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Game Of Thrones is one of those shows that hooks you almost right away. The show has a myriad of characters, which you can both relate to and be repulsed by. It shows the world in black and white, but also not everyone is completely evil. The show and the books also don’t mince words for those who are completely evil.
One of the most nefarious characters that have ever graced the screen was Ramsey Snow. He was the son of Lord Bolton, the same man who killed the matriarch of the Stark clan. His end in the series was one, though gruesome, felt righteous in its execution. In Devil’s Highway #5, Shannon gets to the root of it all.
We are taken back to Minneapolis, where Shannon and Quentin are finding out from one of its victims just how these women get lured into this sinister chain. After all, she has been through, they take her back home to Illinois, and head to one of their main hubs, to stop another victim from being claimed for weird occultist rituals. Eventually, a firefight breaks out, leaving Quentin gravely injured, and Shannon killing the last ring leader, in the same way, he victimized all those women. By the issue’s end, Shannon avenges her father, and though she thought she killed the last ring leader, she soon finds out it goes higher and more connected than she ever imagined.
Overall, Devil’s Highway #5 is a great issue where we see a hero end one evil and unearth another. The story by Benjamin Percy is incredible. The art by Brent Schoonover and Lee Loughridge is beyond belief. Altogether, the issue is immense, which gives some closure but opens new doors
Story: Benjamin Percy Art: Brent Schoonover and Lee Loughridge Story: 10 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy
AWA Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Legendary Comics has revealed the new covers for its upcoming Godzilla vs. Kongprequels Kingdom Kong and Godzilla Dominion, as well as for theMonsterverse Titanthology Vol 1, all by acclaimed artist Arthur Adams.
Writer: Marie Anello Artist: ZID On-sale date: March 30, 2021
A sequel to the graphic novel Skull Island: Birth of Kong and a prelude to the film Godzilla vs. Kong, the upcoming prequel graphic novel,Kingdom Kong, will follow a group of highly skilled military pilots gathered together on Skull Island to see who has ‘the right stuff’ to take on a dangerous mission into the hollow earth. One of the pilots, Audrey, is haunted by the memories of a monstrous clash with one of Godzilla’s titanic rivals that left deep scars. When Skull Island is attacked by Camazotz, a bat-like Titan, Audrey must come to terms with her inner demons, and finding his home newly threatened, Kong must rise to face this usurper that would plunge the world into perpetual night. Kingdom Kong is written by Marie Anello (Shout Out) with art by ZID (Legendary Comics’ Skull Island: The Birth of Kong; Trick ‘r Treat: Days of the Dead; Spectral: Ghosts of War).
Writer: Greg Keyes Artist: Drew Edward Johnson Colorist: Allen Passalaqua On-sale date: March 30, 2021
Godzilla Dominion—the prequel graphic novel written by Greg Keyes (the Age of Unreason trilogy; three New York Times bestselling Star Wars novels in the New Jedi Order series) with art by Drew Edward Johnson (DC’s Wonder Woman, Supergirl; Legendary Comics’ Godzilla Aftershock)—will feature a unique story that picks up after the events of the film Godzilla: King of the Monsters, where the Titans have risen and the reign of Godzilla has begun. As told entirely from Godzilla’s point of view, the graphic novel brings new insights into the King of Monsters: his habitats, ancient rivalries, encounters with new Titans, and other challenges. As his new era of dominance is tested, a coming confrontation with another King looms.
MONSTERVERSE TITANTHOLOGY VOL. 1
On-sale date: May 11, 2021
For new readers wanting to discover the backstories of Godzilla and Kong for the first time or fans revisiting their favorite adventures, the Monsterverse Titanthology Vol 1 brings the previously released graphic novels, Skull Island: The Birth of Kong (2017) and Godzilla: Aftershock (2019), together in one legendary volume for the first time ever.
Steven Barnes is one of those writers whose world-building skills makes you believe anything. His books has been part of my cognitive edification, including understanding metaphor and character development. His stories truly transport you to other worlds and makes you fall in love with the protagonists within them. The books where I first got to know him was The Lion’s Blood series.
