Tag Archives: black mask studio

Review: Nobody is in Control Volume 1

Nobody is in Control

In M. Night Shyamalan’s film, The Village, the characters are warned to stay out of the woods. In Nobody is in Control Richard follows a stranger into the woods, thinking the man needs help. It’s obvious to me that Richard has never seen that movie or at least didn’t choose to heed the warning. Soon, following the stranger leads Richard to stumble upon a conspiracy that has been going on for decades. The four-issue story arc is collected in this trade paperback from Black Mask Studios.

My favorite part about this story is that it reads like an actual novel. Writer Patrick Kindlon composes dialogue the way playwrights and novelists write it. All of it reads like a natural conversation. These conversations cover a vast array of subjects, from various known conspiracy theories to the flora and fauna of Georgia, to seemingly mundane topics. Even though these conversations seem random they reveal small details about both the stranger’s history and Richard’s past. The narrative Kindlon creates from these fractal character details, and intensive dialogue is full of suspense. I was so engrossed in this book that I read all one hundred thirty-two pages in a single sitting.

There are a lot of interesting layouts throughout this first volume. Artist Paul Tucker maximizes his chances for visual storytelling by using many panels on the majority of the pages. Yet, even the smaller panels are drawn with a level of detail that I had no trouble figuring out what I was looking at in each panel, no matter its size.

Throughout the book there are also info-graphs highlighting the things Richard observes. There’s some trippy imagery as well. Characters transform into the subject of conversations and settings change around the characters as they talk. I’m not sure if these transformations are meant to be symbolism or just supposed to add visual interest because the other characters in the conversation don’t react to the changes. Whatever they’re meant to be, they make dialogue heavy scenes visually interesting and keep the pages from being filled by stationary figures talking to one another. This level of detail also makes for elaborate backgrounds and gorgeous full-page spreads.

As Ivy learns in The Village and Richard learns in Nobody is in Control, sometimes to solve a mystery, a person must venture into the woods. Nobody is in Control is part survival story and part conspiracy thriller, that combines to form an exhilarating story. The art is expansive, and the illustrations are highly detailed. The narrative is unique and unexpectantly works well in a graphic format. This is my favorite Black Mask comic I’ve ever read, and at this point might just turn out to be my favorite comic I’ll read this year. Treat yourself to a different kind of comic book, with awesome art and an enthralling story, and pick up a copy of Nobody is in Control.

Story: Patrick Kindlon Art: Paul Tucker Letterer: Wallace Ryan
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Black Mask Studio provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindle

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Border Town #4 (DC Comics/Vertigo) – Each issue has been fantastic giving us a monster story with a look and monsters we rarely see in entertainment and comics. This is a solid update to the Scooby-Doo concept and it works so well.

Dark Ark #12 (AfterShock Comics) – The new spin on classic Bible stories is fantastic bringing a sense of horror that’s beyond entertaining.

Die #1 (Image Comics) – Adults have to deal with the returning horror they barely survived as teenage role-players. Yeah, we’re in.

Doomsday Clock #8 (DC Comics) – We’re this far into this series, we really want to see what’s next and what the hell is going on.

Freeze #1 (Image Comics/Top Cow Productions) – People around the world are frozen and one person can fix that but should he? We’ve seen the concept in manga but we want to see this Western take on the concept.

Killmonger #1 (Marvel) – The breakout character from the Black Panther film gets his own miniseries that adds more to his history.

Laguardia #1 (Dark Horse/Berger Books) – A new series that looks at immigration and discrimination in America.

Martian Manhunter #1 (DC Comics) – The character has been put center of the DC Universe playing a big role with the Justice League and we want to see what this series brings and adds to the character.

Prodigy #1 (Image Comics/Millarworld/Netflix) – A new Mark Millar property and we want to see what this whole deal with Netflix is bringing to the comic market.

Self Made #1 (Image Comics) – A new series that sounds like a fantasy world that’s a bit focused on castes which is interesting enough. An Image #1 issue is something we want to check out.

Shazam #1 (DC Comics) – With a film out soon, it’s not surprising that we’re getting a new series and we want to see where this characters fits in the Rebirth DC Universe.

Snap Flash Hustle #1 (Black Mask Studio) – If it’s Black Mask, we check out the first issue. They tend to be a lot of future stars and interesting concepts.

Winter Soldier #1 (Marvel) – This new spin on the character sounds different enough from what we’ve seen before, a character who’s attempting to find redemption by helping others.

Wizard Beach #1 (BOOM! Studios) – This story about slackers wizards sounds fun and entertaining so we want to check out this debut issue.

The Wrong Earth #4 (AHOY Comics) – One of the best comics on the shelves right now.

X-Men: Exterminated #1 (Marvel) – The event still has one issue to go but this is the aftermath, yay delays! Still, we want to see this sendoff for the classic Cable before kid Cable takes over. Plus, we’re sure there’ll be spoilers for how it all ends.

