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Review: John Wick Volume 1

John Wick Volume 1

Who doesn’t love a great origin story? Especially when it comes to a beloved character! One such character is John Wick. His film debut should have been just another movie about assassins but was so much more. It was both sophisticated and action packed. A rare combination in action movies, it worked so well that it has spawned sequels with a third coming this year. The most alluring part of the story is the mythology that is introduced. It’s like none ever seen in any story about assassins.

As the vernacular, the rules they live by, the world that is built inside these movies has made Keanu Reeves a second life as an action movie star. The protagonist is as interesting as any that could be onscreen these days, both complex and heartfelt. I always wondered how did he get into his world in the first place? How did he get familiar? How was his experience? In the first volume of John Wick we find out just how he got into this world and how he became who he is.

We find in El Paso, Texas, on a job where he deals with antagonizers and we get a glimpse of who John was when he was a kid. This is where we find out this particular job was personal, as we also meet a younger Charron, were it was a professional job for him. We also find that there is more than one Hotel Continental, this one being in El Paso, as he finds out about the rules that every assassin lives by, and what can and cannot go down within hotel walls.

Overall, an interesting origin story for a well-liked movie character, one that lives in infamy and legend. The story by Greg Pak is explosive and innovative. The art by Giovanni Valletta is alluring. Altogether, an engaging story that does more to introduce the audience to this world than the movies.

Story: Greg Pak Art: Giovanni Valletta
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Preview: John Wick Vol. 1 HC

John Wick Vol. 1 HC

writer: Greg Pak
artists: Giovanni Valletta, Matt Gaudio
cover: Giovanni Valletta
FC | 136 pages | Action/Adventure | $24.99 | Teen+

When a young John Wick embarks upon an epic vendetta, he comes up against a strange, powerful community of assassins and must learn how to master the rules that guide their lethal business. What are the Three Bills? Who is Calamity? And why is John Wick seeking vengeance?

John Wick Vol. 1 HC

Preview: John Wick #5

John Wick #5

writer: Greg Pak
artist: Matt Guadio
covers: Giovanni Valletta (A), George McWilliams (B), Photo Variant (C)
FC | 32 pages | $3.99 | Teen+

In the stunning climax to the prequel to the JOHN WICK movie saga, John nears the end of his first great vendetta. But in order to take out Calamity and the Two Bills, he may need to cut a deal that will teach him the true meaning of the Book of Rules — and change his destiny forever.

John Wick #5

Preview: John Wick #4

John Wick #4

writer: Greg Pak
artist: Matt Gaudio
covers: Giovanni Valletta (A), Ben Garriga (B), Photo Variant (C)
FC | 32 pages | $3.99 | Teen+

In the penultimate chapter of the tale of John Wick’s first vendetta, the final war begins! But can an injured John Wick prevail without giving up his marker against the full fury of Calamity unleashed?

Review: X-Men: Gold Vol. 7 God War

Kitty Pryde has left Colossus at the altar and the X-Men are shaken in the aftermath. X-Men: Gold Vol. 7 God War focuses on the days after the wedding and loss from various characters’ perspectives.

X-Men: Gold Vol. 7 God War features issues #31-36 and Annual #1 from Marc Guggenheim, Leah Williams, Monty Nero, Pere Perez, Michele Bandini, Simone Buonfantino, Giovanni valletta, Djibril Morissette-Phan, Alitha E. Martinez, Craig Yeung, Jay David Ramos, Matt Milla, Erick Arciniega, Dono Sanchez-Almara, and Michael Garland.

Get your copy in comic shops today and book stores on December 11! 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/comiXology/Kindle
TFAW

 

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review
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Preview: Pathfinder Worldscape One-Shot: Lord of the Jungle

Pathfinder Worldscape One-Shot: Lord of the Jungle

writer: Roberto Castro | artist: Christopher Paul Carey
cover: Giovanni Valletta
FC | 24 pages | $19.99 | Teen+

“Forest of Nightmares!” Tarzan clashes head-on with the original feral heroes of mythology: the demigods Romulus and Remus! The Lord of the Jungle must then brave the deadly wilds of the Worldscape to free his friends from slavery!

NOTE: Limited quantities. Allocations may occur.

Review: John Wick #1

When a young John Wick emerges from prison and embarks upon his first, epic vendetta, he comes up against a strange, powerful community of assassins and must learn how to master the Book of Rules that guides their lethal business. What are the Three Bills? Who is Calamity? And who was John Wick before he became the Baba Yaga?

John Wick #1 is the origin story of the title character played by Keanu Reeves in two films. Written by Greg Pak the story hits the right notes and pacing we’ve come to expect from the films giving us a glimpse into the early life of the mysterious character. Though there’s no dog here, the first arc is still a revenge story as John seeks out to kill individuals who attempted to kill him when he was much younger.

There’s nothing that’s amazing about the story, but Pak delivers what you’d expect. He has the character down well with his minimal dialogue and preference for action. The pacing and build up of the story follows that of the films.

