Tag Archives: Comics

Cyber Force Returns in March 2018

Overseen by creator Marc Silvestri, writers Matt Hawkins and Bryan Hill and artist Atilio Rojo will relaunch the classic series Cyber Force this March.

To protect the future, what will we become?

In a modern world where humanity is defined by the technology it creates, a terrorist strikes at the heart of human progress. One of the few survivors of the attack is a man named Morgan Stryker.

Mortally wounded, Stryker’s life is saved by his employers…but the price of his survival could be his humanity itself.

Cyber Force will launch in March 2018.

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 12/10

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.

 


Logan

No1WithABullet_02-1.pngIceman #8 (Marvel) Having not one, but two Icemen spices up Sina Grace’s banter starting with a hilarious scene where they talk about boys while an unnamed Pyro spouts off banal dialogue about mutant rights. Artist Robert Gill really sells the scene by having ice golems beat the bad guy up in the background while young and old Iceman have a heart to heart. Speaking of heart to heart, the tension between Iceman and his parents continues as they see young Iceman as a chance to get things “right”. It’s emotionally difficult, but bolstered by plenty of jokes, boy drama, and Gill’s beefcake take on Daken, who is likely going to play a role in future issues. Overall: 8.1 Verdict: Buy

No. 1 with a Bullet #2 (Image) Jacob Semahn, Jorge Corona, and Jen Hickman really hit their stride in No. 1 with a Bullet #2 by exploring the emotional fallout of a sex video of protagonist Nash Huang and her boss leaking via high tech contact lens cameras. Corona uses close-ups and Hickman uses clashing colors to show Nash’s feelings of sadness and rage in a character driven issue that deals with the real life problem that men think they’re entitled to women’s bodies. In light of the sexual abuse of men like Harvey Weinstein and more, this is tough, yet important read and looks at real world issues in an empathetic way through the lens of the horror and sci-fi genres. It also has a hell of a cliffhanger. Overall: 8.9 Verdict: Buy

Sheaniron fist 75.jpg

Iron Fist #75 (Marvel) As the battle Royale rages on, Choshin, Constructor as well as Sabretooth kick heads, as it is every man for himself.As Sabretooth and Iron Fist catches up with Constrictor, they find someone else wearing his costume, who has a whole separate agenda. Choshin unfortunately gts his hands on the Book of the Iron Fist and unleashes some ungodly evil.By issue’s end, our heroes and Choshin’s goons arrive in KunLun, making it one step closer to taking down the Iron Fist once and for all. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Spirits of Vengeance #3 (Marvel) Right from the onset of this issue, we feel an origin story for “Blood Money”, as it goes all the way back to Judah and his thirty pieces of silver.This issue also serves as an introduction to our villain, Nacrodamus, which is the most powerful evil the Spirits of Vengeance has ever seen. Our heroes venture into the underworld through an ancient gateway, Port Brimstone.By issues end, they enter a barlooking much like the Most Eisley Cantina, except with demons galore in place of aliens, finding the very person who Judas the silver pieces. Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy

Ryan C

GravediggersUnion_02-1The Fix #10 (Image)**  Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber return after a long hiatus with an issue that, frankly, shows plenty of rust. There’s a few laughs, but the overall tone and tenor of the book seems a shadow of its former self, scripting and art both seem a little lazy, and the cliffhanger is bog-standard “let’s see how he gets out of this one” stuff. Overall: 4 Recommendation: Pass

The Gravediggers Union #2 (Image)** Wes Craig and Toby Cypress continue to impress with their nascent series, as this second issue serves up more eye-popping art, original concepts, sharp and concise dialogue, and smart “world-building.” These guys are building something kinda special here, and the growing cast of characters is uniformly interesting and compelling. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Violent Love #10 (Image)**  Frank J. Barbieri and Victor Santos put the wraps on their “Badlands/””Natural Born Killers”-inspired crime series with a terrific final issue that wraps up every loose thread and serves up a deliciously cold little bit of revenge at the very end. Terrific art has been a hallmark of this book throughout, and this one pulls out all the stops on the visual front, as well. The back-up feature by Ryan Ferrier and Jamie Jones closes out in thoroughly satisfying fashion, as well. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Batman #36 (DC)  Whaddya know, I actually liked this one! Tom King’s dialogue is still overly-stylized and frankly somewhat interchangeable from one character to the next, but he “gets” the dynamic of the Batman/Superman friendship, the simple plot manages to stay on the right side of the clever/cliche divide (albeit just barely), and the art by brothers Clay and Seth Mann is superb and dynamic. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Christopher

Dept H #21 (Dark Horse) Mia gets a powerful gift from Roger that reveals a lot. Not only about Roger and Hari’s relationship, but the lives of Mia’s parents. The one Roger saw in person, and through film. Revealing how he loved and disposed the happiness Hari found. Showing the final moment of Hari’s life in splendid and grainy black and white footage that really stands out in this issue. Contrasting vastly with the rest of the panels in this issue. Overall: 9 


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 (**).

