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Review: Defenders #1

DefendersCoverWriter Brian Michael Bendis returns to the characters and type of stories that made him one of Marvel’s star writers in Defenders #1 as Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Daredevil, and Iron Fist team up to fight the literal diamond dropping supervillain, Diamondback. And he kind of, sort of gets his groove back by penning the time of superhero adjacent crime stories that made his work on Daredevil and Alias modern classics. Artist Dave Marquez and colorist Justin Ponsor are the real MVPS on the book replacing their sleeker work on Invincible Iron Man and Civil War II for something more in the shadows. I especially loved Marquez’s powerful take on Luke Cage, who has a personal connection to Diamondback and physically takes up a whole panel while he whales on his old nemesis.

Any kind of character development of the heroes is sidelined for the most part in Defenders #1 as Bendis, Marquez, and Ponsor immediately throw the Defenders into the fray. However, since Bendis is so familiar with these guys, he and Marquez hit some solid character beats between the punching and explosions. There is the clever, sarcastic private eye Jessica Jones, who got put in the hospital by Diamondback in an off panel attack, immediately knowing who her attack her. Also, Black Cat goes from being the feline kingpin of New York, who is bemused by Diamondback trying to make her work for him until he beats the stuffing out of Luke Cage. To be honest (And based on his nauseous cheesiness in the Luke Cage TV show.) , I thought that Diamondback was just a villain of the week and an easy first win for the Defenders. However, he’s gotten a bit of an upgrade (Probably from Inhuman Growth Hormone because MGH is so 2005.) and is the force that brings these street level vigilantes together into a team.

Even though Civil War II was a hot mess of a comic, Dave Marquez showed he was the DefendersInteriorking of drawing superheroes in their element whether in solo or group shots. He brings a similar cool to the introduction of each member of the Defenders. Instead of settling for a simple pose, he creates a poster-worthy background image that visually tells their backstory without clunky exposition. Arguably, the best of the bunch is Jessica Jones’ intro, which is part of a larger double page spread and has her life as a mom and the superhero Jewel on one page and her job as a P.I. for Alias Investigations on the other. It symbolizes the tension of how she’s been characterized since Alias because she went 10 years between solo comics , but thankfully, Jessica plays a more active role in Defenders.

A lot of Defenders #1 takes place in bars, clubs, rooftops and dark paces. This allows Dave Marquez and Justin Ponsor to make the majority of the pages in this book ooze with atmosphere. Spending more than one page on an explosion is a little too Michael Bay for my tastes and kind of depersonalizes Diamondback’s attack on Luke and Jessica. However, Ponsor finds a deep blue for the skies above New York that complements Black Cat’s black outfit nicely and shows readers that Brian Michael Bendis is back to his crime roots. Shadow is everywhere although Marquez’s work still has sheen to it that can be a little awkward like when Diamondback does his gangster thing in the opening scene.

Defenders #1 feels a lot like a veteran musician revisiting the sound that made him great (And won Bendis Eisners.) over a decade ago. It’s not super fresh, but there is a real staccato zest to Bendis’ snarky dialogue, Marquez’s art, and Ponsor’s colors that is best exhibited in a scene where each Defender “interrogates” Diamondback’s men in their own way. More scenes like this where Bendis and Marquez play off the unique personalities of each Defender, and the series could be a hit for Marvel and not just a Netflix cash-in or a nostalgia trip for fans of Marvel’s street level books in early 2000s.

Story: Brian Michael Bendis Art: Dave Marquez Colors: Justin Ponsor
Story: 7.7  Art: 8.3 Overall: 8.0  Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Marvel Welcomes You to Level 8 for the S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 Launch Party!

End the calendar year with a bang this New Year’s Eve as high-tech weapons, high-stakes missions and high-octane adventure come to a comic shop near you with S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 – the debut issue of one of the most highly anticipated titles of the year! In addition to being among the first to purchase and read this exciting first issue, fans will also be able to receive special items exclusive to these launch parties.

Along with All-New Miracleman Annual #1, S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 stands as one of only two Marvel comics being released on 12/31 and Marvel making sure comic book stores nationwide are armed and ready to close out 2014 with a bang when these two books explode onto stands!

