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Review: Quantum And Woody! #5

QW2017_005_COVER-B-(ULTRA-FOIL)_SHAW“After three decades and 10,000 miles, the moment of truth has finally arrived: Our heroes are about to come face-to-face with Woody’s long-lost father! In Australia! Will Woody abandon his adoptive brother and trusted partner-in-crime-fighting to embrace a hard-partying scoundrel with no sense of decency? Or…is the world’s worst superhero team about to become a terrible trio?

Plus: Back in America, DC’s super-science crime cabal is about to get an energizing new addition!”

Disclosure: I read this comic after another comic that made my mind hurt.

The final issue (for now) of Daniel Kibblesmith‘s stint in the writing chair, Quantum And Woody #5 concludes a with a suitably zany comic that refuses to take itself seriously but never has you rolling your eyes in exasperation. Kibblesmith uses his talent as a comedy writer to accentuate an already good story and elevate the reader’s enjoyment of a comic that’s very self aware. Quantum and Woody are seen as jokes within the Valiant universe, and their series acknowledges that in some pretty great ways.

There’s a great exploration of the relationship between brothers amidst the chaos of a potentially world ending event at the hands of a twelve year old boy. When the premise behind the comic sounds as oddly stupid as that you can’t help but fall in love with it. I suppose it  doesn’t hurt that Kano‘s art is an assault on your eyes in all the right ways.

Quantum And Woody #5‘s layouts are inventive, exciting and make brilliant use of the page, with Kano showing an artistic ability in sequential art that exceeds expectations. The comic is made all the stronger thanks to the lettering of Dave Sharpe who delivers an additional level of intricacy to the visual aesthetic of the comic.

I didn’t honestly expect to enjoy this issue as much as I did, but it is remarkably easy to leave this comic with a nice warm feeling in your stomach and a smile on your face. If you want a series to take your mind away from the real world then you can’t go wrong with Quantum And Woody.

Story: Daniel Kibblesmith Art: Kano Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Story: 8.5 Art: 9.3 Overall: 8.9 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Phoenix Resurrection: The Return of Jean Grey

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got the return of Jean Grey!

Phoenix Resurrection: The Return of Jean Grey collects issues #1-5 by Matthew Rosenberg, Leinil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan, Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Fonteriz, Joe Bennett, Lorenzo Ruggiero, Ramon Rosanas, Belardino Brabo, Rachelle Rosenberg, VC’s Travis Lanham, Sunny Gho, Romulo Fajardo, Jr., Marte Gracia, Nolan Woodard, Christina Harrington, Chris Robinson, Darren Shan, and Mark Paniccia.

Get your copy in comic shops today and in book stores May 1. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFW or TFW

 

 

Marvel​ provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies 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: Luke Cage Vol. 2 Caged!

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got Luke Cage!

Luke Cage Vol. 2 Caged! collects issues #166-170 by David F. Walker, Guillermo Sanna, Marcio Menyz, Rahzzah, VC’s Joe Sabino, Kathleen Wisneski, Mark Basso, and Jake Thomas.

Get your copy in comic shops today and in book stores May 1. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFW

 

Marvel​ provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies 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: Be Prepared

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got the new graphic novel by Vera Brosgol!

Get your copy in comic shops today and in book stores April 24. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology

 

 

First Second provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies 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: The American Way: Those Above and Those Below

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got the return of The American Way!

The American Way: Those Above and Those Below collects issues #1-6 by John Ridley, Georges Jeanty, John Livesay, Danny Miki, Paul Neary, Le Beau Underwood, Nick Filardi, and Travis Lanham.

Get your copy in comic shops today and in book stores April 24. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies 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: Runaways Vol. 1 Find Your Way Home

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got the Runaways!

Runaways Vol. 1 Find Your Way Home collects issues #1-6 by Rainbow Rowell, Kris Anka, Matthew Wilson, VC’s Joe Caramagna, Kathleen Wisneski, and Nick Lowe.

Get your copy in comic shops today and in book stores May 1. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology

Marvel​ provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies 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: Daredevil #601

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*POSSIBLE SPOILERS BELOW!*

I came to this run of Daredevil written by Charles Soule a few issues after it had come out. I never expected it to grab me as much as it did. From the intriguing villains like Tenfingers, and Muse, to newer and interesting characters like Blindspot, and how well Soule wove the deep history of friends and foes of Matthew Murdock’s past in with new storylines so well. Fast forward quite a few issues, and this series is still fantastic, and in my opinion, one of Marvel’s best titles.

