Tag Archives: hassan otsmane-elhaou

Review: I Breathed a Body #1

I Breathed a Body #1

With a bit of trypophobia, making it through I Breathed a Body #1 was a bit rough. The imagery kept me uneasy and a bit squeamish. But getting through that, I Breathed a Body #1 is an interesting story about the power of technology and social networking.

Written by Zac Thompson, I Breathed a Body #1 introduces us to a social network and its star. A punk of a kid whose pranks hurt individuals, the apologies are hollow, and whose views deliver a lot of revenue.

There’s really something interesting here as the discussion about the power of technology companies and their ability to manipulate individuals. There’s also really smart discussion of the spiraling of technology and the rewarding bad behavior. These are real-world issues discussed today, real issues being debated.

Thompson has laid the groundwork for a horror story with a much deeper meaning to it. It does what a lot of horror does, deliver an examination of something beyond scares.

And those scares and unease are delivered by Andy MacDonald. The art is fantastic and kept me off-centered the entire time. There’s something to it that delivers an experience that’s both clean and sterilized and at the same time with a slight Hellraiser vibe about it. With Triona Farrell‘s color and Hassan Otsmae-Elhaou‘s lettering, the visuals keep me off-centered and a little nauseous. It’s probably how I should really feel about social media and the power of tech companies honestly.

Despite my trypophobia, I Breathed a Body #1 is an intriguing start of a series. There’s a lot to chew on for a comic that clearly has something to say. Things will be interesting to see where they go from here and what exactly is on these creator’s minds.

Story: Zac Thompson Art: Andy MacDonald
Color: Triona Farrell Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

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!

X-O Manowar #4 Brings a New Challenge with New Armor

X-O Manowar has been upgraded, but with new power also comes new challenges…

X-O’s battle has come crashing down on his new neighborhood. Will he save the day and become the hero the modern world needs, or will he simply bring about more destruction as he unleashes his rage against his enemies? It all unfolds when X-O Manowar #4 goes on sale on January 27th, and TODAY is the final day for fans to preorder the action-packed issue at their local comic shop. Enjoy the first few pages and covers from the upcoming issue, below…

Written by Dennis Hopeless, the comic features art by Emilio Laiso, colors by Ruth Redmond, and lettering by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. Covers are by Christian Ward, Paul Renaud, Kael Ngu, Jim Towe, and Michael Walsh.

X-O Manowar #4

Review: X-O Manowar #3

 X-O Manowar #3

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? Find out in X-O Manowar #3!

Over the years, I’ve taken to pasting the preview/solicitation text for the comics I’m reviewing in the review before I get to what I want to say about the book because that way you’ll have an idea of what the comic is about without having anything spoiled/revealed that hasn’t already been revealed by the publisher. The text above, honestly, gives you very little about the content of the comic itself. Unfortunately, there is a reason for that; the plot of this issue is fairly thin,

This X-O Manowar series hasn’t been as popular with fans as the previous two written by Robert Venditti and Matt Kindt, and I was in the minority of those who really enjoyed the direction that Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum had been taking the character over the course of the first two issues, but with X-O Manowar #3 there’s something missing.

The vibrancy seems to have gone from the comic, with much of the issue focused on Aric doing things he doesn’t particularly care for, and it seems Hallum isn’t as interested in showing us, either – although maybe he is adept at showing that on the page a little too well, as it comes across as a little clunky, with the few bright spots not being enough to balance almost the entire middle of the book. Where the previous two issues had dialogue that was quite witty at times, this issue had none of the warm banter between Aric and Shanhara (which, granted, wasn’t to everyone’s taste) – the back and forth between Aric and his armour felt much more forced than it had.

Maybe it’s because the story’s focus is on PR at the expense of saving lives, and maybe I’m feeling Aric’s displeasure at the way he’s being used, but I don’t think that’s the case.

Emilio Laiso‘s art combined with Ruth Redmond‘s colouring is still a high point in the comic, and at least provides something interesting to look at when reading the at times dull comic. Redmond’s colours that elevate Laiso’s art consistently, and whether it’s the raging lava of a volcano or the more mundane breakfast table scene earlier in the comic (this was actually my favourite part of the comic, honestly – unfortunately it’s at the beginning, and it’s downhill from there).

