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Review: Undiscovered Country #7

Undiscovered Country #7

Undiscovered Country has been a wild ride. The series focuses on an America that has been walled off to a world devastated by disease and what is found when an international team ventures across the American border. The first arc took us on a Mad Max-like adventure with giant fortress cities on wheels and roving bands riding mutant animals. It was everything, including the kitchen sink, of ideas and the second arc seems to focus on explaining some of the insanity. Undiscovered Country #7 kicks off that second arc as our team has made it into the next zone on a train. But, that’s not the big focus on the issue.

Writers Scott Snyder and Charles Soule have begun to give us some answers to the madness in Undiscovered Country #7. Some of the story focuses on twenty years before the story as the United States begins its devolution into insanity. We get hints as to the science and the why things have gone bad as representatives from the various zones, the U.S. government, meet to discuss the state of the nation.

Through this simple scene, we learn so much more about why things have gone the way they have but also what is at the heart of this new America. What is up with the different zones and what lies ahead? We start really learning that here. We also get more of the philosophy of this nation in what feels like a critique of the current state of affairs.

And that’s where Undiscovered Country gets really interesting. A pandemic. A country walling itself off from the world. It all feels a bit too on the nose for today’s news. All we need us mutant animals but cannibal ants and murder hornets can fill that niche. How this series would be read would be very different if the current state of the world wasn’t what it is. As is, the comic series feels like an exaggeration of the spiral down the toilet we’re currently experiencing.

The art in Undiscovered Country #7 is a bit less insane compared to the previous arc. There aren’t mutants or crazy structures, yet, to have fun with. Instead, it’s mostly a train ride and a government meeting that has our focus. But, the art is still key. Giuseppe Camuncoli and Leonardo Marcello Grassi handle that and the details in the government meeting tell as much a story as what is said. It’s a pivotal scene that will leave you lingering to get the details. Matt Wilson provides colors and Crank! the lettering and while the visuals aren’t as over the top, they may be more important. Where before they shocked us into reality, the art in this issue helps tell the story of a nation.

Undiscovered Country #7 is a new arc and a decent starting point for new readers. You should absolutely read the first arc but this issue is focused more on explaining the current state of the nation, both imaginary and in reality. It continues to build the world that Snyder and Soule have come up with much like the first arc. What’s impressive though is how they do it feels like it has shifted gears a bit. An impressive start to what is a beyond intriguing series.

Story: Scott Snyder, Charles Soule Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Leonardo Marcello Grassi
Color: Matt Wilson Lettering: Crank!
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.15 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Vault’s “Greatest Hits” Comes to Heavy Metal

Vault Comics has announced a partnership with Heavy Metal Entertainment. The partnership will commence today with the release of a selection of Vault’s “Greatest Hits” titles to date, featuring exclusive new cover design. Heavy Metal is focusing on strategic partnerships with publishers and content creators focused on their growth in the marketplace.

The first wave of product under this new partnership will feature Heathen, Money Shot, The Plot, These Savage Shores, and Wasted Space among others, and will expand in the coming months to include exclusive packaging of new #1 titles from Vault, with unique dress treatments and cover art, and a new digest format that will feature an entire line of select Vault titles in a serialized compendium style book format, and an assortment of merchandise created in partnership with Threadless.

Launch Titles From Vault

Heathen

Aydis is a viking, a warrior, an outcast, and a self-proclaimed heathen. Aydis is friend to the talking horse Saga, rescuer of the immortal Valkyrie Brynhild, and battler of demons and fantastic monsters. Aydis is a woman. Born into a time of warfare, suffering, and subjugation of women, she is on a mission to end the oppressive reign of the god-king Odin. Heathen is written, drawn, and colored by Natasha Alterici, and lettered by Rachel Deering.

Heathen

Money Shot

In the near future, space travel is ludicrously expensive and largely ignored. Enter Christine Ocampo, inventor of the Star Shot teleportation device with a big idea: She’ll travel to new worlds, engage—intimately—with local aliens, and film her exploits for a jaded earth populace trying to find something new on the internet. Now, Chris and her merry band of scientist-cum-pornstars explore the universe, each other, and the complexities of sex in MONEY SHOT! A story about scientists having sex with aliens for the glory of mankind—and money, written by Tim Seeley and Sarah Beattie, drawn by Rebekah Isaacs, colored by Kurt Michael Russell, lettered by Crank!.

