Tag Archives: Jason Keith

Review: Avengers Forever #1

Avengers Forever #1

A super evil is moving across the multiverse destroying worlds and conquering all of reality. The Multiversal Masters of Evil can’t be stopped unless a group of heroes from across the multiverse are assembled. Sound familiar? Avengers Forever #1 feels a bit like the classic Avengers mixed with the recent Dark Knights storyline from DC.

Written by Jason Aaron, Avengers Forever #1 kicks off a new multiverse story that feels like it follows the formula we’ve seen so often. Take familiar characters and twist them somehow, sometimes taking other characters and mixing them, then throw in some “dark” aspect about it all. It’s not necessarily a bad formula, it’s just something we’ve seen so many times before.

Avengers Forever #1 has Robbie Reyes’ Ghost Rider and Deathlok traveling to Earh-818 where we meet this world’s version of Tony Stark. Heroes have been destroyed making “hope” a four letter word. Take the Old Man Logan future, throw in Tony Stark as Ant-Man, and there you have the concept this opens with. It all doesn’t quite excite, instead focusing almost too much on Tony and too broad of action when it comes to Ghost Rider and Deathlok. It all feels like an event mini-series tie-in that is largely forgotten. There’s absolutely potential, the issue just never gets to an exciting moment to really care about it all.

The art by Aaron Kuder is ok. With ink by Cam Smith, color by Jason Keith and Triona Farrell, and lettering by Cory Petit, the style isn’t quite my thing. It just doesn’t click never taking advantage of what the story depicts. A sequence of stopping a train should feel far more epic than it does. Stark discovering Mjolnir and lifting it should have a grand aspect that’s memorable. It doesn’t and it doesn’t. Weirdly the comic doesn’t have an “eye” that’s focused in on what it needs to leaving an issue whose story feels like should be on the big screen but not delivering visuals that require it. It all weirdly feels like it’s almost too broad in its visual scope and doesn’t focus in on the aspects to truly make the story exciting.

Avengers Forever #1 feels like a been there, done that, sort of story. It doesn’t deliver a start that hooks the reader to bring them back for more. It’s a start that has a good idea but never delivers any new aspects that really stand out. Like so many “multiverse” stories that are now on the market, it takes a formula these comics deliver and little more. It’s clearly leading to a major event down the line but I’m not sure this is the series that’ll really make it an exciting one.

Story: Jason Aaron Art: Aaron Kuder
Ink: Cam Smith Color: Jason Keith, Triona Farrell Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 6.0 Art: 6.95 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

The Multiverse’s Mightiest Heroes Assemble in the Avengers Forever #1 Trailer!

Next month, prepare for a journey through the ever-fascinating and unpredictable Marvel Comics Multiverse in Avengers Forever. The all-new ongoing Avengers series brought to you by two of today’s most outstanding Super Hero masterminds: writer Jason Aaron and artist Aaron Kuder with colorist Jason Keith, will introduce readers to a host of new Avengers from across the multiverse! Alongside current Avenger Robbie Reyes AKA Ghost Rider, these reimagined takes on your favorite characters will assemble for one of the greatest battles Marvel Universe has ever witnessed. Spinning out of the cataclysmic events of Avengers #750 and operating in lockstep with the prime AVENGERS series, the next great Avengers saga begins here! Now, get your first look at some of the new heroes you’ll meet, including Tony Stark AKA the Invincible Iron Man, in the Avengers Forever #1 trailer, featuring never-before-seen artwork!

Be there for the next chapter in Jason Aaron’s legendary Avengers saga when Avengers Forever #1 hits stands on December 22!