There’s no doubt that this is the weakest X-O Manowar comic I’ve read in a long time, but it comes off the bck of two comics I did enjoy; the issues I have with this one, primarily is that there’s too much happening and yet very little plot movement – the social issues that had been present in the previous comics are much more muted in this issue (to the point where I find myself having to really stretch to see them). The art saves it a little, and even with what’s probably meant to be a character defining change within its pages, this isn’t a comic that’ll draw new readers in – whether you’re a Valiant fan already or not. hopefully this book is an aberration, a slight dip in an otherwise enjoyable series, because if the quality of X-O Manowar #3 is indicative of where the series is heading, I don’t foresee the series lasting as long as Kindt’s run.

Story: Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum Art: Emilio Laiso
Colors: Ruth Redmond Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Story: 5.9 Art: 8.2 Overall: 6.7 Recommendation: Read

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXology KindleZeus Comics

Preview: X-O Manowar #3

X-O Manowar #3

Written by DENNIS HOPELESS
Art by EMILIO LAISO
Colors by RUTH REDMOND
Letters by HASSAN OTSMANE-ELHAOU
Cover A by CHRISTIAN WARD
Cover B by DAVID NAKAYAMA
Cover C by DAVID LOPEZ
Preorder Variant Cover by GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI & ULISES ARREOLA
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

Get a First Look at Undone By Blood or The Other Side of Eden #1

UNDONE BY BLOOD or THE OTHER SIDE OF EDEN #1

Writers: Lonnie Nadler & Zac Thompson
Artist: Sami Kivelä
Colorist: Jason Wordie
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover: Sami Kivelä w/ Jason Wordie
Incentive Cover: Charlie Adlard
$4.99 / 32 Pages / Color / 3/03/2021

The early 1930’s: The height of the Great Depression and beginning of the Dust Bowl. Silvano Luna Del Rio works as a postman in Buttar, Texas. Reeling from a tragic past, with only a gun and a Western novel to his name, Silvano sets out to take back from the country that took so much from him by robbing the first skyscraper West of the Mississippi. But acts of retribution are never as simple as they seem, as his target is home to an eccentric fraternal brotherhood hiding their own dark secrets.

By Silvano’s side is an old west novel featuring famed gunslinger Solomon Eaton. As both stories unfold simultaneously, in true UNDONE BY BLOOD fashion, the mythic Western informs choices in reality, for better or worse.

From the minds of Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson (The Dregs, X-Men, HER INFERNAL
DESCENT) and artist Sami Kivelä (Abbot, Tommy Gun Wizards) comes the next story in the
critically acclaimed neo-western series that depicts the hard truths of seeking vengeance in the real world.

Each issue of UNDONE BY BLOOD OR THE OTHER SIDE OF EDEN has 24 pages of story and art and cardboard stock covers!

UNDONE BY BLOOD or THE OTHER SIDE OF EDEN #1

Review: X-O Manowar #2

X-O Manowar #2

In X-O Manowar #2, Aric,  better known as X-O Manowar, battles a robot who he finds out is linked to rich bad guy Troy Whitaker. After confronting Whitaker, he lets him off the hook, only to have Whitaker show the upper hand in a most villainous way.

Writer Dennis Hallum’s take on X-O is interesting, for sure. He’s taken the character out of his comfort zones and left him as another person in the life of the Morris family, a mom and son who need a Visigoth warrior in their lives. Worse, after some of the actions caused by Whitaker, he’s painted as an enemy, complete with the law coming after him. There’s nothing wrong with that and a character like Aric needs a bit more humanity thrust upon him. For me, it stumbles, such as the cops who end up coming off like a couple of slouches who are clearly out of their league to do anything.

I like Emilio Laiso’s art on X-O Manowar #2. He shows an adequate amount of detail in his work. Honestly, it’s what a superhero book should look like. For the most part, I like the colors and thought Ruth Redmond pairs really well with Laiso’s art. Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou’s lettering is solid, for the most part. Also, I like all the covers on this issue.

The relationship between Aric and Shanhara has evolved through the different series. When X-O came back in 2012, the armor did not speak to Aric and when the series was rebooted a few years ago under writer Matt Kindt, the armor learned to communicate. With this latest series, Shanhara has taken on the personality of a bratty teen who quips back at Aric. It feels completely wrong. Aric’s dialogue isn’t much better between them.

There’s something that feels off on the onomatopoeia, or sound effects, where throughout this issue, they look incomplete. They don’t look fully colored or maybe they are just a wonky font but it looks off.

