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Preview: The Other History of the DC Universe #2

The Other History of the DC Universe #2

Written by: John Ridley
Art by: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Andrea Cucchi
Color: José Villarrubia
Letterer: Steve Wands

Before the New Teen Titans, there were the original Teen Titans. In the tumultuous 1970s, in an America that was very different than today but in many ways all too familiar, the trials and tribulations of these young heroes were witnessed by two of DC’s first Black superheroes: Karen Beecher-Duncan, better known as Bumblebee, and Mal Duncan-even if their versions of events are often at odds. And across that decade, they fought for their seats at the Titans’ table while joining the battle against injustice. The long-awaited miniseries written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter John Ridley (12 Years a Slave, Let It Fall) and beautifully illustrated by Giussepi Camuncoli and Andrea Cucchi continues to look at the mythology of the DC Universe as seen through the prism of DC Super Heroes who come from traditionally disenfranchised groups.

The Other History of the DC Universe #2

Exclusive: Get Savage with “Creature Feature” Variants from Valiant. Get a First Look at the Covers for Issues 3 and 4!

Savage #1 debuts on February 17 from writer Max Bemis, artist Nathan Stockman, colorist Triona Farrell, and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. Published by Valiant, it’s one of the anticipated debuts for 2021. The first issue features covers by Marcus To, Christian Ward, and Stacey Lee.

Teenage heartthrob. Feral social icon. Dinosaur hunter? Born and raised on an uncharted island full of prehistoric dangers, Kevin Sauvage has a taste of home when a mutant dino threat invades England!

What’s that about mutant dinos!? To celebrate the carnage, Valiant is releasing “Creature Feature” variants.

  • Savage #1: Giuseppe Camuncoli
  • Savage #2: David Lopez
  • Savage #3: Paco Diaz
  • Savage #4: Peach Momoko

Series Editor Heather Antos had this to say:

“Man vs. Beast” is a tale as old as humanity itself – and it’s time to celebrate the beasts of the Faraway in the “Creature Feature” pre-order variant bundle for SAVAGE. Debuting four exclusive and brand-new creature designs by series artist Nate Stockman, artists Giuseppe Camuncoli, Paco Diaz, Peach Momoko, and David Lopez each face-off their skills to tackle these ferocious beasts. As for an added bonus: each of these covers will feature bonus insert bestiary guides that will only be available here!

You can see all for “Creature Feature” variants below with the exclusive debut of issues #3 and #4 by Paco Diaz and Peach Momoko!

Nightcrawler Leads the Way in Way of X this April

Since 2019’s House of X and Powers of X, writer Jonathan Hickman and a host of amazing creators have revolutionized the X-Men franchise. Now begins the Reign of X, the latest chapter in Hickman’s grand vision for mutantkind, and acclaimed writer Si Spurrier brings fans a groundbreaking new series: Way of X. Known for his high-concept storytelling on titles like X-Men Legacy and X-Force, Spurrier returns to the X-Men with a series that will explore some of the most pressing questions that have been raised in this thought-provoking new era. Led by Nightcrawler, a brand-new team of mutants will assemble to confront the dark mysteries of the X-Men’s new way of life.

Mutantkind has built a new Eden… but there are serpents in this garden. Some mutants struggle to fit in. Some mutants turn to violence and death. And the children whisper of the Patchwork Man, singing in their hearts…Only one mutant senses the looming shadows. Snared by questions of death, law and love, only Nightcrawler can fight for the soul of Krakoa. Only he – and the curious crew he assembles (including fan-favorites Dr. Nemesis, Pixie, and Blink) – can help mutants defeat their inner-darkness and find a new way to live. This is the WAY OF X.

Joining Spurrier to bring these unique mysteries to life will be rising star artist Bob Quinn and the first issue features a cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli.

Be there for this unmissable entry of Reign of X when Way of X hits stands this April.

Way of X #1

Review: Undiscovered Country #11

Undiscovered Country #11

Undiscovered Country has been a fascinating journey, one that feels like a spiral into madness. The journey into this new United States has been one that has been a reflection upon our real world while projecting the worst of what we are and could be. This current story arc has been a horror story in the making and Undiscovered Country #11 gives us the full picture of that horror.

Written by Scott Snyder and Charles Soule, Undiscovered Country #11 has our group of explorers still in “Unity”. They’re presented with the truth of the land and all of the negative it comes with. This, while dealing with the attacks from the Destiny Man. Beyond the reality that’s presented, what’s interesting is it presents the role of technology and innovation within US history. It’s an interesting perspective and one that focuses it a unique way. The basic idea is that the US’s technology innovation has allowed us to connect easier. By doing so it has allowed us to live a more isolated and individual life. We can travel long distances allowing us to live further apart. Communication allows us to connect from thousands of miles away.

