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Review: Black Cat Annual #1

Black Cat Annual #1

Felicia Hardy, the Black Cat, gets stuck in South Korea and is forced into a team-up with White Fox and Tiger Division in Black Cat Annual #1. Their target? The super-powerful Taegukgi, who is working for a local crime lord. However, it goes from bad to worse when they find said crime lord and all of his henchmen dead, meaning someone else is now in control of a very deadly superhero.

One thing I’ve really enjoyed with the annuals this year from Marvel is that the stories have felt a bit different, from Iron Man being a mentor to Miles Morales in the Iron Man annual to the team-up with Tiger Division in this issue. I do wish these were just a bit bigger. I’m a fan of the old 64-page annuals. Back to Black Cat Annual #1, it’s nice to see some newer characters get a bit more use and if remembering correctly, collectors made a big deal out of Taegukgi’s first appearance. The fact that Black Cat ends up with a bomb planted in her neck and spends large amounts of time complaining about it to White Fox did seem a bit played out. Is there just no other way to get help from someone than by booby-trapping them?

Nick Fury’s story in the second part dealing with the infinity gems has been a better use of pages than some of the stories in the older annuals but to me, this chapter just seemed a bit too brief. Go figure. And if I guessed who the shadowy figure is, then I am a bit more excited to follow where this story goes. However, there’s a part of me that thinks It’s just more of Marvel Comics trying to make all their books feel just like their cinematic endeavors. It’s a little thing but they used to be called the infinity GEMS. If they had any stones, they’d go back to calling them that.

I thought the creative team did a fine job on this book. Jed MacKay wrote both parts of this book and one thing that stood out to me was his characters do “sound” different from one another. I liked Juan Ferreyra’s art better in the second half story. I really thought the style added to the story. And in saying that, Joey Vazquez’s art was good, too. I just preferred one to the other.

You could certainly do worse than buying or reading Black Cat Annual #1. It just didn’t feel like that much of a throwaway story and I’m also glad to see a character like Black Cat getting the much-needed push. I think those that read this issue have probably never heard of the added characters in this issue but that’s okay, you have to start somewhere. This issue was definitely worth a read.

Story: Jed MacKay Art: Joey Vazquez and Juan Ferreyra
Color: Brian Reber Letterer: Ferran Delgado
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Savage Dragon #258

Savage Dragon #258

Savage Dragon #258 takes readers on “A Walk On The Wildside”. Amy Dragon sneaks off on an adventure with Walter, the talking tiger. Sadly, dinnertime is not the time for such actions and they find themselves in trouble (and snow) moment after moment.

To be honest, Savage Dragon #258 was a bit of a snoozer. Amy and Walter’s little adventure wasn’t that exciting. The most exciting part was the beginning where Malcolm was battling the God of Thunder. After that, it delved into something a lot more chill and peaceful which didn’t really resonate with me. Partly, I don’t get to read every issue of Savage Dragon that comes out. I do want to say that while the story wasn’t my cup ‘o tea, I think that it’s an impressive feat that series creator Erik Larsen can keep Savage Dragon in some oddball adventures like this one, which helps it be unique.

While I wasn’t blown away by the story, Larsen’s art is still something to behold and this issue had quite a few moments where I liked what I was seeing. The opening page was full-on Kirby (in a good way) and what followed was a very energetic two-page splash. Nikos Koutsis is a fantastic colorist for Larsen’s work and I thought that this issue showed that. I do feel like Larsen has gotten a bit loose with his pencils, as compared to how I think his older issues of Savage Dragon look but I do still think there are quality visuals in this issue. It’s good to know that I can still appreciate the art on a book like this, even if the story doesn’t click with me.

Story: Erik Larsen Art: Erik Larsen
Letterer: Ferran Delgado Colorist: Nikos Koutsis Flats: Mike Toris
Story: 5.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 6.0

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Exclusive Preview: Black Cat #5

Black Cat #5

(W) Jed MacKay (A) Michael Dowling (C) Brian Reber (L) Ferran Delgado
(CA) Pepe Larraz, Marte Gracia (VCA) Carlos Pacheco
Rated T+
In Shops: Apr 14, 2021
SRP: $3.99

THE CAT’S OUT OF THE BAG!
• The Black Fox has sent Felicia and her crew to steal all kinds of items from all the ends of the Marvel U. But why?
• You’ll only find that plan here as there is zero chance you’ve guessed it already.

