Tag Archives: Comics

Exclusive Preview: Bloodshot Rising Spirit #5

Bloodshot Rising Spirit #5

Writer: Kevin Grevioux
Art: John K. Snyder III
Colors: Jason Wright
Letterer: Simon Bowland

How do you stop an unstoppable weapon?

After a search-and-rescue mission gone awry, Project Rising Spirit’s most powerful supersoldier is alone and AWOL – and only the H.A.R.D. Corps can recover their missing asset! But the team’s abilities might not be up to the task…not when they’re facing off against the untested might of the living weapon of mass destruction codenamed Bloodshot!

Bloodshot Rising Spirit #5

Review: Incursion #2

Incursion #2

There is only one world left to conquer…

Entire planets have suffered and died at the cold, close-fisted hands of the alien Imperatrix Virago – and now her gruesome sights are set on our world. As Earth’s chosen protector, the Geomancer named Tama fights for her life, while the Eternal Warrior goes on the ultimate mission through the perilous realm of the Deadside to find the secret to saving her…and the entire planet in the process.

This is an exciting time for Valiant. The long anticipated The Life and Death of Toyo Harada is due to hit shelves any day now, Livewire is beginning to pick up steam, and The Forgotten Queen is looking to be a sleeper hit. But it’s Incursion that has this reviewer most excited; chiefly because it features Gilad Anni-Padda, the Eternal Warrior (though I can’t deny LADOTH isn’t high on my list, either).

Conveniently enough, Incursion is what we’re talking about today, and, spoiler alert, it’s pretty freaking great.

Andy Diggle and Alex Paknadel  wasted no time in establishing the threat and setting the tone for the story in the first issue, and they keep the plot rolling here at a steady pace. Picking up almost immediately after the conclusion of the first issue, we follow Gilad as he seeks aid for Tama’s condition. The ensuing scenes show a subtly touchy (and touching) Gilad as he fusses over the young Geomancer, with his advanced years and experience showing through in an interesting, yet almost throwaway line about the sound of dry leaves over flagstones. Which brings me to an aspect of the comic that could easily be over looked; the dialogue between Gilad and Doctor Mirage. It’s incredibly well written, with each character clearly owning their own voice, culminating in an almost terrifying question for the Valiant universe (though the answer, one can argue, can be gleaned from The Valiant).

The reason the dialogue can be over looked so easily is because Doug Braithwaite and Diego Rodriguez are working with an almost symbiotic relationship – there are fine details from Braithwaite that Rodriguez highlights that seem almost too subtle to be intentional. The furrow in Gilad’s brow when he’s leaning over Tama, the concern in Doctor Mirage’s eyes… and the gradual scrapes and tears to Gilad’s clothing. Subtle details that add more to the story than you’d expect.

Up until this point, I’ve only been talking about the first nine pages of the comic; there’s a lot of comic here to dissect, a lot of comic to absorb – you certainly get a good bang for your buck here. The rest of the comic remains at a consistently high quality level, although there are moments of pure brilliance sprinkled throughout – whether it is from the art, the dialogue or the plot as a whole, this comic offers something very special.

If you wondered, you don’t need to be a Valiant fan to enjoy this story (of course, it helps). You can read this easily as a standalone story because the creative team are able to easily impart the depth of Gilad and Tama’s relationship and the weight it bears. The stakes in the comic are world-endingly high, but because the central pillar of the story is the relationship between Geomancer and the Eternal Warrior, the one against many nature of the story doesn’t seem out of place or conceited. It feels just right.

Incursion #2 is, once again a great comic. The series is on pace to end up as one of my very favorite Valiant stories – and certainly one of Valiant’s very best.

Story: Andy Diggle and Alex Paknadel
 Pencils: Doug Braithwaite 
Colours: Diego Rodriguez
Letters: Marshal Dillon 
Story: 9.3 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: X-O Manowar #25

X-O Manowar #25

Bounty hunted!

