Tag Archives: dave sharpe

Review: Rai: Book One

Rai: Book One

Rai: Book One takes us to the 41st century, the great hero Rai and his smaller and younger-looking (but older) brother Raijin wander the Earth looking for artifacts that could bring back their adversary, Father. He created Rai and all the other Rais that have existed. But he’s a bloodthirsty force that Rai has had to fight time and time again. His forces are expert killers, raiders, dinosaurs, and even a crazy model home, but they are no match for Rai.

Rai: Book One has a great blend of science fiction and action. Series writer Dan Abnett, who previously wrote Rai’s adventures in the preceding Fallen World mini-series, seems to understand how the character works. The book takes place in the 41st century, so there’s a lot of interesting and creative world-building done, too. Raiders and dinosaurs and even the haunted model home make up some of the threats that Rai and Raijin face and it feels like a refreshing slap of creativity.

Two of my favorite things about Rai are this:  For one, most of this is written as single-issue stories. Issues 4 and 5 are a two-parter. But, you could pretty much pick up any issue of this and be able to jump right in. Issue 2, where the Rais come upon the model home dedicated to its own preservation was one of my favorite single issues I read last year. The other favorite thing about Rai is the art.

I think that Juan Jose Ryp’s art on this book is jaw-dropping. I’m a bit biased; he’s one of my all-time favorite artists, but what he does with a page, very few can do. His work on Rai is very detailed and with Andrew Dalhouse on colors, it makes for a perfect pairing. Ryp has a way with action and violence in his work that stands out. Rai is the kind of book that could be appreciated for the art alone.

Rai doesn’t quite recap its previous events at the beginning of the book but through reading it, you learn what got him and little Raijin to this point. Honestly, it’s not that confusing and I feel Rai: Book One is ripe for new readers. This first volume from the relaunch of Rai starts off with all guns blazing and never lets up. It comes out in shops on September 16th and should leave with you on that same day.

Story: Dan Abnett Art: Juan Jose Ryp
Color: Andrew Dalhouse Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Story: 9.0 Art: 10 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: I think it’s worth buying

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Bloodshot #8

Bloodshot #8

In Bloodshot #8, unthinkable monsters are unleashing Hell on Earth! Surrounded by enemies, who can Bloodshot trust?

It has been a long time since the previous issue was released, although there was an expanded edition with some bonus features released last month under the guise of Bloodshot #7 Fully Loaded Edition, but there wasn’t any new story content in that comic. On the off chance you didn’t pick that one up just for the bonus features, and I understand why you may not have, the good news is that you don’t need to remember Bloodshot #7 all that much to be able to enjoy this book because writer Tim Seeley has structured the comic in such a way that a chunk of time has passed between issues seven and eight. It’s not explicitly stated how much time, and whether this was an incredible stroke of luck given the break between issues because of Covid 19, or Seeley was able to adjust the dialogue just enough to convey a longer chunk of time passing than he originally intended, I’m not sure.

Frankly, as far as my enjoyment of the comic goes, I don’t particularly care which it was because the story and dialogue flow so well across every page (but I am genuinely curious as to whether he needed to adjust the text at all).

The story finds Bloodshot atoning for releasing a horde of formerly imprisoned enemies that all have some form of super powers, and may or may not have been used by their respective governments. Granted, he wasn’t in control of himself when he did it, but still he feels responsible for unleashing what he has.

Bloodshot has been one fast-paced and frenetic issue after another. It has been a great ride for the last seven issues. I’ve certainly enjoyed the series for what it is; a popcorn comic that has a depth to it that’s revealed further with each issue. Tim Seeley gives you a little more of his plan with each release. There are moments in this issue that change or enhance your idea of the characterizations of some characters inbetween the action. It’s this balance that allows you to fly through the book while still feeling like you’ve read more than the twenty-odd pages.

Seeley is joined by artist Marc Laming, inker Adelso Corona, colorist Andrew Dalhouse, and letterer Dave Sharpe. All of whom combine for an aesthetic that appeals enormously to me. The style gives me a sense of nostalgia for the comic art I read growing up; it’s dynamic, clean and yet full of life and vibrancy.

