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Your First Look at The Funeral For a Fallen Joe In Larry Hama And Chris Mooneyham’s G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #302

Skybound and Hasbro have revealed all-new interior pages depicting the funeral of beloved character Wade Collins from G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero #302 by legendary series writer Larry Hama, artist Chris Mooneyham, and colorist Francesco SegalaFeaturing covers by the incomparable Andy Kubert, the hugely anticipated issue #302 of the iconic series arrives in comic book shops on December 20, 2023

As the Joes mourn their fallen brother, dangerous new forces are mounting against them. Cobra Commander returns to Springfield and the now mutant Serpentor Khan turns to a deadly new ally you won’t see coming!  

In addition to the main cover by Andy Kubert and colorist Brad Anderson, issue #302 will also feature an open-to-order variant cover with a black and white version of Kubert’s stunning main cover, and a 1:10 incentive cover series by Brad Walker and colorist Francesco Segala.  

G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero #302 (Lunar Codes below | SRP: $3.99) will be available on Wednesday, December 20, 2023 at comic book shops and digital platforms including Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, comiXology, and Google Play. 

The full list of variant covers is below: 

  • G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero #302 Cover A by Andy Kubert and Brad Anderson (Lunar Code 1023IM317)  
  • G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero #302 Cover B by Andy Kubert (Lunar Code 1023IM318)  
  • G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero #302 Cover C (1:10 incentive) by Brad Walker & Francesco Segala (Lunar Code 1023IM319) 
G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero #302

The Ministry of Compliance #1 is a hell of a start to an interesting world

Thirty-seven years ago, Earth was secretly invaded by an alien force known as the Devolution, and they have been shaping the direction humanity has been going in ever since to prepare us to be assimilated into their empire. The Ministry Of Compliance #1 introduces a world behind the curtain, a subtle sci-fi epic full of political intrigue.

Story: John Ridley
Art: Stefano Raffaele
Color: Brad Anderson
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.

Zeus Comics

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The Ministry Of Compliance #1 feels like the start of a grand story

The Ministry of Compliance #1

 Thirty-seven years ago, Earth was secretly invaded by an alien force known as the Devolution, and they have been shaping the direction humanity has been going in ever since to prepare us to be assimilated into their empire. The Ministry Of Compliance #1 introduces a world behind the curtain, a subtle sci-fi epic full of political intrigue.

Writer John Ridley has a hell of a career dominating film, television, and comics. He’s a master storyteller that crafts tales that will often make you think and rarely delivers things in black and white. There’s a lot of grey when it comes to Ridley’s stories and they can challenge your perception and thoughts on particular topics. He’s able to craft a story where even the worst of the characters have something about them you can sympathize with.

The Ministry Of Compliance #1 kicks off a story of administration, bureaucracy, and corruption. Ridley, through some interesting storytelling, lays out the world and how everything works. The Devolution has thirteen ministries, each responsible for manipulating a different aspect of human life. The Ministry of Compliance, the most feared of all the ministries, led by the fierce Avigail Senna, makes sure all the ministries stay in line and remain focused on the Devolution’s mission. Unfortunately, some Ministries have become corrupted, taking on the less admirable qualities of the people on Earth. This forces Avigail to act, relieving some of their duties just as the assimilation of Earth is to begin. But, something goes wrong before that can happen, leaving Avigail and the dysfunctional Ministries to deal with things on their own.

At its surface, Ridley delivers a story of corporate bureaucracy and unflinching loyalty. There’s something here to chew on as far as assimilating the masses and accepting whatever you’re told to do by the higher ups. There’s also a lot about not doing one’s job and becoming content, bloated, and corrupted by one’s role and power one has gained from that. Whether Ridley is talking about corporations, the political/non-profit space, both, or more, remains to be seen, but it’s more than enough to chew on in just this one issue.