Undiscovered Country #11 also drops the moment I’ve been expecting where paradise turns into a nightmare. It’s been clear Unity is too good to be true and now we get to see it in its true self. We also get a bit more of a tease about the journey itself and the choice our group of travelers will have to make.

The art of Undiscovered Country #11 stands out as Giuseppe Camuncoli and Leonardo Marcello Grassi lift the veil of Unity’s true self. Gone are the white walls and clean city. In its place is something much darker and scarier. They’re joined by Matt Wilson on colors and Crank! on lettering. Together, the group has slowly driven the story narratively adding slight visual elements to tip us off as things progress.

Undiscovered Country #11 leaves us to question the nature of Unity and technological advances. Paradise was anything but. We’re also left to question the technology in our own lives. The series continues to be an interesting exploration of American ideals and America’s history giving us an exaggerated reflection of our real world.

Story: Scott Snyder, Charles Soule Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Leonardo Marcello Grassi
Color: Matt Wilson Letterer: Crank!
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.15 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Preview: X-O Manowar #3

X-O Manowar #3

1:25 Sword of Shanhara Variant Cover by DUSTIN WEAVER
On Sale December 23rd | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

Who wins in a fight: X-O Manowar or a cybernetic tech monster formed out of lava?

In order to prevent catastrophe, will Aric hand over the X-O armor to a new ally?

X-O Manowar #3

Review: Undiscovered Country #10

Undiscovered Country #10

Unity is under attack by the Destiny Man as we learn more about this technologically advanced part of the new America. Undiscovered Country #10 is an interesting issue as it presents the action in the present while tying it into the revelations about the past.

Writer Scott Snyder and Charles Soule continue their impressive series exploring the different facets of modern America. The series is both a microscope and an exaggeration of our reality taking the good and bad to their extremes. Unity is a technological marvel using nano-technology to make everything a reality. But, it’s the underlying philosophy that’s an interesting one. Unity isn’t just named that, it’s something it believes in. One people working towards a goal. While the residents of it claim they act under their own free will, there’s a underlying horror and trepidation about it all.

In the previous arc, we saw what freedom and individualism run amok looks like. Unity is the opposite where the vision is one. It’s the embodiment that America is best when it works together. But, taken to an extreme it dives into questions of freedom and free will. The issue doesn’t deliver answers, instead, Undiscovered Country #10 throws out a lot of questions allowing the reader to debate it all themself.

The art by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Marcello Grassi is fantastic. There’s some imagery that’ll give you pause with designs that feel both familiar and unlike anything I’ve seen. With Matt Wilson’s mostly white palette and Crank!’s lettering, there’s something unsettling about it all. Through the tranquility there continues to be a logical coldness about it all. We get to see some of the animals that stalk in the oceans outside Unity, they’re a twist and a design that fits so well for the series and this particular area.

Undiscovered Country #10 is an interesting issue that begins to reveal the horrors that hide underneath Unity. Its philosophy is debated within without giving real answers. It does what the series does so well, shines a spotlight on an aspect of America and lets the reader decide what to think. But, Undiscovered Country #10 also keeps it entertaining and the reader on their toes. It’s a series that has yet to disappoint and when I finish an issue I have no idea what to expect next.

Story: Scott Snyder, Charles Soule Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Leonardo Marcello Grassi
Color: Matt Wilson Letterer: Crank!
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Review: The Other History of the DC Universe #1

The Other History of the DC Universe #1

I had high expectations for John Ridley‘s The Other History of the DC Universe. But, I didn’t expect The Other History of the DC Universe #1 to crush those expectations so much. It’s that good and well worth the wait. Ridley is a producer and writer who has been behind such amazing productions as 12 Years a Slave and American Crime. The latter one being some of the best television in the last decade. And in this debut, Ridley does in one issue what others haven’t achieved in an entire run.

The Other History of the DC Universe #1 kicks off a new miniseries that explores the history of the DC Universe from the perspective of characters from disenfranchised groups. This isn’t the white-washed history written by winners, instead, it’s a brutal and honest take from perspectives we don’t get to often read and see.

The debut issue follows the story of Jefferson Pierce, the man who will one day become Black Lightning. Taking place between 1972 and 1995, we see Pierce’s growth from a young man to star athlete to teacher to hero. It shows us both the good and the bad in a condensed take on the character’s history. We get highs, lows, victories, and tragedies, all in one issue.

