Tag Archives: dave sharpe

Review: Faith: Dreamside #3

FAITH_DS_003_COVER-A_SAUVAGEWhat dreams may come?

Welcome to the Dreamside, a magical realm where oddities dwell and imaginations thrive. But is this unusual new paradise truly all that it seems on the surface? Together, Faith and Doctor Mirage are about to find that behind the frills and fantasy, there may lurk nightmares…and they’re hunting for Animalia!

Jody Houser‘s run on Faith has been long – twenty issues over two four part mini series and a twelve issue ongoing, not counting Faith: Dreamside  and I can honestly say I have enjoyed each and every issue since the first miniseries flew off the shelves and into my hands. Some more than others, but not one has been a waste of my $4.

When it comes to the visuals that have accompanied Houser’s writing, the same isn’t quite as true. Most of the art I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, but some has been a touch hit or miss for me – but then art is always subjective, and where I may not find some of the comics to be as appealing to the eye as others, that doesn’t mean that you will agree with me.

Case in point, this issue. The art is technically very solid; MJ Kim uses an anime inspired style for much of the comic, which is very in keeping with the story and the events occurring on the page, and while the style usually wouldn’t quite be my cup of tea, I do appreciate its use in this issue as it highlights certain aspects of the Dreamside. As Faith and Doctor Mirage traverse the land of the dead, they’re exposed to a world where the natural rules don’t always apply – is the land inspired by those living within it, or does this part of the Dreamside just happen to be oddly bright and pleasant? The question is answered, at least visually, within the first few pages of the comic, and it’s a revelation  that I really enjoyed – and probably found it far more surprising than I really should have, if I am being completely honest.

Faith: Dreamsidehas become a fun diversion in the Valiant Universe after the rather chaotic and at times lackluster results of Harbinger Wars II, reminding fans and readers alike just what the company is capable of when not trying to write the next Epic Crossover event. Within this issue we see some brilliantly subtle nods to pop culture (and some pretty overt ones as befits the characters of Faith and Animalia), a condensed yet suitably epic journey and confrontation with a conclusion that sets up the fourth and final issue in the series magnificently. I can honestly say I didn’t expect to enjoy this story as much as I currently am.

Story: Jody Houser Art: MJ Kim
Colours: Jordie Bellaire Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.2 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Quantum And Woody #12

QW2017_012_COVER-B-(EXTREME-ULTRA-FOIL)_SHAWThe major leagues are calling!

Now that Eric and Woody Henderson know they have what it takes to save the day, they finally have a shot at going pro – and they’re in luck, because UNITY might just be making a comeback! But the brothers aren’t ready for primetime just yet…they still have to audition for their spots, under the watchful eyes of G.A.T.E. and X-O Manowar!

Look, I won’t try to deny I am genuinely saddened that this is the final issue of Eliot Rahal‘s run on Quantum And Woody, let alone that it’s also the final issue of the current series for the two Henderson brothers. But I’m at least happy to see the series go out on a high note. A very high note. High enough to shatter the glass in your hand, if you want to take the analogy a little farther.

Francis Portella‘s art is coloured by Andrew Dalhouse, and captures Rahal’s swan song story with ease. With the story focusing on the brothers’ heavily encouraged audition for Unity, Valiant’s premier superhuman team, the story focuses on X-O Manowar putting Quantum and Woody through their paces in an amazingly understated work of art. Portella’s work here is super clean and easy to read, his judicious use of blank space an effective way of highlighting the emotional turmoil and internal conflict of certain characters within the comic. The grid work and panel layout are as simplistic and exciting as you would hope – often in the same dynamically constructed page. There are splash pages, traditional grids and enough eye catching imagery to give the reader a spectacular experience.

Yes, it’s the final issue, but I’m still trying to be vague so as to avoid spoilers for those wanting to go into the comic blind.

Somehow, with the last issue of the series, Eliot Rahal has demonstrated his amazing knack for getting into a character’s head and using that understanding to deliver some of the best comics you’ll read. He’s done it for Valiant before with the Archer and Armstrong Divinity III tie in, and once again with the finale of Quantum And Woody. Rahal questions what it is to be a hero, and the various shapes of heroism present in a costumed adventurers daily life – do you need to be constantly saving the world to earn your hero badge, or do you need to save somebody’s world? That Rahal is able to question the nature of superheroism whilst giving us a compelling single issue story is perhaps the highlight of the entire twelve issue run. It also has the benefit of being a brilliant introduction to the characters within the comic, which leaves me in a fairly unique position. It doesn’t matter that this is the final issue in the series, because it is such a fine example of comic book creativity it demands to be read by any and all with an interest in the medium.

When it comes to Quantum and Woody Valiant certainly saved the best for the last, and it’s a shame to see the series end on such a brilliant story. All I wanted after finishing this issue was to count down the days to the next issue – but that, ultimately isn’t going to happen. Like I said, it’s a shame.

