Author Archives: pharoahmiles

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Review: Haxor #2

Haxor #2

As a kid of the 80s, I grew up watching some very iconic movies. One of those movies was Tron. Watching it now, one would say the technology was very crude, and it was, but at the time, it was cutting edge. It showed a world where everything was connected to technology.

The sequel would capitalize on this very notion, utilizing today’s technological advances, giving viewers, a true view of the new world. How we were connected was not only clairvoyant but relevant. As we are approaching a world in which much of that is becoming very true. In the second issue of Walter Ostlie’s excellent Haxor, we find a new world, where technology blurs what is visceral

We find Iso at the beginning of the game where she is meeting up with the rest of her team, right before a game starts. One of her teammates, Verve, senses something is wrong with the lineup, giving them some cause for concern, but still ready to play. As they are watching where one team is getting obliterated by the game, often making moves that would otherwise have them on the winning side. By the issue’s end, the team in the game gets “deleted” but Iso remains vigilant despite what she just saw.

Overall, Haxor #2 is an excellent chapter that gets us deeper into the story. The story by Ostlie is exciting. The art by Ostlie is stunning. Altogether, a story that explores the possibilities of technology.

Story: Walter Ostlie Art: Walter Ostlie
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Firebrand #3

Firebrand #3

I have been a fan of Terry Brooks for too many years to count. I remembered the first time I saw one of his books. It was at a School book fair, and Scholastic was there. As all of us loved to get our books by class mail order, bringing in money so we can get the books we checked off. So we all got excited and of course, we’re happy that we did not have to wait for the books to come because they were there.

As Scholastic were not the only booksellers there. In fact, there was one who sold used books, and right there I saw Magic Kingdom for Sale and was hooked from that point on. I of course got into the Shannara Chronicles and was dazzled by the strong female protagonists. In Jessica Chobot, Erika Lewis, and Claudia Aguirre’s third issue of Firebrand, our protagonist finds out who her family really is, much like Shea in The Sword of Shannara.

We find Natali meeting her aunt, her mother’s twin for the first time, Selena, and whom she would call Izeba(aunt) Selena, as she finds out that she is part of a race of powerful witches. Fast forward, eight years later, and she hasn’t seen father in all that time and must take part in a deadly competition, Basa Gerra,  which would weed who was the best witch/wizard of them all and who would be her Aunt Selena’s next apprentice. She would face some stiff competition from her cousin, Jenna. By the issue’s end, the young witches and wizards see what awaits them, almost certain death.

Overall, Firebrand #3 is a chapter that ramps up on the action. The story by Chobot and Lewis is thrilling. The art by Aguirre is stunning. Altogether, it’s a story that all readers can enjoy.

Story: Jessica Chobot and Erika Lewis Art: Claudia Aguirre
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Green Hornet: Solitary Sentinel #3

GREEN HORNET: SOLITARY SENTINEL #3

There is always that point in the “On The Run” stories where the truth comes to light. This is where you find out who is really the bad guy. There are those villains who do simply for greed. Then there are those who do it purely for personal reasons.

Good Liar shows such a twist, that no one saw coming. As the villain finally gets him comeuppance, leaving no room for escape.  When the hero rises, is when the audience finally sees that glimmer of hope. In the final issue of Green Hornet: Solitary Sentinel, our heroes finally get justice.

We catch up with the Black Hornet,, as he and his commandoes raid the headquarters of the secret police, possibly alleviating some of the heat Paul gets. As the reader and Paul find out that the Black Hornet is Britt, as he needed to stay hidden so that they can uproot the mayor. Paul rescues Diana and Kato from jail. By the issue’s end, the Reids expose the Mayor and his cronies and would soon see their wealth restored.

Overall, Green Hornet: Solitary Sentinel #3 is an extraordinary conclusion which ties the story up well. The story by Van Hise is electrifying. The art by the creative team is eye-catching. Altogether, a story that ends as exciting as it started.

Story: James Van Hise Art: Andrea Albert, Ken Penders, Tony DeZuniga, and Tony Caputo
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Arms of the Dragon #5

Arms of the Dragon #5

Throughout your life, things push you to go in certain directions. For some a tragedy sends some people spiraling. For others, they go through a life of denial. Then for others, they become a totally new person.

Some people become more focused on the meaning of life that they forget to live. The despair tends to anchor some people down. Or like some, they turn into anger and hate,  a violent yet powerful weapon. In Noir Ceasar’s fifth chapter of Arms of the Dragon, Shou begins to become who he is without his family in his life.

We find Shou, shortly after discovering that the girl that gave him food, had been taken by the Shotta Mafioso, leads him to track them down. He eventually gets to their hideout, where one of the capos, has just killed a pair of cops, and Shou finally finds his nerve. He gets in a skirmish with the capo who took the girl, eventually killing him. By the issue’s end, we take a leap forward, where the boys are street avengers.

Overall, a promising episode that will adds a layer of intrigue to the story. The story by Johnson and Lawrence is stirring. The art by Krady is stunning. Altogether, a story that shows sometimes tragedy makes who they were always meant to be.

