Tag Archives: Comics

Legends Collide When Wonder Woman and Conan Meet

The wondrous Diana of Themyscira comes face to face with the Cimmerian barbarian Conan in a new miniseries this fall—Wonder Woman/Conan. DC Comics and Dark Horse have teamed up for a crossover of epic proportions, bringing back fan-favorite Wonder Woman writer Gail Simone and Wonder Woman artist Aaron Lopresti for an adventure unlike anything seen before—a collision of legends.

Our tale begins as Conan the Barbarian arrives on the shores of an unknown land, and soon meets the world’s most fearsome arena fighter—Wonder Woman. Ill-fated circumstances force them both into slavery. As they attempt to free themselves from the grips of the rich and powerful slave-owner Dellos, a dark magic descends upon their land, a presence that wants to destroy them both. But who has the might to stop the most talented gladiators who have ever existed?

Wonder Woman has been a pivotal character in the DC Universe for over 75 years as a member of the Trinity and the Justice League, and as a notable icon around the world. Conan the Barbarian, similarly, has long been an important character since his creation 85 years ago. Dark Horse has been publishing Conan stories since 2003, and new and exciting tales continue to hit shelves.

A tale of myths and magic, Simone and Lopresti bring to life a new world for these two heroes—weaving a story of fantasy, mythos and adventure. The six-issue saga begins September 20.

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Preview: Zodiac Starforce: Cries of the Fire Prince #1

Zodiac Starforce: Cries of the Fire Prince #1

Story: Kevin Panetta
Art: Paulina Ganucheau

An elite group of teenage girls with magical powers have sworn to protect our planet against dark creatures . . . as long as they can get out of class! Known as the Zodiac Starforce, these high-school girls aren’t just combating math tests–they re also battling monsters!

After defeating a former ZS member and her mean-girl minions, the girls thought they d get a little break! But a new big bad s come out to play, and demons are starting to overrun the downtown!

Review: Predator Hunters #2

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Two privately owned islands in the South Pacific. One an idyllic paradise overseen by a benevolent doctor, the other a jungle hell where monsters rule. The Predator hunters have come looking for big game, but it’s the traps you never expect that will kill you…

Predator Hunters #2 relies heavily on flashbacks. That focus helps to solidify some of the characters’ backgrounds aboard the ship giving us more depth and an idea of what to expect. It also shows us the various reasons why they decided to hunt the galaxy’s deadliest hunter. There is a big reveal in that a Predator has a hunting sanctuary on Earth. Which does beg one small question, how long has it been here?

The art manages to portray past and present as the plot shifts and makes it easy to determine when we are in the story. There is also some solid short hand to hand combat scenes as the crew preps for its hunt which primes the series for the eventual battle to come. I’m curious to see how that is useful against a Predator.

I am a bit curious to see how useful that is against a Predator.

Story: Chris Warner Art: Francisco Ruiz Velasco
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Aliens: Dead Orbit #2

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Having narrowly escaped the deadly xenomorph, Wascylewski moves around the hold of the ship, wary of his terrifying pursuer. His reflexes are tested again—but this time, by a sudden, massive breach in the hull. Will he survive?

Written by James Stokoe, Aliens: Dead Orbit #2 reveals what caused Wascylewski’s current situation and how the Aliens got on board. He also manages to reveal some of the events that happened on the ship they found in the past. Given how cryptic some of the information they found is, begs a lot of questions. Yet one manages to stand out, will who that ship was working for show up?

The art style by Stokoe amps up the gore tremendously. Especially as the larva stage of the alien appears. He manages to show the sheer agony of the process in superb fashion. Yet it also manages to show the sheer distress of Wascylewski well as things continue to worsen.

Story: James Stokoe Art: James Stokoe
Story: 8.5 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Mini Reviews: Dept. H, American Monster, The Howling, Smoketown, and more!

Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling short reviews from the staff of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full review for.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.


