Tag Archives: clayton cowles

Review: The Superior Octopus #1

Doc Ock has set up shop as San Francisco’s protector, but you won’t believe his methods. Some of Otto Octavius’s new super hero strategies may make Spider-Man regret letting him free, but the good doctor swears that he’s the SUPERIOR OCTOPUS!

I really enjoyed Dan Slott’s run of Doc Ock taking over the body of Peter Parker. Even the eventual spin of Doc Ock getting a younger clone body had potential. Then there was Hydra and logically for the character it made sense in many ways. This comic though… something is off.

Written by Christos Gage, The Superior Octopus is written with dialogue that’s painful to read. Gone is Slott’s take on a character trying to be a younger person. Instead we’ve got Doc Ock trying to sound like a hero with moments that are cringeworthy to read.

A scene actually has Ock saying:

“I am a force for good, while you are tin-plated would-be despots.”

Now, I know he’s not going to be the best when it comes to relatable dialogue but this is bad, even for him. While trying to get a speech pattern that could be the classic villain, the comic treads a bit too much into cheese.

The concepts within are solid as Gage sets up a personal life outside of being a superhero, dealing with Hydra, and continuing how he thinks being a superhero should be. It’s all great in that sense. The flow though is a bit of a chore to read and one that just isn’t all that enjoyable. Great ideas, bad execution.

The art by Mike Hawthorn is ok. There’s nothing too flashy or exciting and there’s some opportunity for that if he wanted. We get battles that are interesting to watch but the character design lacks a certain detail and polish. Octavious out of costume looks off with a large head and hair that’s a bit too stiff. There’s just a polish to it all that’s missing.

There’s a back-up story from Jed McKay and art by Mark Bagley that ties into the upcoming Spider-Geddon storyline which is the best thing about the comic. It answers some questions and plays into Ock’s arrogance and self-centered aspects.

For a comic that I was sure I was going to enjoy, I’m walking away wishing I spent the time reading something else. It just misses as far as story and dialogue and the art is pretty average. There’s nothing superior at all to it except it setting up the world it will revolve around. For a title that was a sure win it’s a hell of a miss.

Story: Christos Gage, Jed McKay Art: Mike Hawthorn, Mark Bagley
Ink: Wade von Grawbadger, Craig Yeung
Color: Jordie Bellaire, Dono Sãnchez-Almara & Protobunker

Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Story: 4.0 Art: 6.5 Overall: 4.5 Recommendation: Pass

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Heroes in Crisis #1

Heroes in Crisis is the next big DC event and it kicks off today! 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 is one you don’t want to miss and is sure to sell out.

Heroes in Crisis #1 is by Tom King, Clay Mann, Tomeu Morey, Clayton Cowles, Jamie S. Rich, and Brittany Holzherr.

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: Heroes in Crisis #1

Heroes in Crisis #1 coverHeroes in Crisis #1 delivers a first issue that’s an emotional punch and continues writer Tom King‘s streak of delivering an emotional and personal experience. Inspired by the real world issue of how our soldiers handle PTSD, Heroes in Crisis ponders how does the superhero community handle it?

Enter Sanctuary, an ultra-secret place to help superheroes who’ve been traumatized by their experiences in protecting the world and fighting evil. But, what happens when this safe space is violated? Something goes wrong and heroes are dead with two individuals as the prime suspects. While the comic is a murder mystery, it’s as much about the failures of Sanctuary. There was safety. There was security. But something has gone horribly wrong and ripped that away.

King has had a knack of delivering an emotional and personal spin to his comics that have included The Omega Men, Batman, Sheriff of Babylon, and Mister Miracle. As a former CIA counterterrorism operative post-911 it’s clear that King is working through his experiences through entertainment. Each of these series seems to have a different aspect of what he’s internalized whether it’s trauma, tough decisions, or one’s role in the world. Heroes in Crisis is about heroes who have to live through violence to save the world, something that King himself most likely has experienced himself.

That personal spin to it all is one of the things that makes this stand out. The issue is split between or initial suspects who are together in a cafe and also DC trilogy of Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman. While the suspects talk and have pie, the three heroes come across the scene of the crime. And King makes sure to deliver their emotional response. That feels like it jumps off of the page. All three are shaken no matter how stoic, cool, calm, and collected we generally think of them.

The stakes are raised as well with the suspects and who is murdered. There’s some high profile characters and some lesser knowns as well. That too ups the tension of it all as we the reader realize the impact that will reverberate throughout the DC Universe.

Clay Mann provides art, Tomeu Morey on colors, and Clayton Cowles with lettering and it’s fantastic. This wouldn’t work with another artist. There’s both a beauty and horror to it all with Mann delivering just enough detail but not over the top gore. Small details like a tear tell us so much as to what happens. We piece together the horrific events through the details much like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman do.

The comic is interwoven with “single camera confessionals.” Their body language delivers as much as their words. Mann’s focus on the movement of a head or hand is key in that sense. Morey’s colors too add so much to the storytelling. There’s just a tranquil aspect to it that hides the horror within. Some panels that are just amazing to look at put together and there’s a beauty to it all. Cowles’ lettering too is spot on with extra care taken, it seems, to use as little bubbles as possible. There’s just great placement to it all that helps frames some of the scenes driving one’s eye to the center of the action. A perfect example is scenes involving Booster Gold and Harley Quinn which combine the penciling, coloring, and lettering together for a near perfect artistic experience.

While we all claim we dislike comic events, Heroes in Crisis shows that there’s little reason to stop them. They deliver a break in story that can’t be told in any one series. They can also be of a quality that entertains, shocks, and has a deeper emotional impact all at once. And, they can be personal. Heroes in Crisis shows that even event comics can be more. If King has taught us anything from his past works, it’s that we’re in for a hell of a ride.

