Tag Archives: image comics

Review: The Wicked + The Divine 1831

tumblr_ocb81o7dst1rp6eo5o2_r1_1280So far in The Wicked + The Divine, most of what we know about past pantheons is from hearsay or little tidbits of information from those who have studied past pantheons. In fact, the pantheon in this particular issue was hinted at as far back as issue 2 when Laura went to meet with Cassandra about freeing Lucifer.

After The Wicked + The Divine 1831, we don’t have much more to go on, but there’s a bit more background about one of the past pantheons, how the celebrity of the Gods changes in each era, and maybe how Ananke manipulated the gods to meet her own goals.

The issue gorgeously illustrated by Stephanie Hans takes place mostly at Villa Diodati, the mansion by Lake Geneva where Frankenstein and The Vampyre were developed. In fact, a quick bit of research reveals that the pantheon of 1831 was completely composed of the Romantics. Never mind that many of them were already dead by 1831. It’s an alternate history though where the Romantics were given the powers of Gods by a mysterious old woman, so a little wiggle room can be made for such things.

For most of the issue, the story is narrated by Inanna, who was Claire Clairmont in this era. This is where the universalness of the story really plays, since it becomes less about the gods and their fates, but rather the interpersonal issues as the clock nears midnight on their time. In this story, there is only four left: Inanna, Lucifer, Morrigan, and Woden. There are hints of who the other gods were, but that almost doesn’t matter in this context. Writer Kieron Gillen and Hans instead weave a story about old friends and family gathering together, airing their grievances in the only way they know how: horror stories.

What’s especially interesting about this issue is that it seems like Inanna may have brokered a deal for her godhood, playing the role of the jealous sister when her sister Mary Shelley became Woden. It’s not unheard of, since it’s implied that’s how Baphomet gained his powers in the modern pantheon, but the ways in which Inanna went about it seem much bloodier. If it hasn’t occurred by now, 1831 will make you realize just how deep the world of The Wicked + The Divine really runs. Oh Kieron, what wicked things are you planning for the future of this series?

Something that Hans doesn’t get a lot of credit for with her art is how expressive it is. You see this a fair amount in 1602: Witch Hunter Angela, but it’s on full display here. Especially with Inanna and how subtly her face can change from contempt to seductive in just a matter of seconds. Mixed with the use of a more sketchy style for the flashbacks within the story that recalls back to illustrations of the era, and Hans rightly deserves all the applause for this issue.

Besides the shenanigans of the Romantics (because who else would be the celebrities of this era), this issue raises a lot of questions about what Ananke’s endgame was. Especially regarding the hand of Hades. While we’ll never know from the woman herself now, you have to wonder just how the end of this issue might come back to haunt the modern gods later.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Stephanie Hans
Story: 9.0 Art: 10 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provides Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Surgeon X Gets an Enhanced App

Wellcome, a global charitable foundation that exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive, has funded an enhanced comics app for the highly anticipated new comic book series Surgeon X.  The app will launch on September 28, 2016, with Image Comics’ publication of the first issue by debut comic book writer and acclaimed documentary filmmaker Sara Kenney, master artist John Watkiss, colorist James Devlin, letterer Jared K. Fletcher, and editor Karen Berger, the founder of Vertigo Comics.

First time comic writer Sara Kenney secured funding for both the app and the comic itself with a Society Award from Wellcome, which supported extensive dialogue with scientists, medics, biomedical ethicists and sociologists. Surgeon X is a medical thriller set in London in the year 2036, which asks: What if we lived in a world of antibiotic resistance and rationing, where the superbugs have won? In the series, Rosa Scott, a brilliant and obsessive surgeon takes things into her own hands and becomes Surgeon X, a vigilante doctor who uses experimental surgery and black market drugs to treat patients.

A new enhanced comic app will be available each month to accompany the content of each issue and timed to the same release, and will include:

  • Animated scientific shorts narrated by Alice Roberts, Professor of Public Engagement in Science at University of Birmingham;
  • Historical footage detailing the medical science of antibiotics;
  • Futuristic animations of political campaigns, commercials & news reports from London 2036;
  • Documentary interviews with the creative team and the scientists, surgeons, historians, ethicists and philosophers who helped inform the series;
  • Original music and sound design;
  • The entire comic, both in color and in stylish black and white

The Surgeon X Enhanced Comic App was created by Sara Kenney Writer/ Producer/ Director; Michael Mensah-Bonsu, Designer and Developer of Vuniiun Ltd., Simon Armstrong, Animation Director of Ticktockrobot; Oliver Kenney, Composer/Music Consultant; Marnie Chesterton freelancer for BBC, Producer of audio documentaries as well as Karen Berger and producer Duncan Copp.

