Tag Archives: image comics

Review: All-America Comix

All-America Comix #1

In 2011, Joe Casey and Nick Dragotta created America Chavez/Miss America with Marvel, a character that has gone on to earn a cult following and sporadic use by the publisher. Nine years later, Casey is at it again, this time with artist Dustin Nguyen for a new spin on a similar concept. All-America Comix feels a bit like an attempt to reclaim his creation but at the same time a meta statement about Casey’s time with Marvel.

We’re introduced to America Vasquez who has flight, super-strength, and the ability to travel through dimensions… pretty much the same as Chavez. She has encounters with a star-spangled hero with a shield and a despotic ruler of a nation encased in a suit of armor. It’s all familiar and that’s what makes the first issue fascinating and frustrating.

With All-America Comix, Casey had an opportunity to show us where he’d have gone with the character and what direction he’d have taken her. Instead we get a spin on Marvel characters and a frenetic story that spends little time with any concept. The only real uniting bit is Vasquez as she reflects on her life and world. Through Vasquez it feels like Casey is venting his frustrations with his time with Marvel and where the character has gone.

What’s very frustrating is that Casey could have done anything with the comic. Instead, it just feels like a rant through the lens of Michel Fiffe’s Copra. Unlike Copra, there’s no deconstruction here, it’s just been there done that and some meta-commentary.

What does stand out, and shows the potential of the comic is Nguyen’s art. There’s some breathtaking visuals and the combo of the two could deliver a hero to challenge the big two. Along with colors by Brad Simpson, design by Sonia Harris, and lettering by Rus Wooton, the comic and character stand out for the visuals. Nguyen takes advantage of the dimensional aspects of the character and has fun with it all. There’s potential, lots of potential.

For those that might not know Casey’s history with Miss America, they may find a hero they want more of. For those that know the character, it’s hard to not examine every word and every decision made. It’s a fascinating comic on multiple levels but a frustrating one. Where Casey could have shown us what he’d have done with his creation that was far superior than what we’ve seen, instead we get what feels like a creator venting about having their toys taken away.

Story: Joe Casey Art: Dustin Nguyen
Color: Brad Simpson Design: Sonia Harris Letterer: Rus Wooton
Story: 6.75 Art: 8.15 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Review: Nailbiter Returns #2

Nailbiter Returns #2

Nailbiter Returns #2 is a hell of a second issue with twists and turns, some of which are completely unexpected. With a story and art by Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson the second issue just surprises all over. With Sheriff Crane missing, Agent Finch takes her daughter Sharon to see the Nailbiter.

But, where things could easily go Silence of the Lambs, Williamson and Henderson inject a lot of humor to it. Warren has been locked away in a secret prison just passing his time. What has he been doing and why is he here? Finch and Warren explain it all and the trio together really take what could easily been a queezy concept and keeps it kind of light. Warren spins a tale that would be an awesome one-shot while Finch justifies his decision and recounts what he knows. It feels like a “cards on the table” type moment.

But, where things go from there is where it’s really intriguing. Williamson and Henderson flip the script in a way with two Buckaroo Butchers stalking a couple as their next victims and from there the comic gets really shocking as the rug is pulled out from under the reader. It’s really impressive and really entertaining. It also ups the action and pacing of the comic as it compacts expectations.

The art by the duo is fantastic with the addition of Adam Guzowksi on color and John J. Hill handling the lettering. The Warren scene which is just individuals standing around (lets face it a lot of this issue is) could easily be boring. But, the team delivers an expressive nature about Warren which both makes for interesting visuals but really enhances the fact this person has had little contact with the outside world. The art really stands out for the Nailbiter as his energy pops off the page and though he’s a killer… you kind of like him.

The series is fantastic and having fun with tropes and expectations with it being a sequel to a horror story. Like the best, Nailbiter Returns #2 plays with things keeping the readers on their toes and not expecting what to happen next. It creates an excitement and energy about it that’s a hell of a lot of fun to read and experience. It’s a sequel I didn’t know I wanted but two issues in, beyond happy it’s here.