Story: Tom King Art: Clay Mann
Color: Tomeu Morey Lettering: Clayton Cowles
Story: 9.0 Art: 10 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Mister Miracle #11

If there’s one thing popular fiction has taught us by now, it’s: never make a deal with the devil! And yet Mister Miracle is still listening when Darkseid approaches him with just such a devilish proposition-if Scott sends his newborn son to Apokolips, there will be peace on New Genesis. Since when has Darkseid been famous for his honesty?! It’ll be a miracle if this doesn’t blow up in Scott’s face.

For ten issues Mister Miracle has been amazing and confounding. The mystery has been teased for all these issues with “Darkseid Is” and how this ties into DC Universe continuity and with this issue, it all becomes clear. Writer Tom King has again and again shown that he can play the long game with stories that play out over years and this is another example with an issue that just nails it in every way.

Mister Miracle #11 is the issue that had my dropping my review copy and stating “holy shit” multiple times. It’s a rollercoaster of an issue that toys with your emotions and throughout packs such a punch. I rarely vocally react to comics and this one had me reacting out loud multiple times. It’s hard to review it without spoiling things.

King has put together the penultimate issue of this series and delivered such a reveal at the end that it’ll leave you questioning the entire series and wanting to go back to the beginning to reread. This is a comic series that begs to be reread multiple times.

King also nails the emotional aspects of it all. Barda and Scott’s quandry as to what they should do with Jacob is heartwrenching and as a new father, I felt myself sucked in emotionally. Often comics are measured in how you relate to them at the time and new parents or soon to be parents (parents in general) will appreciate this one on a whole other level. There’s an emotional play that’s perfectly executed.

Mitch Gerads‘ art is exciting sticking to the usual nine panel page layouts with little variation. But, what Gerads does that’s truly impressive is take us on a visual rollercoaster. King’s story would be exciting but to see the physical toll of it all can only be delivered visually. Like the last issue, every nuanced movement tells so much as to where our heroes stand. Gerads has an impressive ability to focus on subtle body language to tell you so much more.

This is a hell of an issue and maybe the best reveal in comics in the last decade. This series has been impressive up to this point but this issue cements the maxiseries as a modern classic. With one more issue to go to explain and wrap it all up, this is the true climax that will set up an emotional finale.

Story: Tom King Art: Mitch Gerads
Letterer: Clayton Cowles Cover Art: Nick Derington

Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Infinity Wars: Soldier Supreme #1

Out this Wednesday is the next chapter in Infinity Wars and the first of Infinity Warps! It’s Captain America mashed together with Doctor Strange!

Infinity Wars: Soldier Supreme #1 is by Gerry Duggan, Adam Kubert, Matthew Wilson, VC’s Clayton Cowles, Humberto Ramos, Edgar Delgado, Morry Hollowell, Annalise Bissa, and Jordan D. White.

Get your copy in comic shops starting this Wednesday. 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

 

Marvel 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 Superior Spider-Man The Complete Collection Vol. 2

Out now is The Superior Spider-Man The Complete Collection Vol. 2 which collects issues #17-31 and Annual #1-2, the adventures of Doc Ock in the body of Peter Parker!

The Superior Spider-Man The Complete Collection Vol. 2 is by Dan Slott, Ryan Stegman, Livesay, Edgar Delgado, Chris Eliopoulos, Jason Howard, Humberto Ramons, Javier Rodriguez, Marcos Martin, Victor Olazaba, Alvaro Lopez, Giuseppe Camuncoli, John Dell, Antonio Fabela, Terry Pallot, Alvaro Lopez, J.G. Jones, Laura Martin, Christos Gage, Will Sliney, Philip Briones, Clayton Cowles, Mike Del Mundo, Ellie Pule, Stephen Wacker, and Nick Lowe.

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 or TFAW

 

 

Marvel 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: Infinity Countdown Companion

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 collected companion to Infinity Countdown.

Infinity Countdown Companion features Infinity Countdown: Black Widow #1, Captain Marvel #1, Daredevil #1, and Champions #1-2 by Jim McCann, Diego Olortegui, Erick Arciniega, Clayton Cowles, Inhyuk Lee, Gerry Duggan, Chris Sprouse, Phil Noto, Lee Ferguson, Scott Hanna, Karl Story, Matt Yackey, Clayton Crain, Jim Zub, Emilio Laiso, Andy Troy, Nik Virella, Brent Schoonover, Cris Peter, and Yasmine Putri.

Get your copy in comic shops today and book stores on September 18. 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

 

Marvel 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: Star Wars: Thrawn

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 Star Wars: Thrawn based on the novel by Timothy Zahn.

Star Wars: Thrawn is written by Jody Houser, art by Luke Ross, color by Nolan Woodard, lettering by VC’s Clayton Cowles.

Get your copy in comic shops and book stores 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

 

Marvel 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: Death of the Inhumans #3

Out now in stores is the next fantastic chapter of “Death of the Inhumans!” This event series is brought to you by writer Donny Cates, artist Ariel Olivetti, colorist Jordie Bellaire, and letterer VC’s Clayton Cowles.

Get it 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 or TFAW

 

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: Thanos Legacy #1

Rising star Donny Cates returns to the Mad Titan to bring the story bridging the gap between his best-selling “Thanos Wins” and the world-shattering Infinity Wars! How did Thanos’ journey back from the future lead to the events of Infinity Wars Prime? Now it can be told!

A video review of Thanos Legacy #1 (SOME SPOILERS, BUT MARVEL ALREADY SPOILED!)

Story: Donny Cates, Gerry Duggan Art: Brian Level, Cory Smith
Cover Art: Geoff Shaw
Color: Jordan Boyd, Ruth Redmond Letterer: Clayton Cowles

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