Author Archives: Sebastian Villegas

Review: Venom #162

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Continuing the”Poison X” storyline, we last left our heroes as they were fighting Mancer and the young X-Men have now been infected by symbiotes and now time will tell how much this will effect them in the long run as the hunt for the pirates who kidnapped Corsair rages on.

Since “Poison X” is Cullen Bunn‘s story, it’s no surprise that for now, he’s writing the Venom ongoing as well rather than Mike Costa. And art duties are provided by Edgar Salarza and Ario Anindito with Jacopo Cagmagni handling art for the X-Men: Blue issues.

Now the designs of the symbiote X-Men are pretty cool to look at with variations on their forms including Beast looking like his adult furry counterpart except as a demon. But I think the best one designed is Cyclops with a nice callback to the design of adult Cyclops given his face has a big X across. And it helps that a lot of these characters realize the toxic influence the symbiotes are giving them.

Interestingly though, despite the fact that the X-Men don’t kill people, they still resort to extreme methods of interrogation like stealing a memory from Mancer to figure out what’s what about the symbiotes. And it’s Venom who calls them out on it. And the X-Men don’t even have a comeback so it’s very clear they know what but haven’t admitted yet. And that’s a fascinating angle to go with, so I appreciate the gray morality surrounding these characters as it’s clear they’re no better than each other despite their own senses of morality between Venom and the X-Men Blue team. It’s something I definitely hope Bunn will explore more with this team and this story arc as it goes on.

The artwork is different from X-Men: Blue slightly as this one has a more soft shading in comparison. Though Venom still looks as normal as he should. Nothing feels exaggerated especially on the symbiote side. Very much a lot of them look cool and very demonic in appearance which works for certain characters and the action is well staged even. And the colors by Dono Sanchez-Almara certainly give the proceedings plenty of dynamic to go with.

Venom #162 continues the story arc of “Poison X” in a decent direction thus far and I’m all on board to see where this is going. If you’ve been enjoying this arc, by all means, continue reading. Check it out!

 

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: The Mighty Thor #704

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When we last left our hero, Jane Foster has been told if she uses Mjolnir one more time, she will die given each use will increase her cancer but back in Asgardia, Mangog has been unleashed and someone will have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

There are two issues for the final arc of the Jane Foster version of Thor which is leaving many fans, myself included, saddened at the possibility. Though I am being positive and hope for the best for whatever happens. In the meantime, The Mighty Thor #704 has certainly a lot to go on.

For starters, throughout much of the issue besides the fight with Mangog in Asgardia, there are sections of pages dedicated to Jane Foster’s past dealing with the death of her parents and family in each section of her life. They’re the most poignant moments of the issue given its reflection on Jane’s predicament and plays a lot to her character development and it’s to a point where you feel for her. You completely understand especially via her narration about her feelings.

Jason Aaron really nails these moments, never holding back the emotional baggage that would come out of these type of moments in life, whether it’d be in the past or the current moments of the issue especially given a moment between her and Bonnie. And while the entire sections are poignant to the point of tears-the end of the book at least shows a true testament to her character to the point of seeing one of the greatest panels of the Jane Foster Thor design ever-complete with an awesomely badass quote.

The Asgardia stuff is well done too especially given a moment between Loki and Freyja. The fight and Mangog certainly demonstrates that even Thor Odinson is helpless against the great beast, the entire situation just looks flat out dire and Aaron is certainly good at upping the stakes for his stories-even on an epic scale from 1 to 10. Aaron always has a knack for balancing action and emotion and it’s no different here.

The art by Russell Dauterman is extremely well done as are the colors by Matthew Wilson who gives the two different types of scenes between the Earth hospital and Asgardia scenes very distinct looks. The Earth hospital moments looking gray, degraded and sad while the Asgardia scenes are vibrant in color but also looking a bit grit. They both have a different feel but never to the point of jarring.

The Mighty Thor may be coming to a close soon but if this issue is anything to go off on, it may at least go out with a bang. Check it out!

 

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Luke Cage #170

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Defenders, Generation X, if we were making a list; next on the track of final issues of Marvel books is David F. Walker‘s run on Luke Cage.

David F. Walker who is also known for writing Shaft comics for Dynamite, has written the character since 2015 with Power Man and Iron Fist in the new All-New All-Different Marvel launch Post-Secret Wars before becoming a solo title Luke Cage in 2016. Both runs have been beloved. Unfortunately, issue #170 is the final and it’s a huge shame because the character has gotten newfound popularity thanks to the Netflix show which made it a good call on Marvel to publish solo series.

