(W) Christopher Cantwell (A) Salvador Larroca (CA) Tomm Coker Rated T+ In Shops: Jan 01, 2020 SRP: $3.99
As his homeland is invaded by foreign adversaries, DOCTOR DOOM continues to be hunted, and on his own. But his conviction strengthens as he further embraces a possible future where he becomes the savior of all humankind. In order to confront those who have set him up as a global criminal, Doom will fight his way through the doors of the spy organization A.I.M, where he’ll battle his would-be assassin TASKMASTER, and match wits with one of the biggest brains in the universe… M.O.D.O.K. Meanwhile, a forgotten and bereft hero of the past will suddenly rise on the geopolitical stage…
Three issues and three amazing reads. Doctor Doom #3 three-peats with an issue full of tragedy, some action, and political intrigue. Doom has been assassinated and sent to Hell in what’s clearly a play to “nation-build” Latveria.
Writer Christopher Cantwell has mixed socio-political machinations with superheroics and the result is amazing. In Hell, Doom must escape and to do that, a deal with Mephisto must be made.
Cantwell does an impressive job of tying in Doom’s sins of the past with his visions of the future. It’s an interesting juxtaposition that has a poetry about it. We’re still not quite sure what Doom is seeing but it’s driving him not to just survive but to do better. We’re presented with someone we can cheer for in an odd way. A tyrant who wants to do good. A toxic individual who wants to grow and change.
Cantwell also delivers us intrigue as it’s clear whomever is behind Doom’s framing and assassination is also likely behind the threats Latveria are seeing in his absence. The name check of the UN and NATO adds a real-world tint to the situation. It’s a political thriller masked in armor.
The art by Salvador Larroca is fantastic. With color by Guru-eFX and lettering by Cory Petit, the look of the comic is fantastic and the flow from Hell to the real world and Latveria all works. Nothing seems out of place and the shift from the dreamlike Hell to the real world is an interesting one. There’s a visual flair that adds to the story and its transition of scenes.
Doctor Doom #3 is a fantastic issue delivering a nice mix of tragedy and action. There’s so much packed in, this is a prime example of what comics can be. It also keeps you on your toes as to what might happen next delivering a healthy mix of mystery and reveals. This issue continues what might be the best series of the year.
Story: Christopher Cantwell Art: Salvador Larroca Color: Guru-eFX Letterer: Cory Petit Story: 8.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
(W) Christopher Cantwell (A) Salvador Larroca (CA) Aco Rated T+ In Shops: Dec 04, 2019 SRP: $3.99
DOCTOR DOOM is dead. For now. In this issue he literally finds himself in Hell, battling against his old foe Mephisto for the control of his own soul. It’s an epic underworld fight, the victor of which may have to be decided by an unexpected third party. Meanwhile, the Blue Marvel continues his hunt for the Doctor, and begins to wonder if Victor’s more victim than villain…
The first issue of Doctor Doom was fantastic and exceeded expectations. Doctor Doom #2 delivers that and then some. This is an amazing second issue to a series delivering one of the best new series of the year.
Writer Christopher Cantwell has put together an amazing second issue that’s full of twists and turns as he brings The Fugitive to comics. Doom has surrendered to the world after being accused of attacking the moon base. He proclaims his innocence though those around him doubt his statements. It’s an interesting new direction for Doom as we get to see him in a vulnerable state. This isn’t the ruler of Latveria. He comes off as a man scared in many ways and one that’s stripped of his strength.
But Cantwell delivers more than just a man on the run. He includes the political implications of such actions. Latveria is threatened by its neighboring nations. Its embassies are raided by the world. Their sovereignty is being challenged by the world in a new way. Cantwell has thought out the implications of a super-powered ruler that the world sees as a villain.
Artist Salvador Larroca nails the art. Joined on color by Guru e-FX with lettering by Cory Petit the issues shows the vulnerability of Doom physically. Doom’s exposure and is laid bare. His defenselessness is for all to see. The details and lack of, throughout tell so much about the characters and what’s going on. A scene in an apartment is a prime example of this. The coloring pops with a focus on Doom’s greens and blues.
This series has been amazing from the start and a solid first issue is followed up with an amazing second. This is a smart series that mixes superheroics and a political mystery. Doctor Doom #2 is a fantastic issue that helps plant the flag for one of the best series on the shelves today.
Story: Christopher Cantwell Art: Salvador Larroca Color: Guru e-FX Letterer: Cory Petit Story: 10 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
(W) Christopher Cantwell (A) Salvador Larroca (CA) Aco Rated T+ In Shops: Nov 06, 2019 SRP: $3.99
DOCTOR DOOM has been taken prisoner by the world itself… but he may find unexpected aid in his escape. Now vulnerable and without his usual strength, he must keep a low profile on the streets of New York, or else risk being captured again. He’ll seek out an old ‘frenemy’ for help and battle lethal opportunists, all while wrestling these visions he continues to have of a better, happier life.