Black Cat #5

Review: Black Cat #1

Black Cat #1

I really enjoyed writer Jed MacKay‘s previous work on Black Cat. Those volumes have been fun, sexy, with a certain cool factor. And thankfully, none of that is missed here as Black Cat #1 kicks off a whole new adventure. The new series kicks off as a tie-in to the current King in Black storyline presenting a challenge but it pulls off the unenviable task and does so well. New York City is under attack by the symbiote god Knull and the chaos has caused Felicia Hardy’s latest heist to be interrupted. So, Felicia is out for revenge as the greater battle looks to be lost.

MacKay continues to deliver cool when it comes to Hardy and the series. There’s something very “big screen” about all of this work previously and the first issue does the same. The scenes are over the top in their depiction and the dialogue delivers that solid back and forth banter. Black Cat #1 drops Felicia into the action giving her a good part to play in the overall event. But, it also plays to her strengths and hearkens back to earlier heists. The first issue uses the bigger storyline but at its core keeps Black Cat who she is. She’s not out to play superhero and battle her way through things. She steals stuff and the comic keeps it at that.

There’s also a solid mix of what MacKay does best. There’s some solid action and humor mixed together. But, there’s also Felicia dropped into a situation much bigger than she is. She realizes it and we get an honest assessment of what’s going on. Knull and his symbiotes are attacking New York City and there’s a sense of awe to it all. Felicia is our protagonist but also gives us an average person’s view of what’s going on. She’s both a hero here but also caught off guard fighting at the side of Captain America. She gives us an honest assessment of the reality of it all and something we the reader can relate to.

C.F. Villa‘s art is fantastic. Joined by Brian Reber on color and lettering by Ferran Delgado the art delivers eye popping action with a bit of sexy. There’s something that’s been refreshing about the previous volume and this first issue. It teases the sex of it all. It doesn’t go over the top and allows the reader to use their imagination to really titillate. Where others would have put an “ass” shot, Villa puts it just off the panel with just the top showing. There’s something that’s refreshing about that as it recognizes Black Cat being a sex symbol but also not making that front and center and distracting. There’s also an over the top factor of the action scenes which are all worthy of summer popcorn fun. You can tell the art team, along with MacKay, were having fun with the issue.

Black Cat #1 is another solid start for the series. It doesn’t hold back even when dealing with an event. It takes that aspect and uses it as a launching board in some ways keeping the focus on the character and what she does best. Here’s hoping this volume sticks around for a while because this debut is a hell of a lot of fun.

Story: Jed MacKay Art: C.F. Villa
Color: Brian Reber Letterer: Ferran Delgado
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.35 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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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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Get a First Look at DC Cybernetic Summer!

DC Comics wants you to get into a summer mood with a look at some pages from their upcoming DC Cybernetic Summer! Revealed is the Table of Contents for the anthology (on sale July 28), along with a few story pages from “Summer Lovin’” and “The Speedster Games” plus a few pages of art from “Out There” to give you an idea of what to expect from this oversized issue!

  • Superboy, starring the Legion of Super-Heroes, in “Summer Lovin’” by Liz Erickson, Nik Virella, Romulo Fajardo Jr., and Ferran Delgado
  • Mercury Flash in “The Speedster Games” by Joshua Williamson, David Lafuente, Luis Guerrero, and Steve Wands
  • Midnighter, Apollo, Monsieur Mallah and The Brain in “Out There” by Steve Orlando, Paul Pelletier, Norm Rapmund, Adriano Lucas, and Rob Leigh
DC Cybernetic Summer

This week’s DC Digital First includes Titans, Scooby-Doo!, Ghosts, From Beyond the Unknown, DCeased, Harley Quinn, and more!

DC’s Digital Firsts continues with new content every day! New series Titans: Titans Together, From Beyond the Unknown, Scooby-Doo!: Mystery Inc. and Ghosts all continue with their second issues, giving fans even more choices. And watch DC’s digital space next week for new chapters of DCeased: Hope at World’s End on Tuesday, June 30, Batman: The Adventures Continue on Thursday, July 2, and Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red on Friday, July 3!

Monday June 29

Superman: Man of Tomorrow #9

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What Lives Inside” by Jeff Parker, Sam Lofti, John Rauch, and Clayton Cowles

Superman and Lois respond to an emergency call at the mines outside of Metropolis. Can Superman save the miners from a horde of mysterious rock creatures? And where did these creatures come from?

Invasive Species” by Jeff Parker, Mike McKone, Romulo Fajardo Jr., and Clayton Cowles

Brainiac unleashes a monstrous creature on the Portland airport. Can Superman stop it before it spawns and overwhelms the planet!

Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #9

Tuesday June 30

Batman: Gotham Nights #11

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Reunion” by Steve Orlando, Priscilla Petraites, Romulo Fajardo Jr., and Ryan Christy

A face from Red Hood’s past needs his help when he’s targeted by Codename: Assassin—he just doesn’t know it yet!

