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Movie Review: Tag

tag posterIt’s rare for a movie with so simple a premise to be not only uproariously funny but also heartfelt. The based-on-a-true-story of childhood friends who have been playing the same game of tag for 30 years is one of the funniest comedies of the year and pushes the boundaries of good taste in numerous ways.

One key theme here is these middle aged dudes all play a child’s game to try to stay young. This captures that fun and sense of play. It also captures that perfect sense of what it was to be young and have absolutely no filter– an 11-13 year old boy has probably the foulest mouth and mind on the planet, and most of these guys never completely grew up from that. It also features a great throwback soundtrack featuring hip hop and hard rock tracks from the 80’s and 90’s, giving the film a specific sense of nostalgia. Also, stick around during the credits to see/hear the cast sing a rendition of the Crash Test Dummies “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm.” See? Specific. We’re ready to party like it’s 1994, around which time our team of dummies ostensibly would have graduated from high school.

On our team of tag players are successful veterinarian “Hoagie” (Ed Helms) and his overly competitive wife Anna (Isla Fisher). They first recruit health insurance CEO Bob Callahan (Jon Hamm) when they crash an interview he’s doing with a reporter from the Wall St. Journal (Annabelle Wallis) who joins their game as she smells a story. (This is based on the true story that was published here) They track down stoner burnout “Chili” (Jake Johnson) and crash Kevin’s (Hannibal Burress) therapy session. The goal of all of this to to finally tag their one friend Jerry (Jeremy Renner) who has never been tagged –and they have the perfect opportunity to do so at his upcoming wedding.

And hijinks ensue.

The film, while definitely a comedy which tries to pack as many jokes into every minute as possible, plays out almost more like an action movie. This is in itself incredibly funny, as we see these middle-aged men play tag with all the style and staging of The Expendables or the most recent Fast and Furious movie. Every time they think they have Renner’s character cornered, time slows down and we see inside his mind as he anticipates every move, a la Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes films with Robert Downey, Jr. It’s a fun device which never gets overused thanks to the comedy always focusing on the characters and these mens’ relationships with each other.

Case in point, in an attempt to sew discord among the group, Jerry invites Cheryl (Rashida Jones) a former flame of both Bob and Chili’s to the wedding. It, of course, works to distract them because “lol these idiot man children playing a game are so predictable.”

What isn’t predictable are exactly the lengths Jerry has gone to in order to plan quick escapes from various situations and the theatricality with which he pulls them off. This includes a showdown in the woods where he literally pulls out a boombox and starts playing Ozzy’s “Crazy Train” to play with their minds.

What also is not predictable was just how sweet this movie is at its heart. Amidst reports like this article from The Boston Globe saying “The Biggest Threat to Middle-Aged Men Isn’t Smoking or Obesity – It’s Loneliness” it is truly great to find an inspiring story of how friends have managed to stay together. And watching the actual friends who the story is based on and their antics in the credits makes this even more worthwhile. While the end of the film gets a little bit tropey and sappy and you realize what’s actually going on, you might feel a little manipulated and tricked, but it’s mostly forgivable due to how fun the rest of the film is.

The cast really makes this film work. Hannibal Buress once again proves he is one of the funniest people on the planet, and his understated delivery and perfect timing are elegantly used here. Whether in a comedy special taking center stage, as the co-host of The Eric Andre Show, or as Peter Parker’s gym teacher, he is comedy’s secret weapon. Oh, and speaking of Spider-Man, it’s worth noting that Jake Johnson, who you may have only recognized from New Girl or Jurassic World is playing Peter Parker in this fall’s animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-VerseIsla Fisher is also hilarious and pitch perfect– mirroring in a lot of ways her breakout performance in Wedding Crashers. She also plays up the angle that, as a girl, she’s not allowed to play– and that the rest of the group are completely terrified of her because of how competitive she is. It begs the question why Buress and Fisher aren’t in more films.