The app is available September 28 in the App Store and Google Play Store for $3.99 U.S./£2.99 U.K..

surgeon x

Review: The Eighth Seal and Glitterbomb #1

glitterbomb_01-1Earlier this summer I read James Tynion and Jeremy Rock’s The Eighth Seal, released in July by IDW Publishing. I enjoyed it but passed on reviewing because I didn’t have much to say on it at the time. Yet I recently read Image Comic’s new release Glitterbomb, by Jim Zub, and found enough common threads between them that I decided to revisit. Both center on female characters in visible professions where they are subjected to scrutiny and criticism; both women are slowly gaining awareness of dark forces within them, and both begin by diving right into the action.

We meet Farrah, the aging, down-on-her-luck actress at the forefront of Glitterbomb, as she is being grilled by an agent who can’t find an angle that makes her sellable. He is less than tactful in expressing this concern, and by the second page his head is being violently penetrated by a stinger-tipped tongue that has thrust forth from Farrah’s mouth and into his. As it retracts we see her features transform from black-eyed and split-lipped back to the Jane Average from page 1. “Oh God… It happened. AGAIN.” From there the issue takes us back through the last six hours of Farrah’s life. She encounters a manipulative, platitude-spewing competitor at an audition, returns to her anxiety-inducing homelife as a frazzled single mother, and reveals to the readers what, exactly, happened along the way to warrant her saying “AGAIN.”

EighthSeal_TPB-CoverEighth Seal’s headliner, First Lady Amelia Greene, begins her story at her therapist’s office, where she is prompted to share the details of “another incident.” She tells him of a vision she experienced, in which storytime with a local kindergarten class descended into feeding time for a six-eyed, tentacled monstrosity that burst through her human shell. The arc of this collection follows Amelia as her visions become increasingly common and invasive, drawing intense media scrutiny over her regular fainting spells and strange behavior. We receive a few hints at the nature of the monster that’s haunting her, but I found myself feeling less satisfied by the end than I did with Glitterbomb. Seal, at 122 pages, is the first TPB of five and takes its time developing, whereas Glitterbomb manages to set an equally satisfying amount of world-building into motion in a premiere issue of 40 pages.

Both monsters offer satisfying displays of body horror, but I personally prefer the more simple design of Glitterbomb’s baddie. Whereas the creature Amelia sees herself as is more aesthetically violent, and her position as first lady makes the scale of potential destruction more global, I like the restrained design of Farrah’s possessor better. (It also makes for a nice visual vaginal metaphor in the spirit of Predator, or the facehuggers of Alien.) A key difference is that Amelia’s alter-ego presents itself to her internally, at least at this point in the series. The physical transformation always comes in the form of a vision that manifests itself in the real world as a blackout period. Farrah, however, experiences her physical change live and in-person.

Jeremy Rock’s linework in Seal is very rounded and clean, a look that I usually associate with cartoons that are kid friendly. I don’t think that was an active intention in designing the content, but it did make the content that much more effectively unsettling. Glitterbomb, illustrated by Djibril Morrissett-Phan, is slightly more gritty in its look. The aesthetic differences here are pretty fitting; Amelia is a public political figure with a refined reputation to uphold, and Farrah is an out of work actress going through rough times.

The coloring work is excellent in both. While they each utilize similar palettes, Nolan Woodard and Michael Spicer bring deeper saturation and more lighting effects to Seal while K. Michael Russell’s work on Glitterbomb has more texture to it. Despite both being digital review copies, Glitterbomb still looked like a paper comic compared to Seal. Comparing them side-by-side made me think of the difference between film and video.

Overall I enjoyed both quite a bit, but it took a second reading of Eighth Seal to appreciative it, and there could have been more of a payoff by the end of the first volume. Both titles left me wanting more, but I predict (and hope) Glitterbomb will deliver more swiftly.

The Eighth Seal TPB

Story: James T. Tynion IV Art: Jeremy Rock
Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

 

Glitterbomb #1

Story: Jim Zub Art: Djibril Morrissett-Phan
Story: 7.5 Art: 9 Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Seven to Eternity #1

seventoeternity01_coverartaThe God of Whispers has spread an omnipresent paranoia to every corner of the kingdom of Zhal; his spies hide in every hall spreading mistrust and fear. Adam Osidis, a dying knight from a disgraced house, must choose between joining a hopeless band of magic users in their desperate bid to free their world of the evil God, or accepting his promise to give Adam everything his heart desires.

Written by Rick Remender with art by Jerome Opeña, Seven to Eternity feels a lot like a fantasy western taking a lot of the familiar plot points of classic westerns by throwing them into a world full of crazy creatures and magic.

And “thrown” is the operative word here. Reading the opening text is very helpful in the setup, and I honestly skipped it at first. After reading the issue I went back, and it definitely helps to understand what’s going on. Before reading that though, I found myself really struggling to completely figure out exactly what was going on other than folks refusing to listen to a deal and being shunned. That’s about what I got.

But, because of the familiar genre, the comic was a bit easier to understand when you just focus on that aspect. It’s the standard people trying to defend their home/staying out of trouble and then the bad guys show up, push them around, kill someone, so there’s revenge. Isn’t that a lot of western’s?

