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Jack and The Beanstalk heads to space this December in Grimm Space

Jack, a young mechanic, lives in a beat up old space ship called The Beanstalk. The captain is a human woman called “Mom,” and two aliens round out the crew: Zeke, who runs security, and Stilts, who handles their business relations. After a robot malfunctions on the ship, Mom orders Jack to sell it at a space station bazaar. Instead of selling it though, Jack gets sidetracked by a smooth talking alien who persuades Jack to give him the robot in exchange for a strange navigation unit. When he gets back, Mom is angry that Jack didn’t sell the robot and tosses the NAV unit aside, which mysteriously activates itself. As they’re sleeping, the ship somehow finds itself in deep space in front of a massive alien ship. Eager to prove that the NAV unit wasn’t a waste, Jack boards the ship and discovers a giant sleeping alien as well as a bunch of large golden eggs. Excited that they could sell one, Jack picks up an egg, which triggers an alarm, waking the alien. Jack races back to his ship, making it to safety just in time. Later, the crew celebrates their score while, unbeknownst to them, the egg begins to crack.

Grimm Space is written by Frank Martin, with art and cover by Dan Scalisi, variant covers by Rully Akbar and Periya Pillai, and a logo by Dave Lentz. It’s out this December from Scout Comics.

Grimm Space

Preview: Amazing Fantasy #1000

Amazing Fantasy #1000

(W) Kurt Busiek, Various (A) Jim Cheung, Various (CA) John Romita Jr.
RATED T
In Shops: Aug 31, 2022
SRP: $7.99

The comic that brought you SPIDER-MAN hits issue #1000! We’re going big to celebrate in this, our thousandth issue of AMAZING FANTASY! An ALL-STAR roster of creators – Anthony Falcone, Dan Slott, Ho Che Anderson, Jonathan Hickman, Kurt Busiek, Michael Cho, Neil Gaiman, Rainbow Rowell, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Jim Cheung, Marco Checchetto, Olivier Coipel, Ryan Stegman, Steve McNiven, Terry Dodson, Todd Nauck, and more – are coming together to celebrate Peter Parker and Spider-Man’s birthdays!

Amazing Fantasy #1000

Preview: Amazing Fantasy #1000

Amazing Fantasy #1000

(W) Kurt Busiek, Various (A) Jim Cheung, Various (CA) John Romita Jr.
RATED T
In Shops: Aug 31, 2022
SRP: $7.99

The comic that brought you SPIDER-MAN hits issue #1000! We’re going big to celebrate in this, our thousandth issue of AMAZING FANTASY! An ALL-STAR roster of creators – Anthony Falcone, Dan Slott, Ho Che Anderson, Jonathan Hickman, Kurt Busiek, Michael Cho, Neil Gaiman, Rainbow Rowell, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Jim Cheung, Marco Checchetto, Olivier Coipel, Ryan Stegman, Steve McNiven, Terry Dodson, Todd Nauck, and more – are coming together to celebrate Peter Parker and Spider-Man’s birthdays!

Amazing Fantasy #1000

Review: X-Men: Hellfire Gala #1

X-Men: Hellfire Gala #1

Last year’s Hellfire Gala delivered memorable moments. The X-Men’s godlike plans for Mars were revealed. There was a murder. It was a coming out of sorts further onto the world, and galactic, stage for the mutant nation. For all of the grand ideas of last year’s event, X-Men: Hellfire Gala #1 lacks pretty much all of that. It’s a rather choppy issue whose whole at times makes little sense.

Written by Gerry Duggan, X-Men: Hellfire Gala #1 revolves around the revelation of mutant resurrection to the world. It is now a known thing setting up questions, both in how will every react, and does it create a security issue. The answer to the first is, not in any realistic way and the latter is, of course. The event will be held and it’s just Avengers, X-Men, and some celebrities that attend. And that’s what’s rather odd. With such an announcement you’d either have world leaders there to protest or protesting and not going. None of that is addressed. The Avengers attend and kind of shrug their shoulders about it all instead flirting with Emma Frost. Even when it’s revealed that Mr. Fantastic had his mind wiped over something, no one seems pissed about it. It’s like everyone took pills to relax before. For a revelation that’s built up as world shattering, the end result during the Hellfire Gala is a reaction that lacks emotion. Even Doctor Doom, who would make a speech or plot around it, makes a joke about returning David Bowie. For something that’s set to such a high pedestal, no one beyond the X-Men are treating it as such.

Then there’s the Spider-Man tie-in. Moira as infiltrated the event through Mary Jane Watson and while there’s a confrontation it doesn’t result in much after it feels like. Wolverine heads to Spider-Man’s comic for an issue but you’d think there’d be some more action regarding this. Was anyone else compromised? No one is going to check? Shut the place down? Your enemy showed up and then gets away and there’s… talk. It’s all rather odd.

