Tag Archives: dark horse

Eisner and Harvey Award Winner Beasts of Burden Returns This Spring

Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer and Jill Thompson return to the characters that won them the Eisner Awards for Best Short Story and Best Publication for Teens with a new one-shot comic: Beasts of Burden: What the Cat Dragged In!

This standalone adventure is a perfect entry point for readers new to the award-winning series. When curiosity gets the best of Burden Hill’s cats (and one reluctant raccoon), sleeping demons are awakened and black magic is unleashed on the town of Burden Hill.

Multiple award-winning comics creators Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson first introduced these very special investigators in The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings and the other Dark Horse Book of . . . anthologies, for which they won coveted Eisner Awards for Best Short Story and Best Painter.

In 2009, the beasts of Burden Hill received their own miniseries, Animal Rites, which garnered widespread critical acclaim. In 2010, they met up with Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, cementing these unlikely heroes in the pages of Dark Horse history.

The one-shot Beasts of Burden: What the Cat Dragged In (MAR160030) is in stores May 4, 2016.

Beasts of Burden What the Cat Dragged In

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Jonesy_001_A_MainWednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Javier

Top Pick: Sunflower #4 (451 Media) – The visuals are amazing, but the luminescence is in stark contrast to the dark cult ridden story. CJ will do anything for her daughter. Or at least we are going to find out?

Descender #10 (Image Comics) – The space adventures of Tim 21 continue on the Robot Resistance’s Machine Moon home world. A new group (‘The Between’) and character (‘Queen Between’) are to be introduced in this issue.

The Last Contract #2 (BOOM! Studios) – The assassin Old Man with No Name is on the hunt for the rat bastard who exposed his kill list. And he ain’t taking no prisoners.

Last Sons of America (BOOM! Studios) – Don Carlo is about to open a Mexican Can of Whoop’ Ass on Jackie and Julian.  I guess they shouldn’t have gotten involved with the Don’s Star Wars quoting daughter.

Snow Blind #3 (BOOM! Studios) – Trent is one messed up kid, and now he knows everything about the WITSEC program and his family.

 

Elana

Top Pick: Constantine The Hellblazer TP Volume 1 (DC Comics)Constantine is DC’s best comic and this is the place to start for fans both new and old. It holds the blend of dark humor, self destructive lust, creepy magic and relatable melancholy that’s required in a Constantine comic. Yet the stories and creative art feel all new. And hurray, one of the writers is a bisexual man writing a bisexual male lead.

Top Pick: Jonesy #1 (of 4) (BOOM! Studios/BOOM! Box) – Love is dumb! Thus spaketh many a young rebel such as Jonesy, the protagonist of this new all-ages miniseries. She has the superpower to make people fall in love, but not with her. While she revels in being unique and an outsider she also wants to be accepted– in-spite of herself. Cute and bold art that’s half punk/half cartoon feels very contemporary and young.  This is writer Sam Humphries’s second latina teen protagonist (the other stars in Marvel’s Weirdworld which you should also be buying).

All-New Wolverine #5 (Marvel) – Laura Kinney teams up with The Wasp! I love this series’ character development and consistent feminist awesomeness. Laura is a complex female superhero and we’ve been hungry for that.

Black Canary #8 (DC Comics) – A mysterious ninja is stalking Dinah. I think I know who it is. Fantastic rock and roll art and interesting stories featuring a great female cast make this series easy to love.

No Mercy #7 (Image Comics) – After last issue’s climax how are you not reading this?! Completely suspenseful, realistic and accessible to non-comics readers. It’s sort of the HBO of comics.

Zodiac Starforce #4 (Dark Horse) – The Final issue of a magical girl series I wish I had as a kid (and I never did read Sailor Moon). A charming and inventive all ages comic with a kick-ass diverse and distinctive cast. You’re sure to find a character to identify with. Feels a bit like a technicolor Buffy for kids.

 

Logan

Top Pick: Batman #49 (DC Comics) –  After Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo rewrote the Batman mythos last week to have Bruce Wayne not be motivated by his parents’ death to pick up the cape and cowl, I am interested in how Snyder and guest artist Yanick Paquette put him back in the middle of the action against Mr. Bloom.

Jem and the Holograms Valentine’s Day Special (IDW Publishing) – My favorite part of the Jem and the Holograms series hasn’t been the plots, but the fun characters, art, and romance. This is why I enjoy the various annual and special issues, which can focus on the characters, their interactions, and antics without having to progress the overall plot. Hoping for some Kimber/Stormer adorableness.

Jonesy #1 (of 4) (BOOM! Studios/BOOM! Box) – The BOOM! Box imprint has a strong track record of fun, relatable all ages comics with great cartoonish art, like Lumberjanes and Giant Days. And Jonesy is different with its focus on romance. Also, there can never be enough comics starring members of fandoms.

Jughead #4 (Archie Comics) – Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson make for an excellent comedy team, and Jughead is one of the funniest current comics. Each issue, I anticipate the weird and wacky dream sequences in the middle of the comic. Also, Jughead is revealed to be asexual this issue.