As the issue progressed I enjoyed it more, but as a single issue, it doesn’t quite work for me. A lot is packed in, and not a lot is explained. Things just happen, and you have to roll with it.

Opeña’s art is amazing though. That’s not that surprising at all. His work is consistently fantastic and I’m never dissapointed. What I think truly impresses me is how grand everything is made to feel on the page. There’s some amazing visuals and the world feels real due to that. I came for the story, I stayed for the art is the best way to describe this creative combo.

Seven to Eternity #1 is an ok comic, but definitely feels like it stumbles on its own. As a trade it may read much better though. I’m a big Remender fan, but this one is a bit of a miss so far. Too much is thrown together and not enough is explained through the narrative. It’s a bit jumbled like that.

I’m not ready to write the comic off, I’ll check out the second, but high hopes and expectations have definitely been dashed.

Story: Rick Remender Art: Jerome Opeña
Story: 6.5 Art: 8.75 Overall: 6.75 Recommendation: Pass

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

britannia_001_cover-a_nordWednesdays 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!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

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

Alex

Top Pick: Britannia #1 (Valiant) – Britain in the Dark Ages as a story setting has always fascinated me (in fact, I just picked up a book set around Ceaser’s first invasion today), so when I found out that Valiant were publishing a comic written by Peter Milligan with Juan Jose Ryp and Jordie Bellaire attached to it, I knew I’d be reading it. I know very little about the story, honestly, other than it features a Roman detective, but I can’t wait to dive in.

Batman #7 (DC Comics) – The best part about the biweekly shipping is that I don’t need to wait a whole month to get into the next issue, and with the way Tom King set up the next arc, that’s a very good thing.

Black Hammer #3 (Dark Horse) – This is a bit of a cheat, because I’ve already read the book, but I don’t hear enough chatter about Jeff Lemire’s story about Golden Age heroes that have been stuck in a purgatory-like town (though some are adapting better than others) for ten years. It’s a gripping tale, and this left me wanting more.

Phantom TP Vol. 01 Danger In The Forbidden City (Hermes) – The Phantom is  character that will always have a soft spot in my geekdom – and while there have certainly been some bad comics released featuring the Ghost Who Walks, there have been some great ones a well (Dynamites Last Phantom is one of the best I’ve read recently). So when I found out about this collection, written by Peter David, I got pretty excited.

Vote Loki #4 (Marvel) – Will Loki become President? Will he get punched in the face? Will he tell the truth at any point? I have no idea, but I can’t wait to find out.

 

Javier

Cyborg # 1 (DC Comics) – We already got a preview of what John Semper Jr. (award-winning writer who previously worked in animation on Spider-Man: The Animated Series and Static Shock), has in store for Cyborg in DC’s latest Rebirth iteration, and I am digging it. It is my top pick this week.

Horizon #3 (Image) – This unique twist on an alien incursion against Earth is impressive.

I Hate Fairyland #9 (Image) – It’s good for laughs, and I could use some.

Seven to Eternity #1 (Image) – Rick Remender has become one of my favorite writers in this new digital golden age of comics (although he can be depressing at times); plus, this new sci-fi fantasy western has echoes of The Magnificent Seven.

The Vision #11 (Marvel) – Forget the latest Batman Crossover event, this is the Tom King book everyone should be reading right now.

 

Shay

This is another great week for comics. Brik #3 deserves honorable mention since it didn’t make the cut but, my review of it should be up soon. This time around my picks are DC heavy because they’ve come out of the gate swinging.

Top Pick: The Wicked + The Divine 1831 One Shot (Image) – Wic/Div goes back in time to solve a mystery. It’s my top pick because one shots are always fun and Wic/Div is always good. Plus ,it won’t be in volume #4 so there’s no reason to wait.

Raven #1 (DC Comics) – The comic is promising a teen age Raven I’m San Fransisco exploring her human side trying to make it through high school. She gets thrown into a dark side version of a Nancy Drew mystery when a student disappears and she gets to face some true evil.

Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Five #18 (DC Comics) – This issue gives us Deathstroke joining the unholy superman and Luthor team up to open portals and end the war that’s been brewing. There’s even a pop up visit by Raven to keep everyone on their toes and watching their backs.

Suicide Squad Most Wanted: El Diablo & Boomerang #2 (DC Comics) – One of my fave bad guys turned good El Diablo is now working with Checkmate and Boomerang finally gets something interesting to do avoiding even badder guys and trying get out of Latin America alive.

Carnage #12 (Marvel) – My fave baddy, who I know will never have the stand alone movie I want, has the Anti-Carnage squad in his crosshairs. I know it’s about to go down but, I’m on the fence about who to root for.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Revolution #1 (IDW Publishing) –  This is it! All of my favorite childhood properties are coming together as part of one comic universe. Transformers, G.I. Joe, Micronauts, ROM, MASK, yes, yes, yes please! Hasbro has also indicated we’ll be seeing all of this in future movies too, so this will give us an indication as to what to expect there as well. My five year old self is so excited!

