Tag Archives: Jason Keith

Review: Age of Conan Belit #1

In a breath of fresh air, Marvel Comics has used its newly reacquired Conan license not just to tell stories about the titular barbarian, but also about members of his supporting cast. First up is Belit, the pirate queen, who first appeared in the 1934 “Queen of the Black Coast” story, also popped up in previous Conan stories for both Marvel and Dark Horse, and taught Conan everything about piracy. Writer Tini Howard (Euthanauts), artist Kate Niemczyk (Mockingbird), and colorist Jason Keith (Uncanny X-Men) tell her origin story in a rousing saga of action, heartbreak, and searching for mythical sea monsters.

Having a real cartoonist like Niemczyk on Belit #1 instead of some Frank Frazetta wannabe painter is a real treat and gives the comic a tone never ending activity. She can tell a story in both the foreground and background, which is showcased in the one page sequence where Belit’s father, the former Dread Admiral Atrahasis is jumped by some mercenaries, who he pissed off back in his seafaring days. With a light stroke and blue sky from Keith, Niemczyk makes it seem like the men grabbing Atrahasis are just a mirage to Belit. However, by the end of the page, Belit’s life will never be the same.

Howard and Niemczyk do pull off some great father/daughter moments in Belit #1 as she is taught to be a great fighter, sailor, and leader. Their relationship reminds me a lot of Ned and Arya Stark’s in the best way with Atrahasis telling his daughter realistic truths about the perils of leading an army of killers while she wants to sail and fight sea monsters. It is the emotional crux of this first issue, and Belit learns many harsh truths about honor and revenge, power vacuums and politics when her father is marooned on a sandbar by rival pirates.

Belit #1 walks a delicate line between the romance of adventure fantasy and the reality of the consequences of war. A man who is responsible for killing and plundering so many people doesn’t get to retire and play the Hyborian Age equivalent of nine hole golf. Howard shows this sentiment through beautiful, yet not too flowery speeches along with Niemczyk’s resigned facial expressions and a gorgeous, yet tragic orange sunset palette from Jason Keith.

Belit #1 has a fantastic visual and verbal synergy with Howard using dialogue to build character traits like Belit’s ferocity and her old teacher N’yaga’s dark pragmatism, and Niemczyk choosing the right moment for close-up to show Belit’s emotional state. Niemczyk also has the flair for the dramatic by tipping the page vertically during a big ship boarding scene that turns the tables of the story so far. It lays the foundation for an environment where Belit can truly become a pirate queen before ending on an atmospheric final page.

Age of Conan: Belit #1 sheds some insight on the dark, yet adventurous early days of the woman who would become the Queen of the Black Coast. Tini Howard, Kate Niemczyk, and Jason Keith work in tandem to construct a character arc for Belit as well as a fast moving, swashbuckling plot that isn’t bogged down in thees, thous, and world building. Belit is fierce as hell, and I can’t wait to learn more about her journey to become one of the deadliest fictional pirates in this series.

Story: Tini Howard Art: Kate Niemczyk
Colors: Jason Keith Letters: Travis Lanham
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Mavel Reveals War of Realms #1 Variants from George Prez and Ryan Ottley

The War Of The Realms is coming…and no corner of the Marvel Universe will be untouched! Marvel has revealed two new stunning variant covers: one by artist George Perez (with colors by Jason Keith) and one by Ryan Ottley (with colors Nathan Fairbairn).

This April, all hell will break loose as Marvel’s epic event from the award-winning creative team of Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, and Matthew Wilson usher in an event of unparalleled scale! Plus, don’t miss a special midnight release of War of the Realms #1 for retailers – be sure to check Marvel mailers for details!

War of the Realms #1 Ryan Ottley Variant
War of the Realms #1 George Perez variant

Review: Age of X-Man: NextGen #1

We’re getting more and more glimpses of the world of Age of X-Man! Age of X-Man: NextGen #1 introduces us to the students and a better idea of how X-Man has created order there. But, are things as disciplined as it seems?

Age of X-Man: NextGen #1 is by Ed Brisson, Marcus To, Jason Keith, and Clayton Cowles.

Get your copy in comic shops on February 13! To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/comiXology/Kindle
TFAW

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

Preview: Asgardians of the Galaxy #5

Asgardians of the Galaxy #5

(W) Cullen Bunn (A) Matteo Lolli, Stephanie Hans, Luca Maresca (CA) Dale Keown, Jason Keith
Rated T+
In Shops: Jan 16, 2019
SRP: $3.99

RAGNAROK IS HERE!

It’s the final battle for Earth as the Asgardians take on Nebula’s full armada! But the undead may be the least of their problems. Just want is their supposed ally Loki up to now? Don’t miss the end of the first thrilling arc!

