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Review: Spawn’s Universe #1

Spawn's Universe #1

Big things are happening in Spawn’s universe expanding the world beyond the title character. The hope is to spawn (no pun intended) a universe of stories. Spawn’s Universe #1 is the next step in creator Todd McFarlane‘s plan to do exactly that.

Spawn’s Universe #1 is home to a lot of great comic artists and I thought they all knocked it out of the park. Whether it was Jim Cheung doing the main character, or Brett Booth on Gunslinger, Stephen Segovia working with Medieval, or Marcio Takara on art for She-Spawn’s story, I thought all of the artists working on this issue really nailed the look and feel of what they were given to illustrate. Art-wise, this is the kind of effort that I think could get people interested in this book. There’s not an ugly page to be found here and each artists’ style feels so distinct from one another. The various colorists and letterers put the cherry on top of a fantastic-looking issue.

Todd McFarlane handled the writing duties on all the stories and the one thing I’d say is I do kinda like how he writes. It feels like a mix of old and new, still decompressed for the newer era of comics but with a nice bit of narrative caption boxes throughout the issue. The story did seem to have a few problems. My main one is that I’m pretty sure there are characters used here and I have no idea who they are. Who is the guy on Omega’s island? Who was the guy with angel wings? Are these people that read the monthly title would know? There’s a lot of action in the pages and Spawn’s still a cool character but adding in some more of the Spawns and Cy-Gor was an added treat. The short stories are good starting points for what will happen with the supporting cast. I thought Gunslinger Spawn’s solo story was the best of the lot.

Overall, Spawn’s Universe #1 is a tiny bit confusing to read but it’s nice to look at. I’m hoping it’s just that I’m not a monthly Spawn reader that causes it but then it begs the question: is this a good jumping-on point for new readers to Spawn? I think that Spawn’s Universe will be a rewarding experience for those who have stuck with the title but that’s it, outside of just simple artistic enjoyment. Still, Spawn is 300+ issues old and a new launching pad should still offer something for the older readers. Hopefully, newer readers can make sense of it all.

Story: Todd McFarlane Art: Jim Cheung, Brett Booth, Stephen Segovia, Marcio Takara
Inks: Adelso Corona, Todd McFarlane Lettering: Tom Orzechowski, Andworld Design
Colors: Fco Plascencia, Andrew Dalhouse, Peter Steigerwald
Story: 5.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 7.0

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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The Inkwell Awards has announced the winners of its 14th annual awards for excellence

Inkwell Awards

The Inkwell Awards has announced the winners of its 14th annual awards for excellence in the comic-book inking art form. Results are normally first made public at its live awards ceremony during its host show, The Great Philadelphia Comic Con, but at present, due to uncertainties with the Covid-19 pandemic, the show status is unknown and the ceremony is canceled.

Nominees were chosen by a separate and independent nomination committee on their own as well as from artist submissions. Voting by professionals and fans took place for one week in March on the official ballot at the non-profit advocacy’s website. After 1587 ballots were tallied, one winner was chosen in each of five categories based on printed American interior comic-book work cover-dated 2020.

As begun last year, the Inkwells’ internal committee chose to not limit lifetime achievement awards within a given year. They selected four inductees for the annual Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame and three recipients for the Stacey Aragon Special Recognition Award (SASRA). There were no internal Silver Inkwell Awards recipients this year but there were two internal Above & Beyond Awards given to Bob Bretall and Johnny B. Gerardy for 10 years of Nomination Committee service.

Ballot nominees are listed below with their credits and the percentage of votes received by the winners, along with the other nominees in alphabetical order.

  • FAVORITE INKER (Favorite ink artist over the pencil work of another artist; cannot also be nominated for the “Props” award): Ruy Jose (41%) (Immortal Hulk [Marvel]).
    Other nominees: Jonathan Glapion, Klaus Janson, Joe Prado.
  • MOST-ADAPTABLE (Artist showing exceptional ink style versatility over other pencillers): Norm Rapmund (42%) (Batman Beyond, Detective Comics, The Flash, Flash Forward, Dark Nights Death Metal: The Multiverse Who Laughs (one-shot), Wonder Woman [DC]).
    Other nominees: Marc Deering, Daniel Henriques, Matt Santorelli, LeBeau Underwood.
  • PROPS (Inker deserving of more attention): Eber Ferreira (41%) (Speed Metal (one-shot), Freedom Fighters, Justice League [DC]).
    Other nominees: Adriano Di Benedetto, Daniel Henriques, Le Beau Underwood.
  • S.P.A.M.I. (Small Press And Mainstream Independent): Adelso Corona (69%) Snake Eyes [IDW]; Bloodshot [Valiant]).Other nominees: Le Beau Underwood.
  • ALL-IN-ONE (Favorite artist known for inking his/her own pencils): Chris Samnee (40%) (FirePower [Image]).
    Other nominees: Marco Santucci, Liam Sharp.

