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Review: Black Widow #3

Black Widow #3

Talk about a series that has gotten better with every single issue. Black Widow #3 delivers it all with some great intrigue, some humor, and lots of action. This is a series that should be on everyone’s pull list and continues a fantastic debut and new series.

Writer Kelly Thompson lifts the veil on the mystery as we find out who is behind Black Widow’s world. We also get some motivation to their actions too. Thompson keeps it basic as to the who and the why keeping the focus more on the action and what’s said than some overly complicated plot. In many ways, Black Widow #3 keeps it simple with a progression that we’ve seen in other media. But, the issue does it in a style and with such flair, it’s hard to not enjoy it all.

Thompson builds to the eventual action slowly. We get the reveal as to who’s behind the plot. We get her allies discussing what to do. And we get Natasha debating if something is wrong in her perfect life. While the comic could, and with the title somewhat expected, be a lot of action, instead we get a lot of focus on the characters. There’s a lot of humor and laughs, mostly driven by Bucky and Clint as they debate what to do. There’s also some amazing action with art that pops off the page and just nails its sequences in every single way.

Elena Casagrande handles the art with Jordie Bellaire on color and Cory Petit doing the lettering. The team does a fantastic job of building to the eventual explosion of action. When we get there, the imagery pops off the page with eye-catching spreads and some amazing uses of the page. There’s also a great focus on the quieter moments, especially when Natasha is thinking about her impending marriage. The design is fantastic and there’s an attention to detail that emphasizes the perfection of it all. But, it’s the action sequences… they’re amazing in their flow. The two-page “web” page is so amazing with imagery of Natasha’s past webbed in… you’ll know the page when you get to it.

Black Widow #3 is just a fantastic issue. The action is solid. The humor is great. There’s just so much there to enjoy and it’s all tied together with top-notch visuals. This is a comic that just improves on the previous two and it’s a series that’s getting better with every issue.

Story: Kelly Thompson Art: Elena Casagrande
Color: Jordie Bellaire Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Black Widow #2

Black Widow #2

Something is wrong with Natasha Romanoff… she’s happy!? Black Widow #2 improves upon the first issue as we dig deeper into this rather odd situation for Black Widow to be in. Domestic bliss is not a situation you’d expect her to battle.

Written by Kelly Thompson, Black Widow #2 has an exploration as to what’s going on with our heroine. Clint and Bucky have teamed up to figure out if Natasha is in need of help or if she’s truly happy and safe. It’s that espionage thriller that’s a hell of a draw. The second issue really takes its queues from some classics leaving us to wonder not necessarily what’s going on but more of the why.

And that’s partially what’s interesting with what Thompson has set up. We know Natasha is being watched by the classic villain Arcade and can guess he’s behind what’s going on. A false reality is something he’s known for. But, what’s also clear is, he’s not in charge. There’s someone who has hired the assassin to pull the strings. Who? Why? We get hints as to that by this issue’s end.

Thompson delivers so much more than that though. With the inclusion of Clint and Bucky, we get a “buddy cop” aspect to the issue that adds humor to it all. It’d be easy to focus just on Natasha and as she lives her life we discover the truth. But, with the duo of heroes we not only get some laughs but also a moral debate as to what should be done. She seems happy. Should they leave her to be? Should they “wake” her up? There’s an interesting moral aspect to the issue that couldn’t exist without them.

Elena Casagrande with color by Jordie Bellaire and lettering by Cory Petit is fantastic. Much of the comic is domestic goings on. But, when there’s action, there’s some solid action. The team also uses shadows to really build the mystery as to who is behind things delivering just enough to figure out some of the answers. The comic is just fantastic to look at though and there’s some designs for outfits that are top notch. Natasha’s dress is amazing and beautiful for instance. The art just nails that thriller aspect.

Black Widow #2 delivers the goods and tops the first issue in every way. That was the basic setup but this is the issue where the cards are on the table and we get a thrilling story of espionage and sleeper agents. There’s also enough teased out to get readers really interested as to where it all goes, especially due to the ending which really emphasizes the “why” of it all. This is just a fantastic superhero comic without the flashy spandex.

