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Review: Fantastic Four: Full Circle

With Alex Ross, Fantastic Four: Full Circle has beautiful art as expected but its story falls a bit short.

Story: Alex Ross
Art: Alex Ross
Color: Alex Ross, Josh Johnson
Letterer: Ariana Maher

Get your copy now! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Bookshop
Amazon
comiXology/Kindle


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Preview: Amazing Fantasy #1000

Amazing Fantasy #1000

(W) Kurt Busiek, Various (A) Jim Cheung, Various (CA) John Romita Jr.
RATED T
In Shops: Aug 31, 2022
SRP: $7.99

The comic that brought you SPIDER-MAN hits issue #1000! We’re going big to celebrate in this, our thousandth issue of AMAZING FANTASY! An ALL-STAR roster of creators – Anthony Falcone, Dan Slott, Ho Che Anderson, Jonathan Hickman, Kurt Busiek, Michael Cho, Neil Gaiman, Rainbow Rowell, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Jim Cheung, Marco Checchetto, Olivier Coipel, Ryan Stegman, Steve McNiven, Terry Dodson, Todd Nauck, and more – are coming together to celebrate Peter Parker and Spider-Man’s birthdays!

Amazing Fantasy #1000

Preview: Amazing Fantasy #1000

Amazing Fantasy #1000

(W) Kurt Busiek, Various (A) Jim Cheung, Various (CA) John Romita Jr.
RATED T
In Shops: Aug 31, 2022
SRP: $7.99

The comic that brought you SPIDER-MAN hits issue #1000! We’re going big to celebrate in this, our thousandth issue of AMAZING FANTASY! An ALL-STAR roster of creators – Anthony Falcone, Dan Slott, Ho Che Anderson, Jonathan Hickman, Kurt Busiek, Michael Cho, Neil Gaiman, Rainbow Rowell, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Jim Cheung, Marco Checchetto, Olivier Coipel, Ryan Stegman, Steve McNiven, Terry Dodson, Todd Nauck, and more – are coming together to celebrate Peter Parker and Spider-Man’s birthdays!

Amazing Fantasy #1000

Review: X-Men Red #5

X-Men Red #5

A.X.E.: Judgement Day opened with a bomb being dropped. Planet Arakko was devastated as Uranos was unleashed by the Eternals. In Uranos’ wake we get hints of powerful omega level mutants swept aside and murdered by this being of pure destruction. But, what are the details? X-Men Red #5 fills that in showing us some of what Uranos did and how he did it.

Written by Al Ewing, X-Men Red #5 really just fills in that gap expanding on the death and destruction. We see the Eternals’ full assault beyond Uranos giving us an idea of his power and how easily he swiped the mutant defense to the side. What’s more interesting is we see how many different ways Uranos was able to defend himself setting up a villain and force that feels like a true threat. Not only do the Eternals have this beast of a being who sees anything not Eternal as not worthy of existing but also other forces that bring just as much destruction. We also see how planned out the assault was hitting Arakko in multiple ways and on multiple fronts, each with a devastating effect.

While Ewing gives some interesting small details and a lot of intriguing moments of confrontation, the issue as a whole really just expands on what we already have read and experienced. The exception to that is the ending which definitely should have folks buzzing. But, unless you really care about those details, there’s not a whole lot added. We get a better idea of who was wiped out and we see how tough Uranos is, but we already knew that. And let’s face it, our imagination of how tough he is already made him an unstoppable force.

The art by Stefano Caselli is nice. It doesn’t quite have the impact of the previous iteration of events but there’s memorable moments visually. Caselli is joined by Federico Blee on color and Ariana Maher on lettering. The visuals of X-Men Red #5 are interesting in that there’s a desperation about them, it’s chaotic. That is captured quite well. You get a sense that the attack is swift and the individuals of Arakko have been caught off-guard and unprepared. But, what isn’t present is a connection. I didn’t feel the “holy shit” that I did when first witnessing events. That might be due to the fact I knew what was happening. But, there’s an emotional punch that doesn’t quite feel there.