The premise of the series was if Africa rose to prominence and Europe is a failed continent. It revolved around two characters, both of the same age, but one Black and one, white. The series itself was a godsend, as it showed just how inhuman, systemic racism truly is. In the debut issue of Black Cotton, we’re transported to a world where the social order is reversed as in Lion’s Blood, giving way to a bold new perspective.
We’re taken to Virginia, where one sullen night, a lone Black cop, Zion Cotton, stops a White woman in a hoodie, and before wither could comprehend the next few minutes, the young lies in a pool of her own blood. We soon find out that the cop is part of a rich family. As the latest incident makes the headlines, his family secures the services of a high-powered attorney, one that has scary reputation. Soon protests hit the streets, where signs advocating for “White Lives matter’ can be seen everywhere, and family tensions between the Cottons only get worse, as his sister’s far-right mindset only heightens it. By the issue’s end, the Cottons’ lawyer has arrived at the victim’s hospital suite, where she meets their lawyer.
Overall, Black Cotton #1 is a satisfying start that looks to say a lot. Hopefully, it gets its footing in the second issue. The story by Patrick Foreman and Brian Hawkins is bold and revolutionary. The art by Marco Perugini is adequate. Altogether, Black Cotton is a story that shows promise but is hard to say right now if it can fulfill it.
Story: Patrick Foreman, Brian Hawkins Script: Brian Hawkins Art: Marco Perugini Letterer: Francisco Zamora Story: 8.0 Art: 5.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Buy
Scout Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Cartoonist Nie Jun’s stunning graphic novel debut, My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder, captivated and charmed critics and readers alike with its depiction of life in a small neighborhood in Beijing. The book was nominated for an Eisner Award, selected as an Batchelder Honor Book, and received a glowing write up in the New York Times Book Review. This spring, Nie Jun will release his eagerly anticipated follow up: an ambitious, four-volume graphic novel series titled Seekers of Aweto, which takes readers on a poetic adventure across medieval China. The debut title, “The Hunt is On“, will be published by Graphic Universe, an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group, on March 2, 2021 in bookstores and in comic shops on March 3rd.
In “The Hunt is On”, Xinyue, his brother Qiliu, and their mother are seekers, hunting aweto―a rare, plantlike treasure. A single aweto has the power to cure the ill. Its rarest form may even grant eternal life. To seize their bounty, the seekers must rob the massive, majestic earth deities from which aweto sprout—sometimes leaving a trail of chaos behind them.
One day, after an outing on the legendary Silk Road, Xinyue discovers the offspring of a deity that creates aweto and becomes the little creature’s reluctant caretaker. Now he must keep it safe and keep it a secret. But warriors from the creature’s village are close behind, and more fearsome thieves wait ahead….
Translated from the original Chinese, “The Hunt is On” is a visual feast, filled with beautiful watercolor landscapes, intricately detailed maps, and magnificent imaginary creatures. Jun’s fantastical take on the unique historical setting of medieval China imbues the world with wonder, humor, and magic.
Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling short reviews from the staff of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full review for. Given the lack of new comics, expect this weekly update to begin featuring comics that we think you’ll enjoy while you can’t get anything new to read – only new to you.
These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.
