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Review: Midnight Suns #1

Midnight Suns #1

I remember the first time I read a team up in comics. It felt cool whenever your favorite characters would get together. This is initially what drew me to the animated series Spiderman and His Amazing Friends as a kid. Peter’s interactions with the Firestar and Iceman made the series so entertaining and fun.

I did not know it then but it was giving me the foundation of how it is to work within a team. It definitely helped me in organized sports, knowing that you have to work with each other to win. This absolutely made it crystal clear when I joined the military, as we all had our part. In Midnight Suns #1, a new team is formed to face a very evil threat.

We’re taken to a town called Centerville, where a young woman that goes by the name of Mary Beth Zoric, is being threatened with a gun, for practicing Black Magic. We are also taken to the Strange Academy, where we meet Zoe Laveau, is a new student at the school, who is having a hard time adjusting, but right when it looks like she will be just fine, she has a dark vision, one that looks to change her whole life. Blade summons the Midnight Suns, as Nico Magik saw the same vision as Zoe. They take it as a harbinger of evil to come. By the issue’s end, they fend off an attack by a hoard of demons but find an unlikely foe in Dr. Doom.

Overall, Midnight Suns #1 is a fun issue but somewhat predictable. The story by Sacks is serviceable. The art by the creative team is gorgeous. Altogether, it’s a fine team up but not one which I can exactly say I am compelled to continue.

Story: Ethan Sacks Art: Luigi Zagaria
Color: Antonio Fabela Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 6.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: TFAWZeus ComicscomiXology/Kindle

NYCC 2022: Marvel announces new Rogue & Gambit, X-23, and more!

The Women of Marvel returned to New York York Comic Con with an impressive line-up of Marvel talent assembled to discuss what’s next for Marvel’s woman-led titles.

On the panel, writer, editor, and podcast host Angélique Roché was joined by Marvel’s Digital Media Executive Director and co-host of Women of Marvel Podcast Ellie Pyle, Senior Editor Lauren Bisom, Women of Marvel podcast co-host Judy Stephens, and writers Eve L. Ewing, Stephanie Phillips, and Erica Schultz

The lively discussion kicked off with the exciting news that the new season of Women of Marvel podcast will return on Thursday, November 3! Audience members were the first to learn the theme of the new season is “The Super Power of Mentorship.”  

Check out some of the panel’s biggest announcements below!

  • The Women of Marvel anthology returns in March 2023 with the Women of Marvel #1 (2023) one-shot. 
  • Rogue & Gambit #1a limited series written by Stephanie Phillips, art by Carlos Gomez, on sale March 2023. 
  • X-23: Deadly Regenesis #1a 5-issue limited series written by Erica Schultz, art by Edgar Salazar, with cover by Kalman Andrasofszky on sale March 2023. 
  • Betsy Braddock: Captain Britain #1 written by Tini Howard, penciled by Vasco Georgiev, cover by Erica D’Urso, and variant covers by Peach Momoko, Otto Schmidt, and D’Urso on sale February 2023.

Marvel Unlimited’s Infinity Comics including: 

  • X-Men Unlimited #56by writer and artist Jason Loo, and colored by Antonio Fabela available October 10.
  • Marvel’s Voices: Nova #20 written by Terry Blas, art by Bruno Oliveira, and colored by Cris Peters available October 12.
  • Love Unlimited: Wolverine #19 written by Sean Kelley McKeever, art by Diógenes Neves, and colored by Andres Mossa available October 13.
  • Avengers Unlimited #15, written by Jim Zub, art by Enid Balam, and colored by Chris Sotomayor available October 11.
  • Marvel Unlimited’s T.E.S.T. Kitchen #3 returns tomorrow with an all-new issue by Michelin Star Chef Paul Eschbach with art by E.J. Su. And just in time for Halloween, Marvel Unlimited will release a T.E.S.T. Kitchen Halloween Special on October 31.   