So for this final issue after the previous arc that went into dark places, David Walker decided it should be a bit lighter and fluffy so to speak. Does it work? It actually does.

On the “Power Mail” section at the end of the book, Walker mentioned the main inspiration was an issue of Uncanny X-Men and The Princess Bride and it shows. Not to mention, he had been wanting to do an issue about Luke Cage being a father to Danielle for quite a while since writing Power Man and Iron Fist. He saved this personal story for last. In an odd way, it’s kind of fitting.

We know Luke Cage is a badass dude, we know that and certain deep issues about him and the world around. But we have to remember, he’s also sensitive and does care about people. And given this issue is about his daughter Danielle, this showcases his fatherly side. Basically, Danielle has been having it rough at daycare and Jessica Jones makes the point that because they’ve been busy doing their own things, they haven’t had time for their own daughter as a result that may have her feel abandoned. So of course, he goes to comfort her.

What follows is pretty much what influenced the story. An entire tale of King Luke Cage and Princess Danielle who also happen to be superheroes and the latter having snakes as weapons coming out of her hands. Yes, you read that right. But the entire is wonderfully amusing that way because yeah, I’d expect a kid to think of this stuff especially the part about fighting trolls and dragon-tigers. It was funny but it took something of an emotional turn as it seems that something of Danielle’s feelings about her parents not being around much come to light but she still keeps on fighting and a rather poignant moment regarding the troll of the story which makes the point that and forgive me for the minor spoiler, the troll had a human face which makes the point that these trolls act big and tough sure but they’re not, they’re still weak. And that’s an honest to god good message that gives this issue much of an edge.

I can tell David F. Walker had a blast writing this story. It’s fluff sure but it’s very fun fluff to show Luke Cage as a parent. One of the reasons I connect with Marvel more than say DC is that the Marvel heroes are still people first. They’re people who happen to be heroes. Some are single people and others are couples or parents and Walker undoubtedly understands that.

The art by Guillermo Sanna is well done, it’s angular and stylized in a way that fits Walker’s writing especially given the subject matter and the colors by Marcio Menyz makes the art pop. And they both certainly fit the lighter tone of the issue.

Overall, it’s something of a fitting end to Luke Cage and I hope to see more of David F. Walker’s stuff for Marvel and whatever future beholds for Luke Cage. You won’t be disappointed. Just bring a tissue or two upon reading though.

 

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Generation X #87

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Where we last left our merry mutant team of young ones, Monet St. Croix had returned to the X-Mansion only for the team to discover she had merged with her demonic brother Emplate to become M-Plate and with the help of Quentin Quire, Jubilee has managed to get her original powers back to fight against the possessed Monet but will it be enough to take her down?

This week also has the final issue of another comic that feels like its run has been cut short and this time, it’s Generation X. It’s a title that had been resurrected by Christina Strain and it’s a shame because it’s a very decent book that I enjoy with fun character dynamics and of course, my bias speaks given how much I champion Jubilee to the point where I defended the book since the initial announcement when it came under the wrath of gatekeepers who decried on the basis of entitlement that it’s not the book they grew up with originally nor were they fond of the choice of characters.

The team itself is supposed to be about underdog mutants led by Jubilee, a character from the original incarnation which is the perfect pitch for the book. And Strain I feel has quite succeeded in her goal and at the very least, this issue feels like a fitting end.

For a start, Jubilee charging into battle with her firework powers back is at least glorious to behold along with her badass boast. When you get down to it, fireworks can hurt. You can’t her powers lame when fireworks can in fact hurt you if you go near one and injure yourself especially if you use fireworks improperly. So it’s nice to see Strain show that first hand even if M-Plate can shake it off.

The fight against M-Plate is an impressive one too especially with quick thinking from Bling outsmarting her and other characters managing to take her down while she was distracted especially when Emplate is finally separated from Monet.

I will say, I wish the fight went on at least a little bit longer with a few more action beats. But the rest of the issue is a solid character piece, stuff that’s finally resolved like much about Benjamin Deeds/Morph and Nathaniel Carver/Hindsight tying the knot as a couple, same with Lin Li/Nature Girl and Trevor Hawkins/Eye Boy and the aftermath of Jubilee no longer being a vampire which, I admit, I miss a lot and wish it was a best of both worlds kind of thing but hey, what can you do? At least she still has Shogo who is adorable as is the relationship between the two. It makes my heart melt, really.

