Author Archives: Brett

Review: The Runaway Princess

Random House Graphic kicks off their young readers line of graphic novels with this collection of stories featuring a young princess who enjoys adventure.

Story: Johan Troïanowski
Art: Johan Troïanowski

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

Amazon (Hardcover)
Amazon (Paperback)
Kindle/comiXology
Zeus Comics

Random House Graphic 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

Dynamite Celebrates 90 Years of Nancy Drew… By Killing Her

Nancy Drew & the Hardy Boys: The Death of Nancy Drew

Happy birthday Nancy Drew, here’s a fridge! One of the stranger reveals so far of 2020 is Dynamite‘s Nancy Drew & the Hardy Boys: The Death of Nancy Drew which will be released in April.

In reality, Nancy Drew is not dead as the announcement teases “Nancy Drew is dead! Or so it seems…” The release has understandably angered some as on the surface the concept of celebrating Nancy Drew by investigating her death is a bit odd. It’s Nancy Drew’s story… it just so happens to star the Hardy Boys.

The series is written by Anthony Del Col with art by Joe Eisma. Both took to Twitter to address the controversy.

Del Col Tweeted “not everything is as it seems…”

While Eisma responded to a Tweet asking if they just fridged Nancy, “I promise I would never do anything of the sort.”

The full release from Dynamite hints at more than just a murder mystery:

Through twists and turns, this dark noir-infused story unfurls as the biggest Nancy Drew mystery of all time. Nancy’s mysterious death follows one of her highest stake investigations into organized crime.

Could have Nancy faked her own death or gone into witness protection due to the mob?

Del Col and Eisma are joined by colorist Salvatore Aiala and letterer Crank! for this case.

We’ll uncover the truth when Nancy Drew & the Hardy Boys: The Death of Nancy Drew comes to shelves in April.

The Beat Returns to its Independent Roots Under Heidi MacDonald

The Beat

There’s one less comic site featuring conflicts in ownership. The Beat has returned to its independent roots after being acquired by Polarity in 2017. Polarity is the parent company of Oni Press and Lion Forge Comics creating a possible conflict. But, today, that ends as its again under the sole leadership of Heidi MacDonald, the site’s founder.

In the announcement, the acquisition is described as a “limited partnership to provide additional resources and infrastructure.” That partnership was “intended to empower the site to reach new heights and grow the audience for inclusive comics coverage.”

Established in 2004, The Beat has been covering the world of comics, graphic novels, comic cons, and pop culture daily to an audience of both fans and industry influencers. It is a two-time nominee for the Will Eisner Award in the Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism category and the winner of the Shelf Dorf Award for Best Comics Blog. In 2017, The Beat was added to the Library of Congress’s historical archives.

The conflicts within major comic news sites run deep and are common with many being owned by comic publishers or the parent company of media conglomerates which also produce media those sites cover. Disclosure is limited (though legally obligated) but these deals bring with it deep pockets to fuel coverage, conflicts and all.

The lesson, support independent journalism.

Review: Ruins of Ravencroft: Dracula #1

Ruins of Ravencroft: Dracula #1

Through the Ruins of Ravencroft miniseries, writer Frank Tieri has been adding layers to the iconic Marvel institution. The series has focused on the concept that to look towards the future one has to know the past. And, while we’ve waited for Ravencroft’s future, we get to know its mysterious past. Ruins of Ravencroft: Dracula #1 does exactly that folding in Dracula, Loki, and more into its history.

Though an intriguing issue, this chapter is the weakest of the bunch. We learn that Dracula is involved with the asylum using it for experiments in an agreement with the United States government. The concept is an interesting one but it never quite “makes its case.” The idea of the US making shady deals during the World War II time period, there’s not enough details as to why this deal is happening. Instead, the focus is on Captain America and Bucky stumbling on the situation to free a fellow soldier. If there was more of a focus on that emotional thread or the horrors happening within, the comic would be stronger. But, the issue feels like it attempts to have both without focusing enough on either.

The inclusion of even more characters, while others are set to the side, doesn’t help matters. The inclusion and exclusion feels a bit out of left field and jarring.

The issue also looks towards the future with a twist at the end. That will have major ramifications on the upcoming series taking place in Ravencroft. One of the bigger details is what happened to Ravencroft revealing his fate.