Finally, the election of the new X-Men team doesn’t feel like an election. Three members remain on the team, Emma suggests one, and then others feel like they’re volunteered. Where’s the election? Wouldn’t it had been better to have some suspense and have the mutants of Krakoa vote as some are nominated and show an actual “vote”? It’s rather odd in the execution.

But, many will be buying the comic for the fashion. Kris Anka, Russell Dauterman, Matteo Lolli, and CF Villa all provide the art. Rain Beredo, Frank Martin, Matt Milla, and Matthew Wilson handle the color. Cory Petit is on lettering. The designs are always interesting to see. Some are beautiful dresses but this year’s fashion doesn’t feel as inspired by last year’s. Maybe a theme for next year would be better? Overall though, it looks good and I can’t knock the visuals too much. But, it also doesn’t quite have the memorable moments like last year.

X-Men: Hellfire Gala #1 is not the sum of its parts. It is not a better whole than each individual piece. That’s partially because each individual piece is in itself rather odd. X-Men: Hellfire Gala #1 feels like a zero issue in some ways. It sets up A.X.E.: Judgement Day for the X-Men and like Eve of Judgement being from the Eternal’s point of view, this delivers the X-Men’s side. It’s an issue that had potential but it never quite lives up to the importance it claims it has.

Story: Gerry Duggan Art: Kris Anka, Russell Dauterman, Matteo Lolli, CF Villa
Color: Rain Beredo, Frank Martin, Matt Milla, Matthew Wilson

Letterer: Cory Petit Design: Tom Muller, Jay Bowen
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: Zeus Comics – TFAW – comiXology/Kindle

Marvel’s Star Wars: The High Republic Enters Phase II

At Star Wars Celebration Anaheim, fans got an exciting look at what’s to come in Phase II of Star Wars: The High Republic. The highly-acclaimed publishing initiative will begin an all-new era of interconnected stories told across novels, children’s books, and of course, comics! Marvel Comics’ Star Wars: The High Republic sagas will return this fall with a new ongoing Star Wars: The High Republic comic series and a new limited series titled Star Wars: The High Republic – The Blade.

Launching in October, Star Wars: The High Republic #1 will see writer Cavan Scott and artist Ario Anindito reunite after their mega successful run on volume 1. Set 150 years before Phase 1, Phase II of Star Wars: The High Republic will center around Jedha, a planet rich in its connection to the Force and the focus of every major faith in the galaxy. The new flagship Star Wars: The High Republic comic series will introduce Jedi Vildar Mac, who arrives as Jedha’s fragile peace begins to crumble and a nameless terror arrives…

Author of Star Wars: The High Republic: Light of the Jedi and one of the chief architects behind the Star Wars: The High Republic storytelling initiative, writer Charles Soule will team up with artist Marco Castiello on Star Wars: The High Republic – The Blade #1. The four-issue limited series will explore the mysterious backstory of Porter Engle, the Jedi-turned-cook also known as the Blade of Bardotta.

Check out the cover to Star Wars: The High Republic #1 by Ario Anindito and Star Wars: The High Republic – The Blade #1 by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Frank Martin below. They’re set to come out in October and November.

Review: Wolverine #20

Wolverine #20

“Destiny of X” has begun as a wave of creators continue on what began years ago with the “relaunch” of the X-Men line. Wolverine #20 continues the previous series but provides a jumping on point. And, if you’re here for Wolverine, you might be disappointed. The issue feels more like the series Cable & Deadpool more than anything else as the Merc with the Mouth attempts to find his place in Krakoa.

Written by Benjamin Percy, the issue takes a lighthearted comedic vibe as Deadpool joins the series. The issue focuses a lot on the character as he recounts his attempts to join the Krakoan society and a place among the mutants. It’s full of the fourth wall crushing humor the character is known for and funny enough was the first time I realized Deadpool doesn’t currently have a solo series. I guess that shows how much I really care for the character. This isn’t the “insane” and deadly version we saw during his days on X-Force with Wolverine. This is full on comedy as Deadpool’s kinetic energy is played off the serious and grumpy nature of Wolverine.

For the most part, the team-up works… if you’re into it. I myself never really enjoyed this type of Deadpool and found large doses a turnoff for my reading. But, Percy almost finds the right balance here and brings the two characters together in a way that works. There’s an irritation oozing off of Wolverine that helps to swallow the slapstick nature of what he, and the reader, have to deal with.