Review: DC vs. Vampires: Killers

DC vs. Vampires: Killers

While we wait for the main series to return, DC vs. Vampires has been getting a series of one-shots to fill in the time, and expand the story. When I think of one-shots to a mini-series or event, I tend to have a negative opinion. The often feel like filler looking to cash in on a character or group. DC vs. Vampires‘ two releases break that mold. They are vital to the main story expanding on the world and setting up what’s to come. DC vs. Vampires: Killers is the second release delivering a glimmer of hope for the darkened world.

Written by Matthew Rosenberg, the one-shots have done a great job of expanding the miniseries event. They focus in on a specific aspect or character shifting the story from what was being told. If they were included in the main series, they’d feel like too much of a break and the flow of the series would suffer. As one-shots, that’s avoided though they fill in the gap as we wait for the series to return.

Harley Quinn has a crew of her own, now the crime boss of the vampire controlled Gotham. She’s presented an opportunity to smuggle out a glimmer of hope for humanity and must make a decision as to what to do.

Rosenberg, like the previous one-shot focused on Damian, creates another amazing chapter of the series. Like that other comic, this one is also pretty vital if you’ve been reading the main series. It gives us what’s likely to be part of the end game for the series and is our first bit of hope that the vampires might be able to be defeated. Like the main series, it keeps readers on their toes, guessing what will happen next and who has been turned into a vampire. But, even with that rather gloomy setting, Rosenberg find the humor in Harley as she does what she usually does.

The art by Mike Bowden and Eduardo Mello is great. It captures the kinetic energy that is Harley Quinn while keeping a look that fits nicely with the main series. They’re joined by Le Beau Underood and Livesay, with Bowden and Mello, on inks, Antonio Fabela on color, and Troy Peteri handles lettering. The comic’s visuals are top notch matching the quality of the series as a whole. There’s some great physical and visual humor to go along with Rosenberg’s, at times, snappy dialogue. To see the fate of Clayface and where that goes and not laugh is difficult. Without the visuals, it just wouldn’t play well at all.

DC vs. Vampires: Killers is a solid addition to the event. It’s another key comic and part of the story that just wouldn’t fit well in the main series. It’s a must for those already reading the series and might get those not interested in checking it out.

Story: Matthew Rosenberg Art: Mike Bowden, Eduardo Mello
Ink: Le Beau Underwood, Livesay, Mike Bowden, Eduardo Mello
Color: Antonio Fabela Letterer: Troy Peteri
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXology/KindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Review: Punisher War Journal: Blitz

Punisher War Journal: Blitz

There is nothing like when one gets their just due. The German have a term for it, “scheuden freuden”. It is when the individual gets deep satisfaction from another’s misfortune.  It happens in our daily lives.

 Take for instance, when somebody  cuts in front of you on the road. The first thoughts could be why  are they driving like an asshole.  This , of course, becomes vindicated when you see them get pulled over by the police or someone does the same.  In the debut issue Punisher War Journal: Blitz, one of Frank’s longtime nemeses may soon meet his hand thanks to Castle’s control of The Hand.

We find the Hate Mongerer AKA Finn Fratz waging war across the country in many of the Hand’s vital locations, as the two are waging war and not backing down at any instance.  We find out why Frank has held this grudge with Hate Mongerer, and how the mission Frank was sent all those years ago, was all a work of fiction, thanks to Fran. Unfortunately, Frank is pulled into a similar trap when he tries to lure out Fratz. By the issue’s end,  Franks gets his man, but at a cost, and with his war against his enemies not ending anytime soon.

Overall, Punisher War Journal: Blitz is a fun story that will remind readers the reason they think Frank’s is a badass. The story by Gronbekk is spectacular. The art by the creative team is gorgeous. Altogether, a story that readers will revel in.