Asgardians of the Galaxy #5

Preview: Asgardians of the Galaxy #4

(W) Cullen Bunn (A) Matteo Lolli, Natacha Bustos (CA) Dale Keown, Jason Keith
Rated T+
In Shops: Dec 12, 2018
SRP: $3.99

ASGARDIANS UNDER ARREST!
Just when Nebula falls within their grasp, the Asgardians of the Galaxy find themselves in hot water with the Nova Corps! And every second they’re detained, Nebula comes closer to ruling the galaxy. What’s a team of warriors and assassins to do?

Celebrate The New Guardians of the Galaxy Team With Special Covers!

This January, Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw – the creative team that brought you Thanos – will bring a new Guardians of the Galaxy series to readers! And to celebrate the debut of this brand-new team, Marvel is releasing a series of variant covers showcasing past and present Guardians of the Galaxy characters from superstar artists Mike McKone, Ema Lupacchino, Dale Keown, Will Sliney, and more!

Look for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy variant covers on these select titles:

  1. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #14 by Gerald Parel
  2. AVENGERS #13 by Patrick Zircher with colors by Jason Keith
  3. BLACK PANTHER #8 by Jamal Campbell
  4. DEADPOOL #8 by Jamal Campbell
  5. DOCTOR STRANGE #10 by Will Sliney with colors by Frank D’Armata
  6. FANTASTIC FOUR #6 by Pasqual Ferry
  7. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1 by Ron Lim with colors by Israel Silva
  8. IMMORTAL HULK #12 by Geoff Shaw
  9. SPIDER-GWEN: GHOST SPIDER #4 by Bobby Rubio
  10. SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #2 by Mike McKone with colors by Jesus Aburtov
  11. UNCANNY X-MEN #8 by David Marquez
  12. X-23 #8 by Dale Keown
  13. X-FORCE #2 by Ema Lupacchino

Don’t miss your chance to collect all Guardians of the Galaxy variants, coming this January to your local comic shop!

The Amazing Spider-Man Gets Black Cat Covers from Mike Wieringo, J.G. Jones, and J. Scott Campbell

Black Cat didn’t commit the crime…but Spider-Man will need to befriend his once-foe-once-friend-once-crime-boss Felicia Hardy if he wants to solve this case!

This October and November, join Peter and Felicia Hardy in Amazing Spider-Man’s Black Cat arc, featuring two new variant covers by J.G. Jones (with colors by Paul Mounts), Mike Wieringo (with inks by Tim Townsend and colors by Jason Keith) and a Hidden Gem variant by J. Scott Campbell (with colors by Nei Ruffino).

The excitement starts this October – don’t miss the start of the action in Amazing Spider-Man #8, on sale October 24th at your local comic shop!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #8
Written by NICK SPENCER
Art and Cover by HUMBERTO RAMOS
Black Cat Variant Cover by J.G. JONES (AUG188288)

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #9
Written by NICK SPENCER
Art and Cover by HUMBERTO RAMOS
Black Cat Variant Cover by MIKE WIERINGO (AUG188290)

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10
Written by NICK SPENCER
Art and Cover by HUMBERTO RAMOS
Black Cat Variant Cover by J. SCOTT CAMPBELL (AUG188289)

Review: Asgardians of the Galaxy #1

Out this Wednesday is a new team of Asgardian misfits, Asgardians of the Galaxy!

Asgardians of the Galaxy #1 is by Cullen Bunn, Matteo Lolli, Federico Blee, Cory Petit, Dale Keown, Jason Keith, Humberto Ramos, Edgar Delgado, Cliff Chiang, Skottie Young, Nick Russell, Sarah Brunstad, and Wil Moss.

The issue comes to shelves September 5th. To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.

Amazon/Kindle/comiXology or TFAW

 

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

Review: X-Men The Wedding Special #1

Full disclaimer: for a long time, Kitty Pryde was my all time favorite Marvel superhero thanks to her awesomeness in X-Men Evolution and Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men run, and there is a Marvel Legends figure of her sitting on my bookshelf right now as I write this.

Even though Kelly Thompson, Marika Cresta, and Federico Blee end up almost saving the day with a fun tale of X-Women out on the town with pretty, shiny art to match, X-Men The Wedding Special #1 is a big stinker of a “special issue.” Greg Land’s stiff art style isn’t a good fit for a raucous bachelor party, Chris Claremont can’t rekindle his old magic, and this book doesn’t really have much for long time X-Men fans who might be a little lapsed (Like yours truly.) and definitely not new or casual fans. Why are Kitty and Piotr even getting married? Maybe, the X-Men Gold  hardcore readership will find something to love here.

In the first story, Kitty Pryde’s co-creator/father of the X-Men Chris Claremont returns to Marvel with his Nightcrawler collaborator Todd Nauck and skilled colorist Rachelle Rosenberg.  However, after having Nauck re-draw Kitty’s greatest hits courtesy of John Byrne, Dave Cockrum, John Romita Jr., Alan Davis, and others, he makes the story all about Kitty’s relationships with the dead men in her life, namely, her dad, Wolverine, and some guy from a 1999 time travel miniseries called X-Men True Friends. Claremont is a still verbose prose stylist, Rosenberg is game with the bright colors of the different eras, and Nauck turns in some gorgeous dualistic compositions contrasting the triumphs and trials of Kitty Pryde’s life as an X-Man.

