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American Carnage

It’s one of two new comic book days this week! What are you excited to get? What are you reading? Sound off in the comments below. While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics: AMERICAN CARNAGE illustrates the January 6th insurrection at the Capitol -Free comics!

The Beat – Diverse graphic novels honored during the 2021 ALA Youth Media Awards – Congrats to everyone!

Reviews

The Guardian – The Grande Odalisque
Comics Bulletin – Vindication

Review: American Carnage #9

American Carnage #9

Everything has a cost and the choices you make in life yield unknown future results. Everybody wants something. But, one doesn’t really understand until you get that something what all that it comes with. There are many analogies that are used when talking about this. The most popular being “the grass is greener on the other side”. What it really is, is called ennui.

As the reality sets in that you don’t know everything a sense of regret sets in. Then you also decide what you need to do to get what you want. Sometimes, the cost may be too much. In American Carnage #9, the final issue of the relevant series, Richard sits on the precipice of good and evil, and his next steps will show what he will do for good.

We open up on Richard warning Jennifer of the coup within her father’s organization. We also find the masked man attempting to trap Sheila, leaving him dead and, Sheila injured. Richard shows up to the Morgan Mansion when he realizes that she was part of the problem, as he kills her, knowing that is the only thing that may bring balance. By the issue‘s end, Sheila makes a fateful decision, one that leaves everyone in a different place.

Overall, American Carnage #9 is a shocking final issue that gives us a resolution. It’s an ending that won’t sit right with those looking for happy endings. The story by Bryan Edward Hill is exceptional. The art by the creative team is stunning. Altogether, a story that shows just how divided America really is.

Story: Bryan Edward Hill Art: Leandro Fernandez, Dean White, and Ben Oliver
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy


Purchase: comiXology – Amazon – Kindle

Review: American Carnage #8

American Carnage (2018-2019) #8

The thing about plans is that they normally don’t work out the way we want them to. Sometimes it turns out better than we expected. Then there are the ones that go sideways, the worst-case scenario times ten, and we feel we underestimated the situation. Sometimes that worst-case scenario is someone dying.

When I was in the military this was more than a common occurrence. It was a fact of life. We would go into missions trying to predict every single outcome. It was practically a crapshoot. There are always unpredictable variables. In the brilliantly crafted American Carnage #8, Wright’s plan quickly goes awry.

We open up on Richard with the masked man as they break up a drug deal. That finds him ultimately giving Jennifer’s friend over to Sheila. We also find Sheila, with her boss George, who is trying to find out how she is getting her intel prompting him to ask for a meet with Richard. Jennifer, struggling with who her father is and who Richard is, is at a crossroads. That crossroads pushes her to make a timely decision. By the issue‘s end, Sheila reaches out to the masked man to move a piece off the chessboard.

Overall, American Carnage #8 is an astonishing entry that serves as a great penultimate issue. The story by Bryan Edward Hill is excellent. The art by the creative team is beautiful. Altogether, a story that puts everything on edge in this installment.

Story: Bryan Edward Hill Art: Leandro Fernandez, Dean White, and Ben Oliver
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy


Purchase: comiXology – Amazon – Kindle

Review: American Carnage #7

American Carnage #7

There is power in telling the stories of those afflicted by vices like drugs. I remember reading the classic Iron Man story “Demon in a Bottle” as a kid, and not quite grasping why Tony Stark struggled. That was until I saw how addiction ravaged my neighborhood and how it transformed regular human beings into shadows of themselves. Then I saw how alcoholism destroyed not only lives but families.

It is always admirable when one recovers from addiction. The road back is never easy but can be attained. What most people don’t realize is that anything can trigger them. The pain of temptation beckons them without no warning. In the brilliantly crafted American Carnage #7, Wright risks everything to stop one addict from falling abandon but might trigger himself in the process.

We open up on Richard meeting Jennifer at Wynn’s house where she asks him for a favor. It’s a favor which may be too much for him. We also find Sheila getting caught with Richard where she reminds him that helping Jennifer is not part of the assignment. Richard decides to help anyway but someone got to her friend first leading to another encounter with Wynn’s muscle man. By the issue‘s end, Sheila is dealing with new attention that may derail the case.

Overall, American Carnage #7 is an extraordinary issue that adds another dimension to the story. The story by Bryan Edward Hill is shining. The art by the creative team is incredible. Altogether, a story that adds a few crime noir elements to this issue.