Story: Torunn Grønbekk Art: Lan Medina
Color: Antonio Fabela Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXology/Kindle – Zeus Comics

Review: Punisher War Journal: Blitz

Punisher War Journal: Blitz

There’s a new status quo when it comes to the Punisher. Now the “High Slayer” for the Hand, the Punisher has teamed up with criminals to wage his war against other criminals. In exchange his wife has been resurrected. It’s an interesting direction and one I’m not totally onboard with. But, it’s still interesting and entertaining storytelling. With it brings back the traditional companion “War Journal” series, kicking off with Punisher War Journal: Blitz. The series will give us stories not told in the main series, a series of tales that expands Frank Castle’s latest war.

Torunn Grønbekk delivers a tale of Castle versus the Hate Monger. Told during two time periods, we see two men who deal in absolutes and nihilation. If they don’t succeed then their death is the only acceptable alternative. It’s an interesting exploration of two men who are willing to sacrifice others so easily to also gain so little overall. But, it’s Frank’s decisions as to who is worthy to sacrifice and who is not that’s the interesting part. There’s a clear logic to his decisions and it shows there’s still humanity within.

Grønbekk piles on the action with good surprises and solid moments though the over the top death and gore is kept tamped down in some ways. There’s also satisfaction of seeing the Punisher hunt down a racist to murder them. It’s the direction I think the character should have taken on in the relaunch, so to at least see a little of it is nice. It’s satisfying in vengeance sort of way.

The art by Lan Medina is nice. There’s a bit of a throwback feel to it, which feels rather appropriate for the return of “War Journal”. The violence is there, death, dismemberment, swords through chests, heads blown apart, but it’s not quite as over the top as other recent depictions of the character and even the main series. Medina is joined by Antonio Fabela on color and lettering by Cory Petit.

Punisher War Journal: Blitz is a nice return of the side-series and hopefully it continues to deliver one and done stories and not drag things out. It gives a little bit better idea of what’s going through Frank’s mind currently and shows there’s some humanity in him, there’s a lot of potential here to explore the current iteration of The Punisher further in the coming issues.

Story: Torunn Grønbekk Art: Lan Medina
Color: Antonio Fabela Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXology/KindleZeus Comics

Review: Spider-Man 2099: Exodus #2

Spider-Man 2099: Exodus #2

I enjoyed the first issue of Spider-Man 2099: Exodus. There was a nice return to the classic world and characters. For someone who read the line of comics when it first came out, it was absolute nostalgia that hooked me. Spider-Man 2099: Exodus #2 I think improves on the formula continuing to expand the world but also focused on the quest at hand.

Written by Steve Orlando, the comic begins with Spider-Man 2099 attempting to recruit another individual for his mission. From there, we get the story of Loki 2099 and what has happened to the gods of Asgard.

It’s an interesting story and one that adds a lot to the world of 2099 with a tragic story that looks at the past as well as the future of that corner of the Marvel Universe. It’s a solid story that way that answers some questions and sets up a nice future for Asgard as well.

The art by Marco Castiello is solid. With color by Antonio Fabela and lettering by Joe Caramagna, the comic has a feel that’s nice mix of western, fantasy, and the futuristic world. There’s an interesting design to everything and the characters Loki comes across. The feel of it all reminds me a lot of Marvel’s futuristic “Old Man” world of stories which also blended a western aesthetic with the world of superheroes.

Spider-Man 2099: Exodus #2 is a solid comic that builds on its world infusing different genres in an already intriguing story. It switches things up a lot taking what feels like inspiration from other genres than what have been explored in the past with the line. Overall, it feels like it celebrates the 2099 of the past while setting up the 2099 of the future.

Story: Steve Orlando Art: Marco Castiello
Color: Antonio Fabela Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: 7.85 Art: 7.85 Overall: 7.85 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXology/Kindle

Review: DC vs. Vampires: Hunters #1

DC vs. Vampires: Hunters #1

I have loved DC vs. Vampires. The series has surprised with a lot of twists and turns. It has dived into the deep end bringing paranoia with it. You never know who has been turned and who’s next to be turned or outright killed. DC vs. Vampires: Hunters #1 seems to be set between the two halves of the main series acting as a nice reflection on what has happened and hinting at what’s to come.

