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All-star talent celebrate the Fantastic Four’s 60th Anniversary this November

This November, fans will get to experience two of the Fantastic Four’s greatest adventures in a brand new way in Fantastic Four Anniversary Tribute #1! This giant-sized issue will present classic stories with stunning new artwork by today’s leading artists.

Sixty years ago, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby made history and brought about the beginning of the Marvel Age of comics with the release of Fantastic Four #1. Now a bevy of Marvel’s finest creators will pay tribute to that monumental moment by reinterpreting, page by page, the story from that inaugural release as well as Fantastic Four Annual #3, the wedding of Reed Richards and Sue Storm!

Written by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, it features the art by Aco, Aaron Kuder, Adam Hughes, Albert Monteys, Alessandro Cappuccio, Bryan Hitch, Cafu, Carlos Pacheco, Chris Sprouse, Daniel Warren Johnson, David Lapham, Elsa Charretier, Erica D’Urso, Federico Vicentini, Greg Land, Javier Rodriguez, John Cassaday, John Romita Jr., Kate Niemczyk, Kei Zama, Leinil Francis Yu, Leonard Kirk, Lucas Werneck, Luciano Vecchio, Marco Checchetto, Mattia Del Mundo, Neal Adams, Nic Klein, Olivier Coipel, Paco Medina, Patch Zircher, Pepe Larraz, Ray-Anthony Height, Rod Reis, Ron Fenz, Simone Di Meo, Stefano Caselli, Steve Epting, Tom Reilly, Salvador Larroca, Jorge Fornes, Kim Jacinto, Walt Simonson, Leonardo Ortolai, Sanford Greene, Terry Dodson, and Mark Bagley. It features a main cover by Steve McNiven and variant cover by Jim Cheung.

See this modern take on two of the most pivotal moments in Marvel Comics history when Fantastic Four Anniversary Tribute #1 hits stands in November!

Preview: American Ronin TP

American Ronin TP

(W) Peter Milligan (A/CA) Aco
In Shops: Mar 17, 2021
SRP: $9.99

War is over, democracy an illusion, real power now lies not with nation-states but huge corporations engaged in a silent war for global domination. Their number one weapon: highly-skilled, technologically-enhanced operatives trained since childhood to pledge their allegiance to the corporate flag. But what happens when one such operative breaks free of his mental chains and decides to bring the whole system down? Can one “Ronin” make a difference?

American Ronin TP

Preview: American Ronin #3 (of 5)

American Ronin #3 (of 5)

(W) Peter Milligan (A/CA) Aco
In Shops: Dec 16, 2020
SRP: $3.99

War is over, democracy an illusion, real power now lies not with nation states but huge corporations engaged in a silent war for global domination. Their number one weapon: highly-skilled, technologically-enhanced operatives trained since childhood to pledge their allegiance to the corporate flag. But what happens when one such operative breaks free of his mental chains and decides to bring the whole system down? Can one “Ronin” make a difference?

American Ronin #3 (of 5)

Review: American Ronin #1

American Ronin #1

At times, American Ronin #1 is quite the cathartic read. Basically, a cold, sunglasses wearing asshole takes out rich assholes by psychologically manipulating them in addition to the other, more traditional action hero skills like hand to hand combat and motorcycle chases through Hong Kong. Peter Milligan‘s elegant, yet brutal writing balances Aco’s zoom panels, grids, and decadent, mayhem-filled layouts. And then Dean White’s colors adding a finishing touch of atmosphere along with Sal Cipriano’s stern, straightforward letters. They all team up to tell the story of a day in the life of a very badass assassin.

Unlike his previous work on Midnighter and Nick Fury, Aco, for the most part, doesn’t use his grids, close-ups, and inset panels to show rapid-fire action. Instead, he uses these storytelling techniques to show the protagonist do his social engineering thing on the utterly empty and pathetic corporate billionaire Barrett Cornell and his cheekier counterpart, the billionaire heiress Gigi Lo, whose foot fetish and cheetahs on a leash are straight out of a Lana Del Rey music video. Aco frames Cornell and Lo in close-up as she teases and emasculates him and makes one of the most powerful men in the world suck her toes. Maybe a little kink shame-y, but Milligan and Aco do a good job building on it as they expand on Cornell’s emptiness. He might have wealth, power, sex workers at his beck and call, and an army of highly trained bodyguards, but this is meaningless because he’s just a pawn for a corporation. So, he just wants to die, and our protagonist has every intention of granting Cornell his wish.

