Author Archives: Brett

Review: Ghost-Spider #1

Gwen Stacy has to figure out what’s next and how to balance her life and being a superhero. But first, it’s off to college in the 616!

Story: Seanan McGuire
Art: Takeshi Myazawa
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Get your copy in comic shops now! To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
Kindle/comiXology
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Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
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Review: Absolute Carnage vs. Deadpool #1

Deadpool gets tied up and tangles with Carnage in Absolute Carnage vs. Deadpool #1. The latest entry into the “Absolute Carnage” event.

Story: Frank Tieri
Art: Marcelo Ferreira
Ink: Roberto Poggi
Color: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: Joe Sabino

Get your copy in comic shops now! To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
Kindle/comiXology
TFAW

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Pretty Violent #1

Pretty Violent #1

Some comics just live up to their title and Pretty Violent #1 is one of those. Created by Derek Hunter and written by Hunter and Jason Young, the story is about Gamma Rae, a hero wannabe. She’s had powers since she was young and can’t quite get the hero part down.

In her attempts, we get decapitations, spines ripped out, people being squashed. It’s over the top violence with a cartoonlike spin to it all. Hunter also provides art with Spencer Holt on the colors. It all feels a bit like Skottie Young’s style with a mix of cute and violent.

Pretty Violent #1 is one of those comics you sit back and enjoy the read. None of the characters are likable, it’s the reactions that are the draw. The crowd’s comments. The battles. The violence. It all comes together for a Looney Tunes like cacophony of violence.

Part of the enjoyment is the art which feels more PowderPuff Girls than anything else. It’s cute and harmless until a spine is ripped out or the first “fuck” is dropped. The cute adds to the humor of it all.

There, of course, is a twist and that has me coming back as it makes the comic more than just swearing and violence. If you want your superheroes a little less serious and a lot more violent, this is one to definitely check out.

Story: Derek Hunter, Jason Young Art: Derek Hunter
Color: Spencer Holt
Story: 8.15 Art: 8.15 Overall: 8.15 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Bad Reception #1

Bad Reception #1

Wow, just wow. Bad Reception #1 knocks it out of the park and then some. Juan Doe puts together commentary about our addiction to social media and wraps it all together in a murder mystery. Writer, artist, letterer, Doe does it all.

Bad Reception follows a pop star and an author/”techno ethicist” as they plan their wedding. The catch is, the wedding will be off the grid. No cell phones. No media. This is as intimate as it gets. And that includes murder. Doe teases that things go sour throughout the comic with a “second story” that plays out beneath each double page layout.

And that’s part of what’s impressive. Doe break from the traditional layout of a comic. Instead, the story spreads out taking advantage of two pages which at first takes a bit to get used to. But, it’s also a smart decision as it directly challenges our “one screen” habits. This isn’t a comic that’ll be easily read digitally it would seem. I read mine on a large screen as a PDF but using a tablet, I can see some issues. And that’s not a bad thing. There’s something meta about it all as Doe challenges social media and technology and how our relationships have suffered. One can add our consumption of media too.

All of that is wrapped up in what feels like an Agatha Christie murder mystery. Mix in fantastic details on each character and the comic is fantastic in every way.

Doe’s art is on point. He’s an artist I’ve been enjoying for some time but the freedom of writing his own series seems to have opened up the possibilities. Not only is there the use of two pages but a second story runs underneath of a mystery character on the hunt. We can assume this is the murderer but who knows. Add in a sparse use of color and grittiness about it all and you’ve got the complete package.

Bad Reception #1 is probably under the radar for many but this is a break out release featuring a hell of a story and art. It’s one that’ll get you to think of your own media consumption and social media use. It also entertains. Can’t wait to see where this goes from here.

Story: Juan Doe Art: Juan Doe
Story: 8.75 Art: 8.85 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

Aftershock provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Superman: Year One #2

Superman: Year One #2

Superman: Year One #2 takes the promising first issue and goes in a rather odd direction. Clark Kent is off to boot camp where he attempts to fit in the Navy. That could be an issue on its own but we get sidetracked into a story about Atlantis, Clark’s wooing of a mermaid, and incest. It’s an odd one.

Frank Miller delivers an interesting second issue for about half of the oversized comic but then goes off the rails. The concept of Clark having to hide his abilities while being trained by the military is an interesting one. How does someone with superheroic tendencies not stand out? That aspect of the comic is solid and intriguing. But, then there’s this Atlantis aspect…

Stationed on the coast, Clark comes across mermaids and explores the situation coming upon Atlantis and its princess. Of course she falls for him which later sets up a confrontation with her father Poseiden. The story would be standard outdated concepts of a father making relationship decisions for his daughter. But, Miller crosses a line making it clear that Poseiden wants to sleep with his daughter. The comic goes from outdated into some really creepy and vomitous territory. And at that point, took the enjoyment right out of it.

I can overlook Clark holding his breath for insane amounts of time or his ease of using his powers underwater. But a father wanting to sleep with his daughter is where I cross the line. Add in some really odd choices for dialogue boxes and you have a mess of a comic when it comes to the story.