Story: Bryan Edward Hill Art: Leandro Fernandez, Dean White, and Ben Oliver
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy


Purchase: comiXology – Amazon – Kindle

Review: American Carnage #6

AMERICAN CARNAGE #6

Omar Epps is one of those actors, whose sheer magnetism makes for must-watch television. Everything he usually is in is well written and typically showcases his characters in a strong light. The first I remembered seeing him was in the 90s classic, Juice. It starred a burgeoning actor/rapper, named Tupac Shakur and Epps played the protagonist in that film.

Epps would go on to star in many other features. He’d occasionally work in television, as his run on House, was as long as the main star. One of my favorite movies, by him, was the severely underrated In Too Deep. He played an undercover cop, whose work would blur the lines of reality, leading him on an unexpected path. In the brilliantly crafted American Carnage #6, Wright is also ensnared in this criminal enterprise, and the only way he can destroy it is from within.

We open up on Morgan, espousing his philosophy to Richard, trying t show why he thinks how he does and why his organization is the future of America. We also find Richard trying to stave off any rumblings of a civil war, by carefully making those who are disgruntled, know their place. Richard eventually comes to the realization that he must cross a line that pushes the legality of the case. By the issue‘s end, Richard finally tells Jennifer, the truth, a decision that may lead to deadly consequences.

Overall, American Carnage #6 is an exceptional issue, which adds a layer of danger for our protagonist. The story by Bryan Edward Hill is brilliant. The art by the creative team is amazing. Altogether, a story that is too close to our reality, which is why this a must-read.

Story: Bryan Edward Hill Art: Leandro Fernandez, Dean White, and Ben Oliver
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy


Purchase: comiXology – Amazon – Kindle

Review: American Carnage #5

American Carnage #5

24 is one of those shows which draws you in with its always relevant stories and how they made the stakes so real. Kiefer Sutherland’s performance was even-keeled yet pointed. Each season puts the viewer in the passenger side while evoking all the palace intrigue viewers have come to enjoy and all the action, television can put on the screen. The show’s real stars were its villains.

Each season brought its own dangers and villains, each one more insidious than the previous season. One of the most intriguing seasons was when they were fighting an insidious force within the presidency. Our heroes found a way to fight off the books and with no help. In the brilliantly crafted American Carnage #5, Curry’s actions catch wind of some very interested parties.

We open up on Sheila being called for a meeting with someone who just so happens to be one of Morgan’s associates, looking to cut a deal so that they could unleash their plans. We also find Richard being questioned by Morgan trying to elicit what his true intentions are. Richard reaches out to Sheila, to let her know, he is about to cross a line as it is the only way to take down Morgan. By the issue‘s end, Richard has proven himself but the line may have become blurred because of it.

Overall, American Carnage #5 is an excellent issue, which pushes our protagonists to the edge. The story by Hill is exceptional. The art by the creative team is astounding. Altogether, a story that gets even murkier.

Story: Bryan Edward Hill Art: Leandro Fernandez, Dean White and Ben Oliver
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy


Purchase: comiXology – Amazon – Kindle

Review: American Carnage #4

AMERICAN CARNAGE #4

Edward Norton is one of those actors whose presence on onscreen is understated but resonant. The way he underplays most of his characters makes viewing them a pleasure as he understands the story is what makes the story. Most people don’t know that he co-wrote Frida, the movie about much-heralded and immortal Frida Kahlo. One of my favorite movies by him is Rounders, a movie where he showed his vulnerability.

Where I actually found about him was in American History X. It showed how a reformed Nazi had to reckon with his past. Though the movie had some tough scenes to watch, it showed the power of redemption. In the brilliantly crafted American Carnage #4, Wright finally infiltrates the organization which is much like in American History X, leading to some uncomfortable truths.

We open up on Jennifer Morgan talking to the police, as the detective assigned to the case, trying to assess if this was racially motivated and why. We eventually find out that Wynn might have dissension in the ranks, as what happened to Jennifer, maybe some type of message. Richard eventually reaches out to Sheila, who implores him to agitate the situation By the issue‘s end, someone guns down Richard, as what comes next is only that more complicated

Overall, a grand issue, American Carnage #4 changes the definition of “pulse-pounding”. The story by Bryan Edward Hill is outstanding. The art by the creative team is astonishing. Altogether, a story that may mean the end for one character.