Story: Eliot Rahal Art: Francis Portella
Colours: Andrew Dalhouse Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 9.1 Art: 8.8 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Quantum and Woody! (2017) #12

QUANTUM AND WOODY! (2017) #12

Written by ELIOT RAHAL
Art by FRANCIS PORTELA
Colors by ANDREW DALHOUSE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by AJ JOTHIKUMAR
Cover B (Extreme Ultra-Foil) by GEOFF SHAW
Variant Cover by JIM MAHFOOD
Pre-Order Edition by MATT HORAK

The major leagues are calling!

Now that Eric and Woody Henderson know they have what it takes to save the day, they finally have a shot at going pro – and they’re in luck, because UNITY might just be making a comeback! But the brothers aren’t ready for primetime just yet…they still have to audition for their spots, under the watchful eyes of G.A.T.E. and X-O Manowar!

Start stretching now, ‘cuz you don’t want to pull a muscle when rising star writer Eliot Rahal (The Paybacks) and fan-favorite artist Francis Portela (FAITH) begin tryouts for the biggest and best superhero team around in this sensational one-shot finale!

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale NOVEMBER 21nd

Preview: Britannia: Lost Eagle of Rome #4 (of 4)

BRITANNIA: LOST EAGLES OF ROME #4 (of 4)

Written by PETER MILLIGAN
Art by ROBERT GILL
Colors by JOSÉ VILLARRUBÍA
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by DAVID MACK
Cover B by ROBERT GILL
Variant Cover by RAFA GARRES

At last, the mystery of the lost eagles revealed!

Deep within the heart of Egypt, there is unrest…and Antonius and Achillia have stumbled right into the middle of it! On the hunt for the Roman Empire’s missing banners at the behest of Emperor Nero, history’s first detective and his fearsome gladiatrix companion find themselves on the brink of many revelations: Who is responsible for the plagues threatening their Roman brethren? And who is this new revolutionary calling himself Pharaoh?

Legendary writer Peter Milligan (Detective Comics) and visceral artist Robert Gill (BOOK OF DEATH) close Antonius Axia’s most incredible case yet as the final chapter of “LOST EAGLES OF ROME” is revealed!

$3.99 | 32 pgs. |  VALIANT PRESTIGE | T+ | On Sale OCTOBER 31st

Preview: Faith: Dreamside #2

FAITH: DREAMSIDE #2 (of 4)

Written by JODY HOUSER
Art by MJ KIM
Colors by JORDIE BELLAIRE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by MARGUERITE SAUVAGE
Cover B by SIBYLLINE MEYNET
Pre-Order Edition by DAVID LAFUENTE

Don’t go to sleep…

Something strange in your neighborhood? Renowned ghost whisperer Shan Fong Mirage knows how to fix it. But it’s going to take more than stories of supernatural-tinged nightmares to convince her that the young psiot Animalia truly needs her spiritual guidance… Now it’s up to Faith, L.A.’s highest-flying hero and Doctor Mirage’s number one fangirl, to get the world’s leading parapsychologist to take the case!

Renowned writer Jody Houser (Doctor Who) and rising star MJ Kim (FAITH’S WINTER WONDERLAND SPECIAL #1) prepare Valiant’s fan-favorite defender for an adventure through the land of dreams!

$3.99 | 32 pgs. |  T+ | On Sale OCTOBER 31st

Review: Old Lady Harley #1

After liberating New York City from her now-feral Gang of Harleys, poor Harley wants nothing more than to slip back into retirement. But what, or really who, could interrupt that? This future tale of Old Lady Harley Quinn is brought to you by writer Frank Tieri, artists Inaki Miranda, colorist Eva de La Cruz, and letterer Dave Sharpe in a five issue miniseries.

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

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

 

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
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Review: X-O Manowar #20

xo2017_020_COVER-A_ROCAFORTIn a realm far more fantastical than our own, a Sky Goddess is missing… And in pursuit of their vanished cosmic princess and her nefarious captors, a squadron of soldiers from the Unknown have invaded our planet! As tensions run high and trust becomes scarce, can X-O Manowar and G.A.T.E. leader Colonel Capshaw band together to keep our world from becoming ensnared in a battle larger than life?  

X-O Manowar #20 is a comic about a man who possesses more firepower than most armies, a man who is a former king and emperor, and who is willingly allowing a friend to use him as a weapon. Because he’s lost, his world has changed around him during his time in space (X-O Manowar #1-13) and he seems to be looking for a new direction. But despite his fearsome prowess in battle, Aric of Dacia seems to have learnt that fighting isn’t always the answer to every question.

It’s in those moments where we see Colonel Capshaw really shine; she is effectively the only regular human in the room, with nothing but her smarts, her gun and her training, but she steals every scene. There are times in this comic where Capshaw feels like the most dangerous character in the room, despite the awe inspiring power of X-O Manowar and Atom 13. Matt Kindt‘s script retains the high quality that has become a standard of the series over the past 19 issues, and while Juan Jose Rip hasn’t been on the series as long, his art delivers a visual punch as he brings alien spacecraft and terrain to life. His choreography is also hugely enjoyable, though the artist’s hyper detailed style may not be for everybody, your humble reviewer was a big fan.