It’s hard to review this issue without spoilers, so if you haven’t read the series up to this point, don’t go any further.

DC vs. Vampires left us with Nightwing being revealed as the Vampire King and his turned heroes and villains going on the attack and enveloping the world in darkness. Damian had been turned and Batman (among other heroes and villains) killed.

Matthew Rosenberg kicks the issue off with Damian seemingly a vampire on a mission hunting the remaining heroes and villains for the vampire nation. What’s soon revealed is despite his being turned, he’s still on the side of good secretly trying to stop Nightwing.

DC vs. Vampires: Hunters #1 is a fascinating issue giving us the resistance to the big bad empire. It’s a situation and concept we’ve seen so many times before but Rosenberg has something up his sleeve… rivalry. The issue plays off the rivalry between Damian and Dick as well as their connection to Alfred. It shows there’s more going on here than just a big bad, there’s something more to Nightwing’s big picture plan. It’s all laid out here creating a key issue for the event that many may skip thinking it’s a one-shot tie-in. No, it’s a pretty important issue!

The art by Neil Googe is good. It’s a bit different than the main series but still works pretty well. With color by Antonio Fabela and lettering by Troy Peteri, it’s strength is its action, humor, and shocking moments. Googe really nails down the framing of scenes and what to focus on to emphasize what’s going on. The rest of the team ups the quality with colors that pop and lettering that really emphasizes the action and emotion.

What stands out about DC vs. Vampires: Hunters #1 is its surprises. Much like the main series, the comic never quite goes in the direction you expect. It has shocking moments for sure, and there’s a body count, but it surprises the reader. More importantly, it points to a very intriguing second half of this series.

Story: Matthew Rosenberg Art: Neil Googe
Color: Antonio Fabela Letterer: Troy Peteri
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXology/KindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Find out the impact of Deathstroke’s war in Shadow War Zone #1

Someone posing as Deathstroke has done the unimaginable and cut off “The Demon’s Head,” killing Ra’s al Ghul! His “Shadow War” has put several DC super heroes behind the 8-ball, and their stories will have implications in Shadow War and beyond! On sale May 17Shadow War Zone #1 reveals these stories and characters and what new challenges they’ll have to overcome!

Black Canary crosses swords with her protégé, in “Old Friends,” written by Shadow War: Alpha, Batman, and Deathstroke Inc. writer Joshua Williamson, with art by Otto Schmidt. Black Canary is on the hunt for Deathstroke following the death of Ra’s al Ghul, to bring him to justice before Talia al Ghul’s assassins get him first. Unfortunately, one of those assassins is her best and former student, Angel Breaker! Who is this deadly killer and what’s her history with Black Canary? This showdown has major ramifications for Black Canary in Shadow War Omega #1, on sale May 31.

Writer Nadia Shammas and artist Sweeney Boo team up for “Inner Demon,” a story that flashes back to the younger years of Talia al Ghul. Frustrated over secrets hidden from her by Ra’s al Ghul, young Talia makes a secret pilgrimage to Lazarus Island, where a meeting with her grandmother reveals that she has a stronger connection to the Lazarus Pit that she realizes, setting the stage for a major DCU event this Fall!

Written by Ed Brisson, with art by Mike Bowden, Mark Morales, and Antonio Fabela, “Panic Room” features Ghost-Maker, Black Spider and Clownhunter. Clownhunter has been developing his skills under the watchful eye of Ghost-Maker and prepares for the final exam to end all final exams as he’s faced with protecting Black Spider from an all-out assault from the League of Assassins. This story sets the table for Clownhunter’s evolution and the return of Batman Incorporated in the upcoming Batman 2022 Annual, in stores on May 31.

Harley Quinn writer Stephanie Phillips and artist Ann Maulina team up for “Ninjas! At the Arcade.” Harley fights a group of ninjas from the League of Assassins in an arcade, complete with lights, noise, and an impressive collection of movie quotes from the Mistress of Mayhem! Meanwhile, Luke Fox and an unlikely ally think Harley Quinn is the perfect addition to their “team,” but what team, and for what purpose?