In alphabetical order, the lifetime achievement awards were as follows:

THE STACEY ARAGON SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD (SASRA): Alfredo Alcala, Frank Frazetta, and Wendy Pini.

THE JOE SINNOTT HALL OF FAME: Sal Buscema, Mike Esposito, Pablo Marcos, and Mike Royer.

Mark Sinnott, Joe’s son/agent, said, “It is an honor for me to keep with the tradition that my dad, Joltin’ Joe Sinnott started over 10 years ago. On behalf of the Inkwell Awards, I would like to welcome its four newest members to its hallowed halls: Sal Buscema, Mike Esposito, Pablo Marcos and Mike Royer. It is great to have you all as members of the Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame class of 2021. Welcome to the Inkwell family! You have all brought a great deal of talent and class to the comic book world, and we thank you for that. Keep slingin’ ink, and never let your inkwell run dry!”

Full acceptance statements from Sinnott and the winners will be found in the “Award Recipients” section of the Inkwell Awards’ website in the near future.

Preview: Bloodshot #12

BLOODSHOT #12

Written by TIM SEELEY
Art by PEDRO ANDREO
Colors by ANDREW DALHOUSE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by ADELSO CORONA
Cover B by JIMBO SALGADO
Preorder Variant Cover by JIM TOWE
Backup Written by BENNY POTTER
Backup Art by JUAN JOSÉ RYP
Backup Colors by ANDREW DALHOUSE
Backup Letters by DAVE SHARPE
On sale MARCH 10th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

“One Last Shot” has a final epic battle!

Will Bloodshot and his team be able to stop one of his greatest villains from obtaining Project Rising Spirit’s most insidious weapon?

It’s the jaw-dropping conclusion to the series by best-selling writer Tim Seeley and rising star Pedro Andreo!

BLOODSHOT #12

Preview: Bloodshot #11

BLOODSHOT #11

Written by TIM SEELEY
Art by PEDRO ANDREO
Colors by ANDREW DALHOUSE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by ADELSO CORONA, ANDREW DALHOUSE
Cover B by LEONARDO MANCO
Preorder Variant Cover by BRENT PEEPLES
On Sale February 24th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

“One Last Shot” fires away as Bloodshot and his crew hunt down the resurrected Project Rising Spirit!

Bestselling writer Tim Seeley and rising star Pedro Andreo push the one-man army to a pulse-pounding point of no return.

BLOODSHOT #11

Exclusive Preview: Bloodshot #11

We have an exclusive first look at Bloodshot #11 from writer Tim Seeley, art by Pedro Andreo, colors by Andrew Dalhouse, and lettering by Dave Sharpe. Covers are by Adelso Corona and Leonardo Manco.

“One Last Shot” fires away as Bloodshot and his crew hunt down the resurrected Project Rising Spirit!

Featuring the appearance of a classic Bloodshot villain

Best-Selling writer Tim Seeley and rising star Pedro Andreo push the one-man army to a pulse-pounding point of no return.

Bloodshot #11 is on sale February 24.

Comicstorian Makes their Comic Writing Debut in Bloodshot #12

It’s time for a team-up. Valiant Entertainment and Benny Potter, aka Comicstorian on YouTube, are joining forces for a backup story in Bloodshot #12, on sale March 10th and available for pre-order right now at a comic shop near you.

For his debut as a comic writer, Benny will do what he does best: Recap Bloodshot’s story! This four-page tale, illustrated by Juan José Ryp, colored by Andrew Dalhouse, and lettered by Dave Sharpe, explores Bloodshot’s journey leading up to the compelling events in Bloodshot Salvation.

Bloodshot #12 is written by Tim Seeley with art by Pedro Andreo, color by Andrew Dalhouse, and lettering by Dave Sharpe. It features covers by Adelso Corona, Jimbo Salgado, and Jim Towe.

