Author Archives: Brett

Review: War of the Realms #2

War of the Realms #2

All the heroes of the Marvel Universe have assembled, yet this still might not be enough to stop Malekith’s endless war. And the one hero who could turn the tide…is stranded where no one can reach him. With Thor trapped in the land of the Frost Giants and the forces of Earth overwhelmed, Black Panther, Jane Foster and Doctor Strange make a desperate gamble. Valhalla awaits…

Epic is the key word for the second issue of this event. Writer Jason Aaron packs a lot in to War of the Realms #2 giving us sequences that deliver a visual punch and enhances the chaos that has descended upon New York City. And there’s a lot of chaos as battles rage, an attempt to evacuate is made, and there’s a lot of depth too. This is a massive battle and at a huge scale.

Due to that scale, Aaron has a lot to show off and in that way the issue feels like a bunch of segments but there’s enough connectors weaved that they don’t feel quite choppy. It’s impressive how each scene still works in the meta as some tie together in ways. There’s also intelligent choices to pull back and tell us the scale of it all instead of relying on the art team showing.

Russell Dauterman‘s art, with Matthew Wilson‘s colors and Joe Sabino‘s lettering, does do a lot to tell the story. There’s some fantastic use of page layouts and through the massive amounts going on, the art team seems to focus each panel and page perfectly to really help drive the narrative Aaron has put together. Much like summer blockbusters, the visuals are a driver in a lot of ways and that’s not a bad thing with this type of story.

The second issue is an improvement with a bit more focus on what the heroes of New York are doing instead of setting up the various players. Still, there’s a lot of ground covered and with that a focus on the action and visuals over the characters themselves. The comic delivers those visuals, along with a good amount of humor, to create a second issue that sucks you in a bit more than the debut. It’s hopefully a sign of momentum as the story really gets rolling and the fight to save Earth continues.

Story: Jason Aaron Art: Russell Dauterman
Color: Matthew Wilson Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 7.25 Art: 8.65 Overall: 7.45 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Uncanny X-Men #16

Uncanny X-Men #16

Uncanny X-Men #16 continues to rollercoaster ride writer Matthew Rosenberg has put together. Last issue had teammates cleared of infection with horrifying results (that isn’t addressed here), Cyclops was shot in the head, and some classic team members were captured. Uncanny X-Men #16 rockets along addressing some of that, dropping other bits (hopefully to be addressed later).

The issue really revolves around Cyclops’ leadership and direction and if it’s the right one. Cutting deals with Captain America, saying that Xavier’s dream is dead, this is a new Cyclops with a new attitude and it’s not going over well with everyone. So decisions are made by the team as to how it should be lead and it should be interesting. The leadership shake-up already creates some interesting shifts and dynamics and from there the action really takes off.

Magneto and his Brotherhood are back (with some new members) but how is Magneto here and in the Age of X-Man!? That is all explained and it’s the biggest issue with this particular part of the story. There’s so much packed in, things feel like they’re just thrown in there without a lot of explanation. From Magneto we get the return of another character, spoiler she’s on the cover, and a result that’s shocking. Then there’s a revelation at the end of the issue as well that has to be a headfake. So, as more is added to the story there’s still a lot left hanging too.

The art by Salvador Larroca, with color by Guru-eFX and lettering by Joe Caramagna, is solid. The characters look great and battles fun to follow. There’s some classic characters present and Larroca’s style just brings back the nostalgia. There’s also a good use of the panels so that the shocking moments make you really do a double take or have you linger on the page and panel (or both).

The issue could have used some extra length or a weekly release. There’s a lot packed in this issue and not all of it is fleshed out but then again that feels like a tradition of X-Men comics. There’s a moment you just roll with it. This might be it and hopefully Rosenberg slows things down a little because there’s a lot of great ideas packed in to this issue and the last that with a little more focus would make this run really stand out in the long history of X-Men comics.

Story: Matthew Rosenberg Art: Salvador Larroca
Color: Guru-eFX Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: 7.5 Art: 8.15 Overall: 7.65 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Transformers #3

Transformers #3

High above Cybertron, the planet’s inner moon unfolds to become a gigantic energon harvester, a magnificent show for Bumblebee and his new friend. Meanwhile, Megatron is assembling a new security force, but rumors abound about the new team.

I haven’t been too keen on the first two issues of this new direction for IDW Publishing‘s Transformers series but this third issue things seem to be moving into a more positive direction.

Writer Brian Ruckley has taken the series into more of a crime procedural direction with a bit of politics thrown in the background. The death of a Transformer has lead to questions like who and why with the main thrust o the series focused on that criminal investigation. That ties into Bumblebee who is mentoring a newly forged Transformer Rumble and through that we get to learn about this version of Cybertron.