If the above paragraph or two feel familiar to you it’s because I copied it from the review of the last issue. It was as true then as it is for this issue, and I didn’t feel like I should try and craftily rewrite the same thing when my feelings on the books hasn’t changed. Personally, I love how this book looks. The lines are clean and it’s very easy to discern what’s happening on every page. It’s an awesome book that consistently surprises me.

Every time I open an issue of Seeley’s Bloodshot, it reminds me why I love reading comics; it’s fun, looks great, and there’s always more meat to the story on the second and third read through as you pick up on the subtleties of Seeley’s dialogue and the details in the art. You can’t go wrong with this book – it’s a must-read for all the right reasons.

Story: Tim Seeley Art: Marc Laming
Ink: Adelso Corona Color: Andrew Dalhouse Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.2 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.


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Preview: RAI Book One TPB

RAI BOOK ONE TPB

Written by DAN ABNETT
Art by JUAN JOSÉ RYP
Colors by ANDREW DALHOUSE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE 
Cover by JUAN JOSÉ RYP
On sale SEPTEMBER 16th | 208 pages, full color | $9.99 US | T+

Welcome to the 41st century: New worlds, new characters, new adventures.

The cyborg ronin named Rai embarks on a thrilling quest to save the future. Side by side with his prototype and predecessor – the robot boy called Raijin – the spirit guardian of the fallen nation of New Japan will journey into the wastelands of Earth to set right the wrongs of their onetime overlord once and for all.

Multiple New York Times bestselling and award-winning writer Dan Abnett (Guardians of the Galaxy) joins forces with breathtaking artist Juan José Ryp (X-O MANOWAR) to begin the essential sci-fi series of the next two thousand years!

Collecting RAI (2019) #1–5.

RAI BOOK ONE TPB

Preview: Bloodshot #8

BLOODSHOT #8

Written by TIM SEELEY
Art by PEDRO ANDREO
Colors by ANDREW DALHOUSE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE 
Cover A by TYLER KIRKHAM
Cover B by DIEGO BERNARD
Cover C by CRYSSY CHEUNG
Preorder Variant Cover by SHAWN CRYSTAL
On sale SEPTEMBER 16th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

Unthinkable monsters are unleashing Hell on Earth!

Surrounded by enemies, who can Bloodshot trust?

BLOODSHOT #8

Preview: Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Twelve

Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red (2020-) Twelve

Written by Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti
Pencils Chad Hardin
Colored by Enrica Eren Angiolini
Lettered by Dave Sharpe
Purchase

“Harley Quinn & The Annihilators”
Harley gets it in her head to transform her Gang of Harleys into a full-fledged cape-wearin’ rooftop-jumpin’ superhero team… and it goes exactly as well as you could expect. It’s a reunion of the bestselling creative team that redefined Harley Quinn: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Chad Hardin!

Harley Quinn Black + White + Red (2020-) #12

Review: Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Chapter Twelve

Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Twelve

Each week I get to look forward to Fridays know that it’s a new chapter of Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red. For those who have read or watched my previous reviews regarding Harley Quinn comics will know I’m not the biggest fan of the character. Like a certain slapstick-ish character from another publisher it’s just a character that hasn’t clicked for me (though I love the classic animated version). Each week though, I’ve come to appreciate Harley and her world a bit more. Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Chapter Twelve delivers yet another new take on the character and again impresses me how much you can do with her and it still all feels like the same character.

Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti take the writing reigns for Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Chapter Twelve bringing together Harley and her Gang of Harleys and transforming them into a full-fledged superhero team. I have no doubt this is a chapter where so much has gone over my head as I haven’t read much of Conner and Palmiotti’s Harley stories. But, even with me probably missing a lot, the chapter is a lot of fun and again something different.

The comic is really split into two parts. The first half concerns the formation of the team while the latter is all about their first adventure. Both are full of laughs with references for everyone. There’s jabs at the superheroes to the 90s and costumes in general. If you don’t enjoy that there’s small visual jokes placed all over. It’s a comic that definitely leans in the more “Looney Tunes” aspect of the character and begs you to linger a bit to really soak in all of the jokes. The comic packs a lot in and if you like that more whacky take on the character, you’ll love this issue.