Written by Eisner-award winning writer Mark Waid and drawn by a rotating crew of top-flight including Carlos Pacheco, Humberto Ramos, Alan Davis and more – each issue of S.H.I.E.L.D. teams Special Agent Phil Coulson and his team with the best and brightest the Marvel Universe has to offer. From Thor to Ms. Marvel to Captain America to Howard the Duck. If you’ve got the skills – S.H.I.E.L.D. has a mission for you!

To ensure these parties are a success, each retailer opting in to the event will receive a S.H.I.E.L.D. Party Kit from Marvel, containing exclusive promotional materials. Check your Marvel Mailer for more information on how to opt-in to ensure your store has these exclusive promotional items including two-sided S.H.I.E.L.D. trading cards and Skottie Young lithographs.

But that’s not all! Don’t miss out on your chance to snag some exciting variant covers to S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 featuring your favorite Marvel characters! S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 Launch Parties are the best place to get your hands on one-of-a kind variant covers including John Tyler Christopher’s highly collectible Deadpool Party Variant, a photo variant featuring Agent Coulson and Agent May from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and a set of 6 variant covers from Marvel’s rising star artists, the All-New Young Guns!

S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 (OCT140813)
S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 LAUNCH PARTY OPT-IN (OCT140820)
Written by MARK WAID
Art by CARLOS PACHECO
Cover by JULIAN TOTINO TEDESCO
Deadpool Party Variant by JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER (OCT140816)
Set of 6 All-New Young Guns Variants by MAHMUD ASRAR, STEVE MCNIVEN, DAVE MARQUEZ, SARA PICHELLI, VALERIO SCHITI & RYAN STEGMAN (OCT140817)
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Photo Variant Also Available (OCT140818)
Variant Covers by  SKOTTIE YOUNG (OCT140815) & MIKE DEODATO (OCT140814)
Blank Variant Also Available
FOC – 11/10/14, On-Sale 12/31/14

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Preview: Presenting Your Exclusive First Look Inside Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #1!

This October, the Marvel Universe prepares for the biggest battle its ever faced, and today Marvel has released avery first look inside the highly anticipated Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #1! Blockbuster writer Rick Remender is joined by the star-studded artist line up of Adam Kubert, Leinil Yu, Terry Dodson and Jim Cheung for an epic conflict that will require the Avengers and the X-Men to stand together like never before!

From the ashes of Avengers vs. X-Men, rises a new threat. the Red Skull – a monstrous force of evil, now possesses the extraordinary mutant gifts of the late Charles Xavier. Exploiting the powers of the world’s most powerful telepath, he has amassed an army and broadcasts his message of hate across the globe. Residing in the once proud Mutant nation of Genosha, he has enslaved thousands of mutants in his bid for world domination.

All that stands in the Red Skull’s path is the fragile alliance of Avengers and X-Men. Even united, they may not be enough to stem the coming darkness. Earth’s last hope hinges on these fractured squads fighting as one. But as the Age if Inversion looms upon us – have they already lost?

There’s a fine line between good & evil. Find out how thin as the battle commences in Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #1!

Plus, before Avengers & X-Men: AXIS kicks off, follow the events leading up to the blockbuster comic event of the year with Avengers & X-Men: AXIS – The Story So Far. Relive the war between Avengers and X-Men over the Phoenix Force, the Avengers Unity Squad’s first battle with the Red Skull in the pages of Uncanny Avengers and more.

AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #1 (AUG140718)
AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS LAUNCH PARTY OPT IN (AUG140723)
Written by RICK REMENDER
Art by ADAM KUBERT
Cover by JIM CHEUNG
Inversion Variant by GABRIELE DELL’OTTO (AUG140721)
Deadpool Party Variant by CHIP ZDARSKY (AUG140724)
Young Variant by SKOTTIE YOUNG (AUG140719)
Variant Cover by Milo Manara (AUG140720)
Young Guns Variant by Mahmud Asrar, Nick Bradshaw, Dave Marquez, Sara Pichelli, Valerio Schiti & Ryan Stegman (AUG140722)
FOC – 09/01/14, On Sale 10/08/14

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Preview: Intergalactic Adventure in Your First Look at The Legendary Star-Lord #1!

This July, Peter Quill flies solo for the very first time in The Legendary Star-Lord #1 – the bombastic new series from fan-favorite writer Sam Humphries and rising star artist Paco Medina!

