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Confirmed: Dan Didio Out as Co-Publisher of DC

DC logo

Dan Didio is reportedly out as Co-Publisher of DC. He has served in the role along with Jim Lee since 2010. He was previously a VP executive editor for six years and before that VP editorial.

DC’s success has been mixed and controversial under Didio. DC has consistently held the #2 spot when it comes to reported sales once in a while eclipsing fellow publisher Marvel

There has been no official word yet about the shakeup but there’s surely more to come and we’ve asked DC for comment and will update the story if any official statement is made. ComicsPRO is currently underway. Publishers address stores about their upcoming plans and this will have to be addressed.

Update: We have heard from sources that Didio is indeed out from DC and that it’s “business as usual” for the publisher.

Review: LOUD

Loud

What people usually call ‘silent comics’ is often entirely the opposite. The absence of words, of text, does not automatically rob a comic of sound. In fact, it can bring other sounds to the forefront, making it even louder in the process. María Llovet’s LOUD is a perfect example of this, a comic that attacks every sense imaginable with minimal text but with all the sound it can muster.

LOUD plays out like a kind of living anthology of stories all taking place inside a music bar/strip club. These stories range from full erotica to horror, from romance to crime. One story sees two lovers flirting around the fact neither has forgotten their last sexual encounter from two years previous while another story looks at a potential hit job on a man with a seriously sinful sexual history. It even goes as far as to dabble in the supernatural to explore violence between certain guests that prefer blood over alcohol as their preferred beverage. And that’s on top of some of the other stories, which are driven by erotic pure erotic energy and raw emotion.

What’s interesting about the stories is that they’re not divided by chapter breaks, nor do we get individual story titles. Everything feels like it’s happening simultaneously, and it unfolds seamlessly. What does give each story its uniqueness is its ‘sound’ design.

Loud

Stories that take place in the strip club part of the bar are flooded with onomatopoeias sounding out musical beats and their accompanying dance moves. Whenever we see characters escaping into other parts of the bar looking to satiate their lust, for instance, we can expect them to create their own sounds. It’s expertly synchronized and well-orchestrated.

Llovet’s art style is perfectly suited for this type of story. Her characters, environments, and sound effects all feel dream-like in parts, hallucinatory in others. Colors bleed into each other, forcing the reader to be a more active participant in their interpretation of them. Action sequences, dance sequences, and sex scenes are all very lively and wonderfully kinetic. You really have no choice but to see it all in motion. It’s an impressive feat.

As stated earlier, the comic isn’t entirely textless. There are some dialogue exchanges but they never take up more than two or three panels. What’s there is carefully selected and minimal. Character development and story progression come less from this and more from the characters’ bodies themselves. Llovet showcases a masterful approach to body language, and it’s not just the face or the upper body or even the hand gestures. Each character is a story unto itself and it takes all their individual parts to move the narrative forward.

LOUD is a statement on visual storytelling, both in terms of erotica and on sound in comics. Few wordless comics manage to tell their stories with such intensity. It genuinely feels like Llovet created her own imaginary soundtrack for the book. There’s nothing quite like it out there. It quite literally demands to be seen and heard.

Story: María Llovet Art: María Llovet
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy and display!

Black Mask Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Exclusive Preview: 2020 Force Works #1 (of 3)

2020 Force Works #1 (of 3)

(W) Matthew Rosenberg (A) Juanan Ramirez (CA) Carlos E. Gomez, Philip Tan
Rated T+
In Shops: Feb 26, 2020
SRP: $3.99

The eruption of a violent robot revolution threatens all manner of biological life! Teetering on the precipice of extinction, there’s only one man with enough tactical skill, killer instinct and ruthless leadership to lead the rebellion: War Machine! Join War Machine and his elite paramilitary squad (U.S.Agent, Mockingbird, and Quake) in the final crusade for humanity’s fate!

2020 Force Works #1 (of 3)

Review: Going to the Chapel TPB

Going to the Chapel TPB

Going to the Chapel is the type of comic that when you finish, you immediately dream of it being on the big screen. It’s the type of story that’s a hell of a wild ride. Writer David Pepose delivers a story that’s Tarantino in nature with twists and turns that are off the wall on a Looney Tunes sort of way.

