Uncivilized Books 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
(W) Craig Yoe (A) John Severin, John Romita, Wally Wood (CA) Steve Ditko In Shops: Nov 13, 2019 SRP: $34.99
An incredible artbook showcasing some of the greatest comic artists of all time! Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Jim Steranko, Don Heck, John Byrne, Barry Windsor-Smith, John Severin, Wally Wood, John Romita, and many more! As part of the tremendous fun of Silver Age comics, artists created pin-ups of the most popular Marvel heroes and villains! Now the greatest of those works of art are gathered for the first time in a beautiful large-format hardback book! Included are rare examples of original art of The Thing, Spider-Man, and Dr. Strange.
True believers, thrill to pulsating pinups of Spidey, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, The Avengers, Nick Fury, Daredevil, Millie the Model (!), and the ever lovin’ blue-eyed Thing-and many marvelous more!
Tom Scioli is a cartoonist whose works owes almost everything to legendary creator, Jack Kirby, and he gets to pay homage to one of his and Stan Lee’s finest creations in Fantastic Four Grand Design #1. The Fantastic Four don’t even show up as a team (Time travel be damned) until page 14 of the book. Scioli spends the first portion of this extended length comic trying to create a grand cosmic narrative for the Marvel Universe featuring the Krees, Skrulls, Deviants, Eternals, Inhumans, and cities of Attilan, Lemuria, and Atlantis with a side of secret societies and Uatu the Watcher as a POV character in a similar manner to Ed Piskor’s X-Men Grand Design.This prelude is just a foretaste of the overwhelming as a narrative, yet satisfying on a style and individual panel level that this comic is.
Scioli definitely has some storytelling chops and cleverness up his sleeve. He doesn’t start with Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm, and Ben Grimm stealing a rocket to “beat the Reds into space”, but by paralleling the Fantastic Four with the four Celestials that helped accelerate evolution on Earth with a nifty pink, green, yellow, and red color palette. Uatu the Watcher saving Taa (Later Galactus) from the destruction of his planet as his body dissolves and changes form is clearly inspired by the Thing changing from human to monster and is a beautiful meditation on divine intervention. In the early going, the comic also has a nice structure with one page, almost Sunday comic strips introducing major cast members like the Fantastic Four as well as supporting cast members like the Inhumans, Namor, Dr. Doom, and even Black Panther.
However, after these character introductions, the FF’s origin, and some strong storytelling showing how Fantastic Four went from a monster to a superhero comic (It’s all about the branding.), Fantastic Four Grand Design #1 becomes an episodic, 20+ panels on a page mess. Tom Scioli has the cram 46 issues of comics into 21 pages, and he includes each and every villain battle and plot development before ending the first issue on the great, logical cliffhanger of right before the Galactus Trilogy. (The little appearances of Silver Surfer are majestic so far, and I can’t wait to see Scioli’s take on Kirby krackle and the way he moves through the cosmos.)
Tom Scioli does nail the dysfunctional family dynamic, and his Invisible Girl and Namor have some searing chemistry, but the lack of transitions once he hits the “Fantastic Four go on adventures” part is overwhelming. For example, Daredevil shows up in the middle of a battle, and he is neither introduced or commented on as he just disappears once the brawl is over. Scioli pummels readers with plot summaries from the past, but with a fun art style and better one-liners than Stan Lee. His Thing is sassy as hell when he’s not being used as a plot device. In general, Scioli’s characterization is up and down as he joins the long list of creators to fail at making the Inhumans likable with the exception of Crystal’s West Side Story type relationship with Johnny Storm plus Lockjaw being his adorable self.
Tom Scioli shows his clear reverence for Marvel’s Silver Age comics, especially the work of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, in Fantastic Four Grand Design #1 with his powerful figure work, far out colors, and soap opera on speed plotting. He uses the beginning of the comic to try to place the Fantastic Four in an, er, grander cosmic narrative, but it all falls apart by the end. With its 20+ panel pages coupled with high attention to detail on each panel, Fantastic Four Grand Design is more hyper-caffeinated history level than an enjoyable comic, and honestly, would have worked better as a page a day webcomic in the vein of Scioli’s previous creator-owned work than a traditional floppy.
Story: Tom Scioli Art: Tom Scioli Story: 6.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read
Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Dead Reckoning and Marvel are working together to release Atlas at War on June 17, 2020. The collection features fifty hard-hitting stories from Marvel’s Atlas era.
From 1951 to 1960 Atlas Comics, which later became Marvel Comics, published more war titles than ayn other comic company. The collection is edited by comics historian Dr. Michael J. Vassallo. Some of these comics are being reprinted for the first time. 4 never-reprinted classics were written and penciled by Jack Kirby.
The collection features stories from sixteen different Atlas war titles and features the artwork of artists like Russ Heath, John Severin, Bernie Krigstein, Joe Maneely, Jerry Robinson, Steve Ditko, and Kirby.
Each page has been restored from its first printing by comic art restorer Allan Harvey.