After reading this issue, I feel like we’re at a low point for the character. The art is fine but that’s never been an issue with X-O Manowar. The story is a bit uninspiring to keep with and there are elements that don’t feel complete. I really hope it’s a case of a mediocre issue and not something more indicative of the entirety of this run of X-O Manowar. As it stands, I’m left wanting more from X-O Manowar #2 and it can’t give it to me.

Story: Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum Art: Emilio Laiso
Colors: Ruth Redmond Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Story: 5.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 6.0

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Review: X-O Manowar #2

X-O MANOWAR #2

Harvey Award-winning writer Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum and breakout star Emilio Laiso unleash Valiant’s most powerful protector! Torn from the past and bonded with a living alien armor, will X-O Manowar become the hero the world needs now? As a futuristic force arises to destroy the planet, only this ancient warrior king has the courage to stand against impossible odds!

This is an updated version of a review for X-O Manowar #2. The original review copy was largely black and white as the colouring hadn’t been finalized. As such, the text is largely unchanged aside from the specifically noted UPDATE section below.

I recall reading this comic the first time around about three months back; it was a super early version designed to give folks an early preview at what’s coming up for the series. I enjoyed the book when I first read it, but after everything that’s happened in the world since first reading the book, I realized that there was more to X-O Manowar #2 than I first noticed – or maybe I’m looking at the comic with a different perspective. A lot has happened in the last three months, so it’s not surprising that a piece of art resonates with me in a different way.

Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum continues his polarizing depiction of Aric as he lives within a larger city with a single mother and her teenage son. Seeing the former king and emperor in this role hasn’t been popular with some readers, but personally I’m really enjoying seeing Aric trying to find a new way to fit into the modern world now that he’s lost everything but Shanhara. We’re seeing Aric adjust to being a modern man (sort of) in a totally unfamiliar world, and Hallum is using the fish out of water to let some humor into the comic. Not at Aric’s expense, but rather more along the lines of how the jokes are made in the first Thor movie.

The story in this issue is about how X-O Manowar, for all his power and access to knowledge from across human history, is still relatively unaware how to present himself in today’s world as the media falls out of love with him and he struggles to understand the complexity of certain situations. It’s an interesting angle to take with the character, and one I hope Hallum continues to explore as the series progresses.

I’m still all in for this comic, and I can’t wait to see how it improves when the finished product arrives. Although the book doesn’t have any color in it, Emilio Laiso‘s art still brings a wonderful quality to the proceedings. If the art is as good as the last issue, then I can’t wait to reread and update this again.

UPDATE: Well shit, what a difference a finished product makes. X-O Manowar #2 has the unenviable task of catching the attention of people after a long gap between issues who may or may not have read the first issue (And who may not really recall what happened in that issue). I’m honestly impressed that Valiant didn’t slap a big fat number one on the cover to draw attention to the young series.

Now there’s no doubt I enjoyed the story the last time through, and still do, but there’s something about Ruth Redmond‘s vibrant colouring work that makes the entire story pop. I love black and white comics, but there’s a difference between comics with art that should be black and white, and art that is yet to be coloured – and the swooping skies as Aric chases a robot across the water are understated and simplistic in design, but that simplicity conveys a sense of speed that’s underscored by the banter between Aric and Shanhara.

Redmond’s colours that elevate Laiso’s art into a level of fun that I didn’t realize I needed after a rough couple of days technology wise for myself. Ultimately, that’s why I love comics – their ability to take you away from reality (if only briefly). I enjoyed this book a lot when I first read this comic months ago, but the finished product is just so much better than I had expected it to be.

Story: Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum Art: Emilio Laiso
Colors: Ruth Redmond Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Story: 9.2 Art: 9 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXology

Preview: X-O Manowar #2

X-O MANOWAR #2

Written by DENNIS HOPELESS
Art by EMILIO LAISO
Colors by RUTH REDMOND
Letters by HASSAN OTSMANE-ELHAOU
Cover A by CHRISTIAN WARD
Cover B by NETHO DIAZ
Preorder Variant Cover by FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA
1:25 Sword of Shanhara Variant Cover by DANIEL WARREN JOHNSON
On sale NOVEMBER 25th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

A new threat emerges from the fires of X-O’s latest battle!

Can X-O save the day, or does the world need a new kind of hero?

X-O MANOWAR #2

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
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