7 Days from Hell, the excellent Top Cow Pilot Season contender, was straight-up robbed. Despite being head and shoulders above the more formulaic winner, 39 Minutes, this stylish, thrilling book came up short at the finish line. We went into more detail here, and if you haven’t read Bryan Edward Hill and Rob Levin’s entry, illustrated by Phil Noto, you should. 7 Days From Hell showed a lot of promise, and if I were a betting woman, I’d wager that Top Cow will give it a go. I refuse to believe that it’s too late!
If you’re hemming and hawing over whom to vote for in Top Cow’s annual Pilot Season contest, let us help. G3’s unequivocal, unanimous choice is 7 Days from Hell, the Bryan Edward Hill/Rob Levin-penned story of a former mercenary who escaped death (and hell) at a terrible price. Protagonist John Bishop is now a puppet of a demon, the innocuously named Mandy. On her orders, he must kill a specific villain within a one-week period, and Mandy appears to have a long list of marks. If he fails or is killed a second time, he gets a one-way ticket to the ultimate bonfire. How’s that for high stakes?
It would be easy to go way overboard with such a juicy concept, but Edwards and Levin make the story riveting while showing some restraint. And boy, does 7 Days From Hell have some good-looking art. If that luscious Brian Stelfreeze cover doesn’t grab you, Phil Noto’s modern, eye-popping interior images surely will. It’s impossible to read this book without wanting to know what happens next, and even when measured against some strong competition, 7 Days from Hell emerges as the crystal-clear champ. The Top Cow polls are now open, so head here to cast your vote.
E. inspired me to take a crack at my pull list …
These are the books I absolutely cannot live without. If I were broke and had to choose between lunch on Wednesday or these comics … I’d be a hungry fangirl.
Madame Xanadu – Often times, the art on the book is nothing shy of perfect. Amy Reeder does an amazing job. I’d also like to give mega-kudos to Shelly Bond over at Vertigo for this most recent arc, Extra-Sensory. Six books, six different female artists, all of them relatively new to the game with the exception of Reeder. What a wonderful way to shine some light on female comic art talent. Marley Zarcone and Chrissie Zullo are new favorites of mine because of it. But it has been the story all along that stole my heart. Matt Wagner’s Nimue is one whom I will love forever. He’s developed Madame Xanadu into a beautiful character of substance. I am truly sad that this book will be over in two issues. Continue reading
Writer: Filip Sablik, Jenny Frison (cover)
Art: David Marquez
Colors: William Farmer
Letters: Troy Peteri
Madeline, the secret agent at the center of Asset #1, has seduction and manipulation down to a science, and she wields them ruthlessly in this winning book. Asset is one of Top Cow’s Pilot Season 2010 books, and it’s got the makings of a serious contender thanks to Filip Sablik’s suspenseful story and David Marquez’s attractive artwork.
The comic opens with Madeline striding into a Washington, D.C., restaurant to meet a date, and the dude doesn’t have a chance. It’s not just that Madeline is gorgeous, but it’s clear that she’s on a mission far beyond getting her companion into the sack. And once she does, she begins to play him like a Stradivarius — and he’s completely unaware that he’s being used until it’s too late. Amazing what a good pair of jeans and the right pair of pumps can do.
Asset has some moments of shocking violence, so it’s not exactly a lighthearted romp. However, Sablik’s portrait of deceit is a blast to read, and Marquez is up to the task of drawing Madeline like the sexy, skull-cracking beast she is. If you see this woman in the D.C. Metro station, I’d advise you to avoid eye contact and scurry in the opposite direction.
Whether this comic has the makings of a long-running series remains to be seen, but I’d love to see what else Sablik has in mind for the main character and her long list of chumps. Here’s hoping that Asset gets enough love from Pilot Season voters to send Madeline on a second date.