Tag Archives: alex simmons

Review: Blackjack #3

Blackjack #3

“Vengeance is mine, said the Lord,” these are the very lines that Samuel L. Jackson utters in Pulp Fiction. The role is definitely one of his most brilliant portrayals and stood out in a movie that contained a multitude of stories while being interconnected. What’s most memorable about his role is that he gave the “everyman” aspect to what a hired gun usually is. Most of the time, these characters, are rarely portrayed as multidimensional.

His and John Travolta’s characters show us how taking a life is rarely trivial and much more calculated, it becomes especially complicated when feelings are involved. What constitutes a “righteous kill,” and who makes that call? Especially, when the matter becomes an eye for an eye. When does it become, resolved? In the final issue of this volume of Blackjack, our hero’s journey ends, but will revenge be as sweet as he wishes it would be?

We find Arron as he recovers from the attack, one that could have ended his life, as he realizes that sometimes no matter what we do, we cannot save everyone. As he holds up in Silas’s place, he reminisces about his father’s funeral, and despite the people he helped, how few people showed up, as his grief then drives his search The Cobra now. Meanwhile, The Cobra, readies his army for the final fight between him and Arron, as his faith drives him to this point. As Arron departs, Maryam wishes good luck but unbeknownst to everyone at Blackjack’s camp, the interloper was Maryam all along, as she kills everyone at the camp, but she soon has a change of heart and rides to warn Arron of the impending wrath headed his way. They all soon find out that the Cobra had sent a fighter plane to take them out, but Blackjack finds a way to hijack the plane. The issue ends with a face off you’d expect but results that are unexpected.

Overall, a powerful conclusion of this mercenary’s tale, one that more than satiates. The story by Alex Simmons is smart, well-paced, and still surprises. The art by Joe Bennett is spectacular. Altogether, a comic that any reader who loves a good story will go head over heels for.

Story: Alex Simmons Art: Joe Bennett
Story: 10 Art: 9.7 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Blackjack #2

Blackjack #2

The world is filled with people not on the winning side of history. Howard Zinn’s books are filled with many of these histories of the unjust thriving and the beleaguered masses suffering. What happens when those downtrodden fight back and get that “sweet revenge”? In the second issue of Blackjack, our hero begins his trail of retribution but not without cost.

We find Arron as he stares death in the eyes with a Bengali Tiger looking to end his life, but he narrowly escapes, as his learned skills, has given him a few tricks and a few old friends come to help. As he ruminates on his next moves, he reminisces on his time in Cairo as a child and what brought his family there in the first place. While he and Maryam recuperate, he’s approached by a local entrepreneur about a warlord who is hurting his business and would like Arron’s helps in neutralizing this threat.

Overall, an exciting continuation of this mercenary’s tale. The story by Alex Simmons is well told and well characterized. The art by Joe Bennett is stunning. Altogether, a series that gets better with each issue.

Story: Alex Simmons Art: Joe Bennett
Story: 10 Art: 9.8 Overall: 9.9 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Blackjack: Second Bite Of The Cobra

Blackjack: Second Bite Of The Cobra

When it comes to “swashbuckler” adventures, so there are not too many names as synonymous with that genre than Edgar Rice Burroughs. His stories are what George Lucas and Stephen Speilberg had in mind when they brought Indiana Jones to the big screen. His imprint is all over the genre and has endured despite the many anachronistic tropes that has plagued including the “foreign trickster” stereotype. Thankfully, many of those fans who have continued the tradition do not entertain such outdated and at times racist landmines.

Many of those stories featured people of color in a few categories. They were the villains or the minions of the villain or an ally/sidekick of the protagonist. Or worse, the victim of the villain. The roles furthered the narrative of the “untamed savage” as many of Burroughs’ stories, as well as his contemporaries, never had a person of color as a protagonist. It wasn’t until Rick Riordan, that some of that void was filled in mainstream media.  In the debut issue of Blackjack: Second Bite Of The Cobra, we find Arron Day AKA Blackjack, seeking revenge in the only place he called home.

We are taken to 1918 Cairo, where Arron’s father, Mad Dog, a veteran of countless wars, finds himself toe to toe with a warlord, known only as The Cobra as he and his friend, Silas Lincoln, were able to beat back his men, but was not able to defeat him completely, as he vanished from existence . Unfortunately for Mad Dog his days were numbered as a mysterious force killed him in cold blood years later in Spain. As the Cobra’s wraths strikes again, reaching a grown-up Arron in Harlem, New York, where is he a wealthy estate holder, and is given word by his father’s old friend, Silas. By issue’s end, Cobra unleashes his men on Blackjack ad his cohorts, leading to an all-out fight.

Overall, an exciting first chapter in a hero that seems out of time but more than likely true to life than most would admit. The story by Alex Simmons is smart, intense and well developed. The art by Joe Bennett is gorgeous. Altogether, a great story that should gain this series more readers.