John Romita, Jr.‘s art continues to entertain. There’s a consistency to it and the usual “sameness” to faces isn’t as present. The Atlantean designs are interesting and stand out from the standard of what we’ve seen. The ink by Danny Miki and color by Alex Sinclair stand out, especially when the setting changes to Atlantis. John Workman‘s lettering is impressive bouncing around the various dialogue boxes as the setting shifts underwater.

Superman: Year One #2 is half of a good comic but latter parts had me wanting to vomit and become too distracting. There was a right way to tell this story and this is not it.

Story: Frank Miller Art: John Romita, Jr.
Ink: Danny Miki Color: Alex Sinclair Letterer: John Workman
Story: 4.0 Art: 7.8 Overall: 4.0 Recommendation: Pass

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Powers of X #3

Powers of X #3

As I said when House of X and Powers of X began, the whole of writer Jonathan Hickman‘s epic would be better than the individual parts. Powers of X #3 is where that becomes apparent as it becomes clear as to Hickman’s vision. Entirely taking place in the future, Apocalypse and the remaining mutants attack Nimrod. It’s one last gamble to stop this particular timeline.

What Hickman is doing isn’t a continuation of Marvel’s X-Men line of comics, instead he’s created his own event a new timeline like Age of Apocalypse or Days of Future Past. It’s difficult to really go into it but the comic has more in common with the latter story, again showing Hickman is picking the best of what has come before. It also feels more like an X-Men story as opposed to a sci-fi story with X-Men.

Still, Powers of X #3 is a solid entry improving upon what has come before. It has that last stand desperate feel we’ve seen so many times before with the X-Men. The comic is full of action and memorable moments that’ll have readers buzzing for some time.

The art by R.B. Silva delivers the action in a beautiful way. With color by Marte Gracia and lettering by Clayton Cowles, the designs are impressive. What’s solid is the look of this new timeline is original but has nice callbacks to classic X-Men imagery. It’s new yet familiar at the same time. There’s also a solid use of detail to tell more of the story with so much for readers to linger on such as an infection or the state of Wolverine. Tom Muller‘s designs continue to be interesting including the Moira X timeline and the Mutant language throughout the issue.

The comic brings the vision and story together into a clearer vision. This isn’t a beginning of a new direction for the X-Men as this is an event that will then lead into the next new beginning. This is a bridge much like Age of Apocalypse’s individual series were to what comes next. The whole of the story is stronger than the individual parts, a theme that has weaved its way through the series. This is the point things get good.

Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: R.B. Silva
Color: Marte Gracia Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Design: Tom Muller
Story: 8.45 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.45 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Spawn and the Joker Join Mortal Kombat 11

Mortal Kombat 11‘s Kombat Pack roster has been revealed and there’s some comic characters within. Both Spawn and the Joker will be playable along with a T-800 Terminator.

Other characters include Shang Tsung, Nightwolf, and Sindel plus skin and gear with each DLC character and 19 additional skins. Guesses on those skins and Spawn and Joker’s fatalities?

The pack will be released on January 28, 2020.

Check out the reveal video below.

Sony Comments on their Break-Up with Marvel

Spider-Man: Far From Home

News broke yesterday that the partnership between Sony and Marvel concerning the Spider-Man films is shifting.

The two studios couldn’t agree on a new financial relationship concerning films and a possible expansion of their partnership involving other characters in Sony’s Spider-Man portfolio. Disney wanted more of the pie and refused counteroffers by Sony.

In the current arrangement, Marvel would produce Sony’s Spider-Man films and the character would, in turn, be able to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Sony puts the blame squarely on Disney over the impasse.

Much of today’s news about Spider-Man has mischaracterized recent discussions about Kevin Feige’s involvement in the franchise. We are disappointed, but respect Disney’s decision not to have him continue as a lead producer of our next live-action Spider-Man film.

We hope this might change in the future, but understand that the many new responsibilities that Disney has given him — including all their newly added Marvel properties — do not allow time for him to work on IP they do not own. Kevin is terrific and we are grateful for his help and guidance and appreciate the path he has helped put us on, which we will continue.

If reporting is correct, Disney asked Sony to take less money than they have made in their solo Spider-Man ventures. With the success of Venom and an Oscar win for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, it’s unclear how Disney thought they had the upper negotiating power.

This is also the first time since the Fox purchase Disney has been pushed back upon as far as their machinations. The 800 lb gorilla isn’t so unstoppable. The statement by Sony would also point the finger at Disney for the initial leak of the news. The scenario being that the outcry by the internet would force Sony to come back to the table. Sony appears to have called their bluff.

In likelihood, the two parties will continue negotiations and come to a deal as their two joint ventures have averaged more than Sony’s Spider-Man films and Marvel’s solo films when it comes to worldwide grosses.

You can read more of our analysis of the numbers.

