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Trover Saves the Universe this August

Image Comics and Skybound will kick off the first-ever comic book miniseries—Trover Saves the Universe—based upon the eponymous hit video game by Justin Roiland (of Rick & Morty fame). The debut issue will be written by fan-favorite author Tess Stone and launch this August.

Welcome to the ICJ—Important Cosmic Jobs—where employees are ranked by their boss, and at the end of each month, the worst employee literally gets the ax. It’s…not a great gig. But when ICJ’s top eyehole monster winds up dead, the company’s most inept (and rival) employees, Klover and Bo, are falsely accused of his murder and hunted by the Space Cops!  

Now they must clear their names and unravel a conspiracy that reaches the very top… that is, if they don’t kill each other first!

Trover Saves the Universe #1 features a main cover by Stone and a variant cover by Roiland. It will be available at  comic book shops  and digital platforms including Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, comiXology, and Google Play on Wednesday, August 4:

  • Trover Saves the Universe #1, Cover A by  Stone (Diamond Code JUN210081) 
  • Trover Saves the Universe #1, Cover B by  Roiland & Stone (Diamond Code JUN210082) 

The Six Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton Gets a Variant Cover by Erica Henderson

Image Comics and Skybound have revealed a new variant cover by Erica Henderson and a first look at interior art from the hotly anticipated action/mystery series The Six Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton by Eisner Award nominees Kyle Starks and Chris Schweizer.

The world’s most unlikable action star has been found dead, and his previous TV sidekicks take it upon themselves to find out who killed him. But how can you catch a murderer when almost everyone hated the victim? Time for the sidekicks to become the stars of this show…that is, if any can survive the STUNTMAN WAR!

In addition to a stunning new variant from Henderson, this debut issue will feature a Pride variant by Ed Luce.

The Six Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton #1  will be available at  comic book shops  and digital platforms including Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, comiXology, and Google Play on Wednesday, June 9:

  • The  Six  Sidekicks  of Trigger Keaton #1  Cover A by Schweizer (APR210126)
  • The  Six  Sidekicks  of Trigger Keaton #1  Cover B Henderson (APR210127)
  • The  Six  Sidekicks  of Trigger Keaton #1  Cover C Pride variant by Ed Luce (MAR219150)  

That Texas Blood Kicks Off a New Arc in June

Fan-favorite writer Chris Condon and artist Jacob Phillips return to the popular crime series That Texas Blood for an all new story arc this June from Image ComicsThat Texas Blood #7 will pick up the story after volume one’s traumatic and bloody conclusion and drop readers straight into a harrowing new chapter.

In That Texas Blood #7, Joe Bob reminisces about one of his first cases: a haunting and bizarre evening that left a boy dead, a girl missing, a cult on the loose, and introduced a mysterious man called Harlan Eversaul.

That Texas Blood #7 Cover A by Phillips (Diamond Code APR210194) and That Texas Blood #7 Cover by Marc Aspinall (Diamond Code APR210195) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, June 30.

Review: Time Before Time #1

Time Before Time #1

There are some fantastic stories about time travel out there. It feels like it’s rare to get one that really sticks out as original. Time Before Time #1 is one of those original concepts. The future seems to be complete shit. Individuals pay a group called the Syndicate to take them back in time to a better life. But, with stories involving the mob you know things are going to go sideways and expectedly they do.

Declan Shalvey and Rory McConville deliver a hell of a start with Time Before Time #1. The series is great at the small details that really make it stand out. The concept of the series alone makes it interesting but it’s those details that make it fantastic. It’s hard to list them all but the various characters that are taken back each present interesting perspectives that give you a better sense of what’s happening. It also delivers a better sense at how morally abhorrent it can be due to those that take advantage of the time travel.

Then, there’s some of the consequences of it all. The concept is that of smuggling through time travel and that can have a lot of hurdles to deal with. Some of those are presented and what is shown really feels creative and something new.

All of this is helped by the art of Joe Palmer. Palmer is joined by Chris O’Halloran on color and lettering by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. There’s a solid use of visuals to tell you a lot about the time period. Small details really add to the experience and storytelling, often being the key to really picking up on the issues of the time period. The technology looks a bit worn and used, a key plot point. It’s an example of “show” instead of “tell” and helps boost the issue when it comes up through the comic. There’s also a bit of a “comedic style” to it all. It keeps the debut issue from being a bit too serious and feels like it understands the concept overall has a bit of comedy to it. It’s ok to laugh.

