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Early Review: Ludocrats #1

Ludocrats #1

Ludocrats #1 is a wild, decadent comic. Many years in the making, it’s from writers Kieron Gillen and Jim Rossignol, artist Jeff Stokely, colorist Tamra Bonvillain, and letterer Clayton Cowles, who gives the book a definite “Euro” vibe. The story follows the misadventures of Otto and Hades. They’re a part of an aristocratic group dedicated to having a good time. It is an utter paean to the art of hedonism: the comic book equivalent of Dionysus giving Apollo a spanking.

First up, there’s a wedding between Elaina and Lord Pulderwart, a “boring” person. It’s a wondrous occasion for a first issue and turns the classic comedy structure of ending with a wedding on its head reflecting the topsy turvy world order of Ludocrats. Gillen and Rossignol indulge in their most florid and absurd prose. Especially through the character of Otto, who is introduced completely nude, covered in blood, and with his penis out. Otto is pure id and gets the best lines as he is the arbiter of all things “ludicrous”. He is the offspring of Shakespeare’s Falstaff. More so the Merry Wives of Windsor Falstaff than the Henry IV duology Falstaff. Otto is the physical representation of this comic’s themes and attitudes.

Jeff Stokely’s artwork in Ludocrats is Asterix and Obelix by way of Brandon Graham. It features all kinds of fun and hilarious background details that are expanded upon in the issue’s back-matter. Stokely and Tamra Bonvillain’s double-page spread of a wedding set the tone and almost singlehandedly build the world of Ludocrats. It’s like the Mos Eisley cantina on acid. You’re introduced to a world where knights read the newspaper, some folks have goldfish bowls for heads, and a bag of wheat gets a seat all to themselves for some reason or another.

Everything in Stokely’s artwork is exaggerated. It fits the tone of Ludocrats #1 from the aforementioned nude and bloody Otto taking up an entire full-page spread. There’s no room for deadpan (Except for the cool Dr. Hades.), everything is ham in this comic. Even though Ludocrats has the clear structure of a wedding, Kieron Gillen and Jim Rossignol are liberated to write some of the strangest dialogue I’ve seen, especially when Otto tries to flirt with one of the party guests. Who knows that a satire of heteronormativity could be so damn funny, especially when Stokely adds cartoon physics to the mix?

Although its characters behave in unrestrained manners and constantly try to outdo each other in the matters of eccentricity, Ludocrats #1 is a comic that’s fairly easy to follow. Its focus is two main characters and a variety of visual and verbal jokes. Instead of relying on boring exposition (This is actually a plot point), Gillen, Rossignol, Stokely, and Bonvillain throw you straight in the middle of the world without a life vest. This is an admirable storytelling point, and Ludocrats #1 is a true party of a comic that you should safely try to acquire when it’s released.

Story: Kieron Gillen, Jim Rossignol Art: Jeff Stokely 
Colors: Tamra Bonvillain Letters: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.7 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Batman #91

Batman #91

Action has been the name of the game for James Tynion IV‘s run on Batman. Batman #91 is a prime example of that as the various pieces of the game Tynion has created make their moves on the board.

The Designer is on the attack on multiple fronts but the comic itself opens from the Joker’s perspective. The Joker explains why he seemingly killed the Designer the last issue and from his point of view… it’s actually logical. Tynion has done the impossible in making the Joker seem like the sane one out of the bunch.

What Tynion also does is squarely plant the flag as to where his version of Batman’s head is at. There’s an amazing exchange between Batman and Deathstroke that answers so many questions and gives us a vision. We get where this Batman/Bruce is coming from and what he’s going to do about it. It also puts squarely in the center a very glaring issue with the character up to this point. Batman has spent millions on his toys but how much has Bruce spent on fixing Gotham? That’s the theme Tynion is going with and the question he is answering. He’s able to do that with some amazing action sequences.