Shadow War Zone #1 features a main cover by Jonboy Meyers, with open-to-buy “homage” variant and 1:25 variant covers by Howard Porter, plus a 1:50 variant cover by Leirix featuring Angel Breaker. All covers are available for pre-order now; check your local comic book shop for availability and ordering details.

Walter Simonson, Jason Aaron, and more celebrate Thor’s 750th issue

Next month, fans will get to celebrate the long and storied history of the God of Thunder with the writers and artists who helped build his legacy! Arriving just in time for Thor’s 60th anniversary, Thor #24 will be a 74-page epic honoring 750 thunderous issues. The milestone issue will see some of Thor’s greatest legends return home to tell thrilling new tales set during their landmark runs.

Thor #24 will take place in the aftermath of “God of Hammers,” the latest epic in writer Donny Cates and artist Nic Klein’s hit run on the title. After a scorched-earth victory that cost the God of Thunder both his hammer and his father, Thor and all of Asgard mourn Odin, unaware that the former All-Father lives on in Thor’s newly reforged hammer!

In addition to the main story by Cates and Klein, here are the all-new tales readers can look forward to:

  • Writer J. Michael Straczynski and artist Oliver Coipel reunite for a story set during their redefining Thor saga
  • Legendary comics creator Dan Jurgens writes and draws an incredible Thor and Balder teamup
  • Comics icon Walter Simonson makes his grand return to Thor, writing and drawing an all-new adventure that explores the origin of his beloved creation, Beta Ray Bill
  • Al Ewing and Lee Garbett collaborate for the first time since Loki: Agent of Asgard to bring you an all-new chapter for the god of mischief that leads directly into Ewing’s upcoming Defenders Beyond series
  • And prepare for a revelatory tale about Odin that only writer Jason Aaron and artist Das Pastoras can deliver!

Check out interior pages and Nic Klein’s design sheet for Mjolnir’s new look now and pick up Thor #24 when it arrives on April 27! 

Review: Death of Doctor Strange #4

Death of Doctor Strange #4

There’s that iconic, and once very overdone, moment in detective stories where the suspects are all gathered and we’re walked through the crime. At the end, the criminal is revealed in a moment that’s supposed to be full of surprise and then that’s followed up with a confrontation. Death of Doctor Strange #4 is exactly that in comic form, no more and no less.

Jed MacKay has been casting this mystical tale and up to now has kept readers guessing as to who might behind Strange’s murder. The obvious suspect, Baron Mordo, is a bit too obvious leaving the remaining suspects rather scant. Like a solid detective story, MacKay has Strange befuddled by dead ends and clues that don’t help matter. And, just like so many detective stories before, we’re taken through the steps as Strange puts together who was behind his murder.

The way the issue is presented and how the narrative plays out, the comic is very much a throwback to old-school detective stories. That plays so well with the fact that at its center is a “classic” version of Strange who was around when this type of narrative was regularly released. It’s one that has waned in recent years but with its lack of overuse, it comes off as a bit of a throwback and fun when presented here.

Lee Garbett‘s art is solid as usual with some great use of angles to really play off of the narrative style and what MacKay is going for in the storytelling. There also continues to be an interesting artistic thing being done with the retro-Strange compared to the more modern characters. Antonio Fabela‘s colors pop on the page playing off the mystical elements so well. Cory Petit‘s lettering also gives a lot of personality to the characters.

Death of Doctor Strange #4 is a very unexpected issue in many ways. With one issue to go, it reveals who the murderer is. But, it’s done in a way that’s an unexpected narrative throwback. It adds to the pulp and pop sense of the comic that has been underlying since it launched. While it doesn’t have that major moment where the next Sorcerer Supreme stands up, it brings a fun sense to the page delivering a murder mystery that’s an homage to what has come before.

Story: Jed MacKay Art: Lee Garbett
Color: Antonio Fabela Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXology AmazonKindleZeus Comics

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