This sounds silly, but this movie will make you want to play tag with your friends. In this day and age, that is not such a bad thing. It’s simple, wacky, filthy, irreverent, and utterly fun — just like playing with your friends in elementary and middle school.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Review: Bloodstrike #0

Indie darling and Copra cartoonist Michel Fiffe helms the latest incarnation of Extreme Studios’ Bloodstrike in a comic that tells the origin story of the Rob Liefeld created team of reanimated super soldiers: Cabbot, Fourplay, Deadlock, Shogun, and Tag with fan favorite Chapel showing up in a backup story. Fiffe’s filtering of the early Image aesthetic through a Fantagraphics, art comic filter is quite enjoyable, and Bloodstrike #0’s pages have the feel of a labor of love fanzine instead of corporate product. Unfortunately, Fiffe’s story is utterly incomprehensible for anyone who wasn’t already familiar with the characters in Bloodstrike, and it ends being more like fanservice through an auteur lens than a bold, new beginning for the property.

Probably, the most enjoyment I got out of Bloodstrike was the similarity of the characters to various X-Men; it’s like Liefeld, and by extension, Fiffe weren’t even trying to hide it with bad guy-turned-kind of good guy Deadlock sporting Wolverine’s cowl and having the code name Patient 10 to Cabbot, the lantern jawed gun and pouch sporting team leader and Cable wannabe. This is probably the joke, but the personalities of the members of Bloodstrike seem interchangeable and differently designed action figures going on missions around the world for the good of American imperialism. (The comic is set in the hey day of the first Bush’s presidency and ends around the Gulf War.) They’re reanimated corpses so there’s no possibility of permadeath. By extension, there’s no one to really latch onto, and the time skips and jumps and introduction of other Image characters give the book a stop and start feel like vignettes stitched together. Thanks to Wikipedia, I did understand the cliffhanger ending, and it reminded me of what Mark Millar tried to do with Wolverine in Ultimate X-Men in making him a Brotherhood member and not the Captain America of Canada. So, cool with a “k”, I guess.

It’s kind of funny, but the character that stood out to me in Bloodstrike #0 wasn’t even member of Bloodstrike, but of Rob Liefeld’s flagship squad: Youngblood.  (Thank you Wikipedia, again.) Her name is Vogue, and she made some hilarious quips about costume aesthetics in the heat of battle in a nice bit of commentary on the whole style over substance trend of mainstream comics in the early 1990s where art came before story. And it comes back full circle in Bloodstrike #0 where Michel Fiffe constructs balls to the wall, paramilitary action scenes with neck biting, diagonal panels, and a red “bleed out” effect on his background colors, but doesn’t give readers a reason to care about the characters. Honestly, this is a cast of characters and conceit that could use the minimalist action plotting of The Raid or Dredd, but with more of a team dynamic than the Frankenstein’s Monster of continuity and heavy artillery fire that was Bloodstrike #0.

Maybe, if you’re more knowledgeable about the Image Comics creations of Rob Liefeld and Extreme Studios in general, Michel Fiffe’s Bloodstrike #0 will tickle your nostalgia fancy and filter the excess of the 1990s in a stylish new way. This is definitely not new reader friendly, but it’s worth flipping through to check out Fiffe’s unique art and metamorphic color palette. From the backmatter and care that Fiffe takes at replicating the original costumes, Bloodstrike #0 seems like a passion project, but unfortunately that passion is hard to transfer through this story.

Story: Michel Fiffe Art: Michel Fiffe
Story: 3.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 4.8 Recommendation: Pass 

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Forward

Love is one those forces in this world that has such an immovable power to it. It overcomes anything in front of it. It’s what drives people to take care of their families enduring the monotony of work life. The famous story of Helen Of Troy drove two men to go to war with each other. It’s also one of those forces which shows up in some of the most unexpected times.

One of my dear friends lost his wife to cancer a few years ago, a woman he had known for over 30 years, and as he said many times, the love of his life. This left him empty for many years. Since then he dates but nothing serious. Moving on in life after someone you loved that much is never meant to be easy. In Lisa Maas’ endearing tale of loss and love, Forward, we find two women on separate trails in life who meet and find out that love has left the door open.