Story: Marcus Johnson and John Lawrence Art: Chris Krady
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Yeehaw Blue #3

Yeehaw Blue #3

The way the world forces certain people into our lives is almost always remarkable.  It is also befuddling why certain people you meet, you really ever get along with. Case and point, a job I was recently at, this one person, where we were the same age, same situation and yet we did not connect. Then it dawned on me exactly why and I now consider that a blessing.

As I soon realized this person was of low character and often was considered one of the organization’s “snitches”. On the same token, someone who came at me with initial apprehension at a different job became one of my best friends.AS who gets dropped into your life is both a wondrous and beautiful coincidence of living. In the third issue of Yeehaw Blue, Reya meets someone who will become one of her best friends.

We find Kia Johnson, an unassuming young woman, at school where some of the mean girls are trying to have their fun with her, something that they would come to regret. We also find Reya back at school in Ms.Blikeson’s office, where her nonconformist attitude gets her in trouble. Both Kia and Reya meet and get along famously. By the issue’s end, though both of them end up at the Dean’s office, they find a similar spirit in each other.

Overall, an enjoyable episode that injects some levity into the story. The story by the creative team is exhilarating. The art by Jones is striking. Altogether, a story that shows that even misfits are only that to people who don’t understand.

Story: Shay Jones, Johnny O’Bryant, Marcus Johnson, and Corey Mikkell Art: Shay Jones
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Graphic Novel

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Graphic Novel

As long as I can remember Star Wars has always been part of my life. As I can remember one of my uncles remarking about the first time he met me and my cousins, and we were all decked out in the franchise’s pajamas. So because I was born in the 70s, I have had to endure the lifelong pain of wanting more from that universe, and it only being satiated in the last 20 years. As I was one of the many fans that came out when  Episode I: The Phantom Menace came out in theaters back in 1999 and hold a mostly positive opinion on Lucas’s completion of his story.

As what he sought to give fans, was context, one that would give fans the necessary information to truly feel for Anakin. What came out of this new trilogy was that and much more, elevating the story everyone thought they knew from the Lucasfilm books into something even more extraordinary.  It gave even more characters to root for like Mace Windu and Qui-Gon Jinn. In Alessandro Ferrari’s graphic novel Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Graphic Novel, we revisit this much disputed modern-day classic.

We pick up the story where that has been chaos throughout the Galactic Republic, leading to some trouble on the surrounding planets. We meet a young Obi-Wan with his master, Qui Gon Jinn, who has been tasked to investigate what the Trade Federation is up to, which has been engineered by Lord Sidious. As Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon arrive on Naboo, where they save a local Gungan, Jar Jar Binks, who takes them to his ruling class and who the Jedi try to warn of the oncoming invasion by the Trade Federation. Meanwhile, the Jedi take Queen Amadala, the ruler of Naboo to the senate to plea for help for her people, but take a quick detour to a desert planet, called Tatooine, where they meet a young promising child, named Anakin, who they soon realize is more special than he first appears to be. By the book’s end, a battle has been won, a protagonist falls, hidden evil surfaces and the possible fulfillment of a prophecy through a child emerges.

Overall, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace Graphic Novel is a respectable adaptation of the continuation of the world’s most celebrated modern mythology. The story by Lucas is a master class in character development and world-building. The adaptation by Ferrari makes the story a fun ride for younger readers. The art by the creative team is gorgeous. Altogether, a retelling that I enjoyed, and one that serves as a fine introduction to younger audiences.

Story: George Lucas Adaptation: Alessandro Ferrari
Art: Igor Chimisso, Matteo Piana, Andrea Parisi, Davide Turotti, Kawaii Creative Studio, Ken Shue, Roberto Santillo, Marco Ghiglione, Stefano Attardi, Olivia Ciancarelli, Clyde Grapa, and Enrico Soave
Story: 9.0 Adaptation: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Yeahaw Blue #2

Yeehaw Blue

As a fan of the show, Supernatural, I have always loved when they poked fun at themselves. The Winchester Brothers, from the very start, have always been the Luke Skywalker and Han Solo of monster hunting. As Dean’s cynicism is always matched with Sam’s righteousness. Through the show’s 11 seasons, it has always found a way to make the siblings relatable yet stoic in some aspect.

The show has always endured because the brothers with the help of their winged friend, Castiel, and occasionally from their father figure, Bobby, are all of us. We are not one thing because of our family but are many things because of those we call friends. In an episode in the previous season, we saw, the Brothers play out their own version of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. In the second issue of Yeehaw Blue, Reya much like the Winchesters must recover to persevere.

We find Reya, shortly after her fight with a Teras, as she recovers in the school infirmary. As we soon find out that Reya and Boonie were both burnt, and neither of them nor the school knows how a Teras could breathe fire. As the nurse and the headmaster discuss the implications of what may come from the incident, they soon realize the school may have been underestimating Reya’s skills. By the issue’s end, Reya’s family heirloom seems to be more a knickknack, as it causes eerie visions that only Boone can see when holding it.