The art by Stefano Raffaele is intriguing. With color by Brad Anderson and lettering by Ariana Maher, the visuals are both cold and corporate but also an action style that’s a dance to watch and a body count and blood splatter that’d make Tarantino proud. It’s a comic whose visuals deliver a weird balance of well tailored suits and rather icy and lifeless buildings mixed with blood flowing all over. It’s interesting to look at and plays off of some of the themes and concepts that percolate underneath.

The Ministry of Compliance #1 is another intriguing series from Ridley. There’s potential here for a hell of an epic and one that’ll be packed with details and worldbuilding. As a start, it should suck in those that enjoy sci-fi that’ll make you think mixed with a little John Wick action. It’s another excellent release that shows off Ridley’s talents that we need more of in comics.

Story: John Ridley Art: Stefano Raffaele
Color: Brad Anderson Letterer: Ariana Maher
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: TFAWZeus ComicsKindle

IDW reveals John Ridley and Stefano Raffaele’s The Ministry of Compliance

For 37 years, humanity has been manipulated by an extraterrestrial organization called the Devolution. Utilizing 13 ministries, these cunning alien agents have infiltrated every aspect of humanity’s culture, weakening civilization by strategically destabilizing it and flooding the planet with misinformation to accelerate chaos and division among mankind. This has all been in an effort to take over and reshape the planet, and these secretive saboteurs truly believe they are helping humanity in the long run. But what happens when the interstellar operatives begin to turn on each other, and humanity is caught in the middle of the cosmic conflict?

Eisner-nominated storyteller John Ridley reunites with GCPD: The Blue Wall collaborator Stefano Raffaele to present The Ministry of Compliance, a sociopolitical sci-fi thriller that is full of extraterrestrial espionage and excitement as the creatives take a look at the world we live in today through the lens of an inconspicuous alien invasion.

The Ministry of Compliance #1 goes on sale November 15, 2023, featuring primary covers by Raffaele and colorist Brad Anderson, letters by Ariana Maher, and variants by Ryan Sook, Claire Roe, and Edwin Galmon with more to be announced soon.

Knight Terrors: First Blood #1 kicks off an event with potential

Knight Terrors: First Blood #1

When DC first announced Knight Terrors, their newest event, the concept of heroes and villains being dragged into their fears sounded interesting. The Free Comic Book Day teaser delivered beautiful artwork and enough to make what’s to come intriguing. Still, a horror event during the summer feels a little weird, a disconnect of Halloween imagery during the warm months. That disconnect aside, Knight Terrors: First Blood #1 is a pretty solid start to the event which has a lot of potential.

Written by Joshua Williamson, Knight Terrors: First Blood #1 dives right into the story as he villain John Dee, aka Dr. Destiny, is dragged into a nightmare and seemingly killed. This brings the trinity of Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman together when an alarm is set off in the Hall of Justice and Dee’s body is found. From there, a string of nightmares rise as the world is plunged into terror. The trio are helped by Deadman who looks like will play a key role in the event.

Whether you know Dee as a character or not doesn’t factor much to the story. He’s but a victim of a greater force that plunges the world into nightmares. Williamson builds it all up nicely for the final panel when the villain is revealed and delivers a story that feels like one being sucked into a bad dream. It builds, like dreams do, until things go sideways and you feel like you’re drowning in the visions haunting you as you sleep.

That’s helped by the art of Howard Porter, color by Brad Anderson, and lettering by Troy Peteri. The issue uses purples, reds, and oranges to build a nightmare of visuals with an unnerving feel to it all. None of it will leave you awake at night but instead there’s a quality about it all that emphasizes how off everything is. It’s all twisted like something from a Tool video.

Knight Terrors: First Blood #1 is a pretty solid start that delivers more than enough to get readers to want to see what’s next. with five other tie-ins also released this week, there’s more than enough to check out. This is an event that’s sure to have a twist based on that title, but we’ll have to wait and see what nightmares await.