Money Shot

The Plot

In order to receive… first you must give. When Chase Blaine’s estranged brother and sister-in-law are murdered, he becomes guardian to MacKenzie and Zach, the niece and nephew he hardly knows. Seeking stability for the children, Chase moves his newly formed family to his ancestral home in Cape Augusta — which overlooks a deep, black bogland teeming with family secrets.

The Plot is written by Tim Daniel and Michael Moreci, drawn by Joshua Hixson, colored by Jordan Boyd, lettered by Jim Campbell.

The Plot

These Savage Shores

Two centuries after the first European ship sailed to the Malabar Coast and made landfall at Calicut, The East India Company seeks to secure its future along the lucrative Silk Route, in the year 1766. An old evil now sails aboard a company ship, hoping to make a home in this new found land. But he will soon find that the ground along the Indus is an ancient one with daemons and legends far older than himself.

Along These Savage Shores, where the days are scorched and the nights are full of teeth.

These Savage Shores is written by Ram V, drawn by Sumit Kumar, colored by Vittorio Astone, lettered by Aditya Bidikar.

These Savage Shores

Wasted Space

Billy Bane is a prophet who got it all wrong, and the galaxy has been burning ever since. All he wants is to waste away in the darkest corner of space with his best pal Dust, a supercharged Fuq bot. But when a new prophet comes calling, Billy is summoned to save the galaxy he’s at least partially responsible for destroying.

Too bad he couldn’t care less.

Michael Moreci (Roche Limit, Wonder Woman, Black Star Renegades) and Hayden Sherman (The Few, Cold War, John Carter: The End) have thrown Philip K. Dick in a blender with Preacher. Take a sip and get wasted.

Wasted Space

Review: Undiscovered Country #6

Undiscovered Country #6

I thought it might be weird to dive back in reading Undiscovered Country #6. After all, it’s series about a world ravaged about by a virus and a United States that has cut itself off from the rest of the world. It’s also a United States that has lots its ideals. Instead, I wasn’t weirded out or bothered but instead, a bit underwhelmed.

Written by Scott Snyder and Charles Soule, Undiscovered Country is a wild ride of a series. The first arc, which wraps up with Undiscovered Country #6, is a crazy adventure that’s a wild dystopian journey. Giant creatures, time displacement, hints at a mysterious journey, and a riff on Mad Max, the first arc feels like the first level of a video game. It introduces you to the insanity that lies ahead.

What’s interesting is this issue is all action. A race to the exit point and the ability to move on to the next level. As a film, it’d work fantastically as the motion and stunts would be the focus. But, with the printed page, dialogue becomes a factor and lets face it, it falls a bit flat. Spouting of jingoistic catch-phrases are thrown around like action film banter and it just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in the context. It feels like a bad version of the Junkions in Transformers: The Movie. Tastes great! Less filling! It’s a bit distracting.

But the visuals continue to be amazing and so over the top. Hot air balloon made out of a space shuttle? Check. Starfish steeds? Got that too. Giant rolling fortress with rockets strapped on. It’s here. Giuseppe Camuncoli and Leonardo Marcello Grassi take it all so over the top in the visuals, it’s what draws you in. Add Matt Wilson‘s eye popping colors and Crank!‘s lettering and you’ve got an issue driven by the visual insanity. There’s clear homages to film through the comic and moments that will play out so well when the eventual film adaptation is released. This is a first arc that was made for the screen.

Undiscovered Country #6 is driven by its visuals. The story is straightforward. It’s a race to an exit while being pursued. The comic is not much more complicated than that. It’s the crazy random thrown in there that is the draw. The first arc of this series is fun in a video game get to the next level sort of way and it’ll be interesting to see where it goes. So far, that can be anything based on what we’ve already seen. While the issue isn’t a spot to start, it does make things exciting to see where the series goes as it wraps up the first arc.