Story: Joshua Williamson, Mike Henderson Art: Joshua Williamson, Mike Henderson
Color: Adam Guzowksi Letterer: John J. Hill
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy


Purchase: comiXologyKindleTFAWZeus Comics

ComiXology Has You Covered with New Digital Comics from Marvel, Image, IDW, BOOM!, manga, and more!

Wonder Woman: Agent of Peace #9

It’s Wednesday and it’s new comic book day! There’s new comics on the shelves at comic shops but there’s also new comics on the digital shelves as well. There’s over 100 comics for you to choose from. There’s something for every from Marvel, AfterShock, Ahoy, Albatross Funnybooks, IDW, Image, manga and more! You can get the full list here or check out what you can get by publisher below!

AAM-Markosia

Ablaze

AfterShock

Ahoy Comics

Albatross Funnybooks

American Mythology Productions

Archie Comics

Devil's Highway #1

AWA Studios

BOOM! Studios

Clover Press

comiXology Submit

Darby Pop Publishing

Dark Horse

DC Comics

DC Thomson

Dynamite

Harlequin

Heavy Metal

IDW Publishing

Image

Nailbiter Returns #2

Kid Beowulf Comics

Mad Cave Studios

Marvel

Oni Press

Titan Comics

Vault Comics

Zenescope


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Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

The Goon #11

Wednesdays (and now Tuesdays) are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this week.

All-America Comix (Image Comics) – Joe Casey and Dustin Nguyen reteam for this new hero that has been teased for quite some time. We’re excited that we finally get to see what the hype was all about.

Billionaire Island #2 (AHOY Comics) – The infiltration of Billionaire Island is on! We’re totally here for it in this biting satire from Mark Russell and Steve Pugh.

Child Star (:01 First Second) – Box Brown’s graphic novel is a biography of Owen Eugene, a fictional 1980s child actor. Brown’s work is amazing and it’s never to be missed.

The Goon #11 (Albatross Funnybooks) – The Goon is like an over the top Popeye. Always funny and entertaining it’s filled with action and humor and most importantly, fun.

Mystery (Van Ryder Games) – We came across this interesting concept at Gen Con last year. It’s a mix of graphic novel and choose your own adventure/roleplaying game. A really great concept and idea.

Nailbiter Returns #2 (Image Comics) – The horror comic is back and the first issue was like revisiting an old friend, in that horror movie sequel sort of way.

Negan Lives #1 (Image Comics/Skybound) – We’re intrigued by this surprise release set in the world of The Walking Dead.

Streamliner Vol. 1 (Magnetic Press) – The action series from Fane gets collected. “An abandoned stretch of road in the middle of the desert, a rusty old gas station, and a plume of dust rising in the distance…” That intro description alone has us interested.

Vampire State Building (Ablaze) – The vampire genre gets mixed with a bit of Die Hard as Vampires take over the Empire State Building and a group of survivors attempt to escape.

Mini Reviews and Recommendations For The Week Ending 6/27

Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling short reviews from the staff of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full review for. Given the lack of new comics, expect this weekly update to begin featuring comics that we think you’ll enjoy while you can’t get anything new to read – only new to you.

These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews and Recommendations.


Logan

Die #11 (Image)– Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans’ Die is back with the first rumblings of an epic war between factions and ensemble drama of the split party sandwiched between. Ash and Izzy have taken on ruling roles in the world of the game, but the crown lies uneasy while the other characters struggle to come up with ways to get them to leave the game. Hans has a gift for big fantasy landscapes to go with the intense conversations with designs and costumes that define character. The conversation between Ash and creator-turned antagonist-turned-prisoner Sol is both powerful and mundane, and it’s about a popular band from the 90s. Die #11 is at its best when the lives and motivations from the cast’s “real world” existence seeps in, and Gillen wisely uses this connection to raise the stakes and differentiate the build up in this issue from yet another fantasy war book. Overall: 8.1 Verdict: Buy

Once and Future #8 (BOOM!)– Kieron Gillen opens Once and Future #8 with one of the funniest lines of the series as our protagonist Duncan’s grandmother Bridgette, who told him that all the Arthurian legend cycles are real, is skeptical about the existence of Beowulf. Boy, is she wrong, and artist Dan Mora gives the Geat hero an aggressive physicality to go with Tamra Bonvillain’s flame colors and Gillen’s poetic dialogue. As far as antagonists go, he’s a shot in the arm while Merlin plays the string pulling, behind the scenes role. However, Once and Future isn’t all action and cool split screen panels as Duncan and Bridgette struggle to repair the relationship post-ceremonial wounding, but that gets put on hold for Beowulf. Overall: 8.4 Verdict: Buy