Now, to have a truly great Daredevil run, you really should have Wilson Fisk aka The Kingpin in there, and I am glad to say that’s exactly what this arc has, and lots of him. I like my villains to be layered, and to sometimes surprise you, and what Marvel has done with Fisk lately with the Civil War II miniseries and the other miniseries following that, both showed you another side of the character. Sure he’s violent, unpredictable, corrupt, and menacing, but there’s also an oddly compassionate, forgiving, admiring side there too. He may be a bad guy, but he’s not quite Carnage. Now with Fisk being mayor, we get a balance between both sides. You can see he cares about things, and isn’t pure evil, but if you get in his way, he will run through you like a bull would to red cloth.

I am happy to say that this arc of Mayor Fisk just keeps getting better. From the minute Fisk became the mayor, to the fallout from Daredevil #600, to this issue, I have been loving every minute of it. This is what superhero comics should be. Filled with action, but also give you some unexpected turns, some great dialogue, and set up what comes next. Soule does that masterfully here. Even after this comic has finished, I am wondering where he will go next in issue #602, and that is exciting. Don’t get me wrong, you may have an idea where it will go, but there’s always some new and intriguing development in this arc, and I love it.

Due to a loophole, Matt Murdock is now the mayor of New York City, while Wilson Fisk lays in the hospital from The Hand’s ruthless attack on him in the last issue. He acts immediately, setting into motion a plan to take on the deadly assassins, and free his friends, Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Misty Knight, Iron Fist, Moon Knight, and Colleen Wing. I cannot wait to see where this goes next issue, and I am sure we can all guess, it’s going to be all out war. Don’t forget Blindspot, because I am sure he will be there too.

The art by Mike Henderson and colors by Matt Milla are great. The muted and bright reds blend together to give depth and shadows to a not only Daredevil, but The Hand as well. There are some fantastic panels with very little or no text on them, and they flow from side to side perfectly, creating some awesome action sequences. Henderson does an awesome job on pencils with this comic considering the big shoes Ron Garney leaves when he isn’t on it.

If you have never read a Daredevil comic before, but are a fan of the Netflix show, grab this and issue #600 and you will be fine with the story going forward. You may need to figure some things out along the way, but this is a solid jumping on point. If you love Daredevil comics, and aren’t reading this run, or even this arc, do yourself a favor and buy these comics, or wait for the trade. Either way this story and this run will go down as a classic run in my opinion.

Story: Charles Soule Art: Mike Henderson Colors: Matt Milla Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Marvel Superhero Adventures: Spider-Man and the Stolen Vibranium #1

36C1F446-04C1-4E3E-A102-71E55FAD2BA1From the moment I saw the cover of the all ages comic Marvel Superhero Adventures, I was super excited for my children to read it. They are both massive superhero fans, and let’s face it, it’s an amazing time to be a kid with all of the Marvel and DC properties in movie theaters, cartoons, toys, but what about the comics? Sure, they’ve existed, but are many parents giving their children the comic books these awesome characters come from? And do parents know what comics are safe for their children to read? As a parent who grew up reading comics as a kid, and them still obviously being a big part of my life, I love to share the joy of reading them with my children, but I understand the medium can be a little intimidating, confusing, and foreign if you’re not as familiar with it. I will say with great certainty that this comic is great for kids of all ages.

There are already titles that work well for children, like Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, and the numerous Spider-Man, and Guardians of the Galaxy series, and even DC’s Super Powers which my son adored. The list goes on and on from TMNT, to other wonderful series included in the BOOM! Box line. Marvel Superhero Adventures and the upcoming Marvel Rising are Marvel seemingly pushing these titles more than they have in the past, and hopefully they catch on and give a gradual stepping stone to the other existing titles as children grow older.

The bulk of the comic drawn by Dario Brizuela is something close to Marvel’s own cartoon Superhero Squad. The characters are short and stocky, but it’s a great style that really works and kids will grab onto immediately. It never feels like the characters aren’t themselves, and the action is fun for kids of all ages. This comic is really like stills from a cartoon, and that seems intentional. The beginning and ending pages are a more classic style featuring Spidey telling the story that exists in the book to a criminal he catches. I think the more cartoon like style works better for this comic, but this is still a cool effect, perhaps bridging this comic to a style comic readers are more used to. Also, the cover by Gurihiru is awesome. It is truly t-shirt or poster worthy.