We meet Rayanne, a young woman damaged by her last breakup, which was four years ago, as she avoids any semblance of a personal life, burying herself in her work. This doesn’t stop her from daydreaming about women she finds attractive, as her inability to be forward, paralyzes her social interaction and isolates it just her friends and co-workers. We also meet Ali, a woman who had lot her wife a year ago, as she finds it still hard to keep going after this massive loss, as she stays on her mind all the time. She takes long walks with old friends just her mind engaged but heartbreak usually occupies her mind. One day Ali decides to ask a girl she find attractive out.  It goes well for the most part, until she realizes the age gap, one that keeps her from pursing that relationship any further. A chance encounter between Rayanne and Ali at their favorite coffee shop, is when serendipity sets in between these two. Eventually they go on several dates, which were awkward at first, but eventually becomes lovelier for the two, as they slowly fall in love. By Book’s end, though they had some false starts and some pauses, their connection is indisputable, and they are where they are supposed to be, with each other.

Overall, a captivating portrait of the difficulties of dating after you have your heart broken.  The story by Maas is funny, true to life and touching. The art by Maas is compelling. Altogether, a story that shows the reader that love is possible no matter how impossible the situation feels.

Story: Lisa Maas Art: Lisa Maas
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Luisa: Now and Then

The hardest thing one must come to realize about one’s self is either you must take the path put upon you or you take a path of your choosing. This is not as easy as it sounds and it never is. I remember when I was in high school I had no desire to join the military. The only plans I had was to hopefully get a basketball scholarship and go to a college where I can get a college degree. This all changed when one morning. In my high school, they told all seniors to report to the school library where we all had to take the ASVAB test and as they say, “the rest is history”.

Now more than 20 years later those same dreams I had looks like a “fantasy” compared to what my life has been. I don’t regret any of it but I can only imagine where my life would have gone if I had taken a different path. I can only imagine for many of my friends in high school how different their worlds would have been, if they have gone the route I went. In Carole Maurel’s (adapted by Mariko TamakiLuisa: Now and Then one such young lady grapples with self-acceptance and sexuality as the protagonist is presented as a teenager and as a 32-year-old.

We meet Luisa at 15 years old and 32 years old, on a seemingly ordinary day, as both are intertwined. Both selves of Luisa are in the same time and space. Her older self has just realized who she is with the help of a friendly stranger. Slowly the older Luisa starts to put the details together as her younger self had been hiding a part of herself in her diary that she is secretly in love with a girl. What follows is an actual series of talks between her 15 year old self and her 32 year old self. Not everything is going as good as one would hope as the fact that they occupy the same time and space is starting to influence both. By book’s end, Luisa not only accepts who she is. Luisa knows who she is and loves freely.

Overall, an excellent book which tackles identity, sexuality, family pressures, and love in all its splendor. The story by Maurel is funny, relevant, poignant, and fascinating. The art by Maurel, is sumptuous, naturalistic, and elegant. Altogether, a book that gives time travel fans a prolonged scene in 273 pages of the sequence fans of Back To The Future II we would have liked to seen between the younger and older versions of Elisabeth Shue’s Jennifer seeing herself.

Story: Carole Maurel Art: Carole Maurel Adapted by: Mariko Tamaki
Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 6/16

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.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.

Ryan C

mrmiracle9.jpgMister Miracle # 9 (DC)**  Tom King and Mitch Gerads tread a lot of water in this issue, as a series of overly-stylized, minimalist negotiation scenes between Scott, Barda, and Kalibak go around in circles, Scott is treated/subjected to yet another of King’s painfully obvious apocryphal/anecdotal yarns, and then, just when things look like a complete waste of time, along comes a gut-punch of a cliffhanger that nearly redeems what had heretofore been, frankly, a pretty lackluster issue. Almost — but not quite. And goddamn, Gerads keeps burying his his stunning art under the most heavily-saturated color scheme seen in years. I’m not quite ready to say things are going off the rails with this title, but all those breathless proclamations in the series’ early going that said “this book is revolutionizing comics” and “this is the ‘Watchmen’ of the 21st century,” and what have you? Those are starting to look pretty silly right about now. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass

A Walk Through Hell #2 (Aftershock)** I honestly had no clue what Garth Ennis and Goran Sudzuka were getting at in the first issue of this series, but I figured I’d stick it out for one more — and I’m glad I did. There’s still a shitload of the oblique and mysterious on offer here, but the outline of what this book is about and where it’s going is coming into view, and it’s very disturbing indeed — maybe even harrowing. The art’s really solid, too, driving home the terrors both known and (mostly) unknown with professionalism and panache. My opinion of this comic just took a hard 180 for the better. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