Ms. Marvel #4 (Marvel) – I’m really enjoying the new volume of Ms. Marvel, and how Ms. Marvel has to balance being a regular high school student, Avenger, and superhero while also dealing with her name being used by an evil corporation that wants to level her city for expensive condos. Talk about a full course load.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Shaft: Imitation of Life #1 (Dynamite) – David Walker’s first volume for the classic character was fantastic, and this second one is a comic that I’ve been waiting to read since I found out about it many months ago. Walker mastered getting to the basics of John Shaft, what makes the character great, and I’m expecting more of the same.

Descender #10 (Image Comics) – One of my favorite comics out right now. This sci-fi series is as great to read as it is to stare at it’s beautiful pages.

Legend of Wonder Woman #2 (DC Comics) – The Wonder Woman we need. It’s a back to basics take on the character and is right now the best depiction of the character in comics. The first issue was great and shows you can easily do the character right with a solid creative team.

Old Man Logan #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was fantastic, the best debut of any All-New, All-Different Marvel comic. It perfectly captured the “Western” feel of the original story mixed in with a good revenge tale. So good that I don’t care this issue is out just a few weeks later.

Sunflower #4 (451 Media) – This series is just beautiful to look at, and the story rather haunting. A mother trying to get her kid back from a cult, yes please!

Previews Releases Top 100 Graphic Novels for January 2016

Previews has released the top 100 graphic novels for January 2016. Marvel had success with Star Wars. The company had nine of the month’s top ten graphic novels and of those nine four are Star Wars.

Oni Press had success with Invader Zim‘s first volume which came in at #7. Image, which usually dominates graphic novels, had Lazarus Vol. 4: Poison as their top item at #11. DC Comic‘s best-selling graphic novel for January was The Flash Vol. 6: Out of Time at #20. Dark Horse ComicsThe Savage Sword of Conan Vol. 21 was their best at #56. IDW Publishing‘s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Vol. 13: Vengeance Part 2 was their top at #63.

TOP 100 GRAPHIC NOVELS
Based on Total Unit Sales of Products Invoiced in January 2016