Britannia #1 (Valiant) – Peter Milligan with Juan Jose Ryp and Jordie Bellaire take Valiant out of their spandex-ish superhero zone giving us the world’s first detective set in Britain during the Dark Ages.

Invisible Republic #11 (Image Comics) – If you haven’t been reading this series and you’re a fan of sci-fi (and especially politics), you’re missing out. This issue kicks off the third arc as Maia becomes embroiled in the civil war raging on.

Civil War II #5 (Marvel) – Marvel’s event has been very hit and miss, but I’m intrigued to see what happens next.

Seven to Eternity #1 (Image) – The team of Rick Remender and Jerome Opena sold me on this one. I’m not sure how to describe it, but it’s one to check out.

 

Anthony

Top Pick: Seven to Eternity #1 (Image) – Rick Remender has been writing some of the most fresh and exciting comics on the stands. Seven to Eternity looks to be another intriguing sci-fi/fantasy concept with some absolute gorgeous art from Jerome Opena and Matt Hollingsworth. The plot focuses on Adam, whose crossroad journey is split by a major decision between killing the world’s evil God or accepting the offer being extended by the same deity.

Black Hammer #3 (Dark Horse)Black Hammer #3 looks to focus on the character of Barbalien, digging into some of his past. Each issue so far has been a treat to read as Jeff Lemire has been providing some poetic, deconstructive conversations around the group of heroes, with an art style from Dean Ormston and Dave Stewart that really provides a parallel of emotions between the warm nostalgia of the past and the cold, hard present reality.Wicked & Divine 1831 One Shot: Looking to step away from the main storyline, this one shot, diving into the past (Victorian Pantheon?) features the wonderful art of Stephanie Hans. There has always been this floating curiosity in the main series in regards to past iterations of the Pantheon so it will be very interesting to get some back story on characters unfamiliar to the present time being focused on.

The Wicked + The Divine 1831 One Shot (Image) – Looking to step away from the main storyline, this one shot, diving into the past (Victorian Pantheon?) features the wonderful art of Stephanie Hans. There has always been this floating curiosity in the main series in regards to past iterations of the Pantheon so it will be very interesting to get some back story on characters unfamiliar to the present time being focused on.

I Hate Fairyland #9 (Image)I Hate Fairyland is always an entertaining read within a very vibrant, colourful, violent world. It’s continuously fun to see the world being expanded with graceful playfulness and tongue in cheek wit.

Mayday Flies Into Action this November

Writer Alex de Campi teams up with artist Tony Parker and colorist Blond for the Cold War thriller Mayday, an all-new series launching this November from Image Comics.

It’s 1971, and two young Soviet operatives are sent to California to kill a defector and recover top-secret information. As the mission dissolves into a mess of good sex, bad drugs, and ugly violence, the young Russians face a new problem: they’ll need to rely on each other to escape America, but to survive Russia they’ll have to betray each other.

Mayday is a Cold-War action-thriller unlike any other. Get ready.

Mayday #1 Cover A by Tony Parker (Diamond code: SEP160631), as well as Cover B, also by Tony Parker (Diamond code: SEP160632), will hit comic book stores Wednesday, November 2nd.

mayday-1-1

Sell-Outs and New Printings

Check out some of this week’s announced sell-outs and new printings.

Image Comics

The highly-anticipated, genre-bending crypto-noir series The Black Monday Murders by Jonathan Hickman and Tomm Coker launched to critical-acclaim and overwhelming fan enthusiasm. Both the first and second issues are slated for third and second printing respectively in order to keep up with increasing customer demand.

The Black Monday Murders #1, 3rd printing (Diamond Code AUG168217), The Black Monday Murders #2, 2nd printing (Diamond Code AUG168218), and The Black Monday Murders #3 (Diamond Code AUG160616) will be available on Wednesday, October 12th.

the-black-monday-murders-1-3rd-printing the-black-monday-murders-2-2nd-printing
Image Comics and Top Cow Productions have announced Eclipse #1 by Zack Kaplan and Giovanni Timpano is being fast-tracked for a second printing in order to keep up with customer demand.

The second issue hits shelves October 5th and the first issue’s 2nd printing comes out October 12th.

eclipse-1-2nd-printing

Glitterbomb #1 by Jim Zub and Djibril Morissette-Phan is being rushed back to print in order to keep up with demand.

The explosive new series is the story of Farrah Durante, a middle-aged actress hunting for her next gig in an industry where youth trumps experience. But the shallow, celebrity-obsessed culture she’s drowning in isn’t the only problem—her frustrations are a powerful lure for something horrifying out beyond the water…something ready to strike.

