Tag Archives: clayton cowles

Review: Morbius: The Living Vampire #1

Morbius wants nothing but to cure himself. While he attempts that, who’s the mysterious person hunting him?

Story: Vita Ayala
Art: Marcelo Ferreira
Ink: Roberto Poggi
Color: Dono Sánchez-Almara
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Get your copy in comic shops November 13! 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
TFAW

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

Meet the Future with Doctor Tomorrow this February

Meet the Valiant Universe’s brand-new superhero: Doctor Tomorrow!

This February, teenage hothead and star athlete Bart Simms will come face to face with the Valiant Universe’s greatest hero… himself! The action-packed adventure is by rising star Alejandro Arbona and awe-inspiring artist Jim Towe. Will Bart and Doctor Tomorrow be able to save the Valiant Universe from a new and unstoppable menace? See below for the gripping opening sequence from Doctor Tomorow #1… featuring Doctor Tomorrow’s nemesis Hadrian, and quite a few familiar faces from across the Valiant Universe!

The thrilling all-ages journey begins in Doctor Tomorrow #1 on February 19th, 2020, featuring colors by Diego Rodriguez, letters by Clayton Cowles, and covers by Kenneth RocafortStacey LeeRaúl Allén, and Doug Braithwaite.

Review: Black Canary: Ignite

Black Canary: Ignite delivers a new take on Black Canary aimed at younger readers.

Story: Meg Cabot
Art: Cara McGee
Color: Caitlin Quirk
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Get your copy in comic shops now and bookstores on October 29! 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 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

Review: Tales From the Dark Multiverse: Batman: Knightfall

DC takes you to the Dark Multiverse for twisted takes on some of its most iconic moments. Up first? Knightfall!

Story: Scott Snyder, Kyle Higgins
Art: Javier Fernandez
Color: Alex Guimarães
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

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
Kindle/comiXology
TFAW

DC Comics 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

Review: Tales From the Dark Multiverse: Batman: Knightfall

Tales From the Dark Multiverse: Batman: Knightfall

Since it’s announcement, I’ve been excited to dive into DC’s new anthology series Tale From the Dark Multiverse. I’m happy to say, despite high expectations, Tales From the Dark Multiverse: Batman: Knightfall does not disappoint.

Written by Scott Snyder and Kyle Higgins, Tales From the Dark Multiverse: Batman: Knightfall is a mix of “What If” and a tease of DC’s next “Crisis” event. Tempus Fuginaut plays the role of the Watcher introducing the story and delivering an epilogue. Each issue takes on an iconic DC event set in a world in the Dark Multiverse, in this case “Knightfall” which saw Batman’s back broken by Bane and Jean-Paul Valley taking over as Batman.

Instead of Bruce regaining the mantle, in this version Valley continues to be Batman defeating Bruce and then turning Gotham into a religious fascist-like state. A champion must rise to defeat him and one does in the son of Bane.

It’s an interesting story and solid start to this new line of comics. The one issue is it’s too short. There’s concepts that are a bit too quick and not explored enough and as a whole the story is a bit compacted. It could have used an extra issue if not an oversized one. Still, it’s an entertaining one and done story.

What’s surprising is the brutality of the story. There’s some over the top action and concepts that are definitely not kid friendly. The twists towards the end put the “dark” into Dark Multiverse. Snyder and Higgins nail the twisted tone set when we were introduced to this perverted multiverse.

The art by Javier Fernandez is solid. The colors by Alex Guimarães are solid along with the lettering by Clayton Cowles. What particularly stands out is the subtle addition of a religious/church vibe to it all which we see in Valley’s Batcave. The changing of colors too evoke the fact this isn’t the main multiverse but something different. Finally, the design of certain characters (no spoilers here!) are really original and interesting. There’s just a dark ominous tone to the art which fits the story and setting so well.

While a bit too short, the comic is a solid start and beginning to build to something big. This isn’t just a series of one-shot comics, there’s something else there that’s coming down the road making these all the more interesting. This is a comic anyone can pick up and just enjoy and for those who have been reading DC’s master story, it’s one you probably won’t want to miss.

Story: Scott Snyder, Kyle Higgins Art: Javier Fernandez
Colors: Alex Guimarães Letters: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Returning To The X-Men: Powers Of X #6

It’s been nearly six years since I last picked up a new X-Men comic with any real consistency. The last series I read with any regularity featuring the merry mutants was Jason Aaron‘s Wolverine and the X-Men. Which apparently ended around six years ago. It’s fair to say that I’m a little out of touch with that side of the Marvel Universe (though I have been following both Old Man Logan and Dead Man Logan, but those series didn’t really involve the X-Men as much as a team book would). More than a little, honestly. A lot has happened in the six years I’ve been away, and since I barely pay attention to solicitations I have missed most of it.

But with Johnathan Hickman steering the X-Men in a new direction with both House and Powers Of X, I thought this might be a good time to start reading X-Men comics again.

But how easy is it to jump back in relatively blind after more than half a decade away?


