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Review: Book Of Death: The Fall Of Ninjak #1

BOD-NINJAK_001_COVER-A_KANOSo let it be written, so let it be done…

In the ruins of his mansion, Colin King hunkers down as the last living member of Unity after the Third Armor Hunt – or so he thinks. A visit from an old friend and a peace offering present the chance for Ninjak to break the cycle of death and escape the horrible fate foretold in the Book of the Geomancer. Will he betray his dead friends or will The Fall Of Ninjak come to pass?

Valiant’s Book Of Death has become one of the best event story lines from any publisher this summer, and it’s definitely my favourite, but is this tie-in standalone worth reading?

Well first of all, Book Of Death: The Fall Of Ninjak is not required reading in terms of understanding the over arching story of the event that it ties into; you can easily skip this comic and you won’t harm your enjoyment of the main Book Of Death series. If you do that, however, you’ll miss out on a tie-in comic that has a deeper reach than just the main Book Of Death story line that it will be primarily associated with. There are hints in this comic that may answer some questions from other series that readers may have, but then again maybe that’s just me.

In terms of the characterization within this comic, Matt Kindt gives us a look at a much more experienced, and a much more mature, Ninjak in this comic. This older version of Ninjak may be unfamiliar to those used to the character in his usual setting, but you can still feel echoes of that younger man in this issue. That is to say that the character presented here really feels as if he’s had sigificant life experience, and has grown a lot from the younger incarnation in the comics.; although the older Ninjak may be unfamiliar, Matt Kindt has given us a story that undoubtedly stars everybody’s favourite purple clad ninja (from the Valiant Universe).

The three artists on this book, penciler Trevor Hairsine, inker Ryan Wynn and colourist Allen Passalaqua, work together in such a way that the art work feels incredibly in sync.  Ryan Wynn‘s inks never swallow Trevor Hairsine‘s original pencil work; indeed for the first few pages I was wondering whether the pencils and inks were done by the same person. Allen Passalaqua gives us some truly fantastic final pages, really bringing the scenes to life, giving a soft beauty to the final moments in the Book Of Death: The Fall Of Ninjak.

You don’t need to read this comic book in order to follow along with the main Book Of Death story arc, but by skipping this comic you’ll miss out on a great standalone story that takes place far into Ninjak‘s future.

And you wouldn’t want to do that, would you?

Story: Matt Kindt Art: Trevor Hairsine, Ryan Wynn, Allen Passalaqua
Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recomendation: Read

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Preview: The Fox #5

THE FOX #5

Plot: Dean Haspiel
Art: Dean Haspiel, Rachel Deering and Allen Passalaqua
Script: Mark Waid
Cover: Dean Haspiel
Variants: Robert Hack, David Mack, Eli Powell, Bill Sienkiewicz
On Sale Date: 8/5
32 page, full-color comic
$3.99

The FOX HUNT reaches its cataclysmic conclusion with the biggest brawl in Dark Circle history!

“Fox Hunt, Part 5”: The Fox and She-Fox have invaded Mr. Smile’s evil headquarters and are on the attack against the final five deadly villains that stand between them and their son! As parents do battle for the fate of their son, blood, sweat tears and money are on the line—but the freak magnet and his super family are far from finished! This arc may be ending, but the Fox’s adventures continue on—if he can survive the final showdown with the dreaded IRON FOX! Featuring story, art and covers from the biggest names in comics, including variant art from Robert Hack, David Mack, Eli Powell and Bill Sienkiewicz!

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Preview: The Fox #4

THE FOX #4

Plot: Dean Haspiel
Art: Dean Haspiel, Rachel Deering and Allen Passalaqua
Script: Mark Waid
The Fox #4 CVR A Reg: Dean Haspiel
The Fox #4 CVR B Variant: Irvin Rodriguez
The Fox #4 CVR C Variant: Dirk Shearer
The Fox #4 CVR D Variant: Jay Shaw
On Sale Date: 7/8
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

NEW ONGOING SERIES FROM DARK CIRCLE!

