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Preview: Stranger Things: SIX #1

Stranger Things: SIX #1

Writer: Jody Houser
Penciller: Edgar Salazar
Inker: Keith Champagne
Letterer: Nate Piekos
Colorist: Triona Farrell
Cover Artists: Aleksi Briclot, Kyle Lambert, David Mack, Patrick Satterfield, & Jenny Frison

A teenage girl with precognitive abilities, has struggled through a lifetime of exploitation only to end up the pawn of a government agency that wants to harness her powers for its own ends.

You’ve seen the show Stranger Things, but this is your first glimpse of the strangeness that happened before the series began!

Stranger Things: SIX #1

Review: Star Wars: Han Solo – Imperial Cadet

Have you wondered about Han Solo’s time at the Imperial Academy? Star Wars: Han Solo – Imperial Cadet fills in some of that mystery diving in to his time training. The trade collects Star Wars: Han Solo – Imperial Cadet #1-5 and Star Wars: Beckett.

Story: Robbie Thompson, Gerry Duggan
Art: Leonard Kirk, Edgar Salazar, Marc Laming, Will Sliney
Ink: Leonard Kirk, Daniele Orlandini, Cory Hamscher
Color: Arif Prianto, Jordan Boyd
Letterer: Joe Caramagna, Travis Lanham

Get your copy in comic shops now and book stores on May 15! 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
TFAW

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
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Six Gets the Spotlight in a New Stranger Things Comic Series

Attention Stranger Things fans! Are you curious about the origins of Project MKUltra and Dr. Brenner’s Hawkins Laboratory? Writer Jody Houser, penciller Edgar Salazar, inker Keith Champagne, colorist Triona Farrell, and letterer Nate Piekos are signed on to introduce us to the other subjects trapped in the Hawkins Laboratory in Stranger Things: SIX. Dark Horse and Netflix will release Stranger Things: SIX, the first prequel comic series to the Netflix Original series with covers by Aleksi Bricolt, Kyle Lambert, and David Mack

Stranger Things: SIX follows Francine, a teenage girl with precognition. She’s struggled through a lifetime of exploitation: first by her parents, then by Dr. Brenner of Hawkins Laboratory. Dr. Brenner wants to harness her powers as well as those of the other gifted children that they hold captive at the lab. Wracked by increasingly disturbing visions, she sees an opportunity to change her life. But at what cost?

Stranger Things: SIX #1 (of four) goes on sale May 29, 2019, and is available for pre-order at your local comic shop. Stranger Things Volume 1: The Other Side TPB goes on sale April 30th, 2019. On Saturday, May 4, 2019, fans can visit their local comic shop to pick up a copy of Dark Horse’s Free Comic Book Day Gold 2019 offering, which includes a Stranger Things story!

Stranger Things: SIX #1
Stranger Things: SIX #1
Stranger Things: SIX #1

Preview: Project Superpowers Omnibus Vol 1: Dawn of Heroes TPB

Project Superpowers Omnibus Vol 1: Dawn of Heroes TPB

writers: Jim Krueger, Alex Ross
artists: Alex Ross, Stephen Sadowski, Carlos Paul, Edgar Salazar
cover: Alex Ross
FC | 584 pages | $39.99 | Teen+

COLLECTING CHAPTER 1 #0-7, #1/2, AND CHAPTER 2 #0-12 PLUS 40+ PAGES OF BONUS MATERIAL!

From the dawn of the 20th Century came a new chapter in mankind’s history, unleashed during a time of great war and destruction. It was the beginning of the Age of the Superpowers, yet with the closing of the Second World War, this new spark seemingly flickered and died. Now the story can be told of the great lost superheroes — men and women with incredible abilities who changed the course of mankind forever, and who had been thought lost…until now!

This book includes:

• Project Superpowers Chapter 1: #0-7
• Project Superpowers #1/2 (NEVER BEFORE COLLECTED!)
• Project Superpowers Chapter 2: #0-12
• Over 500 pages of story + more than 40 pages of bonus material by Alex Ross himself!

Preview: Venom #163

Venom #163

(W) Cullen Bunn (A) Edgar Salazar (CA) Will Robson
Rated T+
In Shops: Mar 07, 2018
SRP: $3.99

POISON-X CONCLUSION!
• After revelations about Venom’s past and questions about its future, a dangerous new adversary makes its presence known in the Marvel Universe, and not everyone in this titanic tale will make it home!
• And what comes next will spell doom not only for Venom and the X-Men, but the entire MU itself!