Expect spoilers as I try to make sense of the comic.


I’ve found that the Powers Of X comics have been used to fill in information holes and expand upon points made in earlier issue of House Of X. That’s largely the same here, with Powers Of X #6 expanding upon a certain scene within the finale of the aforementioned comic.

It’s that finale that has been sitting with me for several days, delaying the release of this column as I try and make sense of how the House/Powers Of X event has left me feeling. On the one hand, as a reintroduction to the X-Men after nearly six years, it has definitely set me up for success. It has laid the foundation stones for the plethora of new X-Men books coming out starting this week, and while I have no intention of picking them all up, I’ll certainly read two or three.

I’ll be entering the new X-books at a place that will allow me to enjoy the stories for what they are without trying to piece together various arcs from online snippets and editor’s notes in the comics themselves. I’ll know that the mutants have created their own nation, almost entirely exclusive to mutants. In that regard, it was an unmitigated success.

In that regard.

If you were waiting for the other shoe to drop, here it comes.

House/Powers Of X has shifted the X-Men’s place from a minority group fighting for peaceful coexistence with humanity to an elitist nation who think themselves above humanity. While there may be peaceful coexistence, it won’t be as equals anymore.

There are two prime quotes that exemplify this for me, the first has been included in every version of this column and comes from the final page of the first issue. If you need a reminder, scroll up. The second comes from House Of X #5, immediately after a large number of mutants arrive on Krakoa.

House Of X #5 p. 30

It’s with Apocalypse’s line that “you have finally become what I intended you to be. I couldn’t be more proud.” that I realized the X-Men had embraced the big blue mutant’s mantra of “survival of the fittest” in the most obvious was possible. They created a nation of the “the fittest.”

A nation where no mutant need stay dead (and I still don’t know if the new not-technically-a-clone Wolverine after his death and regrowth (read House #4 and #5 for details) has adamantium in his bones or not. If he does, how did it get put into the new body? That’s actually the least of my questions regarding the resurrection process, if I’m honest, but it’s one I focus on because it’s that kind of nitpicking detail I want. No, my bigger question is why does Professor X only copy mutants? Why not expand to humanity as a whole?

Is it because of the constraints of Cerebro as a whole? Unlikely, seeing as how Forge could overcome those with enough time as he did the initial design in Powers #5. No, instead it’s almost like Xavier doesn’t care as much about humans as he does mutants.

Which is a stunning revelation from a man who preached peaceful coexistence for decades (despite having moments of being a slight creep over the years – just google them). Yes, it’s a bold new direction for the X-Men going forward, but one has to wonder; the X-Men have for decades stood as an allegory for minorities and the down trodden. Is this shift emblematic of those minorities finally going back where they came from, or a shift toward a position of elitism as the mutants embrace the superior in homo superior?

Powers Of X #5 p.23

How the X-Men are handled from here on out will be very interesting. At the least, this event has me intrigued enough to pick up X-Men #1 when it hits the shelves this week. Though I’ll be keeping the positional shift firmly in mind as I continue to follow the adventures of the X-Men.


“You see I know how you humans love your symbolism, almost as much as you love you religion. And I wanted you – I needed you – to understand… you have new gods now.”

Magneto, House Of X, #1 p.47.
I keep leaving this image and quote in the column because, for me, it’s emblematic of the series as a whole. It’s Hickman, through Magneto, setting the stage for the future of the X-Men.

Marvel provided a FREE copy for review purposes, but I read the comic in print from my LCS.

Review: X-Men (2019) #1

House of X and Powers of X are over and Dawn of X has begun. X-Men #1 continues the “bold new” era for the X-Universe in the first ongoing series to spin out of the status-quo rattling miniseries.

Story: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Leinal Francis Yu
Ink: Gerry Alanguilan
Color: Sunny Gho
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Design: Tom Muller

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
TFAW

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

Review: Powers of X #6

Powers of X #6

With Powers of X #6, writer Jonathan Hickman cements his manifesto. It’s a bold new direction and vision of the X-Universe for years to come. The finale continues his split storytelling focusing on three eras of the Marvel Universe revolving around the X-Men. With some callbacks and some final reveals, the picture is clear.

Hickman has positioned the future of the X-Men not as the allegorical representation of the struggling minority. Instead, Hickman’s X-Men has taken on the role of nationalist. Specifically, the white nationalist raging against their inevitable loss to demographics and the future.

As far as stories go, Powers of X and its sibling series House of X has been top notch science fiction. As far as X-Men stories go, the two have ripped the essence of the characters out from them. It has featured massive shifts in character outlooks and their overall position in the greater narrative.

The X-Men, and specifically Charles Xavier, are no longer the heroes but manipulating the system in an attempt to hold on to dominance. It’s a villainous role that Xavier and Magneto admit to in a pivotal scene involving Moira. While some might still see this as a fight for survival their actions are no longer one of equality. Their statements are those of superiority.