The second printing comes to shelves October 12th.

glitterbomb-1-2nd-printing

The hot new crime series Kill or Be Killed from bestselling creative team Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips continues to fly off the shelves as the body count rises in each issue. Image Comics is thrilled to announce that the first and second issues are again being fast-tracked for third and second printings in order to keep up with increasing customer demand.

Both new printings and the third issue will be out October 12th.

kill-or-be-killed-1-3rd-printing kill-or-be-killed-2-2nd-printing

Valiant

Following on the wake of 4001 A.D.’s massive conclusion, Valiant is proud to announce that 4001 A.D.: War Mother #1 – featuring the first appearance of the 41st century’s next major hero – has sold out at the distributor level and will rocket back onto store shelves everywhere on October 12th with the 4001 A.D.: War Mother #1 SECOND PRINTING! The newest groundbreaking power player starts here as writer Fred Van Lente and Valiant-exclusive superstar Tomas Giorello present War Mother’s baptism by fire with a standalone tale spiraling out of Rai’s cosmic rebellion with New Japan!

The new printing arrives October 12th.

4001-wm_second-print_001_cover_mack

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 9/17

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. These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.


 

Alex

old-man-logan-11Old Man Logan #11 (Marvel)* Holy shit. The art in this issue is fantastic. There’s a brilliant two page spread early on that I just stared at, marveling at how interesting the layout was. And then there’s another that’s even better! In two pages, with minimal dialogue Andrea Sorrentino tells the story of the same two men fighting a similar fight fifty years apart. It’s one of the most inventive and visually interesting pieces of art I’ve seen in a long time. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Action Comics #963 (DC) There’s a human Clark Kent running around Metropolis who seems to genuinely believe he isn’t Superman. Which, considering we know he isn’t  the Superman we’ve been following since Rebirth began, is an intriguing proposition. One issue in, and this is shaping up to be a brilliant story. Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

All-Star Batman #2 (DC) Despite the $4.99 price tag, this comic is so worth the money. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Dark Souls: Legends Of The Flame #1 (Titan Comics) I wasn’t expecting this to be an anthology, but it is, and I was quite pleasantly surprised by it. The individually stories are distinct in their illustration and story telling methods, and are neatly tied together to make an in story connection to each other – and I’m sure I missed a couple more, as well. gls_cv6_dsThis comic may be aimed toward fans of the series, but it can also be enjoyed by those who have an interest in fantasy style comics. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

Detective Comics #940 (DC) Wow. A must read if you’ve read the series so far.  Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Green Lanterns #6 (DC) There’s a couple of great character building moments in this issue that, for me at least, make this the stronger of the two Green Lantern titles this week. The back ad forth bickering between Simon and Jessica is entertaining, but also serves as a great narrative device to keep readers abreast of the situation while also providing a few laughs. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Kingway West #2 (Dark Horse) Not a bad issue… but it wasn’t as gripping as the first. Worth looking into if you’ve read the first issue. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Mycroft Holmes #1 & #2 (Titan) Why haven’t I been reading this already? I picked up the first issue when it came out… and forgot about it. Then the second came around, and I grabbed it, figuring it’ll be a quick diversion. Nope – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s writing a comic that fans of the Sherlock TV show, or the movies, can expect to love. Mycroft, unlike his brother, is a likeable scoundrel who just happens to be as intelligent as the great detective. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Brett

NVRLND #2 (451 Media) – Like the first issue this is a twisted take on the classic Peter Pan tale, except Peter fronts band, Hook is drug dealer… and the drug is pixie dust. It’s an interesting take on the subject and definitely unique and entertaining. The colors and art is top notch playing off of the style of the comic really well. Well worth checking out. Overall Rating: 8.35 Recommendation: Buy

redhoto_cv2_dsRed Hood and the Outlaws #2 (DC Comics) – I’m a bit shocked at how much I’m enjoying this series. The action is constant and there’s some good humor peppered throughout. I’m not totally sold on the Red Hood undercover as a bad guy aspect, but things are still shaking out. Overall Rating: 7.9 Recommendation: Read

Suicide Squad #2 (DC Comics) – Lots of action and not much else. Something about this volume isn’t quite clicking yet as it’s relying too much on Jim Lee’s art, action, and humor and not giving us much else. This is close to a Michael Bay film in comic form. Overall Rating: 6.95 Recommendation: Pass

The Flash #6 (DC Comics) – This series has been picking up speed with each issue and this one has all the reveals. Holy crap is it good as writer Joshua WIlliamson his his stride here. Add in great art and this is quickly becoming a favorite of mine at DC. Overall Rating: 8.45 Recommendation: Buy

Wonder Woman #6 (DC Comics) – My favorite of the series so far. This issue focuses on Wonder Woman coming to the US to return Steve Trevor. Greg Rucka really plays off of the fish out of water aspect and focuses on the language barrier. It’s a small, but amazing detail. Overall Rating: 8.35 Recommendation: Buy