QTY
RANK
DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 STAR WARS DARTH VADER TP VOL 02 SHADOWS AND SECRETS $19.99 OCT150987 MAR
2 STAR WARS TP VOL 02 SHOWDOWN ON THE SMUGGLERS MOON $19.99 OCT150986 MAR
3 COLOR YOUR OWN DEADPOOL TP $9.99 NOV150950 MAR
4 DEATH OF WOLVERINE TP $19.99 JUN150829 MAR
5 STAR WARS TP LANDO $16.99 OCT150988 MAR
6 DEADPOOLS SECRET SECRET WARS TP $15.99 OCT150977 MAR
7 INVADER ZIM TP VOL 01 $19.99 OCT151564 ONI
8 THOR TP VOL 01 GODDESS OF THUNDER $19.99 OCT150985 MAR
9 STAR WARS DARTH VADER TP VOL 01 VADER $19.99 JUL150827 MAR
10 CIVIL WAR TP $24.99 JAN072436 MAR
11 LAZARUS TP VOL 4 POISON (MR) $14.99 NOV150672 IMA
12 SAGA TP VOL 05 (MR) $14.99 JUL150565 IMA
13 DEADPOOL FLASHBACKS TP $19.99 MAY150835 MAR
14 SUPERIOR IRON MAN TP VOL 01 INFAMOUS $19.99 OCT150982 MAR
15 STAR WARS TP JOURNEY TO SW FORCE AWAKENS SHATTER EMPIRE $16.99 AUG150915 MAR
16 STAR WARS TP VOL 01 SKYWALKER STRIKES $19.99 MAY150811 MAR
17 SAGA TP VOL 01 (MR) $9.99 AUG120491 IMA
18 WALKING DEAD TP VOL 01 DAYS GONE BYE $14.99 NOV128157-M IMA
19 RAI TP VOL 01 WELCOME TO NEW JAPAN $9.99 AUG141740 VAL
20 FLASH TP VOL 06 OUT OF TIME $16.99 OCT150257 DC
21 DEADPOOL VS THANOS TP $16.99 SEP150876 MAR
22 GRAYSON TP VOL 01 AGENTS OF SPYRAL TP $14.99 OCT150253 DC
23 GRAYSON TP VOL 02 WE ALL DIE AT DAWN $14.99 OCT150254 DC
24 BATMAN BY ED BRUBAKER TP VOL 01 $19.99 OCT150242 DC
25 AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE TP VOL 01 ESCAPE FROM RIVERDALE $17.99 FEB140918-M ARC
26 SOUTHERN CROSS TP VOL 01 (MR) $9.99 AUG150495 IMA
27 STARVE TP VOL 01 (MR) $9.99 OCT150605 IMA
28 ULTIMATE END TP $16.99 SEP150866 MAR
29 BATMAN ARKHAM KNIGHT TP VOL 01 $14.99 OCT150245 DC
30 ONE PUNCH MAN GN VOL 01 $9.99 JUN158141 VIZ
31 BATMAN DETECTIVE COMICS TP VOL 06 ICARUS $16.99 OCT150247 DC
32 SUPERGIRL TP VOL 01 THE GIRL OF STEEL $16.99 OCT150252 DC
33 HELLBLAZER TP VOL 12 HOW TO PLAY WITH FIRE (MR) $19.99 OCT150281 DC
34 BATGIRL TP VOL 01 SILENT KNIGHT $19.99 OCT150244 DC
35 SILVER SURFER TP VOL 03 LAST DAYS $17.99 AUG150886 MAR
36 PUNISHER MAX TP VOL 01 COMPLETE COLLECTION (MR) $34.99 OCT150993 MAR
37 BATMAN THE JIRO KUWATA BATMANGA TP VOL 03 (OF 3) $14.99 OCT150250 DC
38 ONE PUNCH MAN GN VOL 04 $9.99 NOV151742 VIZ
39 RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS TP VOL 07 LAST CALL $14.99 OCT150260 DC
40 NEW TEEN TITANS TP VOL 04 $19.99 OCT150259 DC
41 BATMAN DETECTIVE COMICS HC VOL 07 ANARKY $24.99 SEP150289 DC
42 ALL NEW X-MEN TP VOL 07 UTOPIANS $19.99 OCT150983 MAR
43 BATMAN THE KILLING JOKE SPECIAL ED HC $17.99 NOV070226 DC
44 FLASH HC VOL 07 SAVAGE WORLD $22.99 SEP150296 DC
45 AVENGERS TIME RUNS OUT TP VOL 03 $19.99 OCT150979 MAR
46 BEE AND PUPPYCAT TP VOL 02 $14.99 NOV151159 BOO
47 JESSICA JONES TP VOL 01 ALIAS (MR) $24.99 JUN150831 MAR
48 SWAMP THING TP VOL 07 SEASONS END $16.99 OCT150262 DC
49 SHOWCASE PRESENTS BATMAN TP VOL 06 $19.99 OCT150261 DC
50 SAGA TP VOL 04 (MR) $14.99 OCT140644 IMA
51 WALKING DEAD TP VOL 02 MILES BEHIND US (NEW PTG) $14.99 SEP088204 IMA
52 SAGA TP VOL 02 (MR) $14.99 APR130443 IMA
53 HOUSE OF M TP WARZONES $15.99 OCT150975 MAR
54 SPIDER-WOMAN TP VOL 02 NEW DUDS $17.99 NOV150946 MAR
55 SANDMAN OVERTURE DELUXE ED HC (MR) $24.99 JUL150333 DC
56 SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN TP VOL 21 $19.99 SEP150097 DAR
57 DEADPOOL AND CABLE OMNIBUS HC $125.00 JUL140716 MAR
58 BITCH PLANET TP VOL 01 EXTRAORDINARY MACHINE (MR) $9.99 MAY150482 IMA
59 X-MEN TP VOL 01 INFERNO $34.99 OCT150984 MAR
60 SHIELD TP VOL 02 MAN CALLED DEATH $17.99 NOV150945 MAR
61 SONIC MEGA MAN WORLDS COLLIDE COMPLETE EPIC TP $29.99 FEB150982-M ARC
61 GUARDIANS OF GALAXY HC VOL 02 $34.99 JUL150826 MAR
63 TMNT ONGOING TP VOL 13 VENGEANCE PT 2 $17.99 NOV150369 IDW
64 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN HC VOL 01 $34.99 OCT150969 MAR
65 INHUMANS TP ATTILAN RISING $16.99 NOV150941 MAR
66 SAGA TP VOL 03 (MR) $14.99 JAN140556 IMA
67 DAREDEVIL EPIC COLLECTION TP TOUCH OF TYPHOID $39.99 OCT150991 MAR
67 DOCTOR WHO 2015 FOUR DOCTORS HC $19.99 AUG151715 TTN
69 DEADPOOL KILLS MARVEL UNIVERSE TP $14.99 AUG120709 MAR
70 BATMAN TP VOL 01 THE COURT OF OWLS (N52) $16.99 DEC120323 DC
71 WALKING DEAD TP VOL 24 LIFE AND DEATH (MR) $14.99 JUN150590 IMA
72 MY LITTLE PONY EQUESTRIA GIRLS TP $17.99 NOV150426 IDW
73 BATMAN SUPERMAN WONDER WOMAN TRINITY DLX ED HC $29.99 SEP150286 DC
74 MMW SUB MARINER HC VOL 07 $75.00 JUL150824-M MAR
75 SHUTTER TP VOL 03 QUO VADIS (MR) $14.99 OCT150609 IMA
75 DEADPOOL TP VOL 01 DEAD PRESIDENTS NOW $15.99 MAR130727 MAR
77 RICK & MORTY TP VOL 01 $19.99 JUL151482 ONI
78 ONE PUNCH MAN GN VOL 03 $9.99 SEP151697 VIZ
79 GUARDIANS TEAM-UP TP VOL 02 UNLIKELY STORY $16.99 OCT150980 MAR
80 SEX TP VOL 04 DAISY CHAINS (MR) $14.99 NOV150692 IMA
81 DEADPOOL CLASSIC OMNIBUS HC VOL 01 $125.00 SEP150859 MAR
82 MIND MGMT HC VOL 06 THE IMMORTALS $19.99 SEP150068 DAR
82 RASPUTIN TP VOL 02 (MR) $14.99 NOV150688 IMA
84 ASTONISHING SPIDER-MAN AND WOLVERINE PREM HC $24.99 MAY110733 MAR
85 ONE PUNCH MAN GN VOL 02 $9.99 JUN158140 VIZ
86 GROOT PREM HC $24.99 NOV150925 MAR
87 BATMAN HUSH COMPLETE TP $24.99 MAY090178 DC
88 WALKING DEAD COMPENDIUM TP VOL 01 (MR) $59.99 MAR092419 IMA
89 BOOK OF DEATH TP $14.99 NOV151724 VAL
90 BATMAN DARK KNIGHT RETURNS TP $19.99 NOV118095 DC
91 AGE OF REPTILES ANCIENT EGYPTIANS TP $14.99 SEP150062 DAR
92 SHADOWLAND PREM HC BLOOD ON STREETS $19.99 JAN110835 MAR
93 X-MEN BY CLAREMONT AND LEE OMNIBUS HC VOL 02 $125.00 AUG110684 MAR
94 100 BULLETS TP BOOK 04 (MR) $24.99 OCT150272 DC
95 MS MARVEL TP VOL 01 NO NORMAL $15.99 JUN140725 MAR
96 WHAT IF TP INFINITY $14.99 NOV150944 MAR
97 WICKED & DIVINE TP VOL 01 THE FAUST ACT (MR) $9.99 SEP140684 IMA
98 ARMOR WARS WARZONES TP $16.99 NOV150937 MAR
99 DESCENDER TP VOL 01 TIN STARS (MR) $9.99 JUL150554 IMA
100 STAR WARS PRINCESS LEIA TP $16.99 JUN150822 MAR

