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An exiled T’Challa strikes from the shadows of Wakanda in the Black Panther #1 trailer

A new reign has begun! Following John Ridley’s acclaimed run of Black Panther, award-winning author Eve L. Ewing and artist Chris Allen will launch a brand-new Black Panther ongoing comic series next month. The new saga will see Black Panther serve Wakanda in a bold new way after he’s exiled from the throne. A king without a crown and a fugitive in his own homelands, T’Challa journeys deeper into Wakanda than ever before as he finds new purpose striking from the shadows of the Wakandan city that bears his father’s name, Birnin T’Chaka. Operating as an undercover vigilante, Black Panther vows to remain the Wakandan people’s sworn protector by defending this broken city from danger. But as he tries to understand the heart of this city that feels it has been forgotten by the Black Panther, he’ll discover it has challenges unlike any he’s faced before, including powerful crime families and corruption that go against all that Wakanda stands for. 

Fans can get their first taste of this daring new direction in the all-new Black Panther #1 trailer, featuring never-before-seen artwork. The thrilling trailer takes fans to the streets of Birnin T’Chaka for the very first time! The city pulses with both beauty and danger as Black Panther leaps into action against the forces of its criminal underworld, including a new adversary, Beisa! This alluring thief is more than willing to teach T’Challa the ways of her city and fans can catch her harsh first lesson right in the debut issue!

The trailer also spotlights Black Panther’s stunning new costume design by series artist Chris Allen.

Get in on the ground floor of Black Panther’s all new era when Black Panther #1 hits stands on June 14. It features covers by Taurin Clarke, Elena Casagrande and Jordie Bellaire, Rahzzah, Skottie Young, Steve Rude and Chris O’Halloran, Sanford Greene, Matteus Manhanini, Chris Allen, Mr Garcin, and Chris Allen and Guru-eFX.

X-Force #39 ushers in a bright new age for the team

X-Force #39

The fallout of the Beast’s crimes! A new X-force! And a new Wolverine? All this and more in X-Force #39! Benjamin Percy and Robert Gill bring their A-game in X-Force #39, the latest issue in Percy’s epic ushers in a new chapter for the titular X-Force.

X-Force #39 comes off the heels of the “Beast Agenda” arc of Wolverine. When Beast’s crimes finally catch up to him, he goes on the run, abandoning X-Force. The team is left to pick up the pieces and redefine what X-Force means in the wake of these events. X-Force #39 firmly expects you to have been keeping up with Wolverine, also by Percy. X-Force and Wolverine are two sides of the same coin. They are two books heavily intertwined in plot. I can’t recommend reading one without the other.

X-Force #39 is mostly set up, but Percy and Gill keep it lively and fun. Much of the issue is spent on the politicking of the governing body of Krakoa, The Quiet Council, over Beast’s vile machinations. It’s a surprising and engaging dialogue that gets to questioning the utility of his actions. Percy uses the Quiet Council as an analog to real-world governments and how they justify the crimes of agencies like the CIA.

Gill brings spectacular art aided by the always wonderful coloring of Guru-eFX and the lettering of VC’s Joe Caramagna. The art is bright and colorful but has an undeniable edge to it. That edge is on display when it comes time for Gill to deliver a gloriously gorey action sequence.

X-Force #39 is a great first chapter to a new age. It gives closure to Beast’s plot (for now!) while establishing the foundations for a bright new future. Overall, I’m excited to see where Percy and Gill take the book next!

Story: Benjamin Percy Art: Robert Gill
Color: Guru-eFX Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna Design:  Tom Muller w/ Jay Bowen
Story: 9.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy 

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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Captain America: Cold War Alpha feels like being dropped in the middle of a story

Captain America: Cold War Alpha

I’ll admit, I haven’t been keeping up with the two Captain America series currently being released. While I enjoyed the first few issues of each, I fell off regularly reading them, as there’s so much coming out and only so much time. But, I tried to keep up with a general idea of what’s going on. And, as expected, the two series have come together for a crossover event, “Cold War” which kicks off here with Captain America: Cold War Alpha.