I called the series “Law & Order: Cybertron” mostly because it focuses too much on that crime approach with a slow plodding investigation. It fails to really find the interesting aspect in the rise of Megatron and is Ascenticons. The fire and intelligence of this aspect of the Transformers history we saw in the previous volume is diluted so far. Instead of Megatron’s focus on philosophy, we get assassination attempts and the formation of a brute squad. It’s all choppy in the execution. A case is never made for Megatron leaving him as the empty revolutionary, the clear bad guy to Orion Pax and the Autobots. We seen the case for Megatron made before and that added layers to what was originally a simple story of good vs. bad. Hopefully Ruckley can pivot a bit in that focus and add some of the political depth.

Angel Hernandez and Cachét Whitman provide the art trading off on pages. The two differing styles are clear and though doesn’t create a huge issue with the story and series it’s more a question as to why? The two styles are very traditional in what we’ve seen and the designs are solid. The issue is one creator has more of an modern animated look and the other a more traditional comic look. The two styles are similar but the difference is there.

The issue, and series, isn’t bad there’s just a bit of depth and maturity that’s missing. The story and series is pretty basic keeping it to a whodunnit story. There’s also a bit of a feeling that some choices are done more for fanservice from the previous volume as opposed to really driving the story (ex. Elita-1’s inclusion in this issue). This issue is an improvement but this is definitely a different direction and vision than what we’ve previously seen.

Story: Brian Ruckley Art: Angel Hernandez, Cachét Whitman
Color: Joana Lafuente Letterer: Tom B. Long
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Major X #2

Major X #2

The 90s are back in so many ways with Rob Liefeld‘s return to Marvel and the world of the X-Men and Major X #2 continues both the good and the bad from the first issue.

We learn more about The X-Istence with some hints as to what lead up to the need for it. It’s classic Liefeld with lots of flash of visuals and characters with spikey helmets. The concepts are great and entertaining but the execution, including dialogue and flow of the narrative, are wooden and stiff. For all the flash of the art, Brent Peeples steps into the issue on that duty, the story and dialogue lag. It’s the 90s all over again, which channeled the cliched driven 80s.

Brent Peeples takes over art duties, with Scott Hanna on ink and Romulo Fajardo, Jr. on color, and continues the look and feel of the first issue. There’s some inconsistencies in the art such as Major X’s forehead in one panel being rather huge but overall, Peeples does his best Liefeld impersonation. The characters introduced tend to be bland in some ways and stand out in others and the action sequences are more about the visual than an attempt to make sense at all (see the entire fight sequence in Graymalkin).

Major X is a summer disaster film. It’s all about concepts and visuals but lacks a depth and clearer narrative that would elevate the product. It’s fun in a throwback to the 90s way and I’m sure if I read this back then my teenage self would be bouncing off the walls with excitement. But my tastes have grown since then and I want a bit more from my entertainment. Liefeld is a great idea man but this series is showing that he’s best when working with a master storyteller.

Story: Rob Liefeld Art: Brent Peeples
Ink: Scott Hanna Color: Romulo Fajardo, Jr. Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 6.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.75 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: War of the Realms: The Punisher #1

The War of the Realms is raging across the Marvel Universe and come down upon on New York City. The Punisher is stepping up to defend it the only way he knows how.

War of the Realms: The Punisher #1 is by Gerry Duggan, Marcelo Ferreira, Roberto Poggi, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Cory Petit.

Get your copy in comic shops April 17th! 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
TFAW

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
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Review: War of the Realms: War Scrolls #1

The War of the Realms is raging across the Marvel Universe and there’s so many stories to be told. War of the Realms: War Scrolls #1 kicks off the anthology miniseries with four stories.

It features the works of Jason Aaron, Andrea Sorrentino, Matthew Wilson, Josh Trujillo, Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, Felipe Sobreiro, Ram V., Cafu, Brian Reber, Chip Zdarsky, Joe Quinones, Joe Rivera, Rico Renzi, and Joe Sabino.

Get your copy in comic shops April 17th! 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
TFAW

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies 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

Criminal Expands its Bad Weekend

Bad Weekend

The second and third issues of Ed Brubaker and Sean PhillippsCriminal was a meta story revolving around two comic creators and a convention which had a lot in common with San Diego Comic-Con. In time for the upcoming San Diego Comic-Con a new edition of “Bad Weekend” will be released with all-new material.

The story focuses on Hal Crane who uses his trip to a convention to find out what happened to some missing artowkr.

