Author Archives: pharoahmiles

Review: Oathbound #1

Oathbound #1

Clive Owen is a one of those actors whose believability in roles is the reason so many people watch him. His ability to immerse himself is what makes people relate to him. The first movie I remember him in was Children Of Men, a story in which he plays a gun for hire in a dystopian future where no one can get pregnant. He played the character with ease, grit, and soulfulness. You couldn’t help but root for his character.

One of my favorite movies by him was the enigmatic yet hard-boiled I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead. He portrays a former gangster whose brother has suspiciously committed suicide. He displayed what Descartes called “the duality of man,” where he easily turned back to his former life in name of vengeance. In the debut issue of Oathbound, we find a protagonist much like Owen’s Will, where his old life interferes with his present life and he is forced to act.

We’re taken to 1868 Nevada where a posse is about to undertake a score of a lifetime by stealing enslaved Elves. Of course, nothing goes as planned. One of the posse members, Cole Jamison, meets the love of his life during the heist leading to a change of heart. We fast forward 20 years later, high in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Cole and his daughter Voila living a fairly boring normal life. Their seemingly quiet existence gets interrupted when a band of Goblins decides to cause a ruckus near the house leading Cole to spring into action.

Overall, a powerful story that will remind readers of Wynonna Earp but will find a more entertaining story. The story by Kevin Cuffe is even paced, well-characterized, and masterfully told. The art by the creative team is beautiful. Altogether, a story that is both emotive and action-packed, providing readers with a rare story that will move you and entertain you.

Story: Kevin Cuffe
Art: Paul Gori, Hedwin Jimenez Zaldivar, Micah Meyers,
and Shawn Greenleaf
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Among the Willows #4

Among the Willows #4

What happens when revenge consumes you? Does it merely encapsulate every thought in your mind, trying to figure out how you would react? Some people internalize it, knowing how these consequences can affect the rest of their lives. Then there’s those who just see red and will only stop at decimation.

I once served with someone who would constantly get in fights and he was more than a few years older than me. Once he got mad, he wouldn’t stop fighting until he saw blood flow from whomever he was beating on. I always wondered what would get a normal person this angry? In the fourth issue of Among The Willows, the boys’ new ally certainly has her reason for fighting Gideon.

As this issue starts, Sam’s father finds out the awful truth about how his mother died in a fire a year prior. We also catch up with the new stranger who showed up at the end of the last issue, as she reveals to Adam the sex slave ring that Gideon has been circulating near their town giving the boys a reason to respond. The boys find out who exactly killed the Sheriff. By issue’s end, Adam and his new ally find the bodies of several townspeople hanging from the tree leading to avenging their deaths.

Overall, an exciting issue that pushes this story forward. The story by Adam Meadors and Sam Romesburg is brilliant and intellectual. The art by the creative team is spectacular. Altogether, a story that brims with tension and crackles with intrigue.

Story: Adam Meadors and Sam Romesburg
Art: Bruno Chiroleu and Renzo Podesta
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: The Incapable Trump #3

The Incapable Trump #3

Distraction is often a way for us to avoid answering those uncomfortable questions. It had been some years, since I dealt with a full-fledged narcissist, until my most recent supervisor. I didn’t pick up on it at first, as the niceties overshadowed the deep-seated inconsistencies. Eventually, the errors became more apparent and the conversations often drained anything fruitful into something being completely one-sided.

I see the same constantly self-centeredness in the present world leader who this comic is named for. Their constant reductionist attitude to complex geopolitics and apparent derision towards domestic policies gives the American populace little faith in who is leading us. Never in recent history, does America feel lull and directionless than the present tense, as we all know what gross incompetence looks like. In the third issue of The Incapable Trump, the brilliant Omar Mirza uncovers how such an imbecile navigates foreign policy.

We’re taken to the hospital where Trump’s condition is closely being watched by Dr. Iman Ali, a situation Mueller looks to get down to the truth about. We also find Kim Jung-Un, who offers a reward to capture the Incapable Trump. This leads President Trump to enlist the help of Dennis Rodman as they prepare to visit North Korea. What unfolds is a hilarious exchange between these two delusional office-bearers.