Written by Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, and Tochi Onyebuchi, the comic and event brings together plot lines from each series. Bucky Barnes is now the Outer Circle’s New Revolution. He’s now teamed up with the White Wolf who he has freed from prison. Steve Rogers’ adopted son, Ian, A.K.A. Nomad, is abducted which has him bringing together his friends and allies Sam Wilson, Sharon Carter, and Misty Knight to help figure out what’s going on. Steve thinks Bucky is still on his side but playing a game they can’t figure out, but what’s shown throws so much into question.

If you haven’t been reading things up to this point, you might be lost starting with Captain America: Cold War Alpha. The issue does what it can to catch readers up but there’s a lot to pack into one issue. The very basics are laid out and you can limp your way through the issue but it’s a tough read and it feels like you’ve come into a film a missed the first half hour. Still, there’s some solid action and the comic captures a good action vibe.

That’s helped by the art by Carlos Magno. With color by Guru-eFX and lettering by Joe Caramagna, the comic has a big screen picture vibe about it. The scenes are over the top, settings feel grand, and the action is on a pretty big scale. None of this comic feels small or intimate, this is a big swing for entertainment.

Captain America: Cold War Alpha has its moments and feels like a summer popcorn action film, but, it also feels like a story that you really need to know what has been going on before. The issue does what it can to catch readers up but it doesn’t quite nail that down and might leave readers even more confused. If Dimension Z or Ian are completely foreign to you, this is a kick off that might fall a bit flat.

Story: Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly, Tochi Onyebuchi Art: Carlos Magno
Letterer: Joe Caramagna Color: Guru-eFX
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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X-Force #37 finally reveals the Man with the Peacock Tattoo

X-Force #37

Since X-Force #1, we’ve been wondering one thing, who is the man with the Peacock Tattoo? It’s a mystery that has run all of these issues with teases and hints throughout. Now, we finally have our answer in X-Force #37 and it’s rather… underwhelming.

When X-Force debuted with its latest volume, it introduced one of the more intriguing new characters in the X-universe, the Man with the Peacock Tattoo. The leader of XENO, he came across as a nice mix of some of the X-Men’s solid villains of the past. Fueled by hatred of mutants with a mysterious agenda, the character has been a thorn throughout this run, but who is he? Writer Benjamin Percy delivers that answer in X-Force #37 and it’s just ok.

Part of the issue is that the mystery has been set up for so long. There’s little chance that anything delivered would live up to the anticipation of the reveal. Then, there’s the reveal itself. While not bad, and lots of potential, it ties back to continuity so long ago. Unless you’re a diehard fan, it’s a reveal that might not resonate as to its importance. Then there’s the tragic backstory itself which as presented is so twisted and all over, it doesn’t quite land as far as pathos or motivation. It has the building blocks there but just doesn’t stick the landing.

But, the issue does have its moments. The team is the usual dysfunction one would expect and an impatient Deadpool pestering Omega Red almost makes the comic worth it.

The art by Robert Gill is good. The characters all look solid and the detail and page layouts deliver a comic that has hints of horror. With color by Guru-eFX and lettering by Joe Caramagna, the art is intriguing as it hints at what the Man in the Peacock Mask has been up to and working on. Horrors pepper panels and pages begging the reader to dive in and try to guess what has been going on off panel and off page.

X-Force #37 is a piece to the overall story and in that way it’s good. But, on it’s own, it’s just ok delivering a reveal that doesn’t land partially because it’s been dragged out so long. There’s little chance it could have delivered the excitement that’s been built up to this point, a story that works against itself in that way.

Story: Benjamin Percy Art: Robert Gill
Color: GURU-eFX Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.8 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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Exclusive Preview: Moon Knight #20

Moon Knight #20

(W) Jed MacKay, Danny Lore (A) Alessandro Cappuccio, Ray-Anthony Height
(C) Rachelle Rosenberg (I) Le Beau Underwood, Scott Hanna (L) Cory Petit
(CA) Stephen Segovia, Rachelle Rosenberg (VCA) Chris Allen and Guru-eFX, Gerardo Sandoval and David Curiel, Philip Tan and Frank D’Armata
Rated T+
In Shops: Feb 01, 2023
SRP: $4.99

There’s blood on the streets as assassins work their way through a list of names containing those who once formed Moon Knight’s Shadow Cabinet. But with a number of potential targets and no idea who’s next, how can Moon Knight save his former associates?
PLUS: Just in time for Black History Month, a second story in which the crescent crusader crosses paths with the Sheriff of the Vampire Nation, Blade!