Exclusive Preview: Venom #162

Venom #162

(W) Cullen Bunn (A) Edgar Salazar (CA) Will Robson
Rated T+
In Shops: Feb 21, 2018
SRP: $3.99

POISON X Part 3
• The first-ever Venom/X-Men crossover continues, as Venom and his new mutated friends hunt down an intergalactic symbiote trafficker!
• But the X-Men may have bitten off more than they can chew. After all, the trafficker isn’t the ONLY one interested in symbiotes…and Venom knows that better than anyone!
• Plus: A seemingly small revelation that will have lasting ramifications in VENOM in the months to come! Just you wait, True Believers!

Review: Iceman #4

ICEMAN2017004_covFinally, Iceman gets a little sexy in issue where writer Sina Grace, artists Edgar Salazar and Ed Tadeo, and colorist Rachelle Rosenberg have Bobby bump into Wolverine’s mad, bad, and dangerous to know bisexual son Daken while he’s trying to rescue his rebellious student, Zach, from a members only nightclub. Up to this point, Grace has mainly focused on Iceman’s attempts to come out to his parents and hasn’t had him get into any romantic situations with other men. This is why it’s super nice (and hot) to have him flirt and fight with Daken, who isn’t the best influence on Zach, a mutant that can mess up with electronics and isn’t a fan of the regimented life style at the Xavier School.

Iceman #4 is one of the better structured issues of the series with Grace connecting its plot to a previous adventure while throwing in a splashy guest star, some fantastic action, and some real talk about Iceman’s insecurities and faux confidence. He’s supposed to be a teacher, but is still working on his own issues, like coming out as an adult and not reaching his potential when it comes to his ice abilities. Grace doesn’t go as far as painting the X-Men as evil, but he does demonstrate that their almost paramilitary approach to working with young mutants isn’t the best fit for everyone.

Maybe, some mutants don’t want to fight Apocalypse and just want to dance, play video games, and have a good time. (A partnership with Patsy Walker’s superpowered temp agency would easily solve this problem and also give an excuse for bi bae Ian Soo to appear in Iceman.) It’s honorable that Bobby wants Zach to be able to control his vast powers, but threats and lectures aren’t his style, and the teen can see through him saying that he’ll carry him out of the club in ice handcuffs. Later, in Iceman #4, a skewered-by-ice Daken offers some much needed snarky, yet constructive criticism about Bobby’s approach to leadership and teaching. Basically, Bobby is talking at Zach and not having a discussion about how he feels, like when Bobby makes snide comments about Zach’s Internet friend. Iceman is hella insecure in general with his emotions veering closer to his pal, Human Torch, and not his cool exterior. And he’s going to go supernova metaphorically when his parents show up at the X-Mansion unannounced at the end of the comic.

DakenIcemanHot

Edgar Salazar and Ed Tadeo’s art isn’t the flashiest, but it’s easy to follow, especially the action scenes which have clear moves and motivations. Daken has a healing factor so Bobby doesn’t have to hold back and executes a killer finishing move that plays off Daken’s pet name for Bobby featuring a cool metallic sheen from Rachelle Rosenberg. Also, Salazar and Tadeo’s figure work is quite attractive and seems tailor made for the bisexual gaze aka people who have crushes on both Kitty Pryde and Iceman like yours truly instead of awkward, how is that even a human being 90s inspired superhero art. The cherry on top of the sundae that is Bobby Drake in a white tux is Daken, who is a true homme fatale, and in Salazar and Tadeo’s hands, his ice abilities turn into a kind of sort of metaphor for Iceman possibly being sexually frigid. However, dating and sexy stuff after coming is a real maze to navigate so I also like that Grace, Salazar, and Tadeo are slowly easing Bobby into the world of romance and sexy times.

Some of the dialogue is cheesy, but Sina Grace, Edgar Salazar, Ed Tadeo, and Rachelle Rosenberg make Iceman #4 one of the more memorable issues of the series by adding a hint of sexual tension in the interactions (and action of the mutant powers sort) between Daken and Iceman.  Also, Zach running away exposes some vulnerabilities in Iceman beneath his dad joke making, Disney movie referencing, and ice golem hurling exterior.