Scales & Scoundrels Unfurls its Wings this February

Writer Sebastian Girner and artist Galaad will release the first trade paperback collection—as well as issue six, which kicks off the series’ second story arc—of Scales & Scoundrels, the fantasy adventure story for roguish scoundrels of all ages.

It’s hard to make an honest living in a land brimming with magic and mystery, and treasure hunter Luvander is tired of being a penniless adventurer. Ever in search of gold and glory, she sets off for a fabled dungeon, “the Dragon’s Maw,” an ancient labyrinth, at the bottom of which slumbers endless wealth…or certain doom!

But what starts out as a road to riches becomes the first step on an epic journey of a much different kind—for Luvander holds a secret in her heart that will shatter the chains of fate and bring light to a world encroached upon by an ancient darkness.

Take heart, readers: the first arc may end with a giant cliffhanger, but issue six is delivered to you posthaste to ease the sting.

Scales & Scoundrels, Vol. 1: Into the Dragon’s Maw (Diamond code: NOV170682, ISBN: 978-1-5343-0482-6) and Scales & Scoundrels #6 (Diamond code: DEC170758) hit comic book stores Wednesday, February 7th.

Scales & Scoundrels, Vol. 1: Into the Dragon’s Maw will arrive in bookstores Tuesday, February 13th.

Days of Hate Takes Us to a United States Falling Apart

Bestselling writer Aleš Kot teams up with artist Danijel Žeželj and Eisner-winning colorist Jordie Bellaire for an all new maxi-series in the gritty American thriller tragedy Days of Hate.

Days of Hate is set in The United States of America in 2022. The loss that ripped two of its main protagonists apart drove one into the arms of the police state and the other towards a guerrilla war against the white supremacy. Now they meet again, on the opposing sides—and all hell has broken loose.

In the release, Kot said:

Days of Hate is all about the characters. It’s about them living in a country that is falling apart. It’s about love, hate, war, tragedy, and layers of intrigue and double-crossing. It’s about the things people do to survive and to live—and about killing Nazis.

Days of Hate #1 (Diamond Code NOV170638) hits stores on Wednesday, January 17th.

Rich Tommaso Heads to Dry County

With Spy Seal on hiatus, critically acclaimed cartoonist Rich Tommaso will launch Dry County, an all-new crime series, this March from Image Comics. The next chapter of Spy Seal, titled Flight of the Golden Bells, will kick off in Fall 2018.

Miami. Late 1990s—but still suffering a hangover from the 1980s. Young Gen-Xer Lou Rossi has fallen for a lady, and fallen hard. So when she goes missing, he’ll have to play amateur detective to get her back.

Dry County will launch in March 2018.

Review: Witchblade #1

“LIFE AFTER,” Part One Gunned down and left for dead on a New York rooftop, Alex Underwood’s life should have ended there—but instead, at the moment of death, she became host to the Witchblade, a mystical artifact that grants the woman wielding it extraordinary powers. But the power comes with a heavy cost, and Alex finds herself thrust into the center of an unseen battle raging on the snowy streets of NYC. Demons are real and walking among humans, and every one of them is intent on taking out the Witchblade’s newest host before she becomes too strong to kill. But the artifact chose Alex for a reason, and she’s not going down without a fight.

Writer Caitlin Kittredge delivers an intense start in a brand new Witchblade, with a brand new host and direction. The new protagonist Alex is driven by a desire for justice and that’s evident through her work within the Witness Aid Service Unit for the police department. Alex’s case involves an abusive police officer which unto itself feels like a statement by Kittredge that sets her Witchblade apart. Corrupt police. Spousal abuse. These are some weighty topics as a backdrop to an issue.