The art by Adam Kubert is solid. The comic does a great balance between the serious and comedic elements. The art itself “breaks” the fourth wall of the pages as Deadpool takes us through his recent time and experiences. It plays off of Percy’s dialogue so well keeping a solid visual pace to match the rapid fire dialogue. Frank Martin and Dijjo Lima‘s colors work too as they, like Kubert, must balance the two elements within the issue. There’s a slight brightness in scenes featuring Deadpool’s rants compared to a slightly more dour look to Wolverine’s hunt. The lettering by Cory Petit is great and balances Deadpool’s large amount of dialogue with the visuals. The lettering too breaks a wall in many ways.

Your enjoyment of Wolverine #20 will really rely on what version of Deadpool you like and your preferred dosage. The issue balances things for me though is right up to the line. It also doesn’t quite feel like a “Wolverine issue” as opposed to a “Deadpool issue” or the start of some miniseries. Still, there’s a lot to like and the direction and hints as to what’s to come should be interesting. If nothing else, it’s a good starting point for those looking to dive into the series.

Story: Benjamin Percy Art: Adam Kubert
Color: Frank Martin, Dijjo Lima Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 7.5 Art: 8.4 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXology/KindleZeus ComicsTFAW

CEX Reveals its May 2022 Releases

THE MACABRE MOTEL (ONE SHOT)

(W) Frank Martin (A) Alper Gecgel (CA) Ryan Lee, Ryan Kroboth, Luke Cooper
Diamond: FEB221347 / FEB221348 / FEB221349
Lunar: 0122CX239 / 0122CX240 / 0122CX241

Writer/creator Frank Martin welcomes you to The Macabre Motel, a Twilight Zone-inspired weird horror story that will leave you feeling deeply unsettled long after the final page!

Anxious about meeting his girlfriend’s family, Steve decides to rest his eyes at the only motel around. But once inside, the bizarre cast of characters leaves him shaken, terrified and questioning his very sanity! Are you ready to enter… The Macabre Motel?

PAST THE LAST MOUNTAIN #4

(W) Paul Allor (A/CA) Gannon Beck (A/CA) Louie Joyce (C) Jody Edwards
Diamond: FEB221350 / FEB221351 / FEB221352 / FEB221353
Lunar: 0122CX233 / 0122CX234 / 0122CX235 / 0122CX236

Two full issues in one!

It’s the emotional series conclusion as the creatures finally reach Dragon Lake, but will it live up to their expectations?

Plus, Orc Girl, a 22-page stand-alone story that Gail Simone called “The best comic I’ve read in ages!” Set in the Past the Last Mountain universe, this prequel is gorgeously rendered in black and white by Thomas Boatwright.

Perfect bound format, with 44 pages of story for $5.99.

HONCHO #2

(W) Jeff McClelland, Jeff McComsey (A/CA) Jeff McComsey
Diamond: FEB221345 / FEB221346
Lunar: 0122CX237 / 0122CX238

In this giant-sized finale, Captain Stanley and Matty are forced into a life or death game of Baseball after raising hell all over the countryside. They survived roving gangs of bandits, malevolent teenagers and hunger, but will they survive “The Great American Pastime.”

Another tale of post collapse adventure brought to you by Jeff McComsey (Grendel Kentucky, The Fourth Man) and Jeff McClelland (The Tick).

Perfect bound format, with 64 pages of story for $7.99.

Review: X Lives of Wolverine #1

X Lives of Wolverine #1

One of my favorite parts of Wolverine as a character is that he can fit into all kinds of genres of story and different eras too because of his long life. On a surface level, Benjamin Percy, Joshua Cassara, and Frank Martin get that too, but the execution is sorely lacking as they kick off a mini-event in X Lives of Wolverine #1. Percy has told good Logan stories in both podcasts and comics, but this isn’t one of them as he and Cassara follow an underwhelming dangling plot thread with Wolverine facing off against Omega Red in multiple timelines to rescue Professor X.

The whole premise of X Lives of Wolverine #1 screams derivative with Logan getting the multiple timelines and outcomes that Moira X did in House of X/Powers of X. Over the past couple decades, Wolverine’s past and future have been excavated, retconned, and re-contextualized so many times and even spawned two live action films. So, it’s nice to see Percy and Cassara just have him be violent and protective in different settings instead of trying to hype up yet another new mystery about his past. Poetic captions and good staging aside (For example, the horror that Charles Xavier’s father has in his face when Omega Red is threatening his newborn son.), X Lives of Wolverine can’t escape that it’s just the two months of filler before “Destiny of X”.

I think the reason that X Lives of Wolverine didn’t connect with me beyond time travel for the sake of time travel was that Omega Red and his variants are quite one-dimensional villains. As seen from his work on X-Force, Joshua Cassara has a real gift for body horror, and Omega Red has an all-time great design. But he doesn’t have that much of a personality beyond that design and even ends up playing second fiddle to the devious Mikhail Rasputin. (His manipulation of Colossus is the real plotline I’m looking forward to.) The other “Omegas” are even worse and show up in the main flashback timeline trying to kill Professor X at birth. There’s nothing interesting to unpack: just bad guys with Omega symbols on their foreheads trying to kill a baby. Omega Red’s motivation does make sense because Beast wanted him to come back with his painful carbonadium intact, but this information is confined to a data page that breaks up the visceral action from Cassara and White.