Christopher

Dept H. #14 (Dark Horse) – Unable to return to the surface, the surviving crew of Dept. H must make some difficult choices, with air and livable space at a premium. Will they have to sacrifice one of their own in order for the rest to survive? Meanwhile, we begin to see the larger role that Verve has played in the fate of our crew.Things are beginning to look up, as someone self-sacrifices to get the rest of the crew to the surface. Yet that still doesn’t answer who kills Mia’s father. Given they have two issue still to come, I hope they manage to answer that. Since that has been the lingering question throughout. Overall the story and art continue to impress. Merging both past and present. Writer and Artist: Matt Kindt Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

 

Ryan

Dead Inside #5 (Dark Horse)* – A thoroughly satisfying conclusion to John Arcudi and Toni Fejzula’s prison murder mystery complete with a Tarantino-esque Mexican stand-off on steroids? This is pretty much why I love comics in a nutshell. Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

American Monster #6 (Aftershock)* – Just when you think that all Brian Azzarello is capable of these days is mailing it in, along comes the second arc of this amazingly depraved series complete with Juan Doe’s usual gorgeous, eye-popping artwork. Every single character here is a reprobate — even those who only show up for a page or two such as the couple splitting up at the start of this issue — and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Lots of moving pieces and subplots within subplots going on here, so it pays to give every single word and ever single image very close attention indeed. Heady stuff, to say the least. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

The Flash # 22 (DC Comics)* – So, “The Button” began with the death of the Reverse-Flash and ends with — the death of the Reverse-Flash? So, what was all that bullshit in between about, then? Spoiler time: Joshua Williamson and Howard Porter — at the behest of their editors, no doubt — contrive a way to bring back Jay Garrick for a few pages before exiling him off into the Speed Force again, and Dr. Manhattan goes from looming over events off-page to looming over events on-page, but if you’re looking for anything resembling a resolution, look elsewhere: this is pure set-up for DC’s sure-to-suck “Doomsday Clock” mini-series that will finally see the Big Blue-Vs.-Superman punch-up that none of us in our right minds ever wanted to come to fruition. Kill me now, please. Or better yet, kill this whole “Watchmen-Vs.-DCU” idea before it goes any further. I know, I know, it’s too late for that vain wish to come true, but still, one can live in hope. Overall: 1.0 Recommendation: Pass

Batman #23 (DC Comics)* – Seemingly out of left field, Tom King delivers the stand-alone story that almost makes the rest of his hugely disappointing run on this title worthwhile. Seeing the Dark Knight team up with Swamp Thing is always great, but King’s take on the former Alec Holland goes well above and beyond, giving us the best iteration of the character since a certain bearded gentleman from England, and Mitch Gerads’ art — apart from a couple of goofy-looking pictures of Batman on the last page — is just plain incredible. Both a moving tribute to Bernie Wrightson and a heartfelt rumination on the relationship between fathers and sons, this is straight-up comic book magic, not to be missed under any circumstances. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

 

Allie

Night Owl Society #2 (IDW Publishing) – I had hopes for this. Not high hopes but hopes. Sadly, Night Owl Society #2 let me down again. As I mentioned in my review before, the writing and story presented here is bland and predictable. The main character has no redeeming qualities and the foils around him are all two-dimensional. Simply put, there’s just no reason to put any emotional stock behind these characters and reading made it feel like it was just a matter of when the “twists” would come less than what they would be. All in all, another disappointment that makes me want to drop the series entirely, if for no other reason than that I can probably call the ending right now. Recommendation: Hard Pass

 

Patrick

Nancy Drew & the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie #3 (Dynamite) – I finally nailed what’s been bothering me about this competently-written, competently-drawn series: it’s trying SO HARD to be Noir, when the actual genre of the Hardy Boys novels is Procedural. The former assumes that nothing can be solved; the latter assumes that every crime can be solved with the application of reason, science, and intelligence. So the mixing of the two genres could be interesting – but they just don’t dig in deep enough. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass

Will Eisner’s The Spirit: Corpsemakers #3 (Dynamite) – Normally I love Fernando Francavilla, and the Black Beetle is a favorite. But maybe I’ve just read too many Spirit stories, so anything more than 8 pages gets too far away from the Platonic ideal of Eisnerian. I had the same problem with the Cooke/Bone/etc version a while back. It’s also devilishly hard for us goyim to really nail the Yiddishkeit of the originals – that combination of pathos and humor, romance and tragedy. Overall 7.0 (because Francavilla after all) Recommendation: Pass

