Tag Archives: hassan otsmane-elhaou

Review: Join the Future #3

Clementine Libbey continues her mission of revenge and seeks the training of the Trader. Will she compromise her ideals and use technology to go up against her hi-tech opponents?

Story: Zack Kaplan
Art: Piotr Kowalski
Color: Brad Simpson
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

Get your copy 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.

Kindle
comiXology
Zeus Comics

AfterShock 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: Quantum and Woody #4

QUANTUM & WOODY #4

Home Alone, the boys are left to defend their lair against would-be bandits! What is Woody’s dark secret? The truth is finally revealed in Quantum and Woody #4!

The finale to the four-part miniseries finds writer Christopher Hastings, artist Ryan Browne, and color artist Ruth Redmond coming together one more time (though hopefully not for the final time) for a comic I have waited nearly three months to read. Was it worth the wait? Was I able to just pick it up and enjoy it without refreshing myself by reading the first three again?

Two kill two birds with one stone, the answer is yes.

While not everybody will want to just pick the book up and dive in after three months, the way the Hastings has been crafting the story over three almost standalone issues means that while there are some elements that cross the four issues, the specific events don’t need to have been memorized to enjoy Quantum and Woody #4 (though if you do want a refresher, there’s no reason not to go back and read the other three).

Hastings has once again packed a full story, start middle and end, into a single comic, though with the finale he also wraps up the threads he had left over the course of the previous three issues. It is in many ways a bitter sweet comic, because as far as we currently know, there aren’t any plans to bring Hastings back to Quantum and Woody, but he ends his story on a high note without leaving any real loose ends dangling – but you’ll be wanting more from him and the creative team by them time you turn the final page.

Browne’s art has been perfectly suited to the chaos that has been this series, and both he and Redmond shine in the final issue. There’s often a lot occurring on every page, but the comic never loses its ability to tell a coherent visual story. The art is bright, bold, absolutely insane, and I love it. There’s a lot going on in almost every page, but you’re never lost; this is a book that you’re going to want to take your time reading, or read it a second time so that you can really appreciate the talent on display here.

I’ve never really been the biggest Quantum and Woody fan, but Hastings, Brown, Redmond, and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou have delivered one of my favourite series this year. This is a nigh-on perfect comic book in its own right, but when you take it as the final part of a four-part miniseries, then it becomes an absolute must-read book.

If every comic that I read after Diamond started delivering again was half as good as this, I’d be happy.

Story: Christopher Hastings Art: Ryan Browne
Colors: Ruth Redmond Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

Story: 9.6 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Preview: Join the Future #3

Join the Future #3

Writer: Zack Kaplan 
Artist: Piotr Kowalski 
Colorist: Brad Simpson 
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou 
Cover: Piotr Kowalski & Brad Simpson
$3.99 / 32 pages / Color / On Sale 7.8.20

As Franklin’s residents finally move to the seductive ultramodern megacity, Clementine Libbey, the Mayor’s strong-willed daughter, is the last left in the small town. Alone, she tracks down the gruff and mysterious technology scavenger known as the Trader and earns his gunslinger training in her quest for revenge. But will she compromise her ideals and accept using advanced technology or will she go up against the hi-tech weapons of the local law enforcement with nothing but her six-shooter? Come join her adventure in this sci-fi western. Come join the future. 

Written by Zack Kaplan (LOST CITY EXPLORERS) with art from Piotr Kowalski (Sex, Marvel Knights: Hulk, The Dark Tower), JOIN THE FUTURE is a sci-fi western that examines a tomorrow where everyone must ask what your values are truly worth.

Join the Future #3

Preview: Quantum & Woody #4 (of 4)

QUANTUM & WOODY #4 (of 4)

Written by CHRISTOPHER HASTINGS
Art by RYAN BROWNE
Colors by RUTH REDMOND
Letters by HASSAN OTSMANE-ELHAOU
Cover A by DAVID NAKAYAMA
Cover B by RAHZZAH
Preorder Cover by GURIHIRU
Extra Virgin Variant Cover by DAVID NAKAYAMA
On sale JULY 8th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US |T+

Home Alone, the boys are left to defend their lair against would-be bandits!
What is Woody’s dark secret? The truth is finally revealed in the miniseries finale!