X-Men Red #5 isn’t bad in any way but it’s mostly a repeat of events from a different perspective. It’s a case where showing doesn’t really add a ton to the story. Uranos is still a badass. Arakko is devestated. We have more details. It’s the last few pages that really stand out as being a big deal. And all of that could be handled in the main series in a page or two. Imagine that ending as an opening and then moving on. The impact would be amazing. Still, if you want to know exactly how Uranos defeated everyone, X-Men Red #5 drops the details and fleshes out that aspect of A.X.E.: Judgement Day’s opening salvo.

Story: Al Ewing Art: Stefano Caselli
Color: Federico Blee Letterer: Ariana Maher Design: Tom Muller, Jay Bowen
Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: TFAWZeus ComicscomiXology/Kindle

Exclusive Preview: Iron Cat #2 (of 5)

Iron Cat #2 (of 5)

(W) Jed MacKay (A/CA) Pere Perez
(C) Frank D’Armata (L) Ariana Maher
(VCA) Mike Mayhew, Kei Zama
RATED T+
In Shops: Jul 27, 2022
SRP: $3.99

THE CAT’S OUT OF THE BAG!
• Iron Cat has it out for Felicia Hardy, the Black Cat, and will stop at nothing to tear Felicia down.
• Meanwhile, all hell has broken loose at Stark Unlimited after Iron Cat broke in to steal the armor.
• Iron Man and Black Cat join forces to stop their mutual enemy! This is one team-up you do NOT want to miss!

Iron Cat #2 (of 5)

Review: Knights of X #1

Knights of X #1

When Neil Gaiman wrote Marvel 1602, he re-imagined our favorite heroes during medieval times. It gave us a brand new look at how these characters would fare in a different time and different place. As the years have gone by since it was first published, fans have been clamoring for a return to that world.

As medieval sword and fantasy stories have become popular again, our favorite superheroes in these settings have been missed. You can take a show like Game Of Thrones, where magic and supernatural creatures are part of that world, and you can easily see our favorite mutants living there. In the newest event surrounding Krakoa, we find Professor X’s brood dealing with a whole new municipality where they can live free but not without its complications. In the debut issue of Tini Howard’s Knights of X, we find Betsy Braddock being the only hope to restore order in Otherworld.

We’re taken to Otherworld, which is ruled by Merlyn, King Arthur and his loyal knights, who search the land looking for what they call “witchbreed” better known as mutants to the rest of us. This doesn’t bode well for Jersey Devil, who is not of this world but from Krakoa, and if he gets killed here, he can’t be revived like he could back on Earth, but thankfully, a soldier from the Captain Britain Corps comes to his rescue. We soon find out Merlyn has taken control of Starlight Citadel, the gate that goes to Krakoa, now known as the Lunatic Citadel, and the only respite the super powered has in this world, is the kingdom of Roma, who just so happens to be Merlyn’s daughter. As we find Betsy Braddock and Roma at odds , as they can’t agree on how to wage war against Merlyn and his merciless genocide against mutants,  as they find a back way to Krakoa, which gives Betsy an idea to recruit some reinforcements with the Grimoire of Apocalypse in hand, to even the odds with a powerful sorcerer like Merlyn. By the issue’s end, Betsy brings the fight to King Arthur and his knights, recruits a different version of Morded and finally forms what Roma envisioned, the Knights Of X.

Overall, Knights of X #1 is one of the better stories from the Krakoan Age event, one which invokes high fantasy. The story by Howard is fascinating. The art by creative team is awe inspiring. Altogether, it’s a story that uses the best part of the Arthurian legend and injects it with our favorite mutants.