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 6/2/16

Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling short reviews from the staff of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full review for. These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.


Alex

johnnyred4Johnny Red #4 (Titan)** I love this series; it’s a fantastic WWII era story about a British fighter ace fighting for Russia (but do the Russian brass really want him there?) that tugs on my fondness for war comics, my respect for those who fought in the war, and my love of high quality stories. That this just happens to be one of my top two comics released this week, is just a happy accident. While this isn’t an ideal point for new readers to jump on – what with it being right in the middle of the series – it’s worth hunting the back issues down. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Surviving Megalopolis #2 (Dark Horse) I was surprised by this series. It has a slight flavour of Irredeemable but with enough of an original twist to the “Justice League’s gone bad” that it should pique your interest, because it’s well worth reading. Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Cry Havoc #1 (Image) I finally got around to reading a couple of the last week or two’s comics, and this was fantastic. I should have read this when it came out, because the mix of the supernatural, an awesome lead character (or two) and some brilliant art make this a must read. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

europa 3Batman: Europa #2, #3 & #4 (DC)* I found the differences in the art style issue to issue jarring – at first. Then I realized that whether intentional or not (and I think it was) it absolutely makes sense given the nature of the story. I devoured the three remaining issues that I hadn’t picked up in less than an hour. Truly great stuff. Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Amazing Forest #1 & #2 (IDW) Are a pair of fantastic anthology comics. You don’t need to read the first to enjoy the second, but both issues have some brilliant short comic stories within them that are – at times – out of this world, but are all fantastically entertaining. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Doc Savage: The Spider’s Web #3 (Dynamite) Meh. It’s okay, but just doesn’t do it for me. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read, maybe?

The Precinct #3 (Dynamite) I wasn’t that impressed with the last issue, but this one was a lot better. It definitely drew my interest much better, and felt like a much more complete installment in this story. Plus, the steam punk aspects are fantastically understated. This comic would be just as good without them, but why would you want that? Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

Cage Hero #4 (Dynamite) While I have enjoyed the issues so far, I’ve enjoyed them as I would the Sharknado movies; Cage Hero is good because it knows exactly what it is, and it celebrates it with every cheesy bit of dialogue, every been-there-read-that scene. The thing is, it does those things almost well enough to be worth buying, but does fall a lttle short. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Buy

 

Mr H

Spider-Man_1_CoverSpider-Man #1 (Marvel Comics)* Whooo Miles is finally here in the Prime Universe! This issue was great. I didn’t enjoy an issue like this from Bendis since his first story arc on Ultimate Spider-Man. Miles is having trouble balancing hero life and school responsibilities. What makes the issue though is when he swings into action. Spidey takes it right to Blackheart and even wields Captain America’s shield! Just a whole lot of fun and it ends with a great cliffhanger. Bendis and Pichelli have another win. I already can’t wait for the next issue. Overall: 9 

 

Patrick

Vision #4 (Marvel) * – This is the best book about robots that needlessly stars robots. There’s really nothing about the book so far that would prevent an editor from taking out the fact that it stars androids and replacing them with a racial or religious minority family and telling the same story. If the point of the story was to humanize the Vision, why is it being injected with this daytime soap plot? I was so glad they acknowledged the Vision had previously been married to the Scarlet Witch because the whole book began to feel like it took place in a pocket universe. Tom King is amazing and I keep reading to see what he’ll do. Gabriel Hernandez Walta is a tremendous talent and I’ll often by a book just because I enjoy his dark tones and the way he captures human emotion. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy this book. The characters just haven’t meshed with the story yet. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