Those sequences are delivered with a large number of artists. Rafael Albuquerque, Jorge Jimenez, Carlo Pagulayan, and Danny Miki are all credited. There’s also Tomeu Morey on colors and letterer Clayton Cowles. Even with so many artists involved, the art is consistent and solid. It wasn’t until Albuquerque’s contribution did I even notice a shift in art, and even then it’s a love of his style that had me notice. The comic is fantastic to look at with some amazing sequences where you can almost feel the motion going on.

Batman #91 is the best issue so far of this opening storyline. It delivers so much packed into one issue from interesting discussions to great action. While it’s not the best starting point, it is one hell of a comic.

Story: James Tynion IV Art: Rafael Albuquerque, Jorge Jimenez, Carlo Pagulayan, Danny Miki
Color: Tomeu Morey Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Doctor Tomorrow #2

Doctor Tomorrow #2

The universe warping origin of Doctor Tomorrow revealed in Doctor Tomorrow #2!

The menace of Hadrian threatens the entire Valiant Universe!

Doctor Tomorrow is Valiant‘s first all-ages book set within the publisher’s continuity. This issue also reminds people of Valiant’s multiverse, or introduces them to it. We learn more about Doctor Tomorrow and his relationship with Hadrian, a universe destroying being hunting for a mysterious material. The straight forward nature of the plot has been done numerous times before. It’s hero gathers allies to prevent the end of something. Tthere’s still something fresh about this book.

Writer Alehandro Arbona takes a fairly standard plot and injects a level of warmth and fun. The comic embraces the simplicity of the story. The all-ages nature of the book means the comic doesn’t rely on “edgy” cliches to sell a comic. Doctor Tomorrow #2 is a fresh nice deep breath.

There’s an innate innocence to it, which works very well in Doctor Tomorrow‘s favor.

Joining Alejandro Arbona is artist Jim Towe, colorist Diego Rodriguez and letterer by Clayton Cowles, a creative team that seem to be working together in rare synchronicity. The comic opens with a flight scene as Doctor Tomorrow tries to teach his younger self how to pilot the flight suit that they’re wearing. It’s the first honest look we get at the nature of Doctor Tomorrow’s abilities, but it also is one of the most endearing sequences I’ve read in some time. It’s also an example of just how well Towe and Rodriquez come together to illustrate this book.

Doctor Tomorrow #2 also features fan favorite Valiant characters making a long over due return to the publisher’s comics, and that has me just as excited about the story as anything else in this book. It brings the book into continuity, and introduces two of the more underused aspects of the Valiant universe.

Jim Towe’s art seems to fall more toward what you’d consider an “all-ages style”. The art feels like it came from a Saturday morning cartoon aimed toward older kids, which I love. It’s an aesthetic that fits the style and scope of the comic by being accessible without sacrificing visual storytelling. It is never difficult to follow the events of this book, with the story moving at a fair pace and the art having a bright determination that feels effortless.

I’m one of those people who tend to shy away from all-ages comics because they’re usually not part of the main continuity of whatever universe I’m following, but with Doctor Tomorrow being another Valiant book that just happens to be all ages, that excuse to avoid the comic has gone. And I’m happy about that, because if I missed this then I’d miss a slice of fun and brightness that we all need right now.

Story: Alejandro Arbona Art: Jim Towe
Colors: Diego Rodriguez Letters: Clayton Cowles

Story: 8.9 Art: 8.9 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Outlawed #1

The all-new status quo for Marvel’s teen heroes begins in Outlawed #1. A crackdown has begun on the young heroes sending a shockwave across the Marvel Universe.

Story: Eve L. Ewing
Art: Kim Jacinto
Color: Espen Grundetjern
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

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

Amazon
Kindle/comiXology
TFAW
Zeus Comics

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

A First look at a few pages from Catwoman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular!

DC is celebrating Catwoman‘s 80th anniversary this April! The character debuted alongside Batman in 1940’s Batman #1 and since has become an icon.

To honor this publishing milestone, on April 15, 2020, DC will celebrate Catwoman’s 80th anniversary with a landmark one-shot, Catwoman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1.