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy 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
(W) Christopher Cantwell (A) Salvador Larroca (CA) Aco Rated T In Shops: Oct 09, 2019 SRP: $4.99
THE CRACK OF DOOM!
From Christopher Cantwell (HALT AND CATCH FIRE, SHE COULD FLY) comes a new monthly ongoing series…
Victor Von Doom – scientist, sorcerer, disfigured face, twisted soul – has been spending much of his time warning against a trillion-dollar global effort to create the first “artificial” black hole. Wrestling with visions of an entirely different life…a better future…DOCTOR DOOM finds himself at a crossroads. (what is he questioning?)
A catastrophic act of terrorism kills thousands, and the prime suspect is… DOOM? Victor will have to push his unexplained thoughts aside and focus on remaining alive as the title of “Most Wanted Man” is thrust upon him…. Left with no homeland, no armies, no allies, indeed, nothing at all, will the reign of Doctor Doom come to an abrupt halt?
Berger Books has announced She Could Flyhas been optioned for television development by AMC. Based on the comic series created by Christopher Cantwell and Martín Morazzo, She Could Fly marks the first property from the esteemed Berger Books line to be optioned for film or television.
She Could Fly tells the story of Luna, a disturbed 15-year-old girl who becomes obsessed with an unknown woman who appears in the Chicago sky flying at heights reaching 2,000 feet. Suddenly—the mysterious woman dies in a fiery explosion mid-air. No one knows who she was, how she flew, or why. Will cracking the secrets of the Flying Woman’s inner life lead to the liberation from Luna own troubled mind? The second series of She Could Fly, She Could Fly: The Lost Pilot #5 arrives August 14, 2019, with the collection arriving December 17, 2019.
Christopher Cantwell, co-creator of She Could Fly has past experience with AMC through AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire as a co-creator, showrunner and executive producer. Executive Producers of She Could Fly include Mark Johnson, Executive Producer of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul; Melissa Bernstein, also an Executive Producer of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul; Karen Berger, founder of Berger Books and Vertigo; Mike Richardson, Dark Horse Entertainment’s founder and Executive Producer (The Umbrella Academy); and Keith Goldberg, Dark Horse Entertainment Senior Vice President and Executive Producer (The Umbrella Academy).
With only a single issue left in the War of the Realms core series, the tie-in writers have fallen into the unenviable trap of wrapping up their story, connecting it to the event’s inevitable conclusion, and maybe leaving a loose thread or two when their comic returns to its normally scheduled programming.
Six comics came out this week, and one was heads and shoulders over the pack: War of the Realms Journey into Mystery #5. The McElroys, Andre Araujo, and Chris O’Halloran have finished crafting an ensemble cast that I want to read an ongoing series about, made Ares sympathetic, Laussa more than a MacGuffin, connect all the seemingly random plot threads of the series, and made me laugh out loud a couple times. No other book came close to this, but with snark, grit, and one hell of a Wasp cameo, Gail Simone and Paolo Villanelli made up for last month’s disappointment and delivered a nifty science vs magic clash in Tony Stark, Iron Man #13. I enjoyed it and wish Simone had more time on the book.
War of the Realms: War Scrolls #3
War of the Realms’ anthology tie-in War Scrolls wraps up with its third issue. There is the conclusion to Jason Aaron, Andrea Sorrentino, and Matthew Wilson’s Daredevil serial as well as a Dr. Doom story from Christopher Cantwell,Cian Tormey, and Dan Brown and a She-Hulk one from Charlie Jane Anders, Simone D’Armini, and Federico Blee. Daredevil, God without Fear continues to be an accomplishment in panel layouts, fight scenes, and theodicies. This three part story is a turning point in Sorrentino’s career as an artist as he transitions from flowing tapestry layouts to strict grids that work like slow-mo while Daredevil fights Malekith with Bifrost shruikens. Aaron’s narration continues to show the perils of omniscience, and even if Daredevil can’t defeat Malekith, he can inspire his blind children hostage to escape and cut God a break along the way.
Halt and Catch Fire co-creator Christopher Cantwell tells the story of the Dark Elf invasion of Latveria from ordinary citizens’ POVs. Dr. Doom has a godlike status in this country, and even when he makes silly mistakes like wasting his troops on a Saving Private Ryan-esque rescue mission, they look to him to save them. The switching point of views can be disorienting, but Cian Tormey gives the story a documentary feel and builds to one badass crescendo where Doom is part-Superman, part-God of the Old Testament, and still authoritarian. It’s a tasting menu that really needs to be expanded to a full feast of the regular lives of Latverians.