PaperGirls_05-1Paper Girls #5 (Image)– It saddens me to only be writing a shortened review but I don’t want to spend the time being negative about one of my favorite writers in a luscious and gorgeous book. The issue mostly resolves its own tangential distraction this issue and writes two characters who we didn’t really know super well in the first place. I have re-read every issue since it came out and I still have to go back and figure out the names of the four central characters. I like that this issue ends with them literally somewhere else (as it’s beginning to feel like they have just been bouncing back and forth between the same locations accomplishing nothing). The story… I like to start with a summary of what’s happened. You can usually tell how good a book is by how much the summary changes from review to review. I’d be writing the same summary if I did a full review.  Overall: 7 Recomendation: Read

Detective Comics #49 (DC)*– The best part of Jim Gordon-Batman is still just watching him roll with the punches and really do his best. Bruce Wayne-Batman is always treated like a dark god that somehow stands toe-to-toe with everyone from Darkseid to street-pushers. Jim Gordon’s Batman wakes up the whole neighborhood with a blimp spotlight trying to conduct an investigation and fails to get anyone turn it off before just breaking it. I also like some of the darker imagery (for a mainstream DC comic) which helps me balance out the idea that all Batman and his team are doing is watching statues. Seriously, someone’s probably being assaulted in the alleyway adjacent to one of the statues, Batman. Can you think big-picture for a second? Overall: 5.5 Recommendation: Pass

Spider-Man #1 (Marvel)* – This book follows Miles Morales integration into the mainstream universe following the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths (right? I didn’t read Secret Wars, I already had the trade for the original Crisis so I just read that). Honestly, Miles Morales is far more like Peter Parker than Peter Parker has been for a very long time which helps me to understand why this issue ended with me thinking, “Oh, yeah… it’s that red-and-blue rip-off Spider-Man! Oh, red-suit Venom!” Bendis’s best work comes when he is not writing every book with the Marvel logo printed on it (so, essentially everything from before ten years ago), however Sara Pichelli and Justin Ponsor own Miles Morales as far as I’m concerned. There’s something about Pichelli’s angles that make the formerly ultimate Spider-Man so dynamic. I’ve seen static shots of Spider-Man web-slinging for years, but Pichelli’s renditions always make me stop and admire her work. Overall: 6.5 Recommedation: Read

Uncanny X-Men #3 (Marvel)– I miss this book when it was drawn by Rob Liefeld. I miss this book when it was drawn by Mike Allred. I miss this when it was written by Rick Remender. Am I making my point? I struggle with subtly. My point is that it’s sacrilege to have the Uncanny X-Men title be a clone of one of its own spin-off. (I also struggle with perspective.) Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass

 

Paul

vision 4Vision #4 (Marvel) * Still, in my opinion, the best All New All Different title that I’m reading. Vision still has no idea what his wife has been up to and what she’s hiding; and Virgina comes face to face with her blackmailer and the meeting does not end well. I could feel for her in this issue, and her situation; feeling helpless and things spinning out of control, thanks to King’s writing and complemented beautifully by Walta’s dark tones in the art. I look forward to this title every month and you should be too. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy 

Uncanny Avengers #5 (Marvel)* Well here’s a surprise…I didn’t hate it! Rogue, Deadpool, Human Torch and (briefly) Cable are on the hunt for the Red Skull, or more accurately, Professor X’s brain in Red Skull’s head. They do some good cop/bad cop and get a lead on where to find him. The trio (no Cable) break into where they are told they will find Skull and instead find none other then Gambit. He and Rogue have a brief litte reunion and Red Skull slips right past the team…literally. This isn’t a bad stand alone issue coming off the end of the debut story arc. The action was good and I’m sure the search for Red Skull will be explored in more depth as the series goes on.  Overall: 6.75 Recommendation: Read 

 

Ryan C

Providence #7 (Avatar Press) *: The best book on the stands by a country effing mile keeps getting better as hapless protagonist Robert Black finds himself thrown into the Lovecraftian underbelly of America’s physical and psychological horror-show and constructs the most bizarrely effective means for rationalizing his experiences, and coming out the other side more cheerful and optimistic, that I’ve ever witnessed. Thrown in themes of class division, loneliness and isolation, and the terrible burden of keeping secrets and this is “Pickman’s Model” as you’ve never seen it before. Alan Moore’s most compelling “major work” in decades combined with Jacen Burrows’ flat-out breathtaking art makes me feel genuine pity for the folks out there who aren’t reading this. Much as I love any number of current comics series, the simple fact is that right now there is “Providence” — and there is everything else.  Overall: 10. Recommendation: Buy

unfollow 4Unfollow #4 (DC/Vertigo) *: Rob Williams’ fiendishly clever social-darwinism-disguised-as-charity premise goes from “gettign warmer” to “heating up” with this issue, and I can only imagine what “boiling” is going to be like. Somebody we’ve gotten to “know” a bit dies in this issue, and it appears we’re going to get a murder mystery added to the mix here, as well. On art, Mike Dowling seems to be stepping out of his self-imposed Frank Quitely shadow and developing his own, more organic style, so that’s good to see, as well.  Overall: 7.5. Recommendation: Buy