Mini Reviews: Books of Magic, Dead Man Logan, Daredevil, and More!

Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling short reviews from the staff of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full review for.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.


Dead Man Logan#1 (Marvel)* – We find Logan dying as he searches for Mysterious. We also find Miss Sinister working against him as she is two steps ahead. By issue’s end, we see an old enemy has reemerged and it’s up to Logan to stop them. Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Ryan C

Heroes In Crisis #3 (DC Comics)** – Tom King is doing his “Tom King Thing” here — all stilted dialogue, “jump-cut” scenes out of chronological order, other easily-spotted script gimmicks — but at least the Lee Weeks guest art is nice. Regular artist Clay Mann does the first and last pages, and while they look fine, they point to the essential flaw in today’s “assembly-line” comics, namely : even with a mini-series, deadline crunches ensure that no smoothly self-contained visual “flow” is possible. Things here appear headed in a very uninspiring direction, indeed. Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass

Books Of Magic #2 (DC Comics/Vertigo)** – Tim Hunter gets chased around by some entities, and that’s about it. Tom Fowler’s art is nice enough, if bland, but there’s no excusing the laziness of Kat Howard’s script. Two issues in, this feels like a series where the writer isn’t even especially trying. Overall: 1.0 Recommendation: Pass

Come Into Me #4 (Black Mask Studio)** – The long production delays this mini-series suffered didn’t help matters much, but even leaving those “off the table,” this body-horror story comes to a flat, predictable conclusion. Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler do a lot of good work, but they never seemed to throw their full creative weight into this one, so it’s just as well that Piotr Kowalski’s always-exceptional art at least made each issue worth looking at. That’s about all you can say in its favor, though. Overall: 4.0 Recommendation: Pass

House Amok #3 (IDW/Black Crown)** – Another “up” in this “up-and-down” conspiratorial horror series sees writer Christopher Sebela rebound nicely from a lackluster second issue and set things up for what could/should be a pretty solid conclusion next month. Shawn McManus’ art has been strong throughout, and that continues here, so in the final analysis maybe the previous installment will just prove to be a little bump on an otherwise-superb ride. Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy


Mr. H

Daredevil #612 (Marvel)* – Well here we are true believers. The last stop for ol Hornhead. Daredevil might have been enjoying a renaissance via his Netflix show (which season 3 is the best, come at me bro) but his comic books have always ranged from pretty good to genius. This latest run from Charles Soule is definitely one for the genius pile. Matt and his cohorts have been trying to take down Mayor Kingpin and a story line which has allusions to real life electoral issues, it is a damn fine comic yarn being spun here. Matt has been tormented recently by a new enemy known as Vigil. Vigil seems to be able to counteract everything Matt can do and finally here you see why. It’s a touching issue with guest stars galore and tie up moments. Phil Noto gives us some wonderful art here as we traipse away through the pages. Of course we get the obligatory superhero show down but it is the quieter moments and characterization that really shines here. The portrayal of Fisk on the witness stand and his unraveling is spot on. Yes there’s even a Karen Page reunion that was solicited. This comic does so well and hits all the feels for this merry Marvel maniac. While I wish they would take some time off from the Daredevil title. I’m looking forward to the new crew and what comes next. Overall: if you like Daredevil get this book. It is a wonderful end for now. Score: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy it. I’m still getting it though.

Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Blackbird #1 2nd Printing (Image Comics) – Who doesn’t love a good new-noir with a supernatural twist and a female lead? They’re reprinting the first issue with the premiere of the 2nd, so if it’s as fun as it sounds , you can get all caught up.

Border Town #3 (Vertigo/DC Comics) – It’s a bit of Scooby-Doo and Buffy, set in a world we can relate to and featuring characters and monsters we rarely see. So far, it’s bringing Vertigo back to the excellence you expect from the imprint.

Death of the Inhumans #5 (Marvel) – How will this one end? We have no idea but this event that we initially rolled our eyes about has been amazing and exceeded expectations in every way.

Doctor Who: The 13th Doctor #1 (Titan Comics) – If it’s half as good as the latest series, then we’re all in.

The Empty Man #1 (BOOM! Studios) – Cullen Bunn’s horror series returns. Bunn is a master at horror and this one mixes the cold reality of an X-Files/FBI vibe with slasher-ish horror. It’s also being worked on as a film, so grab this and say you were cool before the film.

The Green Lantern #1 (DC Comics) – Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp take on the classic character bringing it back to its “police” roots.

Harley Quinn #53 (DC Comics) – Harley and Tiny Tina on a road trip, sounds like a fun ride for some light reading on this long weekend.

James Bond 007 #1 (Dynamite Entertainment) – Greg Pak writing James Bond? Yeah, we’re sold on that alone.

No Angel TP (Black Mask Studio) – Collecting issues 1-4, it’s a great series and now you can get in on the ground floor.

Outer Darkness #1 (Image Comics) – A new series from John Layman and Afu Chan is a mix of sci-fi and horror that’s focused on mankind colonizing the galaxy and discovering all sorts of horrors.