Smoketown #2 (Scout Comics) – As an Army brat, I’m always happy to see stories that explore the life of military personnel and the demands that are made of them without most civilians really understanding what we’re asking them to do. Writer Philip Kennedy Johnson does a pretty good job with this crime fiction of a soldier returned from Afghanistan and the demands that his new civilian life makes of him, without understanding what has happened to him and what he’s dealing with. Artist Scott Van Domelen is also pretty good here, though still I think in a no man’s land between graphically flashy and kitchen-sink drama (I can’t help but compare his war sequences to Leandro Fernandez on The Old Guard). There’s something there, but not quite there yet. Overall 7.5 Recommendation: Read

The Howling #1 (Space Goat Productions) – Try as they did to recap the 1981 movie in the first few pages to bring us up to speed for this sequel, I found myself having to go back and rewatch it. So how does writer Micky Neilson and artist Jason Johnson’s work stack up? Pretty poorly. The original movie at least had something to say about the end of the 70’s, California cults, and the beginning of the 80’s fascination with the media. But this comic is just another werewolf story, and not even a particularly scary one at that. The writing is paint-by-numbers and the art is just too well-lit and neatly-delineated for the genre. Overall: 4.0 Recommendation: Pass (but do watch the movie!)

 

Shean

Star Trek TNG: Mirror Broken #1 (IDW Publishing) – In this debut issue of the Mirror Universe implications for the TNG crew, what one finds is a much more sinister and cynical crew. We find a muscle bound Picard wanting to climb the ladder in rank but is stuck on a ship called the Stargazer. While at HQ, he stumbles upon what looks like plans for a new class of ship. He recruits Laforge into his dastardly evil plans and gives the reader, a familiar sight on the horizon. Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Review: Aliens: Defiance #11

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The mangled Europa is in a state of free fall in Earth’s atmosphere with Zula, Davis, Hollis, and a previously frozen xenomorph onboard. Davis battles the alien threat while Hollis and Zula scramble to the escape hatch. Impact is unavoidable; survival is doubtful.

After all of the intense action Aliens: Defiance #11 returns us to Earth. As one might expect, things don’t go according to plan for Zula or Hollis. Despite Zula’s agreement with her doctor, they both find themselves under arrest. I think they’re only being kept alive to be used as scapegoats for the mission being a failure. I’m curious to see how this plays out for both Hollis and Zula.

The art style shifts some to something more grounded which makes sense considering the setting. The flashbacks do come off as confusing though they are intriguing. Unfortunately that all seems out of place. It feels like it builds in the mystery making me wonder if there are more to them than it appears.

Story: Brian Wood Art: Stephen Thompson
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Ether #3

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Boone is investigating a murder mystery in another dimension. The Blaze was a great hero of the Ether, sworn protector of the weak. Her murder was an attack on the Ether itself. As Boone hunts for clues to solve the crime, he makes powerful enemies and unexpected allies.

More of the world of Ether is revealed as characters find answers to one of the many burning questions. Yet, in the process of doing so, he only finds more questions. Even the flashback scene at the ends up leaving you with one other question. Writer Matt Kindt is definitely creating one hell of a mystery with this one.

The half-mechanical, half magical golem is an interesting sight from artist David Rubin. The brief peek of how it works is interesting and some solid art. The Faerie Kingdom is a unique place, from what is seen and revealed. Rubin does a great job creating distinguishing the cities in the Ether giving each a unique style all their own.

Story: Matt Kindt Art: David Rubin
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Dark Horse and Nelvana Partner for “Mysticons”

Corus Entertainment’s Nelvanab announced yesterday a licensing agreement with Dark Horse Comics. Dark Horse will produce a series of graphic novels based on Nelvana’s original animated action series, Mysticons. Set to be released late summer 2018, the graphic novels follow the epic tale of four unexpected heroes who transform into legendary warriors and undertake a mythic quest to save the world.