Long ago, Aric of Dacia left the life he knew on Earth behind to start afresh in a distant galaxy… Now the mistakes of his past have come home to roost, causing untold devastation on the planet Aric first called home! Clad in the X-O Manowar armor he once renounced, the former Emperor of Gorin has a choice to make: Does he take on this band of intergalactic warriors alone, or does he trust the mysterious woman warrior in black who’s come to his aid?

If you read the last issue then you’ll know who the mysterious woman alluded to above is, but if for some inexplicable reason you haven’t (yet) done so after following the series so far then expect a spoiler or two going forward.

Matt Kindt‘s reintroduction of Schon reflects upon the opening arc of the series where Aric sought peace and refuge on an alien planet, forgoing the violent life he had lived until that point – only instead of avoiding war and searching for peace, Schon came to Earth looking for a fight, and embracing the battle that came. It is a brilliant way to circle back to the beginning of the series, bringing Aric’s story full circle.

Tomas Giorello is an utterly phenomenal artist, and he once again shows why with this issue. Regarding last issue, I wrote that “each and every page is packed with more detail, emotion and life than some comics have in their entirety,” and the same is equally as true with X-O Manowar #25. I’m running out of superlatives to use to describe the visual impact of this series, which is a good problem to have at this juncture.

X-O Manowar has been one of the most consistent series in terms of quality over the past two years, and has understandably garnered some pretty high expectations issue after issue – expectations that the series has met (and often exceeded) with each and every issue. The series may be coming to a close with XO Manowar #26, but Kindt’s story will be among one of my favourite runs for a long time to come (unless of course something happens in the final issue to change all of that, which is entirely possible – though unlikely at this point).

Story: Matt Kindt Art: Tomas Giorello
Colourist: Diego Rodriguez Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Story: 9 Art: 10 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review. I purchased the comic anyway.

Review: The Life And Death Of Toyo Harada #1

The Life And Death Of Toyo Harada #1

The Atomic Age. 

Eisner Award-nominated writer Joshua Dysart returns to the Valiant Universe to continue crafting Toyo Harada’s controversial mission to save humanity from itself. Presented in an oversized format and featuring a lineup of all-star artists, including Mico Suayan, CAFU, and more, The Life and Death of Toyo Harada will place the planet’s most powerful man in the spotlight as he strives to control the course of history. But with the menacing mastermind’s resources dwindling after the downfall of the Harbinger Foundation and a target on his head, will the formidable psiot re-emerge as humanity’s greatest hero…or its most dangerous villain?

There are moments in a comics reviewer’s life when he must remember that he’s supposed to think critically about a comic. One of those moments came about five minutes after finishing this book and after staring at the screen digesting the pages that had just been read, and the only possible thing that can be held against The Life and Death of Toyo Harada #1 is that if you aren’t slightly familiar with the character’s story, specifically the events of Harbinger and Imperium then this book may not have the same impact on you. I say “slightly familiar” because I haven’t finished Imperium myself, and it has been far too long since I read Harbinger (though the collected editions are next to me waiting to be read for an upcoming, or old because it will have already been published, Underrated column), and I was still able to get lost in the first issue.

Toyo Harada is the kind of character that doesn’t come around often. He was often framed as the villain in Harbinger, though one can argue that was simply because of the side of the story we were following, rather than the character being evil. Indeed, the more I read about and the more I read that featured Harada, the more I began to question whether he was really a villain verses a hero with questionable methods. During the opening of this comic you’re able to make the same determination as we get glimpses of Harada’s life in the moments and years after the bombing of Hiroshima, so if you’re unfamiliar with the character you’re able to get a good feel for who he is and what he’s capable of without spending days reading back issues (although I would recommend you do this if you’re able).

That said, the review copy I read didn’t have a recap page, but the full print issue may very well have one, in which case bump the final score up a little.