Story: Kelly Thompson Art: Elena Casagrande
Color: Jordie Bellaire Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: The Immortal She-Hulk #1

The Immortal She-Hulk #1

The Immortal She-Hulk #1 is an intriguing comic. In many ways, it’s a continuation of Al Ewing‘s work on the Immortal Hulk. It dives into some of the concepts that began there and expands them further into the greater world of gamma-irradiated beings. But, what stands out is Ewing’s exploration of the superhero trope of their not staying dead and what that means.

She-Hulk has had a rough few years having died numerous times and come back each and every time. Unlike her cousin who wants to find peace in death and rages that he cannot, She-Hulk, Jennifer Walters, questions what it means. Is she really herself? Does she have a soul? Can she die? Immortality is at the center of the comic and Ewing uses concepts introduced into the Marvel Universe in the relaunched X-Men to explore that idea.

Jennifer has a sitdown with Wolverine, a character who knows about coming back from the dead. Ewing takes us through the “three deaths” of Jennifer Walters, each time revealing more about her experience, some of which she does not remember. We learn more of the rules about this “green door and space” that has played an important role in Ewing’s run in Immortal Hulk.

For those who haven’t been reading that comic, this debut might be a bit confusing. Ewing does a decent job of explaining what’s needed to know. He does so by adding nightmarish aspects with each revelation. And that’s possibly the one issue with the comic, it does rely a bit much on “Hulk history.” Characters are introduced and explained but the emotional punch from that history isn’t quite there. Most feel like we walk away with “that person is bad.” There’s never quite the fear and “oh crap” levied by each twist.

Jon Davis-Hunt‘s art gives us a nightmarish journey with a design and presentation that’s slightly off-kilter. With uneasy colors of Marcio Menyz and lettering by Cory Petit, there’s a visual “offness” to it all. The trauma and running from her nightmares is there and works really well. We see Jennifer’s unease and her questioning of it all. There’s a horror aspect to the comic but one that’s different that the nightmares that haunt her cousin Bruce. Davis-Hunt and his team have visualized trauma in some ways.

The Immortal She-Hulk #1 is a good and unexpected start. It definitely will be a hard read for some. But The Immortal She-Hulk #1 is a very different direction and take to concepts that haven’t been explored enough. While Immortal Hulk delivers the rage of these experiences, Immortal She-Hulk takes things in another direction. It’s a psychological exploration of trauma and thriller wrapped up in spandex.

Story: Al Ewing Art: Jon Davis-Hunt
Color: Marcio Menyz Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Hellions #2

Hellions #2

Having launched just before everything went off the rails in the industry, Hellions was one of the more intriguing series for the newly relaunched X-Men line-up. The series brought together various troubled mutants into a version of their own Suicide Squad. Unlike that team of villains, this was a team of unrepentant monsters with a body count that piled high against mutants and humans. In Hellions #2 the dysfunctional team has been sent to deal with one of Mr. Sinister’s cloning labs housed in the basement of the orphanage where Havok grew up.

The first issue of Hellions was fantastic. It introduced us to the rogue gallery in a fairly common cinematic way. But, it did so with a wink and nod and an attempt to have some fun with it. It also threw in some philosophical debate as to whether these were individuals who could be rehabilitated at all. What would justice for each look like? Writer Zeb Wells shifts away from that a bit in Hellions #2. Instead of the bigger picture of restorative justice, the issue focuses more on how the team interacts and functions as a unit. The answer is not well at all.

What’s fascinating, and fantastic, about Hellions #2 is Wells ability to blend together so many different tones and aspects. There’s horror, comedy, social commentary, and of course action. Things go sideways on the mission from the initial meeting with local law enforcement to the horror awaiting the team within the orphanage. Wells nails the horror tone as the team meets their adversaries and we get even more information as to Mr. Sinister’s clone program’s past. The comic would have been top-notch just focused on the action with a horror spin but Wells adds in humor to it as well. This is a team of misfits and the inclusion of Orphan-Maker and Nanny deliver a one-two punch of laughs that are unexpected in two sequences, one extended to that perfect punchline.