Wicked Things #2 (BOOM!) In the hilarious, fast-paced, Wicked Things #2, John Allison and Max Sarin focus on teen detective Lottie Grote trying to maneuver the British legal/penal system and prove her innocence. It doesn’t go too well (Her British equivalent of a public defender isn’t very helpful), and this leads to a new normal for her and the book. Allison does a quick and brilliant bit of world-building by using Lottie’s appearances as a teen detective in Scary Go-Round to inform how the police react to her character in Wicked Things, and it adds to Lottie’s legend. You really want her to solve this case. As usual, Sarin’s art is a delight, and Lottie’s reaction to prison food and Claire’s disdain for the other teen detectives that were up for Lottie’s reward must be seen to believed. Sarin’s surreal side also comes out when Lottie’s kind mother and angry older sister visit her; nothing like a classic storm cloud over one’s head. Overall: 8.9 Verdict: Buy


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write. See you next week!

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

A Man Among Ye Sets Sail into a Second Printing

Stephanie Phillips and Craig Cermak’s A Man Among Ye from Image Comics and Top Cow Productions will be rushed back to print in order to keep up with customer demand for the swashbuckling new series. The A Man Among Ye #1, second printing cover will feature art by Francesca Fantini.

A Man Among Ye brings to life the tale of Anne Bonny and Mary Read as they hoist the skull and crossbones, draw cutlasses, and seek a treasure that will make them legends. In an era when sailing with women was thought to be bad luck—Anne and Mary might just be the only people capable of saving the pirate way of life.

A Man Among Ye #1, second printing (Diamond Code APR208591) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, July 22.

A Man Among Ye #1, second printing cover

The Ludocrats #2 Gets a Greenlight for a Second Printing

Bestselling writer Kieron Gillen, writer Jim Rossignol, artist Jeff Stokely, and colorist Tamra Bonvillain’s The Ludocrats #2 is being fast-tracked to a second printing in order to keep up with increasing demand.  

What is it? The series has been previously described as:

In short: The Ludocrats! The aristocrats of ludicrous! A festival of absurdist fantasy and British humor perfect for fans of Good Omens and Monty Python. Baron Otto Von Subertan and Professor Hades Zero-K are here, and they’re going to save us all have a nice time” and that still sounds about right. Except this time it’s “In short: The Ludocrats! The aristocrats of ludicrous! A festival of absurdist fantasy and British humor perfect for fans of Good Omens and Monty Python. Baron Otto Von Subertan and Professor Hades Zero-K are here, and they’re going to save us all have a nice time… with a new cover for this printing by the multiple-Eisner award nominated powerhouses of Ro Stein and Ted Brandt. Fear their majesty! Love it!

Comics!

The Ludocrats #2, second printing (Diamond Code APR208635) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, July 22. 

The Ludocrats #2, second printing cover

That Texas Blood Debuts with a Sell-Out and Getting a New Printing

Breakout hit That Texas Blood by critically acclaimed Criminal colorist and first-time solo artist Jacob Phillips and writer Chris Condon is being rushed back to print in order to keep up with overwhelming demand. The new neo-noir crime series is perhaps best described as Southern Bastards and True Grit meets Breaking Bad and puts a contemporary spin on the Western genre. 

That Texas Blood kicks off when the search for a casserole dish leads to a dark and tense confrontation on Sheriff Joe Bob Coates’ 70th birthday. 

Coates has always lived in Fort Lehane. He’s always been in Ambrose County. It’s always been in his blood. It’s a Texas thing. But the crimes don’t stop. And they don’t get easier.

For some reason… they keep getting worse. And worse. And… Well. It’s Texas. And Joe Bob is tough. Maybe he’s tough enough to fight it. To last. It’s in his blood, after all. That Texas Blood.

That Texas Blood #1, second printing (Diamond Code APR208642) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, July 22. That Texas Blood #2 Cover A by Phillips (Diamond Code APR200289) and That Texas Blood #2 Cover B by Duncan Fegredo (Diamond Code MAR200030) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, July 29.