Time Before Time #1 is a hell of a debut with a lot of detail helping to really make the story. There’s a solid concept here and the ending has me guessing as to where this is all going. Since it involves time travel, I have no idea where that might be. This is one to absolutely get so you can sit back and enjoy.

Story: Declan Shalvey, Rory McConville Art: Joe Palmer
Color: Chris O’Halloran Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleTFAW

It’s a Big Foot Hunt in June with The Department of Truth

The bestselling series The Department of Truth by James Tynion IV and Martin Simmonds is taking on cryptid creatures this June with a two-part hunt for BigFoot. The chase begins with The Department of Truth #10 in June and will follow on hot pursuit with The Department of Truth #11 in July.

In The Department of Truth #10, some fictions manifest in reality as dangerous, half-formed things. The Department of Truth relies on hunters to track down and contain these wild tulpas before they become too real. It’s time for Cole Turner to see this side of the job firsthand. It’s time for Cole Turner to join his first Bigfoot hunt.

In The Department of Truth #11, the rules of reality start to bend in the presence of Wild Fictions. That’s why it’s Darla’s job to hunt down so-called cryptids before belief in them can spread. And if you’re an innocent bystander caught in the crosshairs… Well, the Department of Truth doesn’t leave loose ends.

The Department of Truth #10 will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, June 30:

  • The Department of Truth #10 Cover A Simmonds – APR210285
  • The Department of Truth #10 Cover B Vincenzo Riccardi – APR210286
  • The Department of Truth #10 Cover C Michael Dialynas – APR218120

The Department of Truth #11 will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, July 28:

  • The Department of Truth #11 Cover A Simmonds – MAY210151
  • The Department of Truth #11 Cover B Trevor Henderson – MAY210152
  • The Department of Truth #11 Cover C Ethan Young – APR218082

Regina King to Direct Bitter Root Based on the Comic Series by David F. Walker, Sanford Greene, and Chuck Brown

Bitter Root #1

Bitter Root has found its director in Regina King. The film is based on the comic series created by David F. Walker, Sanford Greene, and Chuck Brown. Published by Image Comics, the film is being released by Legendary.

King will produce along with Reina King via their Royal Ties banner, along with Ryan Coogler, Zinzi Coogler, and Sev Ohanian. Walker, Greene, Brown, and Drapetomedia’s Sean Owolo will executive produce.

The film’s draft is currently being rewritten by Bryan Edward Hill.

Set in 1924 during the vibrant Harlem Renaissance, the story focuses on a fracture family of once-great monster hunters. They face an evil that has decended upon New York City. The family must overcome the wounds of their past if they hope to stop an invasion.

The series is well praised receiving nominations for a 2019 Eisner Award for “Best New Series” and 2019 Ringo award for “Best Series”.

Advance Review: Made in Korea #1

Made in Korea #1

George Schall’s cover for Made in Korea #1 has to be considered one of the best in 2021. It’s what made me stop scrolling through the list of upcoming comics I was scanning, looking for my next fix. Once I saw Jeremy Holt was involved, the writer behind Skip to the End and Southern Dog, I knew the quality of the story would match the grotesque wonders of the cover.

Made in Korea centers on a couple that’s debating whether to bring a child into their family. Thing is, the child in question is a kind of ultra-realistic android that’s programmed to behave like a real son or daughter. As is the case with technological innovation, the android kid is expensive and seemingly available only to those privileged enough to have easy access to the required funds.

The title’s manufacturing reference isn’t there for show either. The android children are actually made in Korea, which allows Holt and Schall to add an entirely different but interconnected story thread that, in this case, sees a Korean programmer trying to crack a code that could have an effect in android behavior.

Holt’s script is quite naturalistic, presenting well-rounded characters that feel genuine. Everyone is infused with personality and I appreciated how opinionated they were when commenting on the small but meaningful changes their world has gone through.

Made in Korea #1
Made in Korea #1

Those small details will make any fan of Phillip K. Dick proud as they build up a sci-fi world that thrives on complex subtleties without letting big ideas get too watered down in the process. There’s a delicate balance struck between character moments and big plot events that keeps things moving at a quick but measured pace.