Story: Tini Howard Art: Bob Quinn
Color: Erick Arciniega Letterer: Ariana Maher Design: Tom Muller
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXology/KindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Get a Sneak Peek at DC Pride 2022

DC Pride 2022’s storytellers have ambitious goals: to deliver new stories, highlight DC’s fan-favorite LGBTQIA+ characters, and show fans more pride than ever before. DC has released more details about DC Pride 2022, including an excerpt from Nicole Maines’ introduction, the addition of Kevin Conroy (the iconic voice of Batman in Batman: The Animated Series), J. Bone and Aditya Bidikar to an already packed roster of talent, a first look at some of the artwork coming in from the creative teams, and more. Local comic shops are taking preorders through May 1 and the 104-page Prestige format comic will publish in print and on digital platforms on May 31.

So, what’s inside DC Pride 2022? Will there be a Harley and Ivy story? Will there be a Tim Drake story? What other characters are getting a spotlight? The answers are “yes, yes, and wait and see!” but before DC reveals of the full list of talent contributing to DC Pride 2022, please take a moment to read a passage from Nicole Maines’ introduction. The author, actress and real-life superhero is on the front lines of activism and has an important message for readers:

“Representation is something that so many take for granted. But as queer people, we have always understood not only its necessity, but its power. Seeing yourself in the media you consume is validating in a way that says, “You are not alone.”

Seeing yourself in comic books, though, in your favorite superheroes, is especially powerful. It tells us that not only are there other people like us out there (something that this young trans girl growing up in rural Maine desperately needed), but that they stand alongside the very best of us.

They are the best of us.

Superheroes set the bar and they set it high. Because if you can be a superhero, you can be anything. And superheroes are categorized as such not due to their superhuman abilities, extraterrestrial origins, or truly fabulous fashion choices. They are superheroes because they stand up for what is right against any odds.

It is their courage that sets them apart.” —Nicole Maines, DC Pride 2022

DC Pride 2022

Check out all the incredible stories that DC Pride 2022 will include and the talent behind them, then scroll down for a few sneak-peek previews and more!

The DC Pride 2022 creative teams will include:

  • “Super Pride” by Devin Grayson, Nick Robles, Triona Farrell and Aditya Bidikar
  • “Confessions” by Stephanie Williams, Meghan Hetrick, Marissa Louise and Ariana Maher
  • “Special Delivery” by Travis Moore, Enrica Eren Angiolini and Ariana Maher
  • “Are You Ready for This?” by Danny Lore & Ivan Cohen, Brittney Williams, Enrica Eren Angiolini and Ariana Maher
  • “A World Kept Just For Me” by Alyssa Wong, W. Scott Forbes and Ariana Maher
  • “The Gumshoe in Green” by Tini Howard, Evan Cagle and Lucas Gattoni
  • “Think of Me” by Ted Brandt & Ro Stein and Frank Cvetkovic
  • “Public Display of the Electromagnetic Spectrum” by Greg Lockard, Giulio Macaione and Aditya Bidikar
  • “The Hunt” by Dani Fernandez, Zoe Thorogood, Jeremy Lawson and Aditya Bidikar
  • “Bat’s in the Cradle” by Stephanie Philips, Samantha Dodge, Marissa Louise and Lucas Gattoni
  • “Up at Bat” by Jadzia Axelrod, Lynne Yoshii, Tamra Bonvillain and Ariana Maher
  • and “Finding Batman,” a personal story by Kevin Conroy with art by J. Bone and Aditya Bidikar

With over 100 pages of original stories and content, DC Pride 2022 celebrates the strength and courage it takes to be a DC Super Hero. Here’s a sneak peek into what a few of the teams will be delivering:

“Confessions” by Stephanie Williams, Meghan Hetrick, Marissa Louise and Ariana Maher
“Public Display of the Electromagnetic Spectrum” by Greg Lockard, Giulio Macaione and Aditya Bidikar
“Special Delivery” by Travis Moore, Enrica Eren Angiolini and Ariana Maher
“Up at Bat” by Jadzia Axelrod, Lynne Yoshii, Tamra Bonvillain and Ariana Maher
“Are You Ready for This?” by Danny Lore & Ivan Cohen, Brittney Williams, Enrica Eren Angiolini and Ariana Maher
“Think of Me” by Ted Brandt & Ro Stein and Frank Cvetkovic

Skybound’s Sea Serpent’s Heir Book One Gets a Brand New Trailer!