Published by Image Comics, the new hardcover edition will feature expanded scenes and is being described as “expanded and remastered.”

Bad Weekend will be released July 10 in comic book stores, with a July 16 release date for bookstores.

You can read our review of the second and third issues.

Shazam! Repeats in First as 2018 Begins to Wind Down

Comic film adaptations are big dollars and we track how they do each week to see trends and what’s working and what’s not.

2018 is a record setting year for comic film adaptations. It has topped 2017’s record year and then some. Currently, comic adaptations have earned $2.697 billion domestically, $4.561 billion internationally, $7.258 billion worldwide, with a “profit” of $6.046 billion. That’s off of 10 films. 2017, with 16 films, saw domestic earnings of $2.365 billion, international earnings of $3.755 billion, worldwide earnings of $6.120 billion, and “profits” of $4.442 billion.


It was a repeat at the top of the box office this past weekend as Shazam! came in first place for the second weekend in a row. The film dropped 53% bringing in an estimated $25.1 million to bring its domestic total to $94.9 million. The film also earned $35.9 million internationally to bring that number to $163.9 million for a worldwide total of $258.8 million. The film ranks 74th so far in worldwide earnings.

In third place this past weekend was Hellboy which struggled in its debut with just $12 million. It was anticipated the film would earn $17-20 million. Negative reviews did not help. The audience was 56% male and 64% aged 25 or older. From the opening crowd the film earned a “C” CinemaScore. The film is DOA and the first comic film flop of the year.

Captain Marvel slipped one spot to come in at #6 with an estimated $8.6 million to bring its domestic total to $386.5 million. With a total of $1.065 billion, it’s just $20 million from passing The Dark Knight Rises to become the 8th highest earning comic adaptation worldwide.

Alita: Battle Angel didn’t chart but gained about $74,000 domestically and $2 million internationally. The film has earned $85.4 million domestically, $318.1 million internationally for a worldwide total of $403.5 million.

Dragon Ball Super: Broly is still bringing in the dollars though not charting on the weekend box office. The film jumped $7.1 million internationally. It has earned $30.7 million domestically, $80.1 million internationally for a worldwide total of $110.8 million.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse didn’t chart this past week but earned $700,000 internationally to bring that to $374.8 million. With a domestic earning of $190.2 million the worldwide total is $374.8 million.

Aquaman continues to bring in the dollars though it didn’t chart over the weekend. Over the week, the film earned about $500,000 internationally to bring its international total to $812.6 million. Worldwide, the film has earned $1.148 billion.


Here’s where this year’s comic films stand as far as the actual numbers.

Total Domestic Gross: $2.697 billion
Total International Gross: $4.561 billion
Worldwide Gross: $7.258 billion
Total Reported Budgets: $1.187 billion
Total “Profit”: $6.046 billion

Average Domestic Gross: $269.7 million
Average International Gross: $456.1 million
Average: Worldwide Gross: $725.8 million
Average Budget: $131.9 million
Average Profit: $671.8 million

Below is where the films released stand when it comes to being compared to this year’s averages. Those in green are above average while those below are red.

Shazam! Repeats in First Place while Hellboy Sees Doom

Shazam!

It was a repeat at the top of the box office this past weekend as Shazam! came in first place for the second weekend in a row. The film dropped 53% bringing in an estimated $25.1 million to bring its domestic total to $94.9 million. The film also earned $35.9 million internationally to bring that number to $163.9 million for a worldwide total of $258.8 million.

In second place was Little which debuted with an estimated $15.5 million. Internationally the film opened in 11 markets with $1.9 million. Domestically, the film received a “B+” CinemaScore with a crowd that was 65% female and 56% aged 25 or older. The crowd was also 43% African American.

In third place was Hellboy which struggled in its debut with just $12 million. It was anticipated the film would earn $17-20 million. Negative reviews did not help. The audience was 56% male and 64% aged 25 or older. From the opening crowd the film earned a “C” CinemaScore.

In forth place was Pet Sematary which dropped 59% in its second week. The film earned an estimated $10 million to bring its domestic total to $41.1 million. Internationally, the film added $12.6 million to bring its international total to $35.7 million for a worldwide total of $76.8 million.

Dumbo rounded up the top five with an estimated $9.18 million to bring its domestic total to $90 million. It also added $22 million internationally to bring that total to $177 million and a global total of $267 million.

When it comes to other comic films….

Captain Marvel slipped one spot to come in at #6 with an estimated $8.6 million to bring its domestic total to $386.5 million.

We’ll be back in an hour for a deeper dive into the comic releases of 2018 and 2019.

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