Tag Archives: cage hero

Preview: Cage Hero TP

Cage Hero TP

writer: Kevin Eastman, Ian Parker, Mark Mastrandrea, Rik Hoskin
artist: Renalto Rei
cover: Renalto Rei
FC • 112 pages • $14.99 • Teen+
COLLECTS ISSUES 1-4

Ryder Stone, a high school student and wrestling sensation, discovers his true destiny when he’s recruited to join a super-powered team of mixed martial artists! Heir to one of eight medallions forged from a radioactive meteorite, he trains with his mysterious mentor Doc Proton for the day when, with focus and resolve, he and his new friends must harness the power to become the next generation of Cage Heroes. However, an evil network known as the Shadow Empire, led by the megalomaniacal Dark Sanctum and his vicious protégé Stryker, seeks the medallions for an evil purpose: to wield in unison, plunging the world into darkness. Only by unlocking the hero within can Ryder and his teammates save civilization as we know it!

Cage Hero, the perfect blend of superhero action and mixed martial arts, makes its explosive debut, from the minds Kevin Eastman (co-creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), former UFC manager and MMA expert Ian Parker, and MMA personality Mark Mastrandrea!

Features character designs, and an introduction by Mike Straka, MMA journalist and host of MMA Noise.

CageHeroCover

Preview: Cage Hero #4

Cage Hero #4

writer: Ian Parker, Kevin Eastman, Rik Hoskin
artist: Renato Rei
cover: Renato Rei
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+

Schoolkid Ryder Stone is now Legend, one of an elite super team known as the Cage Heroes. But with his family kidnapped by a sinister super army, can Ryder unlock the hero from within in time to save the world? The furious final chapter of Cage Hero, as imagined by Kevin Eastman (co-creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Ian Parker (MMA expert and former UFC Manager), and Mark Mastrandrea (MMA personality)!

CageHero04-Cov-A-Rei

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 6/2/16

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.


Alex

johnnyred4Johnny Red #4 (Titan)** I love this series; it’s a fantastic WWII era story about a British fighter ace fighting for Russia (but do the Russian brass really want him there?) that tugs on my fondness for war comics, my respect for those who fought in the war, and my love of high quality stories. That this just happens to be one of my top two comics released this week, is just a happy accident. While this isn’t an ideal point for new readers to jump on – what with it being right in the middle of the series – it’s worth hunting the back issues down. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Surviving Megalopolis #2 (Dark Horse) I was surprised by this series. It has a slight flavour of Irredeemable but with enough of an original twist to the “Justice League’s gone bad” that it should pique your interest, because it’s well worth reading. Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Cry Havoc #1 (Image) I finally got around to reading a couple of the last week or two’s comics, and this was fantastic. I should have read this when it came out, because the mix of the supernatural, an awesome lead character (or two) and some brilliant art make this a must read. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

europa 3Batman: Europa #2, #3 & #4 (DC)* I found the differences in the art style issue to issue jarring – at first. Then I realized that whether intentional or not (and I think it was) it absolutely makes sense given the nature of the story. I devoured the three remaining issues that I hadn’t picked up in less than an hour. Truly great stuff. Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Amazing Forest #1 & #2 (IDW) Are a pair of fantastic anthology comics. You don’t need to read the first to enjoy the second, but both issues have some brilliant short comic stories within them that are – at times – out of this world, but are all fantastically entertaining. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Doc Savage: The Spider’s Web #3 (Dynamite) Meh. It’s okay, but just doesn’t do it for me. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read, maybe?

The Precinct #3 (Dynamite) I wasn’t that impressed with the last issue, but this one was a lot better. It definitely drew my interest much better, and felt like a much more complete installment in this story. Plus, the steam punk aspects are fantastically understated. This comic would be just as good without them, but why would you want that? Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

Cage Hero #4 (Dynamite) While I have enjoyed the issues so far, I’ve enjoyed them as I would the Sharknado movies; Cage Hero is good because it knows exactly what it is, and it celebrates it with every cheesy bit of dialogue, every been-there-read-that scene. The thing is, it does those things almost well enough to be worth buying, but does fall a lttle short. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Buy

 