The Sheriff Of Babylon #3 (DC/Vertigo) *: Another strong and compelling series of wrinkles is added to our layer-cake of corruption and rat-fuckery in Occupied Iraq — and speaking of fucking it turns out that two of our protagonists are doing just that — but while Mitch Gerads’ art continues to impress with its grittiness and authenticity, the script by “ex-” CIA operative Tom King (yeah, lots of folks quit the CIA and go into low-paying freelance writing) is taking on a more blatant neo-colonialist tone that seems very much of a piece with the right-wing themes on display in the author’s other high-profile works such as “Grayson” and “The Omega Men.” King hasn’t earned the right to be compared to Ditko, but both are examples of people in comics whose work I admire despite finding their politics anywhere from questionable to downright nauseating. If there’s any doubt in your mind as to where King stands, I’ve seen him say that he’s “proud” of the work he did in Iraq. I’m sure his “former” bosses are proud of the work he’s doing, supposedly of his own volition, to spread their worldview in our entertainment media. Troubling material to say the least, but I can’t deny its quality.  Overall: 7. Recommendation: Buy, but know the writer is probably supplementing his income with a check from Langley.

Swamp Thing #2 (DC)*: Len Wein and Kelly Jones’ “back-to-basics” take on the character continues to showcase both the best and worst aspects of 1970s horror comics — the best being Wein’s deliriously OTT purple prose and Jones’ heartfelt stylistic homage to the art of Bernie Wrightson, the worst being the lame-ass, easily-resolved plot (that could, I suppose, work as a one-or two-parter in a monthly ongoing, but feels downright bizarre in a six-issue mini-series) and the shoe-horning in of guest stars for no apparent reason. The Phantom Stranger I could see, sure — but what possible point does plugging Shade from “Starman” into this story serve? Nice little epilogue/cliffhanger at the end, though, and I’m still loving the ride for the most part. Overall: 7. Recommendation: Buy.

 

Shean

Shaft: Imitation of Life#1 (Dynamite Ent.): The adventures of John Shaft continues in this new miniseries as we catchup with him right before he becomes a successful private investigator. All it took was one case of a mobster’s missing daughter to propel his business. As he enjoys the fruit of his success, David Walker proves that it has not changed the man, as he takes on another missing person’s case , finding trouble at every turn. Altogether, a strong first issue to an already entertaining series. Overall:9.4 Recommendation: Buy


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write.

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Preview: Predator: Life and Death #1

Predator: Life and Death #1

Dan Abnett (W), Brian Thies (A), Sachin Teng (Variant Cover), Chris Warner (30th Variant Cover)

Colonial Marines on the planet Tartarus battle extraterrestrial hunters over the possession of a mysterious horseshoe-shaped spaceship of unknown origin. The Weyland-Yutani rep wants the ship, and the marine captain wants to protect her crew. But neither objective is likely when a band of Predators attacks!

Predator: Life and Death begins chapter one in a new story cycle involving Predators, Aliens, and the mysterious Engineers from Prometheus!

PREDATOR LIFE AND DEATH #1 1

Review: Lone Wolf 2100 #2

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Young Daisy Ogami’s blood carries the cure to the plague that has devastated the world. Itto, Daisy’s android protector, has gone in search of a country that will use the cure fairly. Unfortunately, the remaining world powers all want the cure for themselves—and one has sent soldiers to insure that happens!

Lone Wolf 2100 is a re-imagining of the classic assassin-and-child tale originated in Lone Wolf and Cub.

The re-imagining continues as Itto to protect Daisy from the world, or the infected part of the world anyway. Of course even some non-infected humans want to claim her as property. The characters who are after Daisy, do come after her but, they encounter Itto. That leads to some explosive action, as Itto decides to take Daisy over the ocean to the one place that seems to actually use the cure to save humanity. I’m curious to see if that actually happens or are they captured by another country with less pure goals.

The art is solid, and consistent throughout. Here they introduce a new setting that is filled with “normal” life not ravaged by the virus. That new location finally allows the artist to draw other children outside of Daisy with great detail. The explosive combat panels are well done and filled with fluid scenes of action, violence, and of course explosions.

Story: Eric Heisserer Art: Miguel Sepulveda
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: King’s Road #1

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This 48-page special includes all King’s Road chapters from Dark Horse Presents by Peter Hogan and Phil Winsladeand an additional issue’s worth of story drawn by the new King’s Road art team! Artist Staz Johnson and colorist Douglas A. Sirois join Hogan to continue this tale of a family on the run from magical, other-dimensional monsters.

While slightly confusing at times, King’s Road‘s story is interesting, and complex to say the least. Something about the story reminds me some of Alice in Wonderland, but just on a much larger, and less crazy scale. For the most part the story is told through a mix of flashbacks to Avalon, and the effect of the flashbacks on one particular family who lives in the real world. Of course it goes without saying the family is anything but normal.