“Fox Hunt, Part 4”

The FOX has been punched, thrown, stabbed, crushed, shot at and smothered by a virtual army of super villains—but nothing is stopping Paul Patton, Jr. from finding his son! But that was just for starters—get ready for intense action and psychedelic paranoia as The Fox straddles the line between reality and a world of NIGHTMARE! Who is behind all of this madness? Will Fox’s son, the Ghost Fox, make it out of the city alive? Find out as the hunt continues! Featuring cover art from Dean Haspiel, Irvin Rodriguez, Dirk Shearer and Jay Shaw!

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Preview: The Fox #1

THE FOX #1

Plot/Art: Dean Haspiel
Script: Mark Waid
Art: Dean Haspiel, Allen Passalaqua, and John Workman
Cover: Dean Haspiel
Variant Cover 1: Chris Samnee and Matt Wilson
Variant Cover 2: David Mack
Variant Cover 3: Ulises Farinas and Ryan Hill
Variant Cover 4: Thomas Pitilli
On Sale Date: 4/15
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

NEW ONGOING SERIES FROM DARK CIRCLE!
THE FOX is BACK!

Emmy Award winning writer/artist Dean Haspiel (Billy Dogma, HBO’s Bored to Death) is once again united with Eisner award-winning writer Mark Waid (Daredevil, Thrillbent) for FOX HUNT: Part One “The Situation”: When a billionaire philanthropist prepares Paul Patton Jr’s home town for demolition, our hero is sent on assignment to photograph the event. But what strange force lurks in the shadows, and why will it take Paul’s alter-ego, THE FOX, to stop it? The answer is the beginning of a deadly FOX HUNT and you won’t believe what happens next!

Don’t miss the debut issue from the critically-acclaimed team that brought you THE FOX: FREAK MAGNET, featuring FOUR all-new variant covers! With art from Dean Haspiel, David Mack, Thomas Pitilli, Ulises Farinas and Chris Samnee!

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Preview: The Fox: Freak Magnet

THE FOX: FREAK MAGNET

Script: Mark Waid, J.M. DeMatteis
Plot/Art: Dean Haspiel, Allen Passalaqua, Mike Cavallaro, Terry Austin, John Workman
Cover: Dean Haspiel
978-1-936975-93-8
$14.99/$16.99 CAN
6 5/8 x 10 3/16”
Trade Paperback
144 pp, Full Color
Direct Market On-sale: 7/2

It’s the critically acclaimed debut of the high-flying FOX! Emmy Award-winning writer/artist Dean Haspiel (BILLY DOGMA, HBO’S BORED TO DEATH) and Eisner Award-winning writer Mark Waid (DAREDEVIL, THRILLBENT) bring the legendary, pulp-style hero The Fox to life in FREAK MAGNET! When photojournalist Paul Patton, Jr. donned a superhero costume, he thought it would be a quick way to make some news–now the strange and unusual just can’t help but be drawn to the freak-magnetism of the fabulous fighting Fox! Then, go back in time for an all-new story featuring the world’s first patriotic superhero, THE SHIELD from acclaimed writer J.M. DeMatteis (ABADAZAD, JUSTICE LEAGUE 3000) and Eisner Award-nominated artist Mike Cavallaro (PARADE WITH FIREWORKS, THE LIFE AND TIMES OF SAVIOR 28). What connection does the Shield’s top-secret mission in the Arctic have to do with the Fox’s diamond-studded adventure? And what ultra-powerful villains have arrived to wreak havoc?? Read on, dear reader–The Fox and the Shield have their work cut out for them! The Fox: Freak Magnet collects the five-part comic book series of the same name.

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Preview: Sonic Super Digest #7

SONIC SUPER DIGEST #7

Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Lamar Wells, Rick Bryant, Jack Morelli, Allen Passalaqua
Cover: Rafa Knight
On Sale: 5/28
128-page, full color comic
$3.99 US.

Sonic Super Digest is BACK and featuring a brand new story! Sonic the Hedgehog’s adventures are now available in the popular digest format. Where Sonic Super Special Magazine leaves off, this quarterly digest collection picks up, with even more classic adventure from the Sonic comic library! The secret origin of the new Sonic universe is REVEALED in the all-new SONIC COMIC ORIGINS mini-feature! Discover a whole new world alongside Sonic the Hedgehog in Sonic Comic Origins, Part Two, featuring new story and art from the superstar Archie Sonic team! All this (and Freedom Fighters too) as we give you more classic Sonic comics as only Sonic Super Digest can provide! Featuring an all-new CG cover from rising Sonic comic star Rafa Knight!