Story: Scott Snyder, Charles Soule
Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Leonardo Marcello Grassi
Color: Matt Wilson Letterer: Crank!
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.75 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleTFAWZeus Comics

Review: The Death of Nancy Drew #1

The Death of Nancy Drew #1

When The Death of Nancy Drew was announced, people were not too happy. Dynamite Entertainment was celebrating 90 years of the iconic character by killing her. It was kind of obvious that it wasn’t likely going to be the case and reality. The Death of Nancy Drew #1 should make fans of the character, and the Hardy Boys, as well as fans of crime/noir happy. It’s exactly what I’d expect in a hard-boiled detective story with a grown-up sense dealing with drug use, mobs, and murder.

Written by Anthony Del Col, the story is a great mix of traditional noir storytelling and that of the classic Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys stories. The comic takes you through the death of Nancy Drew with voice overs and introduces us to possible suspects. But, what’s great is Del Col also gives us small clues throughout much like the classic stories it’s based on. A mention of a small detail makes you think this is something we need to file away later to recall during the eventual reveal. The mention of characters and connections allows us to build a mental board connecting the dots. It’s a lot of fun as you work through the story.

Generally, the art by Joe Eisma is pretty solid. There are some solid panels that really evoke the noir genre. But, there are some issues. There are panels here and there that had me pause and took me out of the story, unfortunately. An arm or eye’s positioning look off, it’s enough to distract. But, there are some fantastic moments like waiting out a police interrogation or a punch being thrown. The coloring by Salvator Aiala feels like it shifts a bit in later parts of the comic and in the end, might not be different but just feels and looks different for some reason. Again, it’s something that took me out of the art as well.

Despite some shaky art, I really enjoyed The Death of Nancy Drew #1. It’s predictable and in the end, the overall reveals are what I expected but it’s still a solid read. Anthony Del Col nails the pacing, tone, and voice of the comic. It does a service to classic Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys type storytelling with a mix of the dime crime stories.

Story: Anthony Del Col Art: Joe Eisma
Color: Salvatore Aiala Letterer: Crank!
Story: 8.25 Art: 6.75 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

Dynamite Entertainment provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Rogue Planet #1

Rogue Planet #1

Rogue Planet #1 kicks off an intriguing series blending science fiction and horror for a result that’ll leave you muttering “wtf.” The story follows a salvage crew who follow a signal to a “rogue planet,” one that doesn’t orbit a star but instead floats endlessly through space.

Written by Cullen Bunn, the comic feels rather familiar and for those into deep space science fiction, the comic is a bit been there. Bunn, though, delivers small details and that horror aspect that make this debut stand out. That’s part of the strength of the comic. What feels familiar eventually shifts and leaves you scratching your head. What the salvage crew runs across are the things of horror. While there’s hints as to what we’re looking at, and when you think about it, it all comes together, but each on their own is something new.

And that new really works. Bunn is a master of horror and its use in this sci-fi setting feels fresh. What is presented to feels like something new, at least to me. The visuals are unique.

That uniqueness comes through the art of Andy MacDonald with color by Nick Filardi and lettering by Crank!. It’s hard to describe what’s seen without spoiling the comic. There’s just a level of disgust within that you’ll love or hate. It’s not designs for the squeamish. There’s also lots of small details in the sci-fi aspects. The early part of the comic, some of this world is told through small details added. What we see the crew wearing, or have implanted, helps expand what we’re introduced to.

Rogue Planet #1 is a solid blend of sci-fi and horror and while many aspects are familiar, the overall package is a great read for fans of either genre.

Story: Cullen Bunn Art: Andy MacDonald
Color: Nick Filardi Letterer: Crank!
Story: 7.25 Art: 7.25 Overall: 7.25 Recommendation: Read

Oni Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleTFAWZeus Comics

Out of the Lab and Into the Streets with Alter Nation: They Hide Hybrids

Tim Seeley and Mike Norton, along with colorist Allen Passalaqua and letterer Crank! are bringing Panda Mony’s hit creation to life on the printed page in Alter Nation: They Hide Hybrids!

Alter Nation: They Hide Hybrids follows a top-secret team of cryptid-heroes, GK Delta, who are committed to protecting humanity from extraordinary threats. When you and your team are all that stands between humanity and certain annihilation, you must be able to trust each other no matter what. So when a teammate betrays his brother’s in arms, the team is forced to fight one of their own! What’s worse, what if he was right to leave? The team must confront one of their worst enemies while grappling with the fact that they may not be the heroes they think they are!