That Texas Blood #1, second printing

Adventureman #1 Gets a Second Printing

The highly anticipated new series launch from Matt Fraction, Terry and Rachel DodsonAdventureman—is being rushed back to print from Image Comics in order to keep up with growing reader and retailer demand. The new adventure series stole readers’ hearts with out-of-this-world fantasy escapism, low flying steampunk dirigibles, and a pulse-pounding premise perfect for any age. 

Adventureman #1 begins when a mysterious customer enters Claire’s bookstore and leaves behind a mint condition Adventureman edition in a hurry, strange things begin happening. Did Adventureman’s story truly end eighty years ago? Or is there more to the pulp superhero’s tale yet to be unveiled?

Adventureman #1, second printing (Diamond Code APR208592) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, July 22. Adventureman #2 (Diamond Code MAR200214) will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, July 8. 

Adventureman #1, second printing

Review: That Texas Blood #1

That Texas Blood #1

A retiring sheriff, a small Texas town, one last case. It’s something out of a dime Western, or if you want to get more literary, a Cormac McCarthy novel. However, these are affectionate comparisons as That Texas Blood #1 is an engaging writing and line art debut for Chris Condon and Jacob Phillips, who previously colored Sean Phillips’ recent work on Criminal. The comic provides a window into 70 year old Sheriff Joe Bob’s world of Ambrose County and the relationships that he has cultivated over the decades while raising the stakes and hooking you for the next installment.

Joe Bob is an incredibly likable protagonist. He’s sweet, has a dry sense of humor, and might be a little afraid of retirement. (And by extension, death.) He reminds me a lot of my late grandfather, who was a sheriff in rural Virginia, mischaracterized as being a Texan in a true crime documentary, and even transported dangerous criminals to California. (The evidence was the throwback California Angels hat he gave me.) The unique character traits that Condon and Phillips give him like talking to his wife on the police radio instead of a cellphone, living off service station beef jerky make him three dimensional not a B-movie archetype. And the cherry on top is how open Phillips draws Joe Bob with the exception of the demented dream sequence, which is all reds and blacks. It’s safe to say that That Texas Blood is a well-colored comic.

With the exception of an extended and slightly fucked up anecdote that adds a darker shade to Joe Bob’s character, Chris Condon doesn’t make the “first published comic book script” mistake and finds a balance with Jacob Phillips’ visuals. His dialogue is natural and captures the mood of each scene from the easy banter of Joe Bob and the gas station clerk to the off-panel domestic conflict between Ruth and Ray with the walls of their house hiding Ray’s abuse, but the beer cans outside revealing his alcoholism. Even though That Texas Blood gets exciting and lives up to its title towards the end, Condon and Phillips are more concerned with creating an atmosphere. This is a slow-paced world where a sheriff can clog up the police walkie talkie with birthday party planning and seamlessly incorporate. However, like that Yankee singer Springsteen one said, “There’s a darkness on the edge of town”, and Phillips handles it masterfully with slightly out of frame shots of newspapers in the opening sequence of the comic before exploding in the flashback and at the end of the comic.

Speaking of the opening scene of That Texas Blood #1, Chris Condon and Jacob Phillips are remarkably economic and using seven panels to set up both their protagonist, Joe Bob, and the setting of Ambrose County. It’s a quiet place with muted colors although the orange sky is a few shades away from blood and could be connected to the “nightmare” that Condon mentions in the narration. The book walks a tight rope between domestic tranquility and unrestrained violence with the plot edging a little bit more towards the tranquility in the early going. They create an emotional connection between the reader and Joe Bob, his town, and good sense of morals. (So far.) However, that could all be coming down.

That Texas Blood #1 is a fantastic debut crime comic from Chris Condon and Jacob Phillips. Phillips’ art and colors are stylish and add extra feeling and tension to Condon’s script. Together, they craft a world and protagonist that I want to know more about, and that’s what you want out of a first issue. And as a cherry on top, they turn the casserole dish, which is ubiquitous in Southern culture, into an amazing MacGuffin.

Story: Chris Condon Art: Jacob Phillips
Story: 8.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

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