Tag Archives: frank martin

Review: Wolverine #1

He’s the best there is at what he does and what he does isn’t pretty. Wolverine is back in a solo title that kicks off with this very oversized issue!

Story: Benjamin Percy
Art: Adam Kubert, Viktor Bogdanovic
Color: Frank Martin, Matthew Wilson
Lettering: Cory Petit
Design: Tom Muller

Get your copy in comic shops! 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
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Venom #21

Absolute Carnage is over! What’s next for Eddie Brock and Venom? Venom Island begins here!

Story: Donny Cates
Art: Mark Bagley
Ink: Andy Owens
Color: Frank Martin, Erick Arciniega
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Get your copy in comic shops! 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
TFAW
Zeus Comics

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Savage Avengers Vol. 1 City of Sickles

The Punisher, Wolverine, Elektra, Venom, Voodoo… and Conan? They’re the Savage Avengers!

Story: Gerry Duggan
Art: Mark Deodato, Jr.
Color: Frank Martin
Letterer: Travis Lanham

Get your copy in comic shops now and in bookstores on Novmeber 26! 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

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Review: Berserker Unbound #3

Berserker Unbound #3

In Berserker Unbound #3, the warrior known as the Mongrel King, trapped in a modern world with no one but a sympathetic homeless man to keep him company, finds himself confronted by new dangers and old threats from his homeland.

Berserker Unbound #3 is an odd comic. The majority of the issue revolves around the Mongrel King and a homeless man drinking at night in Central Park. Each talks to each other in a language that neither can understand. You would think that this would leave the comic a mess with little progression. The two men essentially have separate conversations with the other, making an assumption as to what the other is saying.

You’d think that this would lead to the comic taking itself in a circle. There’s an oddly endearing feeling to the two men’s dialogue. Jeff Lemire allows a natural flow to the two conversations. It does more to develop the characters than one would expect. The barbarian and the homeless man reveal their vulnerabilities to the audience and themselves. Though because of the language barrier, not to each other.

Berserker Unbound #3 rebounds from the slower pace of the previous issue as the story finds a direction. I’m not going to say “once again” because I don’t think it ever lost its direction. The direction wasn’t as obvious at the end of the second issue as it is at the end of the third. This brings me back to a point I made in last month’s review; that Jeff Lemire is one of the preeminent writers in comics. His ability to twist expectations with the way he commands a story and the dialogue used can be some of the most exciting things in a comic book – when he’s on form.

And holy shit, is he ever on form.

Mike Deodato Jr.‘s artwork captures both the feel of the Silver Age sword and sorcery comics without ever feeling dated. Put simply, this is a gorgeous book. But it’s also more than that; with the characters essentially talking to themselves for the entire issue, what we have, for all intents and purposes, is a silent issue. While the characters can’t understand each other verbally, their body language is plain as day, allowing the Mongrel King and Joe Cobb the communicate visually. Deodato Jr. is able to show his storytelling chops with a powerful scene near the climax of the comic that will hit you with an emotional gut-punch all with barely a handful of words on the page.

It’s a great sequence and one of the many joys that readers of this series will get to experience.

I thoroughly enjoyed this comic, with its mixture of fantasy and the modern world working together in a way that adds a unique twist to a well used trope. I’d expect nothing less from a writer of Lemire’s caliber.

Story: Jeff Lemire Art: Mike Deodato Jr. Color: Frank Martin
Story: 9.3 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided a FREE copy for review. I’ve added this to my pull list.

Review: Berserker Unbound #2

Berserker Unbound #2

Ripped from a savage world ruled by magic and dropped at the outskirts of a modern city, feared warrior the Mongrel King is found and rescued by a homeless man who guides him through a new land with new vices and hardships in Berserker Unbound #2.

There should be little doubt by now that Jeff Lemire is one of the preeminent writers in comics. His ability to twist expectations with the way he commands a story and the dialogue used can be some of the most exciting things in a comic book – when he’s on form.

Berserker Unbound #2 seems to be a comic where Lemire isn’t on form. It’s an issue that is almost completely at odds with the one before it. Whereas Berserker Unbound #1 had some balls-to-the-wall action and more gore than a horror convention, the second issue is basically two men talking at each other. I say at each other and not to each other because neither the Mongrel King nor the newly introduced Joe Cobb has any idea what the other is saying. It makes for some interesting moments, but ultimately the comic ends in almost the same place it begins.

Or does it?

Through the course of the second issue the homeless Joe Cobb introduces the Mongrel King to life on the streets of New York City, the struggle for food, safety and shelter (and alcohol) for the most unfortunate of the city’s inhabitants, with Cobb assuming that the Mongrel King is another lost soul like himself. Conversely, the barbarian is trying to find his way home, and having no idea what Cobb is saying, is trusting him to find the wizard he needs to transport him home.

