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Review: Commanders in Crisis Book One: The Action

Commanders in Crisis

In a multiverse, anything is possible. A multitude of Earths, each with its own series of diverging paths. Some of those paths lead to glory, while others are destined only for destruction. In Commanders in Crisis, four superheroes from doomed Earths are rescued minutes before their worlds implode. Together, they are the Crisis Commanders, sworn protectors of the new earth they now call home. The first arc of this series, created and written by Steve Orlando, is as stirring as it is irreverent. The first six issues of this series have been collected into a trade paperback, available now from Image Comics.

This is probably a blasphemous statement, but I don’t think Steve Orlando is a very good storyteller. Don’t get me wrong the guy excels at writing characters. He’s also clearly talented at writing scripts that are easy for the artist(s) to follow, as books he writes always look really good. Unfortunately, a story needs more than flashy concepts and interesting characters. The plot of Commanders in Crisis feels stapled together. The narrative ambles along from one plot point to the next, but never makes a lot of sense. There’s just too much going on within this six-issue story arc. Orlando peppers the story with super heroics, murder mystery, interpersonal drama, existential dread, and domestic terrorism but doesn’t do a good job of connecting all the elements together. Although there are some cool single moments, most of the story ends up being convoluted and confounding.

One thing I did enjoy about Commander in Crisis was the characters. They all have distinct personalities and possess creative powers. They also go through realistic struggles as they strive to understand and control their superpowers. The uniqueness of their powers sets the heroes, and this series, apart from other team superhero books. The Crisis Commanders roster also boasts a high level of diversity. That being said, obviously, any representation is great, but the characters’ diversities felt forced. Each characters’ racial differences and sexual orientations are used to describe who they are on the outside, but then are never really used to define who they are on the inside. By the end of the book, most of the characters felt more like tokens than representations.

As I said above, Orlando’s script and collaboration allow co-creator and artist Davide Tinto’s illustrations to really shine. The narrative’s timeline is easy to visually follow and the action sequences have a dynamic look. I especially appreciated the wide panels used in the page layouts. Using larger panels gives Tinto the chance to showcase the character’s emotions by drawing realistic expressions on their faces. The wide-set panels also makes letterer Fabio Amelia’s job easier, as he often has a lot of dialogue he has to fit in a single panel. Even with expert lettering and spacious framing, there are single panels that look cramped because of everything that is crammed into them.

Commanders in Crisis is the type of comic that doesn’t take itself seriously. Orlando takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to the superhero genre, especially enjoyed the cheeky nods to the comic book industry. The story is full of creative concepts and exciting elements but beyond that, a lot of the story itself doesn’t make much sense. Despite its off-kilter writing, the artwork and general wackiness of this series do produce a few entertaining scenes. However, this is a title that readers should first browse before they commit to purchasing this trade paperback.

Creator & Writer: Steve Orlando Creator & Artist: Davide Tinto
Colorist: Francesca Carotenuto Letterer: Fabio Amelia
Story: 4.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Browse 

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleZeus ComicsTFAWBookshop

Commanders in Crisis Pride Month Variant by Davide Tinto Revealed

Image Comics has revealed a special Pride Month variant cover, featuring all-new art by Davide Tinto, for the forthcoming Commanders in Crisis #9 by Steve Orlando and Tinto. This exciting new issue will hit shelves in June.

Frontier has journeyed from the birthplace of ideas to the dawn of civilization, all to find a way to resurrect empathy…but what if resurrection was never what we needed? In Commanders in Crisis #9, Frontier and Originator dive right into that question in a face off with Doctor Dracula as the Extinction Society begins its final push…to kick us all off the edge and into destruction—the Revenge Regiment strikes!

Commanders in Crisis #9 will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, June 2:

  • Commanders in Crisis #9 Cover A by Tinto – APR210279
  • Commanders in Crisis #9 Cover B by Christian Cimoroni – APR210280
  • Commanders in Crisis #9 Cover C by Elias Chatzoudis – APR210281
  • Commanders in Crisis #9 Cover D by Dax Exclamationpoint – APR210282
  • Commanders in Crisis #9 Cover E Pride Month Variant – MAR218955 
Commanders in Crisis #9 Cover E Pride Month Variant

Commanders In Crisis #2 Features Four Variant Covers

Steve Orlando and Davide Tinto’s new hit series Commanders In Crisis will pack an extra punch with four stunning variant covers for issue #2 this November.