Story: Joshua Williamson Art: Howard Porter
Color: Brad Anderson Letterer: Troy Peteri
Story: 8.15 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: TFAWZeus ComicsKindle

Action Comics #1054 shows the heart of Superman

Action Comics #1054

As Superman and Natasha Irons race to save Steel from the newly transformed Metallo, the Super-Twins are lost–and alone–against the nightmarish threat of the Necrohive! How will Lois and the House of El find them? There’s something rather quaint and relaxing about Action Comics #1054. While the comic is full of action, it also is very positive getting to the heart of what makes Superman super.

Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Action Comics #1054 has the Necrohive and Metallo causing terror and the people of Gotham not quite sure as to what to do. Some of the sentiment has turned against Superman and his family, a play off of the b xenophobic as well as general distrust of people doing actual good in our real world.

Metallo, much like today’s zombie online sheep, is being manipulated by someone else, driving the chatter against Superman no matter how clear he is in the right. And Johnson has Superman confronting Metallo in a solid fight that is full of eye-popping visuals and excitement. But, most importantly, Johnson has Superman stay true to himself. In spite of Metallo’s negativity and being convinced Superman will murder him, Superman reaches out his hand to help his foe. No matter how beat down he has been and the destruction Metallo has wrought, Superman remains true to himself in even helping his enemy. He’s the ultimate good doer. There’s an interesting reflection on the vitriol thrown at so many online and their willingness to turn the other cheek and attempt to still do good. Superman remains his positive self.

The art by Mazy Raynor, with color by Matt Herms, and lettering by Dave Sharpe looks great. There’s something about this series so far that has remained steady delivering a colorful, cheery look, no matter how brutal fights might get or how down moments might be. The look has matched the attitude of the comic. There’s some great visuals and the fight between Superman and Metallo looks solid.

Dan Jurgens continues to write and draw “Home Again” taking place some time ago in a “lost tale.” Jurgens is joined by Norm Rapmund with color by Elizabeth Breitweiser, and lettering by Rob Leigh. The story involves an alien princess trying to find Superman and instead finding Jon. It’s been entertaining though this chapter feels a bit predictable towards the end.

A new story also begins in “Steel Forged” which focuses on John Henry Irons. Written by Dorado Quick with art by Yasmín Flores Montañez, color by Brad Anderson, and lettering by Dave Sharpe the comic is a good one introducing John and beginning to set him apart from Superman. It adds a little depth to what I remember of his introduction way back in the “Reign of the Supermen” storyline. Where it goes should be interesting and feels like a nice way to spotlight more of the Super family.

Overall, there’s something rather nice in Action Comics #1054. The comic doesn’t have the doom and gloom of so much of what has been put out there and instead delivers the uplifting tale you’d hope from Superman. It has the action without the dark cloud hanging over everything. It’s been a while since I’ve really been into Superman and DC is delivering a monthly dose of positivity that’ll keep me coming back for more.

Story: Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Dan Jurgens, Dorado Quick
Art: Mazy Raynor, Dan Jurgens, Yasmín Flores Montañez
Color: Matt Herms, Elizabeth Breitweiser, Brad Anderson
Ink: Norm Rapmund Letterer: Dave Sharpe, Rob Leigh
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.4 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: TFAWZeus ComicsKindle

GCPD: The Blue Wall #4 delivers a breaking point

GCPD: The Blue Wall #4

When a project has John Ridley‘s name on it, you know you’re going to be challenged. Movies, television, and comics, have all pushed envelopes by educating and delivering a “truth” that the world, history, life is messy. It’s full of shameful moments and there’s a lot of gray. GCPD: The Blue Wall #4 continues Ridley’s exploration of policing focusing on the Gotham PD and the challenges of being a police officer in today’s world.

The series has told the tale of three rookie police officers as well as the Police Commissioner Renee Montoya. Each has experienced massive bumps in their time, each seeing their optimism and hope slowly crushed by the system. Ridley has focused that there are people who want to do good but the system protects those that do bad, a literal blue wall resisting change.