While the both worlds are well drawn, the real world is much more prevalent in this issue. Of course there is some creatures from Avalon who have come to the real world seeking the death of the family. Those creatures clearly are meant to stand out in the brightness of the real world, yet blend in to the normal populace of reality. While the magical world is really only seen in flashbacks, they are extremely well down.

Story: Peter Hogan Art: Phil Winslade, Staz Johnson
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Will Eisner’s The Spirit: The New Adventures HC (Second Edition)

WILL EISNER'S THE SPIRIT THE NEW ADVENTURES HC (SECOND EDITION)The Spirit is one of those enduring characters that not only have outlasted its creator which is a feat in and of itself but inspired tens of thousands of characters made from the same ilk. The fact that Will Eisner’s name carries so much love and respect throughout the industry, is truly unprecedented. I have heard other writers compare him to Jack Kirby and Bob Kane, but no one was quite like Mr. Eisner, as his feel for story and character are very much different than those icons. In all honesty, it truly is a travesty that The Spirit has not been translated into other mediums like the lesser characters it inspired.

After its initial publication, in 1939, it had a long and storied history, some involving controversy with the introduction of the character of Ebony White and some very depressing lows, with the publication, of The Spirit’s adventures involving John Law. The fact that he has appeared in print in just about every decade of the 20th century, speaks to infamy of the character, and how well written it as by Eisner. I really got into the character not from the original archived comic that DC Comics collected back in 2007, but from Jeph Loeb’s and Darwyn Cooke’s highly entertaining one shot involving his encounter with the Dark Knight. Then Dynamite enlisted Matt Wagner for a whole new series which definitely stayed true to Eisner’s original vision.

In this collection, a who’s who of the comic world showed up to tell their interpretations of the character to include Paul Chadwick, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Neil Gaiman, Mike Allred, Jay Stephens and many more. Every story is each creator at their peak talents, especially Gaiman’s “The Return of Mink Stole”, which he is particularly adept at, and I wish he wrote more of. Another standout is Chadwick’s” Cursed Beauty”, which definitely reminds of Brubaker’s recently concluded Fade Out and some elements of his Fatale. Moore has contributed various stories to this collection, but the one that stands as my favorite is “Last Night I Dreamed of Dr.Cobra”, which now reading it again has definite influences over his ongoing Providence.

Overall, a strong collection, as it seemed as though every creator stepped knowing who each other was, and how important Eisner’s legacy is. The stories are iconic Spirit at their best, definitely some twists and turns , but always staying true. The art by the varius artists , is a nice contrast in various hues and styles that makes this a must buy. Altogether, if you love crime noir , if you love your heroes dark and brooding, then you will love The Spirit, as well as these creators.

Story: Paul Chadwick, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman , Mike Allred, Jay Stephens, Denis Kitchen, John Wagner, Mark Kneece, Kurt Busiek, Matt Brundage, Michael Avon Oeming, John Ostrander, Scott Hampton, Dennis Eichorn, Eddie Campbell, Jay Stephens, Joe Lansdale, James Vance, Gary Chaloner
Art: Dave Gibbons, Dan Burr, Daniel Torres, Bo Hampton, Brent Anderson, Laura Allred, David Lloyd, Tom Mandrake, Scott Hampton, Gene Fama, Eddie Campbell, Paul Pope, John Lucas, Gary Chaloner
Story: 10 Art:10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Tyler Lives! Fight Club 2 Scratch-and-Sniff Bookmark Contest Revival

Fight Club 2 bookmarksDark Horse Comics has provided 10,000 scratch-and-sniff bookmarks, numbered to correspond to clues in the final issues of Fight Club 2, to select comic shops around the United States!

The scratch-and-sniff bookmarks were produced by Chuck Palahniuk as a special thank-you for the strong support comic shop retailers have shown for Fight Club 2. Retailers are encouraged to reward their loyal customers, especially those reading the corresponding issue, with this special giveaway item.

Each of the numbered scents is representative of a smell from a specific panel in each of the final five issues of Fight Club 2. Fans can visit JoinProjectMayhem.com and try to correctly identify all five scents for a chance to win special prizes for themselves and for their store.

One grand-prize winner will be chosen at random (along with the retailer of their choice) to receive an exclusive Fight Club 2 prize pack that includes a subscription to the series, promo items, and more! Additionally, ten runners-up will receive a copy of the Fight Club 2 hardcover signed by Chuck Palahniuk (as will their retailer of choice).

Dark Horse Comics announced the first round of the scratch-and-sniff bookmark contest at San Diego Comic Con International 2015, in support of the acclaimed Fight Club 2 series, which is written by Chuck Palahniuk, illustrated by Cameron Stewart and colored by Dave Stewart, with covers by David Mack.

Dark Horse will also be making a handful of bookmarks available to Diamond registered retailers who simply need to email Bookmark@DarkHorse.com with their name, store name, and Diamond account number to be entered into the contest. Winners will be selected at random and will be notified by Friday, April 15, 2016.

