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Preview: The Avengers #34

The Avengers #34

(W) Jason Aaron (A) Javi Garron (CA) Matteo Scalera
Rated T+
In Shops: Jul 15, 2020
SRP: $3.99

THE AGE OF KHONSHU!
An empowered, godlike Moon Knight has just saved the world from fiery ruin. Now an army of mummies and moon priests begins to reshape the world in the image of ancient Egypt. But where does that leave the Avengers? Broken, imprisoned, or on the run in the moonlit streets of New Thebes City.

The Avengers #34

Preview: 2020 iWolverine #1 (of 2)

2020 iWolverine #1 (of 2)

(W) Larry Hama (A) Roland Boschi (CA) Juan Jose Ryp
Rated T+
In Shops: Jul 15, 2020
SRP: $3.99

• In the wake of Arno Stark’s crusade against A.I.s, no robot is safe.
• Fearing of Elsie Dee’s safety in these tumultuous times, Albert, the robot Wolverine, goes to Madripoor to find her…
• …but what he finds is a fight against Madripoor’s criminal underbelly instead!

2020 iWolverine #1 (of 2)

Preview: Empyre #1 (of 6)

Empyre #1 (of 6)

(W) Al Ewing, Dan Slott (A) Valerio Schiti (CA) Jim Cheung
Rated T+
In Shops: Jul 15, 2020
SRP: $5.99

• The Kree and the Skrulls have united under a new emperor – and their war fleet is on a collision course for our world.
• On the moon, the Avengers are ready to strike with the full power of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Approaching from outer space, the Fantastic Four are seeking a diplomatic solution.
• If the two teams can’t work together to save the day, things can only get worse…

Empyre #1 (of 6)

King in Black Conquers the Marvel Universe this December

This December, the entire Marvel Universe braces itself for King in Black, the latest installment in writer Donny Cates and artist Ryan Stegman’s revolutionary take on the Venom mythos. Knull is coming, and when he arrives, everyone from the Avengers to the X-Men will learn just how unprepared they are to face off against the God of the Symbiotes. Everything in Cates and Stegman’s landmark run on Venom has led up to this monumental story, and readers will finally witness Eddie Brock’s climatic standoff with one of Marvel’s most terrifying villains.

With each mind-bending twist and turn, the stakes will be raised like never before as King in Black flips everything you thought you knew about Venom and the world of the symbiotes upside down and inside out.

Ready or not, don’t miss King in Black #1 when it hits stands this December!

Celebrate Ultraman Day with a First Look at Rise of Ultraman #1

Ultraman has been a pop culture icon for over 50 years and this September, Marvel Comics will proudly contribute to the franchise’s incredible legacy with Rise of Ultraman #1! Writers Kyle Higgins and Mat Groom will join superstar artists Francesco Manna, Michael Cho, and Gurihiru to reimagine the thrilling beginnings of the Ultraman phenomenon.

In honor of Ultraman Day, the celebration of Ultraman’s first public television appearance in 1966, head over to marvel.com for a first look at the highly anticipated premiere issue including exclusive preview pages, a variant cover gallery, and more.

The Rise of Ultraman #1 comes to stand September 9th!

The Rise of Ultraman #1

Review: Strange Academy #2

Strange Academy #2

It’s been quite some time since the debut of this series. Strange Academy #2 feels like no time has passed at all. It’s the first day of classes at Strange Academy. The issue hops around in a frenetic pace giving us the big picture of the school, students, and courses. We’re taken to numerous classes, introduced to the professors, and get to know the personalities of the students a bit more. We also get the first hints as to what the “big bad” will be.

Writer Skottie Young has a lot of fun with this second issue which can be picked up and enjoyed without needing to read the first. Young along with artist Humberto Ramos, deliver story pacing and a vibe that’s full of fun and energy. It’s a chaotic issue and you’ll either enjoy it or dislike it just for that. There doesn’t feel like enough time is spent in any one situation or on any one focus. But, you still feel like you get a lot of the issue as it gives us the quick tour of everything.

There are absolutely some aspects that get a bit more time on the page. Some of that is just to set up punchlines but it also helps move the characters along as well as they must deal with the situations at hand. There’s clearly some fun thought into each course and how they’re presented. That’s obvious by small jabs they make and so much is left for the reader’s imagination.

Ramos’ art is full of energy and that’s helped by the colors of Edgar Delgado and lettering of Clayton Cowles. The colors pop on the page with a bright aspect to them. Everything just looks exciting and fresh and full of energy in part due to the artistic choices. It’d be so easy to do a dour take on the same issue but as presented there’s a youthful energy about it all. There pages are full of mystical details that often tell the entire story of that particular segment. The issue relies heavily on the visual. Cowles’ lettering too is key as it often helps bring out the personality of the various characters as the lettering shifts between them.