Moon Knight #20

Review: Star Wars: Revelations #1

Star Wars: Revelations #1

In the recent foray for Star Wars, Andor , we see the rise of a revolution. We find out exactly what happens when people have enough. When a society is oppressed, they eventually will push back. This holds true for most environments, even not on a national stage. I have seen potboilers in combat situations, where people lose all composure, because of someone acting tyrannical.

Eventually, no one suffer fools or injustice. As people who do things because they feel they are in the right, is because of self preservation. The reality is, it is a perversion of the truth, it is a lie they tell themselves so that they can sleep at night. In Star Wars: Revelations #1 we find out when the people the Empire is supposed to serve, fights back.

We find Darth Vader as he seeks guidance from the Webbish Bog, as he senses an unseen threat headed his way. As Lady Q’Ra has found the Fermata Cage, something the Emperor needs and he dispatches Vader to secure it. We also catch Luke, as he senses a disturbance in the force,  as they arrive on Klugson’s Moon,  a planet not on any interstellar chart, where they encounter Ajax Omega,  a onetime revolutionary droid, who looked to supplant sentient beings, which leads to a skirmish between the two. By the issue’s end, Vader escapes an ambush and is even more determined to extinguish the enemies of the Empire.

Overall, Star Wars: Revelations #1 is a muddled mess of an issue. The story by Guggenheim is action packed but looks to do too much in one issue. It teases what’s to come at the detriment of entertainment. The art by the creative team is gorgeous. Altogether, Star Wars: Revelations #1 is an issue that doesn’t quite live up to its ambition and mission.

Story: Marc Guggenheim Art: Salvador Larroca, Pere Pérez, Emma Kubert, Justin Mason, Paul Fry
Ink: Wayne Faucher Color: Guru-eFX, Dono Sánchez-Almara Letterer: Ariana Maher
Story: 6.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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Review: Crypt of Shadows #1

Crypt of Shadows #1

When it comes to holidays, there is nothing like Halloween. Before cosplaying became as accepted as it is now, this was the only day most people could become someone else. Costumes can show the other sides of people. As you get older, you take for granted, the ignorance of youth and how something as simple as dressing in a costume can be… freeing.

Fast forward to today, and the world now exists where dressing up ay as your favorite character is not only accepted but encouraged. This is huge when you think of how the children of today will have a better sense of self than most of us did growing up. I remember watching all those Halloween specials growing up, and have wondered where they all went. As much as we’ve gained in cosplay, we’ve lost those “special events”. In Crypt Of Shadows #1, we find our favorite heroes of the Marvel Universe in some spooky situations.

In “The Crypt Of Shadows”, a séance goes wrong, unearthing ghosts that come back for what they feel is theirs. In “Werewolf by Moon Knight”, Moon Knight gets in the middle of a brawl between two werewolves. In “Skin Crawl”, Morbius and Jinx take down a demon. In “Down Came The Rain”, Elsa Bloodstone and Johnny Storm traverse a underground tunnel to save Spider-Man. In “Endless Slaughter in the Infinite Swamp”, Man Thing and X-23 get stuck in a battle that lasts forever. In the last story “Neither Big Nor Bad”, our heroes gets caught up in an unknown and unseen evil.

Overall, Crypt of Shadows #1 is a fun set of stories which will have readers ready for All Hallow’s Eve. The stories by the different creators are exciting. The art by the different creators are gorgeous. Altogether, this book will remind readers exactly why we all get excited for this time of the year.

Story: Al Ewing, Danny Lore, Rebecca Roanhorse, Chris Cooper, Chris Condon, Adam Warren
Art: Ramon Bachs, Karen S. Darboe, Geoff Shaw, Ibrahim Moustafa, Fran Galán, Adam Warren
Color: Rain Beredo, Cris Peter, Arif Prianto, Neeraj Menon, James Campbell, Guru-eFX
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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Review: Alien #2

Alien #2

The comics for the “Alien universe” is now at Marvel kicking off a new era for the classic film franchise. The debut issue set up what we can expect from this new era, a little new but a lot of what’s expected. Alien #2 builds upon that with some interesting underlying details that make for a solid second issue.