Mr H

Spider-Man_1_CoverSpider-Man #1 (Marvel Comics)* Whooo Miles is finally here in the Prime Universe! This issue was great. I didn’t enjoy an issue like this from Bendis since his first story arc on Ultimate Spider-Man. Miles is having trouble balancing hero life and school responsibilities. What makes the issue though is when he swings into action. Spidey takes it right to Blackheart and even wields Captain America’s shield! Just a whole lot of fun and it ends with a great cliffhanger. Bendis and Pichelli have another win. I already can’t wait for the next issue. Overall: 9 

 

Patrick

Vision #4 (Marvel) * – This is the best book about robots that needlessly stars robots. There’s really nothing about the book so far that would prevent an editor from taking out the fact that it stars androids and replacing them with a racial or religious minority family and telling the same story. If the point of the story was to humanize the Vision, why is it being injected with this daytime soap plot? I was so glad they acknowledged the Vision had previously been married to the Scarlet Witch because the whole book began to feel like it took place in a pocket universe. Tom King is amazing and I keep reading to see what he’ll do. Gabriel Hernandez Walta is a tremendous talent and I’ll often by a book just because I enjoy his dark tones and the way he captures human emotion. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy this book. The characters just haven’t meshed with the story yet. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

PaperGirls_05-1Paper Girls #5 (Image)– It saddens me to only be writing a shortened review but I don’t want to spend the time being negative about one of my favorite writers in a luscious and gorgeous book. The issue mostly resolves its own tangential distraction this issue and writes two characters who we didn’t really know super well in the first place. I have re-read every issue since it came out and I still have to go back and figure out the names of the four central characters. I like that this issue ends with them literally somewhere else (as it’s beginning to feel like they have just been bouncing back and forth between the same locations accomplishing nothing). The story… I like to start with a summary of what’s happened. You can usually tell how good a book is by how much the summary changes from review to review. I’d be writing the same summary if I did a full review.  Overall: 7 Recomendation: Read

Detective Comics #49 (DC)*– The best part of Jim Gordon-Batman is still just watching him roll with the punches and really do his best. Bruce Wayne-Batman is always treated like a dark god that somehow stands toe-to-toe with everyone from Darkseid to street-pushers. Jim Gordon’s Batman wakes up the whole neighborhood with a blimp spotlight trying to conduct an investigation and fails to get anyone turn it off before just breaking it. I also like some of the darker imagery (for a mainstream DC comic) which helps me balance out the idea that all Batman and his team are doing is watching statues. Seriously, someone’s probably being assaulted in the alleyway adjacent to one of the statues, Batman. Can you think big-picture for a second? Overall: 5.5 Recommendation: Pass

Spider-Man #1 (Marvel)* – This book follows Miles Morales integration into the mainstream universe following the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths (right? I didn’t read Secret Wars, I already had the trade for the original Crisis so I just read that). Honestly, Miles Morales is far more like Peter Parker than Peter Parker has been for a very long time which helps me to understand why this issue ended with me thinking, “Oh, yeah… it’s that red-and-blue rip-off Spider-Man! Oh, red-suit Venom!” Bendis’s best work comes when he is not writing every book with the Marvel logo printed on it (so, essentially everything from before ten years ago), however Sara Pichelli and Justin Ponsor own Miles Morales as far as I’m concerned. There’s something about Pichelli’s angles that make the formerly ultimate Spider-Man so dynamic. I’ve seen static shots of Spider-Man web-slinging for years, but Pichelli’s renditions always make me stop and admire her work. Overall: 6.5 Recommedation: Read

Uncanny X-Men #3 (Marvel)– I miss this book when it was drawn by Rob Liefeld. I miss this book when it was drawn by Mike Allred. I miss this when it was written by Rick Remender. Am I making my point? I struggle with subtly. My point is that it’s sacrilege to have the Uncanny X-Men title be a clone of one of its own spin-off. (I also struggle with perspective.) Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass

 

Paul

vision 4Vision #4 (Marvel) * Still, in my opinion, the best All New All Different title that I’m reading. Vision still has no idea what his wife has been up to and what she’s hiding; and Virgina comes face to face with her blackmailer and the meeting does not end well. I could feel for her in this issue, and her situation; feeling helpless and things spinning out of control, thanks to King’s writing and complemented beautifully by Walta’s dark tones in the art. I look forward to this title every month and you should be too. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy 