QUANTUM & WOODY #4 (of 4)

Humanoids Announces a Three-Book Deal with Writer/Artist Ibrahim Moustafa

Kicking off a groundbreaking slate of upcoming original graphic novels and media projects, Humanoids is announcing a three-book deal with Eisner Nominated writer/artist Ibrahim Moustafa. Humanoids, the Los Angeles-based publisher of some of the world’s most iconic and groundbreaking science fiction and fantasy graphic novels, will publish Moustafa’s graphic novel Count, a bold, science-fiction adaptation of the classic story The Count of Monte Cristo in March of 2021. The publisher will announce the details of the other two books at a later date.

Count follows the adventures of one Redxan Samud. Framed for treason and wrongfully imprisoned at the hands of a jealous and corrupt magistrate, Redxan Samud escapes his breathtaking hover-prison with only one thing on his mind: revenge. Samud sets out to dismantle the lives of those who have wronged him, disguised as a Man of Status with a newfound fortune at his disposal and his Automaton Retainer Unit (Aru) by his side. But as collateral damage accumulates, Samud is caught between using his new fortune for the good of the people or to pursue the revenge he so desperately desires.

Count

Exclusive Preview: Join the Future #3

Join the Future #3

Writer: Zack Kaplan 
Artist: Piotr Kowalski 
Colorist: Brad Simpson 
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou 
Cover: Piotr Kowalski & Brad Simpson
$3.99 / 32 pages / Color / On Sale 7.8.20

As Franklin’s residents finally move to the seductive ultramodern megacity, Clementine Libbey, the Mayor’s strong-willed daughter, is the last left in the small town. Alone, she tracks down the gruff and mysterious technology scavenger known as the Trader and earns his gunslinger training in her quest for revenge. But will she compromise her ideals and accept using advanced technology or will she go up against the hi-tech weapons of the local law enforcement with nothing but her six-shooter? Come join her adventure in this sci-fi western. Come join the future. 

Written by Zack Kaplan (LOST CITY EXPLORERS) with art from Piotr Kowalski (Sex, Marvel Knights: Hulk, The Dark Tower), JOIN THE FUTURE is a sci-fi western that examines a tomorrow where everyone must ask what your values are truly worth.

Join the Future #3

Black Mage is a Manga and Video Game-Infused Kick in Racism’s Face

The Black Mage

With J.K. Rowling TERFing all over the place this week, I bet the last thing you want to spend your hard earned money on is a comic about a school for young witches and wizards. However, writer Daniel Barnes and artist DJ Kirkland put a socially aware twist on this old (-er than the Boy who Lived) trope in their 2019 graphic novel The Black Mage. Their story follows the trials and triumphs of Tom Token, the first Black student at St. Ivory Academy of Spellcraft and Sorcery thanks to a Magical Minority Initiative to make sure the school meets accreditation goals. Throughout his time at the school, Tom and his familiar (A crow named Jim.) deal with microaggressions (A classmate assumes that he recovers his mana with grape soda.) and out and out aggression, bullying, and discrimination. In a parallel story, Lindsay, who comes straight out of a shojo manga, learns to be a good white ally, but her story never overpowers Tom’s heroic journey.

A cold open wherein Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass (By way of Marvel’s Jericho Drumm), and John Henry fight spell-casting KKK members sets the tone for Black Mage and also introduces key plot elements of the book. Kirkland designs the costumes of the professors at St. Ivory to look like Klan robes, names the school headmaster “Lynch”, and colors the students’ uniforms the starchiest of whites. Even in the early going, the school oozes oppression with the school bully/headmaster’s son/a little racist POS, Bryce asking him to watch his “tone” in the lunch room, which leads to a magic battle that is only stopped by the aforementioned Lynch using a spell that mimics slave’s chains. The art style might make it seem that way, but, for the most part, Black Mage isn’t a cuddly school story. It is about confronting racism that is at the foundation of American society as Barnes and Kirkland use magical energy, items, passageways etc as metaphors for the cold, hard facts that much of the United States was built by Black slaves, and that society hasn’t really changed that much. This is self-evident in many Americans’ apathy towards the racial aspects of police brutality and both defensive and aggressive responses to the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Black Mage