With about a month to go, DC has given us a tease a to what we can expect. Below are pages by Tom King, Mikel Janin, Jordie Bellaire, and Clayton Cowles. DC has also shared Joëlle Jones’ cover and Ty Templeton’s pinup from the issue.

Catwoman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1

Preview: Doctor Tomorrow #2 (of 5)

DOCTOR TOMORROW #2 (of 5)

Written by ALEJANDRO ARBONA
Art by JIM TOWE
Colors by DIEGO RODRIGUEZ
Letters by CLAYTON COWLES
Cover A by KENNETH ROCAFORT
Cover B by JIM TOWE
Cover C by CRYSSY CHEUNG
Preorder Edition Cover by HANNAH TEMPLER
On sale MARCH 18 | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

The universe warping origin of Doctor Tomorrow revealed!
The menace of Hadrian threatens the entire Valiant Universe!

DOCTOR TOMORROW #2 (of 5)

Review: Annihilation: Scourge

The Cancerverse has invaded the Negative Zone and Earth’s heroes must gather to stop the spread before it breaks into their own universe.

Annihilation: Scourge collects Annihilation: Scourge Alpha, Fantastic Four, Nova, Silver Surfer, Beta Ray Bill, and Omega.

Story: Matthew Rosenberg, Michael Moreci, Christos Gage, Dan Abnett
Art: Juanan Ramirez, Cian Tomey, Ibraim Roberson, Alberto Albuquerque, Diego Olortegui, Paul Davidson, Manuel Garcia
Color: Federico Blee, Carlos Lopez, Jay David Ramos, Erick Arciniega, Matt Milla, Rachelle Rosenberg
Ink: Juan Vlasco, Cam Smith, Scott Hanna
Letterer: Cory Petit, Joe Sabino, Travis Lanham, Clayton Cowles

Get your copy in comic shops now and bookstores on March 24! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/39RJ8Ey
Kindle/comiXology: https://amzn.to/38Ns29i
TFAW: https://shrsl.com/25zrw
Zeus Comics: https://www.zeuscomics.com/products/69085/annihilation-scourge-tp?tag=graphicpolicy

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: Dawn of X Vol. 3

Want to get into Marvel’s X-Men relaunch? They’ve made it easy with Dawn of X collections that package all of the comics of the same number!

Dawn of X Vol. 3 includes the third issue for X-Men, Marauders, Excalibur, New Mutants, X-Force, and Fallen Angels.

Story: Jonathan Hickman, Gerry Duggan, Tini Howard, Ed Brisson, Benjamin Percy, Bryan Edward Hill
Art: Leinil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan, Michele Bandini, Elisabetta D’Amico, Marcus To, Flaviano, Joshua Cassara, Szymon Kudranski
Color: Sunny Gho, Federico Blee, Erick Arciniega, Carlos Lopez, Guru-eFX, Frank D’Armata
Letterer: Clayton Cowles, Cory Petit, Travis Lanham, Joe Caramagna, Joe Sabino

Get your copy in comic shops now and bookstores on March 24! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
Kindle/comiXology
TFAW
Zeus Comics

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: Marvel #1

When “Marvels” was first pitched by Alex Ross, it was an anthology series. Now, 30 years later, his vision is finally happening.

Story: Alex Ross, Steve Darnall, Frank Espinosa, Sajan Saini, Kurt Busiek
Art: Alex Ross, Frank Espinosa, Steve Rude
Color: Steven Legge
Lettering: Josh Johnson, Clayton Cowles, Steve Rude

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

Kindle/comiXology
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: Strange Academy #1

Take the X-Men, mix it with Gotham Academy, and sprinkle it with Harry Potter and you’ve got Strange Academy #1… and that’s not a bad thing.

Story: Skottie Young
Art: Humberto Ramos
Color: Egar Delgado
Lettering: Clayton Cowles

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

Amazon
Kindle/comiXology
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

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