Uncanny Avengers #5 (Marvel)* Well here’s a surprise…I didn’t hate it! Rogue, Deadpool, Human Torch and (briefly) Cable are on the hunt for the Red Skull, or more accurately, Professor X’s brain in Red Skull’s head. They do some good cop/bad cop and get a lead on where to find him. The trio (no Cable) break into where they are told they will find Skull and instead find none other then Gambit. He and Rogue have a brief litte reunion and Red Skull slips right past the team…literally. This isn’t a bad stand alone issue coming off the end of the debut story arc. The action was good and I’m sure the search for Red Skull will be explored in more depth as the series goes on.  Overall: 6.75 Recommendation: Read 

 

Ryan C

Providence #7 (Avatar Press) *: The best book on the stands by a country effing mile keeps getting better as hapless protagonist Robert Black finds himself thrown into the Lovecraftian underbelly of America’s physical and psychological horror-show and constructs the most bizarrely effective means for rationalizing his experiences, and coming out the other side more cheerful and optimistic, that I’ve ever witnessed. Thrown in themes of class division, loneliness and isolation, and the terrible burden of keeping secrets and this is “Pickman’s Model” as you’ve never seen it before. Alan Moore’s most compelling “major work” in decades combined with Jacen Burrows’ flat-out breathtaking art makes me feel genuine pity for the folks out there who aren’t reading this. Much as I love any number of current comics series, the simple fact is that right now there is “Providence” — and there is everything else.  Overall: 10. Recommendation: Buy

unfollow 4Unfollow #4 (DC/Vertigo) *: Rob Williams’ fiendishly clever social-darwinism-disguised-as-charity premise goes from “gettign warmer” to “heating up” with this issue, and I can only imagine what “boiling” is going to be like. Somebody we’ve gotten to “know” a bit dies in this issue, and it appears we’re going to get a murder mystery added to the mix here, as well. On art, Mike Dowling seems to be stepping out of his self-imposed Frank Quitely shadow and developing his own, more organic style, so that’s good to see, as well.  Overall: 7.5. Recommendation: Buy

The Sheriff Of Babylon #3 (DC/Vertigo) *: Another strong and compelling series of wrinkles is added to our layer-cake of corruption and rat-fuckery in Occupied Iraq — and speaking of fucking it turns out that two of our protagonists are doing just that — but while Mitch Gerads’ art continues to impress with its grittiness and authenticity, the script by “ex-” CIA operative Tom King (yeah, lots of folks quit the CIA and go into low-paying freelance writing) is taking on a more blatant neo-colonialist tone that seems very much of a piece with the right-wing themes on display in the author’s other high-profile works such as “Grayson” and “The Omega Men.” King hasn’t earned the right to be compared to Ditko, but both are examples of people in comics whose work I admire despite finding their politics anywhere from questionable to downright nauseating. If there’s any doubt in your mind as to where King stands, I’ve seen him say that he’s “proud” of the work he did in Iraq. I’m sure his “former” bosses are proud of the work he’s doing, supposedly of his own volition, to spread their worldview in our entertainment media. Troubling material to say the least, but I can’t deny its quality.  Overall: 7. Recommendation: Buy, but know the writer is probably supplementing his income with a check from Langley.

Swamp Thing #2 (DC)*: Len Wein and Kelly Jones’ “back-to-basics” take on the character continues to showcase both the best and worst aspects of 1970s horror comics — the best being Wein’s deliriously OTT purple prose and Jones’ heartfelt stylistic homage to the art of Bernie Wrightson, the worst being the lame-ass, easily-resolved plot (that could, I suppose, work as a one-or two-parter in a monthly ongoing, but feels downright bizarre in a six-issue mini-series) and the shoe-horning in of guest stars for no apparent reason. The Phantom Stranger I could see, sure — but what possible point does plugging Shade from “Starman” into this story serve? Nice little epilogue/cliffhanger at the end, though, and I’m still loving the ride for the most part. Overall: 7. Recommendation: Buy.

 

Shean

Shaft: Imitation of Life#1 (Dynamite Ent.): The adventures of John Shaft continues in this new miniseries as we catchup with him right before he becomes a successful private investigator. All it took was one case of a mobster’s missing daughter to propel his business. As he enjoys the fruit of his success, David Walker proves that it has not changed the man, as he takes on another missing person’s case , finding trouble at every turn. Altogether, a strong first issue to an already entertaining series. Overall:9.4 Recommendation: Buy


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

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 (**).