This is a complicated character who lives in the moral and ethical grey area, and Joshua Dysart doesn’t tell you how to feel about Harada; allowing the reader to come to their own determination as to whether he’s the hero, villain or somewhere in between. It’s this decision to allow you to form your own opinion, or to reinforce an already formed opinion, that’s a personal highlight.

Artistically, to borrow a baseball term, the book is a four run homer. Or something – baseball was never really my jam (hockey, however, is another story). When Cafu‘s name is attached to a comic, you know the art will be fantastic – the same is also true for Mico Suayan. Between the two artists, there’s a dynamic visual one-two punch that will leave you reeling as we move from Hiroshima before and after the bomb to the far reaches of Earth’s atmosphere. It’s a visually impressive book that doesn’t let your eyes rest for a moment. There are details in the comic that may take a second read to discover (the subtle nod to a certain Marvelous metal manipulator, a character with whom Harada shares some moral similarities, springs to mind), and some page layouts that are really fun to behold.

Although it’s still too early to call this series a masterpiece, if the quality remains consistent for the next five issues, then I won’t have any hesitation in doing so. Is it the best place to start reading about Toyo Harada? Probably not, but this is a shining light on 2019 the comic book landscape, and firmly establishes the miniseries as a solid early contender for this reviewer’s Best of 2019 list.

Story: Joshua Dysart Art: Cafu and Mico Suayan
Colours: Andrew Dalhouse Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.4 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided a FREE copy for review, but this is a book I’ll be buying when it hits the racks.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Criminal #3

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 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 Wednesday.

Criminal #3 (Image Comics) – One of the best comics on the market. The current story is a meta look at a certain famous comic convention. How much is true? Well, that’s part of the fun.

Dark Red #1 (AfterShock) – A new series that’s about Vampires in Trump country. The concept sounds really interesting.

Dungeons & Dragons: A Darkened Wish #1 (IDW Publishing) – D&D is the new hotness, and IDW’s series have been fun for those into the game and world. Solid fantasy that’s always worth checking out.

Grumble #5 (Albatross Funnybooks) – A fun and funny series, one we’ll constantly recommend. While not the best place to start, we’re putting the series on your radar so you can catch up and not miss the awesome.

Incursion #2 (Valiant) – Valiant has been knocking it out of the park and this issue is a great example of that. Just a solid mini-series so far that highlights the quality of this publisher.

Invisible Kingdom #1 (Dark Horse Comics/Berger Books) – G. Willow Wilson and Christian Ward team up for this Berger Books debut and that’s all we need to know to get excited to check this one out. A sci-fi religious conspiracy concept is icing on the cake of awesome that is the creative team.

Lazarus Risen #1 (Image Comics) – It’s been a while since we read Lazarus so we’ve forgotten a bunch but the series has always been fantastic and amazing and to be able to get more makes us happy. It’s one of the most well thought out series and worlds in comics.

Life and Death of Toyo Harada #1 (Valiant) – Toyo Harada is one of the best characters in comics so we’re excited he’s getting a series. Is he a villain? Is he a hero? Is he somewhere in between? We can’t wait to see where this goes.

Spider-Man: City at War #1 (Marvel) – Based on the popular video game, Marvel launches a new universe in comics and we’re getting flashbacks to the “Ultimate” years and that’s completely ok.

Spider-Man: Life Story #1 (Marvel) – Chip Zdarksy and Mark Bagley are exploring Peter Parker’s life one decade at a time. This kicks off in the 60s just four years after being bitten. Think a condensed version of this is your life.

Preview: X-O Manowar #25

X-O MANOWAR #25

Written by MATT KINDT
Art by TOMÁS GIORELLO
Colors by DIEGO RODRIGUEZ
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by KENNETH ROCAFORT
Cover B by LEO COLAPIETRO
Cover C by MICHAEL MANOMIVBUL
Interlocking Variant by FRANCIS PORTELA
Pre-order Variant Cover by DIEGO YAPUR
On sale March 20, 2019

Bounty hunted!

