Tag Archives: comic books

Review: X-Men: Gold #14

Brood and Dark Phoenix and Mojo – Oh my! The Mojoverse continues its bizarre invasion of Manhattan! With reality-warping resources at the tips of his gross fingers, Mojo may finally have the upper hand against our beloved mutants…

X-Men: Gold #14 is the third part of “Mojo Worldwide” which celebrates Marvel Legacy by taking us through the “X” history through a series of short segments and scenes as Mojo attempts to challenge them and get ratings.

Written by Marc Guggenheim, the comic feels a little like classic Mojo stories but taking the characters through so many eras of X-Men, the story choice feels odd in that it doesn’t have time to establish each team to new readers and we already saw the different “X” era in Secret Wars in 2015. It feels like we have a retread in story not even two years later. The comic itself is entertaining and there’s a lot packed in as Guggenheim has to balance so many different characters.

The art by Marc Laming is good though doesn’t quite blow me away. There’s some solid looking moments but overall the art doesn’t quite blow me away. It’s good, not great. There’s moments that feel like Laming is doing his best to mimic the stories he’s covering but the original art usually stands out and this falls short due to that.

While “Mojo Worldwide” is decent, it doesn’t blow me away. There’s lots of untapped potential in a story about a bloviating egomaniac crazy about ratings. The story just hasn’t quite gotten there and feels like it won’t commit and go all the way. Even the stunt of killing one character in the storyline feels empty as we’re not given any opportunity to connect up to the point.

While I was enjoy X-Men: Gold #14, Marvel Legacy and the previous event has veered a little and taken some of the shine off. It’s not bad but it’s also not quite exciting enough that it’s one of the first things I run to read like I used to for X comics. Hopefully after this we’ll get a focus on the characters which usually makes the series the strongest. Right now, it feels a bit empty, like Mojo’s shows. All flash, little heart.

Story: Marc Guggenheim Art: Marc Laming Cover Art: Dan Mora
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Cable #150

The time-traveling mutant known as Cable has made it his one-man mission to preserve all of time itself.  But when a disturbance in the timestream sends Cable back to the recent past, he’ll find a mutant killer he won’t be able to handle alone. Cable’s led teams of X-Men before and he’ll have to turn to some old allies and new friends to stop this deadly threat. Get ready for the newer New Mutants!

The murder of an time anomaly leads to an investigation by Cable helped by Longshot and from there we’ve got Cable #150. Written by Ed Brisson the issue is a fun start that has a bit of a vibe of the 90s X-Men, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The issue is Cable bringing his team together and you can see some of them in the image to the left. There’s some fun choices here and by the end of the issue it’s only a fraction of the team though.

The issue definitely digs into the 90s with the story revolving around the Eternals (and on again/off again concept it feels like) and while the comic says “Cable” it’s a team book right now.

Brisson keeps the story flowing nicely with a solid build to the eventual action towards the end of the comic. There’s a solid mix of humor and the personalities should mesh quite well.

The art by Jon Malin is really good and definitely has a Liefeld-esque style about it all. There’s only a few panels where the depth of something seemed a little weird (again feels like the 90s and impossibly thin guns). But, it’s some of the best X art I’ve seen in some time.

The backup story by Robbie Thompson takes us through Cable’s history and condenses the convoluted intertwining stories into something that makes sense. The art by Mark Bagley is hit and miss which has been an issue with the backup stories.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of this series since its reboot but this is the shot in the arm it needed. I want to see where it goes now and can’t wait to see where the rest of the team comes from. A solid start that does what Marvel Legacy is supposed to do, get me to want to read more.

Story: Ed Brisson and Robbie Thompson Art: Jon Malin and Mark Bagley
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.45 Overall: 8.35 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Champions #13

The titanic clash between the Champions and the Avengers continues! Since they were old enough to say the word “Avengers,” the Champions have idolized Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Now the two teams are on equal footing – and the Champs must walk the walk alongside their former mentors! Will their experiences in GENERATIONS help them – or tear the two teams apart?

Champions #13 is the second part to the “Worlds Collide” storyline that began in Avengers #672 and the second issue is a bit more focused on the action and teamwork than how folks get along. Written by Mark Waid the issue isn’t bad but much like the previous story arc issue, there isn’t something that really excites me. The issue isn’t bad at all and is a fun read but it’s not quite exciting enough to get me to really look forward to what’s next. It’s a perfectly entertaining read though.

The various folks need to head around the world to deal with the vibrations going on and there’s some good interactions there. The “you’re a junior Avenger” is gone and instead this is power sets being used together type stuff. We also get a little bit more of the major issue as… well I don’t want to ruin it, but it also feels like we’ve seen this all before with the whole “incursions” that led up to Secret Wars. So, the story feels a little familiar.

There is some really good in the issue in that Waid explores the relationship of Viv and the Vision and along with some of the other interactions there’s a decent injection of humor through all of the action.

