This issue might be the first where there’s nothing great, but nothing bad. Everything is just solid. In fact, everything is ambitious too. Well, except maybe Star Riders, which appears to be a tie-in to a roll playing game.
Johnson and Dringenberg’s opener is about an Imperial Japanese artist who’s a little too good at his work. Dringenberg’s emotive artwork–and especially his panel designs–do well. Johnson’s a little pretentious, but it’s a ghost story set in Imperial Japan appearing in an American comic… not much chance it wasn’t going to be pretentious.
Janes and Plunkett’s Eighth Wonder is about a scientist aiding in the construction of a huge bridge. It’s in a steampunk setting and it’s generally fine. It goes on a little long though.
Star Riders (from Gagnon and Racine) is harmless space adventure stuff. It’s not too technical; it worries more about being fun instead.
The Painted Horse; story by Kij Johnson; art by Mike Dringenberg; lettering by Steve Dutro. The 8th Wonder, Part One; story by Peter Janes; art by Kilian Plunkett; lettering by Vickie Williams. Star Riders, Part One; story by Étienne Gagnon and Edward Martin III; art by Alex Racine; lettering by Williams. Edited by Randy Stradley.