The pace of this comic is glacial in comparison to the first issue, mirroring the frustration and impatience of the title character in a world he doesn’t understand.

Mike Deodato Jr.‘s artwork captures the essence of sword and sorcery comics and book covers from the Silver Age, and he’s able to give the giant Mongrel King a subtle gracefulness to his movements that belies his size. As the issue progresses, you can see the changes in the barbarian’s posture as his new surroundings confuse and anger him further and further. But perhaps the largest key to sussing out the Mongrel King’s emotions is in the coloring of Frank Martin. Shifting colors from a vibrant hue to a muted grey and blue tone as the characters move into a setting where their individuality is swallowed by the masses; where they become one with the masses for a brief moment. Two faces in the crowd.

When it comes to any story written by Jeff Lemire, I usually find there’s a slower start to where the writer establishes his setting – that wasn’t the case last issue, and with the slower pace in Berserker Unbound #2 I can’t help but feel that this is a deliberate choice to illustrate the mundanity and hopelessness of the Mongrel King’s new situation – Lemire is the kind of writer that has a long game in mind, and I have every intention of sticking around to find out what that is.

Story: Jeff Lemire Art: Mike Deodato Jr.
Color: Frank Martin
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided a FREE copy for review. I’ve added this to my pull list.

Review: Absolute Carnage #2

Absolute Carnage #2

Things are looking desperate in Absolute Carnage #2. Venom and Spider-Man are surrounded by Carnage and his horde and that’s even before we get to Miles Morales’ story.

Writer Donny Cates continues to deliver an event that brings a tinge of horror to the Spider-Man universe. Carnage is on a mission to resurrect the symbiote god and he’ll need to kill a lot of people to do so.

What Cates delivers so well is the feeling of desperation. Spider-Man and Venom are outnumbered and know it. That feeling of people overwhelmed is projected to the reader nicely. There’s a sense of drowning concerning it all. That experience is repeated quite a few times within the issue. And that also leads the first problem.

The issue delivers some of the events we see in Absolute Carnage: Miles Morales #1. While it comes off as the “Reader’s Digest” version the two stories don’t quite line up in all of the details as far as what’s show in each. Some of that may be chalked up to different perspectives but it stands out. Also, the spin-off’s depiction of events feels a bit superior to this abbreviated take.

The art by Ryan Stegman is pretty solid. With ink by JP Mayer and color by Frank Martin, it looks really good. It’s not all perfect. There are moments where Stegman’s style doesn’t quite match the “horror” vibe of it. And, in one particular panel, Pete’s facial expression doesn’t quite match the moment. Stegman’s style is usually fantastic for Venom and Spider-Man but here it misses the tone a bit. What does hit the vibe is Clayton Cowles‘ lettering which just nails Carnage’s “voice” so well. It stands out and emphasizes the terror in every scene he’s in. It’s a perfect match of a lettering style to a character.

Absolute Carnage #2 is a good entry in the stand out event. The issue has some flaws but those are minor compared to the entertainment.

Story: Donny Cates Art: Ryan Stegman
Ink: JP Mayer Color: Frank Martin Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Berserker Unbound #1

Berserker Unbound #1

In Berserker Unbound #1, a merciless sword and sorcery warrior finds himself blasted through a wormhole to a modern-day metropolis where he must protect those around him from an evil wizard determined to send him to hell. 

There were two or three main reasons I picked this book up. One was because it was written by Jeff Lemire, one of the most exciting writers in comics today, the second was the premise of a barbarian warrior being dumped in our world in the present day really interested me and the third was simply the cover. It is wonderful. It told me everything I needed to know about the comic in all of five seconds. It’s also very indicative of the art style within the comic, as Mike Deodato Jr. provided the art for both the interior and exterior (though Dave Stewart provides the colors on the cover, with Frank Martin taking care of the interiors). I’m always happy when the interior artist also produces the cover art because it helps avoid a cover selling a book to a customer based on the art style only to have a totally different artist on the inside.

Berserker Unbound #1 opens with a fairly standard fantasy trope as the Mongrel King trudges across a barren badlands-esque landscape reminiscing over past battles and revealing his reason for the continuous fighting; his wife and daughter. Lemire crafts a compelling tale and weaves a lot of characterization into the Mongrel King during the first issue, helping him stand apart from the inevitable comparison to Conan and others of that ilk. With this being a Lemire book, my expectations were already high going into this series. Lemire took an axe to those expectations and left them bloodied in the dust. The story seems simple enough as a premise, and indeed the first issue ends pretty much where you would expect it to so there’s little surprise plotwise, but it’s how Lemire takes you to his destination – the narration, the pacing – and the way he toys with how you expect things to turn out? It’s wonderful.

