I had a conversation with Larry Young(the proud papa of AiT/PlanetLar) last week in a thread of upcoming comics. In this thread, Larry mentioned that Aces, Curse of the Red Baron was coming out and no one had told him. It seemed like a book that had some promise and it was nice that it was someone else asked, what the book was about. Larry was nice enough to tell use what it is about, to sum it up, the Red Baron fakes his death and a Yank and Brit take the credit and a woman is out to find the “corpse” of the Baron. So far I was sold. It was a World War I Rex Steele, Nazi Hunter.
Then the list for this week’s comic came out and there was no Aces. Which is a huge pain in the ass, because this was something that I was really looking forward to reading now. I was seeing shades of Jack Kirby, OMAC, which I’m still waiting to get my hands on to read. Diamond keeps fucking the order(another story). So all I had to do was hope that the shop in Tucson had ordered it. Generally they get one of everything. They are the Ark of Trades. At least two of everything.
Larry then tells me that if I can’t find it, he’ll locate a comic for me. For those that don’t know, Larry is right hand of the nebulous comic pimp. James Simes being the left hand. So if you need to get something that wonderful to read, find AIT/PlanetLar and get to ordering from them. You won’t regret their catalog.
So Aces, Curse of the Red Baron, it’s a grand fucking comic. It starts off with a fight that ends in drinking. If you’ve ever been in a fight that ends in drinking, you know that it’s a good fight. Unfortunately, it’s mainly an off camera fight, but it’s a fight that brings two people together in such an odd way. This was a fight about two guys claiming to be the guy who killed the Red Baron, the guy who Snoopy has been trying to kill for at least the thirty years that those cartoons have been showing, a legendary pilot that had killed more Allied pilots than everyone else. So when two people claim to have killed the Baron, you can bet that things are going to turn to blows over the claim that one killed the Baron over the other. This story’s introduction is pitch perfect to the tone of rest of the book.
The British pilot, Heath Bennett, found a map that tells them where the gold of the Baron was held, his private stash of his spoils of war. The pilot sharing a beer now with the man, a Private Frank Grayson of the U.S. Army, that he was pages earlier was fight, decided that he’s going to share the loot. Naturally two men of this hellish war are going to try and get those spoils, plus it would be a short comic if they didn’t go forward. They steal a plane and are chased all the way to Switzerland by the Allies and the “ghost” of the Red Baron. Trying not to kill their own men that are chasing them and not die in the process.
The woman who wants to get the Baron is a high ranking official of an organization that was responsible for the start of World War I, the Black Hand. She the femme fatale that is behind every good story. In my mind, she’s a redhead. Something about her rings redhead. Possibly because it would be a great color for a member of the Black Hand. Anyways, she’s sex incarnate, which means that if in the proper circumstance had presented itself, 9/10 of us would have died just by smiling at her.
Where the end up is an island that doesn’t exist. Held in place by things that should exist for their time or ours.
The story is wonderfully put together by Shannon E. Denton, G. Willow WIlson and Curtis Square(wonderful name, but his site is down(http://www.curtie-pie.com))-Briggs. Denton and Wilson pull off such a great script that has humor, suspense, intrigue, comedy and solid dialog that makes a good story ring well with the readers(at least if you have two brain cells to rub together). If you had to have a visual, you’d be seeing those words flying at the reader like a 40’s movie trailer(except for the brain part).
Now we can’t discount the artistic endeavors of Square-Briggs, who pulls out a vivid story that brings out the weird and calm moments with such wonderful resolve. The inking and grey-toning brings out most wonderful environments that evoke the harsh reality that was War World I. It has a nice quality that reminds me of early Paul Pope with a hint of Asaf Hunaka. Which is a great thing. It lends so much to the story and storytelling. With panels that flow into each other that even the “hottest” artist still can’t get down.
The entire crew of Aces are Aces. Wilson and Denton have been doing good things in both the medium of comics and other mediums, Denton works mainly in animation and Wilson does print and some work for DC/Vertigo. Square-Briggs is a relative newcomer in the area of comics, his work is mainly in design world with dabs in music.
I don’t like to really over hype books. You tend to get disappointed with a title once that happens because people make it better than what it might actually be. I will write that Aces is good, solid story that is worth you’re $12.95. At the very least it’s worth your $12.95, most places, you’d be paying a pretty penny more.
Great thing about this comic, it lends itself to more stories. Aces can be adapted to other folk stories, myths and legends. Aces, Rasputin’s Unkillable Ghost & etc., etc. In fact, I’d really like to see more stories from this group in any capacity.
As an afterward to this, I didn’t know until I picked this up, but it was Larry who was publishing this book. I read in his earlier post that this would be a book that was right up his companies alley, I had no clue that the alley lead right up to his door. Again, you can’t really go wrong with an AiT/PlanetLar book•.
• [ I paid for this book and would never do a disservice as to kissing up to Larry with a positive review, that would cheapen the work that was produced by doing so and against my own ethics. But you really can’t go wrong with a bulk of AiT/PlanetLar books. ]