Spinning directly out of the pages of Guardians of the Galaxy and just in time for the highly anticipated summer blockbuster – the notorious interstellar outlaw is striking out to swindle and swashbuckle his way across the galaxy in search of big adventures and even bigger scores. Expect a battle with the Badoon, a fight to save an orphanage, not to mention a little flirting with Kitty Pryde of the X-Men – and that’s just the FIRST ISSUE!

Sam Humphries describes the book as:

This book is going to be Peter’s adventures untethered from the Guardians, where he gets to play a little more fast and loose in the cosmic playground. He likes to fight. He likes to flirt. He flies by the seat of his pants. This book is almost more like a Space Western. It’s about heists and cons, bounty hunters, revenge and all that good stuff.

 

 

These are the high flying adventures of a space cowboy.

From the cold abyss of deep space to the seedy alien underworld, deadly forces await around every turn – and the Star-Lord stands alone. As the brazen outlaw prepares to strike out on a new journey, no fan can afford to miss the continuing adventures of the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy. An epic new adventure begins right here – if he lives that long! Hang on dear reader, as Sam Humphries & Paco Medina take you out of this world when THE LEGENDARY STAR-LORD #1 explodes onto comic shop shelves and digital devices this July!

THE LEGENDARY STAR-LORD #1 (MAY140804)
Written by SAM HUMPHRIES
Art by PACO MEDINA
Cover by STEVE MCNIVEN
Variant Cover by SKOTTIE YOUNG (MAR148303)
Set of 6 All-New Young Guns Variants by
MAHMUD ASRAR, NICK BRADSHAW, DAVE MARQUEZ, SARA PICHELLI, VALERIO SCHITI & RYAN STEGMAN
Movie Variant Also Available (MAY140806)
FOC – 06/09/14, On-Sale – 07/02/14

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Preview: Miles is Back! A First Look at Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #1!

This May, the character that took the world by storm returns for a brand-new series in Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man #1. Writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist David Marquez are back for “Revival” – one of the biggest Spider-Man stories of the year!

Miles is back in action with a new status quo and a brand new outlook. But his new lease on life is short lived, as one of Peter Parker’s greatest foes returns to the fold, ready to leave New York City a smoldering ruin! S.H.I.E.L.D. is no more – and it’s up to Miles to take down one of the most dangerous foes in the entire Ultimate Universe!

And Miles will come face to face with Peter Parker’s legacy in a way you’ve never seen before – with a last page so shocking that EVERYONE will be talking!

As Miles new journey begins, he’ll go head-to-head with one of the greatest Spidey villains in history, not to mention a last page that will have USM fans screaming! You do not want to miss one of the biggest issues of the year!

MILES MORALES: ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN (MAR140697)
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Art & Cover by DAVE MARQUEZ
Variant Covers by FIONA STAPLES (MAR140698) and BRANDON PETERSON (MAR140699)
FOC – 04/14/14, On-Sale 05/07/14

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Celebrate a Milestone This April in Ultimate Spider-Man #200!

Marvel has released a first look at Ultimate Spider-Man #200 – the monumental anniversary issue! Legendary writer Brian Michael Bendis teams with Ultimate Spider-Man artists past and present for a celebration of all things Peter Parker, Miles Morales, and more! This epic, double-sized issue features art by Dave Marquez, Mark Bagley, Mark Brooks, Sara Pichelli, and David Lafuente!

On the anniversary of his death, the whole world mourns the loss of Peter Parker, the original Spider-Man. At the home of May Parker, a more intimate gathering of Peter’s closest friends grieve for the loss of their dear friend. But even as they remember their fallen friend, a sinister plan has been set in motion. And the shocking truths about Peter and his world are about to be revealed.

Plus, don’t miss the shocking ending that will have everyone talking! Seeds sown here will bear bitter fruit for Miles in the upcoming Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man series! And it all starts here!

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #200
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Art by DAVE MARQUEZ, MARK BAGLEY, MARK BROOKS, SARA PICHELLI & DAVID LAFUENTE
Covers by
MARK BAGLEY (FEB140774)
DAVID MARQUEZ (FEB140775)
FOC –03/10/14 On-Sale -04/02/14

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Ultimate Marvel NOW!