Review: Bloodshot #9

Bloodshot #9

In a world overrun with monsters, only Bloodshot can end Hell on Earth in Bloodshot #9! What does the gripping conclusion of “Burned” mean for the future of Bloodshot?

The strength of Tim Seeley‘s Bloodshot run has often been the sense of urgency of the story, and the speed in which things happen, which when brought to life by an all-star cast of artistic talent has often had the effect of throwing you into a John Wick film. The series has been relentless. A breath of excitement borne from the action movie pace of the comic; when it’s good, it’s very good. The three-part The Burned arc has taken the action-packed formula to heart and has added in some subtle elements like Godzilla sized monsters.

Oddly, despite the grand theatrics on display, Bloodshot #9 falls flatter than previous entries in the series. There’s a lack of cohesiveness to the comic that’s most evident when it tries to pull of the grand reveal/finale only to leave you wondering what happened.

Without explicitly spoiling the comic I can’t get into specifics, so skip this paragraph if you want to go in blind. Bloodshot, his nanites and Eidolon have concocted a plan to spread his consciousness over two bodies with one being active at once to allow him to move from one place to another in a breath. While I appreciate the originality of the idea, for me it felt like it was used more as a device to cut the length of the story out of necessity rather than as an exploration of what the character is capable of (with assistance from others), and because of the lack of foreshadowing the moment came off as a deus ex machina rather than a planned story beat.

Of course, the above is purely my own feelings on the comic (much like the review as a whole, honestly), and your mileage may vary.

Whether it’s the COVID related gap between the last few issues or the abrupt ending to the current arc, Seeley has a lot to contend with as he pulls plot threads from previous issues into the finale to tie them off faster than one would expect, making this comic a harder entry point for new readers than previous issues.

Seeley is joined by artists Marc Laming and Jason Masters, inker Adelso Corona, colorist Andrew Dalhouse, and letterer Dave Sharpe. All of whom combine for an aesthetic that appeals enormously to me. The style gives me a sense of nostalgia for the comic art I read growing up; it’s dynamic, clean and yet full of life and vibrancy, though the lustre may be wearing a little thin given that there seemed to be a little less flow to what was on the page in some scenes – not every one, but some of the more chaotic fight scenes with the giant monsters were a little harder to follow than fight scenes in earlier comics in the series. Whether this is due to the size of the combatants relative to each other making it harder to choreograph the battle, or the two artists working on the comic not fully jiving together, could be up for debate if the rest of the comic did have the same issues with artistic flow that are apparent in the giant monster scenes.

Bloodshot #9 aside, reading an issue of Seeley’s Bloodshot has always been a great reminder of the excitement I used to have reading comics, and while this issue doesn’t have the same nostalgic magic that previous issues have had, it is still one that’s worth reading if you’re following the series. But it won’t be the best place to start reading the series.

Story: Tim Seeley Art: Marc Laming
Ink: Adelso Corona Color: Andrew Dalhouse Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.7 Overall: 8.1 Recommendation: Read

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Marc Laming Talks Bloodshot and Giant Russian God Beasts

Bloodshot #9

In a world overrun with monsters, only Bloodshot can end Hell on Earth! Bloodshot #9 is out this week and wraps up “Burned” leaving open the future of Bloodshot!

Written by Tim Seeley, Bloodshot #9 features the art of Marc Laming and Jason Masters with colors by Andrew Dalhouse, inks by Adelso Corona, and lettering by Dave Sharpe.

We got a chance to talk to Marc Laming about the series, his “Giant Russian God Beasts” and any pressure from a series in the spotlight due to Hollywood.

Graphic Policy: How did you end up working on Bloodshot?

Marc Laming: I had previously worked for Valiant on a lot of covers and some Ninjak and Archer & Armstrong and always enjoyed working for them. I got an email from Senior Editor Lysa Hawkins when she started at Valiant asking if I would be interested in working with her and I jumped at the chance, I had no idea at the time which book it would be but Lysa had promised me action and adventure. When I eventually found out I would be doing a series of covers and then a short run on Bloodshot I was really happy as I had loved what the relaunched Valiant under Warren Simons had done with the character. I was 100% on board and with Tim Seeley writing the stories it was the icing on the cake.

GP: This Bloodshot story has given you some really interesting things to draw – how much free reign did you get when designing the looks of the characters we see at the end of Bloodshot #7

ML: It was complete free reign as Tim only gave me “Giant Russian God Beasts” as a description of the huge Kaiju – the same with the zombie soldiers and the terrorist supermen. So, I got to just go as mad as I liked. 