For the most part, Peter Milligan and Aco find a happy medium between mind and body, or psychic and traditional action moments in American Ronin #1. Conversation is also a weapon in our protagonist, Lo, and by extension, Milligan’s hands. It’s a nice bit of schadenfreude to see Cornell go from holding court in a mansion or helicopter to falling on the ground in front of Lo, or having a breakdown as the protagonist (With a help of a DNA injection.) whispers his deepest, darkest thoughts at him. Aco channels a psychological horror director in this sequence with all kinds of ghoulish panels of Cornell’s eyes or the sweat and pills that surround him, and the openness of his penthouse that show how lonely he really is. It really works in tandem with Milligan’s dialogue and captions that cast him as a man in pain, who just wants release from his corporate overlords, but without a little psychic push from the protagonist, he would have continued to live his life of luxury.

Although, it is full of violence, both of the physical and mental variety, American Ronin #1 is actually a slice of life comic. The life of a special kind of enhanced and enigmatic assassin though. But, honestly, I give kudos to Peter Milligan for showing the ronin in action before peeling away layers of backstory or involving him in some mystery master plot. He has a simple job: get a very wealthy man to give into his suicide fantasies, and we get to see him execute this job throughout the first issue. It establishes the ronin’s competence and his role as a rugged individualist in a world that’s run by corporations, not nation states. And as far as individualists, our protagonist is more John Wick than John Galt. He’s not afraid to make a quick friend like Lo to get closer to his real target.

Also, it would be a waste of Aco and Dean White’s visual talents to have them draw just talking heads even though some of the dialogue sequences in American Ronin are more intense than the action ones. I do have one criticism of the art, and that is that it seems Aco is holding back as far as the scale and epicness of some of his layouts, especially in the action sequences, but that might just be him holding something in reserve for a big set piece in issue 3 or 4. The ballet of violence and viscera that he throws down in the last few pages are especially promising and show that the ronin isn’t as control of things as he seems.

American Ronin #1 is a fairly visual interesting action/assassin comic from Peter Milligan, Aco, and Dean White that isn’t weighed down by unnecessary exposition. Except for the last few pages, the book is fairly standalone and has a grindhouse (But slicker.) or darkly humorous tone. If you like John Woo movies, but also want to guillotine Jeff Bezos, then American Ronin is worth checking out.

Story: Peter Milligan Art: Aco
 Colors: Dean White Letters: Sal Cipriano
Story: 7.5 Art: 8.2 Overall: 7.9 Recommendation: Buy

AWA/Upshot provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Exclusive Preview: Doctor Doom #3

Doctor Doom #3

(W) Christopher Cantwell (A) Salvador Larroca (CA) Aco
Rated T+
In Shops: Dec 04, 2019
SRP: $3.99

DOCTOR DOOM is dead. For now. In this issue he literally finds himself in Hell, battling against his old foe Mephisto for the control of his own soul. It’s an epic underworld fight, the victor of which may have to be decided by an unexpected third party. Meanwhile, the Blue Marvel continues his hunt for the Doctor, and begins to wonder if Victor’s more victim than villain…

Exclusive Preview: Doctor Doom #2

Doctor Doom #2

(W) Christopher Cantwell (A) Salvador Larroca (CA) Aco
Rated T+
In Shops: Nov 06, 2019
SRP: $3.99

DOCTOR DOOM has been taken prisoner by the world itself… but he may find unexpected aid in his escape. Now vulnerable and without his usual strength, he must keep a low profile on the streets of New York, or else risk being captured again. He’ll seek out an old ‘frenemy’ for help and battle lethal opportunists, all while wrestling these visions he continues to have of a better, happier life.

Doctor Doom #2

Preview: Doctor Doom #1

Doctor Doom #1

(W) Christopher Cantwell (A) Salvador Larroca (CA) Aco
Rated T
In Shops: Oct 09, 2019
SRP: $4.99

THE CRACK OF DOOM!