The Next Batman: Second Son #1 (DC)– Writer John Ridley and artists Tony Akins, Ryan Benjamin, and Mark Morales tell the story of Tim Fox’s pre-Next Batman days as he and the unseen tech guy Vol try to take out a Vietnamese human trafficker. This first issue is all action, or attempts at action, highlighting Tim’s inexperience as he gets lured into a trap and does some stupid stuff like throwing his melee weapon right at his opponent. You can definitely see the passion in Tim’s face and in Ridley’s dialogue and passion, but he’s not even close to Batman or Batwing yet. On the visual side, Benjamin’s layouts are simple, yet effective using 2 or 3 panels a page to show how deep the shit Tim is getting in. The final page is a weird angle/choice from him and Akins though, but it connects him to the context of Future State and the larger DC Universe. Second Son #1 is a pretty, straightforward riff on Batman Year One with an international setting and focus on hacking as well as hand to combat. It’s not spectacular, but it’s solid. Opening with an extended action sequence is always a good move. Overall: 7.5 Verdict: Read
Future State-Superman: House of El #1 (DC)– House of El #1 is a glimpse at a far-flung future where the descendants of Superman from various planets band together to defend Earth from the Red King and his minions. Philip Kennedy Johnson and Scott Godlewski craft a world where Superman and his fellow heroes are practically a myth and where hope is all but lost. Theand’r, who is Kryptonian and Tamaranean, even thinks Superman never existed, and that he was a story to inspire Kryptonian immigrants who found a home on Earth. Johnson throws a lot of interesting ideas that could sustain a mini, but he and Godlewski condense it down to one double-sized comic with plenty of action and an enemy that is a metaphor for white supremacism. Godlewski’s compositions during the fight scenes fill up the page as the remnants of the House of El fight Parademons, Black Racer, and multiple Doomsdays. He draws blockbuster superhero action and interpersonal moments equally well adding a level of vulnerability to these warriors. Overall: 8.0 Verdict: Buy
Skulldigger and Skeleton Boy #6 (Dark Horse)– Jeff Lemire and Toni Zonjic’s commentary on child sidekicks, violent vigilantes who were formerly child sidekicks, and 1990s Frank Miller art concludes in Skulldigger and Skeleton Boy #6. Zoncic’s art is definitely the highlight of this final issue with a contrasting red and blue palette as Skeleton Boy struggles between choosing a life of violence with Skulldigger or something more stable with Officer Reyes and her partner. He also does some striking black and white work for the big emotional beats and also for Skulldigger’s kills. Storywise, Lemire creates a parallel between Skulldigger’s strained relationship with his mentor when he was the young sidekick Alley Cat, and his similar trauma bond with Skeleton Boy as he’ll probably end up getting Skeleton Boy hurt or killed. The actual ending of the issue seems like an anti-climax, but Lemire and Zonjic create a wonderfully redemptive moment for Matthew (Formerly known as Skeleton Boy) while lingering on a couple images of a lonely Skulldigger, whose vigilante crusade and vendetta against Grimjim (Think the Joker plus immortality.) will never end. Overall: 8.5 Verdict: Buy
Crossover #4 (Image)– Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw’s Ready Player One comic book edition continues in Crossover #4. Wisely, they’ve sidestepped their feeble attempts at real world relevance or commentary on the medium and gone for all out action in this issue with the standout being a Ben-Day dot filled double page spread featuring Madman, a yo-yo, and a nostalgic color palette from Dee Cuniffe. The lead characters Ellie, Ryan, and Ava are just ciphers taking the reader from Easter Egg to Easter Egg with Cates’ ominiscient narrator seeing more as a cover his ass situation than adding anything substantial to the series. As co-creators of the series, Cates and Shaws are well within their rights to make God Country a critical part of Crossover’s plot, but it really cheapens the resonance of a series that was their most emotionally honest work. Unless you’re a hunt the Easter Egg enthusiast, this one is worth skipping along with their prose and TV medium relatives, the aforementioned Ready Player One and Stranger Things Season One. Geoff Shaw and Dee Cuniffe’s visuals are very pretty though. Overall: 5.3 Verdict: Pass
Department of Truth #6 (Image)– James Tynion and guest artist Elsa Charretier peel the table behind the Department of Truth a little bit in a flashback story as a fresh off killing JFK, Lee Harvey Oswald learns about the conspiracies of 1000 AD. Compared to the series’ usual style, Charretier’s art has an earthiness that works for the medieval setting, and she even riffs on tapestry as the hag in the woods/Julia Augusta spins basically the origin story of the Illuminati featuring the Julian Calendar, monks, and fake Charlemagne. Tynion and Charretier explore the underlying theme and purpose of Department of Truth, which is to make sure a certain narrative is a dominant one and places it in the wider context of medieval European history. The Roman empire has fallen, Islam is on the rise, and the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox church are about to break apart so why not create the fiction of something that is neither an empire, holy, or Roman to hold things together. It will be interesting to see the ideas introduced in Department of Truth #6 echo down the road and see some of the recurring imagery and themes. It’s definitely my favorite issue of the series so far. Overall: 9.5 Verdict: Buy