If you are a parent or a kid at heart, this book will have something for you. The story by Jim McCann is a quick action filled tale of Spidey working with Black Panther in Wakanda fighting Doctor Octopus. It doesn’t really feature too many words that show slow young children down, and if it does, well then it will be fun to read with their parents or have it read to them. I am always encouraging parents to bring comics into their children’s lives, and this is a great way to start, or continue. I have added this to my pull list at my local comic shop for my children, and they are very excited to have it in their hands.

Story: Jim McCann Art: Dario Brizuela Cover: Gurihiru
Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Ninjak Vs The Valiant Universe #4

NJKVS_004_COVER-A_LEVELHis allies have turned against him. His last options have been exhausted. And there is nowhere left to run. Now, Ninjak – the rogue super-spy turned against his former masters by the cunning assassin called Roku – must face the final revelation of his no-holds-barred showdown with the heroes of the Valiant Universe. Bloodied but unbowed, Colin King’s gauntlet ends here…and Valiant’s first-of-its-kind crossover between live action and the comic book page is about to come to an explosive finale that will leave you stunned!

Alright so I’m not to try to sugar coat anything, but in an effort to refrain from an angry rant, I’ve used bullet points to gather my thoughts about Ninjak Vs The Valiant Universe #4.

  • This four issue miniseries is set in a separate universe from the rest of Valiant’s comics. If you read this prior to anything else, expect to be a little confused when things aren’t the same (but happy that the writing is better).
  • If you consider a “first-of-its-kind” crossover to be an adaptation of live action and comics, you’re behind a couple decades. This may be the first crossover from webseries to comics, however. Maybe  that’s what they mean.
  • Expecting the typical quality that you would ordinarily get from a direct tie-in comic (and not an adaptation like, say, the Bloodborne comics are adapted from the videogames) will leave little room for dissapointment.
  • Eliot Rahal is a much better comic book writer than he’s showing here, because at the end of the day he’s only got so much to work with. You can only polish a turd so much, really, and even then it’s still a turd.
  • The art by Joe BennettBelardino Brabo and Ulises Arreola remain the only saving grace for an issue that caps off perhaps the worst thing Valiant have published in the last three years.
  • If you want a better story starring all the Valiant characters read The Valiant. If you want a better Ninjak story look up Ninja-K or Bloodshot Salvation to get a small dash of Ninjak with Bloodshot.

I am oddly relieved this series is over, because it wasn’t really all that good (if you enjoyed it then fair play to you. I’m not saying you’re wrong, only that we hav different opinions). I tried to find the good in it (the art, mostly), but the pervading sense I got from the entire series was that it was a poor adaptation of another story. This doesn’t read like the kind of comic Valiant, or Eliot Rahal are capable of putting out, nor like the story was ever written for comics. It’s shoehorned into the four colour medium and it doesn’t work. Hopefully the webseries that this is adapted from will be better than the series, but after having read the comics I’m not holding out much hope of anything more than a brief diversion.

Screen story: Aaron Schoenke
Screenplay: Aaron Schoenke, Sean Schoenke, Joe Harris and Andrew Rowe
Comic Script
: Eliot Rahal Art: Joe Bennett
Ink: Belardino Brabo Color: Ulises Arreola
Story: 4.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 5.0
Recommendation: Read it if you’ve come this far. Don’t start if you haven’t.

Thankfully, Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Review: Action Comics #1000

Celebrate 1000 issues of Action Comics with an all-star lineup of top talent as they pay tribute to the comic that started it all! From today’s explosive action to a previously unpublished tale illustrated by the legendary Curt Swan to the Man of Tomorrow’s future-this very special, oversized issue presents the best of the best in Superman stories!

Action Comics #1000 feels like an end, a beginning, and a celebration of a landmark moment, one thousand issues and almost 80 years of Superman. The issue is full of some top notch talent with numerous stories of varied style and quality. All of it though is entertaining in some way.

The issue opens up with writer Dan Jurgens‘ finale to his latest run with “From the City That Has Everything.” It’s clear from his latest run (and all his Superman material) that he loves the character and this story which features art by Jurgens, ink by Norm Rapmund, color from Hi-Fi and letters by Rob Leigh, is that recognition as Metropolis honors the Man of Steel. It’s a cheesy story but one that is so in a way that a speech from someone honoring someone else might be. Touching and a fine way for Jurgens to wrap up his run.