In a comic the looks back to the Divinity and Eternity stories, the reader doesn’t need to have read those tales – obviously it helps you get a little more from the comic if you have, but if you haven’t then don’t worry about it (though personally I’d highly recommend looking them up). As you may have guessed by this shorter review, X-O Manowar #20is another solid entry in Valiant’s flagship title; I can’t recommend this series to you enough.

Story: Matt Kindt Artist: Juan Jose Rip
Colourist: Andrew Dalhouse Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Story: 9.2 Art: 8.8 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: X-O Manowar (2017) #20

X-O MANOWAR (2017) #20

Written by MATT KINDT
Art by JUAN JOSÉ RYP
Colors by ANDREW DALHOUSE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by KENNETH ROCAFORT
Cover B by ALAN QUAH
Cover C by ZU ORZU
Interlocking Variant by RENATO GUEDES
Pre-Order Edition by WHILCE PORTACIO
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | VALIANT PREMIUM | T+ | On Sale OCTOBER 24th

The Agents of G.A.T.E. vs. the Brothers of the Bomb!

In a realm far more fantastical than our own, a Sky Goddess is missing… And in pursuit of their vanished cosmic princess and her nefarious captors, a squadron of soldiers from the Unknown have invaded our planet! As tensions run high and trust becomes scarce, can X-O Manowar and G.A.T.E. leader Colonel Capshaw band together to keep our world from becoming ensnared in a battle larger than life?

Review: Quantum & Woody #11

QW2017_011_COVER-B-(EXTREME-ULTRA-FOIL)_SHAWQuantum and Woody are having a pretty terrible day so far – their atoms were dissolved in the middle of a nationwide disaster; they faced down their personal demons in “The Otherverse;” and now they’re responsible for bringing a malicious entity back with them! These guys can’t even finish a jigsaw puzzle without losing a whole bunch of pieces – how are they gonna put all of reality back together?

The basic set up for this issue is that Quantum and Woody have to save the world because the real heroes are unavailable. Eliot Rahal doesn’t hide the fact that neither Henderson brother is particularly sought after in the hero circles. His conveyance of this message is both overt and subtle. The obvious is done through the dialogue surrounding the brothers, from Colonel Jamie Capshaw and other G.A.T.E. officers, where as the subtle is in the wonderfully lettered interludes curtesy of Dave Sharpe and through Joe Eisma‘s art. The brothers never really feel like they’re going to be enough to tackle the threat, and yet we still root for them. It’s within this underdog tone that Rahal has created one of the most compelling runs in a comic series I’ve read in a long time.

Quantum & Woody #11 is one of those comics that you can, sort of, just pick up and enjoy with minimal confusion (the recap page that Valiant open the story with will more than help you here), but if you’ve been reading the book since Rahal took over then it’s an issue that rewards you with some brilliant moments in comics. It may sound like hyperbole, but this issue had me grinning from ear to ear as the brothers found a determination that I’ve seldom seen from both of them (granted my Quantum and Woody knowledge isn’t the best). There were also other emotions felt, but the less said about that the better (because spoilers, not because I want to hide that I have emotions).

What we’re given with this comic is an issue that pokes fun at itself and the title characters whilst simultaneously providing an excellent example of the type of super hero comics that will hit you right in the warm spot. That spot that triggers a really satisfied and complete feeling from you when you read or listen or watch something that moves you. Because this comic did that for me.

Ultimately with only one issue left in the series (and that issue being a one-shot story), Rahal is on pace to end his tenure with the Henderson’s on a high note. A very high note.

Story: Eliot Rahal Artist: Joe Eisma
Colours: Andrew Dalhouse Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 9.2 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.1 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Preview: Quantum and Woody! (2017) #11

QUANTUM AND WOODY! (2017) #11

Written by ELIOT RAHAL
Art by JOE EISMA
Colors by ANDREW DALHOUSE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by KYLE SMART
Cover B (Extreme Ultra-Foil) by GEOFF SHAW
Interlocking Variant by JOE EISMA
Pre-Order Edition by RYAN LEE
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On Sale OCTOBER 17th

Situation Normal All Klanged Up!

Quantum and Woody are having a pretty terrible day so far – their atoms were dissolved in the middle of a nationwide disaster; they faced down their personal demons in “The Otherverse;” and now they’re responsible for bringing a malicious entity back with them! These guys can’t even finish a jigsaw puzzle without losing a whole bunch of pieces – how are they gonna put all of reality back together?

Rising star Eliot Rahal (The Paybacks) and Eisner-nominated artist Joe Eisma (Morning Glories) give the world’s worst superhero team some much-needed closure as SEPARATION ANXIETY draws the two brothers closer than ever before!

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