Spider-Geddon #3 (Marvel) – The event has been fantastic so far with each issue delivering pure action and excitement and just delivering on the multiverse of possibilities. We’re expecting more of the same (which is good).

Suicide Squad Black Files #1 (DC Comics) – A new arc “Revenge of Konrad” is kicking off this week!

Transformers: Lost Light #25 (IDW Publishing) – IDW’s Transformers line is wrapping up with an unknown future and this issue is this series’ finale. We loved the off the wall stories and we’re expecting a bit more heart and emotion than you’d expect from robots who change into things.

Wet Hot American Summer (BOOM! Studios) – The cult classic film comes to comics in this original graphic novel. We have no idea what to expect but we’re intrigued in how the humor of the film (and Netflix series) translates to the printed page.

The Wicked + The Divine Funnies #1 (Image Comics) – A cute little one shot from the W+D team for a bit of fun before our beloved series comes to an end.

The Wrong Earth #3 (AHOY Comics) – AHOY Comics has been knocking it out of the park with comics that teach us to expect more. This superhero focused series has two heroes from different Earths swap places. To see the two styles, in both attitude and art, is an impressive accomplishment that makes this comic of the year material.

X-23 #6 (Marvel) – A fun back to school undercover mission with the baddest member of the X-Men.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors are choosing up to five books and why they’re choosing the books. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Betrothed #1 (AfterShock Comics) – Sean Lewis and Steve Uy’s new series and those creators alone have us excited. The concept is out there involving two individuals who each lead an army at war with each other but when they turn eighteen they either need to get married or fight to the death.

Come Into Me #1 (Black Mask Studio) – A new horror series about body image, social media, and memory. Sounds interesting to us!

Eternity Girl #1 (DC Comics/DC’s Young Animal) – The teasers in “Milk Wars” got us amped up and we were already excited about this new series from Magdalene Visaggio and Sonny Liew.

Ghost Money #8 (Lion Forge Comics) – You probably have been missing this series about all of the money terrorists made from 9/11. Really interesting stuff that reads like the best thrillers.

Ghostbusters: Crossing Over #1 (IDW Publishing) – When the containment unit empties, who you gonna call? Every Ghostbuster in every dimension. Sounds like fun!

Infidel #1 (Image Comics) – Fantastic psychological horror with a religious twist.

Mister Miracle #7 (DC Comics) – A fantastic issue that picks up after the shocking end of the last one. Great humor to it as Mister Miracle and Barda have their kid!

New Mutants: Dead Souls #1 (Marvel) – New Mutants… we’re in.

Puerto Rico Strong (Lion Forge Comics) – A charity anthology to raise money for the people of Puerto Rico. A mix of education and entertainment and a must get.

Star Wars: Thrawn #2 (Marvel) – The rise of Thrawn!!! Adapting the books, it’s a must for Star Wars fans.


Review: Calexit #2

After much delay, the anticipated second issue of Calexit is here picking up the pieces of the first issue and taking us further into conflict and this world. The series is about every day people dealing with occupation in their neighborhoods by a tyrannical government and feels like it’s focusing on the human side of it all, how they’re dealing and where do they go from here.

Jamil takes much more of the center stage as the smuggler attempting to get Zora to where she’s going, a training camp. Jamil plays the role of the character we can most likely relate to, a person who lives by a code, unlike Zora the radical revolutionary who some may identify with but in the end is of the more extreme end of things. Still, writer Matteo Pizzolo focuses on humanizing them both in ways we can relate.

What’s really interesting is the focus on the group who is tasked to bring peace in some of California, a group of neo-Nazis who must deal with Rossie, one of our story’s villains. But, the end of the issue throws all of that up in the air as something is revealed by Rossie that’s unexpected and adds some depth to the character. There’s a thin line as to where this goes though and hopefully Pizzolo takes it where I think it’s heading instead of “even Nazis have feelings.”

The issue has more of a thrown into the thick of the action aspect of it all. Partially that is due to the delay since the first issue, and I can’t remember all the specifics of what happened, and also due to the art by Amancay Nahuelpan with colors by Tyler Boss. The world has a lived in feel about it with details that tell a story and add character to the series. The lettering by Jim Campbell too helps the story as a word here and there is emphasized for emotion driving the cadence and emotion of the speech.

The series is back and still holds a lot of promise as to where it all goes. There’s lots of extras exploring symbolism as well as interviews with interesting people. All of those extras really put the issue over the top from a read to a buy for me. This series still feels like a concept but the story is coalescing more into what was promised. We’ll see where it goes and hopefully we won’t be waiting as long for the third issue.

Story: Matteo Pizzolo Art: Amancay Nahuelpan
Color: Tyler Boss Lettering: Jim Campbell
Story: 7.95 Art: 7.95 Overall: 8.05 Recommendation: Buy

Black Mask Studio provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review