One by one, our rookies have been worn down by the system realizing that there’s little way for them to really do good and deliver the Pollyannaish policing we all wish existed but know it does not. Each individual has been beaten down by a system that prevents them from doing anything good as the rigid system demands you conform no matter how incorrect that conformity might be. GCPD: The Blue Wall #4 goes a step further, showing that even when you do give in to the boys club that is the Gotham PD, you’re still treated as an outsider, you’ve shown weakness that only encourages more issues.

GCPD: The Blue Wall #4 makes an argument that if reform can’t be made from within, maybe it then needs to be made from outside, no matter how extreme. That anyone part of the system is a cog in that system perpetuating its flaws. It’s also an issue that has the series sliding closer to a traditional “Batman” title with the twist of a villain.

The art by Stefano Raffaele continues to impress with a style that feels like a balance between a somewhat grounded look and the fantastical world of Gotham. With Brad Anderson on color and lettering by Ariana Maher, there’s a gritty look to it all that could be a noir story or fit right into a Batman comic. Things are kept focused on the characters, their body language, and facial expressions, all of which add to the emotional toll each is experiencing.

GCPD: The Blue Wall #4 is a pretty big shift as to where the series is going. It’s gone from beating these characters down to action being taken, a more traditional action we’d expect in a Batman comic. Where the team takes it all should be interesting but this issue’s ending definitely delivered a surprise.

Story: John Ridley Art: Stefano Raffaele
Color: Brad Anderson Letterer: Ariana Maher
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: Zeus ComicscomiXology/Kindle

Lazarus Planet Alpha doesn’t feel like a start but a continuation

Lazarus Planet Alpha

Lazarus Planet Alpha kicks off the new year for DC with an event that has a planetary impact. A volcano on Lazarus Island has gone off raining down magical energy on the world. Its impact is transforming individuals, and when it comes to heroes impacting their powers. It’s a crisis that’ll call in the scattered heroes of the world to try and stop it, all lead by… Damian Wayne!?

Mark Waid continues his big picture story with Lazarus Planet Alpha, a debut that doesn’t feel so much as a start is it does the next chapter. Waid brings together his recent runs on World’s Finest and Robin vs. Batman to this event which sees the dots connected. Unfortunately, if you haven’t been reading those comics, the story feels like you’re coming into a movie well after it began. Lazarus Planet Alpha catches readers up and provides the info needed to understand what’s going on but it’s at a surface level. There’s something missing in the experience, mostly the motivation of the “big bad”. Batman’s hurt, we don’t really know why, and various demons are thrown around as having to be found or stopped and not much info is given on them. It’s surface level entertainment that can be enjoyed but you might be missing the lead ups to it that gives greater depth and a richer story.

What stands out is the art by Riccardo Federici. With color by Brad Anderson and lettering by Steve Wands, the comic is beautiful to look at and the art feels like it gets better as the comic progresses. Federici’s art delivers dynamic visuals that break panels and provides a mix of clear vision as to what’s going on but in a way that emphasizes the chaos the characters are experiencing. There’s also some interesting choices in what does and does not get a full panel to linger on the shot. One page you’d have expected it but Federici chooses not to which makes a full page image just a bit later hit even more. It stands out and not known if it’s intentional or not.

The comic also features a story focused on the Monkey Prince who will play a key role in the event. Written by Gene Luen Yang with art by Billy Tan, color by Sebastian Cheng, and lettering by Janice Chiang, the comic delivers a bit more information about some of the characters involved in the event. These backups if throughout the run of the series might flesh out what can’t be stuffed in to the main story but the tone and style is so different it almost clashes with the main story. It’s overall very good but just a whiplash from what leads into it.

Lazarus Planet Alpha isn’t bad at all, it’s quite entertaining and delivers some solid “summer box office action.” But, where it stumbles is its clear continuation of what has preceded it. The comic, despite being an “alpha” doesn’t feel so much as an easy entry for new readers as it does the next issue in an ongoing series. Still, it’s easy to catch up on the major things you need to now, it’s just hard to not feel like you’re missing out on… something. Still, the art is fantastic and worth checking out and depending on how much fun what’s to come is, it might be worth seeing what lead up to this point.