Moira being the deus ex machina that has made this shift possible. Moira is the lynchpin of it all. She is what the narrative, and now the Marvel Universe, revolves around. That becomes clear in the far future as neo-humanity faces the Phalanx and the reveals there.

It’s also clear a future conflict over all of this is on the horizon and years down the road when sales falter and things need to be redone again.

The art for Powers of X #6 by R.B. Silva and Pepe Laraz is amazing as expected. For the insidious nature of it all, the art for everything is beautiful to look at. The colors by Marte Gracia and David Curiel make it all pop. The lettering by Clayton Cowles helps evoke the emotion of dialogue. The X-Men haven’t looked this good in a long time.

While I’m excited as to where this all goes at the same time it feels like the heart of the X-Men has been ripped out from them. They have often reflected the socio-political reality of the time and here they take on the role of the bad guys, nationalists fighting for dominance due to a perceived superiority. And much like those nationalists in all reality they will lose… when Moira dies down the road and this is all rebooted again.

Story: Jonathan Hickman Art: R.B. Silva Pepe Laraz
Color: Marte Gracia, David Curiel Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Design: Tom Muller
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Returning To The X-Men: House Of X #6

It’s been nearly six years since I last picked up a new X-Men comic with any real consistency. The last series I read with any regularity featuring the merry mutants was Jason Aaron‘s Wolverine and the X-Men. Which apparently ended around six years ago. It’s fair to say that I’m a little out of touch with that side of the Marvel Universe (though I have been following both Old Man Logan and Dead Man Logan, but those series didn’t really involve the X-Men as much as a team book would). More than a little, honestly. A lot has happened in the six years I’ve been away, and since I barely pay attention to solicitations I have missed most of it.

But with Johnathan Hickman steering the X-Men in a new direction with both House and Powers Of X, I thought this might be a good time to start reading X-Men comics again.

But how easy is it to jump back in relatively blind after more than half a decade away?


Expect spoilers as I try to make sense of the comic.


It has taken me longer to write the penultimate Returning To The X-Men column than I expected or hoped it would. Although part of that is down to some spontaneous renovations at home, it’s also because it took me longer to digest this issue than the others. When it comes to the finale to one half of the current X-event, I had a lot of trouble deciding whether this was the end or a beginning.

House of X #6

That probably sounds cliched.

But here’s the thing; as House/Powers Of X has progressed, it has felt less like a culmination of events that led to the first issue and more of a clean slate for Hickman to restart the X-Men’s direct without rebooting or retconning anything. In fact, a knowledge of certain key events in mutant history does provide an additional depth to your understanding, but it isn’t required as Hickman does a great job in revealing the bare minimum to grasp why those key events were key events.

Yes, you probably need at least some understand as to who the X-Men are, but anybody who has read X-Men comics in the past (even if you haven’t read in years) will recognize the major characters – though some changes may throw you for a loop (such as Professor X walking again – though at least he’s still bald). Ultimately, though, it doesn’t matter if you don’t know who Glob Herman or Armor is as long as you know who the core X-Men characters are (Cyclops, Magneto, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler, Wolverine and Xavier to name just a few).

Because this story is framed more as a beginning than an ending, it is perhaps the most accessible event Marvel have had in years.

House Of X-#6 spends most of the issue discussing the new laws of the mutant nation and how they apply to mutants going forward. It’s perhaps one of the most unconventional finales that I have read in a long time in that it spends very little time recapping previous events before going into a balls to the wall action issue – instead, we see the new Council of Mutants calmly and rationally deciding the first three laws and passing judgement on a mutant who has violated one of them. Although this still wraps up the six issues of House Of X, it also firmly establishes the new status quo for the Marvel universe and its merry mutants, and it does so with a subtle grace that for me has come to define this event.

When it comes to the point of this column, exploring whether a new reader can effectively just jump in with the current X-Event with only enough X-Men knowledge to recognize a few characters, well the answer is a clear and obvious yes – if you start at the beginning.

“You see I know how you humans love your symbolism, almost as much as you love you religion. And I wanted you – I needed you – to understand… you have new gods now.”

Magneto, House Of X, #1 p.47.
I keep leaving this image and quote in the column because, for me, it’s emblematic of the series as a whole. It’s Hickman, through Magneto, setting the stage for the future of the X-Men.

Will I understand next week’s installment in the saga, Powers Of X #6? Do I regret skipping six years of X-Books? Am I ever going to find out how Xavier is walking again*? Did I get the right release schedule?

We might find out next week. We might not.

Marvel provided a FREE copy for review purposes, but I read the comic in print from my LCS.

*The answer is yes, but it made no sense when two of my friends told me individually last week, but it basically boils down to “comics being comics” which I’ve kind of accepted with an air of nonchalance.

Review: Thanos: The Infinity Ending

Jim Starlin wraps up his latest Thanos epic, his final work with Marvel.

Story: Jim Starlin
Art: Alan Davis
Color: Jim Campbell
Ink: Mark Farmer
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Get your copy in comic shops and book stores 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
Kindle/comiXology

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

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