Tag Archives: kieron gillen

Review: Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #1

PhonogramIG01_CoverEveryone who loves music needs to buy Phonogram. Even if the music you love isn’t Brit Pop.

The central conceit of Phonogram is that music actually IS magic. Phonomancers use music to do powerful magic that shapes their lives and sometimes shapes reality beyond them. The new and final story arc in this episodic series tells the story of Emily Aster and how the too cool to be kind, all angles and snark queen bee of the local coven got that way. Her past is now literally catching up with her.

The series began in 2006 and was the first major collaboration between Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, the team behind beloved series The Young Avengers and The Wicked + The Divine. The first two volumes of Phonogram are among the most emotionally resonant and beautiful to behold comics I own. You should go and get them right now.

The first issue of volume 3 is coming out on Wednesday and I while it benefits from your reading the earlier two books I don’t think you’d be completely lost starting from here if you absolutely need to.

The cover harks back to the work of 80’s pop artist Nagel, famous for his art deco inspired, utterly flat graphic art of sexy black haired women often with cold or distant expressions. You probably recognize his art from the cover of Duran Duran’s album Rio.

McKelvie’s art bares similarity to Nagel’s style already so the reference has been there all along. For the first time the series also has two back-up shorts from guest artists. In the first issue they are Sarah Gordon and then Clayton Cowles. It’s a real treat to see additional artists creating comics in the Phonogram world.

It’s a world I’d like to spend more time in. I’ll have an essay taking a deeper look at the series coming out soon.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Jamie McKelvie Color: Clayton Cowles
Additional Art: Sarah Gordon and Clayton Cowles
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation Buy!

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Siege #2

Siege2“There is no win here.  We just can’t fail” – Abigail Brand

These words from issue one ring even truer here in issue two as we see how the individuals who were sentenced to protecting The Shield, the planet long wall designed to protect Battleworld from the robot, zombie and annihilating hordes that would consume the planet, step into the front lines to defend the wall with their very lives, but ultimately know they will not win the war.

Leah has made the decision, against Abigail’s protests, to head out into the Deadlands in search of Thanos, the figure who they have been warned about who will bring about the fall of The Shield and ultimately the planet.  But Leah is also hoping to find her lost love, Ilyanna Rasputin, who has not been seen in some time since going out to defend the wall.

Fifteen days pass and Leah doesn’t return to The Shield.  Ready to take up her place as commander of the Hel Rangers, Kang proclaims he is ready, and more suited, to take up the newly vacant position.  Noticeably shaken by the seeming loss of Leah, Abigail orders one of the Summers to hand her gun…which she more then willingly points at Kang.  Summers stops her from following through, which to Kang, shows him how soft Abigail is. Summers enlightens Kang just how wrong he is, when they are alerted that Leonardo da Vinci has come across information regarding Thanos.  It seems there are many who fit the name Thanos on Battleworld, but the one that Leonardo says fits more closely to who they are looking for, is a Thanos spending his time trying to assemble some sort of glove.  Not knowing where to go next, Abigail decides to question two robots; defectors from Ultron, who are know prisoners of The Shield, but also able to access information from across the planet.   Abigail doesn’t fully trust the robots, but gives them permission to reach out and find what they can.  At that moment, they are alerted to an army that is headed straight for the wall…and was dispatched the moment the robots went looking for information.  Abigail accuses them of setting the attack up, but they vehemently deny any traitorous actions on their part.  Abigail quickly assembles her force and they prepare to engage….when Abigail finds out that a face from her past is leading the charge against them.

This book is so different in tone from any other from the Secret War tie ins.  We are seeing characters who know that their fight will never lead to a victory, and yet they go on, throwing themselves into battles that may very well be their last.  This issue gives us a deeper look into some of the characters.  Leah and Abigail’s friendship, and Abigail’s loss when Leah does not return; Kang wanting to serve his own intentions and agendas, despite the impending doom; and the Summers clones who give their all to the cause, but understand how disposable they really are.  We are given some small, lighter moments, with Lady Katherine charging in, stating to not be scared of the oncoming battle.  America quickly reminds her that she is a one-time hero, who will go down in battle and not be seen again; but reassures her that she will not be left behind.

Kieron Gillen again brings us a great story, really focussing on the characters and showing us what it means to endure loss on the wall.  Filipe Andrade‘s art definitely fits the tone of this story, along with darker shades and colours used throughout.  Again, we get flashbacks of past battles through beautiful splash pages provided by guest artists Yasmine Putri, Kyle Strahm, Jesus Aburtov and In-Hyuk Lee, which help us see what Abigail has gone through to make her the wall commander she is today.

Overall, I am really enjoying the story being told in this book.  There is no happy ending to look forward to, and I’m ok with that. This is a tale of a group of people who wake up every day knowing it could be their last, but wake up anyway to face it.  They can’t win…but also can’t fail.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Filipe Andrade (and guest artists)
Art: 8 Story: 9 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Read

Review: Siege #1

SiegeIf the title of this book has you thinking this is a new region of Battleworld where the Siege of Asgard plays out daily, with a new and different cast of characters…you would be wrong. With Secret Wars giving us new tie in books weekly, this title is not a re-envisioned look at characters and events, but rather a story taking place that could have dire consequences for all of Battleworld.