Overall, one of the best parodies of this officeholder that almost everyone agrees should have kept his day job. The story by Mirza gives readers what they have come to expect from the story and more than they ever expected. The art by the creative team is beautiful. Altogether, the story gets better with each issue.

Story: Omar Mirza
Art: Joao Marriero, Alex Genaro and Bezzz Studio Artist Team
Story: 9.6 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Green Lantern Mosaic #12

Green Lantern Mosaic #12

When it comes to one’s morals, sometimes holding the line can be the most difficult thing you can ever do. Life will show you, just like in that movie Training Day, people are either sheep or wolves. People who are sheep tend to be meek, quite ordinary, and will bend towards whatever direction those in power lean. People who are wolves, usually stand their ground and will persevere no matter the consequences.

What happens when your morals and your convictions are at a crossroads? Take for example when people support free speech. What happens when that same argument is used to defend hate speech? Can the argument outlive the situation? In the twelfth issue of Green Lantern: Mosaic, we find Jon defending an unworthy enemy, one which shows what kind of hero he really is.

We find a KKK leader espousing how Jon’s hopes for an interspecies utopia is fruitless furthering the division between the inhabitants of the Mosaic. Jon intercedes as the KKK’s efforts become unfortunately increasingly effective, but also united against these usurpers, who Jon soon realizes he has to defend, despite the hate they spread. As he soon dreams about what would the different Lanterns of the Corps would react. By issue’s end, as Jon looks to intercept another attack by the KKK, the tables turn to Jon’s surprise, ending this issue both ironically and hysterically.

Overall, an issue that shows just how sophisticated and progressive Jones’ writing has come over the course of the book.  The story by Jones is entertaining. The art by the creative team is elaborate and beautiful. Altogether, an issue that tackles a real-life issue but instantly pushes the story even more.

Story: Gerard Jones Art: Cully Hamner and Danny Panosian
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Zindan #4

Zindan #4

When you have no options left, what do you do? Where do you turn? How do you go forward? These are the questions when it seems there’s no hope, that you must answer for yourself. When it seems as though you have no light guiding your dark days. If you grew up in a religious family, you would hear sayings that stoked your faith. From my Roman Catholic Filipino mother, I would hear “God will only put us through those things that make us better”.

From my Trinidadian Muslim father, I would hear “And He will provide him from he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed, Allah has set a measure for all things.” Faith gives us a vision where our eyes cannot guide us as we cannot see the future, but we can ask for a greater being to look out for us. We must remember these things when life throws us those curve balls we never saw coming. In the fourth issue of Zindan, Timur and Zain are still trying to pickup the pieces after an unfathomable betrayal.

We find the Shah of Punjab returning to his palace in Lahore, with this capital brimming with intrigue and hungry peoples lining the streets, as they revel in the victory, they had over the Ansaars, not knowing Zain and Timur are waiting in the shadows. We also find Tara and her companions fighting their way through the Shah’s men in the desert, trying to equalize the damage his men unleashed on the Ansaars. We also are taken to Herat, where Zain and Timur are being hunted by Tatar soldiers, as the betrayal they suffered in the last issue has left the brothers with few options. By issue’s end, as Timur finds a moment of solace only for it to be interrupted by the Tatar soldiers who are there to end the Last of the Ansaars.

Overall, an excellent issue that gives fans a complex world where the heroes look like the people of color this mythology is built on. The story by Omar Mirza is well developed and well characterized. The art by the creative team is gorgeous. Altogether, an installment that proves Mirza is an expert storyteller.

