Tag Archives: carlos m. mangual

Review: Naomi #2

Naomi #2

The most startling and intriguing mystery in the DC Universe continues as Naomi searches to uncover the secrets of her own origin. What do her small town’s oversized mechanic and the last time a super-powered person appeared in her hometown have to do with the day she was adopted?

Naomi #2 continues the excellence of the first issue building on the mystery but focusing on an emotional center that really drives the comic. Written by Brian Michael Bendis and David F. Walker, Naomi isn’t a flashy series about tights and punching bad guys, instead it focuses on what appears to be an average person trying to figure out her role in a world filled with gods.

Bendis and Walker brilliantly play up Naomi’s adoption, with the use of Superman, creates a nice contrast. There’s clearly more to Naomi’s story, some seems to hinted at here. And, there’s an interesting story to be told in the differences between two adopted characters. If Naomi is the child of a hero or villain, how does her being raised differ than Superman? That seems to be the direction that Bendis and Walker are going.

The art by Jamal Campbell, with lettering by Carlos M. Mangual, is fantastic. There’s something that pops here and there’s pages that are amazing to look at. Campbell’s style just has a energy about it that fits Naomi’s story perfectly. The character designs are top notch. For a series that’s more Scooby-Doo than anything, the art is stellar with a fantastic flow and pacing.

Two issues and this series is fantastic. It’s building a mystery that I want to find out about. It’s not a chore like some reads where you just want to find out the answer, this is one that you can easily become invested in as it blends superheroics and a simple question. I want to know about Naomi’s past. The team is delivering a comic that’s all about the mystery but is filled with emotion and one of the best new characters in some time.

Story: Brian Michael Bendis, David F. Walker Art: Jamal Campbell
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Female Furies #1

Head to Jack Kirby’s Fourth World as Granny Goodness, Big Barda, Aurelie, Mad Harriet, Lashina, Bernadeth, and Stompa look for respect from Darkseid and his Elite.

Female Furies #1 is by Cecil Castellucci, Adriana Melo, Hi-Fi, and Carlos M. Mangual.

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

Amazon/comiXology/Kindle
TFAW

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Nightwing/Magilla Gorilla Special #1

It’s a fifth week and DC again is bringing together their characters with classic Hanna-Barbera. In this issue, Magilla Gorilla is framed for murder and Nightwing must help him solve the case. Plus, a bonus story featuring Secret Squirrel.

Nightwing/Magilla Gorilla Special #1 is by Heath Corson, Tom Grummett, Tom Derenick, Cam Smith, Andy Owens, Pete Pantazis, Carlos M. Mangual, J.M. DeMatteis, Tom Mandrake, Hi-Fi, and Travis Lanham.

Get your copy in comic shops today. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology
TFAW

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Exclusive Preview: Sideways #5

Sideways #5

Written by: Justin Jordan
Art by: Robert Gill
Color: John Rauch
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Cover by: Kenneth Rocafort
Group Editor: Jamie S. Rich
Editor: Katie Kubert
Assistant Editor: Dave Welgosz
U.S. Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: June 13, 2018

After the devastating loss of one of the most important people in his life, Derek James tries to throw himself into being the hero Sideways to distract himself. Unfortunately, new villain the Showman has arrived to tear those wounds right back open.

Review: The Unexpected #1

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got a new series for the New Age of Heroes!

The Unexpected #1 is by Ryan Sook, Cary Nord, Steve Orlando, Mick Gray, Wade von Grawbadger, FCO Plascencia, and Carlos M. Mangual.

Get your copy in comic shops today. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Aquaman/Jabberjaw Special #1

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got Aquaman and Jabberjaw teaming up!

Aquaman/Jabberjaw Special #1 is by Dan Abnett, Paul Pelletier, Andrew Hennessy, Rain Beredo, Carlos M. Mangual, Gabe Eltaeb, Joshua Middleton, Liz Erickson, Jim Chadwick and Captain Caveman story by Jeff Parker, Scott Kolins, and Dave McCaig.

Get your copy in comic shops today. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

 

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Dark Days the Road to Metal

It’s Wednesday which means it’s new comic book day with new releases hitting shelves, both physical and digital, all across the world. This week we’ve got the collection that gets you caught up for Metal!

