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Review: Magic #1

Magic #1

Welcome to Ravnica, the home of magic. Kaya the Ghost-Assassin. Ral Zarek the Stormheart. Vraska the Queen of the Downtrodden. While each resides somewhere different in Ravnica, each will face down many foes due to a sudden attack in Magic #1. Who sent them is unknown but it’s part of the mystery of the multiverse of Magic.

I’m coming into Magic #1 as someone who knows absolutely zero about Magic: The Gathering but with any fantasy system, it’s about finding the components and putting them into terms you are familiar with. As someone who has played Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder, I wasn’t completely confused with the goings-on of this first issue. It’s definitely a good setup issue. It provides an introduction to Ravnica and the various Planeswalkers and a couple of steps into what each is capable of. I’m not ready to go get a deck but the character work laid out within the pages is definitely enough to keep me entertained.

I’m fairly impressed with Magic #1. Jed McKay put together a simple enough story, which is great for someone like me who doesn’t understand MTG and yet there’s enough of the terms and abilities and such thrown about that it quickly brings you into the fold. McKay has put in a good amount of worldbuilding, action, and intrigue to really help make Magic #1 a quality fantasy comic.

Add Ig Guara’s art to the mix, I really like the art style used here. One of the great things about fantasy is the mixture of the strange and exotic and there’s definitely a lot of strange and exotic with this issue and having an artist up to the task of drawing all of this up is key. I know some of this has to come from the game itself but there’s a lot of cool character designs here. It’s a comic book with a lot of bright and vibrant colors. Arianna Consonni’s colors really add to the fantasy feeling and with Ed Dukeshire’s letters, I feel this issue of Magic is an adventurous first issue.

Magic #1 is very much in the vein of IDW’s Dungeons & Dragons comics, which I also really enjoy. We can never have enough fantasy-driven work in comics so if that’s what you like, take a chance with Magic.

Story: Jed MacKay Art: Ig Guara
Color: Arianna Consonni Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXology – Amazon – Kindle – Zeus Comics – TFAW

Review: Dracula, Vlad the Impaler

Dracula, Vlad the Impaler

When it comes to characters whose stories have been told throughout the decades no one truly rivals Dracula. His story, which is based on a real person, is so regaled with lore it can be difficult to know what is true. There are a ton of legends connected to Vlad the Impaler. His most known is his connection to being the most famous vampire. Just about every country in the world has a vampire legend.

One of my favorite interpretations was Luke Evans’ inspired, yet rarely seen or talked about, Dracula Untold. It gave viewers, a different look at the ruler. Unfortunately, the movie never spawned a sequel but left an indelible portrait of this vaunted figure. In a similar retelling of this icon, Roy Thomas and Esteban Maroto give us Dracula, Vlad The Impaler, giving readers a dense look at the legend.

We are introduced to Dracula, as the world knows him, as he serves as our narrator, though his origin story. As we find Vlad the Prince of Wallachia, and the son of Vlad the Dragon, a ruthless tyrant who ruled Transylvania with an iron hand. He and his brother would travel to Galllpoli with their father on a conquest, which lead to them being wards of the sultan of Turkey. The sultan would eventually kill his father and install Vlad as the new regent, but make him beholden to Turkey.  He would eventually get revenge on those who betrayed his father, and would grow weary of the hold the sultan, leading him to wage war with the Turkish Empire. He was soon turn to supernatural means to gain victory, a path which leads him to be even more ruthless than his father , becoming what world knows him now, Dracula . By book’s end, he is eventually defeated, only to brought back from the dead by his son years later.

Overall, Dracula, Vlad The Impaler is an excellent graphic novel that gives readers a more multifarious look at this legend. The story by Thomas is engrossing. The art by Maroto is simply, legendary. Altogether, one of the best telling of this classic monster. It’s one that is sure to inspire new tellings.

Story: Roy Thomas Art: Esteban Maroto
Story: 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: Championess

Championess is based on the true story of Elizabeth Wilkinson, a female bare-knuckle boxer in the 18th century.

Story: Kelly Zekas, Tarun Shanker
Art: Amanda Perez Puentes
Letterer: Richard Starkings, Jimmy Bentancourt

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

Amazon
Bookshop

Legendary Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
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Review: Savage Dragon #258

Savage Dragon #258

Savage Dragon #258 takes readers on “A Walk On The Wildside”. Amy Dragon sneaks off on an adventure with Walter, the talking tiger. Sadly, dinnertime is not the time for such actions and they find themselves in trouble (and snow) moment after moment.

To be honest, Savage Dragon #258 was a bit of a snoozer. Amy and Walter’s little adventure wasn’t that exciting. The most exciting part was the beginning where Malcolm was battling the God of Thunder. After that, it delved into something a lot more chill and peaceful which didn’t really resonate with me. Partly, I don’t get to read every issue of Savage Dragon that comes out. I do want to say that while the story wasn’t my cup ‘o tea, I think that it’s an impressive feat that series creator Erik Larsen can keep Savage Dragon in some oddball adventures like this one, which helps it be unique.

While I wasn’t blown away by the story, Larsen’s art is still something to behold and this issue had quite a few moments where I liked what I was seeing. The opening page was full-on Kirby (in a good way) and what followed was a very energetic two-page splash. Nikos Koutsis is a fantastic colorist for Larsen’s work and I thought that this issue showed that. I do feel like Larsen has gotten a bit loose with his pencils, as compared to how I think his older issues of Savage Dragon look but I do still think there are quality visuals in this issue. It’s good to know that I can still appreciate the art on a book like this, even if the story doesn’t click with me.