Ridley’s delivery is amazing. There’s a poetic flow to his narrative which forgoes traditional dialogue and instead pages are packed with Pierce’s thoughts. The issue feels more like a novel with amazing visuals than a traditional comic. This is more of a diary confession. Taken through the years we get a sense of how events impact Pierce and his decisions on each step of his journey. There’s good and bad as we see how those decisions both succeed and fail. It’s an honest assessment of the character and we can see his growth and failures as a person. In one comic Ridley gives us a fully fleshed out character full of flaws and an understandable perspective.

Through Pierce, Ridley explores the rise of DC’s superheroes including Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman, and their impact on the world. It’s a brutal and honest take highlighting the focus on global threats but ignoring everyday suffering. Any of these heroes could potentially reshape so much of the social injustice but they choose not to. They stay out of the day to day struggles and slip into their roles as Gods protecting mankind. Black Lightning and Pierce are the antitheses of that, shaping children at the school level and then shaping the community in a battle against street crime. He also sees it as white heroes ignoring those of a different skin color. The trio, Green Arrow, the Flash, with the only person not quite fitting that being Martian Manhunter. Ridley explores, through Black Lightning, that these heroes didn’t dare cross into his territory to help, only to scold him.

Ridley is boosted by the jaw-dropping layouts and art. Giuseppe Camuncoli handles the layouts with Andrea Cucchi‘s finishes and the result is amazing. The pages are unreal in style, perspective, and use of panel. The line art itself captures the look of DC Comics during the time. The duo are helped by José Villarubia‘s colors which again echo the style of the 70s and 80s. This is a love letter when it comes to the classic art style of DC Comics from Neal Adams to Denny O’Neil with a little Frank Miller thrown in as well. Everything comes together visually for a treat and one of the best looking issues this year.

Steve Wands‘ lettering too just adds so much. When I mentioned there was a lot of text, I wasn’t joking. Pages are near prose level and Wands makes it flow packing in so much into each page. The skill to pull that off and not impact the imagery is at master level. What’s more impressive is the lettering at times looks like it was worked into the art, spaces purposely left to fill in with Ridley’s prose.

The Other History of the DC Universe #1 is a triumph of a comic. Though it’s main character has amazing powers, in the end it’s the man that truly matters. We see his impact, both good and bad, in the streets fighting and his role in the school guiding. Ridley shows us the fallout, the bodies piled up, the marriage shattered. He gives us a realistic and honest take on the superhero. And he does all of this in one issue.

Story: John Ridley Layouts: Giuseppe Camuncoli Finishes: Andrea Cucchi
Color: José Villarubia Letterer: Steve Wands
Story: 9.0 Art: 10 Overall: 9.75 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Savage #1 Debuts February 2021 from Max Bemis, Nathan Stockman, Triona Farrel, Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, and Valiant

Savage #1 brings monster mayhem to comic shops this February.

Hit musician and critically-acclaimed writer Max Bemis and energetic artist Nathan Stockman present Savage, an action-packed adventure that’s loaded with animated artwork, lots of laughs, and a completely unpredictable story.

Kevin Sauvage, aka Savage, grew up on a remote island populated by bloodthirsty dinosaurs and terrifying marauders. The wild child knew only one thing: survival. Now, he’s living in London and has become a breakout viral sensation. As Savage learns to live in his new environment, a taste of home comes to London as dinosaurs invade the city! It’s time for Savage to do what he does best: hunt!

Savage #1 unleashes dinosaur-hunting fun this February 17th, 2021, featuring colors by Triona Farrell, letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, and covers by Marcus ToChristian WardStacey Lee, and Giuseppe Camuncoli.

Savage #1

Review: Undiscovered Country #9

Undiscovered Country #9

The exploration of “Unity” continues in Undiscovered Country #9 which has the team learning more about the technological marvel. What’s been excellent of this story arc so far is that there’s clearly something ominous. There’s something not right about this territory and their promise clearly has a catch.

Writers Scott Snyder and Charles Soule continue their exploration of the United States, both literally and metaphorically. Each territory of this new United States is an aspect of what makes up America but exaggerated. This is an America run amok. Undiscovered Country #9 focuses on America’s success in innovation. The internet, the space race, so many things have either begun in the US or the US has improved upon it. But, with so much wonder there has also been terror. The nuclear bomb and so many weapons of destruction and death are perfect examples of the negative. As the characters ponder and discuss, Unity represents both the best and possibly worst of what makes the United States special.