These variant covers will showcase the talents of Joe Quinones (1:25 incentive), Brett Booth (1:10 incentive), Laura Braga, and Paul Harding.

In Commanders In Crisis #2, The Crisis Command, last survivors of the multiverse, are faced with an impossible task: avenging the death…of an idea! DOA is EMPATHY ITSELF, and while empathy withers and dies across the world, Originator uses her abilities to bring the John Doe back for 24 hours to reveal the name of his killer!

Commanders In Crisis #2 will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, November 18:

  • Cover A by Tinto – Diamond Code SEP200193
  • Cover B by Harding – Diamond Code SEP200194
  • Cover C by Braga – Diamond Code SEP200195
  • Cover D [limited 1:10 incentive] by Brett Booth – Diamond Code SEP208285
  • Cover E [limited 1:25 incentive] by Joe Quinones – Diamond Code SEP208286

Review: Commanders In Crisis #1

COMMANDERS IN CRISIS #1

“When all our hope is gone, we have to hold on”- Nine Inch Nails, “We’re In This Together”

Like master alchemists, writer Steve Orlando, artist Davide Tinto, and colorist Francesca Carotenuto turn in a comic that is part “crisis” crossover, part high concept superhero story, and just a whole lot of fun with side of intrigue. Commanders in Crisis #1 also features a truly diverse and multicultural cast of superheroes, who have unique abilities and personalities that aren’t stereotypes. Frontier, Prizefighter, Originator, Sawbones, and Seer might remind you of characters that appear in comics written by creators like Grant Morrison and Kurt Busiek and drawn by Frank Quitely and George Perez, but Orlando and Tinto weave these visual and verbal influences into a wonderful, new multiversal tapestry.

Commanders in Crisis has blockbuster stakes, but Orlando and Tinto seed in personal and human moments for their team of heroes aka the Crisis Command, who get introduced with a double page splash and bold lettering from Fabio Amelia. After a drab, mystery tinged start, colorist Carotenuto pours a metaphorical Jelly Belly machine of colors onto the page as the Crisis Command springs into action against the aptly named Mind Muggers. The name of the baddies alone show the blend of street-level and cosmic action that Commanders in Crisis brings to the table. Whether your ideal superhero story is Final Crisis or the bits in Spider-Man 2 where Peter Parker has no powers and isn’t in costume, this comic has a moment, page, or panel for you. There’s cool, complicated parts, parts that makes you feel, and parts that makes you feel like you’re a kid watching Saturday morning cartoons or picking a book off the spinner rack again.

Commanders in Crisis #1 also does what some of my favorite superhero stories do: it uses eye-popping and memorable things like punching, flying, or something more conceptual like using the power of language to save the day to stand in for abstract ideas like truth, justice, and all that stuff. But, mostly, hope. There is hope in the fact that Prizefighter (aka my new favorite queer superhero) immediately goes from a world-ending team battle to a solo excursion to save a burning building. And Steve Orlando and Davide Tinto create similar hopeful moments from the other members of Crisis Command while building up a formidable opponent that made me instantly want to know what happened in issue two. I would definitely read a long-running series with this team.

Hope also comes through Davide Tinto and Francesca Contenuto’s visuals as well as Orlando’s scripting in Commanders in Crisis #1. Tinto turns in clean, iconic superhero poses while also drawing emotionally open facial expressions when the team is “off the clock”. (I can definitely get into a superhero comic that addresses work/life balance.) His designs hint at the inspirations for each member of Crisis Command while also making something memorable, novel, and connected to their personality. As mentioned earlier, Carotenuto’s varied color palette contributes to their memorable nature. These are characters I would definitely buy merch or action figures of, and I also care deeply whether they live or die.