Dark Days the Road to Metal features Dark Days: The Forge #1, Dark Days: The Casting #1, Final Crisis #6-7, Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1, Batman #38-39, and Nightwing #17 by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Jim Lee, Andy Kubert, John Romita, Jr., Scott Williams, Klaus Janson, Danny Miki, Alex SInclair, Jeremiah Skipper, Steve Wands, Grant Morrison, Doug Mahnke, J.G. Jones, Carlos Pacheco, Marco Rudy, Christian Alamy, Jesus Merino, Tom Nguyen, Drew Geraci, Norm Rapmund, Rodney Ramos, Walden Wong, Pete Pantazis, Tony Avina, Rob Clark, Jr., Travis Lanham, Chris Sprouse, Karl Story, Guy Major, Jared K. Fletcher, Brad Anderson, Greg Capullo, FCO Placencia, Tim Seeley, Javier Fernandez, Chris Sotomayor, Carlos M. Mangual, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Adriano Lucas, Marilyn Patrizia, and Rian Hughes.

Get your copy in comic shops today and book stores May 22. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: The Immortal Men #2

“The End of Forever” part two! Following the destruction of their base of operations, the Immortal Men find themselves on the defensive! Their only hope rests with an emerging metahuman named Caden Park—but the evil Conquest has gotten to Caden first! Will the remaining few battle-ravaged Immortal Men be able to rescue their young would-be savior? And what connection do Caden’s tactile telepathic abilities have to the survival of humanity?

In The Immortal Men #2, things escalate for Caden as he runs from both his would-be protectors and the ones who want him dead. There’s a certain Terminator aspect in that way and it’s a trope that we’ve seen before. Storytellers James Tynion IV and Ryan Benjamin give us something a little different as he also uses this issue to explain the various characters and world a little more. Through the details of action or just outright dialogue, we learn more about each character, their powers, and whats’ going on. And, it’s packed with a lot of action through it all.

The art by Benjamin, inker Richard Friend, and colorist David Baron amplifies the action and really creates a frenetic pacing through the issue. As stated above it all also helps us be introduced to the various characters as we learn more about their powers and origins. Letterer Carlos M. Mangual is also important as some of the lettering actual creates a better understanding of who and what these characters are. Some have a specific style that creates greater depth and understanding of who they are. Through all of that action, the cast grows with more members of the House of Conquest. There is a sense of familiarity to characters that have come before whether on purpose or not, we’ll see. Some of the comic has a very 90s feel about it all.

The second issue sets a crazy pace as we’re introduced to more of this world and characters. There’s a lot packed in here and though the first two issues feel decompressed, they are also entertaining in what’s presented.

Story: James Tynion IV, Ryan Benjamin
Ink: Richard Friend Color: David Baron Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Nightwing #44: Working out on Chest and (throw) Back Day

*Mild spoiler whited out at the end*

I came to read this really interesting comic — Nightwing #44 “The Bleeding Edge” part one because everyone’s favorite comics PR guy Clark Bull tweeted:

Now, I tend to choose which superhero comics to read based on the writer and artist working on them rather than because of the particular characters in it. A great creative team can make anything work, yes even Deathstroke. I was previously unfamiliar with Christopher Mooneyham (pencils) and Benjamin Percy (writer), Nick Filardi (colors) and Carlos M. Mangual (letters). But as a critic who analyzes art through a feminist and queer lens I’ve developed an academic interest in Dick Grayson.

Grayson is one of the only male characters that straight male creative teams have frequently offered up to the androphilic gaze. In layperson’s terms– Nightwing is a rare character that even straight men deliberately depict with the intent to make readers find him sexy and that many readers who are attracted to men see as sexy, even before the creators came around to the idea. Meanwhile, almost every female character is drawn to appeal to the male gaze, even lesbian characters. I, as a queer person, might find some of those female characters hot too– but that is a side effect, they were not depicted with my gaze in mind.

Nightwing exists in a critically interesting space for these reasons. And if Clark tells me to watch for Discowing worthy visual tributes in Nightwing #44, sure I’ll check it out.

What I found was a comic full of early 80s visual cues– everything from John Romita Jr-esque squared-off lips and Klaus Jansen/Frank Miller gritty but pretty action filled pencils to subways with 1980’s level graphitti. Even Dick’s haircut is early 80’s compliant, and flattering (see 50% of Duran Duran).

And what is this utterly Bronze Age Nightwing doing? He’s complaining about our modern relationship with the portable internet. Which is seems in-character. He’s also using his newly modified escrima sticks exactly like Daredevil uses his batton, ricocheting it around the subway car. It even has a break in the center for grappling hook use, like Murdock’s primary mode of transportation.