One Minute After Midnight” by Marc Guggenheim, Robert Gill, Luis Guerrero, and Marshall Dillon

The clock counts down as a prisoner on death row awaits his sentence…but Nightwing and Red Hood believe there’s more to his case than meets the eye, and now they have one night to prove it!

Batman: Gotham Nights #11

Wednesday July 1

Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace #8

Awakening” by Louise Simonson, Paul Pelletier, Norm Rapmund, Adriano Lucas, and Janice Chiang
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While on an archeological dig in Peru, Diana Prince uncovers the burial chamber of the Ayar Cachi, the Incan god of Earthquakes. Her dig is interrupted by the arrival of Cheetah who wants the power of Ayar Cachi for herself!

Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace #8

Thursday July 2

Titans: Titans Together #2

The Bride of Blood” by Phil Hester, Scott Koblish, John Kalisz, and Marshall Dillon
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Master mercenary Deathstroke needs the Titans’ help. His daughter, Ravager, was infiltrating the demonic Church of Blood when she succumbed to the hypnotic power of its leader, Brother Blood. Red Hood believes that the plea is real…but is Deathstroke telling them the whole story?

Titans: Titans Together #2

Friday July 3

From Beyond the Unknown #2

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The Butler” by Tom Sniegoski, Eric Gapstur, Marissa Lousie, and Ferran Delgado

On Earth-A.D. (After Disaster), the world is a very different place—a postapocalyptic wasteland, full of talking animals and other strange sights. While exploring his dystopian home, Kamandi, the last living human, stumbles upon a robot butler patiently awaiting the return of his human masters, who disappeared years before. Kamandi takes pity on the loyal butler and tries to reunite him with his long-lost family…however unusual that reunion might be.

Stealth Mode” by Dan Jurgens, Norm Rapmund, Hi-Fi, and Ryan Christy

In the far future of the 31st century, the super-powered teens known as the Legion of Super-Heroes protect all the citizens of the United Planets. But when Legionnaires Sun Boy and Wildfire are kidnapped, their teammates must infiltrate a mysterious ice planet to try to save their friends…and the planet!

From Beyond the Unknown #2

Saturday July 4

Scooby-Doo!: Mystery Inc. #2

Now You See Them…” by Sholly Fisch, Dario Brizuela, Franco Riesco, and Saida Temofonte
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One by one, the members of the Scooby gang are disappearing! Can Scooby solve the mystery alone?

Scooby-Doo!: Mystery Inc. #2

Sunday July 5

Ghosts #2

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The Ghost Inside” by John Layman, Andy Clarke, David Baron, and Travis Lanham

John Constantine discovers that nothing is ever what it seems, especially inside a haunted house…

Child of the Night” by Keith Giffen, Priscilla Petraites, John Rauch, and Travis Lanham

A young girl on the run finds more than she bargained for when she takes cover in a house occupied by none other than Gentleman Ghost!

Ghosts #2

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Preview: From Beyond the Unknown #2

From Beyond the Unknown #2

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The Butler” by Tom Sniegoski, Eric Gapstur, Marissa Lousie, and Ferran Delgado

On Earth-A.D. (After Disaster), the world is a very different place—a postapocalyptic wasteland, full of talking animals and other strange sights. While exploring his dystopian home, Kamandi, the last living human, stumbles upon a robot butler patiently awaiting the return of his human masters, who disappeared years before. Kamandi takes pity on the loyal butler and tries to reunite him with his long-lost family…however unusual that reunion might be.

Stealth Mode” by Dan Jurgens, Norm Rapmund, Hi-Fi, and Ryan Christy

In the far future of the 31st century, the super-powered teens known as the Legion of Super-Heroes protect all the citizens of the United Planets. But when Legionnaires Sun Boy and Wildfire are kidnapped, their teammates must infiltrate a mysterious ice planet to try to save their friends…and the planet!

From Beyond the Unknown #2

Preview: Batman: Gotham Nights #9

Batman: Gotham Nights #9

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A Flip of the Coin” by Frank Tieri, Scot Eaton, Wayne Faucher, Hi-Fi, and Troy Peteri

Locked up in Arkham Asylum, Two-Face dreams of a better life—one with a white picket fence far away from Gotham City and Batman. He’s got the perfect plan, and it’s all within his grasp…as long as his coin flip turns up heads.

Joker’s Wild” aka “Wha’cha Got in the Trunk?” by Mark Russell, Christopher Mooneyham, David Baron, and Ferran Delgado

There’s a story that’s made its way around Gotham City’s comedy scene for years, the legend of a struggling young comic who finally snapped under the pressure of making it big. But who can say what really happened? No one knows for sure…

Batman: Gotham Nights #9

Check Out this Week’s New DC Digital Firsts! Superman and Wonder Woman Return!

