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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dragonstorm #0 Impression

In my younger days I remember when Valiant comics was going strong and Image comics really raised the bar and took many a great artist from both DC and Marvel comics. The page quality went up, price went up, comic collection went way up. For these smaller publishers an artist was also the creator, story teller, something very familiar to manga fans where artist/creator are usually one in the same, but not here in the states. There is a reason Chris Claremont rocked X-Men way back with great stories and let the artist do their thing. Its hit and miss, just ask Rob Liefeld. The truly great aspect of these newer companies was the new characters, stories and settings getting more notice. Indy comics but with bigger names and top tier creative groups. Some good, some bad but all exciting to read and see.

While not quite getting the pub that Image did, Unstoppable Comics’ has offered me this feeling of nostalgia with Dragonstorm #0. A new hero, new story, new art but how original is it? How good is the art for the price? A cool title does not mean a good book and being a zero issue offers a glimpse of what Dragonstorm is all about. So let’s take a quick peek at the story and art (so far) and see if Dragonstorm is raging storm or just a sprinkle.

Issue #0: Dragonstorm is tracking his missing master, Okun and must walk into a trap in hopes of finding him. After taking on waves of mindless foes in an abandoned New York warehouse a deadly foe presents himself, one that will either crush Dragonstorm or bend to his will in the search for Master Okun. Series Plot: Dragonstorm is a hero, fighting for right but a twist of fate sees him raising the granddaughter, Lillian, of his greatest enemy. The villain, Balagron, tracks down Dragonstorm and he in turn must send Lillian away for her own safety. A storm rages within Lillian as she must balance the teachings of Dragonstorm against her very heritage, a battle which could tip in either direction. Dragonstorm must wrestle with this sad fact as he continues to train and protect Lillian.

So that’s the story. Issue #0 offers up a nice look at the art by Nicholas Valente. It’s solid, not amazing, but a solid and well drawn hero story that feels more like ninja action than a super hero. The action is fast paced and well done. The only negative is the limited number of characters in this issue. Bad guys are generic, Dragonstorm wears a mask so can’t comment on detail here and only one unique character makes an appearance and he’s so-so looking. Need to see more characters, setting and environments to really judge the art but overall it’s not bad so far … so far.

The story is the intriguing aspect. Written by Jay Rosario this tale of a hero vs. villain is nothing new but the potential conflict in Lillian feels very Star Wars-ish. A dark heritage but light teachings. Potentially a good story of right, wrong and the gray between. Much potential but for now we shall have to wait and see how issue 1 turns out. That said if you’ve read and dig this issue then check out the series. If you’re a fan of something new, action stories with good art and cool looking heroes then give Dragonstorm a spin.

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