Story: Omar Mirza
Art: Sajad Shah, Adelso Corona, Mostafa Moussa, La Beau Underwood, Bryan Valenza, Jessica Jimerson, Alonso Espinosa, Roberto Vargas,
and Joe Weems
Story: 10 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Unpublished

Unpublished

In a world where we’re interested in creators, the director’s cut of any work has become an inevitability. Petitions launched screaming for creators to release their own original intended product has become commonplace. One of the most recent campaigns included Zack Snyder’s cut of Justice League. The movie which probably would have been much more fulfilling than what was released was probably the 6-hour version of Watchmen, as the new series shows just how dense this world is.

Another good example of a story enriched by cut scenes is Avengers: Endgame a movie that was an emotional rollercoaster but became even more endearing with the added scenes. Anyone who has ventured into the special features of a Blu-ray can tell you deleted scenes can be the best scenes in a film. The audience can see the many different directions one story can go or what certain scenes may have alluded to. Unpublished is a collection by the burgeoning creator Michael Lee Harris showcasing this rising star’s works in progress.

In “Tug,” a tugboat crew deals with the advancement of technology and how it affects their livelihood. In “Metro Litan,” Harris takes us to a dystopian future where books are a commodity and zombies grow like weeds. In the final story, “Beaver In Chief,” we find a young beaver looking to be chief of his tribe but doesn’t want all of the trials and tribulations. By the book’s end, there are definitely reasons why each story wasn’t picked, but not because of a lack of talent.

Overall, a trio of stories which proves that Harris is a talent that should be on everyone’s radars. The stories by Harris are well developed and well characterized. The art by Harris is beautiful. Altogether, a set of stories both magnetic and full of heart, which makes Harris a creator to watch out for.

Story: Michael Lee Harris Art: Michael Lee Harris
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: F.E.R.R.A.R.I. Boyz

F.E.R.R.A.R.I. Boyz

As a child of the 1980s, Saturday Morning Cartoons were my jam. I remember waking up earlier on Saturdays than on school days so that I wouldn’t miss my favorite shows. As I grew older, this type of programming started to dissipate year after year. But decades later, some of the cartoons from that era still feel fresh in people’s minds.

In the latter years before the premise’s demise, it started to “jump the shark” and use different celebrity fueled cartoons. I remember one of the first ones being Mr. T’s cartoon which was running the same time The A-Team was on the air and made for an interesting comparison. Then there was Kid N Play’s cartoon which was mediocre at best, but I always wondered if they sprinkled in some of their more interesting elements of the rest of the Saturday Morning Cartoons in it, what kind of show it would be? In the F.E.R.R.A.R.I. Boyz , we find the rappers Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame in a fantastic fanfiction that has the two rappers eluding shadowing organizations and saving the world.

We’re taken to a secret meeting in DC, where President Barack Obama is holding court with a scientist advising the president that an asteroid is headed to Earth. This prompts POTUS to call the FERRARI Boyz into action. Waka Flocka Flame and Gucci Mane, after a few hilarious missteps, blast off into space to find things are more hopeless than expected as they walk into a trap. The two are endlessly tortured by the story’s villain, the Canadian rapper, Drake, who lured both of them to get rid of his competition. From there it’s superpowered villains and Nikki Minaj robots as the two rappers attempt to destroy the asteroid and save the planet.

Overall, a more than enjoyable fanfiction adventure with some famous figures that will have you laughing hard at both the material. The story by Kenny Keil is very funny and is worthy of more love from the industry. The art by Keil is gorgeous. Altogether, a comic that more than deserves to be included with all the great adventures included in Saturday Morning Cartoons.

Story: Kenny Keil Art: Kenny Keil
Story: 10 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Rhyme Travelers #1

Rhyme Travelers #1

Anybody who was alive during the 1990s can remember the travesty known as the WB Network. This what eventually became UPN and what turned into its present form, the CW Network. The network has more mainstream fare than it has in previous years but definitely invests in genre programming. When the network initially started in 1995 it had some very problematic shows that they decided to air.

The shows tried to cater to the African American community, where they showed programming like The Game and Girlfriends. They also showed funny yet forgettable shows like The Jamie Foxx Show and The Wayan Bros.  They also presented shows, which makes me still cringe like Homeboys In Outer Space. In the debut issue of Rhyme Travelers, we meet some protagonists which remind me of the latter, with a few exceptions.