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 17/01/2016

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.


Alex

FaithNo1

Batman: Europa #1 (DC Comics)* – Yeah, I’m three months behind here, but after dropping the lackluster Detective Comics during the last crossover, I needed some Batman this week. I was not disappointed here. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Batman/Teenage Mutant  Ninja Turtles #2  (DC/IDW)* – There is nothing wrong with this second chapter. Nothing. It’s exactly the fun comic I wanted, and I love it. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Cage Hero #3 (Dynamite) – I don’t know if this has become a  guilty pleasure for me, but I’m enjoying this series. I can’t tell if it is being deliberately tongue in cheek,or if it’s just that cheesy, but either way it’s fun. Is it worth reading? Honestly, I don’t know – the review copy is entertaining, but I wouldn’t rush out to buy it. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Faith #1 of 4 (Valiant) – My reservations on picking this comic up were utterly groundless (that of a character spun out of Harbinger – a book I’ve never read), and I should have known that before going in because it’s a Valiant comic. The first of four issues is brilliantly illustrated, with some fantastic moments within the story where Faith does what we’ve all done once or twice and imagines…. what if? This issue is fantastic, and is exactly why you need to have Valiant on your pull list. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Huck_03Holy F*cked! TPB (Action Lab) – Satan is pregnant with Jesus’ baby. But will the skate boarding son of God make it to the hospital in time, when an immortal is out to stop him? Holy F*cked! is as brilliantly wrong as it sounds, but it’s such a great collection that you can’t help but love it. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Huck #3 (Image) – Y’know I could talk about the emotional power in the largely silent opening pages, or the genuine warmth you feel when reading this, but why don’t you just buy the series so far and find out why I love this so much? Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

The Precinct #2 (Dynamite) – There’s a lot here that, in theory, I should love. Unfortunately, despite the fact that there’s a lot of boxes checked off in my “like” column this comic just didn’t do it for me. If you read it, I hope you enjoy it, but I felt it fell a bit short of the first issue. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read

The Troop #2 (Titan) – Despite the promise shown in the first issue, I couldn’t help but feel that this comic felt familiar. The concept of a man (with a secret!) building a team of superheroes has been done before, and in enough cases it’s been done better. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Pass

Rebels #10 (Dark Horse) – Is, as far as I can tell, a standalone story. It’s also the first issue I had read, and I was impressed. Rebels is a solid offering that stands alone this week in terms of it’s setting, so if you’re looking for a comic that takes place during the Revolutionary War, then this is for you. If you’re not? Think about this anyway. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

 

Brett

Birthright13_coverAbe Sapien #30 (Dark Horse) – Beautiful art plus a new villain (at least I think he’s new), this is an issue that can be a standalone, but I’m sure will have some big impact. The Mignolaverse is one of the best out there, and this issue shows off why. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Batman ’66 Meets the Man From U.N.C.L.E. #2 (DC Comics) – The comic is campy goofy fun, capturing the two series it mashes together. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2 (DC Comics/IDW Publishing) – I still go back and forth with the coloring but this series has no right being as good as it is. Didn’t think it’d work, totally does. Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

Birthright #13 (Image Comics) – The comic still continues to be entertaining, and there’s some solid twists and turns that have kept me on my toes. A fun fantasy comic set in the real world. Overall: 7.9 Recommendation: Read

Citizen Jack #3 (Image Comics) – Can’t say I saw that twist coming, or is that realistic at all, but the sniveling campaign staff is spot on. Fun political satire. Overall: 8.1 Recommendation: Buy

descender09_CoverArtDescender #9 (Image Comics) – One of the best comics out there continues on doing so. Amazing read. Amazing art. Nuff said. Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

Extraordinary X-Men #5 (Marvel)* – The series is growing on me, but it’s still missing something that makes it really stand out. I’m still interested in seeing where it goes though. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Hero Hourly #2 (21 Pulp) – How aren’t more people talking about this series. The biggest surprise of 2015 also is one of the best of 2016. Holy crap is it good. Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Huck #3 (Image Comics) – When I think I have Mark Millar pegged, he does a series like this. Still waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under me, but so far an amazing comic. Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