(via The Hollywood Reporter)

Sony and Marvel are on a Break Over Spider-Man

Spider-Man: Far From Home

Disney and Sony are taking a break when it comes to the Spider-Man property after the two studios couldn’t come to a new agreement. The dispute has taken place over the past few months and has resulted with Marvel Studios‘ president Kevin Feige no longer producing the Sony franchise and no more future involvement from Marvel.

Disney asked that future Spider-Man films be a 50/50 co-financing arrangement and there were discussions of extending that to other Spider-Man related films. Sony rejected that but offered other options. Disney currently receives “in the range of 5% of first-dollar gross” under the current deal.

But financially, it makes little sense for Sony to take Marvel’s deal. 100% of the average $742.1 million is better than 50% of the $991.5 million average of the two joint ventures.

Venom

Sony has also found recent greater success with the Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Venom grossing $856.1 million. A sequel to that film is in the works and the Spider-Verse team is being tapped for more projects with Sony and are easy replacements for Feige along with producer Amy Pascal.

But, on average, Sony has just had more success on their own compared to Marvel on their own. When you take out the three Avengers team films, the average Sony live-action Spider-Man film grosses more than Marvel films. Worldwide, Sony sees $803.2 million per film compared to Marvel’s $758.6 million (and that includes Marvel’s four billion dollar solo films). Domestically, the two are similar with Marvel grossing $309.3 million compared to Sony’s $298.7 million. Internationally, Sony wins with $504.5 million to Marvel’s $449.3 million. While Sony’s average budget is higher, they still have a higher “profit” of $606.2 million compared to Marvel’s $586.3 million. The multiplier for Sony is 4.65x on average to Marvel’s 4.17x. So, Sony has had success with their films before Marvel ever became involved (just because you didn’t like the film doesn’t mean it wasn’t a success).

Interestingly, the two are stronger together as their joint ventures beat both studios separately. On average the two joint Spider-Man films have earned $355.4 million domestically, $636.1 million internationally, $991.5 million worldwide, $824 million “profit,” and a5.96 multiplier. Sony’s original Spider-Man trilogy has still performed better than this third volume which has really seen its success at the international box office.

The two studios’ latest joint project, Spider-Man: Far From Home became Sony’s highest-grossing film of all time passing the James Bond film Skyfall.

It is expected director Jon Watts and actor Tom Holland will continue their involvement with the franchise for at least the next two films.

Sony has numerous Spider-Man related films in the works including a sequel to Venom with Andy Serkis directing and Tom Hardy returning to star. Morbius with Jared Leto is coming and films based on Kraven the Hunter, Silver Sable, and Black Cat are all rumored. Then there are the spinoffs to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. All of which will prevent a reversion of rights to Disney.

In reality, Sony has all the cards and Disney is the one that’ll have to pay up for once.

(via Deadline)

Review: Ghost-Spider #1

GHOST-SPIDER #1

A lot has been done to Earth-65’s Gwen Stacy to make her more than a new spin on Spider-Man. Now a dimension-hopping hero with some unique problems, the character fully stands out from the multiverse of Spider-totems. Ghost-Spider #1 kicks off the next chapter with Gwen attempting to find a somewhat normal life.

Gwen’s secret identity has been revealed on Earth-65. That leaves her having issues balancing life there. She still wants to go to school so off to Earth-616 and Empire State University.

Writer Seanan McGuire kicks off the latest series featuring the character in an issue that’s all set up. This is Gwen explaining the situation to her friends. Her dad heading back to work. Her filling out forms and being accepted to ESU. It’s rather mundane which makes the one action sequence stand out as a bit odd. There’s nothing wrong with a comic setting things up at all and the issue does that quite well. It’s also a comic that’s not all that exciting but it is a lot of fun. The concepts and direction are interesting. Gwen’s excitement is infectious. The comic works and works really well. It just doesn’t feel like a superhero comic if that’s what you’re expecting. McGuire instead delivers a comic that’s more slice of life… with some spandex.

The art by Takeshi Miyazawa is solid. There have been lots of styles when it comes to this characters’ series and this one seems to blend a few of them together. There’s a slight grittiness to it adding a little rock and roll feel to it and setting it apart from the cleaner art of other series set in Earth 616. The colors by Ian Herring have a bit of a neon feel to it without being over the top. The comic is also very dialogue heavy with a lot of banter between Ghost-Spider/Gwen and Spider-Man/Peter. Letterer Clayton Cowles fits it all in without overwhelming the art and keeping the flow of a “Spider-Man” comic.

There’s something that’s a lot of fun about Ghost-Spider #1. If you expect lots of action of a superhero comic, you’ll be disappointed. Instead, the comic delivers something a bit different. It’s a nice focus on a superhero trying to have a life with more drama than fighting. The first issue might not have tons of excitement but it has a hell of a hook. Ghost-Spider #1 is a comic to keep your eye on.

Story: Seanan McGuire Art: Takeshi Miyazawa
Color: Ian Herring Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.8 Art: 7.8 Overall: 7.8 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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