And, yes, the action is basically if Mark Millar scripted an Omega Red-centric version of the Clone Saga. There’s lingering panels where Xavier’s mother acknowledges that she miscarried Cassandra (Later Nova) as well as Wolverine cutting an umbilical cord with his claw. But, for some reason, Wolverine won’t kill these Omegas even though they’re jeopardizing the life of man, who would one day give him an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than himself. The Omegas are drawn and act like generic enemies that would be tossed off without even thinking, but Benjamin Percy does a whole moral dilemma thing with them. (I guess “Kill no mutant” does apply to alternate timelines.)

Even though Percy did seed Omega Red’s anger against Krakoa in previous issues of X-Force, the character works as a B or C-plot not the centerpiece of an event. Joshua Cassara stages the fight between Wolverine, a badass Mrs. Xavier, and the Omegas in a compelling way with gritty colors from Frank Martin, but it feels like a generic video game fight. With the appearance of Rasputin and the presence of Jean Grey, the upcoming timeline hops might have better stakes, but honestly after 40 pages of this, I’m not sticking around every week to see if they do.

Story: Benjamin Percy Art: Joshua Cassara
Colors: Frank Martin Letters: Cory Petit
Story: 4.0 Art: 6.0 Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Preview: X Lives of Wolverine #1

X Lives of Wolverine #1

(W) Benjamin Percy (A) Joshua Cassara (CA) Adam Kubert, Frank Martin
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Jan 19, 2022
SRP: $5.99

THE BIGGEST WOLVERINE STORY OF ALL TIME BEGINS HERE!
Logan. James Howlett. Weapon X. The mutant best known as WOLVERINE has lived many lives under many identities and in many places, but never before has the fate of the future been so entwined with the past! Fan-favorite eras of Wolverine’s saga are explored anew, along with never-before-seen episodes as Logan must travel to various points in time to prevent the death of a key figure in mutant history. But these LIVES are only one side of the story…
Be here for the start of the time-shredding saga across all of Wolverine’s history and future yet to come!

X Lives of Wolverine #1

Review: Hulk #2

Hulk #2

With a new series, the status-quo for the Hulk has changed. It has changed a lot. As revealed in the first issue, the real threat to the world is the Hulk, it’s Bruce Banner. The Hulk was actually protecting the world from Banner who is the one who could destroy everything. Now, Banner has taken over in the Hulk’s body using the Hulk’s anger as fuel to power the engine to the machine/Hulk hybrid Banner has constructed. Then there’s the whole apparitions that Banner is seeing too. He might be losing it. There’s also a pocket dimension that Banner has guided his Hulk “starship” through. Yeah, as I said, it’s a new status-quo.

I’ll admit, I wasn’t completely sure what to think of the debut issue. There was a lot to like but the concept overall felt a bit mixed as if it didn’t know if it wanted to be sci-fi, horror, or comedy. In the end, it was a mix of it all and generally worked in a weird way. Hulk #2 continues Donny Cates and Ryan Ottley‘s vision for the Hulk continuing to mix sci-fi, horror, and comedy together for a result that’s again a bit different.

The issue continues the setup of what’s to come as the Hulk hurtles through the pocket dimension and already causing destruction. There’s something interesting to what Cates and Ottley has done with the issue. The Hulk, of no real fault of his own, has again caused death and destruction unaware of what has been done. There’s something to say about the Hulk’s nature and past through this small detail.

The issue also continues the interesting mix of genres and styles. The series is completely entrenched in sci-fi/horror but Ottley’s exaggerated art style drives into comedic territory. There’s an over-the-top aspect to the art that makes it hard to not laugh at. Ottley is joined by Cliff Rathburn on ink, Frank Martin on color, and Cory Petit on the lettering. The team creates a style that really sets the tone for the story being crafted with Cates. Any other art style and lettering and the series would have a very different feel to it. The visuals to the comic help make it and takes the comic from its rather serious concepts to “comic” territory that you can’t take too seriously.

Hulk #2 gives us a bit better of an idea as to where the series is going and takes us much deeper into the sci-fi aspect of it all. There’s still a lot of questions out there and it’s kind of obvious as to where the series is going in some of its aspects but it feels like it’s going to deliver one hell of a ride. This is a very unique take on the characters and one that definitely is keeping readers on their toes.

Story: Donny Cates Art: Ryan Ottley
Ink: Cliff Rathburn Color: Frank Martin Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

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