From an opening flashback. we’re introduced to Abigail Brand, who is in charge of The Shield, a 200+ foot wall that stretches across the entire planet, protecting all of Battleworld from the dangerous Deadlands and the various threats that dwell there. Brand is awakened by her second in command, Leah (who calls herself a shieldmaiden) and alerted to a threat that the forces of The Shield must prepare for.  Anyone who is a fan of Abigail will see that she hasn’t lost her wit and sarcasm in this new world, and she quickly takes charge and begins preparing for the coming threat.

Called together to execute Abigail’s plan, we are introduced to a very eclectic assembly of heroes to take up the fight; Leah the shieldmaiden, Leonardo Da Vinci , Lady Katherine of Bishop, Ms. America, Kang the Conqueror and the Endless Summers (what appears to be a large squadron of what I’m guessing are clones of Scott ‘Cyclops’ Summers).  We see Abigail interacting with the various members of this team, and through past entries of her ‘battle journal’ we see the various threats that have faced The Shield and how she has dealt with them. Kang questions Abigail’s ability to effectively led The Shield to victory, and with her smart mouth and straight to the point attitude, she points out that there is never victory on The Shield, they just can’t fail. Just then, another Kang warps in through a time field, badly injured he gives Abigail a dire warning before dying and disappearing in another temporal shift.

I didn’t really know what to expect when jumping into this book, but I am so glad that I did. I have always been a fan of Abigail Brand, and I was glad to see she was the same as I remembered her; smart mouth, fiery temper and ready to jump head first into action. I really enjoyed the cast of characters brought together for this story, seeing just how different they all are and how they interact.  For the most part, they are all battle ready and grim, no doubt from their time on The Shield, but Lady Katherine and Ms. America were a brief breath of fresh air, bringing in a youthful, optimistic view of the coming battle.  Kieron Gillen does a fantastic job of weaving this story, bringing the seriousness and dire tone to the situation, but as mentioned, able to break it up with a few lighter moments through characters.  I didn’t mind Filipe Andrade’s art, though I found his characters were drawn with sharp, hard angles. I also found that the colours seemed to be muddy throughout (although, the guest artists who contributed to the splash pages of past battles did a good job, brightening up the pages with their work).  An argument could be made that the sharp style and muddy colouring added to the tone of the story, but it definitely didn’t wow me or stand out.

Overall, I was thoroughly satisfied with this story, and I can’t wait for the next issue. I love the characters and want to see more from them, and the warning of what’s to come has me eagerly anticipating the continuation of the story and see how this band of heroes come together to face it.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Filipe Andrade
Story: 9 Art: 7 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Read 

Vader Down #1 Unites Star Wars & Darth Vader for Epic Crossover!

Two of the biggest comics in the world collide as Star Wars and Darth Vader cross over for the first time! Marvel has released details about Vader Down – a blockbuster six-part crossover beginning this November! Writers Jason Aaron and Kieron Gillen join forces with blockbuster artists Mike Deodato and Salvador Larroca combine both ongoing Star Wars titles for a crossover in the mighty Marvel manner!

Vader Down is a classic Marvel style crossover. The event kicks off in the Vader Down one-shot, and then bounces between Darth Vader and Star Wars, telling a story that is essential to the plotlines of both books, that takes the casts from each and smashes them together in one epic tale!

Vader’s TIE Fighter has been shot down. Seeing this as their one, best chance to take Vader down once and for all, the Rebellion is ready to throw everything they have at him. Alone, outnumbered, and outgunned, Darth Vader now must face down the entire might of the Rebel Fleet. But the Rebels are about to learn the true unrestrained power of the Dark Side of the Force. With the Rebellion putting it all on the line, could this risky gambit cripple their forces in the fight against the Empire?

In an interview with Marvel.com, Jason Aaron said:

They’ve got Vader in quite a predicament. He’s grossly outnumbered and his ship has crashed on this alien landscape. Whether everybody believes they can do it or not, they know this is their best shot to capture him or kill him or whatever. When you get that shot, you’ve got to take it and send everyone you’ve got down after him.

To defeat their greatest enemy, the Rebel Alliance will risk it all.

On Sale in November!


Phonogram’s return is music to readers’ ears

Writer Kieron Gillen, artist Jamie McKelvie, and colorist Matt Wilson, return to Phonogram to finish what they started with Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #1.

Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl is the story of Emily Aster, who sold half her personality for the power to rule a coven of phonomancers. It’s worked for nearly a decade. Clearly nothing could go wrong now, and the girl behind the screen won’t come back for what’s been taken from her. In a world where Music is Magic, a song can save or ruin your life. In Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl we discover what a video can do. And you will never listen to A-ha‘s “Take On Me” in the same way ever again.

Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #1 (Diamond Code: JUN150532) will be available on Wednesday, August 12th. The final order cutoff for retailers is Monday, July 20th.