Commanders in Crisis #1 reads like the comic book equivalent of a doctorate dissertation in superhero comics from writer Steve Orlando and star-making turn for artists Davide Tinto and Francesca Carotenuto. It’s the first chapter in an epic saga that doesn’t neglect character in the midst of its multiversal scope and also leaves room for fluid action, clever concepts, and moments that will make you smile or shudder. This is while basking in the glow of a cast that is truly inclusive, who I can’t wait to see overcome monumental challenges in subsequent issues.

Story: Steve Orlando Art: Davide Tinto 
Colors: Francesca Carotenuto Letters: Fabio Amelia
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

Steve Orlando/Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Comics Deserve Better Episode 10: Corpus – A Comic Anthology of Bodily Ailments

In the Comics Deserve Better Season 1 finale, Brian, Darci, and Logan talk about the end of Stumptown (The TV show) and Lumberjanes as well as Brian Stelfreeze‘s new creator-owned title. They also cover selected stories from the graphic medicine masterpiece, Corpus: A Comic Anthology of Bodily Ailments and talk about their personal connections to them. The episode and season wraps up with previews of Seen: True Stories of Marginalized Trailblazers, TrunglesThe Magic Fish, and Steve Orlando and Davide Tinto‘s Commanders in Crisis plus all of the hosts’ favorite comic of the season! (Episode art by Mark Wang)

Commanders in Crisis Gets Variants from Mirka Andolfo and Peach Momoko

The upcoming series Commanders In Crisis by Steve Orlando and Davide Tinto will feature two virgin, without trade dress, incentive covers of the Mirka Andolfo (1:10) and Peach Momoko (1:25) variants. These stunning covers will hit stores when the new superhero series takes flight from Image comics this October.

In Commanders In Crisis, the last survivors of the Multiverse live among us under new, superheroic identities, five survivors of doomed worlds…taking a second chance to ensure our world lives on. 

A new twist on strange superhero comics, with a bleeding-edge eye on the modern moment, Commanders In Crisis follows in the footsteps of Doom Patrol and Thunderbolts as five unexpected heroes come together to solve a murder unlike any other. The victim? Compassion itself…This is ideacide!

Commanders in Crisis #1 will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, October 14.

  • Commanders In Crisis #1 Cover A Tinto – Diamond Code AUG200037
  • Commanders In Crisis #1 Cover B Sejic – Diamond Code AUG200038
  • Commanders In Crisis #1 Cover C Momoko – Diamond Code AUG200039
  • Commanders In Crisis #1 Cover D Sozo – Diamond Code AUG200040
  • Commanders In Crisis #1 Cover E Talaski – Diamond Code AUG200041
  • Commanders In Crisis #1 Cover F Lupacchino – Diamond Code AUG200042
  • Commanders In Crisis #1 Cover G Andolfo – Diamond Code AUG200043
  • Commanders In Crisis #1 Cover H Blank Cvr – Diamond Code AUG200044
  • Commanders In Crisis #1 Cover I 10 Copy Incv Andolfo Virgin – Diamond Code AUG208121
  • Commanders In Crisis #1 Cover J 25 Copy Incv Momoko Virgin – Diamond Code AUG208122

Early Review: Commanders In Crisis #1

COMMANDERS IN CRISIS #1

“When all our hope is gone, we have to hold on”- Nine Inch Nails, “We’re In This Together”

Like master alchemists, writer Steve Orlando, artist Davide Tinto, and colorist Francesca Carotenuto turn in a comic that is part “crisis” crossover, part high concept superhero story, and just a whole lot of fun with side of intrigue. Commanders in Crisis #1 also features a truly diverse and multicultural cast of superheroes, who have unique abilities and personalities that aren’t stereotypes. Frontier, Prizefighter, Originator, Sawbones, and Seer might remind you of characters that appear in comics written by creators like Grant Morrison and Kurt Busiek and drawn by Frank Quitely and George Perez, but Orlando and Tinto weave these visual and verbal influences into a wonderful, new multiversal tapestry.