And of course, Roxy Washington/Bling venturing out into the world after staying in the X-Mansion for years and now it is time for her to explore the world around her and live among humans. It’s a nice send off complete with characters giving her gifts, telling her they’ll miss her, etc. The book just leaves me wanting more because already I miss this team but I can only hope another writer will tackle Jubilee and others again someday and hopefully Marvel still has Christina Strain for other books in mind because I certainly want to see more from her.

The art by Amilcar Pinna I imagine won’t be for everyone. I admit, first time I saw the art, I didn’t know how to feel and in a way, I do feel mixed especially with some of the faces but I think overtime I’ll like it enough because the art is unlike other superhero books that it really gives it a good identity to stand out that it fits as a style especially as a compliment to Strain’s writing so it’s another case of solid writer/artist synergy. The colors by Felipe Sobriero certainly helps achieve that as well. And it helps that Pinna is also very good at staging the action scenes and the emotional moments.

The entire issue feels like Graduation Day and Strain definitely nailed that feeling.

If you’ve been enjoying this book, this issue won’t disappoint. It’s a good end to the team and I look forward to the future that will bring these characters.

 

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Black Panther Annual #1

This has certainly been a great month to be a Black Panther fan, hasn’t it? Between the Black Panther comics going strong and most importantly, the recently released film from Marvel Studios which has garnered well deserved critical praise and killer box office numbers. And the Black Panther train ain’t stopping anytime soon because for starters, Marvel has this annual issue of Black Panther which celebrates the past but look forward to the future with the help of past writers of the character such as the likes of Christopher Priest, Don McGregor and Reginald Hudlin.

The first story, “Back in Black,” is by Christopher Priest with art by Mike Perkins. However the story mostly concentrates on Everett K. Ross. Which I can only sum up as that it’d suck to be Ross because the guy despite moving on from superheroes, he gets sucked back in whatever business that involves T’Challa but gets more than he bargained for. The book concentrates on characters created by Priest for this story and as such, it can be seen as an extension of Priest’s own going he did for Marvel Knights around the late 90’s.

The story has a noir feel to it with great effect-helped the efforts of the artwork by Mike Perkins, who gave it a lot of shadows (and plenty of shading) and panels in trippy angles to give the idea of disorientation and the colors by Andy Troy do give it additional flair.  The story definitely comes off as Priest wanting to step back into the world of Black Panther one more time after being away for so long. And it’s a good story. Like I said, it’s a very noir kind of story and fits in with the world of Black Panther.

Now in comes Don McGregor‘s tale, “Panther’s Heart.” Which can also be seen as an extension of his run from many years back in the 70’s when it was still called Jungle Action. It’s probably the most emotional of the three stories once you read on and also benefits from people familiar with McGregor’s issues because it does feature a notable character from his run. Who is it? Well, I can’t say given the character is a surprise for new readers or old readers who haven’t read his run for so long.

I will say it is an emotional story with the art by Daniel Acuna helping much. He nailed the emotional expressions on every character’s face and the writing by McGregor is not very over the top and definitely paced himself regarding what T’Challa is feeling throughout the book. It’s a solid story and probably the best among this Annual issue.

And finally, we have Reginald Hudlin‘s Back to the Future Part II and no, Doc Brown is not in this nor does it involve T’Challa time traveling and leaving a Sports Almanac in the hands of a maniac. Though the thought of Black Panther punching Biff Tannen is a nice thought.

No, instead, it’s a continuation of a particular story penned by Hudlin called, well, “Back to the Future.” In this story, we have an alternate timeline where T’Challa and Ororo Monroe a.k.a. Storm had not been divorced. And instead, because of their marriage, Wakanda grew stronger and became a powerful nation. So much had happened that it offers a variety of things that would be enough to tell an interesting set of comics in their own right like Spider-Gwen has.

We have an older T’Challa telling one of his grand children Grace about everything that had happened since his marriage to Storm. Dude took on Doctor Doom and Magneto and won. It’s all a fascinating look at a future that could have been and honestly, I’d love to see stories evolve from this simple story especially given the last page that had me wondering, “Wait, what the hell happened with that and how?”

The art by Ken Lashley is very good as are the colors by Matt Milla that drive the art home, it all looks good and compliments the writing well enough.

It’s a solid annual issue that celebrates past runs of the title character and if you’re looking for a Black Panther fix after seeing the movie, you won’t be disappointed-especially if you liked either writer’s take on the character.