In the 1950s, when these Atlas war comics were originally published, the hand-drawn artwork was photographed, and the resulting negatives used to produce the printing plates from which the final comic was printed. In the intervening sixty or seventy years the artwork, negatives, and plates have all been lost or destroyed, so, if a publisher wishes to reprint these comics, the only thing they have to use as a source is the decades-old printed comic. Over that period of time acids within the paper itself have acted to darken the paper and make it brittle; oils from countless fingers, too, may have taken their toll, making a clean reprint very difficult—without help. That’s when someone like me steps in.
As a restoration artist, I take a high-resolution scan of the printed comic page and load it into computer software [See image 1 above] where I use my skills to remove or minimize the accumulated dirt and deterioration of the ages. First, I strip out the color information, which results in a very washed-out file [See image 2 above]. I work on this extensively, manually darkening the linework and black areas, removing deterioration, dust and dirt and any problems introduced on the original printing press, such as line drop-outs, etc. This process produces a file which looks as close to how the artwork would have looked when the artist handed it to the editor back in 1950 as I can make it. [See image 3 above]
At this point I reintroduce the color information and work on that, again removing defects and smoothing out the “look” to my satisfaction, working and re-working it until I get a sharp, clean digital color file [See image 4 above], from which reprints can be made, allowing these exciting comics to be brought to a whole new generation. The time taken to complete a page varies, but, on average, a single page can be produced in around 4-6 hours.
(W) Stan Lee (A/CA) Jack Kirby All-Ages In Shops: Jul 10, 2019 SRP: $3.99
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduce the mighty mutants to the Marvel Universe! Training to fight for a world that hates and fears them, they are the Uncanny X-Men! Cyclops! Beast! Iceman! Angel! And their newest recruit, Marvel Girl! Professor Charles Xavier brings together these Children of the Atom to teach them to use their mutant powers to protect mankind – and they’re quickly forced into action when Magneto, the Master of Magnetism, strikes! The X-Men are a pop-culture phenomenon, and this is the story that birthed the legend! It’s one of the all-time great Marvel comic books, boldly re-presented in its original form, ads and all! Reprinting X-MEN (1963) #1.
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.
Silver Surfer: Black #1 (Marvel) **– There’s no sadder statement on the current state of comics than the fact that more readers seemed excited by the prospect of Donny Cates WRITING the Silver Surfer than they were about Tradd Moore DRAWING the Silver Surfer. Well, this first issue should shovel dirt on the notion that the writer is the “star” of this book, because Cates serves up an absolute go-nowhere mediocrity of a script, while Moore absolutely kills it with his mind-boggling, phantasmagoric art. A visual feast and a literary snooze that loses two full points for Cates’ nauseating postscript page where he says than the Surfer was “Stan Lee’s favorite of all his creations.” News flash, “company man” Cates : Lee had nothing to do with creating the Surfer and even said he was surprised to first see him inserted into a story and wondered who he was and how and why Jack Kirby came up with him — then, of course, he went on to take credit for creating him anyway. Confused overall score for this one: 3. Recommendation: Buy it anyway, but solely for the art. And fuck anyone who says Jack Kirby didn’t create the Silver Surfer — or pretty much the rest of the entire Marvel universe, for that matter.
The Immortal Hulk #19 (Marvel) ** – I have no idea how Al Ewing and Joe Bennett are managing to maintain such a high standard on a book that comes out twice a month, but damn if they aren’t doing precisely that, and this issue sees more of the horrific transformation of Betty Ross counter-balanced with a hell of a fight between the big green guy and the latest iteration of The Abomination. Solid script, spectacular art, consistently one of the best “Big Two” comics around. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy
Detective Comics #1005 (DC) ** – About the best you can say for the poorly-conceived and incompetently-scripted “Medieval” storyline is that, hey, at least as of this issue it’s finally over. Brad Walker’s art remains nice, but Peter J. Tomasi just embarrassed himself with this arc, and ends it with his most poorly-written issue yet, loaded with cumbersome expository dialogue, wooden characterization, and the most dull-as-dry-toast “climax” you’ll ever see. Overall: 1 Recommendation: Pass
Event Leviathan #1 (DC) ** – I guess in order to understand what the fuck is going on here, you need to have purchased that absurd 10 dollar “Superman” lead-in book a few weeks back, and since I didn’t — I was extremely hard pressed to find any reason to buy into the proceedings in this book. Alex Maleev’s art is nice, but Brian Michael Bendis writes his DC characters just like he wrote his Marvel characters, which is to say — not very well at all, and interchangeably. No need to ride out this one, as it seems exceptionally lousy even by the low standards we all have for these “crossover” events. Overall: 3 Recommendation: Pass
Jughead’s Time Police #1 (Archie)– Sina Grace and Derek Charm remind readers that Archie isn’t just a horror publisher in Jughead’s Time Police, which features the wacky humor of the late, great Jughead ongoing with a sci-fi twist. The premise is that Jughead wants to go back in time to add a special ingredient to his lemon meringue pie so he isn’t disqualified from the contest. Of course, it goes horribly wrong. (That’s what you get when your dog ends up doing all the math/physics part.) Charm continues to show why he’s one of the most underrated comics artists with his aesthetically pleasing, cartoonish art style, and Grace nails the brisk slice of life pace of the first issue. This is probably the first Archie comic to mention Jenny Lewis. Overall: 8.5 Verdict: Buy