Story: Erik Larsen Art: Erik Larsen
Letterer: Ferran Delgado Colorist: Nikos Koutsis Flats: Mike Toris
Story: 5.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 6.0

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Beasts Of Burden: Occupied Territory #1

Beasts Of Burden: Occupied Territory #1

The eight-time Eisner Award-winning comic book series blending fantasy and humor returns in a historical adventure blending Japanese and Western occult with Beasts of Burden: Occupied Territory #1!

An elder member of the occult-battling pack of Wise Dogs recalls a harrowing mission–in U.S-occupied Japan after World War II, a mysterious curse creates an army of crawling, disembodied heads which threatens to overwhelm the region. Emrys and a team of canine companions attempt to solve the mystery, bringing them into conflict with shape-changing tanuki, evil oni, and a horde of vengeful demons. 

Beasts Of Burden is one of those series that I was introduced to via my LCS heavily promoting the Neighborhood Watch trade paperback, and the subsequent books. so it is, then, that Beasts Of Burden: Occupied Territory #1 is one of the few entries to the series that I’ve read in single issue form verses the collected edition. While this is a follow up to the previous miniseries, other than the first page or three you don’t need to have read that as Occupied Territory takes places during the Second World War in a flashback told by Emrys.

Written by Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer, with art by Benjamin Dewey and letters by Nate Piekos, the comic is absolutely beautiful. It reminds me of a painting in many ways and the style works incredibly well with the time period the comic is set in, with the art bringing to the fore the sense of dirt and grime and hopelessness you’d expect in a story that mixes World War Two and the occult. Being a flashback story, Emrys takes the time to frame his story for his audience, which has the added benefit of framing it for us, and especially for folks new to the series (which makes this a fairly good entry point to the world of Beasts Of Burden).

With this being the first issue, there’s a bit of a slow build to the inevitable occult madness, but Dorkin and Dyer set the pace of the comic really well – building slowly toward the following chapters where the shit (and probably blood) will surely hit the fan. Beasts Of Burden: Occupied Territory #1 is another fantastic entry into the series lore, and I cannot wait for the next issue.

Story: Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer Art Benjamin Dewey Letters: Nate Piekos
Story: 8.6 Art: 9.4 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: ENIAC #2

The mission to take out ENIAC really begins but how do you stop a computer that’s five steps ahead?

Story: Matt Kindt
Art: Doug Braithwaite, Doug Lapham
Color: Diego Rodriguez
Letterer: Dave Sharpe

Find a comic shop to get your copy

Or, buy your copy at the link below:

Zeus Comics

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Tankers #1

An oil company decides that the dwindling supply can be fixed by traveling back in time and just making more! Tankers #1 kicks off a satirical action series.

Story: Robert Venditti
Art: Juan José Ryp, Jorge Monlongo
Color: Andrew Dalhouse
Letterer: Dave Sharpe, Jorge Monlongo

Find a comic shop to get your copy

Or, buy your copy at the link below:

Zeus Comics

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: King in Black #5

King in Black #5

King in Black #5 is the big finale to Marvel’s latest event as Venom finally faces off with Knull. In what felt like a bit of a one-sided affair, Venom mops the town up with Knull. Possessing the Enigma Force makes Eddie Brock Knull’s equal. Even more so, he’s equipped with a weapon made of the Silver Surfer’s board and Mjolnir. It all ends with everything being hunky-dory for everyone, save Eddie, who now appears to be the new King In Black.

You know…I wanted to dislike this so much. There’s something about Donny Cates’ writing that is so enjoyable and yet, some of his work seriously feels like a child who gets to do whatever with his action figures…and I mean that in a positive way. King in Black did really feel like all the power was with Venom, leaving Knull pretty weak, but it all just works. It’s not perfect. I’m not sure how I feel about Venom more-or-less wielding Mjolnir but for what it’s worth, this was a really fun read, spotlighting a character I normally care very little for and leaving me with a newfound appreciation for Venom. I thought the dialogue is great. Knull is one of those pompous characters that has never known defeat so seeing someone like that get taken down is pretty much a guaranteed enjoyable moment.

On the artistic side, Ryan Stegman really put a lot into every page. I felt the layouts stood out to me in a really unique way and the colors really pop. And if I can bring attention to one thing that I like about his art, I feel that he does a good job of conveying emotion on a character’s face. Knull looked really fierce and sinister. Venom just looked awesome.

King in Black #5 was a total package of fun and excitement, coupled with some really cool art. I’m not huge on Marvel or DC events but my overall feeling is that this one ended up being fun while also bringing a lot of stuff that Cates has worked on at Marvel to a head. As far as Venom goes, King in Black serves as a good exclamation point on a really great run for the character. Not sure if it’s worth the cost of admission but I think you’d like what you would read.

Story: Donny Cates Art: Ryan Stegman
Ink: JP Mayer, Ryan Stegman Color: Frank Martin, Jason Keith Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Kitty Sweet Tooth

Kitty Sweet Tooth loves her candy and takes over a movie theater combining her love of snacks with films!

Story: Abby Denson
Art: Utomaru

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

Amazon
Kindle
TFAW
Bookshop

First Second provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Astronaut Academy Vol. 2 Re-Entry

Astronaut Academy is back with a new edition featuring updated fresh color.

Hakata Soy is still getting used to the Astronaut Academy but he’s focused on the Fireball Championship and must deal with a shape-shifting, heart stealing monster!

Story: Dave Roman
Art: Dave Roman
Color: Fred C. Stresing

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

Amazon (paperback)
Amazon: (hardcover)
Kindle
Bookshop

First Second provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

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