Preview: The Wicked + The Divine #12

The Wicked + The Divine #12

Story By: Kieron Gillen
Art By: Kate Brown
Art By: Jamie McKelvie
Art By: Matt Wilson
Cover By: Kate Brown
Cover By: Jamie McKelvie
Cover By: Matt Wilson
Cover Price: $3.50
Digital Price: $2.99
Diamond ID: MAY150481
Published: July 1, 2015

The aftershocks from the Fandemonium apocalypse are tearing the gods apart. Join us for a new arc of guest artists working alongside Team WicDiv, starting with KATE BROWN (Young Avengers).


Meet Battleworld’s Last Line of Defense – Your New Look at Siege #1!

They are the few against the many. They can’t ever win. They can’t afford to lose. This July, enter one of Battleworld’s most dangerous areas as blockbuster creators Kieron Gillen and Felipe Andrade along with special guest artist James Stokoe bring you Siege #1! Welcome to the Shield, the last line of defense against the hordes to the south of Battleworld. Zombie armies, Ultron robots primed for destruction, and the Annihilation Wave. The Shield is the only thing that keeps them out. To patrol the Shield is to know fear, for your end could come at any moment. To man the Shield is to put your trust in the men and women standing beside you at the edge of the world. And to trust in your leader, because if you patrol the Shield – you answer to Abigail Brand! Brand and her team – Lady Katherine Bishop, Leah of Hel, Leonardo Da Vinci, Miss America Chavez, the Endless Summers and Grimm must stand alone against unstoppable darkness. For if they fail, all is lost. The valiant last stand of the unsung heroes of Battleworld begins this July!

SIEGE #1 (MAY150675)
Variant Cover by ANDREW ROBINSON (MAY150676)
Ant-Sized Variant by BENGAL (MAY150677)
MAOS Variant by JOSHUA BUDICH (MAY150678)
FOC – 06/22/15, On-Sale – 07/15/15


The Wicked + The Divine is Being Adapted for Television

Wicked+Divine01_CoverADeadline has reported (and their post Tweeted by the creators) that the comic series The Wicked + The Divine is heading to television. The Image Comic series by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matt Wilson is being launched by Universal Television through the deal Universal struck with fellow comic creators Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick‘s company Milkfed Criminal Masterminds. The deal between Fraction, DeConnick, and Universal has those two developing and adapting their own concepts, but also other comic creator’s ideas too.

The series is about gods as the ultimate pop stars. Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. Just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever.

The Wicked + The Divine launched in June 2014 and was on 30 of the 202 different “best of” lists we tracked last year, including a few top spots. We gush about the series constantly.

Gillen has appeared on Graphic Policy Radio, which you can listen to here.

Witch Slaying Warriors in the Warzones! A New Look at 1602 Witch Hunter Angela #1!

This June – magic and might battle marvelous monstrosities as Angela and Sera take the fight to Battleworld! Marvel has released a new look at 1602 Witch Hunter Angela #1 – a brand-new Secret Wars series! Blockbuster writers Marguerite Bennett and Kieron Gillen are joined by artists Stephanie Hans and Marguerite Sauvage for an adventure fueled tale that has to be seen to be believed! In King James’ England, two names are feared above all else – Angela and Sera, scourges of all creatures that haunt their Battleworld domain. They seek a new, seductive evil – not witchbreed, but deal-making Faustians, those who bargain with ancient creatures in return for unnatural power. As wicked evil and malicious shadow creep over the land – will Angela and Sera destroy this evil, or will they succumb to it? The answers lie within this June!

Variant Cover by RICHARD ISANOVE (APR150748)
Gwengela Variant by JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER (APR150749)
FOC – 05/18/15, On-Sale – 06/10/15


The Force is Strong With These Comics – Announcing the Star Wars #1 & Darth Vader #1 Director’s Cuts!

Two of the biggest comics of the year are about to get bigger! Marvel has announced that the chart-topping, critically adored first issues of Star Wars and Darth Vader will return to comic shops this June for the Star Wars #1 Director’s Cut and Darth Vader #1 Director’s Cut!

Experience the monumental return of the iconic Star Wars franchise to the House of Ideas with the first issues of these two blockbuster ongoing series! Taking place immediately after the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, these two explosive comics follow new adventures of beloved characters from the original trilogy! Created in close partnership with Lucasfilm, these new Star Wars titles exist as part of the canon for the Star Wars universe!

Each director’s cut version features the entire first issue – read Star Wars #1 or Darth Vader #1 again or for the very first time! Then, go behind the scenes as you experience the making of these two landmark debuts. See script pages and in-progress artwork from each issue as the Star Wars universe is brought to life as only Marvel could!

Written by JASON AARON
Art & Cover by JOHN CASSADAY
FOC – 05/25/15. On-Sale 06/17/15


FOC – 05/25/15. On-Sale 06/17/15

Darth_Vader_1_Directors_Cut_Cover Star_Wars_1_Directors_Cut_Cover

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