A few pages are also borrowed from the movie Logan in terms of the comic’s worldbuilding, in which the subtle bits of sci-fi that are shown also develop the setting and the characters’ place in it. The near future of Made in Korea is a place that’s taken noticeable steps in technological evolution without making it come off as overwhelming and all-encompassing.

Made in Korea #1
Made in Korea #1

Holt and Schall also find the time to bring up conversations about artificial intelligence, the capacity advanced tech has to adapt and perhaps surpass humanity, and technological co-dependence. There’s even a reference to Dick’s famous novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, thrown in to establish the kind of sci-fi Made in Korea is going for.

Schell’s art perfectly captures the shine that’s often associated with certain idealized versions of the future. It’s crisp, clean, and sleek, as if the future is obsessed with keeping things in their right place, if only for appearances sake. Schell doesn’t go for the dirty, gritty sci-fi look of Blade Runner, Akira, and Brazil, where trash and rundown high-rises color the environment. Instead, he goes for visuals that contain hidden dangers buried deep within suburban standards of life.

Made in Korea #1
Made in Korea #1

Made in Korea packs a lot into its first issue. The six-issue miniseries is ambitious and expansive, worthy of the topic it settled on. There’s something lurking in its pages that looks like it’ll blow up in later issues concerning the questions that come with adopting a child among couples that can’t conceive. Just how much that’ll figure in the story remains to be seen, but what’s here is already enough to make for an exceptional comic.

Made in Korea #1 will be released in comic shops on May 26, 2021.

Story: Jeremy Holt Art: George Schall Letters: Adam Wollet
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10

Recommendation: Buy and make sure your robotic appliances aren’t becoming sentient


Pre-Order: comiXologyZeus ComicsTFAW

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

The Recount #4

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) 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 choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

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

Future State: Gotham #1 (DC Comics) – We loved Future State, especially the Batman tie-ins. We return to that world with this series focused on Red Hood who has shunned his friends to go undercover to take down the Magistrate.

Heroes Reborn #2, Heroes Reborn: Hyperion and the Imperial Guard #1, Heroes Reborn: Peter Parker, the Amazing Shutterbug #1 (Marvel) – The debut issue was a bit mixed in quality but we’re intrigued to see where this story goes.

The Joker #3 (DC Comics) – This series has surprised us and surpassed our expectations. With its focus on Jim Gordon and his mission and failures, this is more like a detective story with its flawed main character than the typical Batman action-focused comic.

Magic #2 (BOOM! Studios) – The first issue did a solid job of capturing the Magic: The Gathering world. With a focus on an assassination attempt, the comic keeps things familiar as far as the story. It’s a solid combination and smart direction for the series.

Maniac of New York #4 (AfterShock) – This series has been great with a nice twist on the slasher genre.

The Princess Who Saved Herself (BOOM! Studios) – We backed this when it was a Kickstarter and loved it then. A great all-ages graphic novel about a Princess who rocks and the classical guitarist down the road she annoys.

Proctor Valley Road #3 (BOOM! Studios) – The series has been a solid horror adventure full of mystery and questions. Add in the details of the time period added and you have a great story.

Project Patron #2 (AfterShock) – A twist on the superhero genre, a team of individuals work together to keep up the illusion that the world’s greatest hero is still alive.

The Recount #4 (Scout Comics) – We’re in love with this series which sees an uprising against those that supported a corrupt President. The level of detail is amazing and each issue delivers shocks. We have no idea what’s next and where this is going.

Scout’s Honor #5 (AfterShock) – The series wraps up and we couldn’t guess how. This has been a fantastic mix of apocalyptic world and exploration of societal ill.

Silver Coin #2 (Image Comics) – Anthologies are getting popular again and this one features a new creator with each issue but they’re all tied together by a cursed coin. The first one was fantastic, like a horror Twilight Zone.

Stake #3 (Scout Comics) – The series has been a nice update to the classic vampire slayer concept. The art is top-notch delivering a cool style that blends in social media. The second issue expanded the world and concept and we want to see where it goes from there.

Time Before Time #1 (Image Comics) – To escape the future, people turn to a criminal organization that will smuggle them back in time. Such a great idea.

X-Corp #1 (Marvel) – Monet St. Croix and Warren Worthington head up the business ventures of Krakoa.