Future State: Batman/Superman #2 (DC Comics) – The art shines a bit more than the story itself which just feels like a way to add more flavor to this new Gotham and the Magistrate. It has some great themes I’d love to see explored more but overall, it feels like the end of a filler arc that touches upon bigger things elsewhere. Overall Rating: 7.0 Recommendation: Read
Future State: Dark Detective #4 (DC Comics) – The issue makes me want more of this future Gotham and story direction. The first story features the showdown between Batman and the Magistrate’s leader and it’s a hell of a battle. The art is fantastic with some amazing spreads and awesome action. The second story featuring Jason Todd delivers some solid twists and turns leaving the reader with a lot of questions that’ll be answered in the future. This was the Future State I wanted and it left me begging for it to continue. Overall Rating: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy
Future State: Legion of Super-Heroes #2 (DC Comics) – I really don’t know the Legion of Super-Heroes and this disconnect had me shrugging my shoulders with this one. This comic feels a bit more for the die-hards with knowledge. The art is solid with a very unique style so that was at least entertaining for me. Overall Rating: 6.5 Recomendation: Pass
Future State: Suicide Squad #2 (DC Comics) – The Suicide Squad portion of the comic is fanastic. The ending is something I didn’t see coming and it just feels like a solid mission for the team on another world. The art is really good delivering entertaining action with some subtle things here and there that really stand out. The Black Adam story is interesting but since I’m not into the whole magic aspect of the DC universe, it just didn’t quite pack the punch for me. The ending was also solid but the art stands out with some pages packed in with action and characters. You’ll need a bit to take it all in. Overall Rating: 7.75 Recommendation: Buy
Future State: Superman vs. Imperious Lex #2 (DC Comics) – Writer Mark Russell delivers the humor and satire I’d expect in a story where Lex Luthor rules over an entire planet. There’s some solid digs and concepts in here and it gave me a good laugh. Overall Rating: 7.75 Recommendation: Read
Generations Forged #1 (DC Comics) – There’s a lot of talent with this comic which really should have been released as individual chapters digitally. Seeing different heroes from different times together is fun and there’s a nice retro feel to it all, story and look wise. The comic also opens up the concept of the Linearverse which feels a bit odd and clunky with the current reset of the DC Universe and expansion of the Omniverse. Overall, great concept with an ok execution. Overall Rating: 7.0 Recommendation: Read
Batman: Black & White #3 (DC Comics) – I’m loving this anthology series and just want more of it. The stories and art is varied with John Ridley’s opening standing out. This is a fantastic buy and exactly what DC should be putting out more often. Overall Rating: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
Black Widow #5 (Marvel) – The best series on Marvel’s shelf right now. This wraps up the initial arc delivering some unbelievable action and amazing art. There’s so much to take in and just nails everything I’d want in a Black Widow comic. This is the series I have to read with each release. Overall Rating: 10 Recommendation: Buy
Chasing the Dragon #1 (Heavy Metal) – An interesting fantasy series that mixes in a concept of addiction to dragon’s blood to it. The opening is a little choppy with some good ideas that I want to see where it goes. Overall Rating: 7.0 Recommendation: Read
Crossover #4 (Image Comics) – I’ve really been enjoying this series which dips between great concepts and nostalgia. This issue feels a bit heavy on the nostalgia end of things as the creators reference one of their own creations. It feels a bit like autofellatio. There’s some solid art though which really stands out. Overall Rating: 7.0 Recommendation: Read
M.O.D.O.K.: Head Games #3 (Marvel) – It’s M.O.D.O.K. versus Gwenpool a character I normally dislike. She works here in this over-the-top issue and series that features other organisms designed for killing. A silly, action-filled comic, that’ll leave you laughing. It’s delivered every issue with great jokes and solid art. It’s Looney Tunes type fun. Overall Rating: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Nailbiter Returns #10 (Image Comics) – The latest volume wraps up and it’s a hell of an ending. Though it’s a little choppy it feels very appropriate for a horror sequel. There’s also a bit I don’t want to spoil. For those that have followed this series, you’ll be happy with the finale. Overall Rating: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy
Stray Dogs #1 (Image Comics) – A hell of a debut featuring a dog with memory problem that winds up in a new home. The art is amazing and the build-up to the comic is gasp-inducing and also heartbreaking at moments. This is a must-get and must-read. Just fantastic in every way. Overall Rating: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #5 (Marvel) – The issue wraps up the miniseries with a showdown between Marneus and the Chaos forces. It brings things together in the two storylines and art is decent as usual. It ups the blood and guts a bit and overall is a satisfying though not exciting finale. Overall Rating: 7.0 Recommendation: Read
Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!
Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).
ENIAC #1– the anticipated FIRST ISSUE 48-page spectacular from Matt Kindt, Doug Braithwaite, and Diego Rodriguez– will drop in comic stores around the world on March 3rd and officially launch Bad Idea. To celebrate the launch of their first series, Bad Idea, has announced the First Copy Reward Program.
Beginning with ENIAC #1, and continuing with select releases, they will be sending each BAD IDEA Destination Store location a mysterious and bewildering gold metallic pin. These pins of lore, known to the song singers as the One Pin, were forged by the Dark Lord Josh Johns – between the time when the hordes descended on The Hero Trades and the rise of the comics of the launch wave – to give the first buyers dominion over anyone too sane to wait outside a comic shop before it opens.
You see, these pins are strictly to be awarded only to the first customer to purchase a copy of ENIAC #1 at each Bad Idea Destination store location. That’s right, the first customer to walk in during official store hours and pick up a copy – that includes early-bird Wednesday Warriors buying at the counter, someone picking up a pre-order, a random making a purchase, even the guy who really needs the restroom but then locks eyes with ENIAC – you just have to be the first.
These pins are badges of honor and should be worn proudly and with much pageantry! Each pin will arrive in a sweet (super not collectible so you better wear them!) pin backing that brandishes the BAD IDEA logo and is inscribed with the following:
You will ABSOLUTELY want to be the very first to get a copy of ENIAC #1 at your local comic shop the second it opens on March 3rd. Remember, if you’re not first…you’re last. That’s just math.
If you manage to secure an illustrious pin make sure to post about it on social and tag @badideahello so that its crack social media team can amplify it and spread the word.
This site 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 these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.
(W) Matt Kindt, Keanu Reeves (A) Ron Garney (CA) Rafael Grampá NOTE: This is for Mature Readers In Shops: Mar 03, 2021 SRP: $4.99
Discover the next blockbuster action franchise from the iconic KEANU REEVES in his Must Read comic book writing debut alongside New York Times best-selling co-writer Matt Kindt (Folklords, Bang!) and acclaimed artist Alessandro Vitti (Marvel’s Secret Warriors) in a brutally violent new series about one immortal warrior’s fight through the ages.
The man known only as Berzerker is half-mortal and half-God, cursed and compelled to violence…even at the sacrifice of his sanity.
But after wandering the world for centuries, Berzerker may have finally found a refuge – working for the U.S. government to fight the battles too violent and too dangerous for anyone else.
In exchange, Berzerker will be granted the one thing he desires – the truth about his endless blood-soaked existence… and how to end it.
(W) Rainbow Rowell (A) Andres Genolet (CA) Kris Anka Rated T+ In Shops: Mar 03, 2021 SRP: $3.99
• Wolverine and Pixie guest-star in RUNAWAYS and answer what Runaways fans have been asking for months: With the X-Men’s opening of Krakoa, the island-nation that welcomes mutants in existence, will Molly go? • You may think you know the answer to that or what is going to happen here, but this comic is like its stars: They never do what they’re told or expected to do.