Was there a rift in the multiverse through which a dimension-hopping Dick got to replicate Matt Murdock’s batton? Were Grayson’s escrima sticks always like that and I just never noticed before because the art wasn’t so similar to what I associate with my favorite old Daredevil comics? I’d never connected Daredevil and Nightwing till now despite their shared acrobatic skills and handsome figures. But maybe the brooding and emotionally damaged Matt Murdock– the Worst Boyfriend in Comics™– isn’t so different after all from the joyful and emotionally intelligent Dick Grayson — the Best Ex-Boyfriend in Comics.

Halfway into the issue we are greeted with a shirtless and unshorn Dick Grayson stretched out on the coach. I appreciate the unshorn which is especially realistic if we’re doing an 80s throwback aesthetic. His body language is open as we look down on him from above.

You know what? We deserve artist Chris Mooneyham’s Dick Grayson lying shirtless on a couch. The recognition that men can be the subject of our sexual desires and that people might want to look at them being sexy is still a pretty radical proposition in superhero comics. It was part of the recent Grayson series’ success and it is actually part of the story here.

Unlike many of the random semi nude women in comics it makes sense for Dick to be shirtless. He’s at home relaxing in a bright window while flirting with his on again off again. Grayson’s anatomy while rare, is within the range of things a body can be.  And that’s good. Physically impossible figures are honestly not sexy to me. He doesn’t have the dead-eyed objectivized look we often see on shirtless women when drawn by men. He’s clearly in thought here. Look, I like semi clothed women as much as the next person who’s sexualy attracted to women. But it shouldn’t always be women. That’s not a balanced diet and its hurting storytelling.

This art is a helpful reminder that sexy art is best served by being character driven, by having a torso that accommodates lungs and a gastrointestinal system, non-fictional muscles, and even has body hair (women have body hair too, I know this may be shocking to some men who’ve never been naked with a woman IRL). I’m not suggesting that a character needs to look like Dick does here in order to be sexy. I want to see all sorts of bodies and genders represented on the page, especially the acknowledgement that bodies that deviate from Hollywood norms are desirable too. Why are no characters drawn like Katie King or Ximena Santos from Raven the Pirate Princess in the DCU or Marvel?

Anyway….

Dick’s legendary chemistry with Barbara Gordon is in full display here — the juxtaposed panels of their phone conversation establish a visual flirtation between the two characters. They may be in different apartments talking on the phone but their eye lines across the gutters keep them flirting even more than their dialog does.

One thing I could do without is the heavy deli owner being drawn as a slob. It’s an anti-fat stereotype and below this comic’s intelligence.

Mild spoiler (highlight the text)

In the end, as with many great things of the 1980s, this story ends in body horror. I won’t say how. As a huge fan of the works of David Cronenberg I say hooray!

In conclusion Nightwing #44’s virtues include:

  • Early 1980s Daredevil aesthetics
  • Shirtless Dick Grayson drawn just for you and me
  • A villain who uses technology in creative ways
  • Light social commentary
  • An easy jumping on point for new readers of the series, like me

That’s good promise from just a single issue of a new character arc in an existing series. Sure, I’ll keep checking out Nightwing– literally and figuratively. You should too! We deserve it.PS: For an extremely thoughtful and historically centered look at the way Dick Grayson has been depicted in comics read the essential Meg Downey’s essay In Defense of Dick Grayson: Objectification, Sexuality, and Subtext.

Review: Action Comics #1000

Celebrate 1000 issues of Action Comics with an all-star lineup of top talent as they pay tribute to the comic that started it all! From today’s explosive action to a previously unpublished tale illustrated by the legendary Curt Swan to the Man of Tomorrow’s future-this very special, oversized issue presents the best of the best in Superman stories!

Action Comics #1000 feels like an end, a beginning, and a celebration of a landmark moment, one thousand issues and almost 80 years of Superman. The issue is full of some top notch talent with numerous stories of varied style and quality. All of it though is entertaining in some way.

The issue opens up with writer Dan Jurgens‘ finale to his latest run with “From the City That Has Everything.” It’s clear from his latest run (and all his Superman material) that he loves the character and this story which features art by Jurgens, ink by Norm Rapmund, color from Hi-Fi and letters by Rob Leigh, is that recognition as Metropolis honors the Man of Steel. It’s a cheesy story but one that is so in a way that a speech from someone honoring someone else might be. Touching and a fine way for Jurgens to wrap up his run.