Long ago, Aric of Dacia left the life he knew on Earth behind to start afresh in a distant galaxy… Now the mistakes of his past have come home to roost, causing untold devastation on the planet Aric first called home! Clad in the X-O Manowar armor he once renounced, the former Emperor of Gorin has a choice to make: Does he take on this band of intergalactic warriors alone, or does he trust the mysterious woman warrior in black who’s come to his aid?

X-O MANOWAR #25

Preview: Incursion #2 (of 4)

INCURSION #2 (of 4)

Story by ALEX PAKNADEL & ANDY DIGGLE
Script by ALEX PAKNADEL
Art by DOUG BRAITHWAITE
Colors by DIEGO RODRIGUEZ
Letters by MARSHALL DILLON
Cover A by DOUG BRAITHWAITE
Cover B by RYAN BODENHEIM
B/W Cover C by DOUG BRAITHWAITE
Pre-order Variant Cover by TONCI ZINJIC
On sale March 20, 2019 

There is only one world left to conquer…

Entire planets have suffered and died at the cold, close-fisted hands of the alien Imperatrix Virago—and now her gruesome sights are set on our world. As Earth’s chosen protector, the Geomancer named Tama fights for her life, while the Eternal Warrior goes on the ultimate mission through the perilous realm of the Deadside to find the secret to saving her…and the entire planet in the process.

INCURSION #2 (of 4)

Advance Review: Incursion #2

Incursion #2

There is only one world left to conquer…

Entire planets have suffered and died at the cold, close-fisted hands of the alien Imperatrix Virago – and now her gruesome sights are set on our world. As Earth’s chosen protector, the Geomancer named Tama fights for her life, while the Eternal Warrior goes on the ultimate mission through the perilous realm of the Deadside to find the secret to saving her…and the entire planet in the process.

This is an exciting time for Valiant. The long anticipated The Life and Death of Toyo Harada is due to hit shelves any day now, Livewire is beginning to pick up steam, and The Forgotten Queen is looking to be a sleeper hit. But it’s Incursion that has this reviewer most excited; chiefly because it features Gilad Anni-Padda, the Eternal Warrior (though I can’t deny LADOTH isn’t high on my list, either).

Conveniently enough, Incursion is what we’re talking about today, and, spoiler alert, it’s pretty freaking great.

Andy Diggle and Alex Paknadel  wasted no time in establishing the threat and setting the tone for the story in the first issue, and they keep the plot rolling here at a steady pace. Picking up almost immediately after the conclusion of the first issue, we follow Gilad as he seeks aid for Tama’s condition. The ensuing scenes show a subtly touchy (and touching) Gilad as he fusses over the young Geomancer, with his advanced years and experience showing through in an interesting, yet almost throwaway line about the sound of dry leaves over flagstones. Which brings me to an aspect of the comic that could easily be over looked; the dialogue between Gilad and Doctor Mirage. It’s incredibly well written, with each character clearly owning their own voice, culminating in an almost terrifying question for the Valiant universe (though the answer, one can argue, can be gleaned from The Valiant).

The reason the dialogue can be over looked so easily is because Doug Braithwaite and Diego Rodriguez are working with an almost symbiotic relationship – there are fine details from Braithwaite that Rodriguez highlights that seem almost too subtle to be intentional. The furrow in Gilad’s brow when he’s leaning over Tama, the concern in Doctor Mirage’s eyes… and the gradual scrapes and tears to Gilad’s clothing. Subtle details that add more to the story than you’d expect.

Up until this point, I’ve only been talking about the first nine pages of the comic; there’s a lot of comic here to dissect, a lot of comic to absorb – you certainly get a good bang for your buck here. The rest of the comic remains at a consistently high quality level, although there are moments of pure brilliance sprinkled throughout – whether it is from the art, the dialogue or the plot as a whole, this comic offers something very special.