Dark Horse’s Shantel LaRocque will act as editor on the Mysticons graphic novel series. Having previously worked on titles such as Hellboy, B.P.R.D., Fight Club 2, Rexodus, and David Mack’s Kabuki, LaRocque brings a great knowledge of comics and genre fiction to the project.

Mysticons is slated to premiere on Nickelodeon in the U.S. this Summer and on Corus’ TELETOON network in Canada this Fall. The series is produced by Nelvana Limited, with Steven A. Cohen and Noel Bright executive producing for The Topps Company and Scott Dyer and Irene Weibel executive producing for Nelvana. Sean Jara is Creator, Writer and Executive Story Editor for the series.

Review: Alien vs Predator: Life and Death #4

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On LV-223, it’s the last stand for the Colonial Marines—and their Predator allies—against an overwhelming army of Alien warriors determined to protect their new queen. Only one thing can stop them . . . and it’s the last thing anybody wants!

Alien vs Predator: Life and Death #4 gives us an explosive climax that ends this part of the massive “Life and Death” story arc. The cover slightly spoils things a little, but not all of it. Now that the aliens and predators have fled, will the remaining humans survive the wait for rescue, or will they die? With only one issue remaining, I can’t wait to see what happens at the end as writer Dan Abnett has delivered with this series.

Like previous issues, the art by Brian Thies is polished and desolate in ways. Thies’ art feels like it focuses on more Chris’s actions including some interesting speeches about the power of love. I’m curious to see how the art will amplify the ending of the story arc.

Story: Dan Abnett Art: Brian Thies
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Mini Reviews: Harrow County, The Fix, Grass Kings, and More

Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling short reviews from the staff of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full review for.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.


Ryan

Harrow County #23 (Dark Horse)* – Cullen Bunn’s storyline takes another interesting, if tentative, lurch forward here as tensions continue to mount between our protagonist and her one-time best friend, but is the real danger to both youg ladies yet to make itself fully known? Tyler Crook’s art remains, as ever, darkly lush and evocative. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Grass Kings #3 (BOOM! Studios)* – The least involving chapter to date in Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins’ still-young narrative is still a damn fine read and provides some explanation about who our “mystery guest” is while hinting at the trouble she’s about to bring down around the heads of everyoe in the so-called “Grass Kingdom.” The gorgeous watercolor art remains the star of the show here, but the whole story-and-art package is a wonderfully seamless affair. Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

The Fix #9 (Image Comics)* – I still laugh my ass off at every issue of Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber’s yarn about fuck-up crooked cops, but this chapter continues the trend of far less dense, more “decompressed” storytelling that’s taken hold in recent installments, and while admitting up-front that you’re openly swiping from “L.A. Confidential” is a clever enough way to address the elephant in the room, it doesn’t change the simple fact that derivative stuff is — well, derivative stuff. Lieber’s art is starting to look as rushed as the scripts, too. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read

Copperhead #13 (Image Comics)* – The intrigue surrounding the sheriff and her new boss/.former subordinate continues to deepen, as does the murder mystery surrounding the former mayor, but last issue’s cliffhanger is revealed to be a whole lot of nothing right off the bat, which feels like more than a bit of a cheat, so I’ve gotta kncok this down a notch for that. On the whole, though, Jay Faerber’s scripts continue to impress and Drew Moss is starting to grow on me (Get it? Moss? Grow? Okay, so it’s not really very funny) in his role as artist, but truth be told, I’ll always miss Scott Godlewski. Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

 

 

 

Elana

Bug: The Adventures of Forager #1 (DC Comics) Team Allred doing Jack Kirby’s Fourth World is a match made on New Genesis. They truly inhabit his dynamic visual style that is the most Comics of all. I am excited to see a story that is both written and drawn by this team.

The creative visual metaphors we get are clearly the product of visual storytellers. This story questions social control and the perhaps impossible dream of self determination and freedom. It is rich with references to the full Forth World canon but the visuals are stunning in their own right so newbies will love it. There is so much visual storytelling per page it demands re-reading. I love it. Overall 9.0 Recommendation: Buy it. Frame it.


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

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