Going to the Chapel focuses on a wedding that’s broken up by a robbery that goes wrong. Of course, there’s more to it than that and that’s part of the fun. Over the four issues, the situation gets more out of hand as the police surround the church and the guests decide they’ve had enough. A wedding gone wrong is an understatement as to the experience.

Pepose delivers winks and nods throughout the series making sure the story never gets too serious. With some solid banter and jokes throughout, the comic will put a smile on your face. There’s absurdity throughout and so much coming out of the blue. It catches you off guard and hits the right notes. It’s a hell of a lot of fun.

Gavin Guidry nails it on the art. With colors by Liz Kramer and lettering by Ariana Maher and Colin Bell the art ups the humor of the situation. The style and art nail the moments and adds to the absurdity. Looks on faces and the body language is at times is all it takes. The situation and the visuals combine to get you to laugh. It’s the small details that really help and deliver the jokes. Pepose’s writing is solid but the art is what makes the pacing of some of the dialogue delivery. Everything is just so over the top it’s hard to not have fun and just smile at the chaos.

Going to the Chapel is a mashup between Kevin Smith and Tarantino and the result is so much entertainment. I often joke that it seems like very comic is now optioned and in this case, I want this story to be. It’s a great comic and would be a fantastic fun film. If you like the heist gone wrong genre, this is a must get. If you just like a damn good comic, you can’t go wrong with this.

Story: David Pepose Art: Gavin Guidry
Color: Liz Kramer Letterer: Ariana Maher, Colin Bell
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Action Lab provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Marvel’s Spider-Man: Velocity

The Spider-Man video game saga continues! Why does Spider-Man’s Velocity Suit exist? Find out in Marvel’s Spider-Man: Velocity! Spider-Man must deal with a villain and a mystery as the Gamerverse story continues!

Story: Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum
Art: Emilion Laiso
Color: Rachelle Rosenberg
Lettering: Travis Lanham

Get your copy in comic shops now and bookstores on March 3! To find a comic shop near you, visit http://www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon
Kindle/comiXology
TFAW
Zeus Comics

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
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Review: Godkillers #1

Godkillers #1

I wasn’t expecting to read Godkillers #1 until the preview text caught my eye. The concept sounded interesting so I decided to give it a read.

Abdul Alhazred is an Arab-American folklore professor turned soldier whose fear of death stems from uncertainty about the existence of an afterlife. He joins The Godkillers, a special forces unit tasked with fighting insurgents who use mythological creatures as weapons of mass destruction. Now that he knows the supernatural exists, he’ll have to decide which is worse—death or the nightmarish monsters he thought were mere legends.

Now in all honesty Godkillers #1 wasn’t a book I enjoyed all that much. Th that’s largely because I’m not exactly a fan of the setting. But, I understand why the story has to be framed the way it is. I wanted to like this book, and some aspects I genuinely enjoyed, but it’s just not a comic for me. It’s not a comic I’d typically pick up or review. I am trying to keep that in mind as I write this review.

Because I want to be as fair to the book as I can be, I’m going to break with a typical review style and just give you a set of bullet points.

Pros

  • The art is gritty, dark and moody when it needs to be. It never quite lets you get comfortable, which fits the story’s style very well.
  • Abdul Alhazred feels like a fully fleshed-out character who we’re only seeing glimpses of. His narration bubbles really flesh out his thoughts on the world. The gradual reveal of his motivations makes me want to learn more about the character. His lack of understanding of the events coincides nicely with the lack of information given in the book itself. You really feel like you’re in this with him.

Cons

  • Without having read the preview text I probably wouldn’t have known what the hell was going on in the comic.
  • The art made it a little difficult at times to decipher what was going on on the page. The caveat here is that for some reason the review PDF didn’t scroll as well as others which also played a part in my difficulty in reading the book.
  • There’s a lot of vagueness as to the events of the book, which is mostly a good thing until you realize that without the preview text you’d have been totally lost.