Meet the Rhyme Travelers as they look for their next gig. They’re running out of gas traveling the universe where they find a job working a mall known as The Floating Gardens Of Baubelon. As they start working their new job, they soon find themselves embroiled in the same trap, the customers of the mall do, debt. As they look to find out who is behind all of this, they run into the mall’s security, the S.H.A.R.C.S., which they destroy and find the why the cards were issued in the first place. By issue’s end, the Rhyme Travelers uncover a mind control scheme and save the day.

Overall, the book seems to a bit stereotypical and dated despite its publication date. The story by Gustavo Alberto Garcia Vaca is funny but contains a ton of overused story tropes. The art by Kenny Keil is the best part of the book. Altogether, I would tell readers to borrow it, as the issue isn’t worth the price of admission.

Story: Gustavo Alberto Garcia Vaca Art: Kenny Keil
Story: 5.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 6.4 Recommendation: Read

Review: The Dark Gun #3

The Dark Gun #3

We all carry a burden of some sort. Some heavier than others. We’re shaped by our experiences. What we endure throughout our lives becomes the bar by which we are tested. When it comes to “trials and tribulations” everyone’s definitions differ. What brings stress to some people is everyday fare to others. Take, for instance, the strange bedfellow success is to some people.

When one revels in success it can be a moment to pause and smell the flowers. For others, there’s no rest for the wicked as there is too much to do. Is there such a thing as success making someone mad? It definitely can be seen in some celebrities who found it to be too much at one point. In the third issue of The Dark Gun, the pistol finds it ways to its newest owner, a lawman who will soon find out exactly what this weapon is about.

We meet Cole Rollins, a Pinkerton agent, whose former life was a soldier during the Civil War, an experience which shapes him to the present, and which leads him to seek care from a psychologist who instantly recognizes that he has PTSD. He recounts to his doctor,  the series of events that led him to the Dark Gun, where he shot the suspect dead tot right, only to see him two days later, standing alive in front of him, only for it be his mind playing tricks on him. This sidelines him for a bit, where he gets assigned an elusive jewel thief, one which prompts visions of the gun’s previous owner all over again. By the issue’s end, Rollins finds absolute serenity in the only way he can.

Overall, an engaging and mind-bending issue of this innovative series which is part drama, part horror, and part psychological thriller. The story by Matt Durand is immense and impactful. The art by Taylan Kurtulus is simply breathtaking. Altogether, an excellent chapter in this time jumping epic that shows the power objects can have us supernatural or not.

Story: Matt Durand Art: Taylan Kurtulus
Story: 10 Art: 9.7 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Delegates #9

Delegates #9

When the going gets tough, sometimes uneasy alliances are a way for us to move forward. We may find ourselves reaching for people we would not normally be aligned with. They also can be more manageable relationships, as you can be more objective than actual friendships. In my experience, the ones where everyone has their own agendas are usually the strongest.

Most uneasy alliances also can be tender as they may be hanging on a string. An episode of Mayans MC shows what happens when your connection is not easily aligned. One thing can offset what could be a fruitful partnership. In the ninth issue of Delegates, we find two characters with opposite agendas forging a coalition.

We catch up with our heroes shortly after the events of the last issue where they were attacked at their temporary refuge. They looked to rebuild by reaching out to the local warlord Tau. Aminah’s advisors plead for her to think of alternative means. They eventually hold court with Tau looking for safe passage. Aminah offers him a favor if they retake the capital. By the issue’s end, Amina and her associates fall into a trap.

Overall, an exhilarating chapter in this tense dogmatic thriller, that gets into the layers of negotiation leaders go through. The story by Bin Lee is intellectual and fast-paced. The art by the creative team is stunning. Altogether, a story that shows anything can tip the scales in a delicate sociopolitical climate.

Story: Bin Lee
Art: Kendal Gates, Rebecca Harris, Heather Breckel,
and Taylor Esposito
Story: 10 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

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