And that’s part of why I really like this anthology entry. Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Chapter Twelve is yet another complete departure from what we’ve seen before. Conner and Palmiotti dive into the familiar territory that I know of their Harley Quinn work. It’s just that madcap energy that’s full of enthusiasm and bleeding with positive fun. You know Harley’s well-meaning decision is going to spiral and to see where it goes is part of the adventure. How off the rails can the team take it?

Conner and Palmiotti are joined by Chad Hardin on art. Enrica Eren Angiolini provides the colors while Dave Sharpe handles the lettering. The art matches the enthusiasm of Harley. There’s a kinetic aspect of it all with each segment just popping with humor and fun. Hardin and the team add so much detail that I found myself catching jokes I initially missed in my first read. This is a comic where you’re challenged to pay attention to the visuals along with the dialogue. You don’t want to miss half the laughs. Harley sports a familiar superhero outfit while the rest of the team each have the laughs built into their displays. There’s a lot of thought going in to what can be made fun of with the designs and where can it be taken for the humor. But beyond the characters, the background too is full of small details that’ll make you look and chuckle.

Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red Chapter Twelve is a fun issue bringing the classic Harley writing duo into the anthology fold. I feel like a broken record saying it but this DC Digital First series is so refreshing for so many reasons. The fact we get a different Harley each week adds to the fun of the read. The fact we’re able to get so many different Harley Quinns and they all work shows how flexible the character is. Also, this series highlights how much the creative team really brings to our reading experience. That’s a “no duh” but there’s something to see how different, yet at times similar, takes so close together. These aren’t continued story-arcs, they’re one and done stories we can enjoy. For those that enjoy the more madcap looney take on Harley, this a must get.

Story: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti Art: Chad Hardin
Color: Enrica Eren Angiolini Letter: Dave Sharpe
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.4 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Sony Nabs The Kaiju Score from James Patrick, Rem Broo, Dave Sharpe, and AfterShock

AfterShock has announced that Sony has cut a deal to bring The Kaiju Score to the big screen. Being published by AfterShock, the comic is by writer James Patrick, artist and colorist Rem Broo, and letterer Dave Sharpe. The comic releases in November and is described as:

It’s the most dangerous heist ever attempted. Four desperate criminals are going all in on a once-in-a-lifetime chance to steal millions in art and turn their miserable lives around. The catch? They have to pull it off under the nose of a one thousand-ton kaiju. And a giant monster might just be the least of their problems.

Escape Artists’ Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, and Steve Tisch will produce, along with Tony Shaw who brought the property into Sony. AfterShock Comics’ Lee Kramer and Jon Kramer will also produce.

Jiao Chen is overseeing the project for Sony Pictures. Sony Pictures’ Drew Reed and Jake Bauman were instrumental in the deal, as was Rive Gauche Television with Steve Burkow of Ziffren, Brittenham, who negotiated on behalf of AfterShock.

The Kaiju Score

Review: Dark Nights: Death Metal Guidebook #1

DARK NIGHTS: DEATH METAL GUIDEBOOK #1

I remember “guidebooks” from back in the day. They’d be a lot of text that were more like roleplaying game supplements than comic books. And that’s what I expected with Dark Nights: Death Metal Guidebook #1. I was also really wrong about that as well. The Dark Nights: Death Metal tie-in is full of standalone stories and tales that shed more light on what has happened. It’s also a perfect guide for those that skipped “Year of the Villain” and want to catch up.

Dark Nights: Death Metal Guidebook #1 featured five stories from various creative teams and in between it has one-page guides/sketches that I was expected more of. As with all anthologies, the quality varies in story and art but this is the rare case where everything is at least good if not great. The story subjects, tones, and focus are all different delivering insight into the event.

The main chunk of the comic is made up of the “Fall of Earth”. The story goes into detail exactly what happened. While it skips some of the lead up it’s the perfect read for those who want to know what they missed. In goes into so much detail it spoils the first three issues of Dark Nights: Death Metal as well. It’s the Cliff’s Notes version of the event and when I got to the end, I felt like I had a good grasp as to what was going on and the why. None of it was Earth-shattering (pun intended) but I feel like I have a bit more of a grasp as to what’s going on now.

The other four stories focus on various heroes and villains and where they stand.