 

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: The Defenders #10

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*Minor spoilers ahead*

10 issues of The Defenders? I didn’t think the run would be that short but there you go. Okay yeah, it’s obvious why this was book was greenlit given the then upcoming Netflix show of the same name at the time (both the comic and show were published/uploaded roughly around the same time last year) and both lineups were the same with the team consisting of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Amusingly, it’s Iron Fist’s recent books that are better than the Netflix show but I digress.

This is the first of the final issues of each comic written by Brian Michael Bendis. Others like Spider-Man and Jessica Jones will follow. And it appears that Bendis wanted the book to be self-congratulatory of sorts because it does feel like he wants to showcase much of what he’s accomplished in over 20 years or so. But it doesn’t feel arrogant, don’t get me wrong. It’s a decent issue that I really, really like. Bendis as a writer, when given the right task than event comics, he can do solid down to earth superheroic plots. And the chemistry between Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist is well done such as the first panel with Jessica, Luke and Rand (Iron Fist) looking over proudly at the newly installed sign for Heroes for Hire so yeah, that’s still going. It’s a nice scene and ended on an amusing note once people walk by.

Despite solid characterization and decent set up for The Hood as the main villain, there is a major flaw with this book; it just ends. That’s it. There’s this whole setup of The Hood being the new Kingpin as well as he plan with the other villains of the Marvel universe and the two final pages or should I say, a two splash page that promises something of a final confrontation and it just ends. Maybe the point is to set up a Heroes for Hire book full time given the amount of heroes but even then, it features characters either created by or who Bendis has written for. It just feels so annoying because it feels like the book got started.

And it’s a huge shame because as I said, Bendis can be a good writer under the correct material and he had something here!

But in any case, Bendis is Bendis with his ups and downs and this is a solid book he’s written despite my main issue. David Marquez‘s art is also solid, good dynamics in regards to the action and facial and physical expressions, they compliment Bendis’s writing well. And colors by Justin Ponsor give it a nice shaded look but not too much. All very well done.

It’s a decent end to The Defenders and whether you like the book or not, you can’t deny he no doubt had fun writing these characters. And if you’ve been enjoying the series so far, maybe you’ll like it fine and hope based on the final splash page, it’ll go somewhere.

 

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Avengers #681

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Where we last left Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, various members scattered across the globe with one taking on the Lethal Legion and the other, the Black Order due to the two teams battling over a game between the Grandmaster and the Challenger and the game isn’t stopping anytime soon.

Continuing off where the last issue ended, there’s still plenty of action and intrigue to go around and it’s working for the most part save for a few minor hiccups. For one, Rogue killing Corvius Glave doesn’t seem to have much consequences aside from a few of the heroes being unnerved by the extreme action she took. Really, absorbing him amounted to her finding out what exactly is going on. It’s good that it served that purpose but I would have liked some more moments about Rogue killing one of the Black Order. Though you can argue she was justified for doing such given, you know, they’re using Earth as a battlefield for a sick game?

So between that and Synapse getting a thought reading on one of the Lethal Legion, everyone now knows what is even going on, so now the stakes are completely set, which is good! And we also get an idea for the origin of Voyager which in true sort of, Silver Age fashion, it was something of a total accident, not helped by the fact that said accident was motivated by her as a child not wanting to accept her parents getting a divorce and as she describes it, “[her powers] took away the pain.”

It still doesn’t technically explain how she knew the Avengers and was part of the history, maybe it’s just me and either writer of this book can explain it better to me. I mean, it’s not a bad origin, just that I don’t think I’ve fully grasped how is Voyager supposed to work in the greater context.

Despite that however, writers Jim Zub, Mark Waid, and Al Ewing still craft a solid issue with good character moments spread out. It’s an all out action brawl with small character moments this time around but it’s good action and they paced themselves quite well at it. As does the art by Kim Jacinto but this time with some assistance by Mike Perkins given the Voyager origin which gives it a nice aged feel to it which worked quite effectively.

Not much else to say except it’s a good issue to get things moving forward especially with the last couple of pages. If you’ve been enjoying this, keep reading it, it’s still a solid story.

 

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Infinity Countdown: Prime #1

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And so it begins, the start of Infinity Countdown

Okay, okay, technically the Adam Warlock issue was the start but I digress.

Yes, it’s pretty clear why this mini-event is going to be a thing (oh gee, what big movie is coming out the first week of May again?) but I’m always a believer of execution that matters and this is no exception. Yes, it’s easy to be cynical about these sort of things but that doesn’t mean they’re automatically bad. Just takes the right person to tackle the material. Given writer Gerry Duggan has been writing Guardians of the Galaxy and seems to be doing well with the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe, he seems to have a good foundation to work off of.