For more details on Fight Club 2 scratch-and-sniff bookmark contest, to enter the contest, or to find a comics retailer who has been sent bookmarks by Dark Horse, please check out their website.

Monsters & Mental Illness: Negative Space #1-3

NEGATIVE SPACEReading Negative Space feels deeply weird and deeply familiar all at the same time, in all the right ways.

I was instantly sucked in, right from the first issue. Scary squishy aliens, existential dread, grand conspiracies, and pink tentacle monsters in ugly orange sweaters? I loved it. And I loved how the art was somehow sketchily impressionistic and horrifically detailed at the same time. Owen Gieni’s pretty colors and artful composition are always walking that uncanny line, whether he’s drawing adorably gangly bodies or weird, disgusting gore.

And I loved Guy, the protagonist, right from first sight. Fat, self-depreciating, tender Guy, with his big nose and small, sad eyes. In just the first few pages, Guy is a complete person who it seems like I know intimately: a frustrated writer, disabled, lonely, brave and suicidal and in love with a barista named Woody.

Guy’s name seems to indicate that he’s a stereotypical “everyman” kind of hero–you know, just a “guy.” But Guy isn’t the bland, unremarkable kind of everyman who usually appears in this kind of story. He certainly doesn’t look like everyone else: he’s big, he’s Native, and he’s gay. He’s idiosyncratic, but deeply relatable at the same time. He’s not special in spite of being normal–he’s relatable because he’s so vividly unique.

I also really loved that from the first issue, Guy’s supernatural powers and existential weaknesses are all wrapped up in the same big package. The same capacity for feeling and understanding that make him a writer are inherently linked to his illness, and to his supernatural, maybe-messianic empathy.

Guy’s depression is the catalyst for the entire story. He’s not just sad and desperate before he gets whisked away on a grand adventure. Negative Space is a story about mental illness on a grand, cosmic scale–and it’s not a symbolic story about mental illness, either.

Negative Space #2You know that mad feeling that the entire universe is being engineered just to fuck with you personally? Well, in Guy’s case, it’s actually true. A shadowy organization called the Kindred Corporation is monitoring and manipulating his life, making sure that it sucks as much as humanly (or inhumanly possible), because they’re working in collaboration with the Evorah, an alien race that feeds on negative emotions.

There’s nothing particularly innovative about making illness into monsters. In the wrong hands, fiction that externalizes disability into something that can be fought and destroyed can be deeply unhelpful or even harmful to neurodivergent people.

But it can also be extremely comforting. In a recent episode of This American Life, a guy named Paul Ford describes how he programmed an “Anxiety Bot” to send him nasty emails about himself. This certainly isn’t the kind of thing that’d work for me, but it worked for Ford–by creating an artificial voice that mirrored and replicated his anxiety, he was able to recognize how “stupid” and alien and robotic that voice really was. The terrible thoughts he was having about his life? Those thoughts weren’t really him–they were his anxiety talking.

In my experience, being able to externalize my disability was a crucial step in learning to live with it. That’s not me–that’s the illness trying to get me is something I had to tell myself hourly and then daily and weekly to survive. A lot of people find it very helpful to imagine their illness as something other than or outside of themselves–as alien or “mean” or “stupid” or monstrous or evil, or whatever else works for them.

But, paradoxically, surviving with a mental disability is also about acceptance. I’m more than my illness, but I am also chronically, permanently, inherently ill. I’m disabled. As much as I’m able to convince myself that That’s not me, that alien thing is definitely here to stay.

So, basically, my personal strategy for coping with and recovering from mental illness has been a paradoxical balancing act between externalization and acceptance. It’s confusing and contradictory, but the important thing is that it’s a trick that works (for me, at least). So who cares if it doesn’t make a lick of sense?

In Negative Space #2, Guy sets off on a grand adventure. He teams up with a group of resistance fighters, including Woody and a turncoat alien named Beta, to arm and detonate an “emotion bomb” that might harm Kindred Corp. and the Evorah. Guy also finds out that he’s a powerful empath who could play a crucial role in both the resistance and the Evorah’s global takeover.

But it’s in Negative Space #3 that Guy starts to make his first big stand against humanity’s oppressors. And it’s also in Negative Space #3 that Gieni and writer Ryan K. Lindsay pull off their big emotional and artistic masterstroke.

As Guy takes command of his newfound powers, it doesn’t mean shedding his depression, or no longer feeling suicidal, or by suddenly becoming happy. He does it by feeling sad. In one hazy, beautiful, purple-pink splash page, Guy remembers his father; he feels angry and deeply sad, and that’s what fuels his big, badass moment against earth’s alien enemies.

I’ve never really seen anything like this. I’ve lived with mental illness for years (pretty satisfactorily, I might add!) by tricking myself into accepting that awkward paradox between externalization and… well, acceptance. But Negative Space #3 pulls off a weird magic trick: making that paradox seem effortless and honest to me for the first time.

It sounds false and cheesy when you write it out: Guy uses The Power of Feelings to fight his internal (and external) demons. But it sure doesn’t feel false on the page.

Story: Ryan K. Lindsay Art: Owen Gieni
Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

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