Illuminati #3 (Marvel) – Turn your brain off fun. The comic is giving us some interesting villains and great banter. A fun comic that definitely entertains. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Leaving Megalopolis: Surviving Megalopolis #1 (Dark Horse) – I hated the first volume of Leaving Megaloppolis, and was a Kickstarter backer. The rather incomplete, abrupt ending irked me. This new volume has been so long in the making I forgot much of the series, and this new issue doesn’t give me much to care going forward. A lot feels like we’ve seen it before and little is new. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass

The Massive Ninth Wave #2The Massive: Ninth Wave #2 (Dark Horse) – I’m loving this new volume of the series which shows Ninth Wave’s actions before the crash. A great comic which makes environmentalism entertaining. Plus they’re self-contained stories, even better! Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Robin War #2 (DC Comics) – The ending isn’t too shocking, especially the twist. Still, this event was entertaining and should shake things up nicely in the Bat universe. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

The Sheriff of Babylon #2 (Vertigo)* – Great police procedural comic set in Iraq’s Greenzone. I’m hooked. Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

Spirited Leaves #1 (Chapter House Comics) – It reminded me of a Miyazaki animted film in many ways. A very pretty, almost poetic story. This feels like a fairy tale you might tell your child. Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Squadron Supreme #3 (Marvel)* – The first issue had promise, these past two, not so much. The series is very paint by numbers in its set up after a great start. So far, one of the biggest let downs. Overall: 6.8 Recommendation: Pass

The Violent #2 (Image Comics) – Holy crap is this good. We have comic of the year material here. Just heartbreaking in so many ways. Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Weirdworld #3 (Marvel)* – Could be Marvel’s best All-New, All-Different comic. Great art and a real fun story. Just fantastic writing with a great look. Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy

 

Elana

Catwoman 48Catwoman #48 (DC)* It’s a good Catwoman story. It posits that NYC is a place that Gotham’s rogues steer clear of because NYC but the NYPD is just that dirty and violent (I take it the creative team’s been reading the local news). The streetscapes in this comic ring true though the grand scale of NYC’s Selina’s safe house is far too large for anyone who’s last name isn’t Wayne. The art is inky and sleek and colorist Eva De La Cruz knocks it out of the ballpark. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Princeless: Save Yourself #0. Princess Adrienne has been flying across the land on her dragon, saving other princesses and she hasn’t had much time to save herself from social norms that still weigh on her mind. This is a wonderful exploration of a girl freeing herself from beauty standards. When she chopped her hair off I absolutely cheered! Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Red Sonja #1 (Dark Horse) This is a Sonja I’ve been waiting for! Marguerite Bennett shows her in and out of her element in a great introduction. She’ll be wrestling with some interesting politics in her homeland with her fists and her brains. She’s also scoring with ladies (whoop!). Looks beginner friendly too. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy!

 

Ryan C

code pru 1Code Pru #1 (Avatar) *: Garth Ennis is back at his tasteless best here, and without the editorial constraints that hindered him from going quite as far as you know he wanted to with All-Star Section Eight (although, hey, bless him for trying, and he did manage to at least get a rapping Phantom Stranger in there). Raulo Caceres’ B&W art is superb, with richly-detailed linework and lush expressions. Not sure how the two competing/corresponding plotlines to which we’re introduced — one involving our college-age heroine, Pru, and her various roommates doing some occult dabbling and some boozing (more of the latter, of course) and the other involving an extra-dimensional Cthulhu-esque entity playing checkers and trading barbs with his captor —will come together as the series progresses, but it’ll be fun to find out. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Snow Blind #1 & #2 (BOOM! Studios)**: Ollie Masters, last seen cooking up a pretty tasty crime story with Vertigo’s The Kitchen, hops aboard the “rural noir” bandwagon that’s been growing in the wake of “Revival” with this intriguing little four-parter about a teenage kid in BF Alaska named Teddy who accidentally exposes his family to danger when posting a picture on social media leads a killer to come after them — and to the revelation that his folks have been in witness protection since before he was even born, and never bothered to mention that pesky little fact to him, even once he was old enough to understand what it meant. The first issue’s a bit of an overly-deliberate table-setter, but such is often the case with short-run books like this; in #2, the mystery really heats up and events move into a decidedly faster and more dangerous gear. The loose, sketchy art style of Tyler(“Peter Panzerfaust”) Jenkins may be an acquired taste that not everyone acquires, but I dig it and think it suits the material just fine. Overall: 6.5 (5 for issue one, 8 for issue two) Recommendation: Buy