Scooby Apocalypse #5 (DC Comics) – This series shouldn’t work, but somehow it does. It’s brainless fun. Overall Rating: 7.65 Recommendation: Read

ww-cv6_dsDeathstroke #2 (DC Comics) – Writer Christopher Priest has said we shouldn’t like Deathstroke as he’s a villain and he’s playing that up well. The issue bounces around a lot in time and locations which doesn’t quite work super well, but this one feels like it’ll come together in trade. Overall Rating: 7.6 Recommendation: Read

All-New X-Men #13 (Marvel)* – A cute issue that has Bobby trying to meet guys. It also has a clash between the young X-Men and Inhumans setting the stage for at least a bit of drama in the upcoming Inhumans vs. X-Men Overall Rating: 7 Recommendation: Read

Mockingbird #7 (Marvel)* – I’ve generally enjoyed this series as its done well to play on humor and action. This issue slowly slides into the more serious area and the inclusion of a certain individual from Bobbi’s past has me nervous. Overall Rating: 7 Recommendation: Read

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #4 (DC Comics) – I’m digging this direction and this issue has some really entertaining moments. Guy Gardner not wearing underwear anyone? We know an epic fight is around the corner, I’m just thankfully entertained until it gets here. Overall Rating: 7.8 Recommendation: Read

Green Lanterns #6 (DC Comics) – Jessica and Simon battle the Red Lanterns and there’s a lot of character development for both as they finally learn to work together. The series has been pretty good and it’s great to see these D-List Lanterns get the spotlight. They’re odd couple schtick so far is entertaining. Overall Rating: 7.45 Recommendation: Read

bgbop_cv2_dsBatgirl and the Birds of Prey #2 (DC Comics) – Not a bad issue, just rather paint by numbers with scenes. Pursuit scene as they run from bad guys while in a car and on bikes? Check. The safe house being surrounded scene? Check. Characters not getting along before having to work together? Check. But, there’s some decent humor at least. Overall Rating: 7 Recommendation: Read

Gotham Academy: Second Semester #1 (DC Comics) – As cute as always and very entertaining. This is a solid series still to give to that tween looking for a comic series to be theirs. Overall Rating: 8.05 Recommendation: Buy

Hadrian’s Wall #1 (Image Comics) – A murder mystery in space with a rather intriguing political world thrown in? Both topics are something I dig, so not a shocker this is a comic I’m enjoying. Overall Rating: 8.15 Recommendation: Buy

Elana

Doom Patrol 1 (DC): Lives up to the hype and lives up the the legacy of a title that’s been dpa_cv1_bolland_varinnovative since it’s mid sixties debut. A Doom Patrol comic for 2016 with vibrant writing and art. Thoughtful, funny and weird but accessible. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy 

Jem And The Holograms #16 & 17 (IDW) Two perfect issues of Jem. Jen Bartel is one of the hottest rising starts in comics and her goth Lisa Frank art is the perfect fit for at series with a visual style that melds 90s alt nostalgia with the new wave 80s aesthetic of the classic cartoon. This story is funny and the group dynamics are right-on. Plus, the bear! They actually believably worked in the iconic wild grizzly bear that showed up in the TV show. And that is an achievement that had this veteran fan of the old cartoon laughing out loud. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Afterlife with Archie 10 (Archie Comics). Francisco Francavilla’s luridly cinematic art is the perfect fit for the introduction of a new immortal and only marginally moral Josie and the Pussycats to the dark world of Afterlife with Archie. I don’t normally read this series but the story was totally accessible to me. Some of the clothes weren’t quiet historically accurate but its all so good looking it got this stickler to not even care. A fun Interview with the Vampire spoof which is actually earned by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s story. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy. Disclosure: I did lights for a play Aguirre-Sacasa wrote over a decade ago. He’s as brilliant know as he was then.

Faith #3 (Valiant). A fun, new reader-accessible issue where Faith takes her new boyfriend Archer to his first comic con. Full of legitimate comic con advice, this would actually be useful thing to give to con newbies and new comic readers alike. The meta humor totally works and as always it’s refreshing to see a hero who looks like Faith in action. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Buy.

Patrick

Black Science #24 (Image)**: And I’m out. Lead character Grant McKay is so unappealing to me that I just don’t get why any of the other characters – particularly his daughter Pia – is even interested in helping him. For someone so smart, her memory is too short, which smacks of a writer who’s trying to push his own agenda instead of listening to his characters. In short, Grant has it too easy for someone who’s such a dickwad. Perhaps as blackscience_24-1well, the back half of this issue leans very heavily on having read the rest of the series so far. Since I’ve come late to this party, I don’t know what the emotional stakes are or who the players are. Nothing personal, Rick Remender, and it certainly has nothing to do with Matteo Scalera’s art. Overall: 7 Recommendation: if you’ve come this far, read, otherwise skip