The art by Humberto Ramos is pretty solid as would be expected by him. There’s some panels where there’s a lot going on and things are a little muddled but generally I’m a huge fan of the style. Ramos’ style adds to the energy of it all and is great to look at.

Writer Robbie Thompson and artist Alberto Alburquerque provide a back-up story catching folks up on the Champions history and the art is a little blah compared to Ramos’ It’s still a good way to catch up on the history in the big picture view of it all.

The issue is entertaining and while it didn’t blow me away, it was fun enough to have me come back to read what comes next.

Story: Mark Waid and Robbie Thompson Art: Humberto Ramos and Alberto Alburquerque
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Faith And The Future Force #4

FFF_004_VARIANT_CHEUNG“Bloodshot was a bust… Divinity didn’t work… Ninjak was nixed… No matter which of the Valiant Universe’s greatest heroes she recruits to her aid, Faith still can’t save the time stream! With time literally running out all around her, does L.A.’s sky-soaring superhero have what it takes to defend the entire universe…or will the secret key to saving existence itself come from the most darkest and most unexplored avenue of all?”

Well  this was an unexpected conclusion. When the combined might of the Valiant universe fails to save history, Faith, Neela Sethi and Ank try one last hail Mary – and it’s not exactly what you’d expect.

Faith And The Future Force has been a subtly intelligent series that subverts the industry established conventions that bigger and stronger heroes are needed as things get worse and the damage worsens. By having three comics in the four issue miniseries essentially tell the same story Jody Houser both pokes a little fun at the yearly summer events from the “Big Two” publishers while providing her own unique solution in the fourth issue; at some point we’ve got to learn that doing the same damn thing all the time just doesn’t work. To borrow a famous slogan, sometimes we need to think different.

To drive home the shift in thinking from the first three issues to the fourth, the art of Cary Nord (with Brian Thies) brings a different style to the story that is a little noticeable after the relative consistency of the first three issues, but that’s the entire point isn’t it? Although there is a scrappy feeling to the  artwork, it’s still very easy to follow the story –  it won’t leave your jaw on the floor, but there’s nothing inherently bad about the visuals this issue.

Where the comic does stumble is actually in some of the believability of the characters actions as they seem to just accept things without thinking too much about the whys. Granted this could be Houser making a clever point that I’m too dense to follow.

Ultimately the comic, and series as a whole, triumphs over the flaws in this issue – and while this could have easily been another arc within the ongoing Faith series, you’re not going to be lost if you’ve never touched the previous material as Faith And The Future Force stands alone as an entertaining story with a meta message.

Story: Jody Houser Art: Cary Nord with Brian Thies Colourist: Ulises Arreola
Story: 8.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy (the trade)

Valiant provided Graphic Policy a FREE copy for review – but I’m still buying this.

Review: Transformers: Lost Light #10

Homecoming! First Aid, the Autobots’ Chief Medical Officer, returns to the Lost Light to find that everything has changed: the ship is now under the command of the treacherous Getaway, half of his closest friends are missing, and – most shocking of all – the crew is actually making progress…

Transformers: Lost Light #10 answers the question as to what the mutinous crew under Getaway have been up to. The issue is rather ominous with a horror vibe tone, and then we get to the end of the episode and we get to see the brilliance of the issue.

Written by James Roberts, it’s difficult to completely review the issue and its amazingness without spoiling why and it’s best to experience the comic on your own.

Throughout the issue we follow First Aid as he, and his crew, explore the Lost Light and attempt to figure out what happened to Rodimus and its members. We know what has happened and know things aren’t right but Roberts still infuses the issue with a tenseness about it all. It build and builds until the reveal which may be one of the best twists I’ve read in a comic all year. The writing by Roberts is fantastic and how the issue is plotted becomes even more impressive when you get to that twist.

The art by Jack Lawrence is great and each Transformer is unique and has personality of their own. The fact so much tension and emotion is brought forth isn’t just Roberts’ writing but also has a lot to do with Lawrence’s art which enhances it all with the positioning of the characters and what emotion can be delivered in their faces and bodies. This is also a crew with variety in their looks and styles.

The issue is good and then you get to the end and it all becomes clear as to what’s going on. The rug is pulled out from under the reader and it goes from good to amazing. This is one of the best comics I read this week and one of the most fun I’ve read all year.

Story: James Roberts Art: Jack Lawrence
Story: 10 Art: 8.25 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Batman #33

Following his marriage proposal to Catwoman, Batman leaves Gotham City on a quest of renewal and redemption. As he travels and fights, he encounters members of his family-each disturbed by Batman’s journey, each ready to stand in his way, each ready to push back against Batman’s stubborn determination to evolve into something better than a superhero.