Written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, the second issue throws Gabriel Cruz into the thick of it. Gabe’s son has been pinned in the attack on the Epsilon Station and it’s not surprising that Gabe is being pulled back in by Weyland-Yutani due to that. The company has decided to blackmail Gabe to retrieve some of their science experiments from the station or the attack will be pinned on him. The result is a tense situation that evokes classic gathering of soldiers to take on the mysterious xenomorph.

Johnson does an excellent job at the build-up to this issue and through the issue. Gabe is presented as a rough father but the situation he’s placed in is one we can all understand. There’s a deeper motive to Gabe’s coming conflict beyond the usual “bug hunt”. This is a father attempting to protect the son with who he has an estranged relationship. There’s a deeper aspect to the comic this way and separates it from conflict just due to Weyland-Yutani’s business.

The blackmail adds a layer to the situation. There’s no way we should trust what was promised to Gabe and throughout the issue, I was looking to see if Gabe believes that as well. He’s presented as a veteran and smart in his actions, unlike his rather gung-ho companions, and he’s clearly thought out what he’s stepping into. It’s an interesting aspect seeing the veteran deal with “rookies”, a bit like Ripley in Aliens.

Johnson also understands some of the appeal of the films is the tension and suspense. He mixes the horror of the first film with that of the action of the second. There’s a progression in the issue as we await the reveal of xenomorphs. It’s something we know is coming, we just don’t know.

That tension is helped by Salvador Larroca‘s art. It’s nice and serves the second issue well. Joined by Guru-eFX on color and Clayton Cowles on lettering, there’s a nice aspect to the art and delivering the mix of action and tension you’d want. It’d be easy to go too far one way or another but there’s a balance her. There’s a sense of horror at the right moments and when the action really gets rolling Larroca’s art begins to really stand out.

Alien #2 is one that fans of the franchise will want to check out. It blends what works so well for the series taking the best of everything and mixing it together to expand the world and also celebrate it.

Story: Phillip Kennedy Johnson Art: Salvador Larroca
Color: Guru-eFX Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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Review: Avengers: Curse of the Man-Thing #1

Avengers: Curse of the Man-Thing #1

Man-Thing isn’t a character I know a ton about. Usually the interactions are either as a secondary character there as a plot device or there’s a misunderstanding and a brief battle with heroes fighting him. “Curse of the Man-Thing” is a three-part miniseries that celebrates the character’s 50th anniversary kicking off with Avengers: Curse of the Man-Thing #1.

Written by Steve Orlando, the comic kicks off with unexpected characters in Hordeculture, a group of zealot botanists that were introduced in the rebooted X-Men line. The group has a goal of depopulation, though not total destruction, of humanity to better balance the world. And while they’re extreme, there’s always someone more extreme. Enter Harrower who wants to mix science and magic to make the world better, putting her in conflict with Hordeculture. Harrower has a plan, and that’s to use Man-Thing to bring about her vision for the world.

Orlando does some things really smart in this comic. While it could easily use Man-Thing as a prop, instead Orlando explores the character. We get to learn more about Man-Thing and the scientist that created him. We also learn about the project that lead to the creation as well. There’s also some twists that would be spoilers that does a decent dive into the character. I came out feeling like I had a solid understanding of the character.

Francesco Mobili‘s art is solid mixing the feel of a superhero comic and a horror comic as well. Weird organic towers and bugs flying around clash with the Avengers doing battle. It’s an interesting mix walking a balance between the two genres. Guru-eFX‘s colors deliver a more bright look to what could easily have been a darkened vibe and Clayton Cowles‘ lettering emphasizes the action and chaos. The art really captures the mix of genres. There’s a big budget disaster story sense about it all and its emphasis of showing the horror of those experiencing events enhances the popcorn enjoyment of it all.

Avengers: Curse of the Man-Thing #1 might seem like a lot of action and a disaster film on its surface. Orlando delivers more than that. There’s a real exploration of the character and some of the motivations behind it. There’s a tragedy that’s played out and it’ll be interesting to see how this all continues in the next two chapters.

Story: Steve Orlando Art: Francesco Mobili
Color: Guru-eFX Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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