Stray Bullets #18 (Image/El Capitan)**: Ah, now last issue makes sense. Putting two horrible women like Annie and Beth in the same room is like putting two scorpions in a jar – it’s fascinating to watch, you know it’s going to end badly, and you feel like a horrible person for watching, but then you go “Well, I’m not as bad as the guy who put them in the jar in the first place.” David Lapham has a genius for this kind of stuff, and for bringing out people’s true desires at the worst possible moment in the worst possible way. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Lady Killer #2 (Dark Horse)**: More Florida daylight noir this week from Joelle Jones. Everyone wants a piece of Josie’s action in this one – geez, can’t a lady just go about killing people on her own without a bunch of men sticking their nose in her business? Actually, now that I’ve written that, I kind of wish the series would explore that casual misogyny a little more. Clearly Josie is a capable Cosmo girl of the mercenary set, and there is no reason for the men around her to encourage that sort of independence. Not that I’m disappointed in this issue, I just like this series enough to say that I would go along with it if it went further down the well. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

purgatorio02Cinema Purgatorio (Avatar)*: I’m really only buying this for the Alan Moore/Kevin O’Neill lead story, which nails the Grant/Hepburn repartee so precisely and then rachets up the rot inside it in 6 tight pages. A haunted house in a haunted cinema. There are other stories in this book as well, but they’re forgettable for me, except Garth Ennis & Raulo Caceres’ “Code Pru”, in which our EMT tech has to go get the exorcism kit out of the ambulance. I like the short format here so well, Garth, that I kind of feel that any attempt at forcing a longer narrative on it is energy wasted. I’m perfectly okay with a black sitcom format where Pru and her partner veer through New York dealing with messed-up mystical emergencies. Overall: Cinema 8.5, Code Pru 8 Recommendation: Read

Captain Canuck #9 (ChapterHouse): There’s a fine line in any espionage story between being complicated and being obtuse, and Kalman Andrasofskzy doesn’t walk it very well. Case in point: the page one exposition of the history of the Redcoats has no dates. I’d’ve liked it in the story if it were clearer from the outset what all the rival factions were and who was purportedly working for whom. Also, the stakes aren’t particularly clear, so that this story looks like a bunch of infighting featuring recycled characters from another comics company. And does every superhero story now have to have them working for a shadowy superspy agency? Aside from saying that it’s set in northern Canada, nothing about this series actually seems to deal with what it would mean for a Canadian to be a superhero, or superagent, or whatever these people are supposed to be. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass

Northguard #2 (ChapterHouse): I’m not sure how Northguard is different from Captain Canuck – like, do they work for the same people or not? Anyway, this issue continues last issue’s mission against a mystical cult – but does it conclude it? I’m not sure. And I’m not sure what impact it has on writer Anthony Falcone’s overall story. What I am sure of is that Kebec is a terrible code name for a Québécoise supersniper. I know that it’s creator Richard Comely’s name and they’re stuck with it, but criss de câlice d’ostie de tabarnak, as we say. Also, speaking of sniping, I would appreciate it if they could get someone to edit the French that is being forced into the mouths of their francophone characters. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Pass

Ryan C

swm_cv2_dsSuperwoman #2 (DC)*: A major step backward for Phil Jimenez’ ambitious series, as confused panel layouts and poorly-staged action sequences get things rolling before a huge lull in the middle kills story’s rhythm and flow — adding insult to injury, or writer/artist finishes by giving us a reveal of the mystery “big bad” that has little, if anything, to do with Lana or Lois — who may or may not still be dead. Overall: 2.5 Recommendation: Pass

Briggs Land #2 (Dark Horse)**: Family drama is the order of the day from Brian Wood and Mach Chater as our protagonist consolidates power in her breakaway sect far more easily than I would have guessed and the story slaps its obvious “Godfather Part II” influence right on its sleeve by quoting the film directly. Still pretty solid stuff on the whole, but something of a letdown after a terrific first issue. Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

Hadrian’s Wall #1 (Image)** : The “C.O.W.L.” triumvirate of Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel, and Rod Reis take us into the future — and into outer space, to boot — with a series that seems to be staking its bets on the idea that we’re going to find a combination sci-fi mystery thriller/post-breakup domestic drama interesting. Which, I suppose, it could be, but the characters are drawn in strokes that are far too broad to be able to make that hadrianswall_01-1determination at this point. Nice to see Reis drop the “updated Sienkiewicz” look to his art and adopt a style more uniquely his own, but I’m keeping this series on a fairly short leash. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read

The Fix #5 (Image)**: Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber pick up right where they left off after a short hiatus, and nothing’s changed — which is a damn good thing. Our hopelessly lame and corrupt “hero” is even more lame and corrupt than we thought, the mayor of LA is a dipshit millenial “bro,” and there’s more to the murder at the center of our story — much more, in fact — than we would have possibly imagined. I still think Spencer’s a massive dickhead, but this is a damn fun comic. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Shean