Preview: Kang the Conqueror #1 (of 5)

Kang the Conqueror #1 (of 5)

(W) Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing (A) Carlos Magno (CA) Mike Del Mundo (VCA) Natacha Bustosm Juan Cabal, Carmen Nunez Carnero, Joshua Cassara, Iban Coello, Patrick Gleason, Peach Momoko, Todd Nauck, R.B. Silva, Skottie Young
Rated T+
In Shops: Aug 18, 2021
SRP: $4.99

THE ORIGIN OF KANG!
The man called Kang the Conqueror has been a pharaoh, a villain, a warlord of the space ways and even, on rare occasions, a hero. Across all timelines, one fact seemed absolute: Time means nothing to Kang the Conqueror.
But the truth is more complex. Kang is caught in an endless cycle of creation and destruction dictated by time and previously unseen by any but the Conqueror himself. A cycle that could finally explain the enigma that is Kang. And a cycle that begins and ends with an old and broken Kang sending his younger self down a dark path…

Kang the Conqueror #1 (of 5)
Mike Del Mundo

Early Preview: Kang the Conqueror #1 (of 5)

Kang the Conqueror #1 (of 5)

(W) Collin Kelly, Jackson Lanzing (A) Carlos Magno (CA) Mike Del Mundo (VCA) Natacha Bustosm Juan Cabal, Carmen Nunez Carnero, Joshua Cassara, Iban Coello, Patrick Gleason, Peach Momoko, Todd Nauck, R.B. Silva, Skottie Young
Rated T+
In Shops: Aug 18, 2021
SRP: $4.99

THE ORIGIN OF KANG!
The man called Kang the Conqueror has been a pharaoh, a villain, a warlord of the space ways and even, on rare occasions, a hero. Across all timelines, one fact seemed absolute: Time means nothing to Kang the Conqueror.
But the truth is more complex. Kang is caught in an endless cycle of creation and destruction dictated by time and previously unseen by any but the Conqueror himself. A cycle that could finally explain the enigma that is Kang. And a cycle that begins and ends with an old and broken Kang sending his younger self down a dark path…

Kang the Conqueror #1 (of 5)
Mike Del Mundo

Journey Across the Timestream and Beyond in these New Kang the Conqueror #1 Covers

On August 18th, writers Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing team up with artist Carlos Magno, colors by Espen Grundetjern, and lettering by Joe Caramagna, to bring readers the definitive origin of one of Marvel’s most legendary villains in Kang the Conqueror #1! The new series will unravel Kang’s complex history, tying together all of his greatest stories and reuniting his alternative selves from across the timeline. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Kang is set to begin his biggest era yet. To celebrate the character’s first-ever solo series, some of the industry’s top artists have crafted outstanding covers that showcase the past, present, and future of Kang’s incredible saga. Included in this collection are covers by all eight of Marvel’s Stormbreakers depicting key moments in Kang’s history from his iconic first run-ins with the Fantastic Four and the Avengers to his epic showdown with the Young Avengers.

The man called Kang the Conqueror has been a pharaoh, a villain, a warlord of the space ways, and even—on rare occasions—a hero. Across all timelines, one fact seemed absolute: Time means nothing to Kang the Conqueror. But the truth is more complex. Kang is caught in an endless cycle of creation and destruction dictated by time and previously unseen by any but the Conqueror himself. A cycle that could finally explain the enigma that is Kang. And a cycle that begins and ends with an old and broken Kang sending his younger self down a dark path… Check out all 12 covers now before the release on August 18th!

Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman announce Kids Love Chains Press and the series Vanish

During their recent live stream, the popular creative duo of Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman announced a new creator-owned project and imprint. Kids Love Chains Press (KLC Press) will be released in some unknown way hinting at an “unprecedented way to interact with the” upcoming project. Revealed was some artwork and the first series Vanish. Vanish is an ongoing series.

Cates and Stegman are coming off their popular run on Venom moving into creator-owned work together.

More information will be coming in July or August but for now check out some of Stegman’s artwork below with inks by JP Mayer, and colors by Jason Keith.

Check out the video below with the reveal at the 51 minute mark and features more artwork.

Review: King in Black #5

King in Black #5

King in Black #5 is the big finale to Marvel’s latest event as Venom finally faces off with Knull. In what felt like a bit of a one-sided affair, Venom mops the town up with Knull. Possessing the Enigma Force makes Eddie Brock Knull’s equal. Even more so, he’s equipped with a weapon made of the Silver Surfer’s board and Mjolnir. It all ends with everything being hunky-dory for everyone, save Eddie, who now appears to be the new King In Black.

