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Review: Breaklands Vol. 1

Breaklands

The first story arc of Breaklands is being collected in trade paperback for the first time. This genre-bending adventure series, written by Justin Jordan, was developed by Dark Horse Comics and digitally published as a ComiXology Original. The story is set in a dystopian future where people have developed psychic powers. These psychic abilities have become a part of nearly every aspect of life. The most powerful psychics, known as Shapers, are sought after by the new ruling class. This matters very little to the powerless Kasa Fain and her little brother Adam. They live a peaceful and quiet life. That all changes when Adam is kidnapped and Kasa must set off across the world to rescue him.

Jordan puts together a story that pairs lighthearted humor with hardcore action. The banter between Kasa and the warriors she recruits to help rescue Adam is fast paced and witty. Despite these high these high points, I didn’t find the plot to be all that original. Although there is a fair amount of dialogue, a lot of the storytelling is done through visuals alone. Jordan also come up with cool uses for the various psychic abilities. Pyrokinetic powered vehicles alone are a concept I’d love to see explored further in another series.

I never thought I’d write this, but I think Breaklands almost has too much action. The narrative gets lost in between all the high-octane action sequences. Character development falls by the wayside in favor of the non-stop action. In addition, there were several action scenes that either didn’t make a lot of sense or where it was hard to tell exactly what was going on. I also think there’s almost too many characters, introduced too quickly. Some of them don’t even end up mattering to the greater narrative. Little enough attention is given to developing the main characters to begin with, so the added side characters wind up just cluttering the plot.

In Breaklands, artist Tyasseta draws everything with a cool aesthetic. There are many beautiful full-page spreads in which Tyasetta gets to showcase the world he and Jordan have created. Tyasetta injects a mix of cultures into the vehicles, clothing, and the adornment of buildings. He also draws a variety of different action scenes, some more violent than others. The gorier fight scenes look comical since they’re drawn in a very animated style. I don’t mean for that sentence to come off as a negative. This juxtaposition between gore and cartoon styling actually contributes to the comic’s unique look.

When it comes to comic book storytelling, I often feel like writers come up with a cool concept but then struggle to tell a coherent story within the world they’ve created. In my opinion Breaklands suffers from the opposite problem. Jordan weaves together a strong, albeit familiar, narrative but the world he’s created doesn’t do much to support his story. The story has substance, but the concept is mostly flash. Luckily, Tyasetta uses his talents to full effect and illustrates that flash in a visually pleasing manner. All in all, this is a series that’s not going to appeal to everyone. If you enjoyed Justin Jordan’s previous works or are a fan of dystopian adventures, you’ll probably find something to like about this series. If those caveats don’t apply to you, maybe read the first issue before committing to the entire trade paperback.

Story: Justin Jordan Art: Tyasseta
Color: Sarah Stern Letterer: Rachel Deering
Story: 5.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Read

Dark Horse and comiXology provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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ComiXology Has Your New Digital Comics Releases Covered with Over 125 New Comics!

America Chavez: Made in the USA #1

Today’s new comic book day and there’s over 75 new comics you can get right now. Get shopping now or check out the new releases by the publisher below.

A Wave Blue World

AAM-Markosia

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Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

ENIAC #1

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.

Allergic (Graphix) – Maggie is getting a new puppy but finds out she’s allergic to anything with fur. This si the mission to find the perfect pet!

America Chavez: Made in the USA #1 (Marvel) – The character takes center stage soon in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and this series seems to start setting the ground so she does the same in the comic universe as well.

The Antifa Super Soldier Cookbook (Silver Sprocket) – What if everything the Right thought about the Left was real? An ANTIFA operative is about to get an upgrade and become a full-fledged super-soldier!

BRZRKR #1 (BOOM! Studios) – The Keanu Reeves/Matt Kindt written comic series is here. It has a hell of a lot of buzz due to Reeves and brought in a massive amount on Kickstarter. We’re excited we get to finally read it.

Chariot #1 (AWA Studios) – A military weapon in the form of a muscle car. That alone has us in for this.

Crime Syndicate #1 (DC Comics) – We head to a newly returned Earth-3 where these evil versions of our superheroes rule.

Dead Dogs Bite #1 (Dark Horse) – Seeing Tyle Boss’ name on this comic is what first got us to notice it. The story revolves around a missing person in a small town.