The Forevers #1 (Black Mask)– What would one do to gain wealth and fame? This question is explored immensely within the first issue of this exciting series. As a group of friends make a black magic pact which gains them these things and more. Ten years pass, and each individual is affected by what the pact has brought them, but as we find out in the first issue, when one of them dies, the power gets spread out to the rest. Unfortunately for this group of friends, one of them figures out this and goes about killing each of them, but the-forevers-1-12which one? This is part of the mystery which makes this series very interesting already. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Jughead #9 (Archie)– Jughead has always been the best friend that all other best friends wish they were, as he has served as comic relief for his more confident friend, Archie. In the latest issue, the gang comes back to school, while Jughead struggles to understand why Archie is so girl crazy, he gets his first crush. Pops hires a new girl who moved into town as the diner ‘s mascot and instantly dazzles Jughead. Within this issue, he not only gets his first crush but also goes on his 1st date,and oh yeah, that girl is Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

 


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

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 (**).

Blindbox Comics’ September 2016 Unboxing

Blindbox Comics is a monthly comic book subscription box that includes five regular monthly releases and one exclusive variant cover. Or, you can order just the variant. Or, you can order just the comics.

We open up and show off the latest box released, going over the comics plus a variant! Find out what’s inside!

You can order your Blindbox Comics now!

Dragon Con 2016: Team “Motor Crush” Hosts Panel, Talks Bad Bitches on Bikes

img_1757If you were at Dragon Con this year, you might have been wondering just who that lovely looking lady with the nail studded cricket bat on your badge was. The answer to that is Domino Swift, the protagonist of the upcoming Image Comics series Motor Crush! While Domino was all over roughly 77,000 badges this past Labor Day weekend, an even smaller number got an early look into Motor Crush on Saturday afternoon when the panel took place.

Fans of the Batgirl of Burnside will immediately recognize the creative team behind Motor Crush. Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, and Babs Tarr are continuing their work as a unit with this new book that’s being released on December 7. In fact, this book has been in the works for some time, with the three of them starting to talk about revamping an old pitch Fletcher had done for Oni Press back in the early 2000s around the time issue 3 or 4 of Batgirl had come out.

In fact, the team admitted that one of the reasons they had started work on Motor Crush around then is that they were told that Batgirl might only run six issues due to impending cancellation. We know now that isn’t what happened, but the team did decide to walk away from Batgirl to work on this series. No hard feelings between them and DC though. They’re proud of their work on the series (even if Frankie didn’t get to be Oracle) and had nothing but nice things to say about DC editor Mark Doyle.

As for Motor Crush though, we’re about to see a whole different animal from Stewart, Fletcher, and Tarr. Described as “Bad Bitches, the comic” by Tarr, the story follows up and coming Domino in a world where motorcycle racing is the primary form of entertainment. However, at night, she’s running a great risk to herself, her family and her career by competing in illegal and violent street races for something known as Crush, a “machine narcotic” used to boost engines in races. At the start of the series, one driver has already died in a crash from it. So the main question of the series becomes why is Domino competing for it?

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Fletcher, Stewart and Tarr hope to answer that question over the course of the series, which should run for at least 15 issues, if not more! The series is much more cohesive between the three of them, with Tarr contributing a lot more to the plot as well as doing her own colors while Stewart has been confirmed as the letterer for the series along with layouts. Tarr is also taking a more traditional route with the art this time, using a mix of traditional and digital art for the series along with hand lettering sound effects. She says being able to ink traditionally has helped her a lot in her creative process by allowing her to not spend all day on her computer noodling with one particular line.

What’s this more cohesive process between the three of them been like? “We argue a lot,” Stewart responded, only half-jokingly.

Still, that arguing must be paying off. As a special treat to the attendees of the panel, the three gave away copies of the #0 issue, which is technically the ashcan of the first half of #1. The setting of Nova Honda, which was inspired by both the good and bad parts of Rio de Janeiro and the colors of Miami, is lush and colorful and what little we get to see of the characters so far, they’re a delightful and intriguing bunch. The Willow Smith influence on the way Domino carries herself is especially felt.

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As for the series itself, not only will it deliver set up in the first arc, but the first five issues will include a prologue to Fletcher’s other Image series Isola, which is also being helmed by Gotham Academy co-creator Karl Kerschl. Fletcher describes the series as being very Miyazaki-esque and violent, but in a different way from violence of Motor Crush.It’s brutal to your heart and less to your face,” he said on the panel.

I’ve been intrigued by Motor Crush since its announcement, but the Motor Crush takeover of Dragon Con has definitely had me wanting more of the world of Nova Honda. Between the enthusiasm from the creators and the first ten-page bite given to us, I cannot wait to have more of this high energy, bad bitches on bikes book in my life.

As for the badges, I don’t know who was more excited: Tarr for seeing her art everywhere or me telling strangers about Tarr and Motor Crush.

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Motor Crush comes out December 7 and can be pre-ordered through your local comic shop. (Definitely get on that because as he said on the panel, Stewart is trying to buy a house.)

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