Mini Reviews and Recommendations For The Week Ending 05/09/2021

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. Given the lack of new comics, expect this weekly update to begin featuring comics that we think you’ll enjoy while you can’t get anything new to read – only new to you.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.


Logan

Batman #108 (DC)– My enjoyment of James Tynion, Jorge Jimenez, and Tomeu Morey’s Batman continues to rise post-Future State, and issue 108 is no exception. In this comic, Batman is placed between the forces of surveillance capitalism and anti-capitalism all augmented with cyberpunk style technology and a candy color palette. The anti-capitalist side is represented by flashy new character Miracle Molly, who sees beneath Matches Malone’s facade, and offers a critique of Batman even though they’ll probably fight down the road. Tynion’s other plot thread is basically Blue Lives Matter with cybernetics, and Jimenez draws the hell out of some robots. The Ghost-Maker backup from Tynion and Ricardo Lopez-Ortiz is delightful as he fights laser tigers, a manga themed assassin named Kid Kawaii, and the mysterious Madame Midas. Pure sugar rush comics. Overall: 9.0 Verdict: Buy

Hellions #11 (Marvel)– Zeb Wells and Stephen Segovia take old X-baddies and use them in a creative way in Hellions #11. Thanks to Mastermind, the Hellions are in their worst nightmares with psychic Kwannon and John Greycrow trying to hardest to fight out of it while Arcade blackmails Sinister (Who’s missing a few teeth) to make clones for him. It ends up being a little more complicated than that with Segovia and colorist David Curiel getting to draw some intense psychic duels between Kwannon and Mastermind, and Wells continues to give Sinister the funniest lines. Even though he puts on a good show for the Quiet Council, Sinister is still irredeemable, and part of the enjoyment of Hellions is watching the extents he goes to cover his crimes against genetics while hoping for the Hellions to eventually expose him. It’s like Breaking Bad, but with capes, clones, and psychic ninjas. Overall: 8.4 Verdict: Buy

Marauders #20 (Marvel)– This issue is all about how great Storm is with various Marauders telling stories of cool or touching things she has done while also guessing how many knives she’s had. Storm’s leaving the team so Gerry Duggan and Stefano Caselli give her a fitting send-off set in a variety of locales as we see her reform Hate-Monger by kicking his ass, rescue a powerful young mutant in India and be used as bluffing tool. Of course, we get to see her close friendship with Kate Pryde, and how Storm helped her get through the crisis of possibly not being a mutant. Caselli does comedy as well as action in this book with a hilarious montage of Storm pulling knives out from various parts of her costume as well as a great panel of Lockheed driving the ship while the team and its allies feast. Wisely, Storm’s exploits and character is the focus of Marauders #20, but Duggan sets up a little bit of intrigue for the upcoming Hellfire Gala that could reshape this team’s role for better or worse. Overall: 8.6 Verdict: Buy

Die #16 (Image)– After the fantasy geopolitics of the previous arc, Die is back in quest and cosmic horror mode as Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans have the party traveling to the center of the world. Gillen portrays everyone at their worst: drinking and struggling and hoping it’s all going to be over. Hans gets to tap in her range as an artist going from big sea journey landscapes to intimate conversations between Sol and Ash (The “baddies” of the party) and finally turning into pure horror mode towards the end. With the comic about to reach its end, it’s nice to see Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans focusing of the main cast and interrogating why characters like Sol found escape in fantasy and roleplaying worlds. Plus there’s a real doozy of twist at the end. Overall: 8.2 Verdict: Buy

The Good Asian #1 (Image)– Pornsak Pichetshote, Alexandre Tefenkgi, and Lee Loughridge use the noir genre to explore racism against Asian-Americans, respectability politics, and the effect of policing in society through the character of Edison Hark. Hark is a Hawaii police detective who is transferred to San Francisco’s Chinatown where there are rumblings that the Tong gangs have returned, and the Chinese maid of a prominent wealthy businessman has gone missing. Pichetshote and Tefenkgi deftly balance a whodunnit, crime thriller, and use flashbacks to flesh out Edison’s character drawing parallels between him and an older Irish-American cop as breaking the racial glass ceiling. Loughridge’s flat colors are a treat exploding for sequences of racialized violence, fading out for flashbacks, or turning pink when Edison thinks about one of his vices: white women. Featuring wonderful compositions from Alexandre Tefenkgi and punchy dialogue from Pornsak Pichetsote, The Good Asian #1 is a solid crime comic that also sheds light on the anti-Asian racism that is baked into the core of the United States. Overall: 8.9 Verdict: Buy