Where things are good and bad is the art by Giovanni Valletta. The movies are defined by their action sequences which flow like dances. Valletta does what he can on the printed page but something is lost in the medium. Part of the issue is that Valletta sticks with a panel layout with just changing up those panel amounts and sizes. There’s no breaking the wall or some of the more dynamic imagery which would help mimic the visuals of the film (which in no way could be repeated fully). The art looks like the characters and the action is decent but it doesn’t take it to the next level that’s needed.

The issue is a good one that makes me want to come back for the second. I love the two films and to see more of Wick in a different way where different aspects can be explored is appreciated. Pak has the voice of it down, there just needs to be some work when it comes to more striking visuals.

Story: Greg Pak Art: Giovanni Valletta
Story: 8.05 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.85 Recommendation: Read

Dynamite Entertainment provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: John Wick #1

John Wick #1

writer: Greg Pak
artist: Giovanni Valletta
covers: Giovanni Valletta (A), Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz (B), Photo Variant (C), John Cassaday (D-Sub)
FC | 32 pages | $3.99 | Teen +

JOHN WICK: BOOK OF RULES PART ONE
When a young John Wick emerges from prison and embarks upon his first, epic vendetta, he comes up against a strange, powerful community of assassins and must learn how to master the Book of Rules that guides their lethal business. What are the Three Bills? Who is Calamity? And who was John Wick before he became the Baba Yaga? Here for the first time, read the thrilling origin story of John Wick, from “Planet Hulk” writer Greg Pak and “Dark Horse Presents” artist Giovanni Valletta.

Preview: Pathfinder: Worldscape Vol. 2 HC

Pathfinder: Worldscape Vol. 2 HC

writers: Erik Mona, James L. Sutter, Christopher Paul Carey
artists: Roberto Castro, Andrea Mutti, Tom Mandrake,
Moritat, Matt Gaudio, Giovanni Valletta
cover: Roberto Castro
FC | 104 pages | $19.99 | Teen+

Four new tales as part of Paizo’s groundbreaking “Worldscape” saga, drawing the greatest fantasy heroes of literature and comics into the mythos of their award-winning fantasy world and tabletop RPG!

Red Sonja must escape a dungeon with a religious icon of Issus, Goddess of Death and Life Eternal, to use as a bargaining chip in the grim political war of the Worldscape! A battle against a vicious red dragon maroons John Carter and the Martian Tars Tarkas in a dangerous jungle filled with monsters and the greatest soldiers of three worlds! Tarzan clashes head-on with the original feral heroes of mythology: the demigods Romulus and Remus! The iconic antihero and half-elf Seltyiel finds himself in the gladiatorial Worldscape, facing off against two of Earth’s most sinister figures!

Written by Erik Mona (Paizo Publisher and Chief Creative Officer), James L. Sutter (Paizo Senior Editor) and more, the Worldscape saga draws the greatest fantasy heroes of literature and comics into the mythos of Paizo’s award-winning fantasy world, fiction line, and tabletop RPG.

Review: X-Men: Blue #10

When Beast’s meddling with magic catches up to him, what nightmares will the X-Men be forced to deal with? There is a cost to hexes and spells, and Hank McCoy is about to pay it. Will Cyclops, Iceman, Angel, and Marvel Girl be able to save their teammate from himself?

Now that the tie-ins are done, X-Men: Blue is able to go back and focus on its own storylines that makes it stand on its own in the X line of comics. In X-Men: Blue #10, writer Cullen Bunn picks up where things left off while at the same time incorporating some of the new layers added in the recent Secret Empire tie-ins.

This issue is a transition one lining things up for what’s to come taking time to sort out the various threads like the return of Danger and Polaris, Jean and Scott’s new psy-link, Jimmie Howlett’s return, and most importantly focusing on Hank’s use of magic. That last part is the big plot point of the issue continuing a story that has been stretched out for quite some time. It’s in this issue that Hank really pays the price for his use of magic and we get a better sense of why he’s doing it. It’s interesting growth and a new direction for a character who feels like he’s been stuck in a rut for quite some time.

Still, should Doctor Strange or some other “magical” superhero have picked up on this by now and really stepped in?

The art by Giovanni Valletta feels improved from the last couple of issues but the series still doesn’t quite have the knock-out art we see in other series. It’s not bad… it just doesn’t quite feel like that is the main draw here. It’s good and does the job.

Bunn does a good job with creating a transition issue that picks up the pieces and moves things forward as to what’s coming next and he gets to that conflict in the same issue. That pacing is solid and a lot is packed into the 22 pages. Bunn also gives this series a personality of its own that helps set it apart really well from its fellow X comic series. Still, the art doesn’t quite click making the series good, not great. Still, we’re getting something different and with that some entertaining stories.

Story: Cullen Bunn Art: Giovanni Valletta Cover Art: Arthur Adams
Story: 8.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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