The art by Roberta Igranata delivers a somewhat grounded style to the first issue that incorporates fantastical elements to the experience. Igranata reveals snapshots Alex’s life, death, and her rebirth through flashbacks. And through the art it hints at the supernatural forces that are against the Witchblade. While it’d be easy to recreate what has come before, Igranata delivers a new visual experience that’s clear by the issue’s last panel. This isn’t what we’ve seen before and feels like something new.

It’s been too long since we last saw Witchblade with some false starts, but it’s nice to see any take and especially one that works so well in its debut issue.

Story: Caitlin Kittredge Art: Roberta Ingranata
Color: Bryan Valenza Letters: Troy Peteri

Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Paradiso #1

The Midnight Event forever changed the world. Now, centuries later, Jack Kryznan arrives on the outskirts of Paradiso City, haunted by fragments of childhood memories and in possession of a mysterious device-one with the power to change the destiny of this living breathing metropolis, the people who dwell within, and the guardians who strive for and against it.

You ever read or seen something that visually is amazing but at first the story is a little muddled but you stick with it because you know it’ll be amazing eventually? That’s the general sense after finishing Paradiso #1, a new series by writer Ram V. with art by Dev Pramanik and Dearbhla Kelly.

The first issue gives a lot of vague ideas abotu what has happened. We know there’s some event that seems to have damaged technology. There’s these individuals who are good with fixing technology and revered. And people are trying to get to this place called Paradiso City though we don’t quite know why. It’s the makings of a solid story and what’s presented is intriguing enough to continue going with some interesting concepts to make it stand out a bit too. The mystery and the settings are the draw though. No character is really given enough to really care too much about their quest or goal and the main character Jack is the mysterious hero. And the story itself so far feels like the basic mystery character needs help getting to a location. It’s a story we’ve seen with fantasy settings to sci-fi and everything in between. More will be coming but for now, it’s pretty basic storytelling.

But, what sells the comic is the visuals which are impressive. There’s some amazing things here and also visuals which feel trippy in a techno sort of way. The world and art has personality and then some and presented in a way that’s intriguing and will have you lingering on the page picking out all of the details. A lot isn’t laid out about the world which forces the reader to rely somewhat on the art to fill in the gaps as to what’s going on, what the deal with certain characters are, and what’s up with this world.

What the team has put together here is a series that has a very “Heavy Metal” feel about it all. Add in a rock and roll soundtrack with some 80s animation and you’d have one hell of an entertaining movie that would feel right at home with some of the classics and anime of the time. This is one where the style and the look stand out and help along a story that’s entertaining but doesn’t quite deliver enough to really be sucked in.

Story: Ram V. Art: Dev Pramanik, Dearbhla Kelly Cover Art: Christian Ward
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.45 Overall: 7.25 Recommendation: Read

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors are choosing up to five books and why they’re choosing the books. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Alex

Top Pick: Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #1 (DC Comics/IDW Publishing) – I thoroughly enjoyed the first miniseries featuring these two properties, and while I half expect this to be nothing more than a shameless cash grab I’m oddly excited to see the Dark Knight cross paths with the Turtles again. I would say you don’t see that happen often, but that’s not necessarily the case anymore – and I’m quite happy about that.

Green Arrow #35 (DC Comics) – One of the sleeper hits for me is Green Arrows ongoing series. The art is whimsical and sweepingly beautiful, and the story about one man fighting a giant corporate conspiracy theory is far stronger than it seemed at first. Definitely one to keep on your radar.

Faith’s Winter Wonderland Special #1 (Valiant) – Marguerite Sauvage pulls double duty on this one, and I’m curious as to what she’ll offer – as long as it’s fun (and looks as awesome as she’s proven her self capable of drawing) then I’ll be happy.

 

Jen

Top Pick: Jupiter Jet #1 (Action Lab Entertainment) – The debut issue of this teenaged Robin Hood story with a science fiction twist grabbed my attention immediately. The art, vaguely reminiscent of Squirrel Girl (probably not a mistake), makes early promises of a book with lighthearted romps plastered from cover to cover.

Harley and Ivy Meet Betty and Veronica #3 (DC Comics/Archie Comics) –  I am going to be honest–I didn’t know this title was out already. Time to catch up. Girl power is promised in BUNDLES in a book featuring four iconic women from comics, and the mashup of Good vs. Bad (can we definitively call Harley/Ivy evil?) should be a great time.