If you wondered, you don’t need to be a Valiant fan to enjoy this story (of course, it helps). You can read this easily as a standalone story because the creative team are able to easily impart the depth of Gilad and Tama’s relationship and the weight it bears. The stakes in the comic are world-endingly high, but because the central pillar of the story is the relationship between Geomancer and the Eternal Warrior, the one against many nature of the story doesn’t seem out of place or conceited. It feels just right.

Incursion #2 is, once again a great comic. The series is on pace to end up as one of my very favorite Valiant stories – and certainly one of Valiant’s very best.

Story: Andy Diggle and Alex Paknadel
 Pencils: Doug Braithwaite 
Colours: Diego Rodriguez
Letters: Marshal Dillon 
Story: 9.3 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Valiant Launches a New Bloodshot Series with Tim Seeley and Brett Booth Ahead of the Vin Diesel Movie

Before Vin Diesel breaks the box office as Bloodshot in Sony Pictures’ upcoming feature film, Valiant Entertainment is launching an explosive new Bloodshot ongoing series from an all-star creative team, debuting in September!

Bloodshot, the unstoppable supersoldier trapped in a never-ending war, has arrived! Written by the electrifying Tim Seeley and featuring artwork by industry icon Brett Booth, this tremendous team is crafting a Bloodshot adventure full of badass action, surprising stories…and then some more badass action! Declan Shalvey will illustrate covers for the series.

Once, he was the perfect living weapon, created to follow orders. Now, Bloodshot works alone, using his lethal skills to protect those who cannot protect themselves. But a mysterious and powerful organization is watching, and they’re not about to let something as dangerous as Bloodshot remain free…

Valiant is set to distribute free copies of a brand-new Bloodshot short story by Seeley with artwork by Tomás Giorello and Diego Rodriguez on Free Comic Book Day (May 4, 2019) through participating retailers. The story leads into the new series.

Artwork from BLOODSHOT (2019) #1 by Brett Booth.
Inking by Adelso Corona, coloring by Andrew Dalhouse.
Artwork by BLOODSHOT (2019) #1 by Brett Booth.
Inking by Adelso Corona, coloring by Andrew Dalhouse.

Review: Livewire #4

Livewire #4

No friends, no teammates, no mentor…and soon, no hope!

Once, Livewire dreamed of devoting herself to the betterment of humankind. Now, her most steadfastly held ideals are about to be tested like never before as she struggles to stay alive in the clutches of a fearsome new foe! But who is the mysterious psiot mercenary hunting her…and more importantly, who do they work for?

After Livewire effectively turned off the electricity for pretty much the entire United States, Livewire #4 finally has our hero (or villain depending on which way you’re looking at it) acknowledging her actions during a fight scene that lasts the full issue, interspersed with flashbacks to highlight certain parts of the dialogue.

This is an issue that left me with mixed feelings; on one hand it had to happen so we could move on to the next phase of Livewire’s story, but on the other it fell a little flat after the previous issues.

Possibly because the fight scene was against a character I’m not familiar with other than his appearances in this series (whether that’s because I don’t remember him or he was only recently introduced I don’t know). It’s difficult to feel any real emotional weight with the confrontation that hadn’t already been played upon last issue, and so consequently the comic left me wanting more.

Raul Allen,and Patricia Martin are nothing if not consistent. The pair have a distinctive and very unique style to their work that brings the script to life. The focus on the chip in Livewire’s head builds to a wonderful visual payoff, and leads in to the culmination of the arc as a whole. The artistic team are on top form once again, remaining deliciously consistent in the quality as they veer from super detailed backgrounds to panels with a blank background that highlights the action within – especially with the focus on the bright blue items/things within the comic’s pages.

Livewire #4 takes a bit of a stumble along the way, but it’s still worth reading. So far, this book is the exception to the rule when it comes to the quality of the series, and as such I’m hopeful for a return to form with the next issue.

Story: Vita Ayala
Art: Raul Allen and Patricia Martin
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Story: 6.5 Art: 8.3 Overall: 7.6 Recommendation: Read

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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