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Preview: The Fox #5

The Fox #5

Plot/Script: J.M. DeMatteis
Art: Dean Haspiel, Allen Passalaqua, and John Workman
Cover: Dean Haspiel
FOX FIVE Variant Cover 1: Dean Haspiel
FOX FIVE Variant Cover 2: Howard Chaykin
FOX FIVE Variant Cover 3: Mike Norton
FOX FIVE Variant Cover 4: Mike Cavallaro
FOX FIVE Variant Cover 5: Alex Toth Throwback
On Sale at Specialty Comic Shops Date: 3/12
32-page, full color comic
$2.99 US.

The fantastically-foxy finale IS HERE in Freak Magnet Part 5: “Future’s End”!

Emmy Award-winning writer/artist Dean Haspiel (Billy Dogma, HBO’s Bored to Death) is joined by acclaimed writer J.M. DeMatteis (Abadazad, Justice League 3000) to conclude the “Freak Magnet” saga of the pulp-style hero The Fox! Our hero has won the day and defeated his evil adversaries, so why does he now find himself trapped 70 years in the past, side-by-side with the legendary hero of WW2 known as THE SHIELD?! And what does the Shield’s arctic battle-royale have to do with the diamond realm?! And will SOMEONE please tell The Fox, aka Paul Patton Jr., why he can’t just have the simple, freak-free life he wants?? Don’t miss the finale to end-em-all, and don’t miss out on collecting all five “FOX FIVE” Variant Covers to this issue! With art from Dean Haspiel, Howard Chaykin, Mike Cavallaro, Mike Norton and a special ALEX TOTH throwback edition!

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Preview: The Fox #3

THE FOX #3

Fox Plot/Art: Dean Haspiel
Fox Script: Mark Waid
Fox Art: Dean Haspiel, Allen Passalaqua, and John Workman
Shield Script: J.M. DeMatteis
Shield Art: Mike Cavallaro, Terry Austin, and Steve Downer
Cover: Dean Haspiel
Get-FREAKY Variant: Mike Allred and Laura Allred
On Sale at Comic Specialty Shops: 1/8
32-page, full color comic
$2.99 US.

NEW RED CIRCLE SERIES! Emmy Award winning writer/artist Dean Haspiel (Billy Dogma, HBO’s Bored to Death) and Eisner Award winning writer Mark Waid (Daredevil, Thrillbent) continue the saga of the legendary, pulp-style hero The Fox in FREAK MAGNET Part Three: “Hell’s Half Acre”! The Fox is stuck in a nightmarish, fantastical land rife with underground dungeons, medieval traps, and enslaved Red Circle heroes! When he finally reaches his ultimate destination, will he encounter heroes or villains—or both? Meanwhile, in “The Face of Hate pt2: The Enemy of my Enemy,” the Shield’s battle against arch-rivals Hachiman and Master Race continues in the icy tundra! But what monster from the depths has these hated rivals all shaking in their boots? And what connection does it have to the FOX and his misadventures in the Diamond Realm?? All will be revealed as the adventure continues! Featuring all-new variant cover art from acclaimed artists Mike Allred and Laura Allred (FF, iZOMBIE)

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Review: The Fox #1

the fox #1 coverArchie Comics has been slowly bringing back the classic Red Circle characters, but none have had such a high-profile team of Dean Haspiel and Mark Waid. Seeing those two, especially Waid, immediately caught my attention and I’ve been anticipating the first issue of this new series.

The team of Haspiel and Waid in this debut issue bring the legendary, pulp-style hero The Fox to life in “Freak Magnet, Part One: The True Face of MyFace”! When photojournalist Paul Patton, Jr. donned a super hero costume, he thought it would be a quick way to make some news—now the strange and unusual just can’t help but be drawn to the freak-magnetism of the fabulous fighting FOX! While working on a puff-piece at the Red Circle Gazette, an evil truth about social media mogul Lucy Fur is discovered, bringing Paul face-to-face with a criminal kingpin! But, that’s not all, this action packed first also has a second story, “A Picture Lasts Forever” has the Fox dealing with a building that’s a bit more than it seems.