GP: With Wigans having a cameo in Bloodshot #9, the issue will likely get some more eyes on it and most likely become an item for collectors. Does that ever cross your mind?

ML: Hahaha it really doesn’t factor into how I approach making comics. I’m really only thinking about making the visuals and storytelling as strong as possible, anything else is a distraction.

Bloodshot #9

GP: Going that route, there are probably new eyes on the series due to the film, is that something you think about as well?

ML: It really doesn’t cross my mind for the same reasons as the last question.

GP: Last time we chatted, you talked about how previous artists on the series influenced you more than the film. With this arc wrapping up, is there an aspect you hope you planted your flag with and carries on?

ML: I hope the Valiant universe gets to have a few of those Russian God Beasts I designed roaming around – I also liked the more human Bloodshot Tim gave us, I hope that I made that work and I’d like to see that continue.

GP: I know you’ve said you’d be interested in an Eternal Warrior story…  is there anything you can tell us about a potential book that hasn’t been announced yet?

ML: Not as yet – sorry.

GP: The last time we spoke, you said that you do too much research on locations. Have you ever been to a place you’ve researched at a later date and imagined the comic taking place in real time?

ML: I’m currently drawing a book set in Paris and once we can all travel again I would really like to go visit the locations I’m drawing to see if I did them justice and I really like the idea that the locations I use the reader could actually visit too.

GP: What have you got in store for us in the near future after Bloodshot #9? Anything that you can tell us?

ML: I’m working on two long-form graphic novels right now – one is a sci fi story and the other is an espionage action-adventure romantic comedy and both have pages set in Paris… Other than that, it’s all very hush hush still.

Review: Bloodshot #8

Bloodshot #8

In Bloodshot #8, unthinkable monsters are unleashing Hell on Earth! Surrounded by enemies, who can Bloodshot trust?

It has been a long time since the previous issue was released, although there was an expanded edition with some bonus features released last month under the guise of Bloodshot #7 Fully Loaded Edition, but there wasn’t any new story content in that comic. On the off chance you didn’t pick that one up just for the bonus features, and I understand why you may not have, the good news is that you don’t need to remember Bloodshot #7 all that much to be able to enjoy this book because writer Tim Seeley has structured the comic in such a way that a chunk of time has passed between issues seven and eight. It’s not explicitly stated how much time, and whether this was an incredible stroke of luck given the break between issues because of Covid 19, or Seeley was able to adjust the dialogue just enough to convey a longer chunk of time passing than he originally intended, I’m not sure.

Frankly, as far as my enjoyment of the comic goes, I don’t particularly care which it was because the story and dialogue flow so well across every page (but I am genuinely curious as to whether he needed to adjust the text at all).

The story finds Bloodshot atoning for releasing a horde of formerly imprisoned enemies that all have some form of super powers, and may or may not have been used by their respective governments. Granted, he wasn’t in control of himself when he did it, but still he feels responsible for unleashing what he has.

Bloodshot has been one fast-paced and frenetic issue after another. It has been a great ride for the last seven issues. I’ve certainly enjoyed the series for what it is; a popcorn comic that has a depth to it that’s revealed further with each issue. Tim Seeley gives you a little more of his plan with each release. There are moments in this issue that change or enhance your idea of the characterizations of some characters inbetween the action. It’s this balance that allows you to fly through the book while still feeling like you’ve read more than the twenty-odd pages.

Seeley is joined by artist Marc Laming, inker Adelso Corona, colorist Andrew Dalhouse, and letterer Dave Sharpe. All of whom combine for an aesthetic that appeals enormously to me. The style gives me a sense of nostalgia for the comic art I read growing up; it’s dynamic, clean and yet full of life and vibrancy.

If the above paragraph or two feel familiar to you it’s because I copied it from the review of the last issue. It was as true then as it is for this issue, and I didn’t feel like I should try and craftily rewrite the same thing when my feelings on the books hasn’t changed. Personally, I love how this book looks. The lines are clean and it’s very easy to discern what’s happening on every page. It’s an awesome book that consistently surprises me.

Every time I open an issue of Seeley’s Bloodshot, it reminds me why I love reading comics; it’s fun, looks great, and there’s always more meat to the story on the second and third read through as you pick up on the subtleties of Seeley’s dialogue and the details in the art. You can’t go wrong with this book – it’s a must-read for all the right reasons.