War Scrolls #3 wraps up with a story of She-Hulk and Freyja fighting dragons and talking about relationships. Charlie Jane Anders’ writing sometimes feels like she’s making her characters have her interests like making Blade a Beyonce fan and Punisher a Joni Mitchell aficionado, but she nails the conversations between Jennifer and Freyja. She-Hulk talks about how she is dating Thor and not sure how serious it is, and Freyja understands how much She-Hulk cares for her son and that they are both insecure about their “worthiness” and status as heroes. The cherry on top of this pretty good story is D’Armini’s artwork that makes She-Hulk incredibly muscular and monstrous. For the most part, War Scrolls has been full of thought provoking character studies and memorable visuals, and issue three is no exception earning an Overall Verdict of Buy.
War of the Realms: Journey into Mystery #5
Journey into Mystery #5 wraps up this god demon baby starring road trip saga into a neat little bow and uses continuity to enhance and deepen character development and humor instead of as a crutch. The McElroys seamlessly transition from podcasting to mainstream comics while Andre Araujo and Chris O’Halloran enhance their jokes and punch up the action scenes beginning with Wonder Man sweeping to save Laussa. They keep their character portrayals internally consistent like having Wonder Man continue to be a pacifist and having Sebastian Druid being uncertain about his powers, but reminding readers he had a relationship with Ares’ son back in Jonathan Hickman’s Secret Warriors.
This kibble of continuity isn’t just a piece of cute, fanboy trivia, but sets up Ares’ road for redemption. He isn’t a bad guy and doesn’t have a quarrel with this book’s cast; he just like to fight and wants to be reunited with son in the afterlife. Journey into Mystery #5 isn’t just a slugfest between the team and Ares, but is filled with twists and turns about Laussa that aren’t 100% deus ex machinas. The comic does have a pleasing plot, but its real magic are in the small moments like any time Miles Morales and Thori interact, or Laussa’s expressions with the world around him. And for this mastery of both the macro and micro aspects of comics, Journey into Mystery #5, and by extension, the whole miniseries earn an Overall Verdict of Buy.
War of the Realms: Spider-Man & the League of Realms #3
Unless it’s for a storytelling purpose, having two or more artists on a comic usually means it was rushed to meet its deadline, and that seems to be the case with Spider-Man & the League of Realms #3. Gone are Nico Leon’s slick cartooning and well-choreographed set pieces of the previous two issues, and writer Sean Ryan giving each League member a distinct personality beyond fantasy race action figure. This issue is mostly a slugfest against Malekith’s lieutenant, Kurse and peppered with awkward poses, constipated facial expressions, and basically, generic visuals from Leon and Marco Failla.
The angel Fernande goes a bit ballistic in the middle of the fight, and Spider-Man finds a shared connection because they have both lost loved ones. But this was already covered in the previous issue so it feels a lot like padding in Spider-Man & the League of Realms #3. The main plot point of this issue (and a cool connection to War Scrolls #3) is that Kurse was once League member, Waziria, and for the first time in all of War of the Realms (Except the Cul Borson story in Thor.), the Dark Elves aren’t treated like evil cannon fodder. In the end, this comic was about saving people instead of punching evil, and that’s a good sentiment from Ryan and Leon. However, it ends on this week’s “standard” heroes pose together and jump into the final battle panel and earns an Overall Verdict of Pass because of art issues and the difficulty of writing a large cast.
Captain Marvel #7
Spider-Man & the League of Realms #3 wasn’t the worst “War of the Realms” comic this week. That honor goes to Captain Marvel #7, which wraps up the unbearably banal if well-colored by Tamra Bonvillain body swap story featuring Carol Danvers and Dr. Strange. This issue does have a few positives like Kelly Thompson’s gift for quick banter and cutting one-liners like Strange roasting Carol for only knowing magic from various pop culture things. However, it’s pretty shallow, Strange and Carol’s ineptitude with each other’s powers are quickly resolved, and afterwards, they and an underutilized Black Widow go separate ways.
One slight positive about Captain Marvel #7 is Annapaola Martello’s art. She’s equally good at drawing fun facial expressions/hints of flirting and things that go boom/pew pew. Even if the story is thin, it’s pure joy to see Dr. Strange in Carol’s body go Binary and kick undead ass and then steal a little moment at the end. And about the ending, it seems random and tacked on even if it’s our first glimpse of a post-War of the Realms world. Carol is hanging out in her apartment like everything is normal, and the last story had no effect on her. Honestly, this is for the better as Thompson no longer has to shoehorn a quick tie-in and can tell her full story. My Overall Verdict for Captain Marvel #7 is Pass, and it’s worth skipping for regular readers of her title and those just following “War of the Realms”.