Harley Quinn gets a spotlight as she explores the irradiated wastelands and it answers some questions as to what has happened to some villains while raising questions as well. Aquaman is the most intriguing of the stories as it shows a former King subjugated and folded to protect his people. We learn more about Wonder Woman and her jail of villains. The story is the highlight of the comic delivering an emotional punch. Wrapping it up is a story featuring Batman, Jonah Hex, and the Joker Dragon. While the overall story is the weakest of the bunch it also has some key details that will impact the main story. There’s a reason Hex was chosen by Batman and something he must do if things go sideways.

The art is pretty solid all around. The styles vary a bit but none of it varies too much from each other. It’s unique but cohesive at the same time. All of it is good across the board and each has its moments that’ll leave you lingering. With a limited amount of pages to work with, the art is key to tell the story and bring emotion.

Dark Nights: Death Metal Guidebook #1 is a one-shot tie-in that really works. While it feels like it should have come out earlier in the event, it does a great job of acting as a starting point for those who missed the first three issues. It answers a lot of questions and also drops some key hints for the main story as well. It’s a spin-off that feels as vital as any main event issue.

Story: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson, Chip Zdarsky, Becky Cloonan, Vita Ayala, Christopher Priest
Art: Doug Mahnke, Khary Randolph, Becky Cloonan, Dan Panosian, Eduardo Risso
Ink: Jamie Mendoza
Color: David Baron, Emilio Lopez, Tamra Bonvillain, Luis Guerrero, Eduardo Risso
Lettering: Tom Napolitano, Dave Sharpe, Steve Wands, Ferran Delgado, Willie Schubert
Story: 8.15 Art: 8.15 Overall: 8.15 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Rai #6

Rai #6

A brand-new arc of the critically-acclaimed series starts in Rai #6! Rai and Raijin are drafted into the positronic Roman legions to face a savage threat.

I absolutely loved the first issue of the current volume of Rai. I was quite taken with the second issue, as well as the third and fourth. After how much I loved Fallen World, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy Rai as much as I have. Every issue has been near perfection. The theme of the series is the inclusion of technology in our lives and the potential future we face. One could argue I’m reading too much into the comics, but I’d like to counter that. After all, what a reader takes from a book can be different depending on their perspectives.

The core concept of the series is that Rai and his younger brother figure who is also an older model android, Raijin, are searching for Offspirng. Not the band, but rather pieces of artificially intelligent code that when returned to Bloodfather will make him nigh unstoppable. Each issue centers around Rai and Raijin and their search for more Offspring, giving the series it’s overarching plot line while allowing Dan Abnett to have each issue effectively tell a whole story or the first half of a two parter.

Rai #6 is one of those comics that deals with the Greater Good; aiming to win the war at the expense of the smaller battles. Abnett explores this concept in a microcosm as Rai and Raijin intervene in an ongoing struggle between two warring factions. There’s a tenseness to the writing as we discover how Rai plans to react the the situation, his singleminded dedication to his goal coming across as selfishness and indifference, which emphasizes Abnett’s point; you can save the world, but don’t forget who your saving it for.

Juan Jose Ryp‘s artwork pulls me right back to Valiant’s Roman era series Britannia (probably because he also drew that), which only helps to emphasize the interconnectedness of the Valiant universe (even if it was unintentional). Once again coloured by Andrew Dalhouse, the visual presentation of the book is near flawless.

Rai was THE book I was waiting for once comics began shipping again, and I can happily say I wasn’t disappointed in Rai #6 after the long wait. Abnett’s Rai is easily the one of the very best things being published right now. If you’re not reading it, why not?

Story: Dan Abnett Artist: Juan Jose Ryp
Colorist: Andrew Dalhouse Letter: Dave Sharpe

Story: 9.8 Art: 9.8 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: RAI #6

RAI #6

Written by DAN ABNETT
Art by JUAN JOSÉ RYP
Colors by ANDREW DALHOUSE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by NETHO DIAZ
Cover B by KANO
Cover C by JASON METCALF
Preorder Cover by BRET BLEVINS
On sale AUGUST 19 | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

A brand-new arc of the critically-acclaimed series starts here! Rai and Raijin are drafted into the positronic Roman legions to face a savage threat.

RAI #6
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