 Dry County #4 (Image)**  Rich Tommaso is dragging his stand-in protagonist, Lou Rossi, through the wringer just prior to wrapping this pleasing little crime series up, and while it doesn’t look like he’s gonna have much of a life left by the time all is said and done, you do find yourself hoping against hope that he’s at least around to live it. Superb, fluid cartooning that reels you in and doesn’t let you off the hook. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

The Man Of Steel #3 (DC)**  Brian Michael Bendis really thinks he’s got quite the “epic” story going here — but he’s wrong. New baddie Rogol Zaar busts into the fortress of solitude, but it’s all a lame pretext to draw Superman into open combat using the bottle city of Kandor as bait, the string of arson fires that no reader gives a shit about are still going, and the whole issue is just lead-up to what looks to be a book-length fight next time out. Yawn. Ryan Sook’s art is every bit as uninspired as the story, too, in case you were wondering. Overall: 3.5 Recommendation: Pass


deadpool assassin 1Deadpool Assassin #1 (Marvel) In what looks like a book about military operations, Deadpool kills a complete team of special ops operators on a plane. The book also reintroduces the original comic book version of Weasel, a rather straight laced less cynical version of the character in the movies and usually is the button of the jokes in this book. Eventually the plane crashes because Wade killed everyone, but crashes near a powerful threat. By book’s end, he kills everyone he is hired to assassinate but due to the collateral damage he leaves behind, can’t find too many jobs. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Star Wars Thrawn #5 (Marvel) As much as I loved this book, this issue falters close to the end, as this issue stands as this book’s “penultimate episode”, there lies a great premise gone off the rails. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Borrow

Mr H

Mister Miracle #10 (DC) Each release the book continues to astound. Tom Kings clever dialogue as well as his niche for taking God like characters and acclimating them to every day is fantastic. There is nothing bad I can say about this book. At all. Mitch Gerads is a dynamo on the pencils and finds new was to make Scott in costume so expressive. Kalak and Scott trying to find common ground over a treaty is just wonderfully written as well as the bit about the artist and the apprentice. Seriously this book is all aces. I’d make this longer but I’d never stop. Hands down the series and issue of the year for me. Overall 10/10 Sidenote: I love Tom King but …. I wish he could write Batman this well.

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 (**).

Review: Djinn Volume 6 The Black Pearl

The firestorm that Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code caused when it came out is an example of a book causing controversy which swirled in conversations for quite some time. The book’s connections to history, religion, and unsolved mysteries became a touchstone for many creators as it reignited stories which treated their readers intelligently. It also brought on its fair share of poor imitators, as one can look at the extremely poor adaptation of Clive Cussler’s Sahara, which wasted the talents of its actors and put a black mark on anyone who even tried to do an adaptation of any of his books. A good number of these movies were hit and miss and very few held enough of the public’s attention span to warrant mention.

There’s one imitation that did something remarkably different from the movie adaptation of Da Vinci Code and gave viewers what the readers felt about the book, complete fascination. That movie was National Treasure as it capitalized on the concept of secrets hidden throughout national monuments. It spawned a sequel, which was lukewarm in its reception but still enjoyable. Of course the source of tension in these stories, is that there is more than the hero, looking for usually rare or long lost “treasure”. In the sixth volume of Djinn, Kim undergoes new trials and soon finds a rival.

We find Kim, tracking down Jade’s path and where her treasure is hidden, which leads her to a feared tribe, the Orushi. Kim encounters a man who goes only by the name, Jaeger, who is looking for the same black pearl for his own self interests. Eventually Kim gets captured by the Orushi, who offers as a sacrifice to their god. By book’s end, she escapes the Orushi’s clutches but gets closer to what happened to Jade and the Nelsons.

Overall, an installment that expands on the origins of our heroines and what exactly happened to them. The story by Jean Dufaux is captivating, evenly paced, and entertaining. The art by Ana Miralles is gorgeous and alluring. Altogether, this is the best issue yet in this ongoing saga.