A lot of the success of the comic is due to Stephen Segovia‘s art along with David Curiel‘s color and Cory Petit‘s lettering. The art style and coloring create a creepy and ominous tone but it also delivers the humor as well. You get the sense of horror the Hellions experience as they’re descended upon by their foes. You can see the unease as they’re confronted by what lies in the shadows. There’s also the visible physical pain as well as they get the crap beat out of them. You’ll also laugh as Nanny roles around on the ground unable to stand up. The art nails it in delivering the action but also delivers physical humor as well. The lettering is key to setting the tone as it changes with the foes invoking a “zombie-like” vibe. It’s a subtle but important aspect of the comic.

Hellions #2 is a fantastic issue. While it moves away from the weightier aspects set up in its debut, it entertains delivering a lot of action and some laughs. It’s been a long wait since the first issue but it’s been more than worth it.

Story: Zeb Wells Art: Stephen Segovia
Color: David Curiel Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 8.75 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

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Review: Avengers #33

Avengers #33

“The Age of Khonshu” begins in Avengers #33 as Moon Knight takes on the Avengers. It’s a solid return of the series giving a fresh start after time off and providing a perfect jumping-on point. Avengers #33 is exactly that, a perfect spot to start reading the series. That’s for both lapsed readers and new readers. There is nothing you need to know coming into this comic.

The issue is very simple, Moon Knight whips some butt as he gathers power for something. We don’t know what and there’s not a whole lot of explanation. Writer Jason Aaron keeps the comic focused and repetitive in a way. Each Avenger is taken by surprise and shocked by Moon Knight’s actions. Rinse. Repeat. But, by doing so, Aaron also keeps the reader on the edge as we don’t know what’s going on. Isn’t Moon Knight a good guy?

There’s teases as to why he might be committing his actions. Is he suffering another mental breakdown? Is he trying to save the planet? All we know is he displays abilities he never has before. The concept of “moon” and Moon Knight’s tie to it feels like it’s expanded for the better. We’re also given a nice variety of Avengers he takes on showing that Moon Knight’s abilities and power has expanded in numerous ways. He’s not just good at combat but also magic.

Aaron also makes sure to deliver some tender moments like when Black Panther walks into the fire ceding control of the team to another. It’s a shocking moment as we the reader realize just how strong Moon Knight has gotten that even a King and someone of Black Panther’s ability is resigned to the fact he’ll likely lose.

Artist Javier Garrón delivers solid action throughout. Along with colorist Jason Keith and letterer Cory Petit the action feels like it evolves in a way throughout the comic as Moon Knight evolves. The opening sequence of Moon Knight vs. Iron Fist is fantastic with at times what feels like manga inspired flair but it also never goes over the top with it to the point the art doesn’t feel like the Avengers or Marvel.

The issue is a solid starting point. While there’s not a ton to the comic itself, it has numerous shocking moments as Moon Knight makes quick work of the Avengers for some goal. It’s an unexpected direction for the character and series and one that also feels welcome in many ways. Moon Knight has always played second tier with times of “indie cred” and it looks like now’s his time to be in the spotlight.

Story: Jason Aaron Art: Javier Garrón
Color: Jason Keith Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

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Review: Fantastic Four Vol. 4 Thing vs. Immortal Hulk

The Thing is married and it’s time for his honeymoon! But, the Immortal Hulk has other plans!

Fantastic Four Vol. 4 Thing vs. Immortal Hulk collects issues #12-13, Fantastic Four: Yancy Street, and Fantastic Four: Negative Zone.

Story: Dan Slott, Gerry Duggan, Mike Carey, Ryan North
Art: Sean Izaakse, Greg Smallwood, Mark Bagley, Scott Hanna, Luciano Vecchio, Pere Pérez, Stefano Caselli, Steve Uly
Color: Marcio Menyz, Greg Smallwood, Erick Arciniega
Letterer: Joe Caramagna, Cory Petit

Get your copy in comic shops now and bookstores on March 24! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
Kindle/comiXology

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
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Review: Annihilation: Scourge

The Cancerverse has invaded the Negative Zone and Earth’s heroes must gather to stop the spread before it breaks into their own universe.