Silver Surfer Black #1( Marvel) I will keep this one sweet and short. For the most part, this book really feels Blah. This script reads like an acid trip with Silver Surfer doing a crap load of brooding. The art by Moore is a gem though, as every character looks new especially Beta Ray Bill and definitely Silver Surfer whose look got the gloss finish that you would think he would have in real life. Overall, I would wait for the TPB. Overall: 5 Recommendation: Wait for the Trade
Star Wars Age of Rebellion Luke Skywalker #1 (Marvel) In a tale where Luke Skywalker’s path as a Jedi is tested, he becomes who we see in The Last Jedi. As he is sent on a mission where the Emperor sees it as prime opportunity to turn him to the dark side. As he leans into the same rage as Anakin more than a few times but never gives in completely. By issue’s end, he and his commanding officer save a colony and he gives all the credit to him. Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy
Silver Surfer Black #1 (Marvel) – When you give me Donny Cates and Tradd Moore, you’ve got my interest. Add Silver Surfer, and you’ve raised my interest. This book is a crazy yet beautiful psychedelic trip through space with the usual Donny Cates tense cliffhangers that makes you want the next issue right away. The way this book connects to another book of his by the end is exciting. Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
The Immortal Hulk #19 (Marvel) – Ewing and Bennett keep raising the bar on the insane story between the covers of this comic. This book steps on the gas even harder and by the end crashes and burns in the best way. The final page had my eyes wide and my mouth opened in shock. Another must buy. Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy
The Batman Who Laughs #6 (DC) – Snyder had one of my favorite Batman runs on his New 52 run. This continues his over the top “the world is going to end”, destroy everything style in great fashion. This is straight out of Snyder’s Metal event, and follows that craziness with the fantastic artist who did Black Mirror with him, Jock. One more issue to go! Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: 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 (**).
He’s tackled Mister Miracle, but now writer Tom King is taking on the whole New Gods as he’s joined Ava DuVernary to co-write the upcoming film. DuVernary revealed the news via a Tweet.
King’s Mister Miracle maxiseries was praised as one of the best comics of the year when it was released. Mitch Gerads provided art for that project and it won multiple awards making numerous “best of” lists.
New Gods was created by Jack Kirby and involves two warring alien groups, New Genesis and Apokolips. Darkseid, the unseen villain of the Justice League film, is a despotic ruler of Apokolips. To bring “peace,” Highfather, the ruler of the New Gods, and Apokolips trade their children. Scott Free, Mister Miracle is raised by Apokolips, while Orion is raised by Highfather. Scott rebels from his adoptive father.
DuVernary was announced as the lead and director of the project in March 2018 and is a long time fan of the New Gods as she has revealed that Big Barda is a favorite character of hers.
Barda was one of the main characters in King’s Mister Miracle and is an elite warrior who breaks away from Darkseid and falls in love with Scott Free, aka Mister Miracle. The two become rebels fighting Darkseid’s totalitarian rule.
IDW Publishing and Yoe Books have announced a new line of Marvel Comics collections, a sensational series of large-format hardcovers curating the finest artwork from the Golden Age’s four-color foundations all the way up to the Marvel Age’s dizzying heights!
Coinciding with the year-long celebration of Marvel’s 80 years of publishing, Yoe Books will debut their retrospective look at the House of Ideas with Marvel Masterwork Pin-Ups, which will be followed by additional entries in 2019.
In Marvel Masterwork Pin-Ups, the pulsating pin-up artwork of legendary Silver Age creators – including Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Jim Steranko, Don Heck, John Byrne, Barry Windsor-Smith, John Severin, Wally Wood, Dan Decarlo, John Romita, and many more – is collected for the first time ever into a single volume, accompanied throughout with witty wordage, pulse-pounding patter, and zany zingers by Stan “The Man” Lee!
Fans will treasure large, deftly drawn pin-ups by these marvelous artists of Spider-Man, Thor, Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, The Hulk, The X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and many more, plus nefarious villains led by Doctor Doom – and even Millie the Model by Dan DeCarlo!
What if Spider-Man joined the Fantastic Four? What if Captain America survived World War II? What if Rick Jones became the Hulk? Explore these possibilties and more in this collection of the classic series.
What If? The Complete Collection Vol. 1 is by Roy Thomas, Gil Kane, Jim Shooter, Don Glut, Scott Shaw, Jack Kirby, Jim Craig, Herb Trimpe, Gil Kane, Frank Robbins, George Tuska, Rock Hoberg, Alan Kupperberg, and Sal Buscema!
Get your copy in comic shops now and book stores on January 29! To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies 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
Celebrating 80 years of Marvel Comics, Marvel Tales reprints three classic stories, Fantastic Four (1961) #4, Fantastic Four Annual (1963) #6, and Fantastic Four #245, by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Sol Brodsky, Art Simek, Joe Sinnott, Sam Rosen, John Byrne, Bob Sharen, and Jim Salicrup with a cover by Jen Bartel.
Get your copy in comic shopsnow! To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook.
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review