As much as I anticipated the first issue, I also wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I guess I was expecting something more like Waid’s Daredevil and you get a sense of that, with a bit more of a family friendly spin, and that’s not a bad thing at all.

The first issue is a blend when it comes to style, it’s a bit Haspiel and Waid, mixed with that family friendly style we expect from Archie. This isn’t a gritty action series, it’s much safer in content, harkening back to fun super hero comics of times past when everything wasn’t gritty and dirty, and that’s something that’s needed and missing from today’s comic market.

A team mixes up the art and it’s all solid, matching the writing. There’s lots of fun action sequences for them to match their style to the story. It’s a great combination and works really well.

Overall, there’s not much that’s groundbreaking here when it comes to story or art, but there is a lot of good, clean fun. And in today’s comic market, that is actually groundbreaking.

Story: Dean Haspiel, Mark Waid Art: Dean Haspiel, Allen Passalaqua, John Workman
Story: 8 Art: 8 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Archie Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Dark Horse Comics Collects…Battlepug!

DARK HORSE COLLECTS MIKE NORTON’S BATTLEPUG! 

February 1, MILWAUKIE, OR—The epic tale of blood and drool begins here! Keeping the tradition of its creator-owned mentality, Dark Horse Comics is pleased to announce its newest venture with Mike Norton—Battlepug!

 “I was really happy when people first reacted to the comic. It’s hard to predict if the public needs another ‘Giant Pug Epic Fantasy’ story. I mean, we all know those are a dime a dozen, right? Luckily, the story of a barbarian’s quest for revenge with the aid of our favorite four-legged freak seems to have legs,” said Norton. “When I first made the Battlepug T-shirt, people kept asking when the comic was coming out. So, I put out the webcomic and now everybody wants to know when the book is coming out! I guess now people will want to know when the movie is happening?”

This volume collects the first year of Mike Norton’s Battlepug—the perfect opportunity to get in on the ground floor of the fan-favorite webcomic by Mike Norton, Allen Passalaqua, and Crank!

Join Moll and her dogs Mingo and Colfax, as she recounts the legend of “The Warrior and the Battlepug”—a tale of a fearless barbarian, his trusty and freakishly large pug, and evil baby harp seals.

“I’m a huge fan of Dark Horse and couldn’t be more excited to have Battlepug published by them. Hellboy, B.P.R.D., Buffy, Star Wars—they put out some of the best comics currently being made and it’s humbling to even be on the same shelf with that kind of product! I’m super excited for people to read it and look forward to much more in the future!” stated Norton.

 Mike Norton’s Battlepug Volume 1 is on sale July 4, 2012!

 

About Mike Norton

Mike Norton has been working in comics for ten years now, gaining recognition for projects such as The Waiting Place and Jason and the Argobots. In 2001, he became art director for Devil’s Due Publishing, where he drew the first Voltron miniseries. In 2005, he went freelance and has since made a name for himself working on books like Queen and CountryGravityRunawaysThe All-New Atom, and Green Arrow/Black Canary. He is also very, very tall.

About Dark Horse Comics

Since 1986, Dark Horse Comics has proven to be a solid example of how integrity and innovation can help broaden a unique storytelling medium and establish a small, homegrown company as an industry giant. The company is known for the progressive and creator-friendly atmosphere it provides for writers and artists. In addition to publishing comics from top talent like Frank Miller, Mike Mignola, Neil Gaiman, Gerard Way, Will Eisner, and best-selling prose author Janet Evanovich, Dark Horse has developed such successful characters as the Mask, Timecop, and the Occultist. Additionally, its highly successful line of comics and products based on popular properties includes Star Wars, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Aliens, Conan the BarbarianMass Effect, Serenity, and Domo. Today, Dark Horse Comics is the largest independent comic-book publisher in the United States and is recognized as both an innovator in the cause of creator rights and the comics industry’s leading publisher of licensed material.