Currently Marvel‘s Ultimate universe is breaking down in the event Cataclysm. What the Ultimate line of comics would be like after the event has been a hotly debated topic with some thinking the line would end and some characters folded into the main Marvel Universe (the 616). Marvel has announced that’s not only incorrect, but the line of comics will be relaunching!

The most popular characters! The most acclaimed creators! The most ambitious stories! This is the energized Ultimate Marvel NOW!.

This April, Marvel’s Ultimate universe undergoes a massive overhaul in an exciting and new direction as the industry’s top creators – Brian Michael Bendis, Michel Fiffe and Joshua Hal Fialkov take everyone’s favorite Ultimate universe characters – Spider-Man, Iron Man, Kitty Pryde, Sue Storm, Black Widow (formally Spider-Woman), Cloak & Dagger and more in an all-new and exciting direction after the devastating events of Cataclysm.

It all starts in April with All-New Ultimates, from the creative team of Michel Fiffe and Amilcar Pinna. Spider-Man, Black Widow (formally Spider-Woman), Kitty Pryde, Bombshell, Cloak & Dagger officially unite to tackle the vicious, rampant crime wave overtaking Hell’s Kitchen! But can this new team of Ultimates stand up to the murderous gang known only as the Serpent Skulls?

Ultimate Marvel NOW! continues through the spring of 2014 with the launch of Ultimate FF by Joshua Hale Fialkov and upcoming artist, Mario Guevara. The FF – Future Foundation – is all that stands between the Ultimate universe and COMPLETE AND UTTER DOOM! Can Sue Storm, Tony Stark, Machine Man and Sam Wilson face the oncoming devastation directly after the events of Cataclysm?

And finally, Miles Morales is back in his own web-slinging solo-series, Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man by creator Brian Michael Bendis and artist Dave Marquez. In the wake of earth-shattering events, Miles is back in action with a new status quo and a new outlook on life! But there is no time to sit back and relax. A BIG villain from Peter Parker’s past is alive and well and about to turn New York upside down.

All_New_Ultimates_1_Marquez_Variant All-New_Ultimates_1_Nakayama_Cover Ultimate_FF_1_McKone_Cover

Archaia Is Off to Emerald City Comicon!

ArchaiaArchaia Entertainment is excited to announce it will be exhibiting at Emerald City Comicon, taking place March 1-3, 2013 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, Washington!

Several Archaia creators will be on hand to sign copies of their books or promotional items at the Archaia booth #808, including: Andrew E. C. Gaska; Chandra Free; Charles Soule; Dave Marquez; David Petersen; Royden Lepp; Yehudi Mercado.

Special advance copies of the Hawken: Genesis anthology graphic novel hardcover, which is based on the hit online, free-to-play mech game from Meteor Entertainment, will debut at ECCC and be available for sale. Writers Khang Le and Jeremy Barlow will be on hand to sign copies at the Archaia booth and at the Meteor booth in the Gaming Area.

In addition, a promotion through FourSquare will give fans the chance to win a prize pack comprised of autographed copies of Mouse Guard Vol. 1: Fall 1152, Rust Vol. 1: Visitor in the Field, and Hawken: Genesis. Just be sure to check in at the Archaia booth through the FourSquare app on your iOS or Android phone once you’re at the show and you’re automatically entered!

For programming, Archaia will put on an exciting, entertaining panel at the show:

Archaia Presents: How I Broke in to Comics (and How You Can, Too!)
Friday, March 1, 4-5pm, Room 3AB
Ever wonder how some of your favorite creators broke in to comics, or were curious how some up-and-comers get to be “up-and-comers”? Join some of Archaia’s creators for a lively discussion of how they got their first break in comics, and to hear their advice on how you can, too! Panelists include Chandra Free (The God Machine, Fraggle Rock), Andrew E.C. Gaska (Space: 1999: Aftershock and Awe, Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes), Royden Lepp (Rust), David Marquez (Syndrome, The Joyners in 3D), Yehudi Mercado (Pantalones, TX), David Petersen (Mouse Guard), and Charles Soule (Strange Attractors).

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man No More!

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The story behind this image will leave readers in tears! What could possibly drive Miles Morales to abandon his role as Ultimate Comics Spider-Man? Find out this May, in Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #23!

ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #23
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Art & Cover by DAVE MARQUEZ
ON SALE MAY 2013!

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