White Picket Fences #1-3, The Black Coat: One-Shot

White Picket Fences #1-3 (Ape Entertainment / Anderson & Hutchins / Farritor )

“When eleven-year-old Charlie Hobson uncovers Martian weaponry hidden in the outskirts of his hometown of Greenview, he unwittingly sets the stage for a world threatening conflict that will pit the American Military against a deadly alien menace. As his own backyard becomes a battleground, Charlie must embark upon an adventure to return normalcy not only to Greenview, but also to the entire planet!”

I had the chance to hang out with the authors of White Picket Fences (WPF) during the Wizard World Chicago convention last weekend. Both Anderson and Hutchins are uber-talanted guys who are poised to go very far in this field. As for WPF, it’s freaking awesome! Set in the post-WWII era, Anderson and Hutchins craft a story that has a nostalgic feel but doesn’t drag the story down. We’ve all read period pieces where the setting, characters, and dialog are so far removed from our time that the reader has trouble reasoning out what’s happening. So not the case here. The first page of the issue one it was like these little kids were reenacting scenes from any man’s childhood. What young boy didn’t play army or talk about the old haunted houses in the neighborhood. Our young heroes of Charlie, Tommy, and Parker are your typical all American boys looking for adventure in there small town. Tommy finds it when he comes across a strange device in a rundown barn. Perhaps this typical American town is hiding something.

My favorite thing about this title is how much I feel like a kids when I’m reading it. This isn’t a big action piece, but the story and art, by Micah Farritor, keep this sneaky adventure moving at a great pace. Never once is the reader bored, quite the opposite actually.

Overall, White Picket Fences is a great story coupled with art that keeps your eyes on the page. Plus, readers get some extra sci-fi goodness in The Astounding Adventures of Captain Odyssey printed in the back of each issue.

Grade: B+

The Black Coat ( Ape Entertainment / Lichius / Hardman )

Black Coat fans rejoice! New York City’s revolutionary super spy is back with 2 all-new stories written by Black Coat co-creator Ben Lichius and featuring art by the incredible Gabriel Hardman (War machine, X-Men, and Spider-Man 3 films). Packed with swashbuckling action and adventure, this 52 page special also features the first Black Coat story to appear in full-color!”

Are you a fan of the X-Files, Colonial America, Native Americans, and sword fights? If the answer is yes, then your probably not reading many comic books because not much fits that bill. But then there is The Black Coat and his stories fit all three. This is my first Black Coat read and I was really just expecting a spy story set in the Revolutionary period of American History, but I got so much more in a magical story filled with mythical beasts and big action. This book truly took me by surprise in it’s content matter and depth of storytelling packed into two stories. The fist is a black and white piece that finds the Black Coat fighting the worlds most popular lycanthrope. The second is the full color story (very pretty indeed!) where the Black Coat and his sidekick are in the streets of New York fighting for the lives against a giant flaying lizard.

Both Black Coast stories are fast paced action thrill rides. And with a cover as cool as that, you can’t go wrong.

Grade: B+

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Updated: July 1, 2008 — 1:45 pm

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