Story: Tim Seeley Art: Marc Laming
Ink: Adelso Corona Color: Andrew Dalhouse Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.2 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Review: Bloodshot #7 Fully Loaded Edition

Bloodshot #7 Fully Loaded Edition

Valiant’s supersoldier must hunt down monsters, aliens, living weapons, and other terrifying threats after they’re set loose from a top-secret facility in “The Burned” Part 1 – plus exclusive new content, and commentary from Kevin VanHook! All in the Bloodshot #7 Fully Loaded Edition!

Note: The story hasn’t changed at all in the Bloodshot #7 Fully Loaded Edition, and you’ll find the review for that below. This update is specifically talking about the added content to the comic.

Content that is designed to pull those who have already purchased the comic back to buy another one with a half dozen pages of extras, but is it enough? Eh… maybe. If you’re a super fan, or somebody who loves to learn about the history and the behind the scenes of comics, the answer is obvious, just as if it is if you haven’t read the book at all: Absolutely.

But if you’re more interested in the story? Well that can get a bit trickier. There’s a page with scenes from the comics that inspired the movie, which honestly, is two thirds a crock of shit with two panels taken from this series, which was released after the movie had finished filming, but before it hit cinemas. It feels like that was thrown in as filler, with panels that look kinda similar, so why not try it?

The next two pages of the extras are worth reading as Bloodshot co-creator Kevin Van Hook takes you on a tour of the character’s origin. It may be a story some are familiar with, but if you’re not then it’s a worthy read, followed by Tim Seely taking us on a quick look inside a certain page.

After that we get a breakdown of the characters in the series, which is great for new fans, but maybe less exciting for some.

Is the Bloodshot #7 Fully Loaded Edition worth buying if you’ve already picked up the story the first time it came through? Maybe – it depends on your interest in the character. For me, it’s a book I’ll be picking up when I hit up my LCS, but I’m one of those fans who loves the history of comics, and Van Hook’s section is worth the price of admission for me alone.


Original Review:

What better way to release a comic featuring the first character to appear on the big screen than by having it start with a new jumping on point? A first issue, you could say, and you wouldn’t be wrong – but with the comic already having had seven issues released (including Bloodshot #0) it would have been a touch disingenuous to renumber the series with the story still ongoing. Nobody would ever do that. Certainly not.

If you are looking to check the character out ahead of the movie, or you’re reading this after having seen the Sony Pictures Bloodshot movie starring Vin Diesal, then you’ll be happy to know that Bloodshot #7 is fairly new reader friendly. Cleverly paced dialogue that flows without feeling like forced exposition tells you everything you need to know.

Bloodshot has been one fast-paced and frenetic issue after another. It has been a great ride for the last seven issues. I’ve certainly enjoyed the series for what it is; a popcorn comic that has a depth to it that’s revealed further with each issue. Tim Seeley gives you a little more of his plan with each release. There are moments in this issue that change or enhance your idea of the characterizations of some characters inbetween the action. It’s this balance that allows you to fly through the book while still feeling like you’ve read more than the twenty-odd pages.

Seeley is joined by artist Marc Laming, inker Adelso Corona, colorist Andrew Dalhouse, and letterer Dave Sharpe. All of whom combine for an aesthetic that appeals enormously to me. The style gives me a sense of nostalgia for the comic art I read growing up; it’s dynamic, clean and yet full of life and vibrancy.

If the above paragraph feels familiar to you it’s because I copied it from the review of the last issue. It was as true then as it is for this issue, and I didn’t feel like I should try and craftily rewrite the same thing when my feelings on the visuals haven’t changed. Personally, I love how this book looks. The lines are clean and it’s very easy to discern what’s happening on every page.

Bloodshot #7 isn’t the most original story. It won’t shake you to your core or have you asking yourself deeply introspective questions. But not every comic needs to do that. What Bloodshot does, it does very well. Seeley, Booth, and co have been remarkably consistent issue to issue, and I can’t really find any fault in an issue that does exactly what it says on the tin (that may be an obscure reference for you – it’s from a UK add originating in the late 90’s from a company called Ronseal).

Bloodshot remains one of the series I look forward to reading each month. This wasn’t the best comic I’ve read this week, but it still comes with a big fat stamp of approval from me.

Story: Tim Seeley Art: Marc Laming
Ink: Adelso Corona Color: Andrew Dalhouse Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.2 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.


Purchase: comiXology

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