – and plenty of them have been undone easily. There seems to be a plan, so fingers crossed that it’s a good one. Recommended with reservations.

(Source: Image)

(Source: Image)

I got attracted to Image’s Tokyo Ghost because it was a featured comic on Comixology, but I don’t know what to make of it yet. I’m a fan of Rick Remender’s excellent and chaotic Black Science, so the style is familiar. Even graphically it resembles Black Science and Low. The first adventure seems very introductory, setting up the world with technology and connectivity as the ultimate drug.

Main characters are constables Debbie Decay and her partner, biker and techno junkie Led Dent who seems irrevocably lost in the internet. Apparently they’re set to be relocated to the tech-less Garden Nation of Tokyo, which I guess will mean a complete change of scenery. So, I’m going to hold my judgement on this one.

Not recommended yet. Will have to await the next few issues to see what the established feel is going to be like. This first issue almost feels like one of those zero issues where the adventure hasn’t started yet. Unless of course, things are not what they seem. Hopefully not. Predictability is not what I expect here.

That will do for now.

(Sources: Comixology)

 

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