Image Comics and Skybound Comet have debuted a brand-new trailer for Sea Serpent’s Heir Book One: Pirate’s Daughter, the extraordinary tale of growing up and changing your fate from acclaimed writer Mairghread Scott, artist Pablo Tunica and letterer Ariana Maher.

The mystical trailer offers an all-new sneak peek at the dazzling book and its eponymous hero (…or villain). On a faraway island, Aella longed for something more. Then soldiers came for her, and her destiny was revealed. Now, readers can join the pirate queen Aella as she saves the world…or destroys it. Sea Serpent’s Heir is the exhilarating adventure that will surely motivate all who embark on Aella’s journey to take on the world and make their own destinies.

Available everywhere books are sold October 2022, Sea Serpent’s Heir Book One marks the release of the first original graphic novel in this fantasy Young Adult trilogy from Skybound Comet, a new original graphic novel imprint aimed at Young Adult (Ages 12+) and Middle Grade (Ages 8-12) audiences, but sure to captivate readers of all ages.

Review: X-Men Red #1

X-Men Red #1

When it comes to dual X-Men teams, it often feels like one of the teams is the “also rans”. Two teams of heavy hitters has happened but even then, there feels like a bit of a rivalry between them. Too often it’s just the personalities that really define the difference. X-Men Red #1 is an intriguing entry in the “Destiny of X” line of X-Men comics in that its focus is not on the X-Men of Earth, instead it’s a terraformed Mars, dubbed Arakko. Lead by Storm, the planet features mutants from Krakoa and Amenth, a combination that opens things up to a literal world of new characters.

With a world of possibilities, writer Al Ewing does a nice balance of old and new. There’s classic X-Men characters like Sunspot and James Proudstar (aka Warpath), newer X-Men like Vulcan, and then members of Amenth, generally new to readers. But, at the center of it all is Storm and Magneto, two heavy hitters who have shaped the X-Men throughout the decades and look to do so again in X-Men Red #1.

What’s interesting is Ewing’s focus. A world so knew has lead both Storm and Magneto to reflect on their past. Infinite possibilities of what to build has caused each to think about what they’ve done, what they’ve shaped, and how they’re viewed. Magneto, going by Max, is the most interesting of all the characters. His weariness shows a man who has recognized his failures and short comings and in many ways tired of the struggle. He’s the battle hardened vet shaped by years of abuse, torture, and hate, and forged from the horrors of what mankind can do. In his journey he meets a member of the Amenth who also was forged from bars and torture. The duo together bond over their pain and suffering. Ewing presents a Magneto who’s almost poetic in his musings, far displaced from his much more focused and planned statements during his leadership of Krakoa. The debut also directly takes on the opening of House of X/Powers of X when it comes to Storm and Magneto who both showed off nationalist tendencies. Max is directly confronted about his beliefs and views by his new friend who challenges a lot of the status quo.

Stefano Caselli‘s artwork is fantastic. Along with Federico Blee on color and Ariana Maher‘s lettering, the comic is a blend of fantasy and future. It’s a strange new world that doesn’t feel too alien to connect with. A bar fight involves a simple table being smashed over an individual that looks like a normal table. But, that bar is full of characters who look like something out of a sci-fi adventure. That sits side by side as Max and his new friend talk in fields that look straight out of feudal times as Max builds a castle of his own. The juxtaposition of it all is not lost and quite nice as worlds combine to forge something new, a brotherhood.

The question going into X-Men Red #1 is whether it can be more than just “X-Men on Mars”. The debut issue sets a groundwork that’s intriguing and interesting with conflict to come and political machinations and drama to keep things interesting. It’s a solid debut that promises a bright future for the once red planet.