Alter Nation: They Hide Hybrids is an all new 50-page graphic novel and includes the 12-page prequel comic Alter Nation: The Mystery of the Whining Winny. It will be in bookstores October 6, 2020 and will retail for $14.99.

Alter Nation: They Hide Hybrids

Oni Announces Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters from Chris Samnee, Laura Samnee, Matthew Wilson, and Crank!

Chris Samnee teams with co-writer Laura Samnee and colorist Matthew Wilson for an ongoing middle reader adventure series, Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters in June.

Exploring the drive and boundaries of rebuilding a family after disaster strikes, Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters follows a tag-team of brawn and brains as two sisters, Rainbow and Jonna, strike out into the unknown on a hunt for their missing father, who was taken a year before.

Battling treacherous territory as the planet around them mysteriously dries up, Rainbow and Jonna will have to combat monsters as they struggle to rediscover their trust and sisterly bond after a year of separation, they struggle to find people in this new world they can trust to help them along the way.

Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters is an ongoing series for ages 8 years and above, available in comic shops everywhere in June.

Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters
Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters

Dynamite Celebrates 90 Years of Nancy Drew… By Killing Her

Nancy Drew & the Hardy Boys: The Death of Nancy Drew

Happy birthday Nancy Drew, here’s a fridge! One of the stranger reveals so far of 2020 is Dynamite‘s Nancy Drew & the Hardy Boys: The Death of Nancy Drew which will be released in April.

In reality, Nancy Drew is not dead as the announcement teases “Nancy Drew is dead! Or so it seems…” The release has understandably angered some as on the surface the concept of celebrating Nancy Drew by investigating her death is a bit odd. It’s Nancy Drew’s story… it just so happens to star the Hardy Boys.

The series is written by Anthony Del Col with art by Joe Eisma. Both took to Twitter to address the controversy.

Del Col Tweeted “not everything is as it seems…”

While Eisma responded to a Tweet asking if they just fridged Nancy, “I promise I would never do anything of the sort.”

The full release from Dynamite hints at more than just a murder mystery:

Through twists and turns, this dark noir-infused story unfurls as the biggest Nancy Drew mystery of all time. Nancy’s mysterious death follows one of her highest stake investigations into organized crime.

Could have Nancy faked her own death or gone into witness protection due to the mob?

Del Col and Eisma are joined by colorist Salvatore Aiala and letterer Crank! for this case.

We’ll uncover the truth when Nancy Drew & the Hardy Boys: The Death of Nancy Drew comes to shelves in April.

Review: Undiscovered Country #3

Undiscovered Country #3

Undiscovered Country is becoming an everything and the kitchen sink of a wild ride. That becomes even more apparent as a new wrinkle is added in Undiscovered Country #3.

Like the previous two issues, this third one gives us more info on one of the characters, Ace Kenyatta. The “expert” on the United States is an interesting one taking his “origin” and what he brings to the series as a whole in an unexpected direction.

Written by Scott Snyder and Charles Soule, Undiscovered Country #3 can only be described as a wild ride of a story continuing a wild ride of a series. Without spoiling the issue, there’s a new concept that’s added to a series that already has taken inspiration from so many thinks like Mad Max, American folklore, and Jurassic Park.

The team is after the key the Destiny Man holds and while the story could easily be entertaining just focused on that, it’s the layers that make the issue interesting. Each character has their moments that add to the mystery of it all. An exchange of dialogue delivers hints as to motives. Or, we learn about the history of the United States. It all creates a story you can enjoy in numerous ways. There’s the action and tension but there’s amazing worldbuilding going on as well.

The details go beyond the dialogue and plot but the art too. Giuseppe Camuncoli and Daniele Orlandini handle those duties superbly. Along with Matt Wilson on color and Crank! on lettering, each panel delivers so much detail. And, all of that detail helps tell a story and add to the worldbuilding. You’re challenged to see it all and put the pieces of the puzzle of what happened in history together.