Superman and Wonder Woman return in this week’s DC Digital First comics. Check out below for all of the new releases you’ll find this week!

Monday June 15

Superman: Man of Tomorrow #7

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Viral” by Dave Wielgosz, Yasmine Putri, Tom Derenick, and Clayton Cowles

Jimmy Olsen quits the Daily Planet and joins up with a new hero in Metropolis, Soar. But Superman’s not quite sure the ViewTube superhero’s intentions are good.

The Wrath of Wioska” by Dave Wielgosz, Miguel Mendonça, David Baron and Clayton Cowles

Superman’s in need of training to better control his powers and protect humanity, but will Wioska, a former member of Darkseid’s army on Apokolips, give him the best guidance?

Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #7

Tuesday June 16

Batman: Gotham Nights #9

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A Flip of the Coin” by Frank Tieri, Scot Eaton, Wayne Faucher, Hi-Fi, and Troy Peteri

Locked up in Arkham Asylum, Two-Face dreams of a better life—one with a white picket fence far away from Gotham City and Batman. He’s got the perfect plan, and it’s all within his grasp…as long as his coin flip turns up heads.

Joker’s Wild” aka “Wha’cha Got in the Trunk?” by Mark Russell, Christopher Mooneyham, David Baron, and Ferran Delgado

There’s a story that’s made its way around Gotham City’s comedy scene for years, the legend of a struggling young comic who finally snapped under the pressure of making it big. But who can say what really happened? No one knows for sure…

Batman: Gotham Nights #9

Wednesday June 17

Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace #6

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Gundra the Great” by Jeff Parker, Aneke, Hi-Fi, and Travis Lanham

Wonder  Woman  responds  to  a  distress  call  in  a  tiny  village  and  discovers a displaced Valkyrie from Asgard, but is she friend…or foe?!

Wolf Cubs” by Steve Pugh, Marguerite Sauvage, and Travis Lanham

It’s the Eighties, and greed is good for those that already have it all. Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor hunt down the reckless mastermind who makes the ultimate power move…the theft of Diana’s golden lasso!

Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace #6

Thursday June 18

Aquaman: Deep Dives #9

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Screaming Sea” by Tom Taylor, Pop Mhan, Rex Lokus, and Wes Abbott

Aquaman and Mera must stop Lex Luthor’s plans to drill into the ocean floor.

Girls’ Night Out” by Andrea Shea, Isaac Goodhart, Cris Peter, and Ryan Christy

Tula agrees to a Girls Night with Mera, but she quickly discovers that she and Mera have completely different ideas of what a Girls Night should be.

Aquaman: Deep Dives #9

Friday June 19

The Flash: Fastest Man Alive #9

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Just a Reflection” by Michael Moreci, Sam Lotfi, John Rauch, and Rob Leigh

The Flash is going to be late for a date with Iris if he can’t beat Mirror Master quickly. Can the Flash stop Mirror Master after he gives Flash’s darkest fears physical for?

Ghosts of the Speed Force” by Jay Baruchel, Riley Rossmo, Ivan Plascencia, and Rob Leigh

Barry’s been having nightmares lately where a voice from Speed Force calls out to him. After a speedster dies, they become one with the Speed Force, but is it possible for them to come back out?

The Flash: Fastest Man Alive #9

Saturday June 20

Teen Titans Go! Booyah #4

Spam I Am” by Sholly Fisch, Philip Murphy, Marcelo DiChiara, Franco Riesco, and Tom Napolitano
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When a delicious icy treat extinguishes Cyborg’s internal firewall, he’s taken over by offers for spray-on hair, Scandinavian princes, and not-at-all fake Latvian jewelry! To save him, the Titans learn the only way to fight spam is with SPAM!

Teen Titans Go! Booyah #4

Sunday June 21

Swamp Thing: New Roots #9

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Kind” by Andrew Constant, Tom Mandrake, Hi-Fi and Jimmy B.

Deep in the bayou,  Swamp Thing continues to follow the fifolet, despite not knowing the mysterious spirit’s ultimate destination. On his way he encounters a strange and powerful girl locked away in the swamp, with magical friends and a monster at her door.

The Bayou Bluebird War” by Phil Hester, Tom Mandrake, Hi-Fi, and Dave Sharpe

Come one, come all, and watch as the terrifying Swamp Thing attempts to rescue a young boy from the spellbinding snare of a cursed circus!

Swamp Thing: New Roots #9

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