THE HONOR BRIGADE

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“Tom [Stillwell] wants to make comics fun again.”

That is one of the lines written by fan favorite comic-book writer Gail Simone in the Forward to this book, and I can’t think of a more appropriate way to describe this volume of The Honor Brigade: FUN.

Originally released as a 6-issue black & white miniseries, this collection reprints the entire series in color, and it is definitely worth it. Tom Stillwell, the creator and main writer of this book, has crafter his own universe of superheroes that rivals anything that is currently being published by Marvel or DC. In this story we meet a new group of heroes. Wise-cracking Toy Boy (pretty much the start of the book), who uses high-tech toys to fight crime, the somewhat stiff electric hero Lightning Rod, Living Log, a big walking & talking tree-man, Deadeye, the ghost of a murdered cop, Mystery Girl (who’s found floating naked in a test tube) and others join together to face the minions of Adrian Conroy, a maniacal (Black!) multi-billionaire who wants to control all superheroes.

The story is a perfect mix of action and characterization that will keep any reader hooked, from first issue to last.

And the artwork by Bradley Bowers fits this story to a T. He has a nice clean style that I enjoy very much, and helps make the action easy to follow.

This collection also contains some extras. There are several pin-ups. 2 images of Toy Boy, one by Mike Norton, & another by Terry Pavlet. Lightning Rod by Erik Burnham, Deadeye by Chris Burnham, Living Log by Tim Seeley, & Mystery Girl by the one and only Colleen Doran.

Also, some extra short stories:

TOYBOY SEES THE STARS
A 4-page story by Gail Simone and James Ritchey III shows Toyboy, in the aftermath of a fight with a supervillain, meeting a young boy who is his #1 fan, and helps him realize what a real hero is.

VERSION 1.0
A 12-page story by Geoffrey Thorne & Scott Story
Marlon Conroy is a man who has been trapped inside a hi-tech suit of armor. A female scientist is trying to help him cope with it, by creating a virtual reality program for him to interact when. But her motivations for helping him are quite so clear. It’s an intriguing story.

HE WHO LAUGHS LAST
A 6-page story by Mike Bullock and Bradley Bowers
Lightning Rod faces a giant robot. Good action.

OFF THE RACK
A 6-page story by Tom Stillwell & Jenny Frison
Living Log enlists his super-powered niece to help Mystery Girl with some “female problems.” It’s a nice story with good characterization.

And GHOSTS OF THE PAST
A 5-page story by Danny Donovan & Cary Vonblinden about Deadeye, that gives us a glimpse into his previous life.

I very highly recommend this book to all comic-book superhero fans. It’s all-ages fun, so if you’re an adult you’ll love it, and then can feel free to loan it to your kids for them to read.

Honor Brigade can be purchased on indyplanet.com:
IndyPlanet/HonorBrigade

  8 comments for “THE HONOR BRIGADE

  1. February 3, 2010 at 3:16 PM

    Glad you dug it. I agree wholeheartedly. HONOR BRIGADE is awesome.

    Like

    • February 3, 2010 at 4:57 PM

      Should be getting the first issue of your book in the mail any day now. When it’s concluded, I’ll review that, as well.

      Like

  2. February 3, 2010 at 6:05 PM

    Sounds like just the kind of good old fashioned superheroes that this industry needs more of!

    Like

  3. Supra Soup
    February 24, 2010 at 4:50 PM

    While I think this book was fine (I read the original version, not the trade), I felt like it had a few issues that kept it from being a five (or even four) star book. I hated how every character would stop the flow of the story just to tell their origin. I understand it was a callback, but the majority of them seemed to happen at inopportune times. And can I bring up the fact that so many elements were brought up in the book that were NEVER followed up on. I felt like Tom Stillwell was writing this more as an ongoing instead of a mini-series. Am I the only one that felt that way?

    Like

    • February 24, 2010 at 6:10 PM

      Interesting perspective. It’s hard for me to address it @ the moment, as I am@ work & don’t have the book available. And it has been several months since I read it (I wrote this review mostly from memory, and only checked the book to make sure I had all the names of the contributors & stories correct), but I don’t recall getting that feeling that anything was lacking. I also read the original issues, via Wowio, when it first came out, but got the trade to see it in color.

      I do think the characters could support an ongoing series, though. And I’m sure that Tom Stillwell has plenty of ideas for that. So, I guess, it’s possible that he held back a little, perhaps unintetionally.

      Like

      • Supra Soup
        February 26, 2010 at 8:02 PM

        Well, I guess part of my problem with the book was that he was trying too hard to be topical (Paris Hilton mention, iirc) and was making as many references to other things as he could. As for the plot, I clearly remember the ghost/security guard thing never having a resolution or even being brought up again. It was just kind of… accepted. And then there were times where characters were introduced and then had no baring on the story or completely disappeared.

        I just think if it had a few more issues (or some things were cut out or re-thought), I would have liked it so much more. As it stands though, I found it to be mediocre. :S

        Like

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