Each issue of Undiscovered Country has been a surprise. It’s difficult to guess what to expect and what’s in store for readers. It’s rare to find an experience where you really have no idea what’s coming. “Wild ride” is a too simplistic way to describe a series that seems to have taken inspiration from so many things. The series is one of the comics that keep you truly excited for the next issue to see what’s next.

Story: Scott Snyder, Charles Soule
Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Daniele Orlandini
Color: Matt Wilson Letterer: Crank!
Story: 8.35 Art: 8.35 Overall: 8.35 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Money Shot #1, #2, & #3 Go Back to Print, On Sale February 5th, 2020, the Same Day as #4

After numerous sell-outs and rave reviews, the first three issues of Vault Comics‘ hit series, Money Shotare all going back to print. Money Shot issue #1 will receive it’s third printing, while issue #2 and #3 will receive their second printing.

Money Shot’s creative five-some includes writer Tim Seeley, co-scripter & comedian Sarah Beattie, artist Rebekah Isaacs, colorist Kurt Michael Russell, and letterer Crank!.

In the near future, space travel is ludicrously expensive and largely ignored. Enter Christine Ocampos, inventor of the Star Shot teleportation device with a big idea: She’ll travel to new worlds, engage —intimately—with local aliens, and film her exploits for a jaded earth populace trying to find something new on the internet. Now, Chris and her merry band of scientist-cum-pornstars explore the universe, each other, and the complexities of sex in Money Shot! A story about scientists having sex with aliens for the glory of mankind—and money. All three new printings hit store shelves on February 5th, 2020, the same release date as Money Shot #4.


MONEY SHOT #1 (3RD PTG)

Writers: Tim Seeley & Sarah Beattie
Artist: Rebekah Isaacs
Colorists: Kurt Michael Russell
Letterer: Crank!
Designer: Tim Daniel
On Sale: 2/5/2020
Diamond Order Code: SEP199113

In the near future, space travel is ludicrously expensive and largely ignored. Enter Christine Ocampos, inventor of the Star Shot teleportation device with a big idea: She’ll travel to new worlds, engage-intimately-with local aliens, and film her exploits for a jaded earth populace trying to find something new on the internet. Now, Chris and her merry band of scientist-cum-pornstars explore the universe, each other, and the complexities of sex in MONEY SHOT!

A story about scientists having sex with aliens for the glory of mankind-and money.

MONEY SHOT #1 (3RD PTG)

MONEY SHOT #2 (2ND PTG)

Writers: Tim Seeley & Sarah Beattie
Artist: Rebekah Isaacs
Colorists: Kurt Michael Russell
Letterer: Crank!
Designer: Tim Daniel
On Sale: 2/5/2020
Diamond Order Code: NOV198723

The intrepid XXX-plorers are held prisoner by a Warlord on the planet Dry Reef! Can this crew of lovers-not-fighters survive the arena long enough to find their prize-a love guru whose orgasms are powerful enough to split the atom?

MONEY SHOT #2 (2ND PTG)

MONEY SHOT #3 (2ND PTG)

Writers: Tim Seeley & Sarah Beattie
Artist: Rebekah Isaacs
Colorists: Kurt Michael Russell
Letterer: Crank!
Designer: Tim Daniel
On Sale: 2/5/2020
Diamond Order Code: NOV198722

While half of the XXX-plorers search for the big-balled seer whose orgasm could power their teleporter forever, Chris and Omar must seduce the malevolent warlord of planet Dry Reef in time for the livestream. But are they ready to trade the hottest tag-team in the universe for the fate of a world? Plus, the secret origin of Team Money Shot comes to a close!

MONEY SHOT #3 (2ND PTG)

MONEY SHOT #4

Writers: Tim Seeley & Sarah Beattie
Artist: Rebekah Isaacs
Colorists: Kurt Michael Russell
Letterer: Crank!
Designer: Tim Daniel
On Sale: 2/5/2020
Diamond Order Code: NOV191993

In the afterglow of an orgasm that devastated an army, the XXX-Plorers must pick up the pieces, pull up their britches, and figure out how to save a dying world. But first: The horror known only as BWEEDT! Ball-swinging science and romance in the Mighty Money Shot tradition!

MONEY SHOT #4
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