Story: Jean Dufaux Art: Ana Miralles
Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Green Lantern: Dragon Lord #3

For us fans of Bruce Lee, in his limited filmography lies a treasure trove of life lessons. Ones that pushes people beyond what they accept for themselves and ones in which infinite potential is the ceiling. His book, the Tao Of Jeet Kune Do, impresses on its readers to“Not being tense but ready. Not thinking but not dreaming. Not being set but flexible. Liberation from the uneasy sense of confinement. It is being wholly and quietly alive, aware and alert, ready for whatever may come.” As these words would confuse most, but to see the forest through the trees per say, is what his philosophies demanded for comprehension.

These philosophies were embedded in every role he played, as these backstories for each character, he had something to do with it. Enter The Dragon carried many of his philosophies about martial arts and life in general. His most personal film was his last, Game Of Death, very action packed and one which intertwines his philosophies all throughout. In the last book of Green Lantern: Dragon Lord, our hero must go on his ow quest to find the woman who holds his heart and to purge evil throughout the kingdom.

We find Jong Li, about to enter the fabled Lung Mountain, where a series of trials and marauders await his arrival, each one he must conquer and save Jade Moon. General Shan plots to have the power of the Green Lantern to himself as well as overthrow the emperor, both are at his grasp, if he defeats Jong Li. As Jong Li, fights his way to the top of the mountain, he brings back the Dragon Lords, is finally able to confront Shan. By book’s end, not everything goes as planned, as he saves Jade Moon, but she still suffers a fatality, her son becomes the new emperor and Jong Li enters history a legend.

Overall, a heart rendering end to a great story, one which gets to the core of what makes Jonng Li, one of the greatest Green Lanterns of all time. The story by Doug Moench is whimsical, thriving with lore and gives the reader a nice slice of history. The art by the creative team more than complements the story, it  illuminates these great characters. Altogether, an almost perfect ending to a such a momentous story.

Story: Doug Moench
Art: Bob Lappan, Dave Stewart, Joe Rubinstein, Paul Gulacy 
and James Sinclair
Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Cognition #3

There is something magical about legends that have their roots in truth and the effect still reverberates until today. Sometimes these legends are called curses because of their supernatural hold on the mortal world. The more famous non-harmful curses that are frequently brought up in popular culture are those revolved around sports. The most famous one is one that more than baseball fans will know, the Curse Of The Bambino.

For those unfamiliar, it was the so-called spell that prevented the Boston Red Sox from winning a World Series, as they had won one since Babe Ruth got traded, but of course, this was wiped when they won a few years ago. The one curse that has weighed on a city even longer, is the Curse Of Bobby Lane, which has held back the Detroit Lions from winning a Super Bowl, since he left and it is uncanny that the current starting quarterback, just so happened to graduate from the same high school as the aforementioned curse holder. No matter what people’s beliefs are in the supernatural, something is to be said of the reverence it holds by those affected by it.  In the third issue of Cognition, B.O.S.S. agents are on the scene investigating rumblings about ancient legend terrorizing locals.

We meet a local bar patron who is looking for a service, one that can only be found in the backrooms of places like the one he enters, but soon finds a terror he has never seen before. While investigating the case, Cal and Sigma, run into a very shadowy character, a character who very much resembles the Evil Stepmother’s form in Snow White, who goes by the name., Gwindonodd. As they spend time with her, their intuition starts to tingle at different times, leading them to believe, something is quite not right, as their new acquaintance spins a tale of a young ruler, whose fatal love costs him everything. By issue’s end, our heroes have been slowly leading into a trap, one which they luckily escape with the help of their companions, Hattie and Shuck.

Overall, an uneasy dive into the wickedest beings on earth, as Cal and Sigma find more than their match, someone who can anticipate their every move. The story by Ken Reynolds is scary, well written and seething under an unnerving atmosphere. The art by Sam Bentley is intense and luminous in black and white. Altogether, a great issue that proves Reynolds and Bentley are masters of storytelling.

Story: Ken Reynolds Art: Sam Bentley
Story: 10 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Buck Danny Vol. 8 Black Cobra

The 1980s were the heyday of action movies. The decade brought movie fans the many film adventures of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Steven Siegal, Jean Claude Van Damme, and Sylvester Stallone. They made a genre into a multimillion dollar industry, one that would generate imitators and classics all their own. One of those movies that became a franchise without much staging as they do now, was Iron Eagle.