Strange Academy #2 is a crazy paced issue where entire scenes and situations are left for a single page or a single panel gag. It’s a whirlwind tour of the school and what the kids will be dealing with. It also drops hints as to where things will be going. And it needed to be this way. An issue focusing more on any of the elements would have felt like it dragged on and given other aspects the short end of things. Instead, everyone gets their moments with a lot of humor thrown in. For as crazy as it is, it’s a great read and a welcome return of the series.

Story: Skottie Young Art: Humberto Ramos
Color: Edgar Delgado Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Review: Empyre: Fantastic Four

Empyre: Fantastic Four

Marvel’s anticipated, and delayed event, Empyre draws nearer. Empyre: Fantastic Four is the prelude comic introducing the Fantastic Four into what’s to come. Much like its Avengers counterpart, the comic feels like a nice walk through the history of the key players and teases the upcoming event and its impact.

Stranded in space, the Fantastic Four are given a lift to a gambling planet where they learn of a gladiatorial combat that relives the Kree/Skrull War but the wording indicates the war is officially over. The galactic credit system has collapsed as well leading to a bartering system. It’s all tied together but the Fantastic Four must put the pieces of the puzzle together as well as figure out a way to pay for their ship repair to get home.

Written by Dan Slott, Empyre: Fantastic Four is a decent transition for the team into the event. You get a good sense of the history of the Kree/Skrull War as well as the Fantastic Four’s involvement with both. We’re also introduced to new concepts in Marvel’s cosmic landscape that fit right in and feel at home.

Slott mixes in some comedic elements and action within the pages keeping a nice pace throughout the issue. While it’s not quite as good as the Avengers lead in issue, it does a decent job overall of catching readers up and leaves them on a “what the hell is that?” cliffhanger, though without the dread like the Avengers issue.

Where things get a bit weird is the revelation of who’ battling in the arena. SPOILER: It’s two children who the Fantastic Four liberate from their oppressor. While this is overall a good thing, this, along with the Future Foundation, is making the team feel like they’re collecting wards quicker than Batman. They’re also as questionable when it comes to the kids’ safety. Still that detail provides some humorous and cute moments of interactions between the kids, the Human Torch, and the Thing.

The art by R.B. Silva and Sean Izaakse is solid work. Along with color by Marte Gracia and Marcio Menyz and lettering by Joe Caramagna, the art is really interesting with a lot of small details to tell the story. The art really plays well into the gambling world as we get a sense of the wonder and alien nature of it all but it also feels familiar. There’s a sense of excess without it being over the top and exploitation without it feeling too grimy. It feels like Vegas. Despite some of the weightier aspects of the story, the art helps keep it light too befitting the tone of the Fantastic Four.

While Empyre: Fantastic Four doesn’t quite have the excitement of Empyre: The Avengers, it does add in some more details about the current state of the cosmic Marvel Universe and how things are shifted. It’s a transition to get the team into the action without using up an issue of their main series. But, as is, this is a prelude issue that’s more interesting to read than a must get.

Story: Dan Slott Art: R.B. Silva, Sean Izaakse
Color: Marte Gracia, Marcio Menyz Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read


Purchase: comixologyKindleZeus Comics

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Ash & Thorn #2

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.

Ash & Thorn #2 (AHOY Comics) – The first issue introduced us to an unlikely champion of Earth. The series seems to be having fun with expectations and tropes from that genre with a nice mix of humor to it.

DCeased: Dead Planet #1 (DC Comics) – DC has been doing some top-notch work when it comes to this pocket of stories and this return to the world is full of dread and heartbreak… and that’s just the first issue!

Eat and Love Yourself (BOOM! Studios) – Magic chocolate allows a young woman to revisit her past. The concept sounds really intriguing and creative.

Eight-Lane Runaways (Fantagraphics) – A new graphic novel about the world of running with a magical twist. We’re still not quite sure what this one’s about but the cover and description text has us wanting to find out more.

Empyre: Fantastic Four #0 (Marvel) – The first zero issue to come out of this anticipated event was solid and we’re excited to see what else is to come. What went from a shrug is now very intriguing.

Ginseng Roots #5 (Uncivilized Books) – One of the best comics out right now, Craig Thompson explores growing up in the world of ginseng.

Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics (Ten Speed Press) – Tom Scioli’s biography of the great Jack Kirby.

Join the Future #3 (AfterShock) – This future western explores the idea of modernization and the exploitation that comes with it.

Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Death of Nancy Drew #2 (Dynamite Entertainment) – The twist of the first issue was predictable but we really want to see where this noir/mystery goes.

Quantum & Woody #4 (Valiant) – The first three issues have been a whole lot of fun and we’re expecting the same from this finale.

Strange Academy #2 (Marvel) – The first issue was a lot of fun and we’ve been looking forward to seeing more of the series. Think young magic users at a school set in the Marvel universe.

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