You know…I wanted to dislike this so much. There’s something about Donny Cates’ writing that is so enjoyable and yet, some of his work seriously feels like a child who gets to do whatever with his action figures…and I mean that in a positive way. King in Black did really feel like all the power was with Venom, leaving Knull pretty weak, but it all just works. It’s not perfect. I’m not sure how I feel about Venom more-or-less wielding Mjolnir but for what it’s worth, this was a really fun read, spotlighting a character I normally care very little for and leaving me with a newfound appreciation for Venom. I thought the dialogue is great. Knull is one of those pompous characters that has never known defeat so seeing someone like that get taken down is pretty much a guaranteed enjoyable moment.

On the artistic side, Ryan Stegman really put a lot into every page. I felt the layouts stood out to me in a really unique way and the colors really pop. And if I can bring attention to one thing that I like about his art, I feel that he does a good job of conveying emotion on a character’s face. Knull looked really fierce and sinister. Venom just looked awesome.

King in Black #5 was a total package of fun and excitement, coupled with some really cool art. I’m not huge on Marvel or DC events but my overall feeling is that this one ended up being fun while also bringing a lot of stuff that Cates has worked on at Marvel to a head. As far as Venom goes, King in Black serves as a good exclamation point on a really great run for the character. Not sure if it’s worth the cost of admission but I think you’d like what you would read.

Story: Donny Cates Art: Ryan Stegman
Ink: JP Mayer, Ryan Stegman Color: Frank Martin, Jason Keith Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXology – Amazon – Kindle – Zeus Comics – TFAW

Review: King in Black #5

King in Black #5

I’ve generally enjoyed the King in Black series and event. It’s big popcorn blockbuster ideas in five issues with a bunch of tie-ins. I was gung-ho about the tie-ins but as the months went on I slowly stopped reading them. And, my gut says, that might have been a bad idea. Going into King in Black #5, I feel like I missed something. The opening and much of the comic feels like I had to walk out of a movie to go to the concession stand and returned having missed key moments. Still, it’s a comic to sit back and just enjoy the over-the-top nature of it all.

Donny Cates delivers a finale that has been built up for years. Eddie Brock, back with Venom and now the Enigma Force, square off against Knull for the fate of everything. The issue is one giant drag out fight between the two that’s not really a contest. Much like their first meeting, this is a one-sided fight that echoes that opening battle. Cates doesn’t even make this close. It’s Eddie beating the living daylights into Knull and the darkness. And seriously, that’s about it.

Cates focuses on these two’s battle so much that the rest of the heroes are generally and afterthought. They stand around and get one moment to look cool. But, beyond that, they don’t really do much and are a non-factor. For as much as various characters have been key in the main event, let alone the various tie-ins, they’re pretty much window dressing for this final issue. It’s an odd choice that takes some of the epic out of the nature of the battle.

Ryan Stegman does deliver solid art. Along with JP Mayer on ink and Frank Martin and Jason Keith on color, the visuals feel like fantasy heavy metal as Venom delivers a beat down with his giant axe. The battle itself looks good and there’s a cathartic aspect to seeing Eddie deliver punch after punch. But, there’s also something missing as well. There’s that truly awe-inspiring epic moment that’s just not there. Beyond one page of “Avengers Assemble” the comic never really goes for the metal aspect it teases. It looks good but isn’t memorable.

Clayton Cowles’ lettering continues to deserve mention for the series. The lettering really helps deliver and nail down Knull. With “normal” lettering, the character wouldn’t work as well. It’s a small detail and nice touch that really emphasizes the character and how “evil” he is.

King in Black #5 is a fine finale. It wraps up the event well and there’s some cathartic aspects to it. But, for an event that was so good, it’s a bit of a letdown. The comic lacks that memorable moment and the one it delivers feels like we’ve seen before. It’s the end sequence for a summer popcorn film that attempts to be full of ideas and visuals but lacks depth.

Story: Donny Cates Art: Ryan Stegman
Ink: JP Mayer, Ryan Stegman Color: Frank Martin, Jason Keith Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Review: Avengers #39

Avengers #39

In Avengers #39, a million years ago, a baby is saved from death by a wolf pack. Years later, she comes upon someone who speaks in her mind, leading her to the first mutants on Earth. Bigoted humans come and attack them and the young child unleashes her power, which is the Phoenix, engulfing everything in flames. From there, she heads to Asgard to recruit Odin.