But this book is a flat out setup for things to come in the main series as well as the tie ins to follow. The book even starts with Loki meeting the newly resurrected Logan a.k.a. OG Wolverine who has been quite accustomed to the space stone that allows him to teleport. So you can imagine his response to Loki when he tries to warn him about the Infinity Stones.

Much of the other scenes afterwards showcase more setup for the tie ins to come such as for Daredevil and Captain Marvel and especially which characters have the Infinity Stones. And yes, Daredevil is a very random choice to toss in for this mini event (and given Black Widow is among the tie ins, she is just as random for this). There’s additional stuff with the Guardians of the Galaxy and surprise characters throughout. I can tell you certain characters I didn’t see coming especially given the ending of the issue which no doubt bodes a lot of intrigue as to what could possibly happen.

But all of it is decent set up, it’s just getting all the players in one place before the game can start. Characterization is pretty good all across the board especially given the humorous interaction between Loki and Wolverine with the former frustrated with the latter not listening to him. As well as Rocket dreading the possibility of going back to Earth which definitely gave me a chuckle. Duggan certainly looks like he has a lot to cover but I’m intrigued to see what directions he’ll take the story in.

Mike Deodato Jr.‘s art is very well done. There’s a lot of impressive scenery and well drawn characters. I did feel Wolverine was drawn a bit too buff like his torso and arms were bigger than his head, maybe it was perspective but it came off as that to me. The colors by Frank Martin certainly help the book’s art as well, also giving it a shaded look. Not much action to go around but there are plenty of dynamic moments that are well drawn.

Not much else to say except it’s decent setup. Like the appetizer to the main course. If you’re interested in Infinity Countdown, this is a good pick up before diving into the many books surrounding the mini event.

 

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Pumpkinhead #1

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Pumpkinhead while well known amongst many Horror aficionados including myself celebrate the film as part of its cult fanbase, it’s sadly underappreciated amongst the titles of many 80’s Horror films. And while time has been kind to it given its Blu-Ray release by Shout Factory, the monster never had any particular luck outside of the first film, which was directed by the late great Stan Winston in one of his only films he directed.

Pumpkinhead as a franchise is kind of bizarre with its direction. The character has had three sequels and an upcoming reboot which hasn’t had any actual new news since 2015 (if memory serves me right though). To give you an idea, the second film basically started out as a script for an unrelated film that had nothing to do with Pumpkinhead but was inserted in at the last minute for whatever current rights holder (specifically the Motion Picture Corporation of America who apparently still has the rights because they want to do the aforementioned reboot) didn’t want to lose the rights. So yeah, think of that sequel as the 1994 Fantastic Four of its time, except, you know, this one actually had a release. A direct to video release but still.

Director Jeff Burr was brought on for the last minute after somebody else left and wasn’t given time to have the script actually fit in with the first film’s mythos. And you can guess how well that film turned out. And then came two television films made for the Sci-Fi Channel (or Syfy Channel). Blood Feud is the only one I’ve seen of the two and it was just okay last I checked.

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So imagine my excitement that Pumpkinhead is not only getting a new comic book but by writer Cullen Bunn, who has been doing well with his Marvel books like X-Men: Blue and even his Godzilla works. And the man certainly loves Horror and its monsters. Incidentally though, this was not the first time Pumpkinhead has ventured into comic books. Dark Horse Comics had the rights for a while and published a four issue miniseries entitled: Pumpkinhead: The Rites of Exorcism but only two were published. I don’t know the circumstances but somehow Dark Horse lost the rights and the comic was left on a cliffhanger-especially with the promise of a winged Pumpkinhead.

Obviously, this book is brand new and doesn’t follow any continuity from the other films or the comic book miniseries from years ago and really, that’s just for the best. Because lord knows I want to be reminded of the second film.

But in all seriousness, this is not a bad start to the book so far. In fact, Bunn may be following the tone of the first film well. One of the major things about the first film was the theme of revenge and how much it can consume one as well as regret afterwards. And undoubtedly given one of the major scenes of the book, nobody seems to have learned their lesson from the Ed Harley incident or any of the other times Pumpkinhead had been summoned quite frankly.