Jem and the Holograms Dimensions #1 (IDW Publishing) – More girl power. Step one: put a cat on the cover. Step two, promise some light-hearted hijinx featuring girls from both sides of the tracks (I’m sensing a theme this week…). Step three: throw in a good old-fashioned game of Dungeons and Dragons. What could possibly go wrong?

I Hate Fairyland Deluxe HC Vol. 1 (Image Comics) – A 36 year old woman trapped in a 6 year old’s body isn’t even close to the most grotesque thing going on in Skottie Young’s modern masterpiece. Young’s delightfully vulgar sense of humor truly shines in his first Image title. The Deluxe collection promises plenty of extras which will likely ooze with….something nasty.

Archie #26 (Archie Comics) – What can I say, I’ve been a sucker for the redhead and his bumbling misadventures since I was a kid. Old habits, and all that. But the All-new Archie has taken us some places we’ve never been before, and I for one can’t wait to see where we go next.

 

Shay

Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #3 (DC Comics) – Do I really need a reason? It’s like my childhood met my teen hood in a bar and I’m here for it. This might be one of the few times where crossing the streams is a good thing.

Throwaways #10 (Image Comics) – Dean and Abby are still trying to get to the bottom of the conspiracy theory that is their life while dealing with the latest hinderences , like being separated by guards, as the hunt for the truth. The series is hit or miss but, they seem to be getting their bearings so either way this will be interesting.

Hawkeye #13 (Marvel) – Clint and Kate in LA on a case. There will be humor, there will be blood, there will be awesome , in the start of what looks like a killer story arc.

 

Brett

Top Pick: A Small Revolution (Soaring Penguin Press) – A revolution in a small country seen through the yes of an innocent child. If there’s ever been a comic more geared towards me, I don’t know what it is. The concept sounds amazing and I can’t wait to read it.

Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands #2 (DC Comics) – The first issue was a perfect balance of action, characterization, and social justice. Hope this issue continues that trend.

Captain America #696 (Marvel) – The first issue was good (not great) but Mark Waid and Chris Samnee seem to be exploring what it means to be Captain America. What they have to say should be interesting and both know the character well, so this should be an interesting read no matter what.

The Consultant #1 (Action Lab: Danger Zone) – When superheroes screw up, this is the guy who cleans up the mess. I’ve read the first issue and while there’s some slight issues with characters standing out in design, the story is fantastic and exactly what I hoped for.

Winter War (Caliber Entertainment) – The story of the 100-day war of Finland versus the Soviet Union at the dawk of World War II. Sounds really interesting.

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 12/3

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.


 

Logan

Batman: Creature of the Night (DC Comics) – Kurt Busiek’s return to DC is triumphant, unsettling, and quite metafictional in Batman: Creature of the Night #1 with powerful, Dave Mazzucchelli-esque artwork from John Paul Leon. The book tells the story of a boy named Bruce, who is a huge Batman fan, loses his parents, has a uncle whose initials make the name Alfred, and likes seeing the bats at the zoo. Busiek and Leon probe deep into the feeling of anger, loss, and grief at the loss of a parent, and how isolated Bruce is even in his quite privileged lifestyle. And, in the dreamlike margins, a bat-like figure is attacking criminals. Busiek and Leon treat Batman much like Alejandro Inarritu treats the titular superhero of Birdman, and the lines are blurred between dream and reality, inspiration and dread. But the biggest mystery yarn is why Alfred won’t have Bruce over to his house, and the calligraphy fonts used by legendary letterer Todd Klein add to this feeling of distance between them. Score: 9.6 Verdict: Buy

John Wick #1 (Dynamite) – John Wick is hunting a man in El Paso named Pecos, who left him to die as a youngster, and now he’s back with a vengeance. Writer Greg Pak tries a little too hard with a non-linear structure at the beginning of the book, but a dry sense of humor and letting artist Giovanni Valletta unleash the gun fu in a double spread make John WIck #1 a solid comic. There’s just a touch of a gun slinging Western in this book’s DNA with some sepia colors from David Curiel. But this book is best when it cuts straight to the action although Wick’s interactions with a certain supporting character from the movie are fun and plot relevant. Overall: 7.7 Verdict: Read

Ryan C

 

Darkhawk #51 (Marvel)* – This turned out to be a bad week for Marvel to release a comic co-written by Chris Sims, but this isn’t something you should really be reading anyway, under any circumstances, because it just plain sucks. Sims and co-writer Chad Bowers have served up yet another “Legacy” story that’s completely alienating to the very same new readers it’s supposed to be “friendly” toward, Kev Walker’s art is completely devoid of personality, and to call this a “missed opportunity” is putting things too kindly, because not even long-time fans of the character (what few there are) will be pleased with this botched re-introduction. A one-shot that no one will be asking for more of. Overall: 0 Recommendation: Pass I purchased my copy — big mistake.