 

Shean

manchette_fatale_coverManchette’s Fatale TPB (Titan): I am moon big sucker for Crime Noir novels and Fatale is right up that alley. The Reader is introduced to the alluring character of Melane on her many adventures throughout Europe by way of train meeting individuals of different shades of integrity. Story feels very much like a cross between a Long Kiss Goodnight and A Rage Up In Harlem. By story’s end, you not only feel for Melane but you are rooting for her to fight on for another day. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: The Interconnectedness of All Kings TPB: Supernatural detectives are everywhere in pop culture most noticeably John Constantine Jim Dresden and the greenest one, Antoine Wolfe. Dirk Gently is quite different from all these characters, as he does not take himself as seriously as he comes off as a British Lupin the 3rd. We join Dirk and his cronies as they solve a very odd case dealing with Egyptian Pharoahs. By story’s end, the reader has gone on a whirlwind trip around the world, as he realizes the world needs his skills.


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

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 (**).

Preview: Cage Hero #3

Cage Hero #3

writers: Ian Parker, Kevin Eastman, Rik Hoskin
artist: Renato Rei
cover: Renato Rei
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+

Student Ryder Stone has been inducted into the Cage Hero program, a secret project developing the hidden powers held by a select group of people. With the world in danger, can this new team unlock the hero from within themselves before it’s too late?

CageHero03-Cov-A-Rei

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 6/12

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.


Alex

Bigfoot_SOTE_1-1Big Foot: Sword Of The Earthman #1 is a brilliant mix of John Carter and the typical Sasquatch myth. It’s a fun read, but I’m expecting more out of the series as it progresses. Overall Rating: 7 Recommendation: Read

Cage Hero #1 is becoming a guilty pleasure. Despite an outlandish concept (even for comics), it’s an entertaining story that lets you turn your brain off for five minutes. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Daredevil #1* is probably the best Daredevil comic I’ve read in years… but then that’s not saying much. Regardless, this opening chapter is well worth checking out, and shows plenty of promise. Overall Rating: 8 Recommendation: Read

Finally, the story in Dead Vengeance #3 has caught up to the current events. This issue was the weakest of the three so far, but more so because it’s bridging the bulk of the story so far with what’s coming next. Worth reading if you’re reading the series, otherwise ignore it and waiting for the trade if you’re interested. Overall 7 Recommendation: Read now, or Read the trade later.

Doc Savage: The Spider’s Web #1. It’s okay. Nothing overly special, but not particularly bad, either. Overall: 6.75 Recommendation: Maybe read it if it interests you.

Extraordinary X-Men #2* & #3* Due to a slight snafu with my LCS order, I Extraordinary_X-Men_Vol_1_2only recently picked up issue 2 of this series, but it was worth the wait. The scenes in issue #3 between Old Man Logan were interesting, although I expected him to be past that particular  issue, I still enjoyed watching them talk. I can sense the relationship between these two morph into a father/daughter vibe, much like Wolverine had with Kitty Pride or Jubilee. Keep your eye on this series. Overall Rating (Both): 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Seduction of the Innocent #1 is a crime comic in the vein of those before the Comics Code Authority came to pass, something the name of the comic (taken from Fredric Wertham’s book of the same name) pays homage too. As a comic it’s interesting, and it’s worth keeping an eye on the series as it progresses if you’re looking for a well written, well drawn non super hero comic. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Elana

All New Wolverine #2* continues to be Marvel’s best title. Laura kicks ass while continually demonstrating her humanity in the face of monstrous abuses of power. The clones are as heartbreaking as they need to be. I can’t wait for more with the classic villain reveal at the end. Overall 9. Recommendation: Buy

Daredevil_1_CoverDaredevil #1. It feels like a return to form. A return to Miller and Mazzucchelli groundbreaking work with the character decades ago. Quality stuff but I’m not sure what new there is to offer. The bad guy seems like an Orientalist stereotype but I’m excited by Daredevil’s new side kick, Samuel Chung aka Blindspot. He’s an undocumented immigrant and I love the idea of teasing that metaphor out– he’s literally an invisible man. That’s his power.