Angel Unzueta handles the modern segments on art while Stefano Landini handles the flashbacks. Rachelle Rosenberg provides the colors. The flashback sequences are much stronger artwise for the comic. Rosenberg’s color gives the sequence a worn “old” look with a focus on a palette and style that’s a bit aged. Like past issues the art does an interesting job of throwing out some things the text doesn’t which should interest and excite hardcover Marvel fans. The art doesn’t quite deliver the horror the issue should feature. There’s never a moment where it really sinks in as to what’s being down visually. The experiments are there but it’s missing something to really punch the reader.

Ruins of Ravencroft: Dracula #1 ends the series on a low note but like past issues it does a good job of fleshing out the history. It’s better as a piece of the miniseries and it sets up the upcoming series nicely. This is for those who have been reading up to this point but new readers might want to wait for the trade.

Story: Frank Tieri Art: Angel Unzueta, Stefano Landini
Color: Rachelle Rosenberg Letterer: Travis Lanham
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7.15 Recommendation:
Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Kidz #1

Kidz #1

We’ve seen many stories and comics set in the world of zombies. It was a popular thing for quite a while and we reached the oversaturation point. So, can a story do something new in that genre to stand out? Kidz #1 might have pulled that off with a zombie meets Lord of the Flies vibe.

Written by Aurélien Ducoudray the comic is an interesting one. Taking place months after a zombie plague, the story revolves around a group of boys who have survived and banded together. We get to know them as so many stories of the sort do as they hunt down a zombie to dispatch. But, Ducoudray delivers on us understanding who these kids are. They needle each other, in ways that are cringe-worthy at times, but that’s what kids their age do.

The characters fall into defined types and that’s where the comic lacks a bit. The overweight kid is picked on, the alpha kid has insecurities and issues with his past. These things we’ve seen before and maybe slight tweaks to personalities would make the comic go from good to amazing. But, it’s early and I’m sure there’s more to come in that department. Ducoudray also focuses on enough details to answer questions in how the kids are living. While there’s many more questions out there, there’s enough details to allow you to enjoy the story.

The art by Jocelyn Joret delivers. There’s a Gorillaz vibe to it all. The art mixed with the story creates a story that’s more playful than the story really is. Along with lettering by Carlos M. Mangual, the visuals take the comic from horror to something else. Much like The Goon, the art both works for the genre but also twists it in some ways making it a bit more comedic.

Kidz #1 takes a genre which was winding down and delivers a new aspect that breathes life into it. There’s many ways this series can go and if the team can avoid too many cliches, the series will really stand out. There’s something that’s really interesting here making it a series to watch out for.

Story: Aurélien Ducoudray Art: Jocelyn Joret
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Story: 7.85 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.9 Recommendation:
Buy

Ablaze provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Ghostbusters: Year One #1

Ghostbusters: Year One #1

We know the story of the Ghostbusters from numerous films, animated shows, and comics. But, what about that first year in business: Ghostbusters: Year One #1 kicks off the untold stories of our favorite paranormal investigators.

Written by Erik Burnham, Ghostbusters: Year One #1 focuses on the “newest” of the original Ghostbusters, Winston Zeddemore. Framed as an interview with a journalist writing a book, we get to learn some details about his experience joining the team.

Burnham adds in details that fit quite well with what we know. It’s a nice “in addition” as opposed to a retcon. We learn about what Winston was doing before joining the team and even get to see some more of the questions he was asked in his interview. But, most importantly, we learn more about him as a person and how he fit into the group and his training. It’s a great example of expanding a known universe.

The art by Dan Schoening with color by Luis Antonio Delgado is unique and stands out. It’s a style you don’t see elsewhere with a cartoon-like quality about it. Schoening’s style is one that you don’t see elsewhere and it’s hard to describe. There’s a slight homage to the cartoon series but at the same time it’s own style. What’s solid is it works for the ghosts. It doesn’t skew to horror but still fits that genre. Delgado’s colors are key with the ethereal popping from the page. Neil Uyetake‘s lettering is also key in giving the ghosts a voice to themselves through the lettering style.