Renato Jones Season Two: Freelancer #5 (Image)* – Kaare Kyle Andrews wraps things up (for the time being, at any rate) with a superb and surprising conclusion that pulls a totally unexpected rabbit out of its hat — then another, and then another. Killer art, amazing class-conscious story — pretty much everything you could want in a comic, especially if you hate the 1%. I hope we’ll see more of Renato somewhere down the road. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Ark #3 (Aftershock)* – I wasn’t as sold on Cullen Bunn and Juan Doe’s revisionist take on the Noah’s Ark fable as most readers apparently were for the first two issues, but as of now I’m all in. The murder mystery at the heart of the story’s early going takes a seriously surprising twist, the ark comes under attack — and Doe’s art is just straight-up amazing. Glad I stuck with this one. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Moon Knight #189 (Marvel)* – The first page of this issue is a superb piece of horrific stage-setting, but after that Max Bemis’ script has a tough time living up to its potential. Fortunately, though, Jacen Burrows’ dynamic and detailed art picks up a lot of the slack and carries the bulk of the storytelling on its shoulders. Two issues in, this is very much a series still trying to find its legs, but as long as it looks this good I’ll keep hanging around — I can’t recommend in good conscience that you should spend four bucks on it, though. Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read


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 (**).

Underrated: Green Valley

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Green Valley



Published by Image, Green Valley was written by Max Landis and features art by Giuseppe Camuncoli, inks by Cliff Rathburn and colours by Jean Francois Beaulieu. The wonderful hardcover collection in my hands collects nine issues and will set you back $29.99 (I paid for this out of my own pocket, and happily so, even though I probably had access to the single issue review copies).

So what’s the story about?

GreenValleyHC.jpg

The knights of Kelodia are the finest in the land, but they’ve never faced a POWER like the one that resides in the Green Valley. Now they’re about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime—to stop a wizard and slay his dragons—but there’s no such thing as magic or dragons…is there? 

You may have noticed by reading this column that I tend to enjoy stories set in and around medieval times, even though I don’t tend to read that many comics set in that era (or at least I didn’t until this year). So when my LCS suggested I pick this up (it was on the counter and the owner told me I’d like it) I did so without question because sometimes I don’t want to read superhero comics.

One of the first things I noticed was that the hardcover itself just feels utterly wonderful in your hands.  The above image is of the hardcover, with the comic art inset slightly into the gold and green cover of the book itself in an effect that really doesn’t translate as well in the image as it does in person, but it does give you a hint about the nature of the story, which aside from the cover and text on the back I entered utterly blindly – and I fell in love.

green valley interior 2.jpg

Green Valley is the kind of book that you will want to read in a single sitting – it grabs you right from the start as you’re introduced to the legendary Knights of Kelodia (all four of them) as they face down a barbarian horde in a brilliant sequence that’s full of dry humour, a genuine feeling camaraderie from the knights  and tense knightly masculinity all wrapped up in some beautiful visuals that are some of the nicest pure-comic pages I’ve seen in quite some time. Were I reviewing this here, I’d be giving this at least 9’s across the board and telling you to buy this without question – the story and art genuinely took me by surprise and had me forget that I really should be doing a bunch of other stuff for the hour or so I sat enraptured in this story.green valley interior.jpg

Without spoiling anything, it’s tough to explain why I loved this story, but that won’t stop me from trying. Green Valley is a very intelligently written book, with dialogue that is, at times, so sharp you could loose a finger. There are moments that span the gamut of human emotion for the characters, and will have you laughing out loud and pumping your fist as the story goes on – just as you’ll feel gut-punched at certain other moment. Max Landis has written one hell of a story that deserves a very special place on your shelf.

Now excuse me while I go reread it (no, I’m not saying that for effect – I’m actually going to reread it now).


 

Unless the comics industry ceases any and all publication look for a future installment of Underrated to cover more comics that aren’t cracking the top 100.

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