To give you an idea of how Pumpkinhead is supposed to work as a monster, here’s the gist of things:

Pumpkinhead can be summoned when going to the old witch Haggis who would inform you where to find the pumpkin patch and dig up the previous summoner’s body and bring it to her. She does a spell and instantly, the corpse turns into the demon known as Pumpkinhead and the demon and the summoner get tied together with a psychic connection. So if the summoner feels pain, so does Pumpkinhead. That aside, it essentially kills the specific targets the summoner wants dead. That’s very much all you need to know about how the demon works (and go see the first movie, seriously).

And as such, yeah, you can see what happens in this book but there’s plenty more going besides that. For starters, the book starts out with what will seem to be a running thing throughout the book, flashbacks to the childhood of the old witch Haggis, which seems to suggest an even deeper connection to the Pumpkinhead demon than one assumed when watching the first film.

Then we have the Kinkade family who had two children of theirs dead thanks to a hit and run and like I said, you can see where this is going and it won’t end well for everyone. And it doesn’t help the perp who ran them over is not the most sympathetic person much like the leather jacket dude from the first film. Though in his case, he didn’t want to get caught by the cops. This guy however, Clayton, he screams oozing tough guy given the tattoos and cigarette but he’s clearly scared out of his mind-clearly aware of the legends.

Sheriff Andi and Daryl and likeable heroic leads especially with Andi being the type wanting to bring justice which would make for an interesting contrast with the monster himself. But it’s not Pumpkinhead that would make for an interesting contrast, with the hillbilly characters in the story, it’s clear there’s already a major contrast between the law and vigilantism.

However if you’re expecting Pumpkinhead to appear throughout the first issue, sorry, he only shows up on the last page but in fairness, the book has to build up the monster first and it’s a great cliffhanger in fairness since there’s a good splash page of Pumpkinhead ready to attack more of his victims.

The art by Blacky Shepherd and Kyle Strahm is decent for the most part. I could go with a bit more gothic style like something similar to the cinematography of the first film but in plenty of pages, it works like the young Haggis pages which give the book a decent spooky atmosphere. But Pumpkinhead is nicely drawn at least, looks as he should and such. But I’d say the writing is the strongest area especially since Bunn nails the rural gothic aspect very well.

There is a bonus short story which reminds me of Creepy because the tone and art style suggests it’s darkly comic. It was out of nowhere and was blindsided at first but I got used to it the more it settled it with me that it’s enjoyable really and offers something cool.

All in all, pretty good start to a promising horror book. If you love the first Pumpkinhead, then this book makes for a solid companion to it.

 

 

Dynamite Entertainment provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Catalyst Prime: Superb #7

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Where we last left our heroes, Amina and Cosmosis have rescued Corinna from Foresight all the while trying to rescue their parents and learn the secrets of Foresight but is all what it seems?

Superb comes from the recent superhero universe Catalyst Prime from Lion Forge Comics and seems to be slowly but surely developing a following. And that has piqued my interest in checking out the buzz. I decided to start with Superb since I thought that sounded like an appealing book. I’ve found recent superhero books with teenagers to be rather fun whether it’d be Ms. Marvel or Unstoppable Wasp as examples. And Superb, at least Catalyst Prime as a whole, seems to appeal to me as much as Marvel does since I do care about the characters and relate to their actions. It’s a simple superhero story right with a mysterious organization added to boot. Kayla Tate/Amina and Jonah Watkins/Cosmosis are very likeable leads. And hey, cool that Watkins is a superhero with Down syndrome.

You also have to remember, they are kids. Some actions they’ve committed simply seemed like a good idea at the time to them but they learn. And that’s very relatable to me.

Writers Sheena C. Howard and David F. Walker (Luke Cage) certainly nail the characters hard. Not one moment feels off, every action and every bit of dialogue feels natural coming from everyone and I like the structure of the whole mystery surrounding Foresight. Especially the introduction of what looks like some kind of injector device, I don’t know, it kind of looked like an oversized needle to me but while it’s still setup, it’s good setup that could come into play later.

And concerning a certain character, I admit I didn’t see coming so kudos to Howard and Walker for that especially given the cliffhanger sets up a new fight.

The art itself by Alitha Martinez is decent enough, nothing to write home about but I quite like the art anyway and fits the book itself. Then again, the book does look like it could fit in with the Marvel universe so maybe that’s part of why I like Superb thus far.

If you’re already a fan of this book or Catalyst Prime itself, the book’s energy and intrigue with its likeable leads is still going strong. If you want a superhero book that isn’t Marvel or DC, this is the book for you, check it out.

 

Lion Forge Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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