Ghostbusters: Year One #1 kicks off what feels like could be a fun series. I also expect there’s more to what’s presented. The team has a nice grasp of fitting in new knowledge and deliver enough winks and nods for long-time fans. A must for fans of Ghostbusters or want a good chuckle.

Story: Erik Burnham Art: Dan Schoening
Color: Luis Antonio Delgado Letterer: Neil Uyetake
Story: 8.15 Art: 8.15 Overall: 8.15 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Atlantis Attacks #1

Atlantis Attacks #1

Writer Greg Pak has been building to something with his world of “Agents of Atlas.” Atlantis Attacks #1 brings various pieces together in a miniseries that pits the new superhero team against Namor.

Pak delivers a first issue that gets you to question who the villain really is and how to handle the situation. He also makes sure that it’s friendly for new readers. Text in the credits page will catch you up so that you can enjoy what follows.

The story is decent with our heroes not quite sure what to do about what’s going on as they deal with the threat of Atlantis against their high-tech world. There’s a disaster film tone about the comic. The Agents of Atlas have to scramble to stop tidal waves and evacuate individuals. That need to cover so much at times leads to a choppiness in the narrative.

The art by Ario Anindito is entertaining helping to add to the chaotic disaster feel of it all. There’s a visual sense at times that the heroes really are at a loss as to what to do. Rachelle Rosenberg’s colors help make the issue stand out with a bright hue to it all. There is at times a loss of detail but Anindito and Rosenberg have a lot covered at times and do en excellent job of conveying the blockbuster like action.

The issue is new-reader friendly and should begin a payoff for followers of Pak’s work. The debut is an entertaining one and a nice intro for what’s to come. While it’s not the best Pak has delivered it’s still fun in many ways. Atlantis Attacks #1 gives new heroes the mini-event spotlight they deserve.

Story: Greg Pak Art: Ario Anindito
Color: Rachelle Rosenberg Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation:
Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Batman #87

Batman #87

The second part of “Their Dark Designs” delivers an interesting chapter in Batman #87. While it builds upon the mystery of who is bankrolling this latest attack on Gotham, it’s the character interactions that stand out.

Written by James Tynion IV, the issue brings in new pieces of the puzzle, the Riddler and Penguin. Each are part of the game being played and both are also targets of the mysterious bad guy. Their interaction reveals who is and who isn’t behind the hiring of Deathstroke and his crew. And, it’s their interaction that sets the tone of the comic and focus.

Tynion continues to lay out the new status-quo for his vision of Batman. Without an Alfred to guide him, there’s a conscious effort to display what Bruce/Batman’s attitude is at this point. Whether it’s talking with Lucious, Catwoman, or Bullock, each scene gives us an idea of what we should expect and where Batman is at this point.

The issue also continues whatever the big picture plan is. Like a good heist story, the concept is already convoluted with being captured and needing to escape. There’s more to it but it’s best to not think about the details at this point. As more is revealed, hopefully the “why” of those details of this issue will make a bit more sense. For now, turn your brain off.

The art is where I’m most mixed on the issue. Guillem March both nails it and doesn’t. Details of characters feel lost at times lacking a crispness we’ve seen in other recent Batman artists. But, the layouts of the pages are inspired. There’s some very solid work delivering different perspectives that create an engaging flow of a read visually. Tomeu Morey‘s colors stand out as well, especially in the beginning. March delivers his vision for the Riddler and Penguin and each are more monstrous than we’ve seen recently. Morey’s color helps drive that home with a sickening palette for each. Riddler’s curved body mimicking a question mark is a nice touch and detail.

Batman #87 is a fine second chapter. There’s solid action and moments for characters but it feels like a chapter. The comic doesn’t have quite enough to stand on its own. It’s part of the puzzle and features too much of a mystery to totally praise. As part of the arc, it’ll be quite good but as a single issue, it lacks a little and doesn’t stand on its own.

Story: James Tynion IV Art: Guillem March
Color: Tomeu Morey Letters: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.25 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #1

The Guardians of the Galaxy have saved the cosmos once again and deserve to retire… but how long will that last and who will stand up?

Story: Al Ewing
Art: Juann Cabal
Color: Federico Blee
Letterer: Cory Petit

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

Amazon
TFAW
Zeus Comics

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

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