From Christopher Cantwell (HALT AND CATCH FIRE, SHE COULD FLY) comes a new monthly ongoing series…

Victor Von Doom – scientist, sorcerer, disfigured face, twisted soul – has been spending much of his time warning against a trillion-dollar global effort to create the first “artificial” black hole. Wrestling with visions of an entirely different life…a better future…DOCTOR DOOM finds himself at a crossroads. (what is he questioning?)

A catastrophic act of terrorism kills thousands, and the prime suspect is… DOOM? Victor will have to push his unexplained thoughts aside and focus on remaining alive as the title of “Most Wanted Man” is thrust upon him….
Left with no homeland, no armies, no allies, indeed, nothing at all, will the reign of Doctor Doom come to an abrupt halt?

Doctor Doom #1

Review: Nick Fury: Deep-Cover Capers

Nick Fury

When it comes to polarizing figures in the Marvel Universe, there is none more iconic than Nick Fury. He’s effectively an operator in this world dominated by superpowers and galactic forces. He’s never in awe nor is surprised by their abilities but knows almost as much as they do and do all of this despite being a human man. The best analogy for him is a man amongst giants but just so happens to be a super spy.

As the one spy within this world that operates in the shadows and wields as much political power as he does, it truly is baffling to comprehend why more books have not been done about the character. It can be said that Samuel L. Jackson’s portrayal of the character has made him somewhat popular. As the last MCU movie, Captain Marvel, the character was portrayed as an agent who is looking to leave the agency until this superpowered being enters his life making him realize that the universe is even bigger than he ever realized. In this set of stories by James Robinson and ACO we find our protagonist before he became who we know him to be. Nick Fury: Deep-Cover Capers, gives us a different take on the character showing an even more exhilarating life before he became director of SHIELD.

We first meet him on a mission in the French Riviera, as he meets his first nemesis, Frankie Noble, an agent of HYDRA and someone who looks to be more than his match. His next mission would send him to the Moon, to dismantle a mining colony ran by the Yakuza. As each mission gets dangerous, the stronger his skillset would become, as his next mission sees our protagonist prevent a high-ranking dignitary on a train trip in Mexico from being assassinated. As he would also have to blend into certain places like he did when he went undercover in Atlantis, to stop a HYDRA spy from stealing intel, all under Namor’s watchful eyes. Also, he would go on excursions he assumed were R&R but became a battle royale with the townfolk in a seemingly sleepy town. In the last mission, the creative team switches genres here, to tell crime story where Fury solves a mysterious death, a twist that no one saw coming.

Overall, an excellent set of stories about the beginning of one of the MCU’s most enigmatic figures. The story by Robinson is action packed, pulse pounding, and well developed. The art by ACO is gorgeous. Altogether, an excellent set of stories which will keep readers in the edge of their seats for every blockbuster of a story.

Story: James Robinson Art: ACO
Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy

Preview: Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1

(W) Saladin Ahmed (A) Garry Brown (CA) Aco
Rated T+
In Shops: Sep 19, 2018
SRP: $4.99

TIES THAT BIND!

Years ago, Spider-Man came back from an alien world with a fantastic new costume – one he eventually learned was a living alien symbiote looking to bond with him permanently! But before he rejected the costume that went on to become VENOM, many a night the symbiote would creep onto Peter, and unbeknownst to its host, take them out into the night!

Now, for the first time, see just what the symbiote steered Peter into during these mysterious nighttime excursions! Saladin Ahmed (BLACK BOLT) weaves an ALL-NEW nightmare fairy tale, illustrated by the incomparable Garry Brown, in what is sure to be a dream book for any Spider-Man fan!

Preview: Wonder Woman #53

Wonder Woman #53

(W) Steve Orlando (A) Aco (CA) David Yardin
In Shops: Aug 22, 2018
SRP: $3.99

At the behest of Aztek, Diana and Artemis join her for a trip to Mexico, but there’s no sightseeing on the agenda. Instead, they must rescue a long-lost Amazon who’s being held captive by rogue deity Tezcatlipoca, who’s trying to break into our world. Can our three heroes save the missing Amazon, stop a raging god and not kill one another in the process?

Almost American
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