Story: Sina Grace Pencils: Edgar Salazar Inks: Ed Tadeo Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg
Story: 8.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8.0  Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Iceman #2

In Iceman #2, Bobby survives an awkward Blackbird ride with his ex-girlfriend Kitty Pryde on a mission to save a power/technology altering powered mutant named Zachary from an angry mob outside a big box store. What he doesn’t survive is the presence of fill-in artists Edgar Salazar, Ibraim Roberson, and Ed Tadeo, who pinch hit for Alessandro Vitti after a single issue. Writer Sina Grace gets the highly awkward, yet very personal relationship between Kitty and Iceman along with his lack of seriousness, but is hamstrung by awful art. His jokes and dialogue land, but the art is stiff and forced. However, Rachelle Rosenberg uses varying tones of white to make it look like the angry mob is actually brushing ice and snow off their clothes.

For the second straight issue, Grace shows that he’s not concerned with continuity heavy epics or overarching plots. He tells simple standalone superhero stories that act as a vessel for him to explore coming out as an adult man. The main conflict of Iceman #2 isn’t rescuing Zachary from the suburban equivalent of peasants with pitchforks, but Kitty getting angry at Iceman for not telling her that he came out as gay. Sure, she’s been in space with the Guardians of the Galaxy for some time, but she had to find out from Goldballs.

When they aren’t bickering on the battlefield, Kitty is quite supportive of Iceman and says that he should talk to someone about what he’s going through instead of hiding his feelings beneath dad jokes and ice puns. Her suggestion is his parents, which opens up a whole can of worms about levels of supportiveness for families and their LGBTQ children. Kitty’s advice is sound, but a little contradictory of the first issue where Iceman considers the X-Men to be his family, and he shows an easy rapport in early scenes where he banters with Colossus and Storm while walking down the halls of the Xavier school for his mission. Even though editorial probably wouldn’t condone, Grace also misses an opportunity to explore Kitty Pryde’s bisexuality that has been hinted at by her creator, Chris Claremont, but has yet to be fully shown on the page. This is partially due to Jim Shooter’s homophobic editorial policies during the 1980s when she was introduced.

Some iffiness aside, Sina Grace definitely understands the character of Iceman and slowly digs into this transitional period in his life while not neglecting Bobby’s sense of humor and fun even at inopportune times. However, this tone isn’t matched in the art by Edgar Salazar, Ibraim Roberson, and Ed Tadeo in what I’m tempted to call a phone-in job. Both Kitty and Iceman have visually interesting powers, and Rachelle Rosenberg even uses stronger colors to show Zachary’s energy tampering abilities. However, with the exception of a cute scene featuring ice golems or where Iceman shoulder checks a town dweller, there is no motion or power to their moves. The Blackbird is taking a dive, but it’s just a suspended object and doesn’t feel like the end of the world. And Iceman and Kitty’s faces remain almost the same with slight ticks for fear and embarrassment. A biggish reveal of Kitty being Iceman’s co-pilots falls flat thanks to the rictus where her face should be. Salazar and Roberson look like they’re going for a 90s vibe with their figure, and there’s nothing wrong with nostalgia, but this doesn’t work with the sleeker uniform designs and Rosenberg’s color schemes. Both the scenes of action and conversation aren’t drawn well so there is no relief from generic faces or stiff poses although Salazar and Roberson are much better gesture artists than facial.

Written by a talented gay writer like Sina Grace, who isn’t afraid to unpack the messiness of Iceman’s coming out and personality while still letting him pose for selfies mid-battle, Iceman should be one of Marvel’s more compelling books. However, with its generic and uninspiring depiction of some of the flashiest (and soapiest) superheroes ever, Iceman pales in comparison to books that have a more distinct visual identity like America, Marvel’s other book with an LGBTQ lead.

Story: Sina Grace Pencils: Edgar Salazar, Ibraim Roberson
Inks: Ed Tadeo, Ibraim Roberson Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg

Story: 8.0 Art: 5.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Uncanny X-Men #19

Uncanny X-Men #19

(W) Cullen Bunn (A) Edgar Salazar (CA) Ken Lashley
Rated T+
In Shops: Mar 15, 2017
SRP: $3.99

When she left the ranks of his X-Men team, PSYLOCKE promised that if MAGNETO stepped out of line, she would end him. And now, in light of the events of INHUMANS VS. X-MEN, Psylocke is going to make good on that promise!

Preview: Uncanny X-Men #18

Uncanny X-Men #18

(W) Cullen Bunn (A) Edgar Salazar (CA) Ken Lashley
Rated T+
In Shops: Feb 15, 2017
SRP: $3.99

AN INHUMANS vs. X-MEN TIE-IN!

OCCUPY NEW ATTILAN!

With the mutant invasion of the Inhuman capital city now complete, MAGNETO seeks to lock it down by deploying his newly-acquired army of mutant sleepers. But will he take his mission a step too far?

uncanny_x_men__18

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