Demon Days: X-Men #1 (Marvel) – Peach Momoko’s new twist on the X-Men is here. We were a bit mixed on the initial preview but we’re still excited to check out a full issue. The art alone will be worth it.

ENIAC #1 (Bad Idea) – Bad Idea is officially here! We’ve read this first issue and it’s a solid debut. What does this publisher have up its sleeve? We’re expecting even more news upon release.

Infinite Frontier #0 (DC Comics) – This is the new start to the DC Universe. It’s full of possibilities and the groundwork and tease of what’s to come begins here.

Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters #1 (Oni Press) – Rainbow is looking for her sister Jonna. They’re both trying to survive in a world full of monsters driving humanity to the brink of extinction. Check out our review.

Man-Bat #2 (DC Comics) – The first issue was an intriguing look at addiction and we really want to see if the series keeps up with that theme.

Nocterra #1 (Image Comics) – The Kickstarted graphic novel is out in single issues. The world has been plunged into everlasting night. Meet Val Riggs, a ferryman who transports goods and people along deadly unlit roads.

Suicide Squad #1 (DC Comics) – With a movie out this year, the Suicide Squad is getting a shake-up and a new lineup that matches the film more. The first issue is exactly what you’d want from the series and shows readers to not get too attached to the characters.

The Swamp Thing #1 (DC Comics) – It’s a new Swamp Thing and a new vision for the character. We want to see what this new take is all about.

Transformers: Beast Wars #2 (IDW Publishing) – The cartoon is now a comic with a bit of a remix to it. The first issue set things up and now we’re getting to the good stuff.

Undone By Blood: The Other Side of Eden #1 (AfterShock) – The first series was a solid tale of revenge. We’re just hoping for more of the same.

What Unites Us (:01 First Second) – A graphic novel adaptation of Dan Rather’s essays.

Avatar: The Last Airbender Gets Chibified in Avatar: The Last Airbender – Chibi: Aang’s Unfreezing Day

Dark Horse Books and Nickelodeon have revealed a new line of books for the smallest fans of Avatar the Last Airbender in the upcoming book line Avatar: The Last Airbender—Chibi, launching September 2021!

Avatar: The Last Airbender—Chibi launches with Aang’s Unfreezing Day. When Aang was frozen in an iceberg for a hundred years, he managed to forget his birthday! Luckily his friends Katara, Toph, Sokka, and Zuko plan to surprise him with a new special day to celebrate. But they’ll have to be careful while they prepare–it’s a surprise!

Celebrated children’s author Kelly Leigh Miller teams with Avatar fandom favorite artist Diana Sim to bring young Avatar fans and their families this heartwarming tale of love, celebration, and friendship, in collaboration with Nickelodeon and Avatar: The Last Airbender animated series writer Tim Hedrick.

Avatar: The Last Airbender — Chibi Vol. 1: Aang’s Unfreezing Day arrives September 7, 2021.

Avatar: The Last Airbender -- Chibi Vol. 1: Aang’s Unfreezing Day

Randy Stradley, VP of Publishing, Retires at Dark Horse

Randy Stradley

In 1985, comic store owner Mike Richardson approached friend Randy Stradley with his plan to start a comic book publishing company. The idea was to not only allow writers and artists to tell the stories they wanted to tell, but to actually own the work they created. They pasted up the first issue of Dark Horse Presents on the counter of a comic shop, hoping they could sell 10,000 copies in order to break even. Instead, the book sold 50,000 and the rest, as they say, is history.

Over the next 35 years, Stradley played a key part in shaping Dark Horse’s publishing line, editing seminal series including Concrete (Paul Chadwick)Boris the Bear (Co-written with Richardson)The American (Mark Verheiden), Hard Boiled (Frank Miller/Geof Darrow)Give Me Liberty (Frank Miller/Dave Gibbons), Dark Horse’s own creation GhostSin City (Frank Miller), and the publication that started it all, Dark Horse Presents. He was also central in elevating licensed comics to previously unseen heights with properties such as AliensPredatorGodzillaMystery Science Theater 3000, and Star Wars.

In the announcement, Stradley said:

After three and a half decades, I believe I’ve done just about all that I can. It has been a great ride, and I want to think Mike Richardson for the tremendous opportunities he’s afforded me. It’s with mixed emotions that I step down, but I know that Dark Horse will continue on to new heights, and that the company is in good hands.