Snyder and Soule continue to present the best of it. Unity’s technology allows anything to happen. Memories are stored and needs are met with just a thought. It’s the concept of nanobots taken to an extreme. But, for all the wonder and possibilities, the two creators also deliver some unease. We question everything we’re told. We, as readers, look for clues as to what doesn’t sit right. Like the adventurers, we the reader are skeptical as to what we’re presented. Snyder and Soule has set expectations and toyed with our trust.

Some of the fun is because of the art by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Leonardo Marcello Grassi. It’s hard to read Undiscovered Country #9 and not look for clues in the art. From the stark white setting that screams clean and disinfected, there’s a coldness about what’s presented. While it’s amazing to look at, the art team delivers a presentation that challenges us to look for clues as to what’s off. There may be nothing at all. But, we’re teased to do exactly that. Part of the dance is due to Matt Wilson‘s colors. While much of the issue is white and gray, there’s some other splashes of color drawing your eye to what’s focused on. The fact some of that is red leads to yet more of an ominous feeling towards those details. Crank!‘s lettering too delivers small clues and delivers slight punches to each scene and moment.

Undiscovered Country #9 continues to take us on an adventure much like Alice in Wonderland. We’re presented a wondrous world full of possibilities but underneath that wonder is horror. But, what’s most impressive is the series continues to hold a mirror to our reality. It may be a funhouse mirror but it’s still a twisted reflection of the world we live in. The series as a whole questions American exceptionalism and the building blocks of our nation. It challenges us to question what’s right and what’s wrong and to think about what happens if any extreme “wins”.

Story: Scott Snyder, Charles Soule Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Leonardo Marcello Grassi
Color: Matt Wilson Letterer: Crank! Editor: Will Dennis
Story: 8.75 Art: 8.35 Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Review: Undiscovered Country #8

Undiscovered Country #8

A divided America full of chaos and unrest. A divided America whose ideals have been perverted and twisted. When Undiscovered Country began, the fantastical series felt much more… fantasy. As the series has progressed, each issue feels like it’s an exploration of the current American zeitgeist. Undiscovered Country #8 begins to explore the slip to technocratic solutions and the impact, both good and bad, of technology on our lives.

The group of explorers have moved on to the second of the thirteen territories and the new United States. The first was called Destiny, the second is Unity. Unity, located in the Pacific Northwest is a technocratic dreamcoat. It’s a society built on nano-technology where one has to only think to be rewarded. Buildings, plants, vehicles, everything has been consumed by an overarching, and most likely overreaching technology. It’s also a world of temptation and clear malevolence underneath.

Writers Scott Snyder and Charles Soule delivers a Willy Wonka/Wizard of Oz/Alice in Wonderland journey into a debased America. Our real-world is twisted and explored in ways that feel all to close to home as our reality plays out. While protests flood our streets and the government slides into Fascism, the abuse of technology to manipulate the populace hangs in the background. This second territory feels like that abuse taken to extremes and once again is ahead of the curve as far as topics flooding newspapers.

Much like the debut story arc, Undiscovered Country #8 continues to introduce us to the world. The concepts, basis of reality shift with each keeping readers on their toes. Unlike the more barbaric Destiny, Unity is a world of the future and what ifs? There’s also a clear nightmare waiting underneath it all and it’s a question as to when, not if, that will be revealed. The issue is also a solid entry point. Though the new arc began with the previous issue, this one is fine for new readers to explore the world as they have avatars asking questions they’ll have in the main cast of characters.

The insanity and fantastical is delivered by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Leonardo Marcello Grassi. The art is full of so much detail that it begs the readers to spend time on each page and with each panel exploring the world. Much like our main cast of characters, the visuals are our true introduction to the mystery. We’re forced to piece together what’s going on as our guide, Uncle Sam, only gives cryptic clues.

Matt Wilson does a solid job as the visuals are generally lacking in much color beyond white. With a mostly mono-chromatic look, the colors still really work using some grays to really make the details pop. There’s also work between the trio to deliver something that’s slightly off. Buildings feel like they’re slightly crooked, whether that’s on purpose or not is unknown. But, it feels like it is and done so to show that the technology isn’t perfect and there’s more than meets the eye. Crank!‘s lettering too comes in to play. There is a lot of dialogue and it is laid out well but there’s also a serene aspect to the font choice that doesn’t become apparent until the very end.

Undiscovered Country #8 is another fantastic journey into the crazy world this creative team has created. There’s a horror story awaiting as we’re given the setup that we know is too good to be true. But, where it all goes is unknown. Undiscovered Country is a series where anything is possible and with that it has become a series where we’re forced to expect the unexpected and just enjoy the wild ride.

Story: Scott Snyder, Charles Soule Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Leonardo Marcello Grassi
Color: Matt Wilson Lettering: Crank!
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

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