Overall, it’s a fun chapter that dives a bit into character exploration. The story by the creative team is exciting. The art by Jones is stunning. Altogether, a story that gives a different look at the underdog.

Story: Shay Jones, Johnny O’Bryant, Marcus Johnson, and Corey Mikkell Art: Shay Jones
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Bu

Review: Arms of the Dragon #4

Arms of the Dragon #4

When one suffers a tragedy, it becomes sometimes hard to get past it. As life throws you these curves and makes you question everything. It becomes sometimes untenable as to how much our heart can’t take before it goes asunder. Then that heartbreak can lead to some very dark places.

As it becomes easy to get caught up in it to the point, that you feel that the world is working against you. The truth is that you have to define what that new normal is for you. As you can become inspired or never be the same for the worst. In Noir Ceasar’s fourth chapter of Arms of the Dragon, Shou is left to pick up the pieces.

We find Shou, in shambles, as his family is now gone, and all he has left is a letter from a girl who he showed some grace. As the girl, Chizuru, left him some food, knowing that he is looking for a bit of hope. It would not be long before one of the Shottas finds out what she did and makes her an example. By the issue’s end, Shou finds out what happened to Chizuru, leaving him in a rage.

Overall, Arms of the Dragon #4 is a harrowing episode that will adds a layer of despair to the story. The story by Marcus Johnson and John Lawrence is moving. The art by Chris Krady is beautiful. Altogether, a story that digs into the evils of this world.

Story: Marcus Johnson and John Lawrence Art: Chris Krady
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Arms of the Dragon #3

Arms of the Dragon #3

The show Hunters on Amazon was one of the most controversial shows of recent memory. Not necessarily because of the violence but of how it sought to tell a different alternative history of World War II. This is where art and fact, often conflict and where the oft-neglected uncomfortable conversations come up. This is where actual discussion should take place but instead gets ignored.

What the show does brilliantly is discuss post-traumatic stress disorder. It deftly shows how that condition is tied into the horrors of war in all its ugliness and how humanity is a concept unutilized in times like those, and to be honest, rarely today. In some very difficult, often unwatchable scenes it shows the cruelty the Nazis inflicted on different Jewish prisoners. In Noir Ceasar’s third chapter of Arms of the Dragon, Shou suffers a public indignity, one this community will not recover from.

We find Shou being made an example by the Shottas as his family restaurant burns for the whole neighborhood to see. As the leader of the gang barbed spike into Shou’s hand, everyone watches in terror as different people attempt to take out the spike only to get shot in the head if they don’t. Even his friend, Deito couldn’t pull out the spike in time suffering a similar fate. By the issue’s end, a young lady is able to pull it out in time, saving hers and Shou’s life.

Overall, Arms of a Dragon Chapter 3 is a gruesome entry that will have the reader panting. The story by Marcus Johnson and John Lawrence is affecting. The art by Chris Krady is eye-catching. Altogether, a story that doesn’t shy away from the brutality a world like this yields

Story: Marcus Johnson and John Lawrence Art: Chris Krady
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Usagi Yojimbo: Dragon Bellow Conspiracy #1

Usagi Yojimbo: Dragon Bellow Conspiracy #1

As a fan of the Star Trek movies, I have had many misgivings with the different iterations. Each cast brings its own flavors and also presents its own limitations. The movies have highlighted why fans have loved each of these casts but also shows why many of these shows’ stories never truly translated to the big screen. In fact, if you watched the first-ever Star Trek movie, hopes for a sequel would be far off based solely on that film’s success.

It’s the sequel movies that came which introduced this universe to generations who were not even born yet when the original TV series aired. One of the best movies to come from this series of movies was Star Trek IV: The Undiscovered Country. The film utilized canon and cross-pollinate with some other genres, spy thriller, being the most prominent. In Usagi Yojimbo: Dragon Bellow Conspiracy #1, a plot as dense as Star Trek IV emerges, in one of Stan Sakai’s best stories.

We open on Tomoe, on a mission for Lord Noriyuki, one that she cannot fail, fiercely fighting her way through a brigade of soldiers. As the reader soon finds out Lord Hikiji, is looking for favor with the Shogun in changing his station, secretly amassing an arsenal, one that can possibly outmaneuver any rival. Gen soon uncovers the boxes of guns Lord Tamakuro is hiding, a piece of intelligence, which Lord Noriyuki would benefit from knowing. Meanwhile, we find Gennosuke, Zato-Ino, and Usagi coming together as they soon realize Tomoe has been captured. By the issue’s end, Tomoe must find a way to let Lord Noriyuki know what’s going on while her three friends look to rescue her.

Overall, Usagi Yojimbo: Dragon Bellow Conspiracy #1 is a tense thriller, one which shows the different dimensions to Sakai’s storytelling abilities. The story Sakai is engrossing. The art by the creative team is beautiful. Altogether, an excellent entry point for anyone interested in why this Samurai who just so happens to be a rabbit has gained so many fans.

Story: Stan Sakai Art: Stan Sakai
Color: Ronda Pattison Letterer: Stan Sakai
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

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