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FOG! Looks At The Graphic Novels of 451 Media Group

Welcome back to Graphic Breakdown!

These days the comic book market has an overwhelming amount of good material, but some publishers and titles can get lost without strong advocates.  Today, I’m taking the opportunity to look at the current output of 451 Media which is developing stories across various technological platforms.  Founded by Michael Bay, 451 Media currently has nine trades available.

Here’s what I thought of all of them.

Stained  
Written by David Baron
Illustrated by Yusuf Idris

I loved this book.

This actually started off strong and the creative team clicked instantly with each other from page one. They continued the pace throughout the entire book. This is quite an excellent read.

Emma London is a recovery artist and a bounty hunter for hire. She is also part machine.

In the story she seems to be hunting down a priceless painting, but it leads to something much, much darker.

The whole book is wonderfully cohesive and a quick read. Baron keeps the writing fast and furious. The art by Idris is absolutely amazing.

You really need to pick this book up. It’s damn awesome.

RATING: A

 

Humbug
Written by A.J. Gentile
Illustrated by Cosmo White 

This title is completely nuts. I love it.

It focuses on a guy named Ebenezer Scrooge. You know him well. He’s that wacky guy at the center of the story A Christmas Carol. He’s in his very own comic book! What a joy that is.

The premise here is that Scrooge here is the world’s first paranormal Investigator.

This shows what Scrooge does after the events of that fateful Christmas Eve. He gathers a team and becomes a turn of the century ghostbuster. It’s as nuts as it sounds, kids!

The writing is deranged and a lot of laughs. The art isn’t as good as one would hope but it’s not too bad. Pick this up. It’s a fascinating read for sure.

RATING: B

 

Self Storage
Written by Clay McLeod Chapman
Illustrated by Matt Timson

I read a lot of the 451 Media Group books all at once. This was the one that hooked me the least. I wish it had been more enjoyable. At least they tried.

Chris Smith is a loser who hocks junk from self storage units. It’s junk people have left behind. That’s how he spends his days.

Then one day, he finds a woman named Jessica in one of the units. Then things go crazy.

The writing is okay at best. It’s full of cliches and is rather dull. The art isn’t very inspired either. I didn’t even want to finish it.

Ah, well. Onto the next one!

RATING: D+

 

Six
Written by George Pelecanos
Illustrated by Andrew Ewing 

George Pelecanos writes one hell of a comic book. He has written for some of the best television shows of all time and now tries his hand at Comics.

It’s a good fit for sure. Pelecanos has written a riveting and topical graphic narrative.

A wife of a former Marine finds herself in the crosshairs of a vicious Mexican cartel. Her deceased husband’s old squad isn’t having it! They decide to take the fight to the cartel.

They may be outgunned and outmanned but they don’t care!

The comic moves fast and furious. The art is pretty damn good as well. It’s a nice package through and through. Pick this up. It’s quite excellent.

RATING: A

 

Red Dog
Written by Rob Cohen
Adapted by Andi Ewington
Illustrated by Rob Atkins & Alex Cormack

This was certainly an entertaining read. The plot is familiar, but it keeps moving enough to be very enjoyable overall.

Rob Cohen is a film director turning to comics and his book here is pretty good.

The book takes place on a planet that isn’t Earth. Young Kyle has to try to survive the perils of this planet alongside a pack of robotic dogs. Can he make it though? Or will they all perish at the hands of the adults? Find out here.

The art is magnetic on this title. Atkins and Cormack are a team to watch for sure. It’s very vivid and the storytelling is amazing. You’ll be hearing their names again. Pick this up. There’s enough to enjoy to make it worth buying.

RATING: B

 

ExMortis 
Written by Pete & Paul Williams
Adapted by Andi Ewington
Illustrated by Raymund Bermudez & Ty Dazo

This is a book that was crazy right from the first page. I though I was going to hate it, but it won me over fairly quick.

Plus it’s got people fighting Nazis so that’s always fun to read.

Those Nazis I was just taking about seem to have found the diary of Dr. Victor Frankenstein. They use it to reanimate their dead soldiers. That’s unfair!

So what do he Allies do? They form a team out of the Wolfman, Junior Frankenstein, Dracula, the Phantom, and the Gillman. They become the only hope to destroy those dastardly Nazis evil plan.

The writing here is appropriately wacky. The art works well with the writing to make one hell of a book. Pick this up. It’s a blast from start to finish.

RATING: B+

 

NVRLND: V.1
Created & Written by: Stephanie Salyers & Dylan Mulik
Illustrated by: Leila Leiz

A crazy take on the Peter Pan mythos? Sure, why not!

This comic book is more than that however. It’s also very smart. Mulick and Salyers work great as co-writers and the book is very well written.

The book takes place in the underground music scene. Kids are getting addicted to a brand new drug called Pixie Dust. They believe they can fly when they take it. People think it is Peter who has given her this drug. Peter is the owner of a club called Neverland and has a band called The Lost Boys.

Peter however knows it’s is the tattoo artist known only as Hook that is responsible. And so our comic’s story begins.

This book again is well written. The art is also very striking. Pick this up. This is a book you should have in your collection. It’s quite excellent.

RATING: A 

 

Sunflower
Created and Written by: Mark Mallouk
Adapted by: Andi Ewington
Illustrated by: Lee Carter

This is another of the stronger releases from 451 Media Group. This book comes from the mind of Mark Mallouk, the author of the film Black Mass.

This book takes right off out of the gate and doesn’t let up.

Ten years ago CJ’s husband and daughter were murdered. Over the years, the rage builds inside her.

Then, a letter arrives. It indicates that her daughter is alive. CJ then becomes hellbent to get her back!

The writing is sharp and dark and I loved it. The art is pretty damn amazing as well. This is a sharp, strong book. Pick this up. It’s awesome and you need to read it.

RATING: A

 

Bad Moon Rising 
Written by: Scott Rosenberg
Adapted by: Brandon Easton
Illustrated by: Ty Dazo

This is the best book of the 451 Media Group line. It’s also the craziest one they have. Scott Rosenberg has come up with a concept that is generally bonkers and you can’t help but love it.

Sheriff George Wagner is killed. His son Teddy comes home to see that a bunch of murders are happening.

The investigation points to a motorcycle gang that may in fact be werewolves.

Then, a werewolf hunter comes to town.

What the hell is going on? A whole mess of fun! That’s what!

The comic book is crazy. There are scenes that make you jump out of your seat. I love it. The art is appropriately nasty and makes you smile.

Pick this up. This is the best comic book in the line hands down!

RATING: A 

 

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