If I was looking to read about the Avengers, I’d probably avoid this issue. Honestly, this revisionist history that Marvel allows drives me a bit crazy. The past is never good enough and we need mutants and the Phoenix used one million years ago. I feel like Jason Aaron is better than this. Overall, this is just a cheap appetizer for the main course, which is “Enter The Phoenix,” the next story arc which starts in the next issue.

My favorite thing about Avengers #39 was page after page of Dale Keown art. He’s definitely one of those artists that should be working on a big-time book. Maybe Avengers is that and I just don’t know.  There’s a level of beauty in his human characters that’s really pleasing to the eye. His action sequences look fairly epic. Jason Keith’s colors fill it all in and honestly, the colors are great on the Phoenix reveal page.

This felt like a whole lot of build-up for a better story, which I guess will be the upcoming Phoenix rehash that Marvel is serving up. Avengers #39 is fairly lackluster in the storytelling but it’s a really nice issue on the eyes.

Story: Jason Aaron Art: Dale Keown
Color: Jason Keith Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Story: 4.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 6.5
Recommendation: Pass

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindle

Review: Maestro #2

Maestro #2

Maestro #2 is an interesting second issue. It’s quite literally a cross-country journey as the Hulk explores what’s left of the United States and ponders the destruction at humanity’s hands. As a stand-alone issue, it’s an interesting read though not all that exciting. As part of the greater story, it’s much more and nice entry into the bigger picture.

Writer Peter David delivers a Hulk who recognizes the destruction before him and feels sad about it. This isn’t the raging Hulk who seeks death himself or rages against those that won’t let him find peace. This is one that’s more philosophical in nature and reflecting on his life and what’s before him.

In what both works and doesn’t, David uses Hulk’s travels to allow us to see more of what’s left. We’re shown the various survivors and what has sprung up, each different from the last. A few bring hope while others bring future conflict. What’s nice is we get a better lay of the land. But, each segment is just that, a quick segment. There’s little exploration of each settlement which hurts the story. It feels choppy and a bit short in depth and worldbuilding. Its’ been years since I read the original Future Imperfect so there’s probably more there but as is, nothing is explored enough.

Maestro #2 reads more like a guidebook to a world as opposed to a full fledge story. Not enough time is spent with each interesting group. And without that, it’s hard to care what happens. There’s a disconnect between the comic’s presentation and making you invested in what might happen to them. It’s a bit cold in some ways. Where moments could deliver hope, they feel a bit disconnected and a bit mechanical. It’s more roleplaying sourcebook without the in-depth information than story.

Some of the issues with the story is the art by Germán Peralta. While none of it is bad, there’s also a lack of detail at the time to add to the story. A discussion about wanting to add nutrients to a soil could have done with more details of the crops telling the story of the struggle of farming. An animal dead in the woods due to radiation isn’t mutated or emaciated enough to really impact. The motions are there without the detail, like the plot itself.

The issue also kicks off the first part of “Relics,” a back-up story with art by Dale Keown and color by Jason Keith. This is a bit more interesting. In just a few pages more is told about the world and also delivers some emotional heft. The short story is itself a quick rollercoaster ride full of hope and then crashing down showing how much society has not evolved after almost destroying itself. It’s the highlight of the issue and the only reason I’m not suggesting to skip it.

Maestro #2 isn’t a bad issue but it also feels like it doesn’t do the world and Hulk’s journey justice. It’s quick hits to give us a tour of “the players” in a single issue. While that can work as part of the bigger picture, it also doesn’t deliver enough interesting aspects or depths to really excite. As a collection though, it’d be fine as you can quickly move on to the next chapter. Sadly, for all of the excitement the first issue delivered, the second lacks the same punch.

Story: Peter David Art: Germán Peralta, Dale Keown
Color: Jason Keith Letterer: Ariana Maher
Story: 6.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 6.75 Recommendation: Read

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

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