Speaking of wonderful things, the artwork of Deodato Jr. is another such thing in this issue. The bleakness of the world, the savagery of the inevitable action.. everything about the artistic presentation of this book is phenomenal. Credit also should go to Martin’s coloring work, of course, which elevates the already great visuals to the next level. Colourists often get the short end of the stick when it comes to the credit they deserve. They shouldn’t. Berserker Unbound #1 is a prime example of a comic where both artists’ work elevates the book a step above anything else I’ve read so far.

When it comes to any story written by Jeff Lemire, I usually find there’s a slower start (though that doesn’t mean I’m not normally hooked within the first issue or two), but that’s not the case here. The opening salvo to this story grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and screamed: “READ ME!” So I did. And I’ll continue to read this series until it’s over.

Join me, won’t you?

Story: Jeff Lemire Art: Mike Deodato Jr.
Color: Frank Martin
Story: 9.1 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.3 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Horse provided a FREE copy for review. I’ve also added this to my pull list.

Review: Absolute Carnage #1

Absolute Carnage #1

There’s been a longtime build-up to this opening salvo of Marvel’s latest event. Absolute Carnage #1 delivers in every way.

I’ve never been a fan of the character Carnage but writer Donny Cates is slowly turning me into one.

Absolute Carnage #1 picks up on Cates’ epic Knull storyline as the back from the dead Carnage wants to free the symbiote god. Cates has been laying the groundwork for this for some time. Venom has seen most of the focus when it comes to this new depth for the symbiotes and their alien kind.

Here, tension builds as Eddie seeks out Spider-Man’s help. The two realize what is happening and decide to team-up to figure out how to stop Carnage.

Cates is able to deliver foreboding dread throughout the issue but also adds in the expected humor when it comes to Spider-Man. The story is serious but never crosses the line to the horror it should be. It comes close though.

What’s most impressive about Cates’ writing is he’s able to sum up most of what readers need to know. It’s all packed into the issue and in a way that feels organic. It’s not just Eddie recounting where we’re at, it feels important as he gets Spider-Man up to speed on the situation. It creates a comic both new and old readers alike can enjoy.

The art by Ryan Stegman is amazing. Along with ink by JP Mayer, color by Frank Martin, and lettering by Clayton Cowles, the issue is fantastic to look at. The art team delivers on the horror vibe of it all. But, they do so without diving into gore. Instead, the colors chosen and shapes of Carnage play and deliver on the vibe of it all. It’s supposed to make you uneasy and fill you with dread and it does. Even the page layouts and small details around the edge of some pages add to the emotion of it.

The issue is a hell of a start and how you do an event. There’s more than enough there to be inviting to new and old readers and it delivers a hell of a punch.

Story: Donny Cates Art: Ryan Stegman
Ink: JP Mayer Color: Frank Martin Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 9.5 Art: 8.75 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Venom Vol. 2 The Abyss

Venom has battled a god but where does he go from there? How about dealing with his past? Eddie Brock and Venom head to his childhood home and faces his family.

Story: Donny Cates
Art: Iban Coello, Ryan Stegman, Joshua Cassara
Ink: Iban Coello, JP Mayer, Joshua Cassara
Color: Andres Mossa, Frank Martin
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

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

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site

Avengers, Spider-Man, and Venom All Get New Stories for Free Comic Book Day!

Free Comic Book Day 2019 is the perfect chance to dive deep into the Marvel Universe with new stories and exciting adventures alongside some of Marvel’s most acclaimed creators – and this year, Marvel is bringing you the biggest and boldest stories yet!

In FCBD Avengers #1, industry superstars Jason Aaron and Stefano Caselli spin in all-new tale for Marvel’s main Avengers series, while Savage Avengers, from Gerry Duggan and Mike Deodato, creates one of the most dynamic, and deadly versions of the Avengers ever!

In FCBD Spider-Man #1, creators Tom Taylor, Saladin Ahmed, and Cory Smith take the superstar heroes of the Spider-Verse in a shocking new direction, with a story that will build to one of Marvel’s most fantastic and epic tales! Meanwhile, Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman remind us that “everyone is a target” by bringing absolute terror to the pages of this year’s FCBD with a prelude to Absolute Carnage – the most fearsome event in the Marvel Universe! With a cover by Ryan Stegman and Frank Martin!

Both
FCBD Avengers #1 and FCBD Spider-Man #1 are available in comic stores everywhere on May 4th. In addition to the comic, select retailers will receive FREE Avengers promo buttons highlighting the dynamic and stunning cover art from FCBD Avengers #1 by Ed McGuinness, available while supplies last!

FCBD Spider-Man #1
FCBD Avengers #1
« Older Entries