Commanders in Crisis has blockbuster stakes, but Orlando and Tinto seed in personal and human moments for their team of heroes aka the Crisis Command, who get introduced with a double page splash and bold lettering from Fabio Amelia. After a drab, mystery tinged start, colorist Carotenuto pours a metaphorical Jelly Belly machine of colors onto the page as the Crisis Command springs into action against the aptly named Mind Muggers. The name of the baddies alone show the blend of street-level and cosmic action that Commanders in Crisis brings to the table. Whether your ideal superhero story is Final Crisis or the bits in Spider-Man 2 where Peter Parker has no powers and isn’t in costume, this comic has a moment, page, or panel for you. There’s cool, complicated parts, parts that makes you feel, and parts that makes you feel like you’re a kid watching Saturday morning cartoons or picking a book off the spinner rack again.

Commanders in Crisis #1 also does what some of my favorite superhero stories do: it uses eye-popping and memorable things like punching, flying, or something more conceptual like using the power of language to save the day to stand in for abstract ideas like truth, justice, and all that stuff. But, mostly, hope. There is hope in the fact that Prizefighter (aka my new favorite queer superhero) immediately goes from a world-ending team battle to a solo excursion to save a burning building. And Steve Orlando and Davide Tinto create similar hopeful moments from the other members of Crisis Command while building up a formidable opponent that made me instantly want to know what happened in issue two. I would definitely read a long-running series with this team.

Hope also comes through Davide Tinto and Francesca Contenuto’s visuals as well as Orlando’s scripting in Commanders in Crisis #1. Tinto turns in clean, iconic superhero poses while also drawing emotionally open facial expressions when the team is “off the clock”. (I can definitely get into a superhero comic that addresses work/life balance.) His designs hint at the inspirations for each member of Crisis Command while also making something memorable, novel, and connected to their personality. As mentioned earlier, Carotenuto’s varied color palette contributes to their memorable nature. These are characters I would definitely buy merch or action figures of, and I also care deeply whether they live or die.

Commanders in Crisis #1 reads like the comic book equivalent of a doctorate dissertation in superhero comics from writer Steve Orlando and star-making turn for artists Davide Tinto and Francesca Carotenuto. It’s the first chapter in an epic saga that doesn’t neglect character in the midst of its multiversal scope and also leaves room for fluid action, clever concepts, and moments that will make you smile or shudder. This is while basking in the glow of a cast that is truly inclusive, who I can’t wait to see overcome monumental challenges in subsequent issues.

Commanders in Crisis #1 is set to be released on October 14, 2020. You can preorder a copy at your local comic book store using the below form until the final order cutoff of September 21, 2020.

Story: Steve Orlando Art: Davide Tinto 
Colors: Francesca Carotenuto Letters: Fabio Amelia
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy

Steve Orlando/Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Pre-order: comiXologyKindle

ComiXology Delivers 8 New Digital Comics For You Today

It’s a new day for digital comics and comiXology has your hookup with eight new comics for you! You can check out the full list of what you can get now or the individual issues below!

Baby Out Of The Blue

Written by Rebecca Winters
Art by Kuremi Hazama
Purchase

While staying at a hotel in Greece, Fran finds an abandoned baby. Just where did the baby come from? Could it be from the tornado the day before? According to the police, the baby’s parents are dead and her uncle Nikolos is desperately looking for her. Nikolos is the CEO of a large company, a man who lives for thrills and pleasure! Or at least that’s what the gossip magazines paint him as—a playboy. But what Fran sees when she reunites him with his niece is a person filled with sincerity. And then he says he wants Fran to accompany him and the baby back to Mykonos, where his family lives…

Baby Out Of The Blue

Marvel Action Spider-Man Vol. 4: Venom

Written by Delilah Dawson
Art by Davide Tinto
Cover by Davide Tinto
Purchase

Collects Marvel Action: Spider-Man #10-12.

Yet another Spider-Man arrives on the scene, but this one is big, bad, and wreaking havoc all across the city. The action continues in this graphic novel adventure for middle-grade readers featuring Peter Parker, Gwen Stacy, and Miles Morales!

Marvel Action Spider-Man Vol. 4: Venom

Marvel Masterworks: Atlas Era Heroes Vol. 1

Written by Stan Lee
Art by Carl Burgos, Bill Everett, Russ Heath, John Romita Sr.
Cover by Carl Burgos
Purchase

Collects Marvel Boy #1-2, Astonishing #3-6 and Young Men #24-28.