For those uninitiated, the movie revolves around “A young pilot plans a rescue mission when his father, an Air Force Colonel, is shot down over enemy territory and captured.”. The movie, although having a shaky unrealistic plot, had some of the best aerial dogfights I have ever seen in films. They rarely make movies like those anymore, as much of the narrative being told are about drones. In the eighth volume of Buck Danny, we find our crew on a mission to rescue while posing as Russian pilots.

We catch up with our intrepid crew as new mission is a t their feet, as a stealth fighter has gone missing over enemy territory and America doesn’t want them to know its our aircraft. Without much notice Buck and his crew are called into action, as they soon learn the mission and how they will enter the airspace, flying Russian Migs. The crew eventually embark on a night mission, one that will get them closer to retrieving any trace that the Americans were there and hopefully the pilot. By book’s end, a last-minute betrayal leaves the crew at wits end, but quick thinking by Buck saves the crew and the pilot.

Overall, an excellent book where Francis Bergese has only improved on his storytelling and his art.The story by Bergese is fun, layered and will have the readers glued to the pages. The art by Bergese has him improving on his lightning, as he has definitely made a turn for the better. Altogether, a book which will have the reader digging for their Blu Ray of Top Gun.

Story: Francis Bergese Art: Francis Bergese
Story: 9.6 Art: 9.8 Overall: 9.75 Recommendation: Buy

Review: S.H.I.E.L.D. by Hickman and Weaver #6

It has been a long time coming, but the ground-breaking series that showcased the ancient founding of SHIELD,  S.H.I.E.L.D. by Hickman and Weaver, has come to an end. I have not been this excited to see a series wrap up since perhaps Secret Wars, which famously suffered a similar prolonged publishing delay. It has been awhile and I had to do a second reading of both volumes of this title to jog my memory. It is best read in my opinion as a trade or in one sitting. Hickman’s writing style is very complex and layered but rewards close attention and patience.

This issue showcases the climax of the battle for SHIELD, as LEONID, the chosen catalyst for Da Vinci’s  enigmatic human machine, bridges a solution to the dichotomous philosophies fueling the SHIELD war. i.e. the philosophy that everything eventually dies or the philosophy of endless possibility. The ending was long over due but shed some thematic light on some other Hickman works within Marvel’s publications. What I loved the most about this series and this issue in particular is how so much of it was an elegant yet succinct love letter to Marvel’s cosmology. The series explored the origins of humankind, its renaissance, its future the Inhumans, Deviants and the evolutionary guidance of the Celestials all within 12 issues. What appears to be the resolution in this issue (at least from my perspective) is that Da Vinci’s machine becomes a earth-made celestial of sorts, a literal deus ex machina that resolves the conflict by creating ideal earths for the figureheads of each faction in the SHIELD conflict. Issac Newton gets his desolated apocalyptic landscape, and Da Vinci gets his Utopia of human progress.

One question that I could not get out of my head was my own speculation if the resolution in this issue was the trigger point for the multiversal incursions we saw later in Hickman’s run on the Avengers and New Avengers titles? There was some strong theme carryover particularly with the dualities of life and death, building/ planning complex structures, from a single idea and so on.  I tend to judge writers on their contributions to the meta-narrative. I really have to praise Hickman for deep and lasting contributions to the Marvel mythos. From the infinity formula, to life model decoys, the SHIELD series (volumes 1 and 2) offered us a compelling and poignant origin story.

If you enjoyed this title I strongly recommend reading other works under Hickman’s pen, such as his run on the Fantastic Four  or Secret Warriors which brought back Leonardo Da Vinci, and his work on Avengers and Infinity. Hickman’s stories are carefully constructed plots that are well organized, and filled with wonder, additionally they feel like pieces of a puzzle revealing a greater landscape. No other writer in my opinion has executed their vision as sophisticated as Hickman’s they are artistic products of wonder and imagination that have really fleshed out the marvel universe, I’m happy to have been along for the ride, delay notwithstanding.

Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: Dustin Weaver
Story: 9.0 Art: 10 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation Buy!

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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