The plot of Black Mage isn’t about educating white people about racism and having a feel good, link arms moment. It’s about the struggle against racism using magical powers. DJ Kirkland’s high powered art and profuse usage of double page spreads during the magic fight scenes match that energy. Emotions become lightning or fire spells with names straight out of the Final Fantasy games, and Kirkland stages the fights like fighting video games while adding the intense facial expressions and cartoon shorthand of shonen manga. Then, Barnes sprinkles some badass one-liners on top while mostly staying out of Kirkland’s way and letting the fighters’ stances and chosen spells choose the story. Finally, Kirkland’s choice of layouts and depiction of Tom and his abilities mirrors his progression throughout Black Mage as he goes from trying to keep his head down and make it through the school day to being a downright heroic figure. Think final boss battle for the last one-third or so of this book is structured.

Black Mage has an unflinching message of anti-racism and forces non-Black readers to confront their own prejudices through interactions between Tom and Lindsay and other less sympathetic figures. But it also has engaging fight scenes and wonderfully transposes the aesthetics of Magical girls, fight manga, and JRPGs to the fight against systemic racism in the United States. DJ Kirkland trots out some unique fight choreography and page compositions that enhance the arc that Daniel Barnes lays out for Tom Token with a touch of a mystery plot. Black Mage has cool art, a good message, compelling characters, and is a bit cathartic too. It’s worth checking out for fans of video games and manga as well as Western comics or by anyone who wants to see racists get their asses kicked in a fantasy fiction style.

Story: Daniel Barnes Art: DJ Kirkland
Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Story: 8.8 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Oni Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleBookshopZeus Comics

Advance 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!

The version of X-O Manowar #2 I have read for this review was a mostly black and white comic. For this reason, I’m going to be largely avoiding talking about the color art.

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.

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

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Quantum and Woody #4

QUANTUM & WOODY #4

Home Alone, the boys are left to defend their lair against would-be bandits! What is Woody’s dark secret? The truth is finally revealed in Quantum and Woody #4!

The finale to the four-part miniseries finds writer Christopher Hastings, artist Ryan Browne, and color artist Ruth Redmond coming together one more time (though hopefully not for the final time) for a comic I have waited nearly three months to read. Was it worth the wait? Was I able to just pick it up and enjoy it without refreshing myself by reading the first three again?

Two kill two birds with one stone, the answer is yes.

While not everybody will want to just pick the book up and dive in after three months, the way the Hastings has been crafting the story over three almost standalone issues means that while there are some elements that cross the four issues, the specific events don’t need to have been memorized to enjoy Quantum and Woody #4 (though if you do want a refresher, there’s no reason not to go back and read the other three).

Hastings has once again packed a full story, start middle and end, into a single comic, though with the finale he also wraps up the threads he had left over the course of the previous three issues. It is in many ways a bitter sweet comic, because as far as we currently know, there aren’t any plans to bring Hastings back to Quantum and Woody, but he ends his story on a high note without leaving any real loose ends dangling – but you’ll be wanting more from him and the creative team by them time you turn the final page.

Browne’s art has been perfectly suited to the chaos that has been this series, and both he and Redmond shine in the final issue. There’s often a lot occurring on every page, but the comic never loses its ability to tell a coherent visual story. The art is bright, bold, absolutely insane, and I love it. There’s a lot going on in almost every page, but you’re never lost; this is a book that you’re going to want to take your time reading, or read it a second time so that you can really appreciate the talent on display here.

I’ve never really been the biggest Quantum and Woody fan, but Hastings, Brown, Redmond, and letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou have delivered one of my favourite series this year. This is a nigh-on perfect comic book in its own right, but when you take it as the final part of a four-part miniseries, then it becomes an absolute must-read book.

If every comic that I read after Diamond started delivering again was half as good as this, I’d be happy.

Story: Christopher Hastings Art: Ryan Browne
Colors: Ruth Redmond Letters: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

Story: 9.6 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.6 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Undone by Blood or The Shadow of a Wanted Man #3

Undone by Blood #3 is a slow burn of a revenge tale. Some real small details and the dual stories makes it an intriguing issue.

Story: Lonnie Nadler, Zac Thompson
Art: Sami Kivelä
Color: Jason Wordie
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

Get your copy 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.

Kindle
comiXology
TFAW
Zeus Comics

AfterShock 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

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