Artist Joëlle Jones joins writer Tom King for the first part of the new story arc “A Dream of Me” which sees the Bat and Cat on a journey… but to where? By the end of the issue it’s clear exactly what’s going on and makes sense considering the engagement of these two. The issue though feels like a prelude and a rather slow one at that. We get a lot of small details to examine and interpret, something King has done throughout his run, but the comic itself is generally sparse in both story and art. This is a much more dialed back issue, especially compared to last arc’s “War of Jokes and Riddles.”

What’s interesting is Jones’ art which for most of the issue is fantastic and it’s great to see her on a high profile book. Where things go a bit sideways is in her depiction of some characters, particularly the Robins. Damian, Dick, and Jason all look too much alike and it’s hard to tell them apart at times. Alfred too looks a bit different than his normal depiction which feels a bit off. But, beyond that, the art is fantastic and shows Jones should be given more high profile comics down the road.

The comic is an interesting one and in some ways continues the fantastic story King has set up but in other ways things feel like a trip. This is a prelude in every way and sets up… something that could be interesting. King has proven he can do thought provoking before and this looks like it’ll be that sort of arc. A step back but still an entertaining read.

Story: Tom King Art: Joëlle Jones
Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Batman: The Drowned #1

As the events of Dark Nights: Metal rock the DC Universe, the creatures of the Dark Multiverse stand ready to invade our world! How can even the World’s Greatest Heroes stop a horde of deadly beings that appear to be powerful, nightmare versions of familiar figures?

DC Comics has been knocking it out of the bark with Dark Nights: Metal and with each spin-off the nightmarish Batmen from the Dark Multiverse have gained depth. Writer Dan Abnett adds depth to this Batman/Aquaman hybrid in Batman: The Drowned creating a character that has motivation, cause, a backstory, and is pretty badass. He also adds some material from his Aquaman run that creates an even more exciting read for fans of his run there.

While the motivations of The Drowned are simple, dead lover, the story itself is just full of dread that amps up as the action builds and by the end of the story, this is a villain that we have some sympathy for but also someone we don’t want to cross.

Abnett’s writing is helped by Philip Tan whose art is amazing with a use of panels that create a flow that I haven’t seen in two many comics. This isn’t a flow in the reading, this is a literal blow where a blast of water on one page feels like it’s knocking panels away on another. You can see an example of this below where the blast knocks the panels on the right away. That use of panels is a detail in the comic that enhances the storytelling.

Dark Nights feels like it’s getting better and better the more it goes on and these one-shots have helped make that the case by adding depth to each of these new villains. They’re stories that can’t fit in the main series but need to be told. Abnett and Tan deliver an issue that gives us everything we need packed into one comic. It’s a prime example that you don’t need to drag things out over multiple issues and spin-offs. This is how a comic should be and why Dark Nights: Metal is shaping up to be one of the best events in a long time.

Story: Dan Abnett Art: Philip Tan Cover Art: Jason Fabok
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: InferNoct #1

Infernoct-1Sometimes a comic comes across your proverbial desk that you have no sweet clue what it’s about other than who it was published by and the issue number. Such is the case with InferNoct #1, published by Scout Comics and written by Mina Elwell who’s join by artist Eli Powell, colourist Tristan Elwell and letterer Marshall Dillon. At this point you now know more about this issue than I did when I picked it up, and in some ways that’s the best way to go into this comic, so I won’t talk about specific plot points or story aspects in this review.

InferNoct exudes atmospheric mood so thick that you can feel it seeping into your nose and down into your gullet where it swirls around for a bit before you’re able to catch a breath… and the cycle continues once again. This is a very good thing, especially for a comic that hovers somewhere around the horror tinged thriller corner of comics (which also feels like a gross over simplification of the comic).  The story telling is fantastically well paced, and reveals just enough to invest you in the story as you question just what the frag is going on. Believe me when I say this requires multiple reads.

This is an incredibly interesting and entertaining issue that has me more excited for the next issue than a lot of other, uh, generational comics that are also coming out at the moment. In fact, I made the comparison to a friend recently that InferNoct #1 would be the museum full of comic book art and history compared to the blank wall of the other comic. This has a unique freshness about it that pulls me in like no comic has since I read my first Valiant comic some three years ago. I’m all in for this series.

Story: Mina Elwell Art: Eli Powell
Colours: Tristan Elwell Letterer: Marshall Dillon
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5

Scout Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day! What’s everyone getting? What are you excited for? Sound off in the comments below! While you wait for shops to open, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

The Beat – SDCC organizers hire Adam Smith to run their comcis center – Should be interesting to see where this all goes.

ICv2 – Marvel CCO Asks for Help Retrieving Stolen Art – If you can help, please do!

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Attack – Catalyst Prime: Astonisher #1

The Beat – The Once and Future Queen Vol. 1

Newsarama – Sherlock Frankenstein & the Legion of Evil #1

 

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