Story: Mark Waid, Gene Luen Yang Art: Riccardo Federici, Billy Tan
Color: Brad Anderson, Sebastian Cheng Letterer: Steve Wands, Janice Chiang
Story: 7.75 Art: 9.0 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: TFAWZeus ComicscomiXology/Kindle

Review: GCPD: The Blue Wall #3

GCPD: The Blue Wall #3

I’m generally a fan of cop shows. Not, the action focused ones. I’m more interested in the ones that really focus on the characters, NYPD Blue, Hill Street Blues, as two examples. I’m also a fan of shows that make me question things, presented the world in a muddled way. That’s what drew me initially to the works of John Ridley whose American Crime I hold up as one of the most underrated shows in history. Lucky me, GCPD: The Blue Wall brings together Ridley’s brilliance and the cop genre into the muddled mess I’d expect and GCPD: The Blue Wall #3 is a prime example of that.

Written by Ridley, GCPD: The Blue Wall #3 continues to follow three new recruits to the Gotham police force as well as Commissioner Montoya. For the first two issues, Ridley has set up what a mess the department is. Racism within the force, apathy where it shouldn’t exist, corruption all around, and a Commissioner who is questioning her own every move and focused on the past. One rookie has been made out to be a hero only for the truth to come out. One rookie has a death “on their hands”. And the final rookie is dealing with racism within the force. Mantoya is focused on Two-Face, convinced the villain is up to something.

Ridley delivers the mess of everything. GCPD: The Blue Wall #3 particularly focuses on the racism aspect with HR doing what HR does, not helping at all. It’s a particularly brutally realistic portrayal of the workplace and the pressure to not shake things up and “go to battle” with co-workers. In reality, it’s sweeping up abhorrent behavior. Montoya is presented as a traumatized and obsessed person with an almost Ahab like focus on Two-Face. While she herself is attempting to turn the GCPD around, this storyline continues to show she’s not as clean as presented and has many of the same problems as the previous leadership and the department as a whole.

The art by Stefano Raffaele is nice, with color by Brad Anderson and lettering by Ariana Maher. There’s a grounded aspect to it all that balances the comic between its tights inspiration and the crime/police stories it is. The team does an excellent job of grounding it all creating visuals that are more in line with dramas you’d see on television than the over the top exaggerated visuals often found in comics, especially superhero ones. This is one where the focus on body language or a face are key to telling the story and situation.

GCPD: The Blue Wall #3 is John Ridley at his best for storytelling. It delivers a complicated, character driven story, that is full of uneasy answers. It isn’t afraid to delve into issues that are realistic and dealt with every day, spotlighting the dirt of society. It’s a fantastic adult take on the superhero universe showing Ridley continues to be a voice comics needs.

Story: John Ridley Art: Stefano Raffaele
Color: Brad Anderson Letterer: Ariana Maher
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.25 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: TFAWZeus ComicscomiXology/Kindle

Peter J. Tomasi and Maxim Šimić take deliver the hard-boiled crime thriller Blood Tree

Peter J. Tomasi and Maxim Šimić team up for Blood Tree, an all-new ongoing series set to launch from Image Comics in February 2023.

In Blood Tree, two obsessed NYPD detectives hunt for a vicious butcher called the Angel Killer, a sociopath who preys on the innocent family members of known murderers in order to “purify” the rest of society.

This new story confronts the battle of nature versus nurture, considers how present and future generations are tainted by past generations, and asks the age-old question: Who must pay for the sins of the fathers—and perhaps even the sins of the mothers?

Blood Tree #1 will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, February 1:

  • Cover A by Christian Alamy & Brad Anderson – Diamond Code DEC220106
  • Cover B by Gary Frank & Brad Anderson – Diamond Code DEC220107
Blood Tree
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