The Untamed: A Sinner’s Prayer (Graphic Novel)

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The Untamed: A Sinner’s Prayer (Graphic Novel)
by Sebastian A. Jones, Joshua Cozine (Editor), Andrew Cosby (Foreword), Peter Bergting (Illustrator), Darrell May (Illustrator)

I was given a second chance in death.
Vengeance was offered and I was quick to accept.”

A cloaked Stranger slips into the rustic Town of Oasis changing things forever. Ten years it had been since he ran this town with malice and harshness. Even then there was hope for his soul. His wife and daughter were on the verge of turning him from wickedness. But they were murdered, and so was he. He is granted seven days to reap seven souls and gain a chance at revenge. Conflict arises as a young girl (Niobe Ayutami) reminds him of his murdered daughter. She acts as his conscience and become his only hope for salvation.

The Untamed: A Sinner’s Prayer is set in the dark fantasy world of Asunda. Asunda was created by Stranger Comics founder and president Sebastian A. Jones over a 20 year period. A true labor of love, Asunda is unlike any other fantasy setting in existence. Developed in coordination with Stranger’s art director, anthropologist Darrell May, Asunda features an honest and oftentimes beautifully violent and savage approach to the medieval sword and sorcery genre, one where the world is exactly that… an entire world, filled with a variety of races which have evolved to suit their environment, not a decades old preconception of what elves and dwarves should be or how they should appear. If you like your fantasy with a touch of Sergio Leone, The Untamed is for you. If you think Clint Eastwood, Toshiro Mifune, or Richard Roundtree would have made bad ass elves, The Untamed is for you. If you want to see a wicked man return from the dead to choose between revenge and redemption… then The Untamed is definitely for you.

I bought this graphic novel at New York Comic Con 2015.

There was also a deal going on where if you bought The Untamed you could get the prequel, Niobe #1 Convention Exclusive, for $10 more. By the time I went they sold out of that exclusive, but there was a signing going on with artist Ashley A. Woods and author Amandla Stenberg. (Amandla played Rue in The Hunger Games and also played Macey Irving on Sleepy Hollow. She is the co-author with Sebastian Jones of the comic book Niobe: She is Life)

Darrell May (the Illustrator), Ashely and Amandla signed my copy of The Untamed.

So, my procrastinating self finally got around to reading it.

I liked the content in the book and felt it was worth the price. The seven comic book issues are in color, which is a plus. The color pallet fit the mood of the story really well. Sometimes it was difficult to tell the hooded characters apart, but that became easier as the story progressed and they would show their faces.

There is also a “making of” feature in the appendix, an interview, and artwork of different characters from a few different artists. It’s a nice collection.

There is some world-building to the story, which actually took me a few rereads to get straight. I could have used a character/creature guide page. I did finally get who was who and what was going on.  I don’t like when a story is dumbed down, but I did feel a bit lost at times as I was reading. I also feel like I am missing some pieces of the puzzle and would have liked some more information about what happened 10 years ago.

I am glad that Niobe has her own comic book series (which I think is a prequel) because I wished there were more scenes with her. I have all four issues and will be reading Niobe’s story next.

All in all I did likeThe Untamed’s story of revenge with a twist of possible redemption and hope. I guess there will be a sequel since the end is left open for one, but so far I only know of prequel stories. I’ll look out for a sequel.

3.5 out 5 runes.

Sentinels Anthology Volume 2, story by Rich Bernatovech and Luciano Vecchio

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The Saga of the Sentinels continues as 31 of the brightest rising talents of the comic book industry bring you new, compelling and original stories.

And the next generation of Sentinels take center stage and debut in their new roles as heroes, in a story that spotlights every generation of the team.

This story is a continuation of Sentinels Anthology and tells the story of the third generation of Sentinels.

The first half is told through short serials for each character. Each one is told by up and coming comic book artists. The Facebook Page for Drumfish Productions has been posting spotlights for the artists and storytellers. I really like how that was done to give up and coming comic book creators a place to showcase their talents.

The stories are a good collection to remind the readers of the past events and to catch up on the characters’ lives and their personalities. Even when the artwork is not my favorite I do feel it fit the mood of the story and the personality of the protagonist.

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New York Comic Con- Saturday, October 10

Continuing my NYCC recap more than a month later. I have been so busy and this will be a very short version of what I was going to write. I misplaced some notes and the ones that I do have are pretty messy. I was writing in the dark on scrap paper. I’ll try to make some sense of them.

First panel of the morning was for Into the Badlands. My sister told me about the show. She is a big fan of Sarah Bolger (The TudorsOnce Upon a Time) and she is playing Jade on Into the Badlands, Sarah was not at NYCC for the panel, but we wanted to check it out to learn more about the show.

Storyline:
A mighty warrior and a young boy search for enlightenment in a ruthless territory controlled by feudal barons.

Premise
Opening introduction: (narrated by Aramis Knight/M.K.):

“The wars were so long ago nobody even remembers. Darkness and fear ruled until the time of the barons, seven men and women who forged order out of chaos. People flocked to them for protection. That protection became servitude. They banished guns and trained armies of lethal fighters they called Clippers. This world is built on blood. Nobody is innocent here. Welcome to the Badlands.

Left to Right: Emily Beecham (The Widow), Aramis Knight (M.K.), Orla Brady (Lydia), Marton Csokas (Quinn), Daniel Wu (Sunny and executive producer), Stephen Fung (executive producer)

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Sentinels, by Rich Bernatovech and Luciano Vecchio

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Sentinels4 out 5 Soul Blades (Book 1: Footsteps; Book 2: Masks; Book 3: Echoes; Book 4: Hope)
Sentinels Anthology 4 out of 5 Flashbacks

Back in October I went to a pre-New York Comic-Con party and won a raffle! The prize was this collection of graphic novels. Rich Bernatovech was also kind enough to sign them for me when I turned in my prize voucher. We didn’t speak much because I didn’t have much to say since I was unfamiliar with his work. At the next NYCC I’ll check out his table.

I enjoyed the story. At first I wasn’t sure where it was going with what seemed to be stand-alone storylines. I quickly realized it was the set up to a bigger picutre that all comes together in the end for an engaging mythology. The characters were well rounded and their development and relationships were well done.

There was a well balanced mixture of humor, drama, dark themes, and page turning action.
I think Book 3: Echoes was my favorite. It was the darkest of the four and had adult themes. This is definitely a series for a mature reader.

I enjoyed the artistic style of Books 1-4. I only wish they were in color, but I know how expensive that would be to produce. I have since read that there are revised digital versions in color. That’s exciting!

It was nice to see the guest artists’ versions of the characters too.

The only styles that I really did not like were some of the flashbacks in Sentinels Anthology. Particularly: Templar, Serpenta, and Harlette. I found them to be sloppy and incomplete. Especially compared to the rest of clean and colorful artistry in Sentinels Anthology. I liked reading about the third generation. It was good to see how they are coping with being orphans and learning how to use their powers. Their interactions were not forced and exactly how you see kids behave.

I look forward to Volume 2 when the kids have grown up. I saw some artwork and it looks pretty cool. I’m not quite sure if it’s been released yet. I’ll have to find out.