The second story is a really cool one that weaves a story out of what is essentially pin-ups. It’s a great way to include such a thing in a comic without it just being images. I hope we see more of this and the art is from a who’s who of creators. It involves Superman going through time and gives a way for artists to take advantage to take us readers through Superman’s history, some of his key moments, and different artistic styles we’ve seen. It’s an utterly brilliant story and presentation and a highlight of the celebration.

Marv Wolfman and Curt Swan team up for “An Enemy Within” which feels like a bit of a retro story in both pacing and art. While not bad it’s an interesting reminder of how much storytelling has changed over the years. I don’t want to give too much away but the story has some nice twists involving a hostage situation.

“The Game” sees Superman and Lex Luthor match wits in a game of chess. Paul Levitz and Neal Adams team up for the story and it’s interesting and one you can probably debate about the deeper meaning. It’d be nice to see this story in a longer form as there’s a lot to work but with just a few pages we don’t get a lot of depth, just fun twists that feel like they’re from the 80s and an homage to an Adams classic moment.

Geoff Johns, Richard Donner, and Olivier Coipel come together for “The Car” which has a criminal recounting how his car was destroyed by a mysterious flying man. The art is fantastic and I think some of my favorite work by Coipel who seems to be channeling Frank Quitely. It’s such a simple story but one that really digs into what makes Superman super.

“The Fifth Season” sees Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque come together as Superman and Lex Luthor come together in Smallvill. It’s an interesting story that again explores the relationship of the two characters. Particularly it focuses on Luthor being oblivious to the good that Superman does that he doesn’t acknowledge or is even aware of. It’s another story that can be debated as far as its deeper meaning and themes.

“Of Tomorrow” is Tom King, Clay Mann, Jordie Bellaire, and John Workman having Superman revisit Earth one last time before it’s consumed by the sun. It’s a reminder of the loss of the character and a deeply touching entry.

Louise Simonson and Jerry Ordway come together for “Five Minutes” which reminds us that Superman has a few jobs, hero and reporter (as well as husband and father). It’s a fun story that plays on the speed of the character and that how he can some times mess up one job due to the other. A funny ending that gave me a chuckle.

“Actionland!” has Paul Dini and José Luis García-Lopez focus on our favorite imp who has it out for Superman. It’s the odd story of the bunch with the focus on the villain but is a reminder that like Superman, some of them have infinite power that they hold back due to… something.

Writer Brad Meltzer and artist John Cassaday honor Christopher Reeve with “Faster Than a Speeding Bullet” that has Superman racing to prevent a gun going off and killing a woman. It’s a fantastic story and I had no idea how it’d resolve. Again though, it’s a reminder of some of the things that makes Superman great and boils the character down to his goodness and how he inspires and is inspired.

“The Truth” is Brian Michael Bendis‘ DC debut with art by Jim Lee and what is supposed to lead into the miniseries The Man of Steel which kicks off Bendis’ run. Out of all of the stories, this is the low point of the issue honestly. Maybe it’s the hype but there’s a new baddie who’s out to kill Kryptonians and while Metropolis is getting destroy two civilians are focused on Superman’s underwear? It’s very Bendis and while funny, especially with Lee on art, it doesn’t quite work and honestly lowered my excitement for what he has coming.

There’s a lot packed in here and something for everyone. No matter the era of your enjoyment there’s a story that fits it and this is really a comic that has an amazing amount of talent. It’s truly a celebration of such an iconic character and for the celebration alone it’s a purchase. At times, comics like this are a let down, but this is the exception with every story entertaining in some way and a few that shine. It’s the rare oversized celebration comic that lives up to the occasion.

Story: Dan Jurgens, Peter J. Tomasi, Marv Wolfman, Paul Levitz, Neal Adams, Geoff Johns, Richard Donner, Scott Snyder, Tom King, Louise Simonson, Paul Dini, Brad Meltzer, Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Dan Jurgens, Patrick Gleason, Curt Swan, Neal Adams, Olivier Coipel, Rafael Albuquerque, Clay Mann, Jerry Ordway, José Luis García-Lopez, John Cassaday, Jim Lee
Ink: Norm Rapmund, Butch Guice, Kurt Schaffenberger, Kevin Nowlan, Scott Williams
Color: Hi-Fi, Alejandro Sanchez, Dave McGaig, Jordie Bellaire, Trish Mulvihill, Laura Martin, Alex Sinclair
Letters: Rob Leigh, Tom Napolitano, Dave Sharpe, Nick Napolitano, John Workman, Carlos M. Mangual, Josh Reed, Chris Euopoulos, Cory Petit
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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