As the ’50s dawned and the Atlas Era was born, the day of the Nazi-stomping super hero had passed, and in its place came a new style of hero reflective of the changing times. Heroes born of bizarre atomic science that battled otherworldly alien menaces, and patriotic poster boys that battled back the Communist hordes. Marvel Boy: Rejecting the tyranny of Earth’s governments, scientist Dr. Matthew Grayson built an experimental spacecraft and traveled to the planet Uranus with his infant son, Robert. In this incredible environment, young Robert developed marvelous powers of telepathy and superhuman strength, combined with a pair of amazing photonic wristbands. These astonishing powers made him Marvel Boy, cosmic protector of the solar system! The Hero Revival: The year was 1953, and with fear of Communism clutching the nation’s attention, Atlas Comics publisher Martin Goodman tapped Stan Lee – along with artists John Romita, Bill Everett, Carl Burgos and Russ Heath – to stage a revival of the most-famous super heroes of the era. Bursting onto the pages of YOUNG MEN, the Human Torch, Captain America and the Sub-Mariner made their explosive return to the comics scene!

Marvel Masterworks: Atlas Era Heroes Vol. 1

Marvel Masterworks: Atlas Era Heroes Vol. 2

Written by Dick Ayers, Bill Everett
Art by Dick Ayers, Bill Everett, Mort Lawrence, Bob Powell, John Romita Sr.
Cover by John Romita Sr.
Purchase

Collects Men’s Adventures #27-28, Captain America #76-78, Human Torch #36-38, Marvel Super-Heroes #16.

The Atlas Era Hero Revival continues with the adventures of the comics’ most famous trio of Communist conquering heroes: Captain America, the Human Torch and the Sub-Mariner! Beginning with the Big Three’s anthology adventures in Men’s Adventures, we then dive headlong into Captain America’s complete 1954 solo series. Illustrated by Bullpen legend John Romita in some of his very first super hero stories, you’ll see Cap and Bucky fight Fifth Columnists, Commie spies and even the Soviet Electro! Next up, it’s the Human Torch and Toro! Returned from his slumber by an atomic bomb, the Torch has rejoined his young sidekick in a battle to clean up threats as amazing and entertaining as vampires, killer robots and his 1950s nemesis, the Vulture. Their crime-fighting adventures even take on a global purchase, stretching all the way to the 38th Parallel and Communist Korea! And finally, for a quick taste of what’s to come in Atlas Era Heroes’ next volume, comes an assortment of Bill Everett’s lavishly drawn tales of the lord of the Atlantis, Namor the Sub-Mariner. Considered by many to be the definitive take on the character, Everett’s ’50s Sub-Mariner is nothing less than treasure from the deep! We’d be remiss to leave you without a bevy of historical bonuses, including a rare Human Torch tale that went unprinted for more than a decade, original artwork, Atlas Era house ads and an introduction by Hero Revival scholar extraordinaire Roy Thomas.

Marvel Masterworks: Atlas Era Heroes Vol. 2

Marvel Masterworks: Atlas Era Heroes Vol. 3

Written by Stan Lee
Art by Dick Ayers, Bill Everett, Mort Lawrence, Howard Post
Cover by Syd Shores
Purchase

Collects Sub-Mariner #33-42.

The Atlas Era Heroes hits the high-water mark of the 1954 revival with the sovereign of the seven seas, the Sub-Mariner! Collected for the first time ever, the Atlas SUB-MARINER series showcases Bill Everett’s most lavish, most manic and most exciting interpretation of his undersea creation. Supported by Namora, Princess Fen and intrepid love interest Betty Dean, Namor faces off against the nefarious Prince Byrrah, his own doppelganger, giant crocodiles and Communists a-plenty in issue after issue of pre-Code action and marine adventure. From all-out invasions of the surface world to the perils of exile from Atlantis, these pages define the Sub-Mariner in a way never before, and perhaps never since, captured in any comic series! Along with Dick Ayer’s Human Torch and backup stories featuring the terrors of the deep, you’ll also be treated to Everett’s tales of the young Namor and how he came to be the hot-headed protector the kingdom beneath the Antarctic ice.

