Lawful-ly Good: Single Minded for June 12, 2024

Time for more Single Minded! Today Rob's got a few comics from this week he'd like to talk to you about and convince you to pick up at your local comic shop or favorite digital device!

It goes without saying these aren't the only books I read this week, but they are the ones I most wanted to talk about. So what registered on my radar? Let's find out...


Lawful #1
Written by Greg Pak
Line Art by Diego Galindo
Color Art by Irma Kniivila
Letters by Simon Bowland
Published by Boom! Studios

Some people call those who break the law monsters. What if that was literal? That's the question Greg Pak and company ask in this new fantasy series where the consequences of your actions lead to your eventual transformation into a horrible creature.

One of the things I like best about Pak's work, whether it's on an indie series like this that he's created or work for hire in the Marvel Universe is that he doesn't wait to get you into the meat of his stories. We can tell immediately that something's different, because of the two characters we immediately meet, the one trying to break the rules has a tail. After a brief scare sequence, it's dramatically revealed that in this world, if you act outside the rules of the strict society, you undergo physical change that is often easy for everyone to see. That tail isn't because Eris is a humanoid cat - it's because they've already started down the path of lawlessness.

The main focus is on Eris' friend, Sung. He's ready to join those who judge the rest of society, because he's been able to remain so clean cut. Sung is exactly what this world wants and will make a perfect member of the Champion's office.'s a lot easier to pass judgement on strangers than friends as we race towards a dramatic hook that will set up the rest of the story arc.

I love the premise, which takes the old school idea of cutting off a thief's hand and ramps it up to eleven. Pak does an amazing job of giving us an understanding of the world Sung lives in without a ton of exposition, creates two interesting main characters with diametrically opposed approaches to life, and creates a problem with no easy solution for Sung. I also really like that we aren't sure yet if this society is bad or corrupt or just really strict and if that strictness is actually necessary or an outdated concept. There's so much to explore here and I really hope Lawful gets the right number of issues to do so.

Pak's typically blessed with strong artistic collaborators and that's no exception here. Diego Galindo has a lot of heavy lifting to do to ensure we get the feel of the world Sung lives in so that Pak doesn't have to outline all of the details. Take this page for example:

Here Sung is out for a walk. We know by now that any non-human attributes mean someone has broken the law, and we see just how common it is by the half-page panel that depicts just about everyone with something amiss in their features. The second and third panels give us an idea of a modern city that's returning to its original wildness, suggesting that the origin of the world is a regression, yet at the same time, the shops and windows don't look broken at all. It's a mystery we'll have to wait to solve. I also like how Kniivila uses a lot of a different colors here to keep the reader's eyes engaged on the details and clues provided by Galindo. These are unlettered, but Bowland, one of the best letterers working right now, really works hard to ensure the dialogue balloons and captions give the art space, too.

One more page for you to get a feel for Galindo's work:

This page explores Sung's home life. Even without words, you can tell they live simply, but relatively modern. Pictures hang on the walls. And the conversation clearly takes a sudden turn in that last panel! It's a great way for us to get to know the stakes for Sung and this page also shows you Galindo's strength with body language and facial features.

Even though we get so much in this first issue (and oh how I wish more first issues of fantasy/sci fi books moved this fast) Lawlful has a lot to tell us about itself. We've only scratched the surface and I can't wait to see where it goes. This is shaping up to be another classic from Pak's fertile imagination.


Godzilla Skate or Die! #1
Written and Illustrated by Louie Joyce
Letters by Russ Wooten
Published by IDW

Godzilla is headed to the land down under, preparing for as big battle with Varan in Australia. But he's unknowingly chosen a spot sacred to a group of skaters who won't let the "Coin Toss" go without a fight in this fun opening to what looks to be yet another great IDW Godzilla book.

I've been amazed over the years with what IDW will convince license owners to allow (raise your hand if you remember Tom Scioli's brilliantly absurd Transformers vs GI Joe!) and this is no exception. Instead of the usual science/military based human characters, this time around we have kids who don't care about saving the world against giant monsters; they just want to ensure their treasured place isn't trashed in the battle. It's a nice change and one that Joyce sets up well. I really like how the story unfolds on three tracks: We get an intro to our heroes mixed with scenes of Varan trashing Aussie property and Godzilla's slow but steady march to meet his foe. That keeps the the visuals varied and ensures we don't get too bogged down in the human story, because let's face it, we want to see the kaiju doing their thing. That's true in the movies, too, but I think it's especially important in the comic versions.

Joyce's art immediately reminded me of Jim Mahfood, though perhaps a bit more structured. That works well for the outsider ethos of the main characters. He also makes uses of a wide variety of panel structure throughout the pages. Sometimes we get a lot of small, tight panels while other instances are larger views, which give us some great kaiju work. There's some great interplay with Wooten's lettering, too, which is also a bit angular, though thankfully in such a way that we can still read it easily. The whole thing feels a bit zine-like, and I say that as a complement. I also want to mention the electric coloring work by Joyce, who doesn't worry overly much about realistic color choices, preferring to go with vibrance over truth. (Sadly, I couldn't find a good preview image on either Joyce's website or IDW's.)

If you're already a fan of IDW's Godzilla books, you're probably already planning to grab this one, but in case you were put off by the premise, don't be. Godzilla Skate or Die! is shaping up to be yet another great addition to the comics canon.