I’m giving this a 7 but I could easily see it getting better with time. Recommendation: Read

Papergirls #3. Keeps getting spiraling out at getting more complex. But in a good way. It remains addictive and I adore the characters. Another smash hit from Vaughn and Chang. I kinda expect it to get film optioned since 80s period pieces are such a thing and so far I can see that really working. Colorist Matt Wilson should get an Eisner for his work here. Overall 9.25 Recommendation: Buy


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

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 (**).

Preview: Cage Hero #2

Cage Hero #2

writer: Ian Parker, Kevin Eastman, Rik Hoskin
artist: Renato Rei
cover: Renato Rei
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+

School kid Ryder Stone’s life is turned upside down when he’s caught in the middle of a fight between two super-powered opponents, both of whom want Ryder’s secret power–a power he doesn’t know he has! Can Ryder unlock the hero from within before it’s too late?

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Preview: Cage Hero #1

Cage Hero #1

writer: Ian Parker, Kevin Eastman, Rik Hoskin
artist: Renato Rei
cover: Renato Rei
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+

From the minds of Kevin Eastman (co-creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Ian Parker (MMA expert and former UFC Manager), and Mark Mastrandrea (MMA personality), comes Cage Hero! A middle school student and wrestling star, raised by his strict grandfather, finds himself on an epic journey to meet his true destiny when he is recruited to lead a super-powered team of mixed martial artists known as the Cage Heroes! Thirteen year-old Ryder Stone must meet the challenge to lead a group of young talented MMA fighters from across the globe, and still maintain his grade point average. Trained in their own unique martial art discipline, all connected by a secret past, this new team will have to dig deep with themselves to protect the world from an evil network known as the Shadow Empire.

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Mini Reviews

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.


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Cage Hero #1 is a surprisingly enjoyable mix of superpowers and mixed martial artists. A fun comic that has an amusingly unique take on the superhero origin story (even if the high school setting is somewhat familiar). Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read.

One of the more interesting takes on the vigilante heroes lately has come in the form of The Black Hood. Issue #6 is a standalone tale that focuses on the title character’s battle with an addiction to prescription  pain killers while he continues to go beyond the law in administering justice. The art is crisp and the colours entice you into the brutally honest world within these pages. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Mono is a superbly envisioned collection about a secret agent with a prehensile tale that is, frankly, visually stunning. This was a collection that captivated me from start to finish with it’s mix of pulpy goodness and pseudo history, it was a joy to read. Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Brett

Art Ops #1 – A fascinating new Vertigo series I’m still trying to wrap my head around. It’s basic idea is that art is real, and there’s this agency that protects the beings within the pictures. At least that’s my understanding of it. It’s pretty out there. Not sure if I’m totally sold, but it’s absolutely original. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

ARTOPS-Cv1-96f41The Black Hood #6 – A one-shot that seems like it’ll lead into the next story arc. Howard Chaykin joins on art, and while I figured out the twist a bit before it was revealed, the comic is still really entertaining. If you’re looking for a comic about a cop/junkie/vigilante, then look no further! Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Chew #51 – The series is coming to its finale and this is our first look after its major confrontation and battle. We get to see where some characters are in their lives and what the world is like. There’s still some big questions to be answered, but this comic continues the over the top humor that consistently gets me to laugh. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

The Hangman #1 – This first issue is fascinating. It doesn’t quite get us to what I think is where the series goes next, but we learn about the boogeyman that is the Hangman in the mob. The comic is absolutely adult, and really puts the “dark” in Dark Circle. It definitely piqued my interest. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Revival #34 – What brought all the folks back to life? We still don’t know what’s behind Revivers, but this issue has some impressive revelations that started to make the puzzle clearer. It’s also a hell of a confrontation between Dana and her father. It’s an issue full of emotion and catharsis, a great jumping on point. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Daphne

The final issue of the A-Force miniseries was awesome. Ending it with an all-out war that showcased dozens of Marvel Comics ladies was a great decision, and makes me super excited for the full series to come out. The series itself wasn’t as strong in the middle as its beginning, but it ended with a great climax and I can’t wait to see more. Overall Score: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Ms. Marvel ended on a high note in time for the big company-wide relaunch initiative. With Kamala’s world ending we finally get some plot points wrapped up in really satisfying ways, and the story ends in a really optimistic and emotional that is totally worthy of the Miss Marvel name. This was probably the best “Last Days” story to come out of Secret Wars, and I love that it left us with both closure and a great setup for things to come. I can’t wait to see what happens with the relaunch. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Elana

Catwoman-45This has been a banner month for Catwoman, Constantine and Gotham Academy. Each has just printed it’s best issue yet. Each of these comics reaches a pinnacle of a completely compelling storyline here and delivers and delivers and delivers. These are among the best comics today. Buy. Buy. Buy.