Brett

Nocterra #3 (Image Comics) – A really good third issue that balances showing and telling. We get to see more of Val’s history with her parents and learn more of what it means to turn into a Shade. There’s also a lot of action as Bill is in the pursuit of Val and her group with hints as to history there. What really stands out are the colors that pop from the page and really emphasize the darkness of the world. Overall Rating: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point #2 (DC Comics) – I was down on the first issue. It felt like it was geared too much towards fans of the video game. The second issue is an improvement as Batman must figure out what’s going on if he hopes he can escape. It takes us through his process as he has 22 minutes before the game resets and he starts all over. It’s a really interesting concept and as a puzzle for him to solve, it’s great. It also could be a trap by anyone and not so much Fortnite focused. The art is pretty good with small details being added with each reset to tell a bit of what has happened. This has me much more interested in what’s to come after being generally turned off from the debut issue. Overall Rating: 7.95 Recommendation: Buy

Crime Syndicate #3 (DC Comics) – Such a great concept just squandered. The art is dodgy and story choppy at times. There’s a lot of potential in the series and concept but it never really focuses on the right things. This is one where some a lack of details hurts it. Overall Rating: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass

Green Lantern #2 (DC Comics) – The first issue was good but this issue is where things really take off. The first one had me generally willing to come back. This issue I’m all in. It has a shocking ending as the Guardians restructure the Green Lantern Corps with their inclusion to the new cosmic structure being set up. Now I can’t wait to see what’s next. Overall Rating: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Man-Bat #4 (DC Comics) – This series has been really solid. Kirk and Francine are under the control of Scarecrow and the dual narrative they’re experiencing is some great stuff. The art really nails down what’s happening and brings a bit of sadness to it all. Just a fantastic issue and overall this is a series I want to see more of. Overall Rating: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Suicide Squad #3 (DC Comics) – We’re getting a crossover with Teen Titans Academy as the Squad needs to get Bolt. The series has been a pleasure to read with the dysfunction on full display. The personalities of the team is really what stands out as they squabble, be smart-asses, or just want to run for their lives. The series has no problem delivering a body count and have this Squad screw up. It’s a fun series where the bad guys are really… bad at what they do. Overall Rating: 8.5 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 (**).

Underrated: Jack Staff: Soldiers

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:  Jack Staff: Soldiers


I find I have an affinity to superheroes wearing the Union Jack, probably because one of the first comics I picked up was Marvel’s Union Jack, the three issue miniseries from the late 90’s where the titular character faced off against a legion of vampires, becoming one of my favourite characters in the process.

Since then I’ve always been drawn to heroes wearing the British flag, and so when I did a bit of research on other flag wearing heroes for a very early edition of this column, I came across Jack Staff. Britain’s Greatest Superhero was conceived from a Paul Grist script that was rejected as a Union Jack concept, and found new life as Jack Staff. Written and drawn by Grist, with Phil Elliott providing the colours, Soldiers is the second volume published by Image comics, and collects the first five issues of the Image comic series (the first volume contained the pre-Image stuff).

The story within the book takes place concurrently in two time periods over the course of twenty years – quite how Jack Staff doesn’t seem to age isn’t exactly explained, but then it doesn’t need to be. Grist has written the comics in an anthology-like style as multiple characters are used for focal points with each of the smaller stories telling a smaller piece of the whole. As a graphic novel, this works wonderfully.

Because the events of the story are contained to Castletown, there’s never a world ending threat to contend with, and so the threat level seems more credible given the smaller scale of the book’s events (and given Jack Staff’s ambiguous power set, not quite knowing what he can do is half the fun of watching the shit hit the fan).

Jack Staff: Soldiers is a lot of fun. There’s an old school feel to the heroics in this story, with Grist hinting that the characters are part of a much larger whole as this book scratches the surface of Jack Staff’s world. Despite being listed as the second volume, it’s an excellent point for folks to jump on board, and if you’re anything like me then you’ll be hunting out the other three volumes that Image have published.


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

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