Annihilation: Scourge collects Annihilation: Scourge Alpha, Fantastic Four, Nova, Silver Surfer, Beta Ray Bill, and Omega.

Story: Matthew Rosenberg, Michael Moreci, Christos Gage, Dan Abnett
Art: Juanan Ramirez, Cian Tomey, Ibraim Roberson, Alberto Albuquerque, Diego Olortegui, Paul Davidson, Manuel Garcia
Color: Federico Blee, Carlos Lopez, Jay David Ramos, Erick Arciniega, Matt Milla, Rachelle Rosenberg
Ink: Juan Vlasco, Cam Smith, Scott Hanna
Letterer: Cory Petit, Joe Sabino, Travis Lanham, Clayton Cowles

Get your copy in comic shops now and bookstores on March 24! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/39RJ8Ey
Kindle/comiXology: https://amzn.to/38Ns29i
TFAW: https://shrsl.com/25zrw
Zeus Comics: https://www.zeuscomics.com/products/69085/annihilation-scourge-tp?tag=graphicpolicy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Dawn of X Vol. 3

Want to get into Marvel’s X-Men relaunch? They’ve made it easy with Dawn of X collections that package all of the comics of the same number!

Dawn of X Vol. 3 includes the third issue for X-Men, Marauders, Excalibur, New Mutants, X-Force, and Fallen Angels.

Story: Jonathan Hickman, Gerry Duggan, Tini Howard, Ed Brisson, Benjamin Percy, Bryan Edward Hill
Art: Leinil Francis Yu, Gerry Alanguilan, Michele Bandini, Elisabetta D’Amico, Marcus To, Flaviano, Joshua Cassara, Szymon Kudranski
Color: Sunny Gho, Federico Blee, Erick Arciniega, Carlos Lopez, Guru-eFX, Frank D’Armata
Letterer: Clayton Cowles, Cory Petit, Travis Lanham, Joe Caramagna, Joe Sabino

Get your copy in comic shops now and bookstores on March 24! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
Kindle/comiXology
TFAW
Zeus Comics

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #2

Guardians of the Galaxy #2

Things wrap up quick in Guardians of the Galaxy #2. In what could have been a drawn-out four or five-issue arc, instead, we get things shaken up after just two. And wow, things are shaken up.

Writer Al Ewing keeps things moving at a frenetic pace. This rag-tag version of the Guardians of the Galaxy are up against the gods of Olympus. Things aren’t looking good. They’re outnumbered and outclassed and taking heavy losses. But, these are the Guardians of the Galaxy and that’s what they’re generally up against.

What Ewing delivers though is heart. There’s some events in the comic that are sure to be fake outs. But, there’s emotion on multiple levels. There’s the desperation of the team. There’s the hurt of the battle. Finally, there’s the loss of a team member. Guardians of the Galaxy #2 has a flair for the dramatic and pulls it all off with highs and lows.

The art by Juann Cabal helps a lot. With color by Federico Blee and lettering by Cory Petit the art delivers some of that emotion. There’s shocking horror moments delivered just through visiuals. But, it’s how each character acts and what’s on their faces that really delivers the punches to the gut. Beyond that, there’s some beautiful art with one particular page being absolutely beautiful and had me lingering to take it in.

Guardians of the Galaxy #2 wraps up a quick story arc. In those two issues it delivers a rollercoaster ride of a story. There’s some shocking moments and a true feeling of desperation throughout. It captures that underdog essence that makes Guardians of the Galaxy a great team and series.

Story: Al Ewing Art: Juann Cabal
Color: Federico Blee Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation:
Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Wolverine #1

He’s the best there is at what he does and what he does isn’t pretty. Wolverine is back in a solo title that kicks off with this very oversized issue!

Story: Benjamin Percy
Art: Adam Kubert, Viktor Bogdanovic
Color: Frank Martin, Matthew Wilson
Lettering: Cory Petit
Design: Tom Muller

Get your copy in comic shops! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
Kindle/comiXology
TFAW
Zeus Comics

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

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