As a writer, Stradley’s work has left an indelible mark on popular culture. His writing on the original Aliens Versus Predator series inspired a film franchise yielding two movies, and the tales of Lieutenant Janek Sunber from Star Wars: Empire and the trials of Jedi Das Jennir in Star Wars: Dark Times remain beloved touchstones for readers of the bygone Expanded Universe.

Get Shopping with Today’s New Digital Comic Releases! Over 175 New Releases.

Stray Dogs #1

It’s new comic book day and comiXology has you covered! You can get shopping right now and get all of the new releases or check out the individual releases by the publisher below.

A Wave Blue World

AAM-Markosia

Ablaze

Abstract Studio

AfterShock

American Mythology Productions

Archie Comics

AWA Studios

BOOM! Studios

comiXology Submit

Dark Horse

DC Comics

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Marvel

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Zenescope


This site 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 these sites. Making purchases through these links helps support the site.

The Orville Sets Off for Adventure in a Comic Set Right Before the Season 2 Finale

The Orville Executive Producer David A. Goodman, artist David Cabeza, and colorist Michael Atiyeh are back at work bringing the world of The Orville to comics with Digressions.

This two-issue “episode” invites you to travel “The Road Not Taken” in this prequel to the season two finale! Follow Ed, Kelly, and the would-have-been crew of the Orville, as they navigate separate lives in an alternate timeline that’s on a collision course with the galaxy-ending Kaylon!

The Orville #1: Digressions Part 1 of 2 goes on sale May 5, 2021.

The Orville #1: Digressions Part 1 of 2

Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson and Leila del Duca Invite You to The House of Lost Horizons

This year, legendary Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, bestselling co-writer Chris Roberson, artist Leila del Duca, letterer Clem Robins, colorist Michelle Madsen, and cover artist Christopher Mitten are inviting readers to The House of Lost Horizons. In this four-issue series from Dark Horse Comics, a locked-room murder mystery puzzles paranormal detective Sarah Jewell and her associate Marie Therése when a weekend trip to a private island off the coast of Washington goes awry. Trapped by a storm and surrounded by myriad suspects who have gathered for an auction of occult items, the intrepid duo must unravel the supernatural mysteries surrounding the guests in the hopes of uncovering the murderer. But all the while bodies keep piling up, and at any moment Sarah or Marie Therése could be next….

The House of Lost Horizons will debut from Dark Horse Comics in comic stores on May 12, 2021, retailing for $3.99.

THE HOUSE OF LOST HORIZONS

When There’s No More Room in Development Hell… Untold Horror Takes You Behind the Curtain in July

Some of the most mind-bending, jaw-dropping and heart-stopping tales in the history of genre film are the ones that never made it to the screen… Dark Horse Books has a story to tell—or rather, untold stories, insightful interviews, and behind-the-scenes looks from horror legends George A. Romero, John Landis, Joe Dante, Larry Cohen, Richard Stanley, Vincenzo Natali, and more, conducted by former editor-in-chief of Rue Morgue magazine, Dave Alexander, about the scariest movies never made. Crack the spine, if you dare, and discover the Untold Horror!

Take a behind-the-scenes look into development hell to find the most incredible horror movies that never were, from unmade Re-Animator sequels to a couple H.R. Giger passion projects, to alternate takes on legendary franchises such as Frankenstein, Dracula and Jaws!

Features art, scripts, and other eye-popping production material from unmade films that still might make you scream—with insights from influential directors, screenwriters, and producers with decades of experience.

Untold Horror hardcover will be in comic shops on July 28, 2021 and in book stores on August 10, 2021.

Untold Horror

The World of The Witcher Continues in Witch’s Lament

Acclaimed CD PROJEKT RED writer and narrative manager Bartosz Sztybor is joined by artist Vanesa R. del Rey, colorist Jordie Bellaire, and letterer Aditya Bidikar for the latest comic series from the world of the hit videogame The Witcher in The Witcher: Witch’s Lament beginning May 26, 2021.

The Witcher: Witch’s Lament follows famed witcher Geralt after a routine hunt. But when the captured witch is burned at the stake, Geralt is haunted by images of her death, and a harrowing warning begins to take shape. Soon, Geralt finds himself drawn into the mystery surrounding this heinous persecution.

The Witcher: Witch’s Lament #1 (of four) arrives May 26, 2021.

The Witcher: Witch’s Lament #1
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