But there isn’t really a coherent story to channel these skills and traits into as Claremont abruptly cuts from Kitty recounting her life story and feelings about being phased through a bullet (Thank you, Joss Whedon.) to randomly talking about Wolverine and the aforementioned guy from a time travel story. Plus I guess I missed the issue of X-Men Gold where she worked as a bartender at the Hellfire Club themed branch of Coyote Ugly as Claremont and Nauck cut to this, and Nightcrawler has some great lines about faith and facing challenges. There are a few good ingredients, a few bad ones, and sadly, the story doesn’t touch on the great female friendships (and possibly romances) that Claremont set up for Kitty with Magik, Storm, and Rachel Summers among others and focused on ghostly men instead. It’s like a great slice of Chicago deep dish (Shoutout to Deerfield, Illinois resident Kitty Pryde.) that’s completely burnt to a crisp too bogged down in a continuity to have any real emotion or even nostalgia.

The second story by X-Men Gold writer Marc Guggenheim, the aforementioned Land and inker Jay Leisten, and colorist Jason Keith tells the story of Colossus’ bachelor party and except for the part where Piotr throws an anti-mutant alien monster around a casino, it’s cliched, heteronormative, and just plain bad. In keeping with his introverted nature and desire to be faithful towards Kitty after decades of breakups, reunions, and the original Secret Wars crossover, Colossus wants a chill night out and not the typical strippers/booze/brawling trifecta of a normal bachelor party. But Nightcrawler, Gambit, Iceman, and the “boyo” overusing new-look Pyro have other ideas for him including Bobby lecturing Piotr on traditional masculinity and making me glad that Sina Grace had almost exclusive creative control over him for a year. The story follows a limp, through line of getting Colossus to “lighten up”, and you have to buy a whole other comic to see how the story ends. It’s pretty terrible except for the huge smile on Nightcrawler’s face as he ushers his squad into Las Vegas and beams that there is a casino run by demons so he doesn’t have to feel weird or different while having a good time for once. Kurt is such a great character that he shines even in subpar stories like the first two in X-Men Wedding Special #1.

The final story in X-Men Wedding Special #1 is a fun, cute, grownup version of the “X-Men go to the mall” plotline as Storm, Rogue, Jean Grey, Psylocke, and others take Kitty to karaoke, which is actually “stripperoke”. However, there are both male and female strippers at the club, which Kitty is cool with. And it’s also this issue’s only nod at the bisexual subtext surrounding her since the late 1980s. In a similar way to Piotr, Kitty is introverted and more than a little Type A so the cocktail of strippers and karaoke is pretty lethal for her, and she spends most of the issue hoping for a fight.

Kitty does end up doing hand to hand combat with Callisto, who I think had a crush on Colossus, in the 1980s, and her resolves shows how much she has grown in 38 years from the X-Men’s kid sister to their leader. It also shows that artist (and star in waiting) Marika Cresta has a knack for fight sequences as well as conversation, beautiful faces, and high fashion. The bright filters used by Federico Blee and soft lighting definitely give this issue a very laidback field even if Kitty is freaking out a little bit about her wedding. The Kitty/Callisto derails the story a little bit, but Thompson and Cresta easily counterbalance with great moments like Storm rocking the karaoke stage, and Rogue and Kitty having a true heart to heart that reminded me of a more mature version of their bond in X-Men Evolution.

X-Men Wedding Special definitely lessened my faith in the marriage between Kitty and Colossus as well as heterosexual, monogamous marriage as an institution in general. Okay, maybe not completely, but the Marc Guggenheim and Greg Land story is a great example of how bachelor parties are dated and played out. However, Marika Cresta is a real find as an artist in the final story and should definitely be the main artist on one of the big X or Marvel books.

Story: Chris Claremont, Marc Guggenheim, Kelly Thompson
Art: Todd Nauck, Greg Land with Jay Leisten, Marika Cresta
Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg, Jason Keith, Federico Blee Letters: Clayton Cowles

Story: 5.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Carol Danvers Celebrates 50 Years with Variants this July

This summer, Marvel is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Captain Marvel’s alter ego Carol Danvers with variant covers showing how everyone’s favorite high-flying super hero has evolved throughout the years!

Look for Marvel’s Carol Danvers variant covers on these select titles:

  1. Avengers #4 by Kate Niemczyk with colors by Morry Hollowell
  2. Black Panther #3 by Paul Renaud
  3. Doctor Strange #3  by Ema Lupacchino with colors by Jason Keith
  4. Immortal Hulk #3 by Mahmud Asrar with colors by Edgar Delgado
  5. Thor #3 by John Tyler Christopher

Don’t miss your chance to collect all 5 variant covers, coming to comic shops this July!

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