Marvel Masterworks: Atlas Era Heroes Vol. 3

Omega: The Unknown

Written by Jonathan Lethem, Karl Rusnak
Art by Farel Dalrymple, Paul Hornschemeier
Cover by Farel Dalrymple, Paul Hornschemeier
Purchase

Collects Omega The Unknown (2007) #1-10.

The story of a mute, reluctant super hero from another planet, and the earthly teenager with whom he shares a strange destiny — and the legion of robots and nanoviruses that have been sent from afar to hunt the two of them down. Created in 1975 by Steve Gerber and Mary Skrenes, the original Omega the Unknown lasted only ten issues, but was a legend to those who recall it — an ahead-of-its-time tale of an anti-hero, inflected with brilliant ambiguity. One of Omega’s teenage fans was award-winning novelist Jonathan Lethem, who has used the original as a springboard for a superbly strange, funny and moving graphic novel in ten chapters.

Omega: The Unknown

Power Pack: The Kids Are All Right

Written by Marc Sumerak
Art by Gurihiru
Cover by Gurihiru
Purchase

Collects Power Pack #1-4, X-Men And Power Pack #1-4, And Avengers And Power Pack Assemble! #1-4.

It’s all-ages action in the mighty Marvel manner! Marvel’s youngest team of super heroes returns for more awesome action, family fun and Snark-stomping adventures – and this time they’ve brought some very special friends! Hot on the heels of four fun-filled, all-ages solo adventures, everyone’s favorite super-powered siblings team up with Marvel’s merry mutants, the X-Men! Featuring Wolverine, Beast, Nightcrawler and Cyclops! Then, Power Pack returns for another titanic team-up – and this time, it’s Earth’s Mightiest Heroes leading the charge! Featuring Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman and more!

Power Pack: The Kids Are All Right

The Wedding Ultimatum

Written by Helen Bianchin
Art by Misuzu Sasaki
Purchase

Danielle is the daughter of a Spanish aristocrat. Following her father’s death, she and her mother find themselves on the verge of financial ruin. She’s been supporting her mother on her own, but then skilled businessman Rafe offers her a helping hand. Rafe grew up dirt-poor but exudes a dangerous charm and sophistication. He offers her a devilish proposal in exchange for a massive sum of money and support. He wants Danielle to marry him and produce an heir with noble blood!

The Wedding Ultimatum

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Steve Orlando and Davide Tinto Introduces Us to Commanders in Crisis in October

Fan favorite Steve Orlando teams up with Davide Tinto for a superhero story unlike any other in the forthcoming Commanders in Crisis. This new ongoing series is produced by Arancia Studio—the Italian media company which worked on Mirka Andolfo’s bestselling Image Comics titles—and will launch from Image Comics this October.

The last survivors of the Multiverse live among us under new, superheroic identities, five survivors of doomed worlds…taking a second chance to ensure our world lives on. A new twist on strange superhero comics, with a bleeding-edge eye on the modern moment, Commanders in Crisis follows in the footsteps of Doom Patrol and Thunderbolts as five unexpected heroes come together to solve a murder unlike any other. The victim? Compassion itself…This is ideacide!

This intense, weird action thriller will remind readers of the importance of compassion and hope in the present moment—all while putting fists to faces along the way!

Commanders in Crisis #1 will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, October 14.

Commanders in Crisis #1

Preview: Marvel Action Spider-Man Vol. 4 Venom

Marvel Action Spider-Man Vol. 4 Venom

(W) Delilah Dawson (A/CA) Davide Tinto
In Shops: Jun 24, 2020
SRP: $9.99

Yet another Spider-Man arrives on the scene, but this one is big, bad, and wreaking havoc all across the city. The action continues in this graphic novel adventure for middle-grade readers featuring Peter Parker, Gwen Stacy, and Miles Morales! Collects issues #10-12 of the Marvel Action: Spider-Man series.

Marvel Action Spider-Man Vol. 4 Venom
Almost American
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