Conclusion
Godkillers #1 really wasn’t my cup of tea. At the same time, I know that just because it didn’t resonate with me doesn’t mean it’s a bad comic. The opposite is also true sometimes, as well. It just means it didn’t strike a chord. I can still appreciate the art, and the idea behind the story without being unfairly harsh to the comic. Objectively, there isn’t anything bad about the book as far as I can tell, and I hope that if you read it then you’re going to enjoy it more than I did. I won’t be scoring the story because I don’t think I can do it objectively or fairly.

If nothing else, I think you need to read this book.

Story: Mark Sable Artist: Maan House
Colorist: Hernan Cabrera Letterer: Thomas Mauer

Story: (N/A) Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Read

Aftershock provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #2

Guardians of the Galaxy #2

Things wrap up quick in Guardians of the Galaxy #2. In what could have been a drawn-out four or five-issue arc, instead, we get things shaken up after just two. And wow, things are shaken up.

Writer Al Ewing keeps things moving at a frenetic pace. This rag-tag version of the Guardians of the Galaxy are up against the gods of Olympus. Things aren’t looking good. They’re outnumbered and outclassed and taking heavy losses. But, these are the Guardians of the Galaxy and that’s what they’re generally up against.

What Ewing delivers though is heart. There’s some events in the comic that are sure to be fake outs. But, there’s emotion on multiple levels. There’s the desperation of the team. There’s the hurt of the battle. Finally, there’s the loss of a team member. Guardians of the Galaxy #2 has a flair for the dramatic and pulls it all off with highs and lows.

The art by Juann Cabal helps a lot. With color by Federico Blee and lettering by Cory Petit the art delivers some of that emotion. There’s shocking horror moments delivered just through visiuals. But, it’s how each character acts and what’s on their faces that really delivers the punches to the gut. Beyond that, there’s some beautiful art with one particular page being absolutely beautiful and had me lingering to take it in.

Guardians of the Galaxy #2 wraps up a quick story arc. In those two issues it delivers a rollercoaster ride of a story. There’s some shocking moments and a true feeling of desperation throughout. It captures that underdog essence that makes Guardians of the Galaxy a great team and series.

Story: Al Ewing Art: Juann Cabal
Color: Federico Blee Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation:
Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: The Visitor #3

The Visitor #3

The Visitor’s origin revealed in The Visitor #3!?

As the unkillable assassin continues hunting his targets, the fate of the future begins to come into focus.

I really wanted to love The Visitor #3 because the first two issues were fun reads. This is as well, but less so than the first. If I’m honest, the plot feels like it’s dragging its feel here; we had a few pages revealing some backstory for the Visitor, and aside from the scenes showing what the Visitor is capable of, the rest seems a rehash of most of the previous conversations had between the same characters that effectively boils down to “we’re so smart doing this [unrevealed] thing right under their noses! We have to stay here [inexplicably] so protect us!”

I’m ready to know a little more about anything and everything within this story. There’s more treading water than furthering the plot beyond what we’ve already seen in the past two issues.

The Visitor #3 is written by Paul Levitz and features artist MJ Kim, colorist Ulises Arreola, and letterer Simon Bowland. I previously wrote that “[the comic] follows the titular character as he’s trying to eliminate something that the Japanese scientists he’s hunting are working on and the UN Security agent Dauber assigned to protect them. Levitz keeps things entirely believable when the scientists keep frustrating Dauber’s efforts to keep them safe by insisting on their secrecy as they all underestimate the Visitor.” It’s still true. I’m leaving it here because I don’t need to update the summary from the second to the third issue.

I still enjoyed the issue. The backstory to the Visitor was certainly interesting. The art of Kim with Arreola’s coloring is for the most part very solid. I say for the most part because there were hiccups that aren’t worth highlighting. The way the pair capture the fluidity of the Visitor’s movements amidst the flying bullets seems effortless. The art really stands out when you notice how the other characters seem to struggle to catch the Visitor. It’s very much showing the excellence by focusing on the mundane.

Despite my misgivings about the shallowness of the plot, this was still a very enjoyable book. I’d be lying if I said The Visitor #3 is a bad comic. It’s just not as good as the first two issues in the series. Hopefully, it’s the weakest of the series, because if this is as bad as The Visitor gets then I’d consider this a solid miniseries that’s well worth picking up.

Needless to say, where the plot falls a little in The Visitor #3 the comic is still a strong entry in the series. The art remains top notch. There’s enough here that you won’t feel robbed when it comes to the plot progression. It just feels like the comic is longer than it needs to be.

