rapid reviews

Some people have been asking about pictures, and I do apologize for not having them. I do understand how they can be useful. I only have a celphone camera, though, and uploading is something of a chore to me. I’ll have some eventually.

Again: I just don’t have a lot of words for them, but I liked most of them.

Bathala Apokalypsis 1 (David Hontiveros / Ace Enqriquez) [Alamat] — Twins Andrew and Leonardo Carreon are separately doing life-altering things on an auspicious evening. Andrew Carreon is superhero Bathala, helping relief efforts after an earthquake, and stopping an organization from toppling world peace, again. Leonardo is the first to be uploading himself fully to the internets. But first of all, they are brothers, and the events of the evening will topple the family bond, as it causes cataclysmic effects in the country. This emphasis on the personal bonds and the family ties are what makes this story strike with devastating force, with the superhero aspect only secondary. It is also what makes this story the uniquely Filipino story that it is, this focus on family that can never be considered separately from what is work and country. The art of course is awesome and highly-detailed as expected of this comic group, though there are points when the inking came out too heavy. Overall it’s a welcome twist to the Superman archetype, and a well-delivered powerful one, for being so down-to-earth.

Codename: Bathala 2 and 3 (Jon Zamar / Judd Abinuman / insert story art Aaron Felizmenio) [Point Zero] — The middle parts of the 4-part story covers villain Zona, who actually is a nice strong woman tricked into joining the wrong side. The third instalment has Zona’s backstory with Kumander Estatwa (Bathala’s immediate predecessor, and the current mayor, in the roundabout way we generally get mayors). The stark difference between Abinuman’s clean lines and digital inking, against Felizmenio’s rougher line work but high detail, initially creates a clash in the brain. But you can’t help but admire both styles, which both deliver the stories with good effect. The story itself is interesting, and no longer as straightforward nor derivative as the first issue. I am now invested, and will continue to follow until the final part.

Neox 2 and 3 (Jomar Bulda / Rustico Limosinero) — Neox and his friends get unexpected upgrades after helping some neutral bots, but these are immediately put to the test against another strong and powerful bot. The detailed mecha artwork continues to impress in these issues. The pacing and the paneling have improved much since the first issue, and the characters are given enough airtime to distinguish themselves. It’s still a kid-oriented story, but it’s still done well enough to be interesting even to grown-ups.

Ang Hinirang Haku-Haku (Anino Karimlan) [Ikos] — This also suffers from the problem Tarangka also had: giving an interesting premise, but stopping too soon. A small village is feared for its warriors, but one chosen in several generations is the most feared of all, and his coming is prophesied to cause problems in the world. All well and good, and rendered adorably and capably with good detailed art and great paneling. But too little important information is given, to make us invested and interested to keep up with the story.

Rizaleot (Earl Jan) [Inkjinks] — In an alternate-universe 1500, the Spaniards have taken control of the country, with the citizens losing hope against the tyranical rule. But sometimes there are rumors of independent mobile suits operated by Pinoys. One such Orvho, the Rizaleot, is passed on by a mysterious fighter, to a boy barely holding on to life. If you consider this a fantasy world (because the costumes in this hail from 1800’s-era Spain, with medieval-era armored suits), the whole thing is rather interesting in its unique way, with rather impressive art, good pacing, and understandable paneling. It’s manga-style, but it is fully aware that it wants to be Pinoy komiks, reflecting this in the presentation. Overall, quite a nice thing, and worth the follow if this is up your alley.

PosBots (Eric Ella / Hannah Seguerra) [Robots and Cereals] — In a zany take in the Indiana Jones adventures, a certain Walden teams up with Crazy Mango Man and Abonimable Marshmallow Man, to save a sleeping princess and hopefully get a lot of treasure. The mascots are adorable yet insane, the princess (once they wake her up) is quite spunky and interesting, the Mr. Walden is crazy. The whole story itself is a mad roller-coaster ride of getting into one mishap after another, and depending on your taste that is quite the good thing. Something happened with the printing, or something happened in the inking, or this is a clear choice by the illustrator, but many of the lines are not as distinct as they should be. As long as you’re here for the fun and the boom, not so much for the story, this is quite the fun thing that may be worth following.

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