Home News From The 'Verse The Pull List: ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT Releases (Wednesday 13th April 2016)

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icon - action lab entertainmentACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT Releases: Wednesday 13th April 2016

Each week, we take a look at the forthcoming ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT titles available in stores and in digital, giving you a comprehensive guide to your comics pull list.

ACTION LAB get very ambitious in their fifth year, with the first chapter of their ACTIONVERSE Series, an attempt to bring together some of their most popular lines in one epic publisher-spanning, IP-straddling colossus – Yes, we’ve seen comics publishers bring together all their heroes and characters in such a crossover manner before (more often than not, every other bloody year!) but this, considering just how varied and differentiating the various Action Lab comics are, is going to be one hell of a challenge. Can Action Lab even pull such a feat off? We get a clue this week when the first ACTIONVERSE salvo is fired :

  • You know what immediately came to mind when reading ACTIONVERSE #1? SLIDERS! No, bear with me, young ‘uns – this is a good thing! The concept of a dimension shift between universes, with the various AL characters, works well, especially when our main protagonist is such a shit – he’s willing to decimate entire versions of Earth, just to get home, putting all of the Action Lab cast roster very much in the line of fire. It’s such a recognisable premise that Anthony Ruttgaizer could’ve picked up the pace in places – yes, yes, Anthony, we get the idea – but I suspect, being Action Lab‘s first book-spanning endeavour and perhaps having a readership unfamiliar outside of specific titles, this pacing is more a method of getting all the cast settled within each book. I would’ve have hoped that Action Lab would have instead had more trust and faith in its readership, especially as this is the ideal way to introduce readers to books they weren’t previously aware of. Another peeve is with the artwork, being a little pedestrian for the first installment of a project of this scale and scope, with Marco Renna‘s fixed lines very much relying on colourist Fred C. Stresing to provide depth and detail to a panel. Faltering first steps? Nope – there may be a wobble here and there but, like the show SLIDERS itself, once this finds its feet, I expect big things from this crossover event.
  • Away from the whole ACTIONVERSE kerfuffle, the ever-excellent PRINCELESS barrels on with this first issue of a brand new arc, MAKE YOURSELF. Jeremy Whitely just doesn’t know how to do a poor book for all ages – his dialogue is light and strident, it confidently leads the reader without letting them feel spoon-fed and – in my mind, his greatest skill – even in a plotline which could end up being very dark and foreboding, there’s never a sense of malice or intimidation, it’s got drive but not a feeling of loss of control. That’s confidence in your audience… And in the others in the creative pool, Emily Martin and Brett Grunig knocking it out of the park as per usual with appealing art on every page. If you don’t own one of your own, find and borrow a kid from a family member or neighbour and use them as an excuse to go in store and pick up this awesome book.
  • As well as these two pearlers, Action Lab also bring out a Trade Paperback this week of a book we’ve written about before on the Pull Lists – I, MAGE is a bold and imaginative mashup of ENDERS’ GAME, RED SONIA and ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS (with character cards even provided!): almost like TRON through a looking glass, where technology meets magic. If anyone has the budget and the bollocks to roll the dice and throw this on the big screen, it would be quite the adventure – writer Gary Turner has presented something fully formed here, with not a beat out of place, and the characters a joy to be in the company of. And the artwork is just STUNNING!! Somebody landed very nicely on their feet when they bagged Carlos E. Gomez, Mel Bontranger, Eddy-Swan and Teodoro Gonzales for this book! Beautifully rendered with a stark contrast between the sharp lines of the SciVessel XR422 and fluid manga-like texture of Urth, and yet bound together by some truly sumptuous shading and colourwork, every page is a truly a sight to behold. I, MAGE worked incredibly well as an episodic series but this trade gives you the chance to give this book a go if, like a muppet, you missed it first time round. Don’t let me have to come round and clip you round the ear. Buy this book!

I honestly can’t think of any other publisher that’s producing such a varied mix of books right now, they’re all over the place and going after the attention of every spectrum of audience; a confident way to be, you have to admire them for it. These ACTION LAB books are on your local comic book shop shelves now – check them out, or ask that helpful shop assistant to put them to one side for you today. It’s what they’re there for.

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Click on the thumbnails and galleries for hi-res previews of these releases:

image - Action Lab (Actionverse #1 ft The F1rst Hero, cover Lee Moder & Fred C. Stresing)ACTIONVERSE FEATURING THE F1RST HERO (Part 1 of 6)

Writer: Anthony Ruttgaizer
Artist: Marco Renna
Colours: Fred C. Stressing

Cover Artists: Lee Moder and Fred C. Stresing
Variant Cover Artists: Ron Frenz, Marc Deering, Ross Campbell and David Bednarski

“The Actionverse starts HERE! What happened to the second Malice from FRACTURE? Where has he been and what has he been doing?

Worlds collide as a new menace named CASCADE tangles with Jake Roth of THE F1RST HERO!

32 pages / Rated: A (9+) / Full Colour

Click on the Gallery to check out Preview Pages of this issue:

Actionverse #1 ft The F1rst Hero: interconnecting variant coverinterconnecting)

Actionverse #1 ft The F1rst Hero: interconnecting variant coverinterconnecting)

image - Action Lab (Princeless Make Yourself Book 5 #1, cover Emily Martin & Brett Grunig)PRINCELESS: Book 5 – MAKE YOURSELF #1

Writer: Jeremy Whitley
Artists: Emily Martin and Brett Grunig

Cover Artists: Emily Martin and Brett Grunig

“In the mountains of the outer rim of Ashland, there exists an elite group of female dwarves whose only purpose is to protect the dwarves from an attack by dragons. They are called the Dragon Slayers. And they just got word that there’s a dragon headed their way: a pink dragon with striped horns.

They aim to bring it down!

32 pages / Rated: A (9+) / Full Colour

Click on the Gallery to check out Preview Pages of this issue:

Princeless Make Yourself Book 5 #1: variant cover art, Emily Martin & Brett Grunig

Princeless Make Yourself Book 5 #1: variant cover art, Emily Martin & Brett Grunig


image - Action Lab (I,Mage Vol. 1 TPB, cover various)I, MAGE (TPB)

Writer: Gary Turner
Artists: Carlos E. Gómez and Mel Bontrager
Colours: Eddy-Swan and Teodoro Gonzalez

Cover Artists: Collage, feat. Carlos Gomez, Étienne St. Laurent, Mel Bontrager, Jomaro Kindred, Eddy-Swan and Gary Turner

“A Scientific mission to study a primitive world of magic encounters catastrophe. All aboard escape in life pods…all except one boy.

With the protection of a robot, an apprentice, and her quirky mentor, Kai must survive the savagery of dragons, warriors, and the all-powerful Overq’sai long enough to return home.

96 pages / Rated: T (12+) / Full Colour

Click on the Gallery to check out Preview Pages of this issue:

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