If there’s any comic that Deadpool#14 shares DNA with, it’s Simon Bisley’s Lobo books of the 1990s with their combination of serious, detailed fantasy art and silly dialogue and situations. In this comic, Skottie Young and Nic Klein chronicle Deadpool’s defense of Australia from Ulik (Which is apparently a very common name for trolls.) and his minions with the help of a knock-off Captain Britain and Daredevil and then an assist from some real superheroes. Young continues to have fun breaking the fourth wall and poking fun at his own writing like ending the issue with a deus ex machina and commenting on the legality of including a figure that’s all but named Tasmanian Devil.
Nic Klein draws and colors his own work in Deadpool #14 and turns in some gorgeous splash pages of Deadpool, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Daredevil, and various Z-list Australian heroes beating the shit out of trolls. He can also do funny too like his depiction of the solution to Australia’s troll problem, which is feeding them and putting them to work at New Zealand’s copyright-friendly version of a Lord of the Rings set tour. The panel of trolls chasing tourists with selfie sticks around a “bobbit” hole is like something out of Mad magazine and a wonderful Deadpool-esque way to wrap up the plot. For its humor, skilled art, and ultraviolence,Deadpool #14 earns an Overall Verdict of Buy. (And, apparently, the next issue is the final one of the series.)
Tony Stark, Iron Man #13
Free of continuing subplot from previous issues (Except for the important Tony Stark relapsing in a VR environment one.), Gail Simone and Paolo Villanelli are free to tell the story of the battle between Iron Man and the wyrm Sadurang, who wants to rob the New York Stock Exchange. They make fantastic parallels between traders and hoarding dragons, and starting off a conversation between Sadurang and a now homeless broker about how riches cloud one’s morals sets the tone for the issue. And what happens is a back to basics Iron Man story where Tony must destroy or deactivate all his magic infected armor and get back to the analog days to defeat this greedy dragon.
Edgar Delgado’s powerful colors match Villanelli’s art, which can be loose and scratchy when Tony is getting his ass kicked and trying to quip his way out of a bad situation or tighter and tougher when he’s in the Mark I armor doing his best St. George impression. Also, Simone brings in the very winsome Wasp as a guest star in this issue, and she brings Tony hope and her stings and fast flying gives him enough time to rally his counterattack. Then, they get to share a sweet moment after the fight is over, but Tony doesn’t tell her about the relapse and is interrupted by Malekith’s initial invasion of New York. This two steps forward, one step forward approach to Tony’s journey works for Gail Simone and Paolo Villanelli and coupled with a satire of capitalism via knight/dragon metaphors, Tony Stark, Iron Man #13 earns an Overall Verdict of Buy.
Even though it’s sad to see Captain Marvel’s portrayal stumble in yet another event, and some writers love doing the “heroes join the final battle” ending to their tie-ins, this wasn’t a bad “War of the Realms” week. Skottie Young and Nic Klein turned their Deadpool two-parter into an exercise in maximum absurdity and pulled off the first funny Lord of the Rings reference of the event while Gail Simone added Iron Man to characters she excels at writing. But the real highlight was Journey into Mystery, which is a redemptive road comedy starring a great mix of heroes, tons of quick jokes, and a coherent plot that zigged where others zag. I’m definitely looking forward to Clint McElroy’s upcoming work on Marvel Team-Up.
From Christopher Cantwell, acclaimed writer of She Could Fly and co-creator of AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire, and celebrated artist I.N.J. Culbard comes a new monthly ongoing series this fall, Everything. The latest addition to Karen Berger’s critically acclaimed Berger Books imprint at Dark Horse Comics, Everything is a truly bizarre story about the most horrifying pursuit of happiness you’ve ever read.
From wayward teens to lonely housewives and ambitious city officials, most in this otherwise-sleepy Michigan town are thrilled with the arrival of EVERYTHING, a new mega-department store, and its catalog-perfect manager, Shirley. But thrill turns to frenzy, and when bouts of mania, random hellish fires, violent explosions and unshakeable psychic disturbances start to overtake the population, a few—like depressive out-of-towner Lori and a suspicious local named Rick—begin to suspect EVERYTHING might be the cause.
What twisted power has taken hold of Holland, Michigan and its town-folk? Who—or what—exactly is in charge here… and what insidious plans are in store?
The series is described as if “Twin Peaks and Stranger Things had a baby and Ray Bradbury was the godfather.”
The first issue of Everything goes on sale September 4, 2019.