Story: Alex Simmons Art: Joe Bennett
Story: 10 Art: 9.8 Overall: 9.9 Recommendation: Buy

Preview: World of Archie Jumbo Comics Digest #76

WORLD OF ARCHIE JUMBO COMICS DIGEST #76

Script: Alex Simmons
Art: Bill Galvan, Jim Amash, Glenn Whitmore, Jack Morelli
Cover: Bill Galvan, Rosario “Tito” Peña
On Sale Date: 2/21
192-page, full color comic
$6.99 U.S.

BRAND NEW LEAD STORY: “Run Away Run Way” – The Veronica Lodge/Sheila Wu Fashion wars are in full swing, and the school career week projects have brought it to a head! When Veronica tricks accident-prone Archie into helping Sheila out with her runway project, it’s sure to be a fashion catastrophe!

Preview: Archie & Friends Digital Digest #1

ARCHIE & FRIENDS DIGITAL DIGEST #1

Script: Alex Simmons
Art: Bill Golliher, Bill Galvan, Bob Smith, Jim Amash, Glenn Whitmore, Jack Morelli
Cover: Bill Golliher
On Sale Date: 2/21
10-page, full color digital exclusive comic
$0.99 U.S.

It’s the best of Archie’s all-new classic-style stories for one low price! This inaugural issue features two stories filled with adventures in the great outdoors and mix-ups on the runway! In  “Hot Times, Cold Nose,” Archie and his dog Vegas are spending a weekend in the woods—but when Vegas goes off to has his own wilderness adventure, will he make it back to his owner? Then in “Run Away Runway,” the Veronica Lodge/Sheila Wu Fashion wars are in full swing, and the school career week projects have brought it to a head! When Veronica tricks accident-prone Archie into helping Sheila out with her runway project, it’s sure to be a fashion catastrophe!

Preview: Archie Jumbo Comics Digest #286

Archie Jumbo Comics Digest #286

Script: Alex Simmons
Art: Dan Parent
Cover: Dan Parent
On Sale Date: 2/7
192-page, full color comic
$6.99 U.S.

New Classic-Style Lead Story! “Hot Times, Cold Nose” – Archie and his dog Vegas are spending a weekend in the woods—but when Vegas goes off to has his own wilderness adventure, will he make it back to his owner?

Preview: Archie Halloween Spectacular #1

ARCHIE HALLOWEEN SPECTACULAR #1

Script: Alex Simmons, Paul Kupperberg, Dexter Taylor
Art: Pat & Tim Kennedy, Jim Amash, Jack Morelli, Digikore Studios, Dexter Taylor, Rudy Lapick, Bill Yoshida, Barry Grossman
Cover: Jeff Shultz, Rosario “Tito” Peña
On Sale Date: 10/11
24-page, full color comic
$2.99 U.S.

Get ready for a Halloween SCARETACULAR featuring some of Archie’s most frighteningly fun stories!

Preview: World of Archie Comics Annual #62

WORLD OF ARCHIE COMICS ANNUAL #62

Script: Alex Simmons
Art: Rex Lindsey, Digikore Studios
Cover: Fernando Ruiz, Bob Smith, Rosario “Tito” Peña
On Sale Date: 9/7
192-page, full color comic
$5.99 U.S.

Archie, along with his furry friend Vegas and brainy buddy Dilton, are visiting Denny—a young, shy boy who Dilton has worked with to create his own website. Meanwhile, Vegas helps some shy, young friends of his own when he encounters some abandoned puppies left under a garbage dumpster in a rain storm. Can he find safety for these pups? How can Denny help? Find out in “Happiness is a Wagging Tail!” the heart-warming lead story to this comics annual!

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Preview: B&V Friends Jumbo Comics Digest #250

B&V FRIENDS JUMBO COMICS DIGEST #250

Script: Alex Simmons
Art: Pat and Tim Kennedy, Jim Amash, Jack Morelli, Glenn Whitmore
Cover: Dan Parent
On Sale Date: 7/27
256-page, full color comic
$6.99 U.S.

Betty and Veronica are on their way to a party held by Riverdale’s reigning fashion queen Sheila Wu—and Veronica’s determined to out-dress her at her own party! However, on their way to the gala, Betty encounters a young girl with some animal friends in need of assistance on the side of the road. The adventure begins as Betty, Veronica and their new acquaintance Alina try to wrangle up her stray pets. Will the pets be safely returned? Will Betty and Veronica make it to the party unscathed? Find out in “The Perils of Pet Sitting,” the exciting new lead story to this JUMBO-sized Comics Digest!

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Preview: B&V Friends Comics Double Digest #248

B&V FRIENDS COMICS DOUBLE DIGEST #248

Script: Alex Simmons
Art: Bill Galvan, Jim Amash, Jack Morelli, Glenn Whitmore
Cover: Bill Galvan, Jim Amash, Rosario “Tito” Peña
On Sale Date: 6/22
160-page, full color comic
$4.99 U.S.

The time has come for Ethel to have her moment in the spotlight—when she performs at a comedy club! Betty, Veronica and all of their friends have done all they could to support their friend Ethel—but will they still be laughing when they find out the target of her jokes? Find out in “Make ‘Em Laugh,” this hilarious BRAND NEW lead story to this comics digest!

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