Over the Garden Wall issues 1 and 2 are lovely contributions to the world of the animated show. I rewatched the cartoon after reading them and they fill in the blanks in the series so well that I would strongly suggest anyone who likes the cartoon pick up these comics immediately. They are charming and wistful like the series. They even contain a page of sheet music in the back! Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Heathen from comixology submit: promising fantasy/folklore story from a promising new creative talent Natasha Alterici. Compelling queer female lead. Evocative painted art. You can shiver it it looks so cold. I hope she continues the series! I’ll give it an 8 if she can keep this up! Recommendation: Buy.

Revenger from comixology submit: this is an angry comic. The art evokes Benjamin Marra (his art is also angry). If you are in the mood for angry, revenge violence with a very raw nerve core then give this a go. It’s got that ugly but compelling look to the art. Badass black butch female lead who reminds me of a cross between Grace Jones and The Man with No Name. Feels pretty punk rock. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Concrete Park Volume 2 this is a radical scifi book with politics on it’s sleeve. Striking character design. Impeccable world building. Check out those maps! The world they invent is completely unique. An urban dystopia in space. Strong critique of the prison-industrial system and sexism. It deserves a full length review. This was the best thing I got at New York Comic Con. I love it so much! And I’ve only read the 2nd volume. Definitely going to buy the first one but I think it speaks to how well written the 2nd volume is that I was able to get totally involved in it without any of the earlier information. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Kenny

Colder: Toss the Bones #2 continues its trend of being creepy as hell. Nimble Jack’s relentless tormenting of Declan plays on the idea of that feeling that someone is watching you. The story toys with that psychological idea to great effect. It is uncomfortable seeing Declan unknowingly having his life manipulated by Jack. Each of Jack’s action are so dark and uncomplicated by morality, that he has become a menacing figure who seems unstoppable at this point. This comic is still proving to be one of the best horror comics out and one that needs your attention. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is moving in a completely new and exciting direction after the epic conclusion of TMNT #50. Issue #51 sets the stage for a Turtles’ arc as they try and navigate their new position as, well, I won’t spoil it for you. Find out for yourself and see the one of the most interesting premises for a Turtles story I’ve seen in a long time. Overall 8.5 Recommendation: Buy


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

Kevin Eastman Steps in the MMA Cage with Cage Hero

Dynamite has announced a collaborative agreement with Surge Licensing, Inc., Ian Parker, and Mark Mastrandrea to develop a comic book series based on the brand new property Cage Hero. The four-issue series will debut this November, released monthly as single-issue comics, both digitally and in print, and collected later into trade format. Cage Hero is an all-ages action-adventure series in the tradition of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teen Titans, and Karate Kid — a youth-based Mixed Martial Arts property that inspires health, fitness, skill, and teamwork to become a real hero.

In Cage Hero, Ryder Stone, a small town middle school student and wrestling star raised by a strict grandfather, finds himself on a path to meet his true destiny when he is recruited to lead a super-powered team of mixed martial artists known as The Cage Heroes! Trained in their own unique martial art disciplines, all connected by a secret past, this new team will need to dig deep within themselves to protect the world from an international evil network known as The Shadow Empire. The race for control of the universe has begun, and evil has the upper hand. With only a handful of teenagers to stand in the way, can they find the hero within and stop them?

Cage Hero was created by MMA Manager/Personality Ian Parker and Mark Mastrandrea. Working closely with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman to craft the characters and world inspired by Ian’s own fighting knowledge and experience, and his love for comics. The creative team on the comic book series will include Rik Hoskin scripting, Renato Rei providing the dynamic artwork, and Ross Campbell on colors, with Ian and Kevin personally overseeing all aspects of production.

MMA is the fastest growing sport in the world today. Each MMA event commonly reaches over one million viewers. In the early existence of MMA, it was only a sport that adults could participate in; in this day and age, MMA is taught to men, women, and children. It is primarily taught to children to find their inner strength and to become disciplined at a young age.

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