Story: Al Ewing Art: Stefano Caselli
Color: Federico Blee Letterer: Ariana Maher Design: Tom Muller, Jay Bowen
Story: 8.35 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXology/KindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Review: Marauders #1

Marauders #1

Steve Orlando, Eleonora Carlini, and Matt Milla inject new life into the team Marauders in the first issue of their new series. With introductions out of the way, they get right to the adventure, drama, and messiness of it all as the team and their newest, most genocidal member Cassandra Nova blast into space to find the remaining members of the first generation of mutants. Along the way, Orlando continues to show his talent for excavating characters from the Big Two’s past while putting his own spin on staples like the Shi’ar Empire. Seriously, the first scene features a character that debuted in Inhumans; not the well-loved Paul Jenkins/Jae Lee series, but the Rafael Marin and Jose Ladronn one from 2000. However, Marauders #1 isn’t just cameos and throwbacks, and Steve Orlando and Carlini create an adventurous team dynamic with a bit of a dark side that sets it apart from the other current X-teams.

Eleonora Carlini’s manga-infused approach to the art in Marauders plays up the emotions and action up to 11. She combines traditional superhero figures with cartoonish faces and high energy layouts culminating to a double page splash of the Marauders’ new ship in flight. Carlini’s cartooning especially works in tense moments like a reaction shot to Kate Pryde introducing Cassandra Nova as the final Marauder. Even though it’s been obvious that she’s joining the team (Plus the justifications in the data pages.), we get to share in the surprise and even get a laugh from Somnus, who doesn’t know who she is until reading her mind and then going all glowstick on her. Along with the intense facial expressions, Milla goes big and loud with his color palette in a matter befitting a team with characters who project psychic energy into daggers, absorb it and throw it back, or phase through it to name a few. However, there’s a lot of red from Jean Grey confronting Cassandra Nova to the big finale of the issue that blows the series’ status quo up big time.

Like any good superhero book, Marauders has a lot of action from its first page to a space battle where Kate Pryde tries to phase into the mental equivalent of adamantium. However, in the gaps between missions and team construction, Steve Orlando and Eleonora Carlini continue to build up the personalities of the various Marauders. As the newbie, Cassandra Nova is the focus of Marauders #1 with everyone from psychics Jean Grey and Psylocke to team leader Kate Pryde trying to get a read on her and see if she’s actually cured. There are all kinds of panels of her looking at the reader basically saying that putting her on the team was a bad idea even if she’s connected to the mystery box that Kate found.

However, other characters get their moments in the sun like Akihiro and his relationship with his ex Somnus and current partner, Aurora, who are trying to help him overcome the pain of being tortured by Brimstone Love in the previous issue. Carlini turns in a splash showing that this torture and a desire for revenge is the first thing on Akihiro’s mind, and he plays a secondary role in the action with Psylocke and Bishop leading the way in the space fight. However, Somnus and Aurora play roles on the Marauders beyond being there Akihiro. For example, Somnus is making up for literal lost time by going on adventures with the team, and his face close-up on the glass watching Earth fall back in the distance reminds me of the first time I read a comic with the X-Men in space. Orlando also uses the data pages to add depth to the characters without detracting from the story and mystery and brewing space opera even though it would have been even more entertaining to see Dr. Nemesis and Mr. Sinister debate Cassandra Nova’s mutant-ness on panel.

Marauders #1 is full of adventures, flawed, yet badass queer characters, and also features intrigue and deep cuts from the Marvel universe in a nice action mystery package. The team has a focus, but Orlando and Carlini aren’t afraid to explore interesting rabbit trails along the way.

Story: Steve Orlando Art: Eleonora Carlini 
Colors: Matt Milla Letters: Ariana Maher
Story: 8.7 Art: 8.3 Overall: 8.5  Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXology/KindleZeus ComicsTFAW

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