The second story is a really cool one that weaves a story out of what is essentially pin-ups. It’s a great way to include such a thing in a comic without it just being images. I hope we see more of this and the art is from a who’s who of creators. It involves Superman going through time and gives a way for artists to take advantage to take us readers through Superman’s history, some of his key moments, and different artistic styles we’ve seen. It’s an utterly brilliant story and presentation and a highlight of the celebration.

Marv Wolfman and Curt Swan team up for “An Enemy Within” which feels like a bit of a retro story in both pacing and art. While not bad it’s an interesting reminder of how much storytelling has changed over the years. I don’t want to give too much away but the story has some nice twists involving a hostage situation.

“The Game” sees Superman and Lex Luthor match wits in a game of chess. Paul Levitz and Neal Adams team up for the story and it’s interesting and one you can probably debate about the deeper meaning. It’d be nice to see this story in a longer form as there’s a lot to work but with just a few pages we don’t get a lot of depth, just fun twists that feel like they’re from the 80s and an homage to an Adams classic moment.

Geoff Johns, Richard Donner, and Olivier Coipel come together for “The Car” which has a criminal recounting how his car was destroyed by a mysterious flying man. The art is fantastic and I think some of my favorite work by Coipel who seems to be channeling Frank Quitely. It’s such a simple story but one that really digs into what makes Superman super.

“The Fifth Season” sees Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque come together as Superman and Lex Luthor come together in Smallvill. It’s an interesting story that again explores the relationship of the two characters. Particularly it focuses on Luthor being oblivious to the good that Superman does that he doesn’t acknowledge or is even aware of. It’s another story that can be debated as far as its deeper meaning and themes.

“Of Tomorrow” is Tom King, Clay Mann, Jordie Bellaire, and John Workman having Superman revisit Earth one last time before it’s consumed by the sun. It’s a reminder of the loss of the character and a deeply touching entry.

Louise Simonson and Jerry Ordway come together for “Five Minutes” which reminds us that Superman has a few jobs, hero and reporter (as well as husband and father). It’s a fun story that plays on the speed of the character and that how he can some times mess up one job due to the other. A funny ending that gave me a chuckle.

“Actionland!” has Paul Dini and José Luis García-Lopez focus on our favorite imp who has it out for Superman. It’s the odd story of the bunch with the focus on the villain but is a reminder that like Superman, some of them have infinite power that they hold back due to… something.

Writer Brad Meltzer and artist John Cassaday honor Christopher Reeve with “Faster Than a Speeding Bullet” that has Superman racing to prevent a gun going off and killing a woman. It’s a fantastic story and I had no idea how it’d resolve. Again though, it’s a reminder of some of the things that makes Superman great and boils the character down to his goodness and how he inspires and is inspired.

“The Truth” is Brian Michael Bendis‘ DC debut with art by Jim Lee and what is supposed to lead into the miniseries The Man of Steel which kicks off Bendis’ run. Out of all of the stories, this is the low point of the issue honestly. Maybe it’s the hype but there’s a new baddie who’s out to kill Kryptonians and while Metropolis is getting destroy two civilians are focused on Superman’s underwear? It’s very Bendis and while funny, especially with Lee on art, it doesn’t quite work and honestly lowered my excitement for what he has coming.

There’s a lot packed in here and something for everyone. No matter the era of your enjoyment there’s a story that fits it and this is really a comic that has an amazing amount of talent. It’s truly a celebration of such an iconic character and for the celebration alone it’s a purchase. At times, comics like this are a let down, but this is the exception with every story entertaining in some way and a few that shine. It’s the rare oversized celebration comic that lives up to the occasion.

Story: Dan Jurgens, Peter J. Tomasi, Marv Wolfman, Paul Levitz, Neal Adams, Geoff Johns, Richard Donner, Scott Snyder, Tom King, Louise Simonson, Paul Dini, Brad Meltzer, Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Dan Jurgens, Patrick Gleason, Curt Swan, Neal Adams, Olivier Coipel, Rafael Albuquerque, Clay Mann, Jerry Ordway, José Luis García-Lopez, John Cassaday, Jim Lee
Ink: Norm Rapmund, Butch Guice, Kurt Schaffenberger, Kevin Nowlan, Scott Williams
Color: Hi-Fi, Alejandro Sanchez, Dave McGaig, Jordie Bellaire, Trish Mulvihill, Laura Martin, Alex Sinclair
Letters: Rob Leigh, Tom Napolitano, Dave Sharpe, Nick Napolitano, John Workman, Carlos M. Mangual, Josh Reed, Chris Euopoulos, Cory Petit
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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