Story: Bryan Edward Hill Art: Leandro Fernandez, Dean White, and Ben Oliver
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy


Purchase: comiXology – Amazon – Kindle

Review: American Carnage #3

AMERICAN CARNAGE #3

There is that point in most procedural stories, where there is the line of no return. In the show The Shield, it was an often slippery slope for Vic Mackey and his crew. They not only chased after real criminals but they partook in criminal activities. This led to some close calls and the eventual arrest of this group. It showed that when one does not have remorse they have never really understood morality in the first place.

In the very first episode, they got rid of the very character who could have exposed them. This is where they solidified themselves as something quite different than anything else on the television landscape. It is was that line that Vic Mackey never had a problem crossing that most of us would not. In the brilliantly crafted American Carnage #3, Wright is on the crux of that point of no return.

We open on Wright right as the gang was about to kill a random black Man they found on the street, which due to unforeseen events, becomes messy, leading Wright to kill the man to deescalate the situation. We also find out in a flashback, that Wright during psych evaluation, was questioned about his racial identity and  how we would use it as motivation during this particular assignment. Before he could get his bearings, a masked man shows up to take an uncompromising picture of Richard, which can blow his cover and something the Neo Nazi group may be using as leverage. By Issue‘s end, someone looks to kill Morgan’s daughter, making the whole case even more bizarre.

Overall, American Carnage #3 is a great issue that delivers the story its twist. The issue by Bryan Edward Hill is excellent. The art by the creative team is stunning. Altogether, a story that up the stakes for its protagonist.

Story: Bryan Edward Hill Art: Leandro Fernandez, Dean White, and Ben Oliver
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy


Purchase: comiXology – Amazon – Kindle

Review: American Carnage #2

American Carnage #2

Lawrence Fishburne is one of those actors whose presence onscreen gets you right away. Far from the fact that he is magnetic; the tenor of his voice makes him a force to be reckoned with. This is why I was excited to hear that he’ll be narrating the upcoming Audible adaptation of The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Though these days, he is known more for Black-Ish, he got his start in bit roles for Spike Lee.

Those roles led to bigger roles, one of which was Deep Cover. That film’s is a brilliant procedural movie and an equally excellent character study. There was a point in the story where he had to prove his “worthiness,” a scene which showed Fishburne at his most commanding up to that point. In the second issue of brilliantly crafted American Carnage, Wright must prove his fealty to the Neo Nazis he is infiltrating.

We open on Wright at a party with Neo-Nazis , as he realizes this where he may be able to break the case. While Morgan’s daughter, Jennifer, steps into a conversation, where we find out those larger players are in the game, ones with more power and more legitimacy than Wynn Morgan ever dreamt of. Eventually, someone tries Richard, and he is more than happy to punch a Nazi.  By the issue‘s end, his initiation begins where his morals will be tested.

Overall, a great second issue, that insinuates the reader even deeper. The story by Bryan Edward Hill is first-rate. The art by the creative team is gorgeous Altogether, a sobering looks at a world that hate spawns.

Story: Bryan Edward Hill Art: Leandro Fernandez, Dean White, and Ben Oliver
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindle

Review: American Carnage #1

American Carnage #1

Hate is one of those things that human beings have felt since the beginning of time. What has changed as of recent is that certain types of hate have become more acceptable. What was abhorred only a few years ago has been encouraged by certain people in power. The 2016 election and what has happened since has shown that America has not made any real progress from the founding of our country.

Certain hate groups have found themselves to be not so much “true” villains anymore. Morals have truly become divided along party lines.  Which brings me to question would someone or anyone who believes in hate be considered a “good person”? In the debut issue of brilliantly crafted American Carnage, writer Bryan Edward Hill and the creative team seeks to explore those lines of divide as an FBI agent goes undercover in a Neo Nazi group.

We open on FBI Agent Curry where she is testifying before an ethics board on the incident which led to her injuries. We soon find out a Neo-Nazi group terrorized a family Curry had befriended as the domestic terrorists firebombed their home with them in it. We also meet a former FBI Agent, Richard Wright, who now works as a private detective. Curry tries to convince Wright that there is something more sinister to a local politician. While it might seem on the surface nothing is there there’s clearly something brewing.

Overall, an excellent debut issue that drops you into a world that is unfortunately way too familiar. The story by Hill is excellent. The art by the creative team is beautiful. Altogether, a sobering looks at the ugliness hiding in plain sight.

Story: Bryan Edward Hill Art: Leandro Fernandez, Dean White, and Ben Oliver
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

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