Story: Paul Levitz Art: MJ Kim
Color: Diego Rodriguez Letterer: Simon Bowland
Story: 8.1 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: On the Stump #1

On the Stump #1

On the Stump #1 kicks off a wild first issue and world. Politics has evolved from the shit-show we have no to an even wilder reality. Politicians no longer debate issues with speeches. Legislation no longer gets up and down votes. Decisions are now decided in the ring with their fists. And it’s a spectator sport one can bet one. It’s just as corrupt as the current reality though.

Written by Chuck Brown, the comic is a frenetic introduction that takes the issues of today and amplifies them past 11.

The comic is brutal in every way taking things in an almost comedic level. Faces are caved in. Eyes pop out. People get stabbed as if nothing is odd about it. On the Stump #1 is almost at parody level it takes things so far.

But, Brown also seems to have something to say. The comic underneath the surface seems to address real-world issues plaguing us today. There’s a wink and nod towards the reality television place we’ve wound up at. The corruption is clear and acknowledged. How politicians are screwing the masses is there as well. There’s a very deft commentary just below the punching.

The art is provided by Prenzy with lettering by Clayton Cowles. The art style adds a comedic style about it. While Brown’s story is to the extreme, the visuals take it to a whole other level. The gore and brutal nature is gratuitous. But, it’s so over the top, it’s hard to not laugh at the absurdity of it all.

On the Stump #1 is over the top insanity. The concept is so out there and a hell of a lot of fun. It pokes fun at the current political climate while also recognizing where we’re at as a society. It’s a funhouse mirror reflection of our reality. It’s also a debut we’re casting a ballot for.

Story: Chuck Brown Art: Prenzy Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Bloodshot #0

Bloodshot #0

Artist Mac Laming unleashes eye-popping artwork as the truth behind Bloodshot’s mission is revealed in Bloodshot #0!

After reading Bloodshot #0 part of me wondered why the comic hadn’t been released in sequence. This comic bridges the gap between the end of Harbinger Wars II and the beginning of the current Bloodshot series. It addresses how the events of Harbinger II and how he dealt with what he was forced to do.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the answer is not well.

The comic opens with Bloodshot in hiding. He’s trying to disappear and avoid the killing machine he once was, working on a pipeline in northwestern Siberia. Writer Tim Seeley takes a step back from the frenetic pace he’s been using in the six issues so far. He really delves into the psyche of a man who has been used and abused by friends and enemies alike.

Not only does Seeley explore Bloodshot’s broken soul, but he also shows us how he ends up doing what he’s doing at the beginning of Bloodshot #1. There’s a lot of story in this issue. It still doesn’t feel like you’re trying to fit seventeen eggs into a twelve pack.

Under Tim Seeley’s pen, Bloodshot has been one of the more consistent series that Valiant is currently publishing. It’s often a fast-paced action comic with enough hidden depths in each issue to stop it from being overly shallow. With the zero issue, Seeley has shown what he can do with the character when he slows the pace down. And it makes me hopeful that we’ll get more moments like this in the future.

Seeley is joined by artist Marc Laming who handles the art for the first time this series, colorist Andrew Dalhouse, and letterer Dave Sharpe. Laming’s style acts as a visual bridge between Doug Braithwaite’s art at the end of Bloodshot Salvation and Brett Booth’s take on the character in the latest volume. The cold desolation of the comic’s setting is evident in the shades of blue and grey used when the scenes take place outside.

There’s a great full-page around the middle of the comic that emphasizes Bloodshot’s view of himself; a weapon to be used.

But who gets to use the weapon?

The comic does a great job of asking the question and offering an answer that we’ve been reading for the past six issues.

Bloodshot #0 is probably the best comic in the series so far. It is successful as a bridge between stories, as a single issue standalone story and as an introduction to Bloodshot #1 and the character as well. All in all, that’s a home run for the zero issue, which is far more than I expected from an issue which has often been little more than a stop-gap between the numbered issues.

Story: Tim Seeley Art: